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  1. Tiger dumps Stevie by Derek on July 20, 2011 Tiger announced on his website today that he was ending his working relationship with his caddie of 12 years, Steve Williams. I can't say that nobody had speculated this might happen after Stevie started looping for Adam Scott while Tiger rehabs his knee, but it's still quite a surprising development in the Tiger Woods saga. It certainly caught Stevie by surprise: Looks like the big winner in all of this is Adam Scott, who is getting a full-time caddy with a ton of experience at winning majors. Could this move by Tiger be what helps propel Scott towards his first major victory? [image Flicker/Keith Allison]
  2. It was apparently a pretty small fracture. I suspect that he's not even on crutches. If it was a clean break, I'm sure that it would take quite a bit longer to heal.
  3. Levet tweeted this morning that he will be out for the next 4-6 weeks, missing the British Open. No, it's not tradition to jump into the lake after winning the French Open. Levet was just caught up in the moment after becoming the 3rd Frenchman to win their national championship in the past 3 decades.
  4. http://72strokes.com/2011/07/garriguss-reveals-drug-use-in-golf-digest-interview/ Garrigus's reveals drug use in Golf Digest by Derek on July 4, 2011 If you haven't had a chance yet to head over and read Robert Garrigus's interview in the latest Golf Digest, I highly recommend it. Not only is it an interesting look at a player that doesn't exactly fit the mold on the PGA Tour, it contains some very controversial revelations about drug use on tour. I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of Mr. Bassaholic, but I do admire his willingness to call it how he sees it. He's never been shy about discussing his past drug and alcohol issues, but even so, his claim that he and other players used drugs during Nationwide tour events is pretty surprising. I don't doubt the veracity of Garrigus's claims. They're somewhat controversial however given the clean cut image that the PGA Tour tries to project. I'm honestly a bit surprised that Garrigus was willing to go on the record with that statement. But it does seem foolish to pretend that drug and alcohol abuse aren't happening on tour. Statistically speaking, it's almost guaranteed that there are functional alcoholics and drug users teeing it up each week. It's also true that the PGA Tour instituted drug testing in 2008, but there are a number of questions about the effectiveness of the testing. And honestly given that the Tour is owned by the players, I personally doubt we'd ever hear about a positive test for an illicit drug unless there was a significant suspension that went along with it. This section in the policy seems to open the window for positive narcotics tests to be handled “in house”. I don't necessarily think that's a bad policy. Some discretion is probably a good thing and the PGA Tour prefers to handle things in house. But at the same time a lack of transparency can give life to unfounded speculation. Are PGA and Nationwide Tour players today getting high inside the ropes? Probably not. But According to Garrigus, it was happening not too many years ago. So then again…
  5. http://72strokes.com/2011/06/what-a-story-the-winner-is-rory/ What a story! The winner is Rory! by Derek on June 19, 2011 Alright, I'm a believer. After the Masters, I wasn't sure if McIlroy was the real deal or not. I don't think anybody has any doubts about that after witnessing one of the most dominant performances in US Open history. No I don't think it's a better performance than Tiger in 2000, but it's damn close. Here's the thing about Rory. By all accounts, he's a very friendly, engaging, and humble young man. He doesn't take issue with being asked tough questions by reporters and didn't run off and hide after a disastrous Sunday in April at the Masters. Over the last 4 days, McIlroy was elevated himself to the pinnacle of the game. But he's not the only player that made a statement this weekend. Jason Day again finished in 2nd place. Day has played in 4 majors now and finished T10 or better in 3 of them with 2 consecutive 2nd place finishes. It seems like just a matter of time before he's bringing home a trophy. There's also been a lot of discussion around the long-term prospects (in the majors) of recent major champions such as Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, YE Yang, and Charl Schwartzel. I think we got an answer when all of them finished T14 or better. These guys are the real deal and are here to stay. But above all, this is the most fun I've had watching golf in a long time. It's entertaining to watch golf being played to it's fullest potential and that's something that we hadn't seen since Tiger's fall from grace in 2009. I for one hope we see more performances like this from Rory in the future because it's good for the game and it's just plain fun to watch. I also hope that Tiger is able to return in full health because I can't think of many things I'd rather see than Tiger and Rory battling it out in the final pairing of a major championship. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR8-guYFnS0&feature=player_embedded
  6. http://72strokes.com/2011/06/apparently-playing-golf-on-the-pga-tour-is-pretty-hard-who-knew/ Apparently playing golf on the PGA Tour is pretty hard. Who knew? Kip Henley spends a lot of time inside the ropes at PGA Tour events, but usually he's caddying for Brian Gay. However earlier this year Henley won the Tennesee PGA Section Championship, which qualified him for a spot in the field this week at the St. Jude Classic. Henley decided to accept the spot in the field and test his game against the best in the world. He shot 78-82 to miss the cut by… well a lot. Richard S. Johnson tweeted a photo of the note that Henley left in the locker room. While Henley obviously wasn't thrilled with his performance, it was certainly a very respectable showing for somebody that doesn't play this game for a living and has a full time job. The other interesting piece of news was who Henley had caddying for him. No, he and Brian Gay didn't switch jobs for the week. Henley had his daughter Stormi, of American Idol and Miss Teen USA fame, on his bag. This might not have been the best idea, because it certainly had to be distracting to continuously chase the players/caddies away from his daughter with a 9-iron.
