Mar
29
2009

Even if you’re playing to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a major professional tournament, like Sean O’Hair was today, you have to concentrate on your own game. Without a doubt, all eyes were on Tiger Woods to stage the mind-blowing comeback that he did. O’Hair had all the odds stacked against him. And, it couldn’t have been easy playing with Tiger in the final round, but he maintained a professional attitude about the disappointing outcome.

During the press conference, O’Hair said, “It’s not like it’s The Tiger Show and I’m just out there to watch him. And I think that’s the one thing the media thinks about the guys out here, and it’s not about that. We’re trying to win golf tournaments, and he just happens to be that good. But just because he’s good doesn’t mean we’re out there watching him.  And then obviously on that putt I was expecting him to probably make it […] You know, I was out there trying to win a golf tournament out there, and I just think sometimes the media tries to make it, hey, we’re just out here and Tiger is just kind of doing his thing. I mean, we’re all, including Tiger, trying to win a golf tournament. And that’s it.”

Well said.

O’Hair lost this one, but it happens. In awe of Tiger’s dramatic victory, everyone seems to have disregarded that O’Hair has THREE top-5 finishes in 2009 already. I’d keep an eye out for O’Hair to win his third PGA tournament in the next few weeks; perhaps even as soon as the Masters.

Mar
29
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

This is a photo of Jason Gore and Sean O’Hair sharing a laugh during Day 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Contrary to what some may believe, you can have fun while playing a competitive round and still card a stellar score. I’d like to see more moments like this!

Golf requires focus while you’re about to hit the ball, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time and a bit of banter in between each shot. Otherwise, you’re in for a long, drawn-out 4 hours of 18 holes. But, that’s just my opinion.

Mar
29
2009

Yup, he did it again. Was anyone really that surprised? No way.

With Tiger Woods’ thrilling comeback win in the final holes of the 2009 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Golf’s One-Man Stimulus Plan: “Tiger” Asset Relief Program (TARP) is officially in play.  Because I (almost) always root for the underdog, I was pulling for Sean O’Hair (who went into the final round with a 5-stroke lead) to win the duel.  However, I was somewhat indifferent, knowing that either way, it would be an exciting outcome and great for the Tour.

I wrote this post back in February during Tiger’s much anticipated return to competition at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. If we thought that the PGA’s stimulus package had arrived then, imagine what Tiger’s win today means.

Thank you, Tiger.

Mar
28
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Round 3 of Arnold Palmer Invitational: This is when Jason Gore’s caddy tripped over the sprinkler. FAIL. Seconds later, Gore missed his par putt. It happens to the best of the best.

Mar
28
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Where did it go?!? Even the search party can’t find Tiger’s ball.

Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Golf fashion has gotten a bad rap for years.  During my competitive golf days, I couldn’t wait to ditch the bland polos and unflattering shorts/slacks after the round.  But, thanks to the new generation of young golfers, like Camilo Villegas, who have both game and style, clothing sponsors are designing more appealing gear.  It’s about time.

Villegas is setting a good precedent for golf fashion (albeit it’s a tad too European for most).  He never hesitates to drop into his trademark “Spidey” move on the putting green, where he kneels into a half-squat, half-pushup position to drop his eyes to almost green level.  And what about those biceps that just make women swoon (myself included)?

I’m satisfied with watching a beautiful swing, but sadly, it’s sometimes not enough for fairweather fans.  Point being, players like Villegas are attracting a wider fan base to the Tour.

Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

This is the BEST golf commercial I’ve ever seen; mostly because there’s a bit of truth behind it.  The locker room scene is a great depiction of the actual camaderie between the players.  Tip of the hat to Anthony Kim, Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink and of course, Tiger Woods.

And oh yeah, nice work, Nike!

Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

“Woods was in the water, in the trees and in a foul mood until he had eight consecutive one-putts — including four straight birdies — that put him in a good frame of mind with a 68 on a course where he has won five times as a pro.” [via]

Sounds like he’s baaaack.

Mar
26
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill commencing today, there’s been a lot of chatter about Arnold Palmer’s long-lasting footprint on golf and the Tour. Although Tiger Woods is already considered golf’s greatest player, Palmer is undoubtedly golf’s greatest icon and ambassador. PGATour.com posed an interesting question: Will Golf See Another Tiger Or Another Arnie?

Arguably, Tiger has done leaps and bounds to popularize golf for the masses. He’s exciting to watch and he revolutionized the conventional image of a professional golfer.  By that, I mean he is golf’s modern day celebrity. In fact, Tiger transcended merely being a professional golf superstar; he has become the world’s most famous athlete.

However, let us not forget, those who paved the way. Palmer has the unmatchable charisma to inspire fans, players and everyone around him. You can see it in his smile, his sparkling eyes, and when he tips his hat – he is passionate about the game like no other. He’s known to acknowledge the crowds of cheering fans – because he genuinely appreciates the support, but he also understands how important they are for the Tour.  And that is why Palmer will always be considered The King.

Tiger and Arnie clearly have a mutual respect for each other, but their personalities on the course could not be more contrasting.  Tiger generally puts on an exhilirating performance, whether it’s sinking a clutch putt on the 18th hole to win a tournament or winning the US Open on one leg.  His playing style and attitude on the course is intense. He is 110% focused on his game and the next shot. He is detached from what’s going on around him, but he will play to the crowd with his signature fist-pump. Otherwise, he’s all business. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that’s his style and golf is a game where intense concentration is imperative.  But, would it hurt if Tiger were a little less detached and aloof from the fans?

There’s a void that needs to be filled in respect to a superstar player who has both charm and fan attention. I would say guys like Anthony Kim, Stuart Appleby, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Rocco Mediate, Davis Love, Zach Johnson, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, Fred Funk, Rocco Mediate, Ernie Els, Sean O’Hair, Jason Gore, Mike Weir (and the list goes on) are some of the more likeable on Tour. However, these guys don’t have the brand name and celebrity status that Tiger does. Without a doubt, Tiger has achieved a ton for the greater good of the game, but think about what a friendlier, more affable persona could achieve. I’m not saying he should pretend to be someone he’s not, but there are some big shoes to fill for this current generation of Tour players. So, the question is who has both the starpower and the talent to fill them. It’d sure be nice if it were Tiger.

Mar
25
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Which outfit should Sergio Garcia wear for Round 2 of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May?

The PGA Tour is getting creative with their PR moves, and I, for one, am pumped about it!!!  Not only is Sergio the tourney’s defending champion, he’s known for his bold fashion statements. It’s a fitting choice.

The promotion is a fun way to engage golf fans from different walks of life. It also will draw attention to the PGA in other positive ways, including the actual tournament, Sergio as a personality, and the sponsors. I like it! Tip of the hat to all parties involved!

Oh, by the way, I’m voting for the outfit with the orange shirt and gray slacks (the one pictured in the center). Which one will you vote for?!?