Dude, did he just call you what I think he called you?
“It’s cheating, and I’m appalled Phil has put it in play.” – Scott McCarron, commenting on Phil Mickelson’s decision to use legal (but non-conforming) Ping Wedges earlier this year in a tournament at Torey Pines.
It’s very rare that you hear a tour player openly accuse another tour player of outright cheating. And when he does, he’d better be prepared to stand by his comments or he’s going to look like a back-peddling ass. Of which McCarron did several days later when he apologized to Mickelson for making the comment. Although Mickelson’s motive was crystal clear, he was no less permitted to use the wedges that week. It didn’t help matters that Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem sat idly by and watched the mess unfold right in front of him. But McCarron knew better than to say what he said. That was just an out-and-out shank.
Bobby Jones Got Wood
“The gap was a little bit wide. It wasn’t huge but it was big enough for a ball to fit through.” – Phil Mickelson, describing the thought behind his miraculous 6iron from 207 yards on the 13th hole at Augusta in the final round.
What more to add about the shot of the year… A momentary lapse would lead to a 2-putt birdie from inside of 6 feet, but there weren’t any doubts from anyone watching that at that very moment – Lefty was on his way to a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru in his 3rd Green Jacket.
How to Win Whilst Losing
“I just thought I was on a piece of dirt that the crowd had trampled down. I never thought I was in a sand trap. It never once crossed my mind that I was in a bunker. Obviously I know the rules of golf and I can’t ground my club in a bunker, but that was just one situation I guess. Maybe I should have looked to the rule sheet a little harder.” – Dustin Johnson, after incurring a penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the final hole of the PGA Championship.
THAT is how you handle yourself during the most frustrating moment of your career, with honesty, sincerity, and understanding. THAT is how you quadruple your fan base in the span of 15 minutes, as people are watching you manage a serious disappointment. And all because you never once thought about feeling sorry for yourself despite being overwhelmed with the heartbreaking news. Well played, DJ.
Tabloid Reporters Gone Wild
“You’re a liar. You’re going down!” - Jim Gray, shouting at Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin in a heated exchange after Pavin denies that he told Gray off the record that Tiger Woods was an automatic captain’s pick.
I’m not sure what’s worse – Pavin giving this guy the time of day, or the Golf Channel putting him on the payroll. If Jim Gray was a manager in the WWF, he would be the guy hitting his wrestler’s downed opponent with a folding chair ringside while the referee is distracted.
Were You Happy or Depressed After the 2010 Ryder Cup?
“I wanted to be able to call them my soldiers, my pilots, my sailors. I have the benefit of living in this country and it is maintained by them… Thomas Jefferson said we need soldiers and teachers, and it is as true now as it was then.” – CBS Golf commentator David Feherty on his love of the American Military, and why he became a US Citizen back in February.
Without going into any great lengths of why I admire David Feherty, I’ll just simply say that he “gets” what it means to be an American citizen. He’d lived in our country (legally, I might add) as an outsider for the better part of 13 years, and while he manned a booth for CBS golf telecasts during that time, he became one of the biggest supporters of our nation’s military as one could possibly be. Wounded Warriors, Troops First, whatever the foundation – he became involved. And in the process he logged more hours on planes bound for Iraq and Afghanistan than a majority of our government’s politicians combined. On Tuesday, February 23rd of this year, David Feherty officially became the American citizen that he’d already been in his heart for the better part of the past decade.
Like Shooting Fish in a Bucket
“Most people try to shoot their age. Today, I shot my height.” - Paul Goydos, who measures 5 feet, 9 inches tall, after becoming only the 4th player to ever shoot 59 in a PGA Tournament.
“I got beat by a 59.” – Jeff Overton, reacting to Stuart Appleby’s putt on the 72nd hole of the Greenbrier Classic to not only win the event, but also becoming the 5th player in tour history to shoot 59 in a PGA Tournament.
Yeah, those softer grooves really made a difference, you USGA schmucks…
Singing the Winnebago Blues
“I’m done. I’m done. I’m done with golf. I can’t compete. I can’t play like I used to. I can’t keep taking spots from guys out here playing this bad. It’s not worth it.” – John Daly, after missing the cut in the first two events of the 2010 season.
