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The Grind: Watson's Waffle House run, geezers rule, and Augusta National mini-golf

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're not at all surprised Bubba Watson went to a Waffle House after winning a second green jacket. Have you ever been to Augusta? There's one on every corner! Also, if you feel like eating breakfast at 1:30 in the morning, can you really be that picky? In any event, we've got a full helping of stuff to talk about. Let's dig in.

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WE'RE BUYING

Bubba Watson: The unofficial Waffle House spokesman is on top of the golf world yet again after a brilliant Sunday performance. Bubba's booming drives stole the show, but key birdie putts on Nos. 4, 6 and 9 were what really won him a second green jacket. He really threw us all off his scent with that WD at Bay Hill last month after a first-round 83, didn't he? Sneaky! Now, Watson is the clear front-runner for PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Related: The shots that defined the 2014 Masters

Jordan Spieth: Sure, he came apart after the seventh hole, but the guy is 20 years old! Spieth's runner-up in his first trip to Augusta National was the latest evidence that he could be golf's next great superstar and a lock to win a bunch of majors. Then again, we said the same thing about a 19-year-old Sergio Garcia following the 1999 PGA Championship. . . But back to the positives! Spieth almost just won the Masters at 20. Most people his age still don't even know what they want to be when they grow up.

Old guys: Six guys over 50 made the cut. Six! There were probably more seniors playing at Augusta National over the weekend than there were at your local muny. Miguel Angel Jimenez finished fourth, Bernhard Langer backdoored a T-8 and Fred Couples had his usual Sunday fade, but not after he got within two shots of the lead during the final round. It seems like it's just a matter of time before Jack Nicklaus' record for winning the Masters at 46 is shattered.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Team PUMA: A week after Lexi Thompson won her first major, Jonas Blixt and Rickie Fowler contended at the Masters. For Blixt, the T-2 was the Swede's second straight top five at a major. And Fowler continued to show his work with Butch Harmon is paying off, matching his career-best finish in a major with a T-5. From partying at the pool with Lolo Jones to coming close to winning a green jacket, it's been quite a couple weeks for Rickie.

WE'RE SELLING

Big names not named Bubba: We knew this year's Masters would miss Tiger Woods, but guys like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Sergio Garcia joined him on the couch for the weekend with poor play. Even Adam Scott disappeared on the weekend after a promising start. All of their struggles added up to a 24 percent decline in TV ratings from last year. Of course, it didn't help that the Par 3 Contest was more exciting. . .

Back-nine drama: Thanks, Bubba. You turned the last hour of the Masters into a yawnfest. Actually, the blame goes to those in contention. The usual back-nine roars at Augusta were almost nonexistent as no one mustered a charge. The biggest roar came from Bubba's big drive on No. 13. As incredible as that was (Is that the greatest drive EVER?), it wasn't the same as someone rolling in an eagle on that hole.

Related: The winners and losers from Sunday at the Masters

Matt Kuchar: Speaking of guys not making a back-nine run, we have to single out Kuchar not getting it done for a third consecutive week. That's a Grind record no one wants to have! We really thought this was his week to win a first major, especially after he jumped into a tie for the lead on the third hole on Sunday, but Kuchar faltered once again down the stretch. If it's possible to have a bad T-5 at a major, this would qualify.

Caroline Wozniacki's pink hair: What in the. . .

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Wozniacki deserves praise for draining a long putt in the Par 3 contest, but her hair was scary. Fortunately, by Sunday, she was back to being a blonde. Ahh, that's better.

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ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads up the road to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage. To make things more exciting, the course's famed lighthouse is in play this year. OK, not really.

Related: 16 wacky Masters stats you probably don't know

Random tournament fact: Nick Faldo, 56, will come down from the broadcast booth and tee it up. Faldo won the first of his three non-major PGA Tour events there in 1984.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Jordan Spieth regrets leaving college early: 1 million-to-1 odds.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Bubba Watson will buy his own Waffle House: 2-to-1 odds

-- Bernhard Langer, 56, could break me into two pieces: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Who is this enchanting and bold blonde who ran across Augusta National's 10th green on Saturday? Can we get Dick Fowler, P.I., to investigate? If you want to see 14 almost identical photos to this (you know you do), go to the Augusta Chronicle's website. Taking off your sandals at Augusta National? That's basically the same thing as streaking at Augusta National.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Highlights of the 2013 Masters complete with actual commentary and with mini-golf obstacles transposed over the footage? This is one of the greatest videos ever made.

Please, Masters, don't take it down. PLEASE!

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Tiger Woods isn't looking good for the U.S. Open, according to friend Notah Begay. Not surprising if you listened to any doctor when Woods first announced he'd had back surgery. . . . Michael Phelps announced he's coming out of retirement to swim competitively again. At 28, he still has plenty of time to retire again and focus on his celebrity golf career. . . . Billy Horschel hit the ball well enough to contend at the Masters, but his putting was awful. Maybe one of the winning kids of the Drive, Chip, and Putt Contest can give him a few pointers before next year. . . . Jason Dufner became the first golfer to be sponsored by a television network when he played at Augusta National wearing a shirt with the Fox Business logo (above). Unfortunately, that was the only Masters history Dufner made last week.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How much golf did Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson watch over the weekend?

Is Jordan Spieth really only 20? Is Bernhard Langer really 56?!

Why aren't there any Waffle Houses in Connecticut?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Paulina's cover, Lexi's big splash, and a former Miss Idaho tour wife

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're not sure if we can handle all the excitement. The Masters is here and Paulina Gretzky is on the current cover of Golf Digest? Deep breaths, deep breaths. On top of that, there was a final-round showdown on the LPGA, a final-round miracle on the PGA Tour, and a final game in the NCAA Tournament. March Madness is in the books, but April Awesomeness is just getting underway! Did we just say "Awesomeness"? OK, we really need to calm down. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Lexi Thompson: Speaking of excitement in golf, from teen phenom to teen major champion, Thompson has the potential to give the LPGA the exposure it craves. Her three-shot victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship was nothing short of sensational, especially as she continued her aggressive play while holding a comfortable lead. As Golf Channel's Terry Gannon said, "She looks like an athlete who would beat you at any sport." Well, maybe not at pond jumping. Her caddie won that one.

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Lexi described her jump as a "semi-cannonball." That's being generous.

Matt Jones: If they ever make a movie about the 2014 Shell Houston Open, we have the title: "The Legend of Matty Jones"! Jones made a 46-footer for birdie on No. 18 in regulation and then topped that by chipping in from 40 yards on the same hole in a playoff to win his first PGA Tour event and his first trip to Augusta National. And did you hear the call by Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks on NBC? Great stuff.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

The "DCP": The new kids competition at Augusta National, the Drive, Chip, and Putt, even has a cool acronym already. We used to call our office putting contests "DCTs" for Digital Challenge Tournaments. OK, so we probably shouldn't have admitted to that. . . Anyway, while we thought the extensive TV coverage was a bit over the top, the inaugural event drew rave reviews. Now, we just have to work on cutting down these kids' pre-shot routines. After all, the goal is to grow the game, not slow the game.

