Mon Jan 14 02:37pm EST
Golf is unlike any sport on the planet when it comes to marketing their brand. Basketball players can push shoes, but 60-year-old men aren't salivating at what the new Lebrons are going to look like. The same goes for baseball bats or football gloves or soccer balls. Golf is an ageless sport and it seems the older we get, the more we try to find that "edge" within our game to get just that much better.
With that comes the golf companies. Dustin Johnson isn't just a TaylorMade brand ambassador, he is Patient X when it comes to productivity within their company. TaylorMade comes out with a new driver, Johnson wins with it in his bag that week and bam, you've sold a million more of those white-headed beasts.
So what about Nike? The golf company that wasn't even a golf company until Tiger Woods signed his first endorsement check after his third U.S. Amateur win has slowly but surely made an imprint on this game. Woods switched to their clubs after a cup of coffee with Titleist and slowly integrated the Swoosh into his entire bag (with the final piece being the long, drawn-out breakup with his Scotty Cameron putter).
Wed Oct 03 01:16pm EDT
It's tournament time! The Fall Series kicks off in Las Vegas at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the first of four events that covers the end of the PGA Tour's 2012 schedule. Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.
The course: TPC Summerline returns as the host course for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. For players who have spent the last few months battling swing and confidence issues, the Vegas course could be the place to get everything back on track.
The layout ranked as the second-easiest par 71 on the PGA Tour last season; and in 2009 and 2010, it actually ranked as the easiest on tour. Needless to say, birdies and eagles are the name of the game this week on the 7,342-yard stadium course.
If you want an idea of how easy TPC Summerlin could play this week, eight of the 18 holes on the course have had an under par average since the course first started hosting the tournament in 2008.
With generous greens and fairways, players shouldn't have any trouble padding their fairways hit and GIR percentages for the week. With every player in the field capable of going low, the tournament will once again come down to the guy who's wielding the hot putter.
One hole to keep an eye on this week has to the be the drivable 15th. The 341-yard par-4 should be reachable for some of the long bombers in the field and is perfect risk/reward hole with desert running down the left side and bunkers surrounding the entire green.
The schedule: The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday. All four rounds will be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 4 to 7 p.m. ET.
The field: With the PGA Tour's regular season in the books, players -- especially those outside the top 125 on the official money list -- turn their attention to the first event of the Fall Series. Most of the tour's big names are taking a couple weeks off to recharge following the FedExCup and Ryder Cup, but having Justin Timerlake as a host gives the Vegas event some much-needed star power. Some of the marquee names in the field include Nick Watney, John Daly, Kevin Na, Johnson Wagner, Kyle Stanley, Jason Day and Jhonattan Vegas, Harris English and Casey Martin.
Tue Aug 21 01:18pm EDT
The FedExCup is here, and throughout the playoffs we'll be providing you with up-to-the-second updates of all the action! (OK, maybe not that fast. You don't want us yelling in your ear.) Before we kick things off on Thursday at The Barclays, let's take a quick look back at who's in and who's out heading into the playoffs.
Heath Slocum — The final event before the FedExCup playoffs is usually full of twists and turns, but for some reason, this year's regular-season finale was decidedly subdued. Slocum was the only golfer outside the top 125 (he was 128th at the start of the week) to make a big enough jump to secure his spot in the field at The Barclays. Currently 124th, he'll need a big week to move on to TPC Boston. The good news for him is he won this event back in 2009 at Liberty National. The bad news? This year's tournament is being played at Bethpage Black, so past success doesn't mean a thing this week.
Rod Pampling — The Aussie was 125th at the beginning of the Wyndham, but a T-28 finish moved him off the bubble and into 119th place. It's not the biggest jump in the world, but it was more than enough to ensure he'll be around for at least the first leg of the FedExCup.
Jason Bohn — "Mr. 125," as we like to call him, made the playoffs by the skin of his teeth. He started the week at 123rd, but struggled over the first two days of the Wyndham Championship and missed the cut.
