Much is being made of Lee Westwood's whiff on the first hole of the third round at TPC Sawgrass today. But as this slowed down video shows, it's actually not as embarrassing as it first appeared. That's right, you can go back to feeling inferior again.
The fact that professional baseball players enjoy playing golf certainly isn't breaking news. But when MLB Network analysts take the time during a taping of a show to display their affection for golf, we love it!
Kevin Millar, former big leaguer and current co-host alongside Chris Rose of the MLB Network show "Intentional Talk", recently took a brief lesson with Golf Channel's Michael Breed at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in Nyack, NY, and was eager to show off what he learned. (Of less importance is the sound Millar's shoulder makes when he takes the club back at 0:24. Ouch.)
Based on Millar's demonstration, he seems to have a pretty good understanding of the swing. He also must be a serious golfer to have "hit balls for two hours in 38 degree misting rain."
Making sure your hips beat your shoulders to the ball is a great tip for golfers of any skill level. Proper hip movement prevents a lot of swing problems and is the foundation of a good, repeatable swing. Thanks for the free lesson, Kevin. Cowboy Up!
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're wondering what has happened to American golf? After opening 2013 with 14 straight victories, a U.S. player hasn't won THREE weeks in a row. C'mon, guys, that's almost an entire month! We already stink at tennis; we can't lose our grip on the other main country club sport! At least, the red, white and blue contingent will have a chance to get back on track this week. Why? Because the PGA Tour NEVER stops and neither do we. Here's what has us talking.
Who says there's no teamwork in golf? (Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer. A week after contending on Sunday at Augusta National, Langer won his second event of 2013 on the Champions Tour. This guy might be the most in-shape 55-year-old since Sylvester Stallone did one final training scene in Rocky Balboa (aka Rocky VI).
Charley Hoffman. People often wonder why the long-haired Hoffman only has two career PGA Tour wins. Those people must not watch him on Sunday enough. Entering the final round at Harbour Town with a two-shot lead, Hoffman shot a 77 for a T-6.
The wind. After playing in very gusty conditions in the Northeast over the weekend, we were glad to see the pros have to suffer through a similar test in Hilton Head on Sunday. That being said, wind stinks. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's part of the game. We get it, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.
Guys who haven't won a major. We came up with a formula to determine who the best of this current crop is. That being said, outside of a select few (namely Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia), their collective track records in majors is embarrassing. It's not just that they haven't won a big one yet, for the most part, these guys haven't even come close. Fortunately, it's golf, and as Tom Watson proved, you can still contend when you're approaching 60. So they all still have time -- even Steve Stricker.
The PGA Tour stays in the Southeast, heading to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. Ahh, New Orleans. Home of great jazz, the NFL's Manning family and "The Jester." What is "The Jester," you ask? Only the greatest frozen drink ever concocted. Just a word to the wise: If a friend offers to pay for as many as you can drink the day you're flying home, don't take him up on that offer.
-- Any player who misses the cut will feel a lot better after a few Jesters: LOCK
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Another fantastic effort by South Korean star Psy. We just wish he had shot a scene on a golf course. Psy's previous hit, "Gangnam Style," prompted Jesper Parnevik to put together a crew to do a parody video. Psy's videos are awesome. Of course, it helps when they have a higher budget than most Hollywood blockbusters.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING PSY)
And to think, this actually used to be a penalty. . .
I have a friend who learned about a player being penalized for the wind moving his ball and he would remind me from time to time how stupid it was. It was a great day when I was able to inform him it was no longer a rule. Now I just hope he doesn't find out that you can still get disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard when MILLIONS of people around the world know what you shot.
THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON DISPLAYS OF PUBLIC AFFECTION
DJ drops the "L-bomb" and Paulina replies by telling him "You're the best thing that's ever been mine." Sorry, guys. This is getting serious!