Melissa Weber Jones: Umm, did you know Matt Jones is married to this former MISS IDAHO?! We'll say it again: The Legend of Matty Jones!

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WE'RE SELLING

Matt Kuchar: For a second straight week, we have to highlight Kuchar's inability to close out a tournament. Seriously, how did he manage to walk away from that mini-Texas Swing without a victory? Still, you have to like him at Augusta National. Well, for a top five, that is.

Michelle Wie's strategy: We were so happy to see Wie in Sunday's final group at the Kraft Nabisco. We just weren't happy to see her seemingly playing for second place. While Lexi Thompson bombed away off the tee, Wie was mostly content laying back with 3-woods. The result was a solid 71, but she was lapped by Lexi. Oh, and then there was that visor. Look at the size of that thing!

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Related: 11 Things I learned from playing in my first PGA Tour event

Yani Tseng: Less than three years ago, she was in the midst of winning a fourth major in eight starts. Now, the former World No. 1 in women's golf has missed the cut in four consecutive majors. Golf is amazing, isn't it?

Dustin Johnson: While his fiance was getting a lot of attention for her Golf Digest cover on Thursday (good form), DJ had a WD in Houston after shooting an opening-round 80 (not good form). Coincidence? Who knows, but it didn't stop me from taking Johnson with my first pick in the GolfDigest.com Masters fantasy draft. C'mon, Dustin! Don't you want to be on the cover of Golf Digest again yourself?!

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Augusta National for the Masters, aka 'The Freakin' Masters'! If the season's first male major is anything like the season's first female major, we are in for a treat.

Related: 16 wacky Masters stats you probably don't know

Random tournament fact: Seve Ballesteros is the only Masters champion with an April birthday. You would know that if you checked out my "16 Wacky Masters Stats" feature. Please do it now. And then come back. Thanks.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- The winner at Augusta National will jump into Rae's Creek: 1 million-to-1 odds.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- An Australian will win on the PGA Tour for the fifth time in two months: 2-to-1 odds

-- Lexi Thompson is not done winning majors: LOCK

PHOTO(S) OF THE WEEK

Did we mention Paulina Gretzky is on the cover of the Golf Digest fitness issue? Did we mention there was an accompanying slideshow? Yeah, this was the most obvious choice of the year.

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Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Michael Jordan chipped in at his celebrity golf tournament at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas and got very excited:

On a side note, Shadow Creek's greens might be faster than Augusta National's. Also, Jordan pulled the pin for that shot?! Now that's confidence.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

COMMERCIAL OF THE WEEK

This Bubba Watson SportsCenter ad that features the 2012 Masters champ and his caddie trying to navigate the Stanford Tree mascot in the ESPN office is well done:

THIS AND THAT

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Josh Scobee, the kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, won his club championship. Glad he won something. Poor guy plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. . . . Derek Jeter was given a set of golf clubs by the Houston Astros on the first stop of the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour. We hope he still goes for a fitting. . . . Speaking of the Astros, Johnson Wagner hurt his hand trying to catch a foul ball at Thursday's game (J.J. Henry came up with it). This actually happened. . . . Despite not having rights to show one live golf shot, Golf Channel will feature 80 hours of live coverage from the Masters this week. Stay hydrated, Brandel Chamblee. . . . Yes, that is a piano made of and filled with chocolate. No, it doesn't get any classier when it comes to desserts.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who will be on the cover of next year's Golf Digest Fitness Issue?

Who would win a "DCP" among PGA Tour pros?

How much money did Michael Jordan win for that chip-in?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

The Grind: A Tiger-less Masters, Rickie hangs with Lolo, and the ubiquitous Jim Nantz

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where Tiger Woods' stunning announcement that he'll miss his first Masters as a pro raises several questions. Who will everyone complain about not being able to watch during the tournament's limited TV coverage on Thursday or Friday now? Will more players wear red at Augusta National on Sunday? Who gets his seat at the Champions' Dinner? Will they make less food? All kidding aside, we're sad to see this great champion in such a fragile state, and he will be missed at the year's first major. But as they say, the show must go on.

WE'RE BUYING

Steven Bowditch: It wasn't pretty on Sunday, but what a fantastic story. The 30-year-old Aussie who has fought depression his entire career won his first PGA Tour event in 110 tries despite a final-round 76. Golf Channel's John Antonini pointed out that Bowditch is already the fifth player ranked outside the top 100 (Bowditch was No. 339!) to win on tour in the 2013-14. Three others have been ranked above No. 90 and only one (Zach Johnson) was ranked inside the top 10 at the time of his win. And you thought the NCAA Tournament produced a lot of upsets! Also, it was nice of Bowditch to dress like the tournament volunteers on Sunday:

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"Don't even think about bringing those boots home."

Will MacKenzie: His runner-up at the Valero gave him five top 10s and nine top 25s this season in just 11 events. Not bad for the 39-year-old who entered the year with 10 career top 10s in 172 starts. On a sadder note, we were sad to read that he and his wife Allie (below), a former FHM Magazine model, are in the process of getting a divorce. "It's kind of freed me up a little bit," Mackenzie told Golf.com in February. "It's got me focused on golf." We guess so. . .

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Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Laura Diaz: Making two holes-in-one? On back-to-back days? In competition? Talk about using up all your good breaks. Diaz is actually the second LPGA player to pull of the feat (Jenny Lidback in 1997), but she's the first LPGA player to follow an ace with an eagle like she did on Sunday. Oh yeah, Anna Nordvist won the event. Kudos to her as well.

WE'RE SELLING

Tiger Woods' back: What started as an April Fool's joke Monday night got very serious Tuesday morning when Woods announced he had undergone surgery on his back and would not be playing in the Masters. Last year, I made a $100 bet with Ron Sirak that Woods would still break Jack Nicklaus' mark of 18 majors. I wonder how much Ron would let me buy out of the bet for at this point?

Phil Mickelson's oblique: Apparently, Phil and Tiger are even competitive over the amount of times they withdraw in the middle of a tournament. Mickelson moved ahead of Woods with his second WD, citing a pulled muscle in his right side. This, after he made an all-time Mickelsonian up-and-down from a stream to make the cut on Friday. Oh well. At least, it's not his back, right?

Related: 11 Things I learned from playing in my first PGA Tour event

Matt Kuchar: As the surprising winners on the PGA Tour continue to mount, so do the surprising losers. Kuchar joins Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy on the list of big names who have squandered huge opportunities for wins in the past month. Maybe they're just saving up for the majors? On the bright side, none of those guys are injured. Yet.

Andrew Loupe: The latest villain in the PGA Tour's battle against slow play caused Johnny Miller to say, "If everyone on tour played like him, I'd quit announcing." Loupe didn't help his cause with his own quote: "You hurry up and wait if you want, but really -- I don't care." This is surprising for someone who was a stud basketball player in high school. Maybe they don't have a shot clock in Louisiana?

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads a couple hundred miles east for the Shell Houston Open, aka the absolute final tuneup before the Masters. We hear Kevin Na, Andrew Loupe and Ben Crane will be paired together. . . APRIL FOOL'S!!! Sorry, that was cruel.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Steve Stricker is playing this week. No, for real. We thought it was an April Fool's joke at first, too. Obviously, he committed to the event not thinking his beloved Wisconsin Badgers would be in the Final Four.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK 

-- Johnny Miller will quit announcing golf because of slow play: 1 million-to-1 odds. Wait, let's not even joke about Johnny Miller quitting. 

