Missing LinksMarch 26, 2016

Tiger Woods and fitness status ‘an unavoidable aspect of Masters buildup’

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Conjecture on whether Tiger Woods will have a go at playing at Augusta National is “an unfortunate but unavoidable aspect of this Masters buildup: when will Woods offer his latest, inevitably bland but significant, fitness bulletin?” Ewan Murray of the Guardian writes. However dim the chances, they’re “based on only two narratives,” Murray writes. One of them is “that he has already taken to working alongside his caddie Joe LaCava from his Florida base. It is readily offset by not a single sighting of the 14-times major winner on a course. Where, presumably, he has to test his game and body.”

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It’s a familiar theme, but one that is frequently reinforced and even confirmed by Hall of Famers, in this case Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. They were speaking about Argentinian Emiliano Grillo, 23, part of the youth brigade that has injected itself golf. “Both Kite and Ben Crenshaw like what they see in Grillo’s game,” Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohl writes in examining the youth movement. “‘He’s fearless,’ Crenshaw said. ‘Wow, is he a good-looking golfer,’ Kite said. ‘Impressive stuff. It’s crazy how good he hits the ball.’ Hey, he’s just part of the crowd. A very young and growing crowd.”

The headline, “The Downside of the Modern Golf Swing,” strongly hints at who is making the claim, Brandel Chamblee, “Golf Channel’s astute analyst and a former Tour pro, [who] doesn’t shy from controversy,” John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal writes. “He mercilessly criticized Tiger Woods’s swing changes after Woods stopped working with coach Butch Harmon in 2003…Chamblee has now written a book, ‘The Anatomy of Greatness: Lessons from the Best Golf Swings in History,’ that takes on the golf swing teaching establishment.”

It has been 15 years since Annika Sorenstam recorded the only 59 in LPGA history and it seems inevitable that someone soon will match the magic number, Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. “In storming to tie Sorenstam’s scoring record [27-under par over 72 holes last week], [Sei Young] Kim stirred her own 59 watch…More women are going lower more consistently. ‘I know it’s going to happen,’ Sorenstam said.”