THIS AND THAT
Raphael Jacquelin won the Spanish Open in a record-tying nine-hole playoff. That must be a pretty difficult hole if if took the Frenchman 10 tries before he could birdie it. . . . Speaking of playoffs, Angel Cabrera got back to winning them in his hometown event on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Cabrera has played two events on the circuit created before the start of the 2012 season. He's won both. . . . This is a "Jester" (above). Drink at your own risk.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Why don't they sell Jesters in the Northeast?
Will Jason Dufner #Dufner when he wins again?
When's the Johnson-Gretzky wedding and can we come?
Adam Scott isn't married and the biggest hug he got on Augusta National's 10th green after winning the Masters on Sunday came from his caddie, Steve Williams. But apparently, that doesn't mean he's available, either. Sorry, ladies.
In a Wednesday interview on "CBS This Morning" Scott was asked about the female attention he's been receiving since his breakthrough win. His response when asked about his situation? "I'm not single at all. I'm very much in a relationship, and am very happy at the moment."
Check it out below at about the 3:45 mark:
When pressed to give a name of his significant other, Scott said, "Marie." So who is this "Marie," you ask? The answer appears to be Marie Kojzar, a 31-year-old Swedish architect.
According to this 2008 profile in "The Australian," the two actually began dating back in 2001, but broke up in 2008 -- an event that Scott says "definitely had an effect on my golf."
Apparently, that's gotten a little annoying for the latter, who has been hit with a barrage of jokes. So following Scott the golfer's win at the Masters, Scott the actor took to the "Conan" to express his displeasure at the situation:
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're starting to question Jim Nantz's whole "Hello, friends" routine. After all, the guy will go straight from covering one of the most exciting Final Fours ever to working golf's most-anticipated event. Considering how jealous we all are, wouldn't "Hello, resentful viewers" be more appropriate? In any matter, the Masters is finally upon us. HELLO, FRIEND! We've missed you. . .
So that's why the grass is so perfect at Augusta National. . . (Photo: Getty Images)
The Masters Classic Chicken Sandwich. As in, we'd buy a sack of these bad boys to feast on all day if we were at Augusta National. After being off the menu for a couple years, this legend has returned to the Masters. The price is apparently up to $3 now (the highest of any food item), but they're well worth it. Those things are fit to be served at the Champions Dinner.
Martin Laird. OK, where did that come from?! Before his final-round 63 at TPC San Antonio netted him a third career PGA Tour victory, Laird had missed the cut in four of six events and a T-34 was his best finish in 2013. His club even finished in last place at the recent Tavistock Cup. The only downside for this win was the timing, as everyone's attention had already shifted toward Augusta before he even collected his winning check. At least, now the Scot will be teeing it up there.
Darren Clarke. We're nearing the two-year anniversary of the Northern Irishman's out-of-the-blue win at the British Open. It seems even more out-of-the-blue now considering how little he's done since. Clarke withdrew from the Masters earlier this week due to a pulled hamstring. That must be one bad hammy.
Sunburns. I go to Miami for a bachelor party, get out in the sun for a few hours for the first time this year, and I come back with my forehead and shoulders more red than the average Tiger Woods Sunday golf shirt. How come we never hear about this happening to tour pros? These guys really are good.
Donald Trump. Speaking of said trip to Miami, our group ventured to Doral, where I snapped the above lovely photo of the Blue Monster being renovated. First off, thanks, Donald, for not waiting to start digging until after our trip. Second, what are you doing? Are you trying to "Tiger-proof" a course where Woods has won eight times? Do you not want people to watch? You're fired!
Random tournament fact: You probably know or have heard that the Masters is the most enjoyable event to attend, but what doesn't hurt that indisputable fact is that the civil atmosphere makes it the event in which tour wives and girlfriends mingle most. I was standing next to one a few years back when another patron started talking to her. "So, are you following Adam Scott?" he chuckled. "Um, no. I'm following my husband. . . Phil Mickelson."
WEEKLY YAHOO! FANTASY LINEUP
Gotta admit, there's not a lot of creativity this week, as I went with more chalk than in Dick Vitale's typical NCAA bracket. If you want to see some better analysis, check out GolfDigest.com's first-ever Masters fantasy draft. If I win, I get to run GeoffShackelford.com for a day. Just kidding, Geoff! Or am I. . .