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

-- Another Masters favorite will get hurt: Even odds

-- Steve Stricker is happy Wisconsin is playing Kentucky in the late game on Saturday: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Apparently, Rickie Fowler and Lolo Jones were hanging out at a pool party:

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Or was this a Red Bull commercial? And is that a fanny-pack built into Lolo's bikini? How sensible!

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON CHARLIE THE DOG PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Charlie is one lucky dog.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Mike Miller didn't make the cut in his PGA Tour debut, but he did make it onto the Golf Channel with this highlight:

He already has that patented tour pro "Aww, shucks, did I just chip in?" look down to perfection.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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After 260 years of existence, the Royal & Ancient GC might finally be opening up to women members. April Fool's? No, this is really happening. . . . Asia rallied to tie the inaugural EurAsia Cup. Sadly, that event was probably a lot more exciting than the final round of the Valero Texas Open. . . . Jim Nantz made a cameo in the "How I Met Your Mother" series finale. The guy is literally everywhere these days. . . . Tiger Woods' tournament -- now the Quicken Loans National -- will be held at Congressional CC every other year until 2020. Hey, Tiger's back looks pretty good in that photo! Last chance, Tiger. April Fool's? No? Guess not. . . . 

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How depressing was the "How I Met Your Mother" finale?

Why doesn't the PGA Tour hire John Paramour to hand out slow-play penalties?

When did golf become more dangerous than football?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Fun with Matt Every, busted brackets, and Kate Upton's Bay Hill return

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we've already moved on from March Madness brackets to Masters pools. Thanks for showing up, (insert any number of disappointing big-name college basketball teams)! Anyway, you know the golf season's first major is just around the corner when there's a big spike in the number of Jim Nantz-narrated radio commercials. "Insperity! It's what we do. . ." But Nantz is still occupied with that other tournament, and we still have a few other golf tournaments to discuss first as well. The Grind! It's what we do. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Matt Every: It's not Every-day you win your first PGA Tour title. It's even rarer when someone with the middle name King wins The King's tournament. OK, enough with the name jokes. Every's victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earned him some special time with the host, by far the biggest payday of his career, and a coveted spot in the Masters. Even his Florida Gators advanced to the Sweet 16. Every-thing is going his way! Sorry, couldn't help it.

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The Florida Swing: This four-week stretch had something for Every-one! (Last one, we promise.) Despite not producing the sexiest collection of winning names (Every, John Senden, Russell Henley and Patrick Reed), the tour's trip to Florida delivered when it came to drama and surprise endings (How did Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott not win?). Plus, you got to hear Johnny Miller for a month straight! Well, three out of four weeks. Sorry, Valspar Championship. . .

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Karrie Webb: Just last month, Webb was making headlines for signing an incorrect scorecard and being disqualified. She's had two incredible comeback wins since. Webb came from five behind entering the final round at the Australian Open and this past weekend, she came from six back at the Founders Cup, firing a final-round 63 to top four players by one shot. At 39, the Hall of Famer is No. 2 on the LPGA money list. Speaking of the Hall. . .

World Golf Hall Of Fame: We applaud anything that makes entrance into golf's most exclusive club more difficult. Now, players meeting the criteria (15 wins or two majors) need 75 percent of the vote from a 16-person committee (up from the 50 percent of ballots given to hundreds of voters that got Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie inducted last time), which will vote every two years. Good. For awhile, we were trending toward having few top 10s making a player a lock to get into St. Augustine.

WE'RE SELLING

Adam Scott: Until Sunday afternoon, it wasn't a matter of if Scott would win at Bay Hill, but by how much. It also wasn't a matter of if he'd overtake Tiger Woods for the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, but how soon. Instead, Scott followed up a 62-68 start with a 71-76 finish to blow a seven-shot lead. On the bright side, he still gets to be Adam Scott.

Related: Why Woods' Sunday blues are overblown

Bubba Watson: Allergies are no joke, but it's tough to give any tour pro -- especially one who entered the week playing as well as anyone and who we may have played in our fantasy golf lineup -- a pass for pumping three straight balls into the water and making an 11 on a hole where coincidentally, John Daly once made an 18. On the bright side, he extended his tour-best streak without three-putting to 255 holes. Wait, he shot an 83 without a three-putt? Now that's impressive.

Fans heckling Kevin Na: Not that we're endorsing Na's slow pace of play, but how is this going to help? If anything, heckling Na on the course will only make him play slower. Also, as we said last week, Na isn't the only player to blame. In fact, Brandel Chamblee is on record as saying Jim Furyk is the slowest PGA Tour pro. Maybe we're not sending the right message by affectionately referring to Furyk as "The Grinder."

Masters "favorites": Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy can't close out tournaments, Tiger Woods and Jason Day can't even get healthy enough to play in tournaments, and who knows what is up with Phil Mickelson's back. At least, Tiger Woods' Stanford Cardinal upset third-seeded Kansas to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Best thing that's happened to Tiger in 2014. By far.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour begins its Texas two-step before the Masters. This week, its the Valero Texas Open, aka that tournament that is really excited to have Phil Mickelson in the field for the first time since 1992. No, like super, super excited:

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Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Random tournament fact: Michael Miller will be making his PGA Tour debut on a sponsor's exemption. I know this because I covered the now 22-year-old when he was a high school star in Brewster, N.Y. He also happens to have a locker next to Mickelson this week. Good luck, Mike. Not getting pranked, that is.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Fans will heckle Phil Mickelson: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

-- Tiger Woods will watch one minute of the Valero Texas Open: 10-to-1 odds

-- Tiger Woods will watch every minute of Stanford's Sweet 16 game against Dayton: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"But, yeah, I'm not like -- I'm definitely not top five in the word right now. Probably top 70." -- Matt Every, jokingly referencing Patrick Reed's recent statement. Actually, Matt, you're now all the way up to No. 44 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Don't be bashful!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Via Kate Upton on Twitter: Had so much fun at Arnold Palmer Invitational #bayhill #theking #mattevery

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Do you think Arnie, who shared the December cover of Golf Digest with Ms. Upton after meeting her at Bay Hill last year, was just a little disappointed when she returned with Detroit Tigers star Justin Verlander on her arm? Also, how random is the #MattEvery hashtag?

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON JASON DUFNER-AMANDA DUFNER-LOUIE THE DOG PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Jason Dufner celebrated his 37th birthday on Monday. Jason Dufner is the man.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How do you stand out in a crowd? Actually root for Kevin Na to play slow. The golfer noticed a group of fans wearing Kevin Na "Worth The Wait" T-shirts and went over to give them all hugs during Saturday's third round. Aww.

