Protracer technology has become an integral part of golf telecasts. We saw a LOT of it during FOX Sports' broadcast of the U.S. Open, which means we'll likely see a lot more of it during this week's U.S. Women's Open.
If this golf thing doesn't work out for Jordan Spieth, it looks like he might have a second career as a fisherman.
At his Tuesday press conference ahead of the John Deere Classic, Spieth was asked a lot about his decision to play the week before the Open Championship after winning the year's first two major championships. But his answer about a recent adventure on a boat in the Bahamas got most of the attention.
Here's Spieth regaling the media with a tale about a much different type of haul. Let's call it "The Young Man and the Sea." Take it away, Jordan:
"It wasn't even a fishing boat, there was no chair or anything, but they had the belt," Spieth said. "We hooked on a tuna, and I was hooked on a tuna for about 45 minutes to an hour. It was a big tuna, and then these little sharks were coming in trying to get a piece of it, and the captain was scaring them off banging on the boat and on the water, and all of a sudden it just rips back down again.
"I almost got pulled in."
"[The line] was so much heavier, and I was just like, 'Wait, these fish must have seen the sharks and just tried to avoid them,'" he said. "I found some extra strength or whatever, so we worked on it again. So in total, it was two and a half hours. I had to take a break.
"My arm couldn't move anymore. It was, like, shaking when I held it up. So the captain had to come in for about five minutes while I took a bathroom break, and I came back, took it back from him. So in total, it was two and a half hours."
"What surfaced was a 12-foot long, 300-pound black-tip shark that had eaten this tuna and then had hooked itself," Spieth said. "So I guess I caught both in one, because I got that shark. But there was no room for the fish on the back of the boat so we couldn't pull it on, so the captain technically grabbed the line where it's considered 'landing the fish,' let go of it quickly, and then we let some string and it whipped the hook out."
"We were just going to cut it anyways," Spieth said. "It was a cool experience. I've never had something like that."
Two and a half hours? That's the time it takes to play a quick nine holes at Chambers Bay. And yet, Spieth didn't want to let go until he'd finished the job.
"A couple of my friends were like, 'I'll take over,' " Spieth said, laughing. "I'm like, 'You bet your ass you're not taking over. This is my fish. There's no way you're stepping on this. You're going to lose it.'
"I let the captain do it, because he's used to fishing. No, the competitive side of me, I didn't want to give up until I actually couldn't move my arm anymore. I just needed about five minutes of shaking it, and it came back, and it was sore for a couple days, but I'm good now."
Glad to hear, Jordan. Reeling in a 300-pound shark sounds like quite the ordeal. And here we all are giving Rory McIlroy a hard time for kicking a soccer ball around with friends.
Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery, who is still upset by how McIlroy ended his engagement with Caroline Wozniacki last year, made the following announcement on Outnumbered on Tuesday:
"Yesterday at this time I used the word leprechaun to describe golfer Rory McIlroy. I love sports, I love golf, but I am not a fan of Rory's. Mostly for the way he treated tennis great Caroline Wozniacki and discarded her like a piece of chewed gum when he broke her heart and broke off their engagement in a short phone conversation. That's worse than breaking up on a Post-it. Now to be clear, neither Harris nor Jenna Lee used the term and I don't want them to get the credit for it. I called Rory McIlroy a leprechaun and believe me I wanted to call him much worse. As you know, some of my best friends are leprechauns and they also have tremendous sense of humor. Thank you."
Hmm. OK. . .
And here's a video clip of Montgomery delivering this message on the air:
Just a guess, but McIlroy probably won't be appearing on Outnumbered anytime soon.
By this point, you've probably heard a lot of outrageous reactions to Rory McIlroy's ankle injury, from the ridiculous ("How dare he play anything other than golf!") to the even more ridiculous ("How dare he call it 'soccer!'"). But one opinion is in a league of its own thus far.
On Fox News' Outnumbered program on Monday, one reporter randomly called McIlroy a "leprechaun" and said she "can't stand him." A little harsh, no? Here's the odd clip (thanks to Twitter user @Wrong_Fairway for sharing) in which someone not on screen can be heard giving her extra-hot take on the situation following a report on McIlroy's injury:
Maybe she's upset that her bet on McIlroy winning two majors in 2015 probably isn't going to come through? In any matter, kudos to co-host Harris Faulkner for making such a smooth transition to the next segment. That's a pro's pro right there.
A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@rickiefowler) on
Fowler will return to the "real world" when he plays in the Scottish Open next week ahead of the Open Championship at St. Andrews. Until then, Baker's Bay doesn't look like a bad spot to spend July 4th weekend.
This time last summer, Angel Cabrera came out of nowhere at the Greenbrier Classic, turning in two 64s on the weekend to capture his first non-major title on the PGA Tour.
