December 29, 2008
Welcome to our year-end wrapup of the best of Devil Ball in 2008! Well, technically, it's kind of a wrapup of the best of Devil Ball for the last seven months of the year. We really got up and running this year right around the time of the U.S. Open, which is sort of like jumping on the course at Hole #7 and then bragging that you carded a 59. And you wouldn't do that, would you? Neither would we. Never. Really. Would never even enter our minds.
Anyway, we've amassed a fine recap of the season for your reading pleasure, from mouthy caddies to drunk-in-public golfers, from honest Q-Schoolers to pony-riding pros. Settle in, friends, and join us as we recap The Year in Devil Ball:
Stories of the Year
Honest division: In the hunt for a PGA card at Q School, JP Hayes realized he'd used an unapproved ball for one putt and pulled himself out of the competition, even though nobody would have ever caught him. Proof that honesty does still exist in sports.
Unbelievable division: Two kids hit back-to-back holes-in-one at Sawgrass in July. Did they really do it? Why on earth would you believe otherwise?
The Year In Daly: Where do we even begin? Do we start with the pathetic scene of him charging $25 for autographs in a Hooters? Or passing out at another Hooters? Or smashing a fan's camera into a tree in Australia? Or hitting a golf ball off a beer can while playing with Kid Rock? We chronicled Daly's highs and lows, and there were plenty of both in 2008.
Slogan of the Year: Frontier Justice for ‘Get In The Hole!' idiots. You're sick of ‘em. I'm sick of ‘em. The golfers are sick of ‘em. And earlier this year, we offered up this modest proposal for how to handle these clowns:
Screaming "Get in the hole!" on every golf shot reached that nails-on-a-blackboard agony sometime in 2000. Its variant, shouting "Get in the hole!" after a tee shot on a par 5 (see, irony! there's no way it'll get in the hole!) followed in 2002. And yet, every hole, every gallery still has hordes of these mouth-breathing, I'm-gonna-hear-myself-on-the-tee-vee idiots. They spawned in the wake of Tiger Woods' ascent, babbling morons transplanted from Fenway Pahk or Lambeau Field to the previously placid golf course. And they've gone from minor annoyance to serious problem.
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that it's time to deal with these idiots once and for all.
My proposition is twofold. First, we offer amnesty. Anybody who has said "Get in the hole!" at any point since 2000, admit it here. Your sins will be forgiven. You have twelve hours from the time of this post.
Next, we turn loose the hounds. Now, I probably can't use Yahoo! as a forum for advocating violence, even against those who so desperately need it. But what I can do is this: recommend a temporary suspension of golf course gallery etiquette ... in a retaliatory capacity.
The motion passed unanimously. Execute justice in 2009 as you see fit.
Now, let's continue on with some more award-winners ...
LPGA Story of the Year: Sure, we touched on the LPGA's insane English-only policy, mishandling of Annika Sorenstam's final round and economic difficulties. But why sweat the bad news? Why not focus on Natalie Gulbis's appearances on The Apprentice and Twitter instead?
Quote of the Year: Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' caddie, made worldwide headlines when he called Phil Mickelson a "finger." Well, he didn't exactly call him a finger, but click that link to view our original post on the matter, and you'll understand what we mean.
Photo of the year: The fires in Southern California this past fall were nothing to laugh at. But when an intrepid Devil Ball reader captured some of the firefighting helicopters refueling their water tanks at an Orange County golf course - with golfers putting indifferently - well, we had to run that.
List of the Year: Once Tiger went down for the year with a knee, we offered up our suggestions for a replacement. Ty Webb, Happy Gilmore, Rocco Mediate, Roy McAvoy, and baby Sam Alexis Woods all came under consideration.
On-site reporting of the Year: Devil Ball was at the 2008 Tour Championship at East Lake, and I tried - I really, really tried - to make it an interesting event for everybody. I tailed Vijay Singh one day, and stalked Sergio Garcia and Anthony Kim the next. My report from the field included this moment:
"I don't know what to do here."
That was Anthony Kim on the seventh hole today. He'd hit his tee shot right up to the outside lip of a fairway bunker, and the ball sat on an ugly downhill lie 160 yards from the pin. Kim walked up, realized the ball would be about waist-high if he stood in the trap, and just shook his head. He looked at the gallery and -- no fooling -- started surveying the gallery for ideas. "What would you do?" he asked three dudes holding beer cups. "Man up!" one hollered, and Kim smiled.
And that right there is why the guy is going to be world-famous. He was in deep trouble -- he was in trouble pretty much from that point on in the round, matter of fact -- and yet he still kept smiling, tipping his cap, and recognizing the crowd every chance he got.
I was there when Kim nailed a spectator; that's me in the light blue shirt there staring off into the distance, offering no medical assistance or comfort whatsoever. Heartless blogger, that