The GrindFebruary 28, 2017

Rickie Fowler's after party, the Johnson brothers enjoy a week off, and a big mix-up at the first annual Golf Oscars

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we really wish we’d stayed up for the Oscars this year. You just don’t see a guy getting told he actually lost a trophy quite like that in golf.

Oh, right. Sorry, DJ.

Hey, I’ve been beating the “La La Land is overrated” drum since before it was cool, but you hate to see anyone lose like that. On the bright side, there’s plenty to be happy about in the world of golf. Quick, let’s get to it before that buzzkill Johnny Miller finds out.

WE'RE BUYING

Rickie Fowler: Remember a few months ago when this guy was viewed as a questionable Ryder Cup captain’s choice? Those days are long gone following Fowler’s four-shot win at the Honda Classic. With his fourth career PGA Tour title, Fowler vaulted back into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking. And it looked like Fowler celebrated with an Oscars-level after party:

Wesley Bryan: Yeah, yeah, the “he used to be a trick shot artist” angle was beaten to death more than “The Bear Trap” during coverage of the Honda Classic, but it’s still an incredible story. In a little over a year, Bryan has gone from a curiosity to a rising tour star, following up his three-win campaign on the Web.com Tour with back-to-back top-five finishes on the PGA Tour the past two weeks. The following day he Instagrammed this:

We don’t doubt it, Wes.

The #SB2K16 Crew: When the guys go on their brocation this year, they’re going to have a LOT to celebrate. The gang of Fowler, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth has already combined for five wins this season.

Smylie Kaufman better hope #SB2K17 isn't a winners-only event. . .

WE'RE SELLING

Jason Day’s immune system: Apparently, the Aussie traded that World No. 1 ranking for a double ear infection and the flu. Not a good trade. Day’s latest ailment was serious enough for him to pull out of the year’s first World Golf Championship -- and unfortunately, this is nothing new for him:

Two words, Jason: Vitamin C.

Johnny Miller: I’m as big of a Johnny fan as there is, but he took his criticism too far on Sunday with this line: “Obviously, a win is a win, but you’ve got to learn to finish out Sundays like a true champion. He hasn’t learned how to do that yet.” REMINDER: Fowler started Sunday with a four-shot lead and won by four. Against a tough field. On an even tougher course. On the bright side, Johnny’s line got us to put together this list of other great accomplishments he probably wasn’t that impressed by. . .

Bryson DeChambeau: Bryson DeChambeau ditched his side-saddle putting experiment and blamed his “USGA family” for it not working. Then he apologized to his USGA family. Hit it!

Sprinkler heads: These things are the WORST. Just ask Rickie Fowler:

Or Ryan Brehm:

I’ve ricocheted a shot off one into a hazard as well (Par-3 4th at Pound Ridge Golf Club) so this is a topic that personally affects me. Yeah, yeah, golf courses need water to be maintained, but as Geoff Shackelford points out, there’s a solution that solves the problem of these man-made bad breaks and eyesores.

“Sprinkler Free by 2020” might be my platform if I run for Congress next term.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Mexico City for the WGC-Mexico Championship, aka that event that used to be at Trump National Doral before it was called the WGC-Mexico Championship. Obviously.

Random tournament fact: Club de Golf Chapultepec’s clubhouse, is located 7,780 feet above sea level. In other words, Mexico City is the “Mile-and-a-half-high City” and golf balls are going to be flying this week.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- We’ll see the first 500-yard drive on the PGA Tour this week: 5-to-1 odds

-- A member of the #SB2K16 crew will win the Masters: 3-to-1 odds

-- President Trump will tweet about this week’s tournament: LOCK

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (TRICK SHOT DIVISION)

Remember when Michael Phelps made that 159-foot putt? Well, take that and times it by 2.5 and you’ve got the new Guinness World Record for longest putt ever made. That’s what trick shot group How Ridiculous did by using a putter to hole a shot from 395 feet. And you have to see it to believe it:

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (CUTENESS OVERLOAD DIVISION)

Luke Donald gave his daughters a high-five mid-round at the Honda Classic. Aww.

THIS WEEK IN CELEBRITY GOLFERS

Erik Karlsson must be pretty tough to be a two-time winner of the NHL’s Norris Trophy for best defenseman. But a gator scared the living daylights out of him last week. Big thanks to Jesper Parnevik for sharing:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“But the bottom line is, he knows he can’t beat anybody. He knows it.” – Pat Perez on Tiger Woods. Perez’s comments on his SiriusXM Radio show raised a lot of eyebrows. But to be fair, he was probably only saying what a lot of people are thinking.

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

And the winner of the Oscar for best short film is. . . Seriously, this has to be one of the most creative gender reveals in history:

Hollywood execs are probably on the phone with the couple asking for movie ideas as we speak. Also, DJ’s brother and caddie Austin had some fun in the sun during an off week:

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS BEING NATALIE GULBIS

We assume she landed OK.

THIS WEEK IN PHIL MICKELSON BEING PHIL MICKELSON

Check out this clip in which Phil Mickelson tells David Feherty an incredible story involving David Toms at the 2002 Ryder Cup.

That March 6 episode of Feherty can’t come soon enough.

THIS AND THAT

Kudos to the Symetra Tour for getting creative to promote its product. The final round of the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic will be the first golf tournament to be broadcast on Facebook Live and the first to feature an all-female announcing team. . . . Billy Horschel says security concerns would have caused him to skip the WGC-Mexico Championship even if he qualified. It’s a lot easier to say that then to actually turn down a guaranteed big payday. . . . Darren Fichardt won the Joburg Open for his fifth European Tour title. Considering he only won by one shot and the tournament was shortened to 54 holes, we’re going to assume Johnny Miller wasn’t that impressed. . . . And finally, I loved seeing this guy chilling in his backyard, eating a bag of chips and watching the Honda Classic:

Retirement goals, am I right?

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Will my wife go for living on a golf course?

How many attempts did that longest putt take?

Why were there TWO Best Actress envelopes?


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