Later that day, Na was asked if he's a slow driver. His response? "I drive a Lamborghini." By the way, Na made his infamous 16 at the 2011 Valero Texas Open. Now witnessing that in person would definitely have been worth the wait.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Jeff Maggert became the 17th golfer to win in his Champions Tour debut. The over-50 crowd better watch out for this young whippersnapper! . . . . Charles Barkley offered to play golf in Arizona with the North Dakota State head basketball coach after his emotional press conference following his team's exit from the NCAA Tournament. If he isn't already on a plane to Arizona from North Dakota, there is something seriously wrong with him. . . . Hunter Mahan withdrew from Bay Hill with a bad back on Sunday. Sean Foley might have to become a chiropractor on the side. . . . Speaking of insurable body parts, the Aflac duck hung out with Golf Channel's Holly Sonders last week. Lucky duck.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who runs the official PGA Tour NCAA "office" pool?

Why do I always pick the wrong checkout line?

What exactly does Insperity do?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Waiting on Na, fearing the Florida Swing, and reliving a nightmarish choke

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we . . . hold up a second . . . hang on a minute . . . just waiting for Kevin Na to hit his next shot. OK, we're good to go. Look, we'd probably move a little slower if we knew millions of people were watching us work. Should we put a comma here? Do we need more of an explanation there? Can we mention Paulina Gretzky again? That kind of constant scrutiny would be awful . . . OK, before we start to stall let's move on to what else has us talking.

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WE'RE BUYING

John Senden: The greens-in-regulation machine finally picked up his second PGA Tour title at the Valspar Championship after a seven-year wait. All it took was him missing a green on the 16th hole and knocking in a chip shot for an unlikely birdie. Golf is a funny game.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Fred Couples: Freddie birdied the final two holes at the Toshiba Classic to beat Bernhard Langer by one and pick up his 10th Champions Tour title. Rounding into form just in time for the Masters, we see . . .

The Snake Pit: Really, this is more about enjoying the difficult Florida Swing thus far. This is the first time since 1990 (not counting majors and opposite-field events) that three consecutive PGA Tour events have been won at single digits under par. But we'll admit it, talking about The Bear Trap, Blue Monster and The Snake Pit the past three weeks has been fun.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Golden Tate: We love to hear when athletes from other sports are really into golf, even if their logic is a bit suspect. Tate, formerly a wide receiver for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Detroit Lions and said golf was a big reason for why he chose Detroit over playing in Arizona. Hey, his heart is in the right place. Plus, his name makes us think of playing Golden Tee.

WE'RE SELLING

John Daly: In the second round of the Valspar Championship, Daly shot the worst score of his PGA Tour career -- and that's saying a LOT. The 90 included a 12 on the 16th hole (The Snake Pit strikes again!). We play golf with a guy named Josh who calls a round of 18 over par "the standard." No, Josh isn't a particularly good golfer, and no, Daly didn't meet "the standard" on the par-71 Copperhead Course at Innisbrook. Not good.

Related: Why Woods' Sunday blues are overblown

Kevin Na: If you remember the 2012 Players, then watching Na over the weekend was an absolute treat. Still, he remains known more for his slow play -- although Na's certainly not the only PGA Tour player at fault -- and his pace was as big of a storyline as Senden's win at the Valspar Championship. Said Robert Garrigus' caddie, Brent Henley, "It ain't fair playing with Kevin Na, it ain't fair." If that sounds like a whiny excuse, it isn't. The numbers actually back up that claim.

Robert Garrigus: That being said, Garrigus still shot a Sunday 75 to finish a disappointing T-4. Garrigus is now 0-for-4 when holding a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. In other words, he'd have to close the deal the next 54 times to match Tiger Woods' mark. Speaking of poor play under pressure . . .

blog-grind-myers-200x270.gifMy clutch putting: I call out players for poor play under pressure on a weekly basis, so it's only fair to rip myself when deserved. Monday, I had a chance to win an eight-person putting contest at the office (That's an $8 purse, which equals a fine meal at Cosi) and I choked. Thanks to Luke Kerr-Dineen, who coincidentally wound up winning, for capturing one of the biggest daggers of my sports career -- and my pained reaction -- on his phone. It might take awhile to get over this one.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour's Florida Swing concludes with the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, aka that place without a scary nickname and where it seems like Tiger Woods hits a walk-off putt every year. Lately, the term walk-off putt means a different thing for Woods, but he and his bad back will give it a go this week in search of a record ninth win in a single tour event. He pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday evening with a bad back.

Related: The best (and worst) of the West Coast Swing

Random tournament fact: If you thought John Daly's 12 in Tampa was bad, try this: In the final round at Bay Hill in 1998, Daly made an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole, his worst recorded score on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, he won't be in the field this week to try to top that mark.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Kevin Na will be told to slow down on the course: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- NBC announcers will dub holes No. 16-18 at Bay Hill "The King's Dungeon" to add a little juice to the event: Even odds

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

-- At 84, Arnold Palmer will still be the coolest person at Bay Hill: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It was a good 12. I got up-and-down for a 12." -- John Daly

Hmm. By that logic, Jean Van de Velde's triple bogey at the 1999 British Open was a great 7.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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One of the good things about the LPGA having so many weeks off is it gives Natalie more time to work on her tan.

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

They're back!!! It had been more than a month since our favorite lovebirds posted a pic, but it looks like they're making up for lost time.

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"Nothing else matters" Paulina wrote on her Instagram account. Very sweet. She then posted this pic three days later.

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Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Tom Watson's one-handed backward chip shot on the par-3 eighth hole in the opening round of the Toshiba Classic was an instant classic.

Hopefully, Tom will share his tips on pulling off this shot in an upcoming issue of Golf Digest.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Charley Hull won her first pro title thanks to a final-round 62 in Morocco. She turns 18 this week. . . . Not to be outdone, 15-year-old New Zealander Inia Logan shot a 59 in a junior tournament over the weekend on a par-68 course. It could have been a par-60 course and we would have been impressed. . . . A model is suing Playboy and a radio host for a golf stunt gone awry. Let's just say teeing a ball up on any part of your body isn't a good idea. . . . Rory and Caroline are reported to be planning a November wedding in New York. Smart move. That date should cut the cost down considerably. . . . I had a chance to return to my high school as a guest speaker for career day last week as you can see from the name tag. I know, I know, those poor kids.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Why would 'Wozilroy' get married in New York?

Is John Daly available for positive speaking engagements?

Will I ever get over that missed putt?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Patrick Reed's new nickname, Donald Trump's big week, and Tiger's bad back

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are still trying to figure out why Patrick Reed's comments caused such an uproar. A guy who has played as well as anyone since last summer thinks he's currently one of the five best golfers in the world? How dare he! A guy who is great at what he does has the goal of being the best at his profession? The nerve! A guy not named Tiger Woods is bold enough to wear a red shirt on Sunday? Oh, no, he didn't! Seriously, this wouldn't be a big deal in any other sport. Chill out, golf.

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Even Ivanka Trump seemed very impressed with Patrick Reed.

WE'RE BUYING

Patrick Reed: The 23-year-old became the youngest to win a World Golf Championship and the only golfer currently under 25 with at least three PGA Tour wins. I once covered a bold basketball player nicknamed Kareem "Big Game" Reid, which is why that label "Big Game" kept popping into my head over the weekend. Patrick "Big Game" Reed has a nice ring to it and is kind of fitting, no? Yep, we're going with that. Patrick, you've been dubbed.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Chesson Hadley: The rookie picked up his first PGA Tour win at the Puerto Rico Open. Plus, he was on our list of sleepers to watch in 2014 and he already has a win, a T-5, and a T-10. What's that sound you hear? Oh, it's just us patting ourselves on the back.

