Monthly Archives: February 2012

Feb
29
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Rory all grown-up

 

A year ago on Wednesday at the Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy was hanging out at the crowded I-Bar — in the lobby at PGA National Resort & Spa where he, along with most of the players, stay for the event. Wearing True Religion jeans and a T-shirt with a Miller Lite in his hand, he looked like an average 21-year-old, mingling and chatting with some friends. Fans periodically approached him for a picture or autograph. He happily obliged the request. It wasn’t a bother at all. You would never guess he was the No. 8 golfer in the world.

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Feb
29
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

After Tiger Woods played in the Honda Classic pro-am at PGA National, next stop on his schedule? His favorite of the week! — the pre-tourney presser.  And it was certainly the most awkward and eventful — by that, I mean, amazing, amusing, greatest, best, etc. — one in recent history (I’m told even better than at the Masters in 2010). The tone and atmosphere were a little tense from the get-go. Probably because T-Dubs was dreading the inevitable questions on his reaction to former swing instructor Hank Haney’s upcoming book “The Big Miss” and the excerpts published on GolfDigest.com on Tuesday.

Obviously, we didn’t waste any time!

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Feb
28
2012

Jack's the best

 

Somehow I’d managed to miss my previous opportunities to attend a press conference with Jack Nicklaus. I remember last year here (at the Honda Classic) I was super pumped for the chance and then super disappointed because I got caught up in casual chat an interview, forgot or something else stupid silly less important. Same thing at the Memorial. Well, not this time at PGA National! — and it was just as enjoyable and engaging (with comical moments).

After the official presser, which was streamed live online, Jack held court to a group of us that had gathered around to listen to his analysis and opinions — he was like Santa Claus or a grandpa with all the little kids entranced in him telling the great story ever — where he shared some of the more intriguing bits. His PR guy kept trying to break to end it (because it’s his job to be a pest and they had other commitments), but Jack ignored him or would make a comment (not meant to be amusing per se but caused bursts of laughter) that meant “whatever, I don’t care, I’m going to do what I feel like doing.” (something that you rarely see when it comes to dealing with us annoying, nosy media people).

Without further ado, here are the highlights, along with his comments that can’t be found in the transcript…Oh, if you’re not an ultra-golf geek and don’t care about super-golfy stuff, like bifurcation — I’m sure some of you guys are thinking, “What the hell does that even mean — then I’d scroll down until you see “BONUS” section.

You’re welcome.

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Feb
28
2012
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Tiger likes playing with big guns

Try to contain your excitement, but GolfDigest.com has released “Five Revelations in The Big Miss,” Hank Haney’s oh-so-totally-juicy tell all about the six years he spent working with Tiger Woods. According to Haney, Tiger seriously considered giving up golf to become a Navy SEAL.

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Feb
27
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Johnny Question Mark

Congrats to Q-school grad John Huh on capturing his first PGA Tour victory in his fifth career start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. The 21-year-old fired an impressive bogey-free 63 on Sunday to force a playoff against Robert Allenby (who doubled the 18th hole in regulation). Eight extra holes later, the rookie won with a par.

What a Huhnderella story! (*groan*) — be sure to check out Jill Painter’s article on John’s inspiring journey to the Tour.

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Feb
27
2012

Shuffling the list

About every 5-7 events, the PGA Tour does a “reshuffle” of the guys who earned their 2012 cards via the Nationwide Tour or Q-School in 2011. What the heck does that mean? I came across Scott Stallings’ blog post from a year ago and he does an excellent job breaking it down:

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Feb
27
2012

Frenemy handshake

First of all, apologies for the delay in posting yesterday’s results — I had a deadline for an SI story and then hopped on a flight to Palm Beach for the Florida Swing. Woot! More posts are on the way, but gotta hit up the range here at the Honda Classic, my favorite regular full-field tour stop.

Rory McIlroy may have lost in the finals to Hunter Mahan and delayed his ascendancy to No. 1 in the rankings, but he still felt atop of the world after winning his grudge match against Lee Westwood earlier on Sunday. The 22-year-old admitted that the semifinals felt like the finals for him. (No, he wasn’t trying to make excuses and it wasn’t sour grapes.)

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Feb
25
2012

Rory will battle frenemie (or maybe it's just enemy now?) Westwood

The match-up that we were all hoping for is no longer just a possibility — it is indeed happening. Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood both won their quarterfinal matches, beating Sang-Moon Bae and Martin Laird, respectively.

Why are we calling this a “grudge” match? I mean, aren’t Rory and Westy like besties?

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Feb
24
2012
By Conor Nagle under European PGA Tour

Au revoir, Tiger.

Of the 16-odd contests at Dove Mountain on Thursday (the extent to which Dustin Johnson’s 7&5 demolition of Francesco Molinari can be considered competitive is open to some debate), it was, predictably, that of Tiger Woods and Nick Watney that carried the bulk of press interest.

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