(B-List): Justin Rose. The third-ranked player in the world is going to win a major at some point. Why not now? (See above for answer)
(B-List): Matt Kuchar. Kuch has steadily been building toward breaking through at a major the past few years, including his close call at Augusta last year.
(C-List): Adam Scott. Like Rose and Kuchar, it just seems like a matter of time before he wins a big one. Doing it this week would be especially sweet after letting the claret jug slip away from him last summer.
Bench -- Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Fredrik Jacobson and Charl Schwartzel.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Not surprisingly, Augusta natives are very proud of having the attention of the sports world for the week. So much so that apparently some of the younger residents ditch "more normal" spring break activities to hang around for the week. And apparently, some of those people even feel strongly enough to write long, original songs about the experience. As this lovely, young lady says, "Sit back, relax, grab an Arnold Palmer and enjoy."
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Tiger Woods will hit a shot out of the pine straw at some point: 2-to-1 odds
-- It will make for a fantastic photo: LOCK
-- Augusta National will run out of Masters Chicken Sandwiches, BEDLAM ensues: Let's not bet on this. It would be too painful for those there.
It's just fitting that Watson's apparel company, Oakley, has provided a hovercraft to add to the reigning Masters champion's garage of impressive stuff, you know, next to his green jacket. It feels very Adam Sandler/Waterboy-esque.
Behold, Bubba's Hover. It can go on land and water. That's Bubba Golf. A must-see video:
"Remember when people thought I was washed up?" (Photo: Getty Images)
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we wish world rankings existed in every day life. You know, so we could get some credit for some of the stuff we're good at. Wielding a remote control from the couch during a busy weekend of sports? Nobody better. Finding free food around the office? Second only to our boss. Writing a weekly golf column that includes fantasy advice and the latest Paulina Gretzky news? We have to be in the top 10. In any matter, we're happy for Tiger Woods being back on top at what he does best. Now where's that delicious scent I smell coming from. . .
Tiger Woods. With his latest triumph at Bay Hill, Woods has now won a remarkable 77 times on the PGA Tour. To put that in perspective, that's 62(!) more wins than his friend Fred Couples has won during his HALL OF FAME career. Tiger now has as many wins at Bay Hill as big-name guys like Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Lee Janzen have on tour in their lifetimes. We could go on and on, but you get the point. It's Woods' world and we should all just be thankful we're allowed to wear red shirts on the course.
Arnold Palmer. Usually, we have to be creative to include a picture of a pretty lady, but not this week. Yep, thanks to the King's meeting with Kate Upton, showing a photo of the supermodel is completely justified. And when he's not hosting tournaments and kissing beautiful women who are a quarter his age, the 83-year-old is filming awesome commercials in which he is beating up bad guys. What a legend. Speaking of said awesome commercial, how about that timing?
Florida. The Florida Swing gave us two Tiger Woods wins and the state has also created the most buzz during March Madness. Florida and Miami were expected to make the Sweet 16, but Florida Gulf Coast University -- a school 99 percent of the country had never heard of until it upset Georgetown in its first-ever NCAA tournament game -- has unexpectedly joined the party. Speaking of unexpected, FGCU's coach has a supermodel wife. True story.
Beatriz Recari. Speaking of lovely ladies, Recari topped I.K. Kim at the LPGA Kia Classic in a playoff prompting an emotional celebration. We were celebrating, too, since it gave us a reason to link to GolfDigest.com's "Hottest Golfer" competition from 2011. And that's never a bad thing.
Phil Mickelson. A Friday 79 that included a four-putt from five feet was bad enough, but Lefty sounded whiney with his post-round comments concerning the PGA Tour's schedule leading up to the first major of the year. "I've got to make some adjustments, just because the tournaments before the majors are not helping us at all get ready," he said. While we respect that different players have different routines, keep in mind that Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods never even play the week before a major. They've done pretty well.
