- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf13 hrs ago
If the PGA of America wanted to make a splash with their opening round pairings for next week, they found the two names to do it.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who have combined to win 19 major championships, will be paired together for the opening two rounds of the PGA Championship next week at Valhalla. Woods and Mickelson will be joined by Padraig Harrington, the 2008 PGA Champion, and will go off at 8:35 AM ET on Thursday and 1:45 PM ET on Friday.
How have Tiger and Phil done when in the same group over the years? The Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner broke down the numbers.
By my count Tiger and Phil have been in the same group 34 times. Tiger owns 16-14-4 advantage in head-to-head score.
The rest of the pairings are below, with some other juicy groups. Rory McIlroy will play with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, the traditional PGA Championship pairings of the three major winners together, and Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott and Lee Westwood will go out together in a marquee group of big names.
Check out the times below, all ET, and let us know which group you will follow if you're out at Valhalla for the final major of the season.
Round 1, Round 2 (All Times ET)
1st tee, 10th tee
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf19 hrs ago
Golf balls getting stuck in trees is nothing new. We've seen it happen plenty of times on the PGA Tour, with players either climbing up and hitting the ball like Sergio Garcia did at Bay Hill a year ago or using a fan's binoculars to identify it before taking an unplayable.
Kevin Streelman had a situation on Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that we've never seen. His ball got stuck in a tree, but right in the trunk of it.
The video you see above shows the ball in the tree, but we don't get to see how it got there. It looks like it might have taken a bounce and plugged into the bark, and even with the drop Streelman took, it was still a bogey on the card for the two-time PGA champion.
Streelman's day didn't improve much after this, as he posted an opening round 7-over 79 to sit just two shots back of dead last after one round at Firestone.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf1 day ago
One of the most talented golfers on the planet is taking some time away from the game to deal with personal issues.
Dustin Johnson, an eight-time PGA Tour champion, released a statement on Thursday stating he will be, "taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately.”
The statement continued, “I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced."
“By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion.”
Johnson was not in the field this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and will miss the final major of 2014 next week at the PGA Championship. It also looks like Johnson won't be around for the FedEx Cup playoffs, where he currently sits fourth in standings, and has already informed the PGA of America that he will not be playing the Ryder Cup in September.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf1 day ago
The big talk last weekend was about Bernhard Langer and his epic win at the Senior British Open. Langer set a Champions Tour record on Sunday with his 13-shot win at Royal Porthcawl and got people talking about Langer possibly landing one of the captain's picks for the European Ryder Cup team for the matches that kick off in late September.
If Langer was picked by captain Paul McGinley it would give the 56-year-old a chance to tie and break a lot of important European Ryder Cup records. Just being on the team would tie him with Nick Faldo for most appearances ever with 11 and would give Langer a great shot at passing Faldo for most points ever for a European team member as he sits just a full point behind Faldo in that regard.
But Rory McIlroy doesn't see that happening. The British Open champion was asked about Langer (and Colin Montgomerie, for that matter) making a stacked European team in his Bridgestone press conference this week and shot down the idea of a Champions Tour member landing one of those coveted captain's picks.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf2 days ago
The eight-shot win at Congressional for his first U.S. Open title, the eight-shot win at Kiawah Island to claim the PGA and the Claret Jug win earlier this month at Hoylake; they all almost didn't happen for Rory McIlroy.
Speaking at his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational press conference on Tuesday, the three-time major winner said he almost gave up the game of golf at the age of 16 after winning one of the most prestigious amateur events in Ireland. Yes, you read that correctly, he almost gave up the game after a win.
Here is what Rory explained to the media on Tuesday at Firestone.
"Yeah, I was ready to give it up when I was 16. I remember the drive. I just won the Mullingar Scratch Cup, and I remember the drive home with my dad. It was like a three‑hour drive. And I said to him, 'I don't like this anymore.' I don't enjoy it. I just won, and I don't know, I'm not happy, I'm not excited. I went back home and didn't play golf for about three days.
McIlroy then said he quickly realized, "Actually, I really like this game. (I was) just an impulsive teenager going through hormonal issues."
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf3 days ago
For those rare athletes that even separate themselves against other professionals, the competitive edge never rests. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and Tiger Woods are names that come to mind as those ultra-competitive athletes, and no matter if it's a foe or family, they have one goal; winning.
Woods spoke on Monday at a Deutsche Bank Championship press conference, an event he isn't even qualified to play in at this point considering he sits at 215th in FedEx Cup points, and while he talked about his goals this week at Firestone and next week at the PGA Championship, it was the line about playing his kids in Putt-Putt that was the most interesting.
“We had a good little time,” Woods said of his vacation with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn and his two kids. “We toured a little bit and even played a little Putt-Putt, which I won every single time.”
Every. Single. Time.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf4 days ago
Just like millions of us, President Barack Obama loves golf. The only problem is, he isn't the best at the game. That doesn't stop Obama from teeing it up, and when you aren't the best golfer, that means losing a golf ball or two per round (to be fair, even the best in the world can hit a shot that is never found).
For you and I, losing a golf ball means somebody, at some time, will pick up our lost ball and either toss it back in the woods or decide to use it. When Obama is involved, that person takes a photo of the personalized Titleist and it goes viral.
An Instagram user named "larrydoh" posted this image after digging this ball out at Congressional on Sunday, and it's pretty hard not to identify this one as one used by the president.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf4 days ago
This past weekend saw a lot of great story lines and we are here to give you the good and the bad of it. Here are our winners and losers from the past week in golf.
Bernhard Langer — How good was that performance at the Senior British Open? So good that I nearly changed the headline of this post to "Langers and Losers." The guy absolutely torched Royal Porthcawl, winning by a record 13 shots and stirring the water cooler conversation about the 56-year-old Langer possibly landing a spot on a stacked European Ryder Cup team.
Tim Clark — A lot of the talk from the Canadian Open circled around Jim Furyk's continued struggles to win, but it was Clark who posted a back nine 30 to beat Furyk by a single shot. The win was just the second of Clark's career, which is surprising considering how often he's in the hunt, but this win wasn't handed to him and those final nine holes will go down as one of the more clutch finishes of the year.
- Shane Bacon at Busted Racquet7 days ago
There wasn't anything normal about what went down on Thursday night at the World Team Tennis event, when American Taylor Townsend was forced to play a doubles match all alone when her partner went down with an injury.
What injury? Liezel Huber, the partner of Townsend, left the court after Townsend hit her in the back of the head with a forehand, and while playing doubles alone is nearly impossible, it makes it even tougher when you aren't allowed to return a serve on your partner's side.
Townsend was left standing all alone on her side of the court, forced to make distracting gestures to try and throw her opponents off as they were serving to an empty court (both players eventually served underhand to the open court).
If you're asking why this match went on instead of just giving the win to Martina Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova, you have to understand the format of the World Team Tennis event.
The scoring is cumulative of the five sets you play, so Townsend was forced to get out there and try and win a few points, or even a set (think the goal count for the World Cup before teams advance to the elimination round).
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf7 days ago
Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf gear through its paces. Today we look at the Ping G-30 driver.
Tester — Shane Bacon — Handicap: +0.5
Target Golf Audience — All golfers
It would be impossible to talk about a first look at the new Ping G-30 driver without talking about the turbulators. Those raised bumps you see on the top of the driver's crown? Those are the turbulators, something Ping invented to reduce the drag of the driver through the air (this wasn't some cockamamie idea either, with plenty of testing going on at ASU's Windtunnel Laboratory).
The G-30 has a similar finish to all the drivers from I-20 on, with the matte black continuing to look menacing and beautiful, but the first thing you see is the turbulators.