Tiger Woods may join the likes of Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald this coming October in Turkey. you read that correctly, according to reports from Derek Lawrenson of The Telegraph over in the UK, the country with exactly zero golfers on the PGA Tour is set to host some of the world’s elite in a lucrative match-play event where the purse will be $5.3 million and this year’s winner is slated to take home $1.5 million! Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood round out the field.
Naturally, attracting those eight to the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals does not come cheap. last place will be worth $300,000 (£191,000), while the winner will take home $1.5million (£957,000). next year, they intend to hike the amounts to a $2.5m (£1,595,000) first prize, the richest in golf.
Intriguingly, Woods will receive an extra fee. I understand a tie-up for the next three years will be announced with Turkish Airlines, with the American clearly seen as a key component of the country’s Olympic bid.
Istanbul is vying for the 2020 Summer Olympics against Tokyo and Madrid.
But Robert Lusetich at Foxsports.com tweeted that Woods playing in Turkey was not a done deal.
Mark Steinberg says still in discussions with Turks. Event week of Frys.com. "Tiger endeavors to get back to Frys in the future"
— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) July 3, 2012
No Summer Trip to the Cape for the Golfer-in-ChiefMartha’s Vineyard golfers can take a sigh of relief. President Obama and his Secret Service convoys will not be cluttering the links this year as the President will forgo his usual summer vacation to spend more time focusing on his re-election campaign, according to a report from The Boston Globe's Brian Macquarrie.
The first family has spent time at a 28-acre estate in Chilmark, Mass. each of the past three summers and the President, a reported novice who played his 100th round of golf since taking office on Father’s Day, has in the past been spotted at Vineyard Golf Club, Farm Neck Golf Club as well as Mink Meadow Golf Club.
There’s no word on whether money normally spent to replace all of the President’s missing golf balls will be redirected to his Super PACs.
Introducing Slammin’ Sam Beer
Although not quite in time for the actual Fourth of July festivities, golf fans and beer aficionados can come together this weekend at the Greenbrier where a new premium lager inspired by the late Sam Snead is set to make a splash onto beer lists at 19th holes everywhere.
Debuting this week at the Greenbrier Resort in conjunction with the centennial of Snead’s birth, Slammin’ Sam features a refreshing taste with an exceptionally balanced finish that makes it the Smoothest Beer in Golf. it showcases a proprietary recipe developed by Ray Klimovitz, recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Life Service Award from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
“Mr. Snead is an international sports icon, and our first priority was to create an amazing beer that honors his legacy,” says Casey Bierer, Founder and CEO of Slammin’ Sam Beer Company and a former producer-reporter with Golf Channel. “Through the assistance of a beer industry legend and remarkable craft brewery, we’re proud to present a thirst-quenching premium lager that golfers and all active lifestyle consumers will truly enjoy.”
Cell Phones Permitted at U.S. Women’s OpenSomewhere Phil Mickelson is cringing. Lefty, who you might remember is suspected of withdrawing from the Memorial due to frustration with fans using cell phones, cannot be pleased by news that cell phones will be permitted on the grounds of Blackwolf run in Kohler, Wisc., this weekend where the 66th U.S. Women’s Open is set to take place.
Although LPGA events typically allow spectators to have phones on the grounds, this is the first time they will be permitted at a USGA event leading to the suspicion that this might be a trial run for a similar allowance at next year’s men’s championship.
According to the tournament website, while there will be designated areas for calls, text messaging is permissible everywhere. Volume must be maintained at silent or vibrate, and photos are only allowed during the practice rounds.
Tweet of the Day
@DeronWilliams how did those meetings go? Do we need a couple more rounds of golf?
— Jason Kidd (@RealJasonKidd) July 3, 2012
Wine, like golf and good scotch, remains a pursuit of the elite. Connoisseurs sit around sipping $50 bottles of wine, smacking their lips and debating the difference between “aged oak” and “corky” flavors. of course, the joke’s on them. You see, we humans suffer from something called “confirmation bias,” which means that we’re more likely to see (and taste) what we expect instead of what’s actually there. It’s been fairly well documented that the more a person thinks a bottle of wine costs, they more they like it. no doubt this phenomenon exists in gaming as well. I like a masterpiece as much as anyone, but I have to admit: sometimes I want a thoroughly mediocre game.
My guilty pleasure is the middling FPS. Not the bad ones; they’re too frustrating or broken to enjoy. however, a “just ok” shooter, the kind made on a shoestring budget, using “customizable controls” as a bullet point on the box, and attached to a license, is buttery popcorn to my soul. It’s a genre that has calcified into concrete corridors and chest-high walls. You don’t have to design an FPS anymore; you just take the Ur-FPS and pick the shade of brown you want. It’s like Build-A-Bear for emotionally-stunted adolescents.
Yet, I love it. It’s the joys of pulp genre fiction; you know exactly what you’re going to get. You know every line before its spoken and how to beat every boss. if it feels as if you’ve experienced this before, its because you have, many, many times. But there’s comfort in that repetition. The detective is always betrayed, the young hero always finds the McGuffin and gets the girl, the Space Marines always make everything go boom. these games don’t innovate or win awards. they won’t make you think deeply afterward. But that’s why you came here in the first place: to rest from all the thinking and worrying that plagues our big brains.
