The Grind: "Deflategate's" possible link to golf, Paulina's baby, and first world WAG problems
Welcome to a special 100th edition (!) of The Grind, where we, well, OK, so we don't have anything special planned. We've been just as caught up in "Deflategate" as everyone else and just hope the PGA Tour isn't implicated in the scandal as well. Remember last year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open when we all marveled at Phil Mickelson's throwing arm? Sadly, we can't say for sure anymore if that football was inflated to the NFL's legal PSI level.
And now, the PGA Tour recently banned the throwing of objects into the stands at this year's tournament. Hmm. Was the move really done as a safety precaution -- or is it part of a larger cover-up?
Bill Haas: After an odd 2014 campaign in which he never missed a cut, but also almost never surfaced on a Sunday leader board -- thanks in large part to a broken bone in his wrist -- Haas began his 2015 with a second win at the Humana Challenge. That gives Haas, a fellow member of Wake Forest's Class of 2004, six PGA Tour titles and $32 million in on-course earnings (if you count that $10 million bonus for winning the 2011 FedEx Cup) by age 32. That means we have combined to make slightly more than $32 million since graduation. Not too shabby.
Branden Grace: If anyone has racked up quality wins with less fanfare than Bill Haas in recent years, it's this South African. Grace picked up his sixth European Tour title at the Qatar Masters and he can thank this early shot-of-the-year candidate in the third round:
A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on Jan 23, 2015 at 4:59am PST
The only golfer under 30 with more worldwide wins than Grace? Some guy named Rory McIlroy.
Miguel Angel Jimenez: Everybody's favorite "Mechanic" kicked off the 2015 Champions Tour season in style with a win at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Jimenez is now batting .666 on the senior tour with two wins in just three starts. Perhaps more impressively, he also survived Hawaii's wine bar scene without a scratch.
Bill Haas in majors: As good of a career as Haas has had, his performance in golf's majors has been puzzling. In fact, he just might be "the best player never to contend in a major." It's not a flattering title, but it's also not the worst thing to happen to someone. Again, six wins and more than $30 million earned. But no top 10s in 21 major starts? C'mon, Billy! We love you, but you're better than that!
Compton coming up short: As happy as we were to see Haas emerge from the pack in Palm Springs, we realize most viewers were tuning in to see if a man who has undergone two heart transplants could win. But a disappointing Sunday 70 dropped the co-leader after 54 holes into T-10. That's OK, though. Compton, who finished T-2 at last year's U.S. Open, isn't a flash in the pan. He and ticker No. 3 will be back to hopefully write a different ending next time.
Robert Allenby's story: So. . . it seems that whole "kidnapping" thing didn't actually happen. Instead, it appears Allenby ran up a $3,400 tab at a strip club (ouch) and passed out on a street corner. Allenby doesn't look good here, but he also doesn't deserve all the blame. There have been way too many "Taken" movies made.
The PGA Tour heads to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, aka that tournament that wraps up on Super Bowl Sunday and where all the rowdy, drunk fans congregate on one hole.
Random tournament fact: The big game is in the area as well for the first time since 2008. That year, Phil Mickelson, who lost in a playoff to J.B. Holmes, gave away his tickets. This year, Keegan Bradley, a huge Patriots fan, is hoping he doesn't have to do the same. In other words, this would be one time Bradley wouldn't mind having an early tee time on Sunday.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- The New England Patriots will use an illegally deflated ball in the Super Bowl: 1 million-to-1 odds
-- Tiger Woods' first round at the Masters will be higher than Julian Edelman's receiving yards total in the Super Bowl: 12-to-10 odds (actual odds of actual prop bet)
-- Keegan Bradley isn't giving his Super Bow tickets away: LOCK
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Just go through 11-year-old Matty Duplessis' Instagram feed and pick. Let's just say he looked like he enjoyed his first trip to the PGA Merchandise Show:
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Bubba Watson's latest mini-golf antics include a shirtless celebration.
We are thrilled our favorite golf couple had their first baby, but did the announcement have to come as the State of the Union address was about to start? And couldn't they have given us a bit of a heads up?!
THIS AND THAT
Dustin Johnson announced he'll make his PGA Tour return at Torrey Pines exactly six months after he wasn't suspended by the tour for six months. Hmm. . . . Peter Oosterhuis is retiring from being a golf analyst on CBS. Don't worry, Peter Kostis and that Konica Minolta Bizhub swing camera aren't going anywhere. . . . Congrats to English sports reporter Cara Robinson for being the latest hire by Golf Channel for its "Morning Drive" program. Above is a photo of Robinson conducting an interview with two dog puppets at Wimbledon in the rain. Now that's talent.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Has the PGA Tour launched an investigation into Bill Belichick making the Pebble Beach Pro-Am cut in 2012?
Has any golfer earned more than $30 million more quietly than Bill Haas?
How many photos did Blair O'Neal pose for at the PGA Show?