News & ToursSeptember 9, 2014

The Grind: Billy Horschel runs, Phil walks away, and Lindsey hangs with Gisele

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we enjoyed seeing Billy Horschel give a whole new meaning to the phrase "victory lap." It was only appropriate on opening weekend of the NFL that one of golf's most athletic players would take off like a QB on a broken play, pointing out defenders and calling out for downfield blocks. Yep, Horschel's sprint around Cherry Hills looking for a port-a-potty stole the show at the BMW Championship, but there's plenty of other, um, business to attend to. Let's get a move on!

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WE'RE BUYING

Billy Horschel: What a bounce back! A week after blowing a chance to pick up the biggest win of his career when he chunked an approach shot on the final hole, Horschel responded by . . . picking up the biggest win of his career at the BMW Championship. After a disappointing season, Horschel suddenly has a chance to win the FedEx Cup and an extra $10 million. That's a lot of gold-plated toilets.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Champions Tour finishes: OK, so Wes Short Jr. and Scott Dunlap aren't exactly household names, but they put on a show on the final hole of the Quebec Championship. Both eagled the par 5 to shoot Sunday 64s, and Short came out a one-shot winner. Incredibly, it was the second week in a row on the Champions Tour in which the two leaders each eagled the closing hole. The week before, Fred Couples did it to cap a 61 and edge Billy Andrade, who lost in a playoff after shooting 62. You better come strong on 18 if you're going to win on the senior circuit!

Morgan Hoffmann: How unlikely was Hoffmann to qualify for the Tour Championship the way he did? By our (admittedly rough) calculations, the odds were 4,000 to 1. Hoffmann continued his improbable run with a 62-63 over the weekend at Cherry Hills for a career-best third-place finish that earned him a trip to Atlanta. Not bad for a guy who didn't have anything better than a T-15 in 28 events before the playoffs started.

U.S. captain's picks: If the U.S. has any edge at the Ryder Cup, it might be here with the picks of Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson. Unfortunately, none of them played well at Cherry Hills, but Bradley showed a lot of integrity by withdrawing from the BMW Championship "to protect the field" from a possible rules infraction. His honesty likely cost him a lot of money, but you can't put a price on a good night's sleep.

WE'RE SELLING

U.S. captain's picks selection show: The PGA of America went just a tad overboard with this one by having a prime-time show from the "Saturday Night Live" studio in New York City. But things got downright brutal when it decided to have a Q&A after each of Tom Watson's selections instead of just announcing the three picks right away -- a move that drew unfavorable comparison's to LeBron James' infamous "Decision". If Tom Watson had waited any longer, he could have seen Billy Horschel win and picked him instead.

Sergio Garcia: Overall, it's been a great year for Garcia, who has risen back to being considered among the game's elite players. But elite players should win more often. Garcia had a great chance Sunday after a front-nine 29, but he collapsed on the par-5 17th hole when he missed the green from 80 yards out and then chipped into the water. "That is a just a flat choke," NBC's Johnny Miller said, summoning the word for which he is best known. "Hate to say it, but two shots in a row." No arguments here, Johnny.

Related: The best and worst from 2014's major championships

Phil Mickelson: Mickelson's streak of making every Tour Championship since the inception of the FedEx Cup in 2007 ended abruptly when he withdrew after two bad rounds at Cherry Hills. The move came across as a semi-protest for the PGA Tour scheduling the playoffs over four consecutive weeks. As the AP's Doug Ferguson tweeted, he's "trying to make a point no one cares about." Us included.

The "Playoffs": Mickelson didn't earn a spot in the Tour Championship after only playing in two and a half postseason events, but amazingly, someone who didn't play in ANY did. Despite his extended absence, Dustin Johnson finished last week No. 30 on the FedEx Cup points list. Of course, he won't be teeing it up in Atlanta, but neither will No. 31, Stuart Appleby. Call us old-fashioned, but we believe you should actually have to play in order to advance in the playoffs.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Atlanta for its season finale, the Tour Championship. The top five players in the standings (Chris Kirk, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and Hunter Mahan) "control their own destiny," meaning if any of them win this week, they automatically win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus that comes with it. Of course, if you win $10 million, you can control your destiny even more.

Related: 7 things you need to know after Week 3 of the playoffs

Random tournament fact: With Mickelson not advancing to Atlanta, Hunter Mahan is the lone player to make it into this field all eight years since the FedEx Cup started. We know one player who probably isn't complaining about how the Playoffs are set up.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Rory McIlroy will hit a 370-yard 3-wood AND four-putt the same hole twice in Atlanta: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Phil and Keegan spent the weekend sightseeing in the Rockies together: 10-to-1 odds

-- Johnny Miller didn't actually "hate to say" the word "choke": LOCK

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

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In case you didn't hear, Michelle Wie is on the October cover of Golf Digest. Well deserved.

INSTAGRAM OF THE WEEK

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Rory McIlroy. So hot right now. Oh yeah, that Peyton guy is still pretty good also.

THIS WEEK IN RANDOM GOLF TATTOOS

Ernie Els signed a tattoo of himself on a fan's leg at Cherry Hills. Yes, this really happened. Here's proof, courtesy of Els' swing coach, Claude Harmon:

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Of course, it reminded us of the Davis Love III tattoo that surfaced last year:

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What's next? A tattoo of David Toms?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"If I were a betting man, I'd put a little money on me." -- Billy Horschel assessing his chances at the Tour Championship. No confidence problems there!

GOOD RORY VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Rory McIlroy handed a young ball a fan. The young fan got REALLY excited. This will put you in a good mood:

BAD RORY VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Rory also gave a couple balls to the pond by Cherry Hills' 12th hole in frustration over the weekend. Incredibly, he four-putted the hole on Saturday and Sunday. We chose to highlight Saturday's since he pulled off the feat from about five feet:

THIS WEEK IN LINDSEY VONN MAKING US LOOK BAD WITH HER TRAINING HANGING OUT WITH THE WORLD'S TOP MODEL

Gisele alert!!!

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The two are both part of Under Armour's "I will what I want" campaign. Check out Gisele's new ad. Her kick-boxing training makes us look bad, too. And scared. Please don't hurt us, Gisele! We love Tom Brady! We promise!

RANDOM ARCHIVE VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Speaking of Gisele, we stumbled on this black-and-white video of her playing golf set to old-timey music:

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Her attitude is great, even if her swing isn't. Sorry, Gisele! We take it back! Please don't kick us!

THIS AND THAT

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David Lipsky's win in Switzerland produced this lede by AP writer Graham Dunbar: "An American golfer won the European Masters on Sunday to put himself atop the Asian Tour money list." We think that covers everything. . . . The final hole of this week's World Amateur Team Championships at the Oshitate Course at Karuizawa is a 787-yard par 6 for the men. It played as a 733-yard par 6 last week for the women. WTF?! . . . Seven countries want to host the Ryder Cup. If Europe wants to maintain a decisive "home-field advantage" it probably wants to avoid having the event in Turkey. . . . Congrats to Ivan Avendano, who won the inaugural "Trigolfalon" in Austin, Tex. The event comprised a round of regular golf, a round of footgolf and a round of disc golf, and took about 10 hours to complete. Sounds grueling.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who runs a faster 40-yard dash: Rory or Peyton?

What's the most random sports fan tattoo ever?

Gisele isn't really mad at us, is she?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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