News & ToursMarch 5, 2013

The Grind: Rory's story, kissing up to The Donald, and Doral predictions

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're already digging the Florida Swing. Weather delays have been swapped for dental drama and deserts have been replaced by watery graves with cool nicknames like the "Bear Trap." Throw Donald Trump and some South Beach nightlife into the mix this week and who knows what we're in store for. Here's a rundown of what's happened and what's to come:


"Toothgate" caused quite a stir in Palm Beach. (Photo by Getty Images)


Michael Thompson. The surprise runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Open became the latest surprise winner on the PGA Tour. After three MCs and a T-78, Thompson held on during a difficult Sunday at PGA National for his first tour title. Again, on the PGA Tour, ALL these guys are good.

Former U.S. Open winners. It seems like it's been awhile since Geoff Ogilvy or Lucas Glover have been near the top of a leader board, but both made some noise at the Honda Classic. Both guys also played well without beards this past weekend. Take that as a sign, guys. Please.

The Golf Boys' new video. We didn't think the world needed another music video from these goofballs, but golf's boy band waited long enough and were creative enough in releasing its sequel, "2.Oh," to deliver a pleasant surprise. The big step up in production value didn't hurt, either. Now if only I had that kind of budget to create a Golf Scribes response. . .


Rory McIlroy's tooth ache. If you're going to use that as an excuse, the least you can do is not be seen eating a sandwich moments before walking off the course. No, there must be something more serious going on with the world No. 1, who at least went on to apologize for his actions. We hope "Wozzilroy" isn't donezo, but that would make more sense. Love hurts. Just ask Sergio Garcia.

Fishing. Seeing images of tour pros fishing in Tim Rosaforte's piece on Jupiter, Fla., and watching Jack Nicklaus fish on a recent episode of Feherty reminded me of how awful the activity is. Guys, you are sitting on a boat (hopefully, drinking beer at least), trying to lure in a dumb creature that you may or may not eat for dinner. That being said, can you imagine how over-populated golf courses would be on a nice weekend day in the summer without this, um, sport? On second thought, fishing is AWESOME.

The Golf Boys' fitness. Aren't these guys supposed to be finely-tuned, world-class athletes? To be fair, Ben Crane looks like he's been hitting the treadmill, at least, but the other guys all look like they've been on a strict junk food diet. Even Rickie Fowler, who is 24 and tweets about working out constantly, looks a little soft around the edges. The Golf Digest playing editor is lucky he doesn't have to come into the office every day. We're just entering Girl Scout cookie season. . .


The PGA Tour heads to the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral's "Blue Monster." From what I hear, the Trump-owned course has the most overpriced green fees in the country. Oops, I probably shouldn't say that since I'll be in Miami next month and looking to play golf. What I meant was I love Mr. Trump and what he's doing for the game!

Related: A side-by-side look at Rory's and Tiger's careers

Random tournament fact: Justin Rose is the defending champion. You might not remember that since Tiger Woods' withdrawal on the 12th hole of the final round led to NBC's most dramatic car chase footage since O.J. Simpson was driving a white Ford Bronco.


For the first time ever, we're going to keep the same eight golfers in the lineup that we did the week before. We've just got a feeling. Either that, or we're getting lazy.

Starters -- (A-List): Graeme McDowell. Coming off a T-5 and a T-9, G-Mac has a pair of T-6s at Doral in his career. We've got a hunch he'll get that long overdue second PGA Tour win this week.

(B-List): Justin Rose. The defending champ was T-4 at the Honda and was also seen sitting next to Donald Trump at a recent Miami Heat game. Wow. He'll do anything to try to get good vibes here.

(B-List): Keegan Bradley. The anchor-putting poster boy finished T-8 in his first appearance in this event last year. Bradley has said fans' harsh comments about his putting method have negatively affected his game, but they didn't seem to faze him last week at PGA National, where he finished T-4.

(C-List): Charl Schwartzel. The South African has finished in the top five here in two of the past three years, including a runner-up in 2010.

Bench -- Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Fredrik Jacobson and Lee Westwood.


-- Rory McIlroy will withdraw due to a torn headcover: 100-to-1 odds

-- Donald Trump will ask to see copies of McIlroy's dental charts: 10-to-1 odds

Related: McIlroy joins list of other odd withdrawals

-- Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, who can do no wrong right now, will raise his hand to the sky to stop a potential afternoon thunderstorm at some point: 5-to-1 odds

-- The Golf Boys will NOT win a Grammy for their newest song: LOCK


Bradley Cooper. More unlikely than Michael Thompson's win, I broke down and paid to see a movie in the theater a day after writing about Jennifer Lawrence and the Silver Linings Playbook. While the 22-year-old actress was exceptional, I was more impressed with the lead actor. The star of "The Hangover" seems like he can do anything on screen and the type of guy you'd like to have a few drinks with on the course. He's certainly come a long way from that scene of him getting sick in the bathroom during Wedding Crashers. . .


OK, so this is a holdover from Hawaii, but we were starting to go through Paulina Gretzky withdrawal after two weeks of not mentioning everyone's favorite gallery gal. But with boyfriend Dustin Johnson in the field this week and some gorgeous Miami weather in the forecast, we could be in for some good, um, shots. Love the two dudes checking her out as they walk behind. Not that I blame them. . .


From our neck of the woods, below might be the craziest buzzer-beater you will ever see. I used to cover both these teams and this tournament at my old job. Of course, nothing like this ever happened while I was there. In golf terms, this would be like a potential winning putt bouncing off two ball markers before finding the bottom of the cup.



Patrick Cantlay won his first event as a pro in Colombia on the Tour. That will NOT be the last time the phenom wins as a pro. . . . Yani Tseng is in danger of losing her No. 1 ranking. Wait, Yani Tseng is still ranked No. 1? . . . Jack Nicklaus says Rory McIlroy will "be fine" by the Masters. Apparently, the Golden Bear has 18 majors and a PhD in psychology. . . . Fire alarms at 3 a.m. (above) are NOT fun.


Will a Tiger Woods-designed course ever get finished?

If a Tiger Woods-designed course ever gets finished, will he call its toughest three-hole stretch the "Tiger Trap"?

When is Rory's dentist going to hold a press conference?

-- Alex Myers is a contributing editor for Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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