by Jeff Skinner
If you are a passionate golfer like me you probably outfit yourself with some good quality clubs, a decent grade ball, some comfortable shoes and maybe a few good looking golf shirts. I don’t have many vices but I do like to treat myself with mostly anything golf related.
This season I have come across something new, well new to me at least. I am sure this little gizmo was taken out on the course about the time Old Tom was making featheries back at St. Andrews. It’s a flask, more specifically a hip flask. And even more specifically a really neat hip flask.
For many a golfer back in the day the flask was standard equipment. After all braving the cold, the rain and the wind in Scotland many a golfer needed some liquid reinforcement. The handy flask proved to be just what a golfer needed.
The fine folks at Buyahipflask.com offer a great assortment of flasks. They stock many sizes, shapes and designs. They have English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh flasks. There are Pewter and leather wrapped and silver and stainless and on and on. You get the idea…they have just about any kind of flask you can think of and many that you can’t.
And for that special touch they can engrave just about anything on the face of the flask to make it a truly custom piece. I tested out a nifty six ounce pewter model and let’s just say it really did the trick.
Take some time and check out their website. The selection is amazing and I spent way too much time looking for my next one.
By Jeff Skinner
Jimmy Fallon hosted Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy last night on The Tonight Show and it was fairly entertaining.
Fallon needled Tiger about his past win over Tiger on his video game. Tiger looked relaxed and was pretty witty at times. Without his normal golf gear on, Woods wore a tight tee shirt and looked absolutely massive.
Rory dueled Fallon in a game of Face Breakers and of course won the Big Break like competition.
But the big wiiner here is Nike as the two Nike staffers used this as an infomercial for the new Nike Vapor line of clubs.
I wonder what clubs Fallon has in his bag…no I don’t.
by Jeff Skinner
During the 1990’s NBC had branded its primetime lineup as “Must See TV”. Tonight’s broadcast of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon falls into that category for all golf fans.
Fallon will host both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods on tonight’s program. It is a bit of a coup for Fallon as rarely do we see either of them do anything like this and to land the two of them together certainly qualifies as must see TV.
Woods and McIlroy are booked across the river at Liberty National for a Nike promotion and Fallon must have challenged Woods to a rematch of his video game. Fallon topped the former number one a few years back and maybe Woods wants a chance at redemption.
I’ll be interested to see how this plays out. Woods is used to being the big dog on the block but with his career stuck in low gear and McIlroy at the top of his game, popularity and career I want to see who plays the Alpha dog here.
For all of us golf fans this is definitely must see TV.
by Jeff Skinner
It was a busy and eventful weekend in the world of golf. There were some great stories of redemption and a few of heartbreak.
Camilo Villegas won the Wyndham Championship after struggling for years. He was branded a superstar when he won back to back playoff events in 2008 but entered the Wyndham as the 254th ranked player in the world. Helen Ross has his comeback story and Will Gray has the heartbreak of those who fell short.
Inbee Park out lasted Brittany Lincicome at the final Wegman’s LPGA Championship for her second win of the season. There were plenty of tears on the 18th green from both Lincicome and the staff and volunteers at the Wegman’s. Beth Ann Nichols and Matthew Rudy have the bittersweet story from Rochester.
Tiger Woods isn’t the only golfer that has had to endure a rough comeback from back surgery. Newly crowned U.S. Amateur Champion Gunn Yang also had to battle back from surgery. He wasn’t the most decorated player in the competition but he is the one holding the trophy and heading to The Masters. He also earned back his college scholarship with the win. Nick Masuda has the story on Gunn’s unlikely win.
On the web.com Tour Martin Pillar (63) survived a shootout with Bronson Burgoon (62) to win his third Web.com event and edge him that much closer to his PGA Tour card. Pillar’s wife, Gerina plays on the LPGA Tour. Royce Thompson has the story.
by Jeff Skinner
Much was has been made of Tiger Woods’ decision to shut his season down and withdraw from Ryder Cup consideration. With Woods health in question and the sub-par quality of his limited play this season it is most likely a blessing Woods won’t tee it up at Gleneagles.
Blasphemy! You say…how can that be? Wouldn’t Team USA be better with Woods, even an ailing Woods in the mix? Well a healthy Woods hasn’t contributed much to the U.S. team over the years.
The European dominance of the Ryder Cup has come at the same time Woods has been available for the team and most American players have pretty dismal records. But you would figure the greatest player of his day would have solid numbers at the Ryder Cup.