The 'New' Doral: Call us crazy, but seeing someone win a golf tournament at four under is fun. And how about the 113 balls in the water from 68 players on Friday? Donald Trump declared he was a "plus-10" handicap when it comes to building. Apparently, he's a master of creating carnage on the golf course as well as in the boardroom. Is the USGA taking note?

J.R. Smith: Maybe we should start a new category called, "This week in random NBA-golf connections." Last week, LeBron James made a golf analogy after scoring 61 points and this week it was the much-maligned New York Knicks guard's turn. When asked what he thought about the speculation surrounding his team's interest in retired coach Phil Jackson, Smith responded: "I've been watching the Golf Channel." And just like that we like J.R. Smith again -- at least, until he chucks up another awful shot.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

WE'RE SELLING

Tiger Woods: His third-round 66 made Sunday the most anticipated PGA Tour final round this year, but he was completely out of contention by the time he got to the back nine. Injured back or not, blowing up on Sunday two weeks in a row after playing so well on Saturday makes for an especially tough week. Plus, he bloodied fans with errant drives and hit two sleeves of balls into the water. That might explain this look, in what is possibly the saddest Tiger Woods photo ever taken:

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Related: Why Woods' Sunday blues are overblown

Other big names on Sunday: While Reed pulled away early, none of the big names who started right on his heels made any move. Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson got wet. Dustin Johnson couldn't make a putt and Jason Dufner couldn't make a three-footer. Bubba Watson shot a final-round 68, but came up one shot short. He has a win and two runner-ups in his last three stroke-play events. Oh yeah, we're 'buying' him, too.

Hideki Matsuyama and Ian Poulter: One guy carelessly damaged a golf course by taking out his frustration. The other guy took to Twitter to call him out instead of talking to him first. Not good all around. To Hideki's credit, he sought out Twitter tough guy Poulter the next day on the range to apologize. He would have gotten more credit, though, if he had just tried to fix what he'd done instead of an official having to do it moments later.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: There are no cuts at World Golf Championships, so golfers playing bad have nowhere to hide on the weekend. As a result, Aphibarnrat finished 26 over(!) for four days at Doral. We probably shouldn't be too surprised. After all, he is known as "Asia's John Daly."

ON TAP

The PGA Tour's frightening Florida Swing continues with a trip to Innisbrook's Copperhead Course and "The Snake Pit" for the Valspar Championship. We're not making that nickname up. We've played it and it's not nice. Oh, and we're not making that tournament name up, either. The event formerly known as the Transitions has transitioned yet again.

Related: The best (and worst) of the West Coast Swing

Random tournament fact: How about a random PGA Tour fact? Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker have won six of the past 21 official tour events. Amazing. Also amazing? That clip of two players' combined hot streaks is just slightly better than Tiger Woods' career winning percentage. Yeah, he's pretty decent.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- "The Snake Pit" will be talked about as much as "The Bear Trap" and the "New Blue Monster": 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

-- Hideki Matsuyama will be more careful with his golf course etiquette the next time Ian Poulter is watching: LOCK

-- J.R. Smith is a Holly Sonders fan: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"This is what you dream of as a 6-year-old out in the bunker, hitting bunker shots on the range." -- Chesson Hadley. Man, I wish I had started working on my bunker play at that age.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Tiger Woods showed up for the ribbon cutting for the Tiger Woods Villa at Trump Doral Miami with the Trump family. No wonder he played last week. He had to be there for such a historic occasion.

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There's Ivanka again! And speaking of the Tiger Woods Villa, apparently, Rory McIlroy was one of its first inhabitants. "There's photos of him all over . . . I can't get away from him," McIlroy said. Hey, Rory, just keep winning majors and maybe someday you'll have a villa named after you at a Trump property. Don't be afraid to dream big!

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PRO GOLFER-DOG PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Via Amanda Dufner on Instagram: "Louie consoling his dad after a rough day on the course. #teamdufner #dufner #puppylove"

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We love #teamdufner, but we hope someone on the team is working with Jason on short putts.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

On Friday, a female fan came across Luke Donald's errant tee shot, picked up his ball and walked off. Fortunately, a cameraman tracked her down and told her to put it back.

Our favorite part is she holds it up to a couple of fans walking by, as if to ask if it's one of theirs. We're going to guess it was her first golf tournament -- or at the very least, the first time she's been around Luke Donald hitting a driver.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Top-ranked Inbee Park won her first tournament of 2014, beating No. 2 Suzann Pettersen by five shots in a Ladies European Tour event. Yep, that's about the difference between Park and everyone else on the LPGA these days. . . . Adam Hadwin won the Chile Classic to become the 13th Canadian to win on the Web.com Tour. Wait, there have been that many good Canadian golfers? . . . Torrey Pines is close to being named the site of the 2021 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods will be 45. Yeah, let that sink in. . . . Speaking of getting older, pictured are the chocolate-covered strawberries my fiancee, Michelle, made me for my birthday on Monday. Yep, you've got to start eating healthier when you get to be my age.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How will the world go on without anymore of HBO's True Detective this year?

Is Patrick Reed actually a top-five golfer?

Am I a plus-handicap at anything?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: The Bear Trap bites back, Paula's "miracle" putt, and golf's new magic number

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we apologize to last week's golfers for poking the bear -- "the Bear Trap", that is. We usually think the three-hole stretch at PGA National gets too much hype, but it was well deserved this time, creating back-nine carnage that must have made even USGA officials jealous.

Speaking of which, could you imagine a U.S. Open there? The water. The heat. The GATORS. The only time it hosted a major the winning score was one under and that was just a friendly PGA Championship. Something tells us Mike Davis and the boys in blue blazers could do a lot better than that. Oops, sorry again, pro golfers. We shouldn't have opened our mouths. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Russell Henley: In nine prior events this season, Henley's best finish was 27th -- in a 30-man field. But there he was on Sunday, birdieing the first extra hole to best a rare playoff foursome and win the Honda Classic. Henley only has two top-five finishes in his young PGA Tour career, but both are victories. We're happy for you, Russell!

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Paula Creamer: DID YOU SEE THE PUTT SHE MADE TO WIN?! OK, so you probably have by now. A few times. Still, it deserves all caps. Creamer rammed in a 75-footer to stun Azahara Munoz and pick up her first LPGA win since 2010. We're really happy for you, Paula!

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Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Ryan Palmer: Golf's other Palmer is probably upset he let such a good chance for a fourth PGA Tour title slip away and, well, he should be. Still, this was Palmer's second runner-up of 2014 and he's on his way to perhaps his best season on tour. But yeah, Ryan, you should have won by at least three shots.

Rick Baird: To steal a line from "The Social Network," a 59 isn't cool anymore. You know what's cool? An 18. That's right, an IT Manager from Charlotte shot a perfect score of 18 at mini-golf. In competition. The historic event, only the third ever recorded, was recently documented by Grantland (If you have seven minutes, it's well worth your time). Does this guy offer putting lessons?

