Rory's club toss inspires others, Daddy DJ's path to greatness, and a Ryder Cup captain's daughter makes it big
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where our only 3-iron toss into a lake came when the club slipped during a torrential storm. Luckily, my friend, Guy, morphed into Usain Bolt for about five seconds to quickly get to the water and fish it out before it sank for good.
We really do have the ability to summon superpowers during a time of crisis, don't we?
Anyway, there haven't been any club tosses since, except for that time Golf Digest made me stage an on-course temper tantrum for a video. Here are the still shots of some of my finest acting to date:
Try pulling a performance like that off, Eddie Redmayne. Of course, there were plenty of great performances this past week that involved the proper use of golf clubs as well. Let's dive in.
Dustin Johnson: Rory McIlroy is the World No. 1, but no one has looked better in 2015 than Johnson. DJ's win at Doral was the biggest of his career (so far), and he's now won at least one PGA Tour title for eight straight seasons. If he keeps up the torrid pace he shown since returning from his six-month absence -- he also has a T-2 and a T-4 in his last four starts -- it's hard to imagine him not making 2015 the year he became both a dad and a major champion.
Inbee Park: WINBEE returned to the winner's circle with a near flawless performance to beat Lydia Ko by two shots at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Park didn't make a bogey the entire week and hit a staggering 66 of 72 greens. She's now gone a remarkable 92 straight holes without a blemish on her scorecard. Of course, you can't spell Park without p-a-r. . .
Alex Cejka: The overlooked feel-good story of the week goes to Cejka, 44, who finally captured his first PGA Tour title in his 287th career start at the Puerto Rico Open. Sure, it would have been a bigger story if Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer's grandson, had won the five-man playoff instead, but this win was even more unlikely. Cejka claimed a check for $540,000, which nearly matched how much he had earned on the PGA Tour the past four seasons combined.
Aces wild: In the span of 24 minutes, Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes made holes-in-one on Doral's difficult par-3 fourth hole. OK, so it's not as difficult when you can hit a 7-iron 207 yards, but still, that was remarkable. Then my heart legit stopped for a second when it looked like Johnson aced it again on Sunday (he had to settle for a tap-in birdie). These guys are so freaking good.
J.B. Holmes: The 32-year-old Kentuckian shot the round of the year Thursday, added a hole-in-one Saturday and took a five-shot lead into Sunday. And he still didn't win. Holmes' big lead was gone after five holes in the final round, and although he steadied himself, he came up a shot short of Johnson for his second second-place finish in his last four starts.
Rory's club toss: Look, we've joked about it and it isn't that big of a deal, but ask yourself this: How would the reaction have differed if the Nike 3-iron that was eventually fished out of the water by a scuba diver had the initials TW on it instead of RM? Instead of taking heat -- and yes, a big part was how McIlroy handled his post-round interviews -- the whole thing became a fun joke. Before Sunday's final round, Donald Trump even returned the club to Rory, who then put it back in his bag (he played Saturday with just 13 clubs). Again, not the worst thing we've ever seen on a golf course, but is it really good for golf when it prompts videos of parents teaching their kids how to do it?
OTHER ATHLETES PLAYING GOLF PHOTO OF THE WEEK
David Price and Justin Verlander are Detroit Tigers teammates and two of the best pitchers in baseball. They also bring the heat when it comes to style on the golf course:
OK, so those efforts were juuuuuust a bit outside.
GOLF WAG (OR SAD -- SONS AND DAUGHTERS) PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Introducing Phoebe Torrance, the daughter of former European Tour star and Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance:
On Friday, Sam tweeted that his daughter, who is an actress and model, had signed with Storm Models -- the same agency that represents Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and a host of others. Congrats, Phoebe.
GOLF WAG ACTION PHOTO OF THE WEEK
That's Erin Walker, Jimmy's wife, competing in a show-jumping event. And despite an off-week, Jimmy is still the leading horse in the FedEx Cup standings. (Sorry, couldn't help it.)
VIRAL VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Paula Creamer recreated (on a mini-golf hole) her 75-foot walk-off putt from last year. In high heels:
THIS WEEK IN LINDSEY VONN MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING
Looks like Lindsey is preparing for her next career as a ninja.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I knew I was really good. I just knew there was something that I was missing that could make me great." -- Dustin Johnson. Maybe the key to success in life is taking a six-month leave of absence.
THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY-TATUM PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
Thanks to ESPN's Michael Collins for snapping this adorable family photo:
That led to this fine bit of trash talking from young Tatum:
A photo posted by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on Mar 9, 2015 at 5:11pm PDT
THIS AND THAT
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he "whiffed" on not protesting that fall events count toward Ryder Cup standings for the next U.S. team. It doesn't matter, though, because Phil Mickelson seems to be running the show. . . . Golf Channel's highest ratings come from Oklahoma City, where there isn't even a PGA Tour stop. Apparently, there are a lot of Lauren Thompson fans in the Sooner State. . . . There are rumblings that the reason Tiger Woods' new restaurant is being called The Woods Jupiter is because Nike actually owns the rights to Tiger's first name. If that's true, Tiger isn't as shrewd a negotiator as we thought. . . . Today (Tuesday) is my birthday. That means I get to eat all of this awesome cake made by my awesome fiancee, Michelle. And while it's a bit depressing to turn 33, I'm encouraged by the fact Phil Mickelson didn't win his first major until that age.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Who is the PGA Tour's longest club tosser?
How many majors will Dustin Johnson win?
If I really start practicing, is there time to make the senior tour?