Travelers Championship

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The Loop

Phil Mickelson's embarrassing Jeopardy! moment, Rory McIlroy's curious pizza preference and Bill Murray's legal battle with the Doobie Brothers

September 29, 2020

Michael Reaves

Welcome to another edition of The Grind where we thought we’d seen and heard it all in 2020 until we found out Bill Murray was being threatened with legal action by the Doobie Brothers. Seriously. Although, the letter from the band’s attorney accusing the actor of using their music—specifically, the song “Listen to the Music” (great song)—in ads for his golf apparel company didn’t seem so serious:

That dude might be the funniest lawyer since Vincent Gambini. But wait! He has competition from Alex Yoffe, who is representing Murray’s company:

I’m certainly not an attorney (my mom reminds me of this every so often still), but a couple loud golf shirts doesn’t exactly seem like fair compensation, especially for the use of such a classic song. But powerful people seem to be paying what they want to nowadays … wink, wink. Anyway, what I do know for sure is there’s plenty of other golf-related stuff to get to. Let’s take it to the (digital) streets.


Hudson Swafford: The 33-year-old journeyman certainly looked like one trying to close out his second career PGA Tour win as he saw a four-shot lead with six holes to play evaporate. But amid other nervy play down the stretch at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, Swafford did just enough to pick up a much-needed victory for a guy playing on a major medical exemption. Good for him. Remember, this is a guy who once did this:

Not surprisingly, you don’t overcome that, injuries and other hurdles without some serious mental strength. “I still had great self-belief,” Swafford said. “I just kept going, just knowing that if I just focused on my rhythm, that my game was going to be good.” Man, I need to try thinking like that on my golf trip next year.

John Catlin: Or should we say, Big CAT, because this guy is suddenly the Tiger Woods of the European Tour following a second victory in September. A former academic All-American at the University of New Mexico, Catlin has played great since doing something pretty dumb last month when he was DQ’d from the English Championship for violating COVID-19 guidelines by eating out at a restaurant. His opponents must wish the penalty had been stiffer. Anyway, golf, what a crazy sport.

Payne’s Valley: Tiger Woods’ newest golf course design and first public track was the star of the inaugural Payne’s Valley Cup in which Woods and Justin Thomas took down Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. Who needs the Ryder Cup when you’ve got this kind of transatlantic battle going on? Kidding! We missed the Ryder Cup this past week, but seriously, how sweet does this place look?

And you can hit it anywhere off the tee! Well, not anywhere:

Sorry, Justin Rose. JT is quite the instigator, isn’t he? A classic you’d hate to play against him, but would love to have him on your team type of guy.


Tiger Woods’ backup putter: As in, one of these sold for $154,928 at a recent auction. On one hand, it’s surprising someone paid so much for a putter that Woods never actually used (maybe he practiced with it?). On the other, it’s not as surprising when you consider it went for just a small fraction of the estimated $10 million-plus his gamer putter would be worth on the open market.

So if Tiger ever needs to free up some funds—hey, college for two kids is crazy expensive—he could always start there.

People knocking Rory’s pizza taste: First off, I’m the rare person that doesn’t like cheese (Shout-out to fellow non-cheeser Adam Scott) so I’m the last person to weigh in on peoples’ pizza preferences. HOWEVAH, I’m a big fan of fast food and chain restaurants (Shout-out to Chili’s) so I’m defending Rory McIlroy for saying he’s a big Domino’s fan.

Good for you, Rory. And well played having a kid. Even more of an excuse to order a couple pies.

Jeopardy! contestants’ sports knowledge: Answer: Be the answer to a Final Jeopardy! clue; Question: What will Phil do next? I’m usually in awe of how smart Jeopardy! contestants are, but their knowledge of sports usually leaves me laughing. To be fair, this wasn’t the easiest question/answer. And Julissa got the “Phil” part right. But wow, what a brutal finish:

And Phil Mickelson didn’t walk away feeling great about how things ended either:

It’s OK, Phil. When you’re still making that much money at 50, you’ve definitely arrived. And stayed. And stayed.


The PGA Tour heads to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship, AKA that event with the cool rooster trophy. In honor of this, I finally watched “Mississippi Grind.” Actually, that was purely coincidental, but I’m glad I did. Good flick. OK, moving on …

Random tournament fact: Scottie Scheffler returns to action this week after recovering from COVID-19.


—That Tiger backup putter will ever be put in play: 154,000-to-1 odds

—Scottie Scheffler will win the Sanderson: 10-to-1 odds (Actual odds, favorite)

—James Holzhauer would have gotten that final Jeopardy! right: LOCK


A college golfer took a crack at Max Homa, and Max Homa stuffed the poor kid in a locker:

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. Come at the (Twitter) King, you best not miss.


Look at Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, two guys with a combined age of 164 and a combined major total of 27, still trying to figure out the golf swing:

You love to see it. That’s why they call it a “lifetime sport,” folks.


This was … something …

Now that’s the life.


“I went to go move this over like normal and I forgot dumb dumb has got his name on the ball. I can’t look at that while I’m trying to putt.” —Justin Thomas while playing alternate shot with Tiger Woods. Yep, he referred to the 15-time major champ as “dumb dumb.” Bold!


A high school freshman made a hole-in-one on her first-ever shot in competition. Good for her, but if there was ever an opportunity to quit while you’re ahead, this is it. … The PGA Tour will allow (limited) general admission fans for the first time since the pandemic at the Bermuda Championship next month. Big news for those wanting to witness Brendon Todd’s title defense in person. … Tony Finau is being sued for $16 million by a former business associate. Unfortunately for Finau, it doesn’t sound like a few free polos will get the guy to drop the case. … And finally, I’m on a huge popcorn kick thanks to these huge bags of Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn from Costco:


I am absolutely inhaling the stuff right now so thank goodness they’re whole grain and totally healthy!


Which PGA Tour star would fare the best on Jeopardy?

Has Rory ever been to a Chili’s?

Is the Bermuda Triangle still a thing?