- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf23 mins ago
While the new generation in golf might be great at pumping their own brands and wearing flashy outfits, it isn't translating in viewership, at least not this past weekend at Royal Liverpool.
The final round of the 2014 British Open was the lowest since ESPN took over broadcasting the championship in 2009 and was down 26 percent from last year's incredible finish by Phil Mickelson to claim his only Claret Jug.
Despite Rory McIlroy making history at Royal Liverpool and both Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia making charges in that final round, the numbers showed what has continued to be a trend this year in the major championships.
The Masters struggled because of a fireworks-free back nine, while the U.S. Open was an 18-hole coronation for Martin Kaymer, who was never really pushed as he entered Sunday at Pinehurst with a five-shot lead.
Every few months, a video surfaces of one of the most recognizable athletes in the world and his golf swing. Charles Barkley, a Hall of Fame basketball player turned entertaining analyst, loves the game of golf, but the two have never been able to work things out.
That was clear once again this weekend at the Lake Tahoe American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, where Barkley finished dead last and this video popped up of his "new" move.
Barkley stops his hitched golf swing in the middle of it to start over, a pretty admirable move considering he obviously wasn't ready to hit it, but then just whacked the ball with one hand and went about his round.
We've had some fun with his golf swing before, and we will continue to marvel at what happens between the ears of one of the greatest basketball players ever when he stands over a golf ball.
We are a day removed from a thrilling British Open, with Rory McIlroy claiming his third major title of his career and moves just one step away from the career Grand Slam.
McIlory already has a PGA Championship under his belt, and next month he will be looking to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy again at Valhalla. Rory is the favorite at 7-to-1, according to Golf Odds, with Adam Scott coming in right behind him at 12-to-1 and Tiger Woods at 15-to-1.
Check out the rest of the odds below, and let us know which value you see as we prepare for the final major of the season, and the last chance for a lot of guys to not only make their years, but completely change their careers.
While most thought Sunday would be a walk in the park for Rory McIlroy, a man leading by six shots with just 18 to play, it was anything but at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy's birdie on the opening hole extended his lead to seven, but Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia wouldn't let down.
Garcia made three birdies over his first five holes to put some pressure on McIlroy, while Fowler started off slow but fired a back nine 33 to make the conclusion a bit dramatic.
McIlroy made a big par putt on the 17th hole, gave a subtle fist pump as he knew it was all but wrapped up, and two-putted for a safe par on the final hole to win by two shots and claim his third major championship.
With all due respect to Jim Furyk, Marc Leishman and Shane Lowry, who all posted 7-under 65s to jump in the top-10, the round of the day belonged to Sergio Garcia.
Garcia shot a 66 that included a big eagle on the 10th hole, and despite a bad bunker shot on the 15th that killed his momentum, was solid all afternoon as he chased a man that wasn't going to be beat, and despite coming up two short, showed a lot of guts and a top-10 in a major championship that was his best finish since 2008.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf3 days ago
On Saturday at the British Open, Rory McIlroy's four-shot lead was dwindling. Rickie Fowler was making a push on a scoring-friendly day at Royal Liverpool and was within a shot of the lead when Rory got to the par-5 16th.
Royal Liverpool is unique in the way it ends, with two par 5s over the final three holes, giving players a great shot at improving their card with some birdies and eagles.
McIlroy was just 1-under on his round and in desperate need of something good to happen when he found the green on the 16th. Rory rolled in the lengthy eagle putt to extend his lead, but he wasn't done.
Despite a dropped shot on the 17th, Rory pounded a drive 331 yards on No. 18 and had a 4-iron into the final green. He hit a beautiful shot right at the flag, landing it just on the green and saw it release to the hole to give him a great shot at second eagle in his closing three holes.
McIlroy knocked that putt in the heart of the hole to close with an eagle and a third-round 68, extending his lead to six shots and putting himself in a great position to win a third major championship at the age of 25.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf5 days ago
It's pretty easy to lose your composure at a major championship, it just normally doesn't happen on the first hole on a Thursday.
That was the case with Ernie Els, who made a triple-bogey on his first hole of this British Open. The 2002 and 2012 Open champion three-putted from just outside a foot on the opening hole at Royal Liverpool to card a triple-bogey after his tee shot hit a spectator.
The loss of focus for a second reminded us of Charl Schwartzel's four-putt at the 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship, and things didn't get much better for Els after this, adding two more bogeys over his next five holes to sit at 5-over after five holes on a day where the scoring hasn't been much of an issue.
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- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf5 days ago
The 2014 season had a ton of promise for both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
Mickelson, who turned 44 in June, was coming off one of his best major wins ever at the British Open in 2013 and with the U.S. Open being hosted a Pinehurst, the Grand Slam talk dominated the PGA Tour preview talk.
Tiger went major-less in '13, but he did card five PGA Tour wins on his way to another Player of the Year award and the confidence needed to roll into the new season with majors on his mind.
But things have definitely not gone that way for both Phil and Tiger. This season has been a disaster of sorts for both players, neither winning a single tournament because of one reason or another.
Tiger, of course, had surgery that kept him out of both the Masters and the U.S. Open while Mickelson has been trying to wake up a sleeping putter that can't seem to find the bottom of any cup when he needs it.
But this is the type of tournament that both players are capable of winning and both need to win if they want to get anything going in 2014. Tiger might not be totally back, but he has sounded confident in his health and his game as he's prepared to defend at Hoylake.
Michelle Wie is having one heck of a season. The 24-year-old already has two wins in 2014 including her first ever major, taking the Women's U.S. Open at Pinehurst by two shots over Stacy Lewis.
Wie, who has committed herself to the putting stroke you see above, has seen amazing results with the flatstick and has continued to gain confidence on the greens as she's become more and more comfortable with the table-top approach to putting.
And Wie knows it's a bit strange to look at. On Monday, Wie retweeted a photo of giraffes that look a little like her putting stroke.
We decided to have a bit of fun, and see just how much Wie looked like the animals getting some water. Spoiler alert; it isn't far off!
The British Open kicks off in just two days, and as we inch closer to the opening tee shots, we think of the players that need this major championship win the most. While anyone at Royal Liverpool would gladly take the Claret Jug on Sunday and run, we narrowed it down to five big names that we think could use this victory the most for one reason or another.
5.) Justin Rose — Rose doesn't need to validate anything he's done this season, winning his last two starts at Congressional and Scottish Open, but the man that burst on the scene at this championship back in 1998 has never been in better form to win his first Claret Jug. If Rose is going to get it done, and add a second major win in as many years, this is the best week he might ever have at this trophy. Leaving Hoylake without the trophy will be as disappointing to Rose as it will to any other player in the field, and I think he knows this and is ready for the challenge.
Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Shane Bacon and national columnist Jay Busbee take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by hitting us on Twitter at @shanebacon and @jaybusbee. Today we look at Tiger Woods' chances this week at the British Open.
Bacon: It's British Open week, and for the first time in 2014, Tiger Woods is in the field at a major championship. Considering the injury, the time away from competitive golf and his 74-75 missed cut at the Quicken Loans National event, his only start before the Open, is he seriously a contender here or is this just prep work for Valhalla?