However, in the 24 tournaments since his victory, Cabrera hasn’t posted a top-10 finish. Turning 46 this September, we might have seen the last of the Argentinian’s name on the leader board. (At least until he hits the senior circuit.)
Cabrera’s friendly demeanor, as well as his now-retired habit of chain smoking on the golf course, has made him a cult hero among galleries. Plus, there’s his nickname: “El Pato.”
Spanish for “The Duck,” the moniker references Cabrera’s unique, nonchalant stride, which can generously be described as paddling. (It should be mentioned that Cabrera claims the label derives from his father being referred to as “Pato” as well, but that simply could be his way of coming to peace with the name.)
The epithet, along with Cabrera himself, has always been a favorite to this observer. To commemorate Cabrera and his El Pato handle, here are the top 10 nicknames on the PGA Tour. Note: we restricted the list to the current landscape, meaning classics like “Champagne” Tony Lema and “The Walrus” Craig Stadler are absent.
Graeme McDowell - “G-Mac”; Rory McIlroy - “Rors”
These aren’t nicknames, they’re abbreviations. Sports used to cultivate sweet-sounding sobriquets like “Ice Man,” “Cool Papa” and “The Galloping Ghost.” Now we’ve resorted to the “first letter, first name + first syllable, last name” equation. This is why grown-ups hate my generation.
Phil Mickelson - “Lefty”
Because he’s a left-hander. Get it?
Tim Herron - “Lumpy”
Unfortunately, Herron has just two top-25 finishes in the last three seasons, and still has five years before reaching the Senior Tour. Out of sight, out of mind.
10. Gerry Lester Watson - “Bubba”
I seesaw on this one, but the fans dig it. Plus, it beats the hell out of “Gerry Lester.”
9. Louis Oosthuizen - “Shrek”
If I were Oostuizen, I would fully embrace the persona by wearing only green ensembles and throwing temper tantrums on the course.
8. Miguel Angel Jimenez - “The Mechanic” and “The Most Interesting Man in the World”
The latter explains itself. The former refers to Jimenez’s love of performance cars. Still, it’s hard to correlate anything “mechanical” to a person who's known for this:
7. Jason Dufner - “Duf”
An aberration to the last-name derivate corollary. “Duf” is not a play on a name; “Duf” is a lifestyle. One that emits a “Devil may care” attitude. Almost an anti-hero, like Clint Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
The name is a nod to his large, broad physique that produces a swing that brings a tear to your eye.
Fact: I would give 10 years off my life to have that motion.
4. John Daly - “Long John,” “Lion” and “Wild Thing”
The “Lion” tag is self-appointed, which is concededly lame. “Long John” is probably the best fit out of the trio, yet when videos surface of shirtless, shoeless golf, it’s hard to discount “Wild Thing.”
3. Jim Mackay - “Bones”/Mike Cowan - “Fluff”
You know you’ve made it as a caddie when you’re more recognized than half the players on Tour.
2. Retief Goosen - “Goose”
Our second cognomen derived from a last name, which should rank it lower on the list. Then again, it got him an endorsement with a vodka company. So there’s that.
1. Eldrick Woods - “Tiger”
I’m convinced that Woods wouldn’t have won 14 majors if he went by “Eldrick.” How good is the Tiger handle? People don’t even refer to him by his birth-given first name. THAT good.
According to an ABC News report, a conflict of interest between Donald Trump and Univision emerged after Trump’s negative comments about Mexican immigrants. Univision announced that it will not air the Miss America pageant (partly owned by Trump) on July 12. As a result, Trump plans to sue Univision “for a tremendous amount of money.”
To make matters worse, Mr. Trump sent Randy Falco, President and CEO of Univision, this, um, direct letter:
Normally, we wouldn’t have much to say about these political and business issues. But it’s Trump National Doral! The host of the WGC Cadillac Championship and one of the hardest courses the PGA Tour plays all year. You’re telling us an entire company is banned from the grounds? No access to its golf courses?! That’s downright rude, Donald.
When you watch David Feherty on Golf Channel, you do so knowing he is filtered and toned down. Gastroestestinal humor and feigned shots to the testicles notwithstanding, most of Feherty’s antics are tamed, subject matter quashed and language adjusted to PG levels. But where would golf’s most irreverent voice go if he were unplugged, uncensored and guided solely by his wayward instincts? It’s a scary thought and a guilty pleasure.
