The Grind: Jason Day wins, Justin Timberlake still loves golf & the hottest golfers
By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we want to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Thanksgiving/holiday season and to thank you for your support. We really appreciate you taking the time to check us out each week -- even if you're just stopping by to check out the latest Paulina Gretzky photos. So come for the dressing and stay for the turkey. We've got a full plate as usual.
Jason Day: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Day somehow managed to earn his first win since the 2010 Byron Nelson. For the rare player who contends in major championships more often than regular events, just taking home a trophy had to feel good. We don't expect Day's next gap between wins to last nearly as long. Also, did anyone notice Day collected $1.5 MILLION for his World Cup triumph? In addition to the individual prize, he split the $600,000 for first place in the team competition with Adam Scott. Aussie, Aussie!
Adam Scott: Speaking of Scott, he only finished third, but he'll be trying to win for a third time in a month Down Under at this week's Australian Open. Whatever happened to that reduced schedule of his? Not that golf fans, especially female ones, are complaining. PLUG ALERT: Scott is the No. 1 seed in GolfDigest.com's second Hottest Golfers Contest. That's right, it's our second time doing this. So you know it's legit. And the lovely lady below is Maria Verchenova, the top seed on the woman's side. Yeah, we're buying her as well.
She's a real golfer. At least, we think so...
Shanshan Feng: The Chinese golfer only has three LPGA titles, but she certainly knows how to make them count. Feng's first victory was a major at the 2012 LPGA Championship, then she won last month with one of the luckiest shots of all time, and now her third triumph saw her take home the richest prize in women's golf. Feng's victory at the LPGA Titleholders earned her $700,000. By stacking the prize money for the winner (runner-up Gerina Piller only took home $139,000), the LPGA added excitement to its season finale. And we're not done praising that tour. . .
Mike Whan: The LPGA commissioner's masterful job continued when he announced the tour would have 32 tournaments on its schedule in 2014, up from just 23 in 2011. The PGA Tour might have 87 events per year if Whan were running the show.
Stuart Manley's letdown: Did you hear the one about a tour pro following up a hole-in-one with an 11? Amazingly, it's a true story. Adding a layer to the unlikely, Manley believed he had won the shiny, new Mercedes on display at Royal Melbourne's third hole. Then he was informed that only players making an ace on that hole on Sunday would win the car. Tough break, Stu. Can we call you Stu? And wait a minute, World Cup! You can dole out $1.5 MILLION to your winner, but you're going to be stingy on hole-in-one prizes? That's a bad job.
Not so fast, Stu...
European Tour: We made fun of the PGA Tour for starting the 2013-14 season 18 days after the conclusion of the 2013 season, but that seems like an eternity compared to the European Tour. Its season kicked off this past week at the South African Open (Some guy named Orum Madsen was the big winner) just FOUR days after the previous season's finale in Dubai. This just seems silly.
Luke Donald: It's rare that we knock someone for winning a tournament, but sometimes a win can remind us, "Oh yeah, that guy is supposed to be really good." That's the case with Donald's victory the Dunlop Phoenix. The former World No. 1 has won twice in the past year and a half, with both of those titles coming at, you guessed it, the Dunlop Phoenix Open. We expect more.
Natalie Gulbis: Look, we didn't expect her to win the LPGA finale -- even after she grabbed a share of the 54-hole lead with a Saturday 66. But an 82 on Sunday? C'mon, Natalie! And she didn't even qualify for our Hottest Golfers competition. Tough times, indeed.
We'll tell you what's not on tap, the Skins Game. Once a Thanksgiving tradition, the most hit-and-giggle event of the silly season disappeared after the 2008 edition. You know, because the golf world has really been cutting back on tournaments during this time of year. . .
Random tournament fact: The Skins Game was awesome. That is all.
THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE-PAULINA GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
Look out for JT, DJ! Actually, the superstar entertainer nodded to the golfer after accepting his latest honor from Paulina at the American Music Awards and made a golf swing with his trophy. Very cool.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Remember the Presidents Cup streaker, Kimberly Webster? She's taken some new photos her fans might be interested in:
Want your own signed copies of these? You're in luck! The savvy businesswoman is selling them online for $25 a pop. What a steal!
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Tiger Woods will have Sergio Garcia over for Thanksgiving dinner: 1 Million-to-1 odds
-- Justin Timberlake will write a love song about Paulina Gretzky: 50-to-1 odds
-- Whoops. We forgot Timberlake is married to Jessica Biel, so we'll rephrase. Odds he WON'T be writing a love song about Paulina: LOCK
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Cheyenne Woods is becoming a weekly figure in this column. This time, she does the moonwalk. In her driveway. Respect.
Perhaps Golf Digest should copy the tactics of this guerilla marketing genius. We print golf magazines. We print golf magazines! WE PRINT GOLF MAGAZINES!!!
THIS AND THAT
Current Golf Digest cover girl Kate Upton and boyfriend Maksim Chmerkovskiy have reportedly broken up. We're waiting for the Upton/Arnold Palmer rumors to start. . . . Steve Williams announced he'll go to a reduced schedule after the 2014 season. How will Adam Scott go on?!!! . . . In more important news, congrats to Stephen Hennessey for winning Golf Digest's annual Turkey Putt. We're expecting him to wear that hat around the office until at least Christmas.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Is Adam Scott looking for a fill-in caddie?
Who is the best cook on the PGA Tour?
Are you actually still reading? Or did we lose you after the Paula/Cheyenne/Verchanova/streaker stuff?