WE'RE SELLING

Rory McIlroy: If Palmer should have won by three shots, Rory could have won by twice that. After all, he had a four-shot lead at one point during the final round on a course where he's won. Plus, his three closest challengers weren't exactly Hogan, Nelson, and Snead. McIlroy's slump is a thing of the past, but his PGA Tour winless drought is now at 17 months and counting.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Back injuries: Have you ever injured your back? It's the worst. So we feel for Tiger Woods like we felt for Phil Mickelson earlier this year. Getting old sucks, and a bad back is part of the reason why. That being said. . .

Tiger Woods: Even before Sunday, Woods wasn't exactly dazzling us with his play. A 65 playing in Saturday's first group off (playing partner Luke Guthrie matched him) was a good sign, but he spent most of the first two days testing the limits of the PGA Tour's Shot Tracker. Woods could also lose his No. 1 ranking this week if No. 2 Adam Scott wins and Woods doesn't finish in the top five. Woods has held the top spot since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year and for 673 weeks overall. 673! That's three weeks shy of being ranked No. 1 for exactly 13 years.

Brendon de Jonge: Through three holes of Saturday's third round, de Jonge was at 12 under and just a shot behind leader and playing partner Rory McIlroy. Then, golf happened. He made one birdie over the final 33 holes (he had made 17 in the first 39 holes) and shot 16 over to finish T-63. We hope the "Bear Trap" nightmares don't linger long.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour's Scary Swing goes from the "Bear Trap" to the "Blue Monster" with the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Sorry, make that Trump National's Doral Blue Course. The Donald brought in architect Gil Hanse for a major overhaul of the Miami track and this will be its first big test. No pressure, Gil. PGA Tour players aren't fussy about the golf courses they play.

Related: The best (and worst) of the West Coast Swing

Random tournament fact: We double checked and PGA Tour players are fussy about the courses they play.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Tiger Woods will be doing a full Navy SEALs training regimen this week: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- Golfers will be mostly complimentary about the new "Blue Monster": Even odds

-- Donald Trump will declare Trump National's Doral Blue Course the best of its kind: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I felt like I had a golf ball throwing it into the ocean." -- Miami Heat superstar and aspiring golfer LeBron James after his 61-point outburst against the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. Sounds like a lot more fun than hitting a golf ball into the ocean.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Natalie Gulbis has been doing her crunches.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING NATALIE GULBIS IN A BIKINI)

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"This little guy didn't care what happened today! He was just happy he got some of my dinner! Onwards and upwards!" Rory tweeted following his playoff loss at the Honda Classic. Awww.

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

With DJ and Paulina going silent of late on Instagram, we turn to another loving couple. Amanda snapped a photo of her and Jason going out in Miami and of the surprise flowers he got her.

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 What a romantic! This guy is more suave than he looks.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How could it be anything other than Paula Creamer's "miracle" (great call by the announcer, by the way)? The only thing better than the putt itself was Creamer's reaction. We could watch this all day. In fact, we sort of did on Sunday. . .

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Ross Fisher won his first European Tour title in four years at the Tshwane Open. Try saying "Tshwane Open" five times fast. . . . Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers, the nation's No. 1-ranked amateur announced he'll turn pro after this season. A Stanford golfer making it big on tour? Talk about a pipe dream. . . . Graeme McDowell's wife, Kristin, is expecting a daughter at the end of August. In other words, just after the four majors are over. Perfect timing! . . . There was a golf scene in HBO's True Detective this week, but it didn't involve celebrity golfer and now Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, but rather co-star Woody Harrelson. Why do we mention this? Because it's an excuse to mention McConaughey and True Detective again.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who is True Detective's "Yellow King"?

What's up with golf's "(Sunday) Red King"?

Has "King James" broken 100 on the golf course yet?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

... Read
News & Tours

The Grind: Jason Day wins, Victor Dubuisson emerges, and Rory starts planning a wedding

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're thankful for the match-play refresher we received over the weekend. Some important lessons? 1. A golfer should always display good sportsmanship -- but not too much good sportsmanship; 2. No lead is safe, especially against Graeme McDowell; 3. Always expect your opponent to succeed. Even if his golf ball is lodged against a cactus in the desert. Even if this happens two holes in a row.

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We could keep going, but instead, let's just say "good, good" and move on.

WE'RE BUYING

Jason Day: Well, it's about time! We've been waiting for nearly four years for the young Australian to win again on the PGA Tour, but now that he has title No. 2 under his belt -- and the WGC-Match Play is a pretty big one at that -- we expect the wins to come a little more regularly. And that means more celebrations with his lovely wife Ellie, which is never a bad thing ...

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Victor Dubuisson: "Bonjour!" "C'est la vie!" "Les Miserables!" Golf fans scream the darnedest things when a Frenchman is in contention. Dubuisson gained quite a following over the weekend with a pair of desert par escapes that would have made Harry Houdini proud. Hey, how do you say "magician" in French? (Goes to Google Translate.) Oh, it's just "magicien"? That was easy. "Magicien!"

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Butch Harmon: We could have put third-place finisher Rickie Fowler in this spot, but instead, we'll highlight his new instructor. After missing three straight cuts, the swing changes appear to be kicking in. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Fowler was bombing drives past his opponents and taking dead aim at flagsticks with long irons from 250 yards. Hmm. (Starts devouring Butch Harmon tips). Between Fowler and three-time winner Jimmy Walker, Harmon has a commanding lead on the unofficial Teacher of the Year Award. And yes, well played, Rickie.

Graeme McDowell: G-Mac's run to the quarterfinals may have been more improbable than Dubuisson's desert par saves. He never led in any of the first three rounds until winning on the match's final hole. His sheepish reaction after he did it again Friday was even better. "I've just robbed three players at this tournament, and I can't believe I'm still in it." The magic ran out when McDowell made a huge mistake Saturday: He jumped out to an early lead. You see? Match play is all about sticking to your game plan.

WE'RE SELLING

Sergio Garcia: We wanted to stick up for Sergio The Magnanimous. We like Garcia The Gracious. We even picked him to win the whole thing. Wait, that's right, we picked him to win! C'mon, Sergio! How do you give an 18-foot putt?! Nick Faldo called it "ridiculous," and we agree. Something tells us you wouldn't be quite as generous if you were playing Tiger Woods . . .

Nick Faldo: Speaking of Faldo, from the outset of Sunday's broadcast, the TV analyst made it clear that he had worked a lot during the week (he appeared on both Golf Channel's and CBS' coverage) -- "32 hours and counting," he moaned. Yeah, tough life, guy. To make matters worse, he seemed to have trouble following the championship match Sunday, twice prematurely declaring Day a winner. Don't worry, Nick, you get a break with Johnny and the NBC gang taking over for the next four weeks.

Related: Our favorite Johnny Millerisms

Gary Woodland: What's worse than traveling to Tucson just to be knocked out in the first round? Getting knocked out in the first round despite being 3 up with three holes to go. After Woodland worked his way into that position, he lost the next four holes to G-Mac. That hurts. It also recalled a similar meltdown at Torrey Pines earlier this year.

Jason Dufner's hair: Bro, it's time for a cut.