  7. http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golftalkcentral/woods-gave-stevie-the-go-ahead-to-caddie-for-scott/?cid=facebook_gc_TIGEROKSTEVE_061111
  8. http://72strokes.com/2011/05/is-tiger-hostile-to-the-media-or-vice-versa/ Is Tiger hostile to the media or vice versa? by Derek on May 24, 2011 You may have heard that Tiger held a press conference today for his upcoming AT&T National golf tournament. It was Tiger's first appearance since his WD from the Players Championship after 9 holes and naturally, people were interested to hear if he was planning on playing at Congressional next month (shocker alert: He is). However the press conference took an interesting turn before it even started when Tiger posted the tweet above to his Twitter account. And then right before the start of the press conference, Tiger posted this: Honestly, I thought it was pretty funny. It seems like the kind of thing that you'd joke about posting with your buddies if you were in Tiger's position. Yes, it put the reporters in a bind, but everybody knew the questions about this leg were going to be asked, and of course reporters didn't disappoint. Tiger later tweeted that he would be making the $1m donation anyways, which he was no doubt planning to do all along. It probably wasn't the most well thought out Twitter post (not that Twitter has a reputation otherwise), but to hear some in the media talk about it, you'd think he just killed a kitten and blamed it on the Dalai Lama. Some reporters complains that Tiger doesn't give straightforward answers, he's too private, he doesn't like them etc. Let's not pretend it's all roses coming from the media either. Here are a few quotes from Geoff Shackelford's write up of the incident: And Shackelford rants about Tiger's hostility towards the media? That's a two way street buddy. Honestly, I used to be a big Tiger fan. I'm not anymore, so don't make me out to be some kind of Tiger apologist. It's just that I don't get where this anger towards Tiger comes from. I can understand it from fans who feel betrayed by his actions. But I don't understand it coming from some in the media, who in theory are supposed to be unbiased. Tiger doesn't owe the media anything, so I don't understand why people get so upset that he knows how to play the interview game just as well as any politician. At the end of the day, it's a job – it's not personal.
  9. http://72strokes.com/2011/05/tiger-wds-from-the-players-championship/ Tiger WD's from the Players Championship by Derek on May 12, 2011 After shooting a 42 on the front nine, Tiger Woods withdrew from the Players Championship this morning, citing pain in his left leg. “The knee acted up and then the Achilles followed after that, and then the calf started cramping up,” said Woods, who triple-bogeyed the par-4 fourth hole and made three bogeys and no birdies. “Everything started getting tight, so it's just a whole chain reaction. He's had 4 surgeries on his left knee and did not start at Quail Hollow last week due to lingering pain in his knee from the Masters. This withdrawal certainly raises the question of whether or not Tiger will be 100% at next month's US Open. And even if he is physically healthy, will he have had enough playing reps to be competitive? Golf.com
  10. Allegedly the issue was slow play. O'Hair is a slow player. Supposedly Sabbatini asked O'Hair if he thought slow play was a problem. O'Hair said that he though Sabbatini was the problem and that being paired with him was the equivalent of a 2 shot penalty to his playing partners. Apparently Sabbatini didn't react well to that. If it's true, it sounds like Sabbatini was frustrated with the slow pace of play and O'Hair was frustrated with his game as of late and things just got out of hand.