Rib injuries. Remember Brandt Snedeker? The PGA Tour's early Player of the Year candidate before Tiger reverted to old Tiger? Well, he returned this week after sitting out for more than a month with sore ribs and it wasn't pretty. A pair of 76s left him watching the tournament from home over the weekend. Bottom line: Rib injuries are no joke.
Lee Westwood. The man who knocked Woods from his top spot in the world ranking in October 2010 continued his lackluster play with a final-round 75 at Bay Hill to finish T-63. So far, his best performance of 2013 came when he appeared on "Feherty."
The PGA Tour heads to Texas for the Shell Houston Open, aka that tournament that a bunch of golfers play in because they think it's a good tuneup for the Masters.
Random tournament fact: Anthony Kim won this event just three years ago. Has anyone even seen him lately? Ummm, that's actually a serious question. Is there an official "missing golfer report" we need to fill out? Let us know you're OK, AK. . .
WEEKLY YAHOO! FANTASY LINEUP
Last week we told you to take Tiger Woods. You're welcome. OK, so that advice was about as obvious as instructing someone to look both ways before crossing the street, but we'll still give ourselves a pat on the back. Here's who we like this week:
Starters -- (A-List): Phil Mickelson. Lefty is coming off a rough week, but that should motivate him even more to put up a good performance before he heads to Augusta. That shouldn't be too much of a problem at an event he's won and finished T-4 in the past two years.
(B-List): Keegan Bradley. That other guy who wears red on Sundays is close to getting back in the winner's circle. His last three events? A T-4, solo 7th, and T-3.
(B-List): Louis Oosthuizen. The South African started his climb back up the world rankings here last year when he finished third and then runner-up at the Masters the following week.
(C-List): Jordan Spieth. The 19-year-old has played so well he's earned a special temporary membership on the PGA Tour. The native Texan would love to show off in front of a home crowd this week.
Bench -- Rory McIlroy, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING ARNIE AND KATE UPTON)
So much for those rumors of Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki having relationship problems. The two were back in full "Wozilroy" mode this past week, (Is that Ian Poulter at the prime rib station in the background?) with Wozniacki putting on a curly-haired wig to look like her boyfriend. We also noticed in other pictures that the taller Wozniacki seems to be staying away from wearing high heels when the two are in public together. Aw, how cute.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Anthony Kim will win a PGA Tour event this year: 1,000-to-1 odds
-- Coach K will spend most of Duke's next game complaining to the refs: LOCK
-- Phil Mickelson will also find something to complain about: LOCK
This is just the latest example of the modern golfer being more athletic. Of course, that was a lot of effort to go through just for him to withdraw a couple holes later.
THIS AND THAT
Days after Yani Tseng lost her No. 1 ranking, she was forced to withdraw at the Kia Classic as the defending champ after oversleeping and missing her pro-am tee time. And you thought you and your busted bracket had a bad week. . . . Rory McIlroy took a little heat for skipping Arnold Palmer's event again (he's never played in it). Of course, it's a little tougher to criticize the 23-year-old's schedule when he'll make a trip to Haiti for a humanitarian mission next week. . . . These new "triple chocolate" Chips Deluxe cookies (above) from Keebler are a GAME CHANGER.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Does anyone really care about the Tavistock Cup?
Did Tiger Woods wear the same awesome red shirt on Monday that he wore on Sunday?
Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer have combined for 21 majors in their illustrious careers. Apparently, the two of them make quite a tag team in a brawl as well.
In a new commercial for Woods' video game, EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour '14, Woods and Palmer are confronted by a gang looking to steal their expansive trophy collection. Let's just say things do not go well for the gang.
Check out Woods, Palmer and a late appearance by Lee Trevino in a fight sequence that would make Jackie Chan proud:
This is the second straight year, EA Sports has gone with a fight theme. Last year, Woods took on NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal in a martial arts showdown. Knowing now how Arnie can throw down, it appears Shaq got off easy.