Of course, the trick is finding these gems for the right price. Garage sales, thrift stores, and discount shops such as Biglots can often be treasure troves of yesterday’s lemons. even Ebay and Amazon can offer so-so games for a few bucks. however, each of these leaves some sort of physical residue in your life. You might pitch that Area 51: Blacksite box as soon as you get home, but the disc will wedge itself into your library, a beating tell-tale heart of your dark secret. for this reason, I prefer more discrete outlets such as Gametap or OnLive. these buffet services are full of games such as these and allow you to gorge yourself on as much crap as you can find (just like a real buffet!).
Whatever your niche, I urge you to find one. Can’t get enough European RPGs based on obscure tabletop games? great! Copy-and-paste tower defense clones? go for it! Adventure games? Whatever, man. Abandon tradition and best-of lists and find something new in the wide world of gaming. break away from the mainstream opinions and try what they left behind. Shoot for something with a Metacritic score in the mid 50s and work your way down from there. I’m not promising that you’ll come away satisfied, but maybe (just maybe) you’ll expand your gaming menu and discover tastes you never thought you had.
When I came up with the idea for this site I pictured writing about Pine Valley, Augusta National, Bethpage Black, Pinehurst #2… the list of elite courses goes on. unfortunately that's a dream and this is reality… I give you Bunker Hill Golf Course.
(This is the sign you see when entering off the main road)
I'm going to start this with a disclaimer. It's early in the golf season and not every course is ready yet….
As you drive up the long driveway towards the clubhouse there is not much to see. On the right is an empty field that would make for a perfect driving range (hint) or practice facility (hint hint). When you reach the top of the incline you're greeted by a gazebo as well as the first tee. there is a bag drop sign and parking lot directing you to the left. I skipped over the bag drop and found a parking space close to the clubhouse.
(view of the clubhouse from the parking lot)
I learned later in my round this is a new clubhouse, the old one had been destroyed by a fire. Inside the clubhouse is small proshop that had hats, shirts, shoes (if you bought shoes your round was free), and a few other items with the Bunker Hill Logo on it. I recommend stocking up on whatever you need prior to going in case they don't have what you're looking forward. The name that stood out in the proshop was "Ping".
At check in I presented my Tee Time Golf Pass which brought the Sunday afternoon rate from $35 to $25 (thank you to my girlfriend for buying that). I then decided it was a nice enough day to walk which brought my rate down to $16. I was sold. I walked out the door and headed over to the first tee.
The first thing I notice is the backup and no starter. It didn't matter much as I asked the 2-some in front of me if I could join in. they agreed. I'll say it right now, the best part of this round was the company. you never know who you're going to be paired with when you go alone. I was paired with Natalie & Billy. Natalie is a NCAA Division I golfer and Billy is her best friends father… her best friend was working at the course.
(The first tee)
After about 10 minutes (2 groups) waiting, we were up. At first appearance this is not a challenging course. The scorecard says it's 5,973 from the tips. It's a par 72 with a 68.2 rating and 125 slope.
As I approach the tee box I realize there are no markers for the blue, white, or any other color. It's just a tee box. I compensate by teeing up towards the back but this becomes frustrating as you're trying to gauge distance on par 3's and when you have hazards to contest with.
There is little distinction between fairway and the first cut of of rough. This day it didn't matter much as most of my shots were clearly not in the fairway. The only hole on the front 9 worthy of mentioning is the 3rd hole, a 489, dogleg left, par 5 with trees protecting the left side and a reasonably long bunker along the right. While trying to lay up on my 2nd shot I managed to find this bunker although it was my 3-putt which ultimately caused my 8.
I didn't play well but managed to escape a rather forgetful front side by going out in 45.
At the turn we ventured back into the clubhouse to get snacks. The snackbar was attached to the proshop and offered anything a you could need at the turn and was priced well. The woman behind the counter was friendly and offered excellent service. My order of a hotdog, fountain soda, and bottle of water totaled $6.50. There is no beer or alcohol served or allowed on this course. there is no beer or alcohol served or allowed on this course… I felt that was worth repeating.
The Back 9
In my opinion this was the better of the two. The 10th hole is a narrow 335 yard par four with woods lining the left and an hill (sloping to the left) on the right. Tee shot placement is critical. Fortunately it wasn't an issue as I crushed my ball whopping 70 yards just passed the lady's tees. It is as impressive as it sounds as I escaped the hole with a 7.
The back was a little more narrow and well designed. The highlight came on 15 when a family of deer, I think 9 in total, hung out on the course before sprinting up the fairway and out of sight. It managed to grab the attention of all 4 groups in the area. (The view coming up 18)
I put together a rather sad 47 coming for a total of 92. This included a few 3-putts and poor tee shots.
I need to develop a rating system so for now I'll say this course gets 2 out of 5 nomads.
I would pay $16 or $25 to ride here. I might even pay $35 on a weekend morning but if you look at the website (distinctgolf.com) it's going to cost you $63 and I would have been disappointed if I paid that much for this course. It's the little things that count. having tee markers or rakes at the bunkers (I played out of 6 bunkers and not one had a rake) would help to make it a little more enjoyable. The sprinkler heads are not marked and the 200, 150, 100 marks in the fairway can be tough to find. This is a municipal course that Distinct Golf is trying to improve. I hope they do. The people were friendly and the course layout gives it potential. use the Tee Time Golf Pass to save some money if you have to play here… it's good 4 times.