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ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Palm Beach and the Honda Classic for the start of the Florida Swing. Some might argue this is the "real" start of the season (Yes, that would be the fourth "real" start of the new wraparound season) with a fantastic field that includes Tiger and Rory. It helps when they can probably walk to the tournament from their homes.

Related: The best (and worst) of the West Coast Swing

Random tournament fact: This event is home to "The Bear Trap." OK, so you probably knew that. More likely, you don't know the course's official name is still PGA National.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Rory McIlroy will withdraw because of a wisdom tooth again: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- Johnny Miller will correctly pronounce Victor Dubuisson's name the first time he brings him up: 10 million-to-1 odds

-- Johnny Miller will still do a better job than Nick Faldo: LOCK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"For a 23-year-old kid, he's got a lot of game." 26-year-old grizzled veteran Jason Day on Victor Dubuisson.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING JASON DUFNER'S HAIR)

Ian Poulter and 50 Cent took a picture together at the Daytona 500. Of course, this could also be described as the "something I'd never thought I'd see moment of the week."

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THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

"Fun Weekend In Miami w My Newly Single BFF," Paulina wrote on Instagram.

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I don't know about you but I couldn't stop focusing on . . . Paulina's odd use of capital letters.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How could it be anything else? Victor Dubuisson makes not one, but two of the most unbelievable pressure par saves you'll ever see. On back-to-back holes.

We wonder when his new instructional DVD, "Golf In The Desert," will hit stores.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Harold Ramis (left), the director of "Caddyshack," among other comedic masterpieces, died Monday at 69. For a non-golfer, he sure gave golfers a lot of laughs, and we are forever thankful. . . . Johnny Miller admitted, "the pressure got me" in major championships, particularly during his three runner-ups at the Masters. Don't worry, in the same interview, Johnny also said his iron game "frankly, was better than Jack's." That's more like it! . . . Frank Nobilo said on a conference call that Rory McIlroy was in New York ahead of the Honda Classic to visit with a wedding planner. So if he really starts beefing up his tournament schedule, we'll know why.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

What would Seve think of Victor?

What would Seve say to Sergio?

Do you know what gophers can do to a golf course?!

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

... Read
News & Tours

The Grind: Bubba Golf is back, Mother Nature torments, and more golf romance blossoms

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we always give a gold medal effort -- even when we've reached that point of winter when it's almost become too painful to even watch golf on TV. Oh, the PGA Tour got perfect weather at Riviera? That's just swell!"* (*Zips up another layer of clothing.) The forecast looks even better this week? Fantastic!* (*Sloshes through the latest layer of snow and ice.) Enjoy it, guys!* (*Sobs into a golf towel at our desk.) Yep, we're really keeping it together.

WE'RE BUYING

Bubba Watson: Two weeks after a close call in Phoenix and nearly two years after his last win, Watson returned to the winner's circle with a brilliant weekend of golf at the Northern Trust Open. Bubba fired back-to-back 64s at Riviera to win by two strokes and vault to No. 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Hmm. Maybe we need to start practicing our body English more . . .

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Jason Allred: While Watson took home the trophy, the week's biggest winner was probably this guy, who had golf writers scrambling to find their PGA Tour media guides when he flirted with a 59 on Friday. Just being in the tournament was an accomplishment for Allred, who got in via a Monday qualifier for his first tour start since the 2010 U.S. Open. But he took advantage, finishing T-3 to more than double his career earnings and earn a spot in next week's Honda Classic. Good timing. His wife is due with the couple's third child in a few weeks.

Related: 11 Late Bloomers In Golf

Dustin Johnson: We wondered if this would be the year DJ really breaks out, and it seems like it will be. With a second straight runner-up finish, Johnson has already collected nearly $3 million in just four starts this season. Apparently, paying for a huge diamond can be a big motivator. Speaking of which . . .

Engagement rings: As in, we bought one. Literally. What is it with The Grind's link to true romance? Since this column started last year, three of our favorite subjects (Paulina Gretzky, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis) have gotten engaged. And now even I have followed suit.  Sorry, Cheyenne.

WE'RE SELLING

Mother Nature: As if this brutal winter wasn't bad enough in the Northeast, now historic golf landmarks in the South are under fire? Augusta National announced an ice storm took down the famed Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole. And how about the timing of this news breaking on the eve of Presidents Day? Just cruel.

Jimmy Walker: Take this as a compliment, Jimmy The Great. We are legitimately surprised you didn't win yet again, especially after being in contention through three rounds. A couple good things came out of this week for Walker, though, despite only finishing T-20. Co-worker Luke Kerr-Dineen put together a collection of Jimmy Walker propaganda posters and Celestron telescopes announced an endorsement deal with Walker, an astrophotographer, on Friday. We included a link so you'd know we weren't joking.

Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures

Emiliano Grillo: In position for his first European Tour win, the 21-year-old Argentinian made a quintuple-bogey 9 on his opening hole Sunday at the Africa Open. Ouch. On the bright side, Emiliano, you're in The Grind, which means you'll probably get engaged soon. So you've got that to look forward to!

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Tucson for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, aka that big tournament that a lot of big names are skipping this year.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Random tournament fact: Last year's event was interrupted by a legit snowstorm in the desert. On the bright side, it led to a snowball fight between Golf Channel's Roger Maltbie and Steve Sands. As much fun as that was, we hope it doesn't happen again this week. We just can't take anymore snow. Anywhere.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Bubba Watson will go another 22 months before his next win: 20-to-1 odds

-- You will hear a lot of comparisons between Dove Mountain and Riviera this week: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo will not have a snowball fight: LOCK


PICTURE OF THE WEEK


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"Look who wanted to paddle with me this morning!!" Gulbis wrote on Instagram. Looking good, Nata... Wait, is that a shark?! Yikes! If so, then Natalie handled the horrifying situation a lot better than we would have.

PICTURE OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING NATALIE GULBIS IN A BIKINI)

This young fan was really into the action at Riviera. Good stuff.

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Related: The week in golf Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

This might also be the shot of the week. Heck, it might be the shot of the year. Patrick Burch, who says he doesn't play golf, holed a 95-foot putt across a basketball court at halftime of the Auburn-Mississippi State men's basketball game Saturday to win a new car. Just a guess, but that Toyota dealership probably wasn't counting on him sinking the putt.

Patrick, we know we should be encouraging you to play golf, but in this case, we think it's probably best to quit while you're ahead. Odds are you'll never have a moment even close to this on an actual golf course.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

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Karrie Webb went from a DQ at the Australian Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard to a win in the Australian Open for her 40th LPGA title. Now that's a bounce back! . . . Kirk Triplett won his third Champions Tour event. He has a long way to go to catch Jim Colbert for most senior tour wins while wearing a bucket hat. . . . A Tiger Woods impersonator was arrested in NYC last week. Authorities knew it wasn't the real Tiger because this guy can actually hit a driver straight. . . . Speaking of TW, check out the cool customized golf-themed M&Ms my lovely girlfriend Michelle got me as part of a Valentine's Day cake she made for me. The next day, I gave her a diamond ring and asked her to marry me. Coincidence?

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who knew Tiger Woods had an endorsement deal with M&Ms?

