Off The Fringe, "Golf's Best Short Read", February 1, 2013
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, February 01, 2013, 04:20 PM EST
2013, Let the games continue January has come and gone...
Dec. 31-Jan. 7: Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Kapalua, Hawaii, and the winner was Dustin Johnson; he is currently #15 in the World Rankings.
Jan. 7-13: Sony Open, Honolulu, Hawaii, the winner was Russell Henley; he is currently #54 in the World Rankings.
Jan. 14-20: Humana Challenge, La Quinta, California, the winner was Brian Gay; he is currently #117 in the World Rankings.
Jan. 21-27: Farmers Insurance Open, San Diego, California, winner was Tiger Woods, he is currently #2 in the World Rankings.
Jan. 31-Feb. 3: Waste Management Phoenix Open, Scottsdale, Arixona, in progress.
Flirts with 59...
Phil Mickelson carded a brillant first round 60 at The Waste Management Open to take the fist day lead. His lip out put on 18 prevented him from the magical round of 59.
Macon, GA golfer off to a quick start...
Prior to his January debut and win at the Sony Open, Russell Henley had only two prior starts on the PGA TOUR, both as an amateur. He is the first player in a dozen years to win in his debut as a TOUR rookie. He finished with five straight birdies, only one of them inside 10 feet, for a 29 on the back nine and a - (63), the lowest finish by a Sony Open winner.
Bet a $1000 I know what you’re going to ask...
Tiger Woods captured win #75 on the PGA Tour last weekend when he won at Torrey Pines. He immediately got the question he got after each of his three victories last year. Are you back? “I never left,’’ Woods said smiling. Some feel Woods won’t ever be back until he again wins a major championship – and he’s now going on five years without a major. Woods (37) isn’t going to win like he did in 2000, when he was 24. And it’s a lot to ask him to win like he did in 2009, when he was 33 and won seven times worldwide. A win at Torrey Pines, however, is a nice start. And it will be fascinating to watch him in the major championships in 2013.
The 2016 Olympics are causing No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy plenty of angst. His dilemma, does he play for Ireland or the United Kingdom.
McIlroy is from Northern Ireland – one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom. In the Olympics, the U.K. fields one combined team.
But in some sports, such as World Cup golf and amateur golf, Northern Ireland and Ireland compete as one nation. And therein lays the rub. When it comes to the Olympics, he can choose to play for either squad. No matter which country’s team he chooses, he potentially alienates millions who are rooting for the country he decides not to represent. There is a third and not so obvious choice that he is considering…don’t play at all.
Speaking of Golf at the Olympics...
Golf was one of the events in the 1904 Olympics. I should know, the tournaments played out on my fairways. Can you name me? To narrow your guess by at least 50% of the possibilities, I will give you a big hint. I am the oldest 18 hole golf course west of the Mississippi. To see the answer and a description of the course, just click here.
Keeping score, World Golf Rankings
Week beginning Jan 27, 2013
# 1 Rory McIlroy, N. Ireland
# 2 Tiger Woods, USA
# 3 Luke Donald, England
# 4 Justin Rose, England
# 5 Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa
# 6 Adam Scott, Australia
# 7 Brandt Snedeker, USA
# 8 Lee Westwood, England
# 9 Bubba Watson, USA
# 10 Jason Dufner, USA
Is it real or is it Memorex?
There’s a recently released great, Super Bowl ad type great, Nike Golf commercial featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy? Well, they didn’t film it together. This is no big deal in the age of creative imagery, but interesting nonetheless. ESPN.com reported that due to scheduling issues, McIlroy and Woods could not be present on the same day to shoot the commercial at the Southern California location. The ad has them hitting balls on a driving range while taking good-natured shots at each other.
McIlroy, 23, calls Woods an “old man’’ for example, while Woods, 37, makes fun of McIlroy’s hair. Woods has been endorsing Nike products since he turned pro in 1996. McIlroy’s part was done first, with Woods following a few days later, reacting to an actor who attempted to follow McIlroy’s script. Both players spent several hours on their respective days, with the final product being unveiled for the first time when McIlroy was officially announced as a company spokesman. The commercial was shot in October, prior to McIlroy leaving for China to play in the BMW Masters in Shanghai, where he first addressed rumors that he would be leaving Titleist for Nike at the end of 2012 when his contract expired. There, he tried to downplay the talk that had been simmering for several weeks.