He didn’t quit, which oddly enough is probably the first time we’ve been able to say that about Big John in a long time. I could literally fill the bandwidth on my blog saying what I’d really like to say pertaining to Daly, but I’ll just quickly point out 3 things (that came from this season alone!) that prevent me from respecting the guy. (1) The 456-page rap sheet that became public in March: In 18 years, the tour suspended this guy on 5 separate occasions. He was cited for not giving his best effort on 21 occasions. And he was cited and fined for conduct unbecoming of a professional 11 different times. If your employer needs more than one page to document your lack of professionalism and your dismal work ethic at your job – it’s not just a matter of you getting canned – it’s painfully obvious that you’re unemployable, period. (2) The guy made less than $159,000 in official earnings this season, but he’s above going to Q-School: Now let’s compare Daly to another guy 2 years older than he is, a guy who also won 2 major championships, and a guy who earned nearly a half a million more dollars than he did this year. That guy is Lee Janzen, who also failed to earn enough money to play on the PGA Tour next season. Last week Lee Janzen was busting his balls in the cold weather at Q-School trying to work his way back onto the PGA Tour. Where was John Daly? Who knows. But he sure as hell wasn’t freezing his ass off at Q-School trying to earn a spot next year. This is the same guy that was crying about how he couldn’t keep taking spots from other players on the tour, mind you. (3) The $100 million lawsuit Daly filed earlier this year against the PGA Tour and a Children’s Charity event: Apparently Daly was playing in this Children’s Charity event back in 2007 and (according to him) he injured himself because of some noise from a fan in the gallery that distracted him while swinging at his tee ball. Let’s face it, if this was your brother-in-law, you’d call him a mooch and you’d demand all of the money back that you’ve foolishly lent him over the years. But the golf world continues to feed us these feel-good John Daly stories, when the reality is that there’s nothing there to feel good about anymore.
Absence Doesn’t Make the Putting Grow Stronger
“I need the break. I need to miss the game a little bit.” - Sergio Garcia, commenting about his decision to step away from the game for a while.
Despite his occasional tantrums and bouts of self-pity, Sergio Garcia has probably been on the receiving end of more unwarranted forgiveness than any other touring pro playing the game today. I guess a big part of that is because at some point, regardless of whether you like a player’s personality or not, deep down you want to see someone that you’ve followed for a significant period of time finally get over the hump and get that first big win. Colin Montgomerie is a good example for myself – I’ve never really liked his personality, I think he can be extremely pleasant one minute and arrogant and demeaning the next. But I’ve always respected his golf game. And in the final round of the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot, as Monty found himself with a great chance to finally win that first major, I remember telling my wife, “You know, as bad as I hate to admit it, I’d kinda like to see Monty win this thing. He’s paid his dues, it would be nice to see him do it.” But the difference between guys like Monty or Garcia and guys like Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els – you’ve always rooted for the nice guys, the guys who don’t complain, the guys who stay late to sign autographs, the guys who open themselves up to their fans, the players who don’t forget that the fans are the reason they are where they are. And truthfully the tour is full of players like this, some just don’t get the exposure like the others do. But as it relates to Sergio, there’s still plenty of time left. Whatever he does or doesn’t achieve for the remainder of his career will be proportionate to the changes he does or doesn’t make with his attitude. You can take a year off, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to see the world any differently when you return.
We Got Your Back, Bro…
“If you go up and down the line of the Tour players in Europe and U.S. and asked them if you would like to be the last guy to decide the Ryder Cup, probably less than half would say they would like to be that guy and probably less than 10 percent of them would mean it. Hunter Mahan put himself in that position today. … Hunter Mahan performed like a champ out there today, all right. And I think it’s awesome. Not many players would want to do that.” - Stewart Cink, addressing the media and trying to comfort a distraught Hunter Mahan at Celtic Manor.
No matter which side you cheered for, you couldn’t help but feel a pang of sympathy for the warrior who fell on his own sword in front of the world. But if somehow you didn’t, you need to stop raking back 3 footers on the weekends with your buddies and putt ‘em out. Then get back to me.
I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long….
“There are many people in this room and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today, I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your hearts to one day believe in me again.” – Closing remarks of Tiger Woods’ address at first public appearance after the Thanksgiving 2009 scandal.
People will make what they will of Tiger’s scandal, and there’s no need for me to write a 400 word essay about my own personal opinions on the matter. Opinions are like assholes, and this asshole got sick of hearing about his scandal after the first week (although I will admit that it was fun googling the different women he shagged). Golf not only survived in his brief absence, it thrived.