Devil Ball Golf
- Greg Vara at Devil Ball Golf6 hrs ago
“Maybe a change of scenery will do him good."
No, that’s not in reference to the recently expired MLB trading deadline; in this case it refers to Vijay Singh, who obviously wasn’t traded this past week, but he did trade one tour for another and to put it mildly, a change of scenery did him good.
Proper English aside, that cliché holds a lot of truth, whether by accident or not, sometimes, a simple change in scenery can do wonders for a professional athlete. Most professional golfers have only one viable option to cash a check each week, but for a select few over the age of 50, their options are limitless ... relatively.
Vijay Singh is one of a handful of professional golfers with the option most weeks to pick either the PGA Tour or the Champions Tour and this week he decided that Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, looked a lot more appealing, and to use his own words, “easier” than Reno, Nevada. So far, his decision looks wise as after one round at the 3M Championship, Singh is only one off the lead after an opening 8-under 64.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf9 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
- Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf11 hrs ago
On Thursday, Dustin Johnson announced that he was taking leave from the PGA Tour for "personal challenges" for which he intended to seek "professional help." On Friday, a Golf.com report indicatedthat those "personal challenges" were in fact a suspension from the PGA Tour for drug use. Moreover, this marks at least the second time Johnson has been suspended for drug violations.
According to Golf.com's source, Johnson failed drug tests three separate times: in 2009 for marijuana, in 2012 for cocaine, and earlier this year again for cocaine. The Tour does not generally disclose the penalties it levies against players.
- Shane Bacon at Devil Ball Golf16 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."
- Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf3 days ago
Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball Golf editor Shane Bacon and writer Jay Busbee take a topic from the world of golf and shank it off the tee. Today: The new Big Three. You know Arnie, Jack and Gary. You know Tiger and Phil. Is there a third member of the latest Big Three, or are the contenders merely pretenders?
Bacon: Last weekend saw Jim Furyk, now 44, miss out on another shot at a PGA Tour title at the Canadian Open. Furyk, one of the stalwarts on the PGA Tour over the last two decades, hasn't won on tour since 2010, and while his slump continues, I simply ask, of this fading generation, where does Furyk rank in terms of the best players of that group? Tiger Woods is one, Phil Mickelson is two, and while Ernie Els has a great case as the third, is Furyk right behind those huge names?
- 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.