"I started getting flustered, and kind of puked all over myself coming in," he said on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive."
Bohn was forced to wait until Monday before his fate was decided. Despite missing out on the weekend, he was still able to book his ticket to Bethpage.
Tim Clark — Besides some dude named "Sergio," Clark made the biggest jump of any golfer in the Wyndham field with his second-place finish that moved him from 109th to 55th in the standings. The birdie on the final hole of the tournament could end up being the difference between him being around for the duration of the FedExCup or crashing out early.
Davis Love III — For at least one week, Captain America won't have the luxury of game-planning for the Ryder Cup. Love's T-10 moved him up from 119th to 105th, and with a strong week at The Barclays, he could be around for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Mon Aug 20 05:21pm EDT
Welcome to "Stock Watch," where we take a look back at who's trending up, and down, in the world of golf over the past week.
Bud Cauley — The 22-year-old is once again making a huge statement late in the season. A little more than a year removed from his incredible four-month finish to the 2011 season that saw him turn pro at the U.S. Open and bypass Q-School -- he earned $735,150 in eight starts, which was more than the 125th-ranked player on the PGA Tour's Money List -- Cauley's at it again, posting top-five finishes and racking up FedEx Cup points with regularity. His third-place finish at the Wyndham Championship was his third top-four finish in his last four starts. He's now 35th on the FedEx Cup points list going into The Barclays and looks like a near-lock to make a deep run in the playoffs. The way he's playing, a win before the end of the season wouldn't be a surprise.
Shawn Stefani — Before the start of the Web.com's Midwest Classic, Stefani had an outside chance to secure his PGA Tour card for 2013. Ranked 54th on the money list, he needed a couple strong finishes to get inside the top 25 and lock up his place . Instead, of stringing together top 10's, he did the next best thing on Sunday: he went out and won the Midwest Classic, firing a 7-under 64 to beat Luke List and Russell Henley. Now 12th on the money list with eight event left on the schedule, he can start preparing his travel around next year's PGA Tour's schedule.
Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore — The former Secretary of State and the South Carolina financier will become the first female members at Augusta National later this fall. For a club that's so set in its ways, the decision to extend membership to Rice and Moore is historic. Their stock is on a meteoric rise at the moment.
John Daly — The way Daly's been playing of late, he honestly doesn't deserve a place on this side of the list. But let's look at what a missed cut at the Wyndham cost him: a potential spot in the field at The Barclays for the first FedEx Cup event, a chance to move closer to the 125th spot on the money list (thereby securing full-time status for next year), and a chance to potentially play golf on the PGA Tour for the next five weeks. Daly's still 132nd on the money list and won't see his ranking drop between now and when the Fall Series starts, but think about what one or two FedEx Cup events would've done for him. It's an opportunity missed for JD.
Jhonattan Vegas — His missed cut at the Wyndham left him 126th in the FedEx Cup standings, one spot out of making the playoffs. He'll now have five-plus weeks to think about all of his mistakes at Sedgefield.
Lucas Glover — You have to feel bad for the former U.S. Open champion. He makes only his sixth cut in 16 event at the Wyndham, and what happens to him? He has to pull out of the tournament due to an injury to his left knee. For a guy who was at the top of his game a couple years ago, Gloves officially hit rock bottom this year. Hopefully he can get the injuries under control and come back healthy.
Tue Aug 14 12:35pm EDT
Wow, it seems like only days ago that the PGA Championship ended, and we're already off and running with the FedEx Cup playoffs! The four-tournament festivities begin next week at The Barclays, which means that several big-name bubble players only have this weekend's Wyndham tournament to get into the top 125 and the playoff field.
