All posts in Players

From Red Sox Nation to Pinstripes? Phil Loses Bet…

On Thursday, Phil Mickelson was seen at Fenway Park taking batting practice before the Yankees-Red Sox game. He also threw out the first pitch.

Photo:Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Strange as that may seem to those who don’t know Phil’s interest in baseball, on on Friday, at the Deutsche Bank Championship that is taking place in Norton, Mass., Phil was seen wearing pinstripes.

Photo: Stew Milne/AP

He explained, “Lost a wager with a friend and had to wear these today.”

Yeah, a three-run rally in the seventh inning by the Yankees did Phil in.
The Sox lost 4-2.

Perhaps the pinstripes maneuver was merely a means for deflecting attention from the real news — Phil has a belly putter!

You’ve probably noticed that longer putters are getting more attention this year. This is perhaps a case where the rookie teaches his elder a trick or two. Phil has been a mentor to 25-year old Keegan Bradley who just so happens to be the first player to win a major (PGA Championship) with a belly putter.

After grilling Bradley during The Barclays tournament, Phil decided to order himself a similar one which he received on Monday.

And so it goes in the world of golf: Expect the unexpected.


What’s Rory Wearing?

Borrowing a page from the Nike/Tiger book, Oakley is promoting what Rory McIlroy’s wardrobe will be for the British Open taking place 14-17 July 2011. Today’s Golfer has the scoop:

McIlroy has chosen a striking blue as his outfit for the final day because he wants to stand out from the crowd and to disassociate himself from some other traditional final day colors such as red famously worn by Tiger Woods.

Read more about Rory and Oakley here.

Note: This image may be what he wore at the U.S. Open. Captioning is weird on the Today’s Golfer website.


What if Tiger Sat Out in 2008 Instead?

Sports columnist, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News raised an interesting point in a story appearing today — Did playing the U.S. Open in 2008 end up being “career limiting” as the saying goes?

We have all heard the story of how Tiger ignored doctor’s orders to play (and eventually win in a playoff). Purdy mentioned something he wrote down in his notebook after all was said and done in 2008:

After it was over, Woods basically came clean to reporters and said something that I think many people have forgotten, but I circled in my notebook as I wrote it down: His physicians had actually recommended that he not play at Torrey Pines. They feared long-term ramifications. Specifically, they had warned him that he might injure the knee worse by playing.

Two days later, he underwent reconstructive surgery for a torn ligament and double-stress fracture of the left knee.

And now, after four surgeries on that knee… You get the point.

He may have flown too close to the sun and is now paying the price.

Do you think playing in the 2008 U.S. Open was a career limiting move for Tiger?

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Tiger’s other surgeries:

1994 – Doctors removed a benign tumor from the left knee.
2002 – Arthroscopic surgery in the same knee.
2008 – More arthroscopic surgery to correct cartilage damage.

Stricker’s Hole-in-one at The Memorial

Titleist is quite proud of their Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker, who won last weekend at The Memorial Tournament. In the email blast the company sent it was a link to view his hole-in-one at Muirfield Village’s par-3 8th hole (his 17th hole of the day) during Round 2. It was named the No. 1 Top Play on “SportsCenter” on Friday. It was the Steve’s second-career PGA Tour ace.

The video, embedded below includes commentary from Jack Nicklaus. You can also watch Stricker fix his ball mark if you hang with it past the 2 minute mark. After the round, Steve signed the Pro V1x and gave it to his scorer for the round. Note: He had also birdied his final hole with the ball.

Nike Golf Staffer John Cook Secures Second Win on 2011 Champions Tour

John Cook Secures Second Win on 2011 Champions Tour

It’s been quite an amazing run for our friends at Nike Golf lately. First, Charl Schwartzel takes down The Masters title… then over this past weekend John Cook follows suit with his second title on the 2011 Champions Tour. Not too shabby!

With his win on the weekend, Cook has vaulted to second on the 2011 Champions Tour money list… but getting to the point of this post is the clubs Mr. Cook used to secure the victory.

Here’s a quick look into his bag:

  • Driver: Nike VR 8.5-degree
  • Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
  • Hybrids: Nike VR 18-degree
  • Wedges: Nike VR 53-degree and Nike VR 59-degree
  • Putter: Nike Method Prototype
  • Ball: Nike ONE Tour
  • Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Collection
  • Footwear: Nike Trophy

A very solid lineup indeed. Nike Golf was kind enough to send us a ‘care package’ of many of the hot clubs rounding out their 2011 lineup… So stay tuned for a closer look at some of the clubs Cook used to march his way to victory.

Image courtesy: James Branaman – St. Petersburg Times

Charl Schwartzel’s Putter: Nike Method 004 Prototype

Charl Schwartzel had nothing short of a superb final round at the 2011 Masters. That chip-in on the first hole for birdie… the hole out for eagle on the third… and then four straight birdies stroked into the center of the hole to finish his round… the round was absolutely first class, and Charl is more than deserving of the green jacket.

With all those birdies rolling into the cup during the end of his round, I was trying to decipher the type of putter he was using. After closer inspection, his putter appears to be a Nike Method 004 model… However, some more research and digging revealed to me that the putter is a prototype from the folks at the Nike ‘Oven’.

Nike Method 004 Putter

If you take a closer look at the face of Schwartzel’s Method 004, you’ll notice it doesn’t feature Nike’s ‘Polymetal Groove Technology’ (the black lines you normally see across the face of the Method line). My guess is Charl is much more comfortable with a flat face made up of one material… if I remember correctly, Charl ‘s last putter (one he used for a long time) was a Bobby Grace Fat Lady. You’ll notice the mallet design on the Fat Lady features no extra ‘grooves’ on the face. It’s a flat surface comprised of a single material.