Recently, at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., we found out. Feherty staged the second-to-last of six one-man U.S. shows, entitled Live Off Tour. The act is outrageous, all right. It’s also funny, sad, poignant, inspiring, smart and most of all, unpredictable. Think, Prairie Home Companion with a mighty edge. For two uninterrupted hours, Feherty, his only props a desk, his taxidermied chicken, Frank, and two bottles of Poland Spring water, monologued to an audience of perhaps 1,500, all of whom loved him the whole way. When the house lights rose at the end, a woman near me was dabbing tears. Two older men, who guffawed the whole show, were guffawing still.
Here’s why they laughed and cried: Feherty opened by saying he didn’t know who Wilkes-Barre was named after, but he was pretty sure it was the guy shot Lincoln. He quickly moved on to the breaking story of Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, whom he felt was not “beautiful” as media talking heads were saying gratuitously, but merely “a man with [breasts].” He told a suggestive Arnold Palmer story, too edgy to even hint at here, that made the easy crowd go, “ooh.” F-bombs didn’t fly but they fluttered around. If that sounds racy for a nice town like Wilkes-Barre, it should be noted that he tempered everything with his familiar attitude of equanimity for almost everything.
Well, not quite everything. He criticized religion, noting that it was responsible for much of the conflict in the world. He chided Americans who are overly critical of America, asking why they choose to stay. When he reiterated his support -- passion, really -- for those who serve in the military, the crowd roared. When he explained that he’d dumped his Irish citizenship to become an American citizen five years ago (February 3, 2010 to be exact), the crowd roared again. He thanked those whom he sees as golf and personal heroes -- Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and Palmer rate high with him -- and gave great anecdotes to that effect. The crowd cheered still more. Feherty’s show was comedy and commentary, blarney and biography dished through cautionary tales of his own experiences.
And oh, the comedy. He did a complete section on joke-telling as high art, replete with examples. There was a rollicking tale of Payne Stewart planting a dead groundhog in Feherty’s hotel room. He devoted 15 minutes to caddies he’d known, including one who stuttered, another who lost control of his bowels en route to a tournament, and a hilarious one involving Tommy Bolt and his bagman at a long-ago Masters. Feherty is master of the shaggy-dog story, one in which the storytelling often eclipses the punchline. There is no on-camera setting that could accommodate his stories about Ken Venturi, Barry Goldwater, Henry Cotton, Christy O’Connor Jr., Gary McCord, John Daly and Jimmy Demaret and even Feherty’s own father. Feherty fed the tales to the Wilkes-Barre patrons effortlessly and without letup, often leaving one story in mid-sentence to tell another, then returning to the original. No notes, no prompting and when the show ended, you had the feeling he had several more hours of stories on call if he needed them.
But it couldn’t have been easy. Feherty told of his ongoing struggles with his Bipolar One Disorder, explaining that earlier that very day he had inexplicably burst into tears, only to find himself laughing 15 minutes later. He says he sleeps at most three hours per night and sometimes not at all. He didn’t look particularly healthy, his complexion a little waxy. Doing the show appeared to be a form of therapy for him. He went into detail of the depths of his addictions, drinking 2-1/2 bottles of Irish whiskey and popping 40 Vicodin daily until a doctor asked, “Do you need help?” and Feherty answering, “No, I can do it by myself.” He told of being run over by a truck and the doctors later slamming at him with a wooden hammer and what appeared to be a screwdriver, thinking he was unconscious. Feherty was at times downright dark. There were mea culpas of a failed marriage, lousy parenting and character flaws so numerous, he couldn’t fit them all in. Always, there was wry one-liners punched in.
Tickets ranged from $40 for basic seating to $160 for a VIP pass, which got you a pre-show meet-and-greet and photo with Feherty, a drink ticket, and a copy of his latest book, The Power of Positive Idiocy. The production values were simple but effective, the sound and lighting wonderful, the Kirby Center just right.
Whoever puts on Feherty’s shows, knows what they’re doing. More U.S. shows aren’t planned at present, though it’s hard to imagine they’d be hard to book. It really was stupendous.
As the show wound down, Feherty invited questions from the audience. A voice from the back asked how he was able to draw even with his battles with the bottle and his unfortunate brain chemistry. Feherty cracked wise for a moment, then summoned forth his lovely wife, Anita, who travels with him constantly and keeps him together. The fans boomed their loudest applause of the evening, and it’s what made the woman near me weep at show’s end. But like everybody there, she’s glad she went.
Jesper Parnevik said to "expect a lot of weird things happening" on his family-based reality TV show before it debuted in March. And if you follow the five-time PGA Tour winner on Twitter, you got a good taste of that in the past 24 hours.
But as splendid as that was, apparently, Jesper made a bogey when he forgot to leave a key for his wife and daughter Penny ("Oooppppps...I guess I forgot," Parnevik tweeted) to get back into the house where the family is staying. That led to this video his wife filmed of Penny impressively scaling the outside balcony to get inside.