Date Played: 3/21/2010
Location: Princeton, NJ
Cost: $16 – $63
Tee Time Golf Pass: Accepted
My Score: 45 – 47 = 92
Play again: No
Did you play here? Comment on the course so others have the opportunity to learn.
Sports Morning Headlines – Tuesday, 2/14/12 Written by MVPTexas Morning Sports Report Tuesday, 14 February 2012 01:04 Project Spurs: Bowen honored among San Antonio sports greats – former San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen has been making some significant additions to his trophy case over the past few months. he was recently inducted into the Cal State-Fullerton Hall of Fame, will have his jersey retired by the Spurs next month and over the weekend he joined San Antonio’s elite in the field of sports by being inducted with he 2012 class into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame. READ MORE Why Monty Williams calls on Pop for inspiration – former Spurs assistant general manager and player Monty Williams is enduring a losing streak that’s been hard to fathom this season during his stint as head coach of the new Orleans Hornets. the Hornets are in the middle of an eight-game losing streak headed into Monday’s game against Utah. after starting the season 2-0, new Orleans has lost 23 of its last 25 games. the trade of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers has helped create the circumstances that have led to new Orleans’ tumble. only a year ago, the Hornets were 46-36 and pushed the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. “You get upset, but tossing chairs, cussing and doing all that stuff is not the way I deal with things,’’ Williams told the new Orleans Times-Picayune. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to go home and explain it to my wife, and that’s not something I want to do. READ MORE Game 6 of road trip carries added importance for Rockets – as much as the Rockets remind themselves each game matters equally, with every win or loss bringing the same potential for benefit or harm, there is a sense Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies is different and, at least symbolically, more important. the NBA standings won’t reflect that notion, but as the final game of the six-game road trip, the Rockets’ longest of the season, it can change how the trip is viewed. after Sunday’s loss to the Warriors broke an uplifting three-game winning streak, a loss in Memphis would move the Rockets to 3-3 since leaving town. they return to Toyota Center on Wednesday for the second half of a back-to-back against the Thunder, the team atop the Western Conference and a two-time winner over the Rockets this season. READ MORE Kevin Martin’s scoring comes with a price – Guard Kevin Martin had by far his best game of the road trip Sunday, but it came with a cost. after four games in which he averaged four points, making just 15.6 percent of his shots, he made seven of 16 shots, going 9-of-10 from the line against the Warriors, scoring 28 points. but he battled through back spasms through much of the game, which left him grimacing in pain afterward. “It happened in the second quarter,” Martin said as he struggled to put on his shoes. “I’m all right, though.” Martin had said he was not concerned that he would get out of his four-game shooting slump, needing only to keep working for his shots and to take them when he could. “You never want to play bad, so I’m just relieved I felt like myself,” he said. “But it came in a loss. that doesn’t help.” READ MORE Rapid Reaction: Mavs 96, Clippers 92 - how it happened: the Clippers got a taste of what some of the other Western Conference contenders experienced during the playoffs last season. they were on the business end of a Mavericks close-out. Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 22 points in the final 6:03, but defense was the primary reason the Mavs pulled out this win. the Mavs held the Clippers to nine points and three field goals in the final six minutes. Shawn Marion spearheaded the phenomenal defensive effort. Marion guarded Clippers star point guard Chris Paul (16 points, nine assists) for much of the game, including the final 5:13. Paul had only one basket — a falling-away 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining — and one assist in that final stretch. READ MORE Caron Butler clearly moved by ring ceremony – the pregame ceremony was brief but heartfelt — for Caron Butler , as well as for his former team, the Mavericks. Butler received his NBA championship ring prior to Monday night’s game between the Mavericks and his current team, the Clippers. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle took the public address microphone and reminded the American Airlines Center crowd of the “gruesome” patellar tendon injury in Milwaukee that sidelined Butler last January. Carlisle described how Butler pushed his kneecap back into place and hobbled off the court. “At that moment, the guy was a legend for life, for me,” Carlisle told the crowd. Carlisle then introduced Butler as “a Maverick for life” and handed him his ring. Butler was clearly emotional as he stared at the ring, kissed it and acknowledged the cheering crowd. Butler then hugged Carlisle and Mavericks owner mark Cuban. Butler then went out and scored the Clippers’ first basket, a 3-pointer. he also scored a team-high nine of Los Angeles’ 19 first-quarter points. READ MORE
Cincinnati GM believes Oswalt headed to Rangers – Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty indicated on Monday that he believes free-agent righthander Roy Oswalt eventually will land with the Texas Rangers. Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds’ roster is “pretty well set” in advance of spring training, and he not anticipate any additions. the Reds had made a preliminary overture to Oswalt, but Jocketty said he had not talked to agent Bob Garber in more than one week. Jocketty added that he believes Oswalt is “waiting for Texas to clear money.” READ MORE Profar doesn’t mind switching positions – Jurickson Profar is widely regarded as the top talent in the Rangers’ farm system. and while the 18-year-old has been getting a lot of recognition from Web sites ranking the top prospects in the game, none have had the shortstop higher than Baseball Prospectus. only three prospects [Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Angels outfielder Mike Trout] were ranked ahead of Profar. the switch-hitting prospect, who can throw in the 90s, hit .286 with 12 homers and 65 RBIs in 115 games last season for Low-A Hickory. and while some may be concerned about having the Rangers’ top prospect playing shortstop with Elvis Andrus already at the big league level, Profar recently confirmed that he’s open to playing another position. “I don’t mind switching positions, I just want to play baseball,” Profar told MiLB.com last week. “As long as I’m in the lineup, I can play wherever.” READ MORE Astros’ truck embarks for Florida, spring camp – with chilly temperatures and a steady rain falling at Minute Maid Park on Monday morning, the 18-wheeler carrying everything imaginable that the Astros will need during their six-week stay in Spring Training was proof that warmer and sunnier days are ahead. In a telltale sign that baseball season is near, about a dozen Astros employees boxed up everything from waffle irons and golf clubs to dozens of boxes of baseballs and bubblegum in preparation for the 976-mile trek to the team’s facility at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla. “It’s not anything we haven’t done before,” said Astros equipment manager Carl Schneider, who’s been preparing for this day for months. READ MORE Enthusiastic fans turn out for Astros’ FanFest – Current, former players take part in festivities at charity event. for most Astros fans, this was their last chance to see their favorite players before they packed their bags to bask in the Florida sun for six weeks of Spring Training. Hundreds of Astros fans filled every nook and cranny of Minute Maid Park on Saturday to take part in the team’s annual FanFest, a charity event in which fans were admitted to the ballpark for free and took part in games, gathered autographs and participated in “Talkin’ Baseball” sessions with members of the front office and players. with the Astros celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, more than 20 former Astros players were also in attendance to mingle with fans and take a walk down memory lane. Nostalgia was the theme of the day. READ MORE
Peyton Manning Expresses Interest in Joining the Houston Texans – according to Houston news station KTRK (Channel 13) Peyton Manning has expressed interest in joining the Houston Texans. A source, who is close friends with the Manning family, said that Peyton is definitely interested in possibly coming to the Texans. as of next month he will be a free agent as the Indianapolis Colts plan to release him. Peyton wants to play on a team that has a chance to help him earn another Super Bowl ring and he feels as if the Texans fit that bill. READ MORE Houston Texans: Foster Goes First overall in 2012 NFL Fantasy Draft – with the 2011 season fading away into memory fans are beginning to gear for the 2012 NFL season and, for many of them, their fantasy seasons as well. Perhaps the greatest thing about fantasy football is that no matter who your favorite team is you are destined to cross over enemy lines to pick up a top player at any position. Heck, even I took Drew Brees over Matt Schaub last season (a cardinal sin I am sure) and he did well for me. However, there is one player on the Houston Texans roster who is always at the top of my, and many football fans’, list…Arian Foster. READ MORE Cowboys might place franchise tag on Anthony Spencer – the Dallas Cowboys might not be finished with free agent linebacker Anthony Spencer. Spencer is a candidate for the franchise tag, giving him a one-year deal of about $8.8 million, according to a team source. Free agency begins March 13. Spencer has largely been a disappointment since joining the Cowboys as a first-round pick in 2007. he has never had more than six sacks in a season and has yet to provide a consistent force opposite All-Pro DeMarcus Ware. he is solid against the run and was fourth on the Cowboys with 74 tackles in 2011. he led the team in forced fumbles with four and tied for the team lead in tackles for losses with eight. Spencer had 31 quarterback pressures, second behind Ware’s 40. what doesn’t translate are the six sacks to 19.5 for Ware. READ MORE The Dallas Cowboys and Randy Moss: A Match made Somewhere Not Called Heaven – One of the standard plot devices in horror movies, especially the slasher sub-genre, is the villain/monster/exaggerated parody bad guy who will not die. you know, you club him, stab him 50 or 60 times, set him on fire, pump a couple of dozen .45 rounds into his chest, and bury him, and there he is fifteen minutes later, popping up and killing another disposable cast member. you just cannot get this guy to go away. there are some ideas that are just like that. Someone will always drag the idea up and put it out there – again. Fans of the Dallas Cowboys have to deal with the same kinds of thoughts, ideas that should have long ago died a natural and merciful death, but that keep dragging themselves up and striking terror into the hearts of some of us. Like the idea floated in the Dallas Morning News (as it has been so often before in a variety of places) that someone involved with the Cowboys may be interested in signing Randy Moss. READ MORE
Stars at Red Wings, 6:30 p.m.: Valtteri Filppula has been a thorn in Stars’ side – Key matchup: Valtteri Filppula vs. Kari Lehtonen. Filppula has a goal and four assists in three games against the Stars this season, leading an offensive charge that has scored 13 goals against Dallas. Lehtonen is 3-4-0 in his career against the Red Wings with a 3.45 GAA and .904 save percentage. Key stat: 20. the Red Wings have won 20 straight games at home, tying an NHL record. they can break that record with a win Tuesday. Detroit has outscored the opposition 84-30 in the stretch and has three shootout wins and one overtime win. READ MORE Texas Stars report - the past week: the Texas Stars went 1-2-1-0 over the past week. they currently rank 15th in the AHL’s Western Conference and are nine points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. the Stars lost 4-3 in overtime to Milwaukee at Cedar Park Center on Tuesday. Colton Sceviour scored two goals and Travis Morin also scored. Tyler Beskorowany stopped 17 of 21 shots. On Wednesday, the Stars defeated Milwaukee 6-3 in Cedar Park. Ryan Garbutt led the Texas offense with three goals. Scott Glennie had one goal and two assists and Sceviour had one goal and one assist. Matt Fraser scored a goal as well. Andrew Raycroft had 21 saves. READ MORE —Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story
With the 2012 NFL Combine right around the corner, prospects are preparing themselves for what is essentially the biggest job interview of their life.
