News & ToursDecember 2, 2014

The Grind: Spieth's big win Down Under, Tiger's return and the Dufners attend the Iron Bowl

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we just hope all those extra Thanksgiving pounds don't hurt our explosiveness too much. Speaking of which, a certain fast-twitch-muscle-obsessed golfer returns to action this week to headline an otherwise lean time of the season. But don't worry, we've still collected all the scraps and made you a plate. Here's what has us talking.

WE'RE BUYING

Jordan Spieth: The 21-year-old Spieth was the star of the week, winning the Australian Open by six shots to pick up his second professional victory. Even more impressive was the Sunday 63 -- the round of the day by four strokes -- he shot in windy conditions on a tough course. If you recall, a then-struggling Rory McIlroy won this event a year ago. "If I had the follow-up year that Rory had, I'd be pleased this time next year," Spieth said. Um, yeah.

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Cabo golf: This week, a new Jack Nicklaus formally debuted a new course at the Mexican resort destination and it looks spectacular. And later this month, Tiger Woods is scheduled to open his long-awaited first course design there as well. Our two reactions? 1. Cabo is way up on our list of golf destinations to visit; 2. Tiger is chasing Jack everywhere!

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Tiger Woods' return: He's BACK! Playing golf, that is. Tiger will be a playing host this week in his annual year-end tournament and his foundation sent out a first look at his "new" swing under Chris Como:

Tiger can be heard asking if people want to see the "low or high cut" with the driver. It's not the complete nine-shot arsenal he famously once possessed, but it's a start. And it's a lot better than that high slice he was featuring last season.

WE'RE SELLING

Australian Open hype: When did the Australian Open become the U.S. Open? We know it was a slow week, and Spieth's play was impressive, but let's not go crazy here. It's the Australian Open. Tiger's 18-man event this week has a stronger field. Oh, and if it was last year's win that sprung McIlroy to a huge 2014 then why did it take him nearly six months to win again and another six weeks before he went on his big three-tournament winning streak? And while we're at it, why didn't 53-year-old Peter Senior have a huge 2013 after winning this event in 2012? We're glad people are excited about Spieth's future -- we are too -- but we all need to calm down a little.

Golf club thieves: Even if you're doing this to collect Christmas gifts for other people, it's still wrong. One guy in a Hawaiian shirt has been especially busy stuffing clubs down his pants and walking out of pro shops without paying. He stole four clubs worth nearly $1,500 from one store and someone else reached out to us to say he stole from their shop, too. This man needs to be stopped. And Chris Berman needs to keep an eye on his closet.

Related: 11 PGA Tour sleepers to watch in 2014-15

The selling of Glen Garden: Life goes on, things change, S&*# happens, etc., but it's still sad when links to the past are destroyed. Glen Garden Golf & Country Club, the course in Fort Worth where Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson got into the game as childhood caddies, is set to be sold this week. It wouldn't be a big deal if it were simply changing management, but the club was bought by Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company, which plans to close the course and use the land to build a bourbon plant. Pour a little of your next drink out in memory of our homies, Ben and Byron.

ON TAP

As mentioned, Tiger Woods will make his return to competitive golf in the Williams Target Chevron Northwestern Mutual Hero World Challenge.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: This World Challenge will be played at Isleworth, Woods' former home course, after 15 years at Sherwood Country Club. We wonder if Tiger still has a locker in the clubhouse.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Jordan Spieth will have the same "follow-up year" in 2015 that Rory McIlroy had in 2014: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- Tiger Woods will win his own 18-man event at his old home course: 14-to-1 odds (Actual odds compared to his current 10-1 odds to win THE MASTERS)

-- We're betting $5 on Tiger to win: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Charlie Sifford receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Well deserved. Hey, that's Meryl Streep! We'll assume she's really happy for Charlie, but you never know with her. She's a great actress.

TOUR PROS LIVING THE LIFE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

Belen Mozo and boyfriend Robert Farah in Punta Cana:

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Rickie Fowler and girlfriend Alexis Randock about to get on a private jet:

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Must be nice not having to deal with airports during the holidays. . .

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"You could give me another 100 rounds today at The Australian and I wouldn't sniff 63.... Well done @JordanSpieth very impressive!" -- Rory McIlroy via Twitter. Really?! Hmm. On second thought, maybe we're not hyping up this win enough!

THIS WEEK IN LPGA STARS FEASTING

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That's Natalie Gulbis preparing bacon-covered carrots. Sounds good! And Michelle Wie following up a turkey dinner with a plate of BBQ ribs the next day. Also sounds good!

THIS WEEK IN AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER-LOUIE THE DOG PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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The trio attended the Iron Bowl. All three -- even Jason -- are smiling here, but Amanda had the last laugh. Her alma mater, Alabama, beat Jason's Auburn Tigers. (Side note: Did Louie get his own seat?)

THIS AND THAT

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Pete Dye said recently he's been wanting to make changes to TPC Sawgrass to put driver back in the hands of pros, but Tim Finchem is "being a mule." Calling someone a "mule" is such a great old-person insult. . . . Oklahoma men's golf coach Ryan Hybl is pushing for college golf teams to be able to substitute players during a tournament. Sounds like an OK idea, but good luck convincing schools to increase their college golf budget to let more kids travel to away events. . . . Sean Foley says his split with Tiger Woods was "amicable" and that "I love TW. We still talk back and forth." Foley also called the notion of Tiger being a bad tipper "bulls---." Maybe Sean should write a book. . . . Move aside turkey and mashed potatoes, the MVP of this year's Thanksgiving dinner were these homemade chipwiches, created by my fiancee, Michelle. Come to think of it, chipwiches should be our national dessert. Can we all stand together as a country for once and make this happen?!

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How many majors will Jordan Spieth win?

How many majors will the Tiger-Chris Como era produce?

How many chipwiches will I eat at Christmas?

-- 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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