The Grind: Letters from Tiger, boxes of cash, and Holly's latest photo shoot
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are still waiting to receive an angry letter from Tiger Woods. Has he not seen what we've been writing about his jeans for the past year? We've been relentless! On second thought, as much as it pains us to say it, Woods probably isn't one of our weekly readers. If he were, he'd have stepped up his denim game a long time ago. OK, on to (slightly) more important things. . .
Lydia Ko: With a playoff victory at the LPGA's CME Group Tour Championship, Ko not only won the season finale, but also claimed the tour's all-time biggest payday. Ko took home two trophies and a box containing $1 million in cash (nice touch, LPGA) for winning the tour's inaugural "Race to CME Globe." Keep in mind Ko turned pro about a year ago. How's that for good timing?
Henrik Stenson: Another golf "race" ended in Dubai, and while Stenson couldn't catch Rory McIlroy for the season-long bonus, he managed to defend his title at the DP World Tour Championship. Nothing could ever top the Swede's 2013 in which he won the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup to claim nearly $20 million in on-course earnings, but his 2014 wasn't bad, either. Hank the Tank is back to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 1 in the unofficial goofy trophy photos ranking:
Chris Como: Tiger Woods is turning an old 39 soon. Como, 37, is a relatively young instructor who also happens to be a specialist in biomechanics. This seems to be a good match if Woods ever hopes to have another injury-free year, let alone challenge Jack Nicklaus' major mark. At least we hope it's a good match for Tiger's sake. Being a guest contributor to a website doesn't pay quite as well as being a superstar golfer.
Stacy Lewis: While Ko was Sunday's big winner, it was Lewis who wrapped up all three major season-long awards. With her T-9, she clinched the LPGA's player of the year, finished first on the money list, and won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average. It's the second time in three years Lewis has won POY, but she's the first American to sweep those three distinctions in the same season since Betsy King in 1993. Congrats, Stacy, but we still think we'd rather have that box of cash.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello: Leading in Dubai with three holes to play, the Spaniard was in position for the biggest win of his career. Then he imploded. A double bogey on No. 16 was followed by another double bogey and Cabrera-Bello wound up T-9. Speaking of letting things get away from you quickly on the golf course. . .
John Hahn: How do you shoot 58 and only finish T-50 in a tournament? Easy. You back it up with a 78 the next day. The worst part of Hahn's remarkable 20-shot swing in the wrong direction was that it came in an event (European Tour Q School) where just finishing in the top 25 was the goal. Like Odell Beckham Jr.'s incredible catch coming in a loss by the New York Giants, Hahn's 58 will go down as one of the most useless great scores in golf history.
Engaged Paula Creamer: No, we're not jealous. We're just pointing out Creamer's struggles on the course as her wedding day approaches next month. After getting off to a good start in 2014 with a win and two T-3s in her first four events, Creamer had just one top 10 the rest of the year. That being said, she looks great and more importantly, she looks happy. We're looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the wedding photos and to seeing some better golf in 2015.
Nothing to speak of other than the Australian Masters. Take a break, golf fans. You've earned it.
Random tournament fact: Of course, Thanksgiving used to mean the Skins Game. With that, we remember the last Skins Game in 2008 when (Googles "Skins Game") K.J. Choi beat then two-time defending champion Stephen Ames. Yep, that might have something to do with this event not being around anymore.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- A 17-year-old will win next year's FedEx Cup: 1 million-to-1 odds
-- Fred Couples misses the Skins Game: 10-to-1 odds
-- Stephen Ames misses the Skins Game: LOCK
WARDROBE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Apparently, former Golf Channel host Holly Sonders did a photo shoot with Sports Illustrated at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Apparently, the photos aren't very, um, golf-y. . .
WARDROBE MALFUNCTION PHOTO OF THE WEEK
What's worse than opening with a 76? Opening with a 76 and splitting open your pants. Luke Donald found out the hard way:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Alcohol!" -- A smiling Lydia Ko after being handed a bottle of champagne moments after securing the biggest payday in LPGA history. Lydia Ko is awesome.
THIS WEEK IN LINDSEY VONN RORY MCILROY MAKING US LOOK BAD WITH HER HIS TRAINING
A photo posted by Justin Rose (@justinprose99) on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:38am PST
Well played, Justin. Well played.
VIRAL VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Rory made us feel a bit better with this self-described "fat, low, duck-hook runner":
We give him an 'A' for his effort, but just a 6 for the landing.
THIS WEEK IN AMANDA DUFNER-JASON DUFNER PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION EXOTIC TRAVEL PHOTOS
While most people in the U.S. dealt with a brutal cold front, the Dufners seemed to enjoy their time in Thailand.
THIS AND THAT
Barack Obama and Derek Jeter enjoyed their first round of golf together so much that they stayed out to play another nine holes. It probably didn't hurt that they were playing Las Vegas' exclusive Shadow Creek. . . . Renato Paratore, 17, was one of 27 players to earn their European Tour cards for next season. If it weren't for Lydia Ko, the golf world would probably be making a bigger deal about this. . . . People are stealing disc golf baskets in Wisconsin. No, really. . . . Congrats to Director of Photography Christian Iooss for winning the 12th annual Golf Digest Turkey Putt. Instead of taking home a big box of cash, he had to settle for a turkey and taking some embarrassing photos.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Will the Skins Game ever return?
Who will wind up with more majors: Lydia or Rory?
What does it feel like to sit on $1 million in cash?