Starting Wednesday, Feb 22, potential draftees will have six days to wow their prospective employers. Executives from every team in the league will be in attendance, so players can boost or cripple their draft stock with their combine performance.
Since it’s no fun to dwell on the negative, I’ll highlight some players who will climb up draft boards with strong showings at the combine.
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
I was lucky enough to watch in person as Johnson destroyed wide receivers the past few years at the University of Montana.
At 6’2″, 205 pounds, he’s an elite physical specimen. he uses his strong frame, blazing speed, excellent timing and exceptional ball skills to overwhelm opposing receivers.
He should blow scouts away at the combine from an athletic standpoint. He’s simply massive for a cornerback, and I’m expecting him to put up insane numbers in the broad and vertical jumps.
He’s probably a mid-to-late second-round pick right now because there are some questions surrounding his dedication to the game and his willingness to put team success ahead of himself. However, if he impresses in the interview process, I wouldn’t be shocked if he climbs into first-round territory.
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Wright has skyrocketed up draft boards the past few months, as Robert Griffin III drew the eyes of the nation to Baylor football.
Wright lacks ideal size (5’10″, 190 pounds), but he’s insanely fast and elusive. He’s been clocked at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is the fastest time from the top-notch receivers in this class.
He’s also got ridiculous overall athleticism. He’s a former member of the Baylor basketball squad, so you know he can jump.
He needs to polish his technique if he’s ever going to dominate in the NFL, but his athletic gifts will make him stand out at the combine.
I’m expecting Wright to be drafted in the 15-20 range of the first round.
Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
Like Wright, Green is a little undersized for his position, but he makes up for it with his ridiculous athleticism.
In today’s NFL, athletic tight ends who can cause mismatches are a hot commodity. Green fits that mold perfectly, as he can blow past linebackers and outmuscle safeties. He’ll be a dangerous weapon at the next level as long as he adds a little bulk and maintains his speed.
As of now, I’m projecting Green to be drafted late in the third round. With a strong showing at the combine, he could move into the late-second, early-third range.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – it is difficult to make any major declarations following one round of golf by one elite professional golfer. Difficult and ambitious and often problematic. each individual round can offer signs of optimism and pessimism; it can provide a brief window into what the short-term future may hold for that player.
Such hopefulness doesn’t necessarily stem from the 11 of 14 fairways he found at Spyglass Hill – and one of those three that he missed was only six inches from the short stuff.
It doesn’t come from the 14 of 18 greens in regulation that he hit, executing near-perfect distance control for the first nine holes before a few loose swings got the best of him on the back.
It doesn’t even originate from the 4-under 68 score that he posted on Thursday, which left him five shots off the overall tournament lead, but gave him the fourth-best score on the traditionally toughest track in the event’s three-course rotation.
No, the biggest reason for optimism occurred after the round, when Woods explained that his solid, steady round left him feeling … frustrated.
If you’re flummoxed as to why feeling frustrated should be cause for optimism from Woods, you clearly haven’t been paying attention during the first 17 years of his professional career.
He has always been a classic example of contradiction. When he plays poorly, Woods excuses himself with tales of bad breaks and putts that just somehow didn’t seem to drop. When he plays well, though, he often explains that he “left a few out there” and displays irritation for not posting a lower score.
The latter was the case after his first round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event this season – and it should be seen as a positive sign.
“I thought I could have it lower than I did,” said Woods, who carded six birdies against just two bogeys for the round. “I’m not too far away from posting a good number out there.”
Like many great athletes, Woods has often maintained that he’s never satisfied with his performance, continually and eternally searching for ways to improve his body of work. while his dinner may taste a little better after a round that qualified as his second-best ever in seven competitive trips to Spyglass, any gratification shouldn’t be mistaken for satisfaction.
In fact, listen to Woods’ words following the round and you’d expect a much larger number on the scorecard – that is, if you weren’t aware of his career-long insistence to always sweat the small stuff.
“My irons were not very good at all. I didn’t control my distances very good. My shapes were not very good,” he explained. “I had a few putts that obviously rolled over the edge, but also I didn’t give myself enough looks when I had wedges in my hand. I’ve got to do a better job of that. When you have wedges in your hand, you’ve got to hit inside of 10 feet.”
He continued, sounding like a guy who was dead last through the first round, not one who was knocking on the door to the first page of the leaderboard.
“It’s frustrating that I had wedges and I didn’t capitalize on it,” he said. “you look at the board and you have [three] guys at 9 [under par]. … They’re tearing the golf course apart. So this is the harder of the three [courses], so hopefully I can get it going in the next couple of days.”
If it sounds a bit quixotic for a player to bemoan his play, yet claim that he should have scored better, there’s company in his misery.
Playing partner Arjun Atwal, a friend of Tiger who has probably played as many casual rounds with him over the past few years than anybody else on Tour, viewed his performance in much the same regard.
“He was solid,” Atwal said. “That’s the highest he could have shot, I think. Drove it great, hit his irons good and he’s actually rolling it pretty good – they just didn’t go in.”