Would Tiger like to be in my wedding party?

Is now a good time to ask for a raise?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Jimmy's dominance, Cheyenne's breakthrough, and more heartbreak for Peyton Manning

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we can only imagine the hysteria Jimmy Walker has stirred in the astrophotography community. Is there an Astrophotographer Quarterly/Monthy/Weekly? If so, Walker might sweep this year's covers. He's also an inspiration to people everywhere who think it's impossible to have two expensive hobbies (more on Jimmy's astrophotography here). Of course, it helps if you routinely make $1 million paychecks from one of them. Walker is causing quite a buzz in the world of golf as well. Let's discuss.

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After another win, Walker gazed to the sky and thought of the photos he'd take later.

WE'RE BUYING

Jimmy Walker: Or shall we start referring to him as "Jimmy The Great"? What else is there? We already gave him his own theme song after his last win and now he has three wins and we're still two months away from the year's first major. With those three victories in his first eight starts of 2013-14, Walker ranks up there with the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in stringing together one of the best starts on tour since 1990. Probably not coincidentally, his swing coach, Butch Harmon, has a history with both players. To put Walker's stretch in better perspective, he has won more PGA Tour titles in the past four months than Lee Westwood has in his career, and it's hard to picture a scenario in which he's not heavily considered for Player of the Year. Walker made us look good when we predicted he'd win this season and he made us look better when we picked him last week. Yep, "Jimmy The Great" it is.

Cheyenne Woods: We've been a big fan of the lovely Ms. Woods, a fellow Wake Forest product, for awhile, but she might be our favorite golfer -- not named Jimmy Walker, of course -- after her performance over the weekend in Australia. Woods grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead and then played like her famous uncle does -- or at least, used to -- with a lead to pick up her first win on a major professional tour. Cheyenne already had better hair than Tiger. Now, she has bragging rights on the course so far in 2014.

Related: 11 Late Bloomers In Golf

Pebble Beach: With the football withdrawal setting in on Sunday afternoon, it was nice to watch high-level golf on arguably the most beautiful course in the world. Even with the tournament having as much drama as the previous week's Super Bowl -- at least, until the last hole -- we couldn't stop watching. Why do we have to wait until 2019 for another U.S. Open there?

Tiger's trip to India: Cheyenne's uncle -- that's how we'll refer to TW until he gets a win of his own in 2014 -- had a decent week as well. On top of having a family member pick up her biggest win, he made his first trip to India. Sure, he lost an exhibition match, but he shot 63, reportedly made $2 million for a day's work and his presence can't hurt the growth of golf in that country. Plus, he played golf with Sharmila Nicollet, one of the hottest golfers in the world. Not a bad tour guide . . .

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WE'RE SELLING

D.A. Points/Karrie Webb: Both players got disqualified, Webb for the conventional incorrect scorecard and Points for taking a few practice swings using a training aid -- he stuck a spongy ball under his right arm -- while waiting on a tee box. Points gets points, however, for coming back the next day to play with Condoleezza Rice in the pro-am portion of the event. But not too many points. The duo finished 147th out of 156 teams. Speaking of that pro-am . . .

Big-name celebs: Poor Peyton Manning. A week after getting throttled in the Super Bowl, he missed the Pebble Pro-Am cut by one shot. And while Tom Brady made an eagle on Saturday, he and just about every other big name was watching the final round from their couches on Sunday. No marquee team fared worse than John Daly and Kid Rock, though, who finished 155th out of 156 teams. Gee, we didn't see that coming.

Related: Golf has had its share of 'Super Bowl duds'

Jordan Spieth: 67-67-78-67. Which number sticks out? Hmm. Perhaps we're being a bit harsh, but for a second consecutive event, Spieth was the 36-hole leader and for a second straight time, he wasn't a serious threat come Sunday afternoon. As well as he's played, he has to be disappointed to not come away with a trophy so far in 2014.

Brandt Snedeker: Unfortunately for Sneds, our story on his slow start to 2014 didn't have a reverse-jinx effect on him. Instead, he shot a Saturday 77 and missed the 54-hole cut by SIX shots. So far this season, he's finished no better than T-55 in five starts in full-field events. And to think, he was the Jimmy Walker of golf a year ago.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to L.A. for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, aka that place where Ben Hogan began his 1950 comeback from a horrific car accident by losing in a playoff to Sam Snead. Another U.S. Open winner, Justin Rose, will make his return from an injury as well. OK, so right shoulder tendonitis doesn't make for as sexy of a comeback story as getting hit by a Greyhound bus.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Random tournament fact: Cheyenne Woods' uncle has lost only one official PGA Tour playoff, and it happened in this tournament in 1998 when Billy Mayfair beat Tiger with a birdie on the first extra hole. The "Nissan Open" was played at Valencia Country Club that year because Riviera would host the U.S. Senior Open that summer. That's the only time in the last 42 years that the tournament hasn't been played at Riviera.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Kid Rock will one day win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- Jimmy Walker (Jimmy freaking Walker!) will end up with as many wins as Tiger Woods this season: Even odds

-- Nike co-founder Phil Knight had an ear-to-ear smile when he heard Cheyenne Woods won: LOCK

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKYWAYNE GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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When we knocked big-name celebs for coming up short in this event, we were not referring to Wayne Gretzky. It was another great week of bonding for these future in-laws. DJ finished T-2 and his pro-am partner, The Great One, made four birdies of his own at Spyglass on Day 1 on the pair's way to finishing a very respectable T-8.

Related: DJ and Paulina: A love story

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Just drama, man. Just good TV." -- Jimmy Walker, excuse us, Jimmy The Great Walker, to David Feherty on his shaky finish.

PICTURE OF THE WEEK

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They may not have played well, but Kid Rock and John Daly did entertain fans with their clothes. Wait, is John Daly actually wearing plain khakis?!!! Oh, but he wore these bad boys Thursday:

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Money! Phew. That's more like it.

Related: The week in golf Instagrams

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

James Hahn is making a name for himself as the best celebrator on the PGA Tour. The man who danced "Gangnam style" at last year's Phoenix Open did a jumping chest-bump with his caddie after holing out for an eagle on Friday at Pebble Beach. It was a great moment, except for his caddie chickening out and using his arms to brace for impact. "He's a breath of fresh air for the tour," Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo said. Very true, Frank. Now, if only he had more reasons to get excited.

The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

THIS AND THAT

blog-blt-0211.jpgMichael Allen shot a first-round 60 on his way to a sixth career title on the Champions Tour. Even a 59 wouldn't have grabbed many headlines on this weekend. . . . The USGA announced Pinehurst will be set up the same way for both the men's and women's U.S. Opens later this year. Considering the events will be held back-to-back weeks, how different could they have been set up? . . . Clint Eastwood saved AT&T Pebble tournament director Steve John from choking on the eve of the event. Pretty impressive considering how disengaged he appeared during his time in the CBS broadcast booth on Sunday. . . . And speaking of eating, this BLT on focaccia bread with a side of potato salad was incredible. That is all.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Did Jimmy Walker sell his soul to the devil?

Will Peyton Manning break down film of his golf swing?

Does Butch Harmon have room in his stable for a 6-handicap?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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