Bobby Grace Fat Lady Putter

For what it’s worth, some of you may be wondering which putter Tiger Woods used during the 2011 Masters. No big surprises here, as he carried the same Nike Method 003 putter he’s been using for some time now. Unlike Charl, Tiger’s 003 does feature the Polymetal Groove Technology to help get the ball rolling… however, while watching some pre-round coverage on the Golf Channel, Notah Begay III noted that Tiger had this material shaved down to reduce the effect of this material.

It’s always cool to hear about the pros, and the tinkering they do with their equipment. I think we could all be well served to tinker with our equipment to get the right feel for comfort… but then again, I suppose it helps to practice as much as they do as well!

What’s in the Bag: 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel

2011 Masters Champion Charl SchwartzelWhat a riveting 2011 Masters! McIlroy failing to find his form over the back nine, Scott and Day playing fantastic golf down the stretch… and finally Charl Schwartzel coming up huge, finishing with 4 birdies to win the 2011 Masters in style. Congrats to Charl and South Africa for a fantastic performance. Job well done.

So what was in Charl’s bag for his first major win? Part of the Nike Golf team, Charl had nothing but the swoosh in the bag:

  • Driver: Nike VR Tour 8.5-degree with Rombax 7V05 shaft
  • Fairway Woods: Nike SQ Sumo 3-wood/13-degree, Nike SQ Sumo 5-wood/19-degree with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 83 shafts
  • Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
  • Wedges: Nike VR Pro 54-degree and Nike VR Pro 60-degree with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
  • Putter: Nike Method 004 Prototype
  • Ball: Nike ONE Tour D

On top of that, Charl also had on a pair of Nike Lunar Control shoes, and of course Nike pants, shirt and visor.

Again, well done to Charl… we’re looking forward to many more solid performances, and perhaps a few more major wins from the young South African!

Furyk’s “Dooh!” Moment Leads to DQ…

You may have heard Jim Furyk overslept Wednesday after his cell phone alarm clock lost power overnight, causing him to be late for his pro-am tee time in The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club.  Under PGA Tour rules, that makes him ineligible for the tournament, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

Per the story in The New York Times, Furyk, who is ranked third in the FedEx Cup standings, took responsibility for his cellphone calamity:

He said he set his cellphone’s alarm clock Tuesday night, but somehow the phone’s battery — which he thought he had charged fully — died overnight. He awoke at 7:23 a.m., seven minutes before his scheduled tee time, and threw on a shirt and pants.

Beltless, sockless, and with his shoes untied, Furyk rushed from his hotel to the course, but he was too late.

“I’m beside myself,” he said, his shoes still untied. “I have a way of climbing into stupid situations.”

On the Golf Channel, Furyk and Phil Mickelson weighed in with their take of the DQ rule.  Video (4:49)

Mickelson pointed out that the rule only applied to “half the field” and that it was “ridiculous.”

PowerMat seized the  opportunity. By noon on Thursday, a media alert crossed my desk with the subject:

Powermat: Because Waking Up Is the First Step to Winning the FedEx Cup

It referenced a CNBC report by Darren Rovell that said all Furyk really needed was a Powermat.  Per the alert, Powermat, the leader in wireless charging, is the fast, easy and hassle-free way to charge your cell phone while you sleep. Powermat simultaneously delivers real time, wireless charging to multiple electronic devices that have been enabled once with a Powermat receiver.  All you need to do before closing your eyes for the night is ‘drop and charge.

Maybe Powermat will step up and be a title sponsor of future Pro-Am events.


Justin Rose & Fearless Golf…

Apparently, Dr. Gio Valiante’s Fearless Golf Program played a leading role in helping Justin Rose, winless after nine years on the PGA Tour, secure his first PGA Tour title at The Memorial.  In fact, he said it himself upon walking off the green.

Dr. Valiante’s program provides a vision for competitive golf that allows golfers to remain fearless, focused, and committed to each and every shot they hit.  Rose began the program on May 22.  That makes the results even more impressive.

There were some bumps though.

You may recall that during the final round of the Travelers Championship, Rose lost the lead and finished ninth.

“After adversity is the best time to learn the principles of Fearless Golf,” said Dr. Valiante. “I told Justin, we needed this to happen to see where your game breaks down. I promise you’ll be better tomorrow than you are today.”

Seven days later, Rose was hoisting the trophy for his second PGA Tour event win, the AT&T National. During the post-round press conference, Rose again credited Dr. Valiante’s Fearless Golf.

Other PGA Tour Pros on the program include:  Camilo Villegas, Matt Kuchar and Heath Slocum.

The program IS within reach of mere mortals (AKA non-Tour golfers).  A  3-disk DVD is available for just under $100.

You can learn more by visiting


Win McMurry Describes Tiger’s Bulging WHAT?

Win McMurryOh Winnie… Winnie, Winnie, Winnie. Win McMurry, (one of my favorites at The Golf Channel) had a little slip up over the weekend. I do truly feel for her, but I hope and pray she can see the humor in it… and I trust the good folks at The Golf Channel do to. These things happen… No ill intentions were had, this was just a mistake.

That said, check out the video clip from coverage of Sunday’s final round at the TPC Sawgrass. Reporting on the situation with Tiger, she was heard to remark:

‘he says he’s been playing with a bad back for about a month, and thinks it could be a bulging dick’.

Oh Win. Chin up, have a laugh.

[Via: WaggleRoom]