Tally up the post-round comments and you’ll find a player in Woods who was frustrated by his performance yet optimistic with his game. Considering he posted a 68 in the opening round and was displeased, that thought process could serve as a dangerous proposition for the remainder of the field this week.
Golf no longer has a set offseason
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — The start of a new season doesn’t feel much different from the old one.
Nine players — that’s one-third of the 27-man field at Kapalua — were together only a month ago at the Chevron World Challenge. a week later, eight players were in Florida for the Shark Shootout. They went home for the holidays, then packed their clubs and flew across the Pacific Ocean for the Tournament of Champions for the 2012 season.
The offseason in golf isn’t what it used to be.
When this winners-only tournament first came to Kapalua in 1999, the landscape in golf was different. The Tour Championship ended the first week in November, and the majority of players disappeared until the start of the new year. The elite would only play in the silly season at events like the Skins Game or the Shark Shootout. some chased appearance money in Asia.
David Toms was supposed to be at the Chevron World Challenge last month, part of an 18-man field playing for $5 million. He withdrew at the last minute, saying he was tired and wanted some time with his family.
“I needed a break,” Toms said. “If I would have played there, I’d have had only three weeks, and some of that was spent on holidays.”
Nowadays, the offseason is whenever a player feels he can take time off.
Padraig Harrington has never been to Hawaii for the Tournament of Champions. He takes this time of the year to refresh and recharge in Ireland. Rory McIlroy is doing the same thing. Luke Donald, the no. 1 player in the world, didn’t start his 2011 season until the third week in February at Riviera. Graeme McDowell tried to take a four-week break in February.
Toms showed that players can make their offseason as long as they want it to be. even so, he worries that such time is getting harder to find in a global game that relies so heavily on the world ranking.
“For guys that want to get in big tournaments, if they stop at Disney or even before that, they can lose so many spots,” he said. “I’ve taken off three months and lost 20 spots in the ranking. and you’ve got big tournaments early in the season when you need it. So you’re kind of forced to play.”
When he tied for third in the McGladrey Classic, his final tournament in 2010, Toms was no. 62 in the world. He took off three months, returning at the Bob Hope Classic, and had slipped all the way to no. 84. He did not get in the Match Play Championship or the Cadillac Championship that year, missing two playing opportunities in World Golf Championships.
This year was a little different.
Toms chose to miss the biggest college football game of the year — Alabama against his beloved LSU Tigers — and flew halfway around the world to China for the HSBC Champions. He also played the Australian Open in the week before the Presidents Cup in Australia.
“I went to China trying to improve that ranking; I would never have gone over there,” he said. “I played in the Australian Open because there were world ranking points there. That’s stuff that I would never do. So what’s going to happen now is I’ll play some, and then I’ll need some time off during our season instead of taking time off the other way.
“So you have options, but you don’t,” he said. “If you want to maintain a certain status, or a certain level, you’ve got to play.”
At some point, though, Toms needs a break.
So do the others.
Steve Stricker won the Match Play Championship at the start of the 2001 season and took nearly two months off toward the end of the season, even to the point of risking his spot in the Tour Championship for the top 30 on the money list. He narrowly made it. Walking on the practice range one day at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Tiger Woods saw him and said, “Welcome back out of retirement.”
It’s not much different now. Stricker took off nearly two months before the Presidents Cup. Part of that was to rest a weakened left arm, though he had planned only one tournament between the Tour Championship and Presidents Cup even if he had been healthy.
“It’s tough to find the time,” Stricker said. “You can play all year long, but I think you’ve still got to find the time. You’ve got to still get away, find the time where you can set the clubs down for a little while and get refreshed and ready to go for another year. because it’s a long year, and there’s so many big things at the end of it all that you want to make sure you’re fresh and still able to play at the end.”
Stricker is taking four weeks off when he finishes next week in the Sony Open. He’ll return at Riviera.
As much grumbling as there is about the weak field at Kapalua, it’s a product of where players live, how they build a worldwide schedule and when they can find time to take a break.
Donald played three times in December. McIlroy played five times over the last two months. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is the defending champion next week in the Joburg Open in his native South Africa.
This is all new for Keegan Bradley, a rookie who figured his season would end quietly sometime in September. That was before he won the PGA Championship. Before long, he was off to Bermuda for the Grand Slam of Golf, then to China for the HSBC Champions, and the Chevron and Shark Shootout.
But he’s not complaining. Plus, he’s young.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Bradley said. “It was fun. but you could play more in the offseason than you do in the regular season if you wanted to.”
So it’s the start of the new year for some, and it feels like a continuation of the old year for others. all of them will take a break at some point, and when they do, there will be tournaments that wished they were playing.
Then again, golfers have no guaranteed income from tournaments. They are self-employed, independent contractors.
That much hasn’t changed.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. all rights reserved.
The Denver Broncos’ dramatic 29-23 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers was not proof that quarterback Tim Tebow is the next John Elway. Rather, it was proof that he might never need to be.
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For as long as pro scouts have analyzed Tebow, they have made that comparison – they have put him up against proverbial the bedroom door of quarterback legend and measured him next to the marks left by Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers.
That measuring stick makes sense, after all. The National Football League is in its Golden Age of the Quarterback. An elite passer is the one indispensable integer in pro football’s current winning formula. And by that measure, Tebow is a kindergarten quarterback.
His mechanics are a mess. his accuracy is more shotgun than sniper. his passes often wobble like wounded clay pigeons.
