The Grind: Langer laps the field, Lindsey and Paulina get golf lessons, and Tiger wins at mini-golf
By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we'll have two of whatever Bernhard Langer is having. No disrespect to Tom Watson, but since turning 55 he's looked like a senior golfer even if he hasn't played like one. Langer looks like he could be a stunt double in a James Bond film. The German impressed everyone this past week with his latest age-defying performance, but there's plenty of other stuff to talk about. Let's channel our inner Langer and kick it into gear.
Bernhard Langer: What's the all-time mark for shooting your age? Because Bernhard is going to shatter that eventually. But first, let's stick to his latest record. Langer won the Senior British Open by 13 shots. Yep, he won a major championship by 13 shots! 13! Martin Kaymer's eight-shot win at the U.S. Open isn't even the biggest blowout in a major by a German this year anymore. Langer turns 57 in August, about a month before the Ryder Cup. Is it possible that European captain Paul McGinley, nearly 10 years his junior, will put Langer on the team? He should -- just in case he ever runs into Bernhard in a dark alley.
Tim Clark: The South African seemed destined for a bunch of PGA Tour wins after he broke through for his first at the 2010 Players, but a bad elbow has held him back since. Nothing held him back at the RBC Canadian Open, though, as he fired back-nine 30 on Sunday to finally claim win No. 2.
__ President Obama's golf balls:__ Regardless of what you think of his politics, we think we can all agree that these personalized golf balls (via Instagram user @larrydoh) are pretty badass:
Of course, losing one in the woods off the first tee isn't as badass. . .
Female golfers from Spain: We're still trying to figure out this confusing new event, but we know the team of Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Belen Mozo and Carlota Ciganda won the International Crown. We also know that Recari and Mozo were both semifinalists in our Hottest Golfers Contest last year. Viva Espana!
Female golfers from the U.S.: The Americans were the No. 1 seed at the International Crown, but they certainly didn't play like it. On Day 1, the U.S. was swept by eighth-seeded Taiwan, and the Americans wound up not being among the five teams that qualified for Sunday's singles. Afterward, Stacy Lewis said the format needed to be tweaked. Wait, she could actually understand the format? OK, now we're impressed.
Male golfers from Russia: Did you know that former No. 1 tennis player Yevgeney Kafelnikov is arguably his country's best golfer? Nine Russians played in the European Tour's M2M Russian Open and none made the cut. Zero is the same number of Russians who have earned any Official World Golf Ranking points in the past two years. Kafelnikov shot 83-89. It's not good when your scores resemble speeds of a good second serve.
Jim Furyk: It's hard to feel bad for a guy who has banked more than $4 million playing golf in 2014, but as good as the 44-year-old Furyk has played the last few years, he hasn't won since the 2010 Tour Championship. Of course, that victory also won him the FedEx Cup and earned him a $10 million bonus . . . why do we feel so bad for him again? It's tough to explain, but we do. With his runner-up in Canada, Furyk now has 28 career second-place finishes and just 16 wins.
Long putters: Sorry to be a downer, but both Langer and Clark's victories might not be possible in about 16 months when the anchoring ban goes into effect. Langer says he plans on using his long putter as long as possible. Good luck trying to pry it from his steely grip.
The PGA Tour heads to Akron for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, aka that event Tiger Woods wins every year. Woods won by seven shots a year ago for his fifth PGA Tour win of 2013. That seems like ancient history, doesn't it?
Random tournament fact: If the crowds at Firestone seem to be in a better mood this year, we're guessing it's because Akron's own LeBron James recently announced he's returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Phil Knight's ultimate dream of LeBron James caddieing for Tiger Woods will come true: 1 million-to-1 odds
-- Bernhard Langer will be a Ryder Cup captain's pick: 25-to-1 odds
-- Bernhard Langer would be useful for Europe if a locker-room brawl broke out against the Americans: LOCK
THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON JASON DUFNER-AMANDA DUFNER-LITTLE KID PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
This adorable photo came from the Dufners recent visit to an Alabama Boys & Girls Club. The Jason Dufner Charitable Foundation is "on a mission to end childhood hunger in Lee County." Good stuff, guys!
__ THIS WEEK IN GOLF WAGS PLAYING GOLF __
There's Dustin and Paulina! On the same day Paulina posted this photo, DJ, pictured in bare feet and holding a drink, withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone, citing "personal reasons." Paulina called him the "best caddy ever." Is he thinking about changing careers?
Not to be outdone, Lindsey Vonn posted this photo instead of a video (she's not ready to show off her swing just yet), but said "good thing I have an amazing teacher!" Aww.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
A group of guys who go on a yearly golf buddies trip has made one of the greatest parody music videos of all time. Adding to the impressive feat is that the song they chose was Queen's iconic "Bohemian Rhapsody." Enjoy.
Tiger Woods will play in Notah Begay's charity tournament. Woods has played in the event four times previously, but this is the latest indication that his back is feeling good. . . . Oregon star QB and Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Mariota will take only golf and yoga this fall while concentrating on football. Hey, at least he's likely to go to class. . . . Taylor Pendrith is golf's latest long-driving sensation. He can hit a golf ball a LOT farther than you can. . . . Apparently, Arizona makes a "Soda Shaq." Something tells us Arnold Palmer has nothing to worry about.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Does Tiger frequently fist pump when he plays mini-golf?
More confusing: International Crown or FedEx Cup?
Could Bernhard Langer take Chuck Norris in a fight?