Here's a look at several players who are very close to that top-125 cut line:
119. Davis Love III. Odds are the Ryder Cup captain's got a bit more on his mind than the FedEx Cup.
121. Boo Weekley. No more pony rides? Say it ain't so, Boo!
124. Jhonattan Vegas. The magic of a year ago hasn't carried over to this season.
129. Y.E. Yang. They showed his victory over Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA during the rain delay. Sadly, those points don't count for this year.
Mon Jul 02 09:15am EDT
Let's be honest, we're all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage -- unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that's the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the AT&T National at Congressional.
Tiger Woods still has "It" — Golf fans keep looking for signs signaling Tiger Woods' return to center stage. That question can't be answered until he wins a major, but Woods provided a convincing argument that he's getting close with his third win of the season -- which is more than any other golfer on the planet. We've been here before, folks. Tiger Woods is once again at the top of the PGA Tour's money list and the FedEx Cup standings. It all feels so familiar. The same can be said for the way Woods went around Congressional on Sunday, holding off Bo Van Pelt down the stretch with pin-point irons and clutch putting. Woods has now won three times in his last seven starts, a staggering figure that makes you realize even though he struggles at times, the 14-time major winner still has the "It Factor."
"I think he's the only guy to win three tournaments on tour this year, is that correct?" Bo Van Pelt said following Sunday's round. "On three different golf courses. And he was leading the U.S. Open after two days. So I'd say that he's playing the best golf in the world right now."
Bo Van Pelt gives Tiger Woods all he can handle — Over the years, we've become accustomed to seeing the competition shrink in the final round when Tiger Woods is within striking distance. But over the last couple of years, golfers have stepped up to the challenge of going head-to-head with one of the greatest to ever play the sport. Bo Van Pelt came up short in his bid to win his second PGA Tour title, but he gave Woods all he could handle, matching him shot-for-shot down the stretch, until a couple of unforced errors on the 16th and 17th forced him to chip in for birdie on the final hole to force a playoff. Despite the late slipups, give him credit for taking Woods the distance.
Congressional provides a major championship test — One year after Congressional was ripped to shreds by Rory McIlroy at the 2011 U.S. Open, the course exacted a measure of revenge on the field with major championship course conditions that forced the entire field to grind for four days. Firm greens and soaring temperatures turned AT&T National into a battle for survival; even overnight rains on Saturday failed to soften the course's edge. The toughest test to date on the PGA Tour, Congressional certainly made its case for another major championship.
Tue Jun 05 10:13am EDT
Monday was the longest day of the golf year, and for many, the most dramatic. U.S. Open sectional qualifying is the 36-hole last-ditch hope for several well-known names and dozens of unknowns to reach one of the great events in all of sports. Sure, the galleries are less crowded than your average bar on a Tuesday afternoon, but there's more drama than most four-day tournaments.
While the qualifying isn't done -- most play at Memphis was rained out and will conclude on Tuesday -- Let's take a quick look at many of the big names who did (and didn't) make the cut to play at Olympic in a couple weeks, shall we?
Casey Martin: The winner of a landmark 2001 Supreme Court lawsuit allowing him to use a cart in competition. He'll get his own profile in just a bit.
Dennis Miller: Won his way in with the best putt since Tiger Woods at Augusta's 16th half a decade ago.
Davis Love III: The Ryder Cup captain jumped from 16th at Memorial to shoot a 139 over 36 holes in Ohio, qualifying for the third time in six years.
Steve Marino, Rod Pampling, D.A. Points, Charlie Wi, Kevin Streelman: These well-known names played their way into the tournament via the Ohio qualifier. Wi won the Ohio event by three strokes.
Ben Curtis: The former British Open champ fell short in his bid to play in another major.
Rory Sabbatini, Spencer Levin: This is the cruelest cut of all. Both of these guys had a chance to win on Sunday at The Memorial, and both fell short. And then both fell apart in qualifying. Levin has a chance to make it in if he can get into the world top 60 after this weekend at Memphis.
Jordan Spieth: Missed a five-foot birdie putt in a playoff that would have put him in the Open.