But on Sunday, Tebow took the first real steps toward telling the football world that there might be another measuring stick. One that applies only to him.
The Broncos pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend for many reasons. But foremost among them was that Tebow was at least an average passer. Some of his throws were arcing darts of genuine skill. Some failed to find the intended area code.
But, on balance, he made the important throws that the defense gave him. if he can find a way to do that more consistently, he could become a revolution of one.
The fact is, Tebow presents challenges to a defense that no other quarterback in pro football can. Essentially, he is a running back who can throw.
This is different from, say, Michael Vick, who has enormous skill running the ball, but whose build is too slight to take routine battering from linebackers who see him as a green-clad bulls-eye. The threat Vick presents to defenses is that he can turn a failed pass into a big gain.
Tebow, by contrast, is a threat to run the ball on any given down – not from a broken play, but because he is an excellent runner who can dish out as much punishment as he takes. There are, quite simply, no other quarterbacks who can do this.
That means defenses need to account for it. The quarterback is no longer a passive target playing hot potato with the football. he is a weapon in himself that needs to be accounted for, and often tackled.
That threat turned the Broncos into the best rushers of the ball in the league this season – with nearly 10 yards more per game than the no. 2 team.
Defenses must respect that – and they have by basically daring Tebow to throw the ball. The tactic has worked mostly because Tebow has so far shown himself incapable of consistently finding and hitting open receivers with passes.
Actually, Tebow completed only 10 passes – less than 50 percent of those he attempted. by way of comparison, Brees completed 33 Saturday – 77 percent of those he attempted. But because the Steelers were programmed to stop the run, those 10 completed passes were nuclear in their impact.
The most obvious example was the game-winning pass in overtime. Tebow burned the Steelers defense with a 15-yard pass that receiver Demaryius Thomas ran another 65 yards for a touchdown. Thomas could run all day because all the Steelers were behind him, waiting for a running play.
One commentator said it was a pass that a high school quarterback could have made. But that is the world Tebow has made for himself. if he can make high-school passes, he can make it in the NFL.
That fact highlights Tebow uniqueness.
For most young quarterbacks, the problems to overcome when they arrive in the NFL are grasping the pro game’s complicated schemes and defenses’ tremendous speed. For Tebow, still in his first year as a starter and second year out of college, the challenge is completely different.
Learn how to pass the ball – to be even an average NFL passer – and he could be an extraordinary asterisk in the Golden Age of the Quarterback.
If you’ve read any of my past reviews on fairway woods you know how important they are to me. I am a firm believer that a good trusty 3 wood that gets the job done on multiple fronts is one of the most valuable clubs in my golf bag. the 3 wood is a game changer in many ways, if you think about it you can turn to it to do more than just bang 2nd shots on par 5s in an attempt to get an eagle putt. a good 3 wood should be versatile, it should be powerful and it should be forgiving. That’s a tall task for any one club, but if it’s going to find a spot in my bag then it simply has to be all 3 of those and more. Nike Golf sent over one of their new VR Pro Limited (LE) Edition 3 woods for a full review.
From Nike Golf:
Attack from anywhere:Designed with our Tour players to provide top-level performance on every shot in the arsenal. from shot-shaping distance, green-seeking accuracy or consistent reliability, these are go-to clubs from the tee and the green.
Demand performanceDesigned and played by the game’s elite, with technology that’s up to the task, these 3 and 5 woods combine distance, workability and consistency.
New MRC Diamana ‘ahinaIncorporates Mitsubishi Ryon’s signature multi-dimensional interlay technology (M.D.I.) to deliver a stiffer mid and tip section than its predecessor.
If Nike Golf has figured anything out since they got into the golf equipment industry several years ago it is how to make a gorgeous looking club. sure not everything they have put out has been quite this nice, but overall they are definitely one of the nicer looking clubs on the market. the VR Pro Ltd. Edition 3 wood is no different. the head is pear shaped that is black in color with no alignment markings or any graphics at all that you see from address. just a nice clean club. Flipping it up and looking at the sole you see the very prominent compression channel with shiny chrome and some red accents in various areas. the big VR and Nike swoosh really complete what is a great looking club.
One more thing that I would like to tie into the looks of the club is this great head cover that Nike has decided to go with. Nike opted for one of the old school looking socks with a big and full pom pom in red and black and the sock itself is red, white and black. It looks really cool, and unlike some of the other old school sock covers of the sort, this one fits on the club nice and tight for an overall great head cover.
I used the Nike VR Pro Ltd. Edition 3 wood for several range sessions and rounds of golf up to the very last day of our 2011 golf season in the Midwest. the day I took it out was pretty chilly and quite windy; a very typical late fall day indeed. Warming up on the range I grabbed this 3 wood and right back into that stiff breeze I started launching balls. I was immediately happy with the ball flight, very tight dispersion with a nice mid and boring trajectory. It only took me a couple seconds to determine that this 3 wood was not like every other 3 wood I have hit this year. First of all, before I go too far into the reasons why, let me point out perhaps one of the bigger differences I noticed right away. the depth of the face is definitely deeper than many of the 3 woods out there as it seems like everyone these days is putting out a shallow face fairway wood that is larger front to back. the VR Pro LE is a little deeper and it doesn’t feel quite as big as those 3 woods because from front to back the club just feels more compact.