  11. http://72strokes.com/2011/05/whos-the-best-putter-on-the-pga-tour/ Who's the best putter on the PGA Tour? by Derek on May 4, 2011 The best putter on Tour is John Merrick. No you haven't seen his name on top of many leaderboards and he only has one top 25 finish this year. In fact, his best ever finish was a 2nd place in 2009. But he's the best putter so far this year on Tour. You might say “He's only 57th in putts per round.” True, but he's leading the PGA Tour's new putting statistic, “Strokes Gained – Putting“. Strokes Gained – Putting was introduced on Monday and finally provides an objective way to look at putting effectiveness. The problems with the traditional putts per round statistic is that if a player misses a lot of greens and chips it close, he won't have many putts and he'll rank extremely high in total putts per round. Likewise, if he's a great ball-striker and get lots of short looks at birdie, he”ll similarly have few putts per round. In both cases, he'll rank high in putting, but it doesn't actually say tell us if he's a good putter, just that he hits the ball close to the cup. SGP finally gives us an objective way to look at putting performance. The Tour uses Shotlink data to determine how many strokes on average it should take to putt the ball in the hole from any distance on the green. For example, it should take a PGA Tour player 1.5 putts on average to hole out from 7 feet, 10 inches. So if a player only needs one putt from that distance, he gains .5 strokes. And if he 2-putts, he loses .5 strokes. Merrick is averaging 1.046 SGP. He's closely followed by Greg Chalmers, Brandt Snedeker, Steve Stricker, and Lucas Glover. It's a great new statistic because we finally get a look at true performance on the greens. Slate had a great series last year that touched on the concept of SGP , and how it can be applied to virtually any shot on the golf course. With the database of shots that the Tour has with Shotlink, it would be great to see the SGP statistic expanded out to every shot on the golf course. I suspect that the Tour decided to name the statistic Strokes Gained – Putting, implies that they could do the same thing with fairway or virtually any other part of the course. The PGA Tour has compiled SGR data retroactively to 2004. You can view the comparison of various putting statistic leaders versus SGR over the past 7 years here. It's interesting because it shows that while sometimes the traditional statistics do match up to SGR, there are often some significant differences as well. PGA Tour
  12. http://72strokes.com/2011/04/did-adam-scott-make-long-putters-cool/ Did Adam Scott make long putters cool? by Derek OK, maybe long putters aren't cool, but it does seem that Adam Scott has at least made long putters an acceptable option for players that previously wouldn't consider one. Lee Westwood put one in play at the Masters. Ernie Els is reportedly thinking about bagging one this week at the Verizon. Nathan Greene and Camilo Villegas are right there with him (even though Greene thinks they should be illegal). Bill Haas is also apparently considering making the switch after Brendan Steele used a belly putter to win the Valero last weekend. Tiger was even photographed practicing a long putter stroke during his golf tour of Asia last week. After all of his 3 putts on Sunday at the Masters, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he's at least been testing one. When asked about Scott's success at the Masters with a long putter, Anthony Kim quipped, “Obviously it's working for him. Maybe I should go try it.” In the past, putting a belly putter in your bag was a tacit admission that you had some serious putting problems and you were looking for something… anything to save your game. But now with players like Scott and Steele having success with long putters, players seem to be viewing it as another tool to play better… even if they hold their noses while using it. Personally, I've tried a both a belly putter and a long putter in the past and found that I putted worse with them. But I don't have a problem with people using them. Unless somebody in my foursome shows up with one and beats me. Then they should be illegal.
  13. Na managed to keep his tee shot in play today on the 9th. He hit it into the right hand rough, which I'm sure caused a momentary flashback as he saw the ball moving right. He made par, but his 77 didn't get him anywhere near making the cut.
  14. They've just released a brown saddle at $159. They will be offering the all-brown stealth model at $199 next month, as you mentioned. I'm with TW, you're the first person I've ever heard of mentioning that their lie angles changed due to the shoes. I don't doubt you, but I think you're probably outside the norm here. I'm not exactly a hack (I don't maintain a handicap but I can break par) and have not had any problem with the lie angles moving from a pair of Adipures. They're definitely low to the ground, but I can't see them being that much lower. I'm traveling in Texas this week and next, but I'm going to take some measurements when I get back home. Maybe my swing just isn't that refined to notice? I also can't speak to how they perform on mats. I don't play golf on mats so I don't practice on them either.
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