Jan
27
2017
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

I didn’t want to say it before the first round finished. I didn’t want to get attacked and called a “Tiger hater,” even though that’s never a good reason not to write and/or publish anything — more accurate would be “feel like.” I wanted to give him a chance. Now, only ONE official round has been posted for Tiger Woods in 2017, so…wait for it, GIVE HIM A CHANCE. It’s early! It’s only been one round! Let the guy get his feet under him and some reps before we’re too quick to write him off.

For the love of God. I’m in my seventh year at this, and trust me, I’ve been there and I know how it feels to hope and want something (or someone) to go back to what it once was SO badly because that nostalgia and that AWESOMENESS that went along with it was SO FREAKING GREAT.

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Jan
26
2017
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

tiger woods

Big news on the Tiger Woods front this week: Well, first of all, he’s making his 42nd comeback to competitive golf at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he’s won eight times — seven of these PGA Tour titles and one U.S. Open (on a broken leg!). This event is much more significant than that little tournament in the Bahamas with 17 people in the field, where Woods placed 15th, last month.

It will mark Woods’ return to the PGA Tour in 17 months after enduring several back surgeries and procedures in 2015. He says he feels different, though, and he’s also thrown in some new clubs into the bag — since his sponsor Nike Golf announced last year that it will no longer manufacture golf clubs. 

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Jan
26
2017

Bernhard Langer

Despite winning the Electoral College vote to claim the highest office of the land as President of the United States, Donald Trump apparently still can’t get over the fact that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Hillary Clinton. It’s strange, considering the President and his supporters can’t seem to get enough of emphasizing that HE WON (even when it really shouldn’t be able winning vs. losing at this point when there are intelligence reports by multiple agencies asserting that it’s likely Russia interfered with our democratic process during the campaign).

In a meeting on Monday, Trump reasserted his debunked claim that he would have won the popular vote by 3-5 million had it not been for “illegals,” according to the New York Times. The President followed up on this affirmation via his favorite outlet Twitter, saying he was calling for a major investigation into voter fraud. (Which leaves many perplexed and wondering if that’s the best way to spend our tax dollars, especially since he, you know, won.)

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Jan
26
2017
By Stephanie Wei under European Tour

Because in the Middle East, the work week is from Sunday through Thursday, so it’s technically the start of the weekend here. After hours of reading every newspaper back in America, just thought it would nice to lighten the mood and try not to think about walls, alleged voter fraud, xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies, etc. Here’s just part of a conversation that I had with Robert Rock last week in Abu Dhabi, where he was explaining the new Green Books and eventually it led to a light-heated conversation about slow play and watching a golf telecast:

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Jan
22
2017

After Tommy Fleetwood rolled in a four-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th to get to 17-under for the tournament, he took a two-shot lead and essentially clinched the win. But he still had to wait for three more players to finish, as he was in the penultimate group in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that featured a star-studded field.

Only Pablo Larrazábal had a chance of catching Fleetwood to force a playoff, but he needed an eagle. Larrazábal missed the green short left and needed a small miracle to pitch in to match Fleetwood at 17-under. His attempt fell short, but even before that, it felt like the champion had been already crowned — which was when Fleetwood made his putt for birdie.

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Jan
21
2017
By Stephanie Wei under European Tour

Dustin Johnson finally found his rhythm on Saturday in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Perhaps he recovered from jet-lag — it’s a nine-hour time difference from the Florida. And I know personally that it’s rough (and my body doesn’t do well or adjust quickly), and when your body clock is out of whack, it then affects your timing, tempo, touch, so basically, everything. On Friday night, however, DJ slept well, which was reflected with his score.

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Jan
20
2017

European Tour awkward reporter

And we thought it couldn’t  be done — a truly, pee-in-your pants-laughing, hilarious golf…well, anything. In the history of the game. No joke. I can’t stop laughing and tears are streaming down my face! In a good way for a change this week! But I wasn’t expecting anything less. It’s quite a feat to create a video that crosses over to non-golf industry people — I’m fairly certain anyone, who doesn’t know or watch or like golf, will be LMAOLOLZ.

Wait, what am I talking about? Well, it’s the video we’ve all been waiting for…since the pro-am on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi Championship. At least those of us who saw and/or heard the anecdotes from just about every player, manager, media person, insider on the European Tour. 

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Jan
18
2017

When I met up with Robert Rock on Tuesday morning at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, he was finishing up a chat with a gentleman who had handed him a stack of papers, which turned out to be the new “Green Book.” Instead of a normal-sized yardage book that we’re accustomed to seeing the pros carry and tuck in their back pockets, Rock was holding some loose A4-sized papers (the UK’s standard letter size, like our version of 8×11) with map-like diagrams of greens.

I probably gave him a weird and confused look, like WTF is going on here? Or I made a snarky remark. Or both. But before I even had the chance to ask, he started to explain. I stopped him — “WAIT!”, and quickly unlocked my iPhone (which is naturally glued to my hand during a practice round day) and started rolling the video. “OK, go ahead.” Watch above… you golf geeks are going to love these, but there’s one obvious concern that you will likely identify, as well. 

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Jan
17
2017

After 18 hours of travel across the planet, I was pretty much giddy when the plane landed in Abu Dhabi. I had finally made it to the Middle East, a region of the world I had yet to visit, and as someone who enjoys exploring new places and cultures, I was beyond excited. Then, I turned on my phone and first thing I saw was an email announcing Rory McIlroy had withdrawn from this week’s tournament due to a rib injury — a stress fracture, to be exact. Which, to my understanding, is extremely frustrating because the only prescription at this point is straight-up rest for an average of 4-6 weeks.

Talk about a buzz kill. My reaction is summed up pretty well in the photo above. But hey, I wasn’t going to let that minor detail — like the main draw of the tournament, which boasts the best field on the European Tour all year, pulling out! After all, I’m in Abu Dhabi!

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Jan
9
2017

Justin Thomas won the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua at 22-under, beating Hideki Matsuyama by three shots. And JT doesn’t care that the trophy pictures are the most flattering in the world because he just won the first PGA Tour event of 2017, so there. I did chuckle when I came across his Instagram post with the above picture and the caption, “Too excited for the trophy to worry about my double chin #shaka.”

Since I am now just openly refusing to write game stories/summaries for the sake of doing so — with exceptions, like I walked the round in person or it’s Tiger or it’s something really freaking interesting and cool or it’s an epic final round at a major, etc. — I will quickly tell you all you need to know, but I’m sure you already know if you’re reading this.

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