I know what a lot of people are saying right now, “Oh no, a deep face fairway wood, I’ll never get it up in the air off the deck.” Not the case at all in fact. I started out hitting balls off the deck the very first time I hit balls with this and I had zero issues getting the ball in the air right off the turf. Something else about this club that is different than many these days is that the face angle is +2 degrees open. I haven’t always done real great with “Tour” drivers that come one or more degrees open but I really didn’t have any negative impact on the direction of my ball. In fact I was quite impressed with just how easy it was to hit this club straight.
While I had no issues getting the ball airborne of the turf the area that the VR Pro LE 3 wood really excelled for me was off the tee. This thing reminded me of a little driver if you will, the setup off the tee was very confidence inspiring and I just knew I was going to hammer the ball straight to where I was aiming. Off the tee this 3 wood is without a doubt the longest 3 wood I have ever hit. the added distance of it changed how I play a couple of the holes around my home course that demand accuracy and distance control of the tee. I’m simply hitting the ball further than ever before with it so instead of having a hybrid or a 5 iron into the green I still can get down to the mid irons making scoring that much easier.
Forgiveness is decent, I think you could probably find a more forgiving 3 wood on the market but I will say that finding the center of this club face where all the power is at is a very easy task. as I mentioned earlier, the club head seems like it’s a bit on the small side but actually comes in at 157CC which is right in line with other 3 woods on the market. While missing the sweet spot will cost you a little bit of distance and accuracy the whole point of the Nike Variable Compression Channel Technology is to deliver speed and forgiveness at more spots on the club face and I think it does just that quite well.
The shaft that comes standard is the Mitsubishi Diamana ‘ahina. the model I tested had a stiff flex shaft that weighs 72.5 grams. I really liked the overall weight and feeling of balance this setup offers. the shaft felt plenty stout for me when I really wanted to go after shots and I found it delivers a nice consistent mid ball flight. Shot dispersion was amazingly tight for me, something that I’ve been known to struggle with from time to time.
I think finding the right 3 wood can be a stepping stone for my golf game. having a 3 wood that I can trust to use for a wide variety of shots to help me either stay out of trouble on tight holes or attack the green on those par 5s is an element that I haven’t always had. This club definitely gives me the ability to take my game to a new level. For many people their “go-to” club would be a putter or maybe a wedge, but a trusty 3 wood that performs every time I call on it is every bit as vital for me and my game. This club offers distance, it’s easy to hit from multiple lies and it has just enough forgiveness when you need it. Every time I had this club in my hand I knew I was going to hit it good, and that kind of confidence is not easy to come by, but when you find it you have to embrace it for as long as you can. I truly think this 3 wood is the ultimate game changer for me, if you’re in the market for a 3 wood do yourself a favor and demo this one. You’ll immediately love the look and be happy to find out that the performance more than matches that look.
Everyone has their own opinions about who’s the best in anything. Personally, I think these three are without a doubt, the best in the league. not only their stats, but also the way they manage the game, their decision making, and their leadership abilities. to me, quarterback is the single most important position in football, so to have one of the three best is definitely a huge help to your team. not to say that one person makes a team or wins football games, but looking at the team of one of these top 3 that is now missing him, might give some fuel to the opposite side of that argument.
Some may say I have a biased opinion here, which may be true. at any rate, I think he is an elite quarterback. he has quite possibly the prettiest deep ball in the game, he has EXCELLENT decision making on the field, in fact throwing zero interceptions through two games this season. This year he has the second highest QB rating at 126.4, and a very impressive completion percentage of 70.8%. Through only two games, he has 620 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. not having any real superstar receivers, aside from Greg Jennings, he still makes things happen. Don’t get my wrong, I think the Packers top 3 or 4 receivers are great, but none of them have reached superstar status yet. Rodgers spreads the ball around and wins football games. last year, his third season starting, he got himself a Super Bowl ring, he now has as many as Brett Favre
There seem to be a lot of people who really dislike Tom Brady. It seems most people either love him or they hate him, it doesn’t seem like there is much in between. whether you love him or you hate him, you can’t deny the numbers he puts up. incredible decision making, in my humble opinion the best 2-minute drill in football, he stays calm in the pocket, and doesn’t let himself get flustered when he makes mistakes. This season, he has been putting up very high numbers, in typical Tom Brady fashion. Best in the league QB rating of 128.0 and best in the league total passing yards with a total of 944, and a league high 10.68 yards per attempt. Brady is another QB who doesn’t really have a superstar receiver. Yes, he had Randy Moss, but not anymore. he gets it done with hard-working receivers, just like Aaron Rodgers.
I don’t think a discussion about great quarterbacks can be made without mentioning this name. the best QB currently playing, quite possibly the best ever. I have never seen a field general quite like this one. he virtually (probably literally) doesn’t need an offensive coordinator. he can read defensive schemes like no one else, calling his plays on the field and usually with outstanding results. he is an accurate passer with excellent decision making and an unmatched awareness of what is going on around him. the only drawback is it seems that once he throws an interception, he tends to get flustered and sometimes can’t recover from it. His neck injury this year and the resulting caliber of the Indianapolis Colts shows that one person CAN make a team. an overall passer rating of 94.9, 54,828 yards, with a 64.9% completion percentage in his career so far. until this year, Manning had not missed a start since 1998, 208 consecutive starts not only is he amazing, he is tough and resilient. he will go down as one of the greats of all time, if not THE best ever.