Think again. Woods has an overall Ryder Cup record of 13-17-3 in seven appearances. And he has only played on one winning team, the miracle comeback at the Country Club at Brookline in 1999. He missed Captain Azinger’s triumph in 2008 due to injury.
His singles record is solid at 4-1-2 but when Tiger teams up with another American he has struggled to a 9-16-1 mark.
Hats off to the Golf Channel Digital Team for compiling Tiger’s entire Ryder Cup record. Click here to see all of Tiger’s results in his seven appearances.
by Jeff Skinner
The LPGA continues it very successful 2014 season this week with a final stop in Rochester, New York at the Wegman’s LPGA Championship. This major championship will become the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next year and move from upstate New York to historic Westchester Country Club.
It’s a bittersweet week for many and player after player has expressed hope that the tour could return to Rochester sometime in the future as the community has strongly supported the LPGA for years.
One of the brightest young stars of the LPGA, Lexi Thompson shares the lead with Meena Lee after both shot matching 66’s.
Thompson is hoping to win her second major of the season to go with her Kraft Nabisco Championship. She is also looking to up her profile and is featured in the latest commercial by her clothing sponsor, Puma.
Take a look…Lexi is sitting in a hot tub with two guys. They grow up fast on the LPGA I guess.
by Jeff Skinner
The 2014 golf season has been an ongoing soap opera for Tiger Woods. It finally came to a merciful end when he uncharacteristically removed himself from Ryder Cup consideration.
Woods’ return to play since his March surgery has been marked by missed cuts, withdrawals, sprayed golf shots and too much double talk.
Tiger has never been one to share his feelings with the media. All along he has said he had his doctor’s clearance to play and all he needed was “more reps” to find his game. Anyone who saw Woods play knew that those were fanciful words at best.
To Tiger’s credit he said he wanted to earn his way onto the Ryder Cup and relieve the pressure from Captain Tom Watson to have to select a player so far down the points list. This move takes that option away from Watson and he will certainly have his work cut out to field a solid and healthy team.
On the face of things this looks like Tiger is “taking the high road” as Watson said but I think there is so much more to this decision. Tiger rarely takes the high road he usually only travels on “Tiger’s Road.”
Tiger and his team have a long history of doing one thing and saying another. Many have said that Tiger “is doing the right thing” here in sitting out. I say it is absolutely the right thing to do but Woods isn’t doing this for the good of the team. He is doing it for the good of Tiger Woods. He does everything for himself and his image and he has been doing it that way from day one.
Tiger had said he was healthy enough to play but it was obvious to everyone except himself and his team of yes men that he wasn’t. Tiger may have been able to convince Watson to select him, after all the only thing bigger than his on course achievements is his unchecked ego. And a Tiger that says publicly he wants to be on the team may have been difficult for Watson to deny.
Tiger expresses disappointment on not playing this year but what he does is remove himself from a team that is a significant underdog going into the competition.
So his not playing is a win-win for Woods, especially if the U.S. team loses. If Woods isn’t on the team that gets whitewashed in Scotland he shares none of the blame. If the team wins it is a bonus and Woods looks like he took one for the team.
Also if Woods did get selected and plays poorly, as he usually does in team competition, he would be the focus of much criticism. This way he is relived of any responsibility.
It also spares Woods the embarrassment of not getting selected for the team by Watson. Even with Watson’s declaration that he wanted to pick Tiger there was still a very good chance that Captain Tom would leave him home. After all, Watson and Woods aren’t the friendliest two golfers in the world. If the PGA of America hadn’t gone outside the box a contemporary of Tiger would be sitting in Watson’s seat. And not selecting Woods would have not been an option.
So now Captain Watson can concentrate on selecting three players that are at the very least healthy and hopefully playing well.
On the surface this move by Tiger looks selfless but if we add Tiger’s past history into the equation it’s more selfish.
A team without the 2014 version of Tiger Woods is the right thing, whether Watson or Woods made that decision.
But we shouldn’t think that Woods did this for the good of the team. It’s for Tiger; it is always just for Tiger.
by Jeff Skinner
In a surprising announcement Tiger Woods has removed his name for consideration from the Ryder Cup. Woods put out this statement on his website last evening.
I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.
I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration. The U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I’ll be cheering for the U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.
I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7. It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again.
Woods finished in 70th place on the Ryder Cup Points list and Captain Tom Watson had said he would only pick Woods if he was healthy and playing well. Woods is not healthy and having his worst season as a professional.
Watson will now have one less decision to make as he fills out his roster for the September matches in Gleneagles Scotland.