The GrindJanuary 26, 2016

Rickie Fowler masters the sand, a golf Guinness World Record controversy, and a Miss Canada contestant's ace

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we’re giving these high-tops more thought. Rickie Fowler’s finishing flourish in Abu Dhabi added fuel to the fire that was ignited by Jordan Spieth at Kapalua. First, a long bunker hole out for eagle on No. 8. Then, a chip-in birdie that all but sealed the victory on No. 17. What do you think, Mars Blackmon?

That’s what we thought. While we consider switching over to the, um, high side, here’s what else is on our mind.

WE'RE BUYING

Rickie Fowler: BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! RICKIE! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! RICKIE! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! RICKIE! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! RICKIE! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! BIG FOUR! RICKIE!

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"Dear, dear, that was nearly a plugged lie," is going to be tough for any announcer to top in 2016.

Golf Digest Podcast: What makes for good TV golf?

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS RORY MCILROY MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER HIS TRAINING

Lunges are the absolute worst. And he’s doing them with weights the size of microwaves? SMH, as the kids say.

THIS WEEK IN PAIGE SPIRANAC BEING PAIGE SPIRANAC

This week’s obligatory selfie contains an important message:

THIS WEEK IN OTHER MODELS PLAYING GOLF

Introducing Sara Winter, who was a Miss Universe Canada finalist in 2014:

And who is the latest person to record a hole-in-one before me:

THIS WEEK IN PHIL BEING PHIL

Off the flag and then spinning it 15 feet back and into the hole? Whether he finished T-3 (nice start to 2016, by the way) or T-73, this guy is a highlight goldmine:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Who takes nine minutes over a tee shot? I could of played the hole, read a book, took a shower, washed my hair and got dry in that time!” – The Secret Tour Pro on Jason Day’s slow play. We now know STP is a fast reader. That might be the most revealing tip he’s left us yet!

__THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY-THE CLAUSENS PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION __

It looks like Dustin Johnson, who would certainly have to be considered at least a part of the BIG NINE, has not been playing much golf of late, but is instead working on his skiing. Here he, Paulina and the Clausens, Jimmy (the Carolina Panthers’ QB of the future before they drafted Cam Newton) and Jess, hit the slopes in Aspen.

And then the bar in Aspen.

But DJ’s love of golf appears to have worn off on Jess:

Way to do your part to help grow the game, Dustin.

THIS AND THAT

Duffy Waldorf won the season-opening event of the Champions Tour PGA Tour Champions. That gives him two wins in his last three events after failing to win in his first 72 starts on the senior circuit. . . . Clemson University is building a new $55 million facility that includes a mini-golf course to attract football recruits. For that much money, we’d hope there’s a golf simulator as well. . . . As you’re probably aware, the Northeast was hit with a blizzard named Jonas. And as a new homeowner, I was forced to come out of retirement as a snow shoveler. Damn you, Jonas. . . . And in honor of Golf Digest’s ASME nomination for General Excellence, the GD crew hit the town in NYC for the second consecutive week:

Watch out for us in the Big City! (Provided it’s before 9 p.m., of course.)

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Do the Broncos have a chance against the Panthers?

What’s it like to be a big-time college recruit?

Should I invest in a snow blower?