J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas, Johnson Wagner: These known names, all with PGA Tour success, didn't make it out of qualifying.
Chad Campbell, Jeff Maggert, Lee Janzen, Arjun Atwal, Justin Leonard, David Duval, Brian Gay: These players are among the crew playing in Memphis on Tuesday.
The U.S. Open is the greatest event in golf from the perspective that you or I could play in it. But if we expected to and then fell short? Nightmare.
Thu May 10 10:11pm EDT
There's only so much you can glean from looking at a golfer's scorecard. A par on a hole may look like another ho-hum score, but unless you witnessed it for yourself, you likely have no idea if it was a two-putt par, or a hole-out from a greenside bunker.
The fact that Jhonattan Vegas walked away with three on the treacherous par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday was certainly viewed as a success. But if you saw the way he went about recording the score, you'd understand why the three probably should've had an asterisk mark next to it for the luckiest par of the day.
Vegas, who finished his first round of the Players Championship at 4-under, was certainly living right on the island hole. After hitting what he assumed was a tee shot destined for the water, Vegas watched as the ball landed within a couple feet of the hazard, took a soft bounce and rolled onto the walkway leading to the green.
Lucky shot, right? It was until Vegas chipped his next shot past the hole into the fringe ... and then rolled in his putt for par.
Yep, just another ho-hum three. It may not be the most memorable par on the hole in tournament history, but it was a pretty impressive one nonetheless.
Mon Apr 02 08:24pm EDT
They may not finish one-two this week, but for at least the next couple of days, it looks like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will remain the betting favorites in Las Vegas to win the Masters. The Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Sportsbook (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) released updated betting odds on Monday, and Woods is still the favorite at 9/2.
McIlroy was second at 11/2, followed by Phil Mickelson 12/1 and Luke Donald 15/1. All in all, not a whole lot has changed with the exception of Hunter Mahan, who went from 40/1 to 25/1 following his Shell Houston Open win.
You've got a couple more days to pour over the lines and lay a couple of bets before Thursday's opening round, so here's a look at where everybody stands at the start of the week.
The big question is, who's going to lay the wood and bet on Mark O'Meara (1000/1) to win this week. *Crickets* So I guess I'm the only one, huh?
Here's a rundown of Las Vegas Hotel and Casino's top 10 to win the Masters:
RORY McILROY 4/1
TIGER WOODS 7/1
PHIL MICKELSON 9/1
LEE WESTWOOD 15/1
LUKE DONALD 15/1
ADAM SCOTT 25/1
JASON DAY 40/1
DUSTIN JOHNSON 25/1
NICK WATNEY 30/1
MARTIN KAYMER 40/1
The rest of the odds come after the jump.
Mon Mar 26 11:03am EDT
Like Rory McIlroy's reign as the No. 1-ranked player in the world, his run as the favorite to win the Masters didn't last very long.
[Eric Adelson: Will Tiger Woods' 'resurrection' be enough to satiate public?]
With his win at Bay Hill, Tiger Woods was tabbed the new favorite to win at Augusta by Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Sportsbook (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), which released updated odds on Sunday evening.
Woods, a 7/1 pick to win at the start of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, moved to the front of the pack with his emphatic win and now stands as the 4/1 favorite to win the first major of the year.
With the Azaleas in bloom at Augusta National and Woods officially atop Vegas' Masters odds, it feels like everything's right in the golf world.
Here's a rundown of Las Vegas Hotel and Casino's top 10 to win the Masters (and a couple of interesting Tiger and Rory prop bets):
RORY McILROY 5/1
TIGER WOODS 4/1
PHIL MICKELSON 10/1
LEE WESTWOOD 18/1
LUKE DONALD 15/1
ADAM SCOTT 25/1
JASON DAY 40/1
DUSTIN JOHNSON 30/1
NICK WATNEY 40/1
MARTIN KAYMER 60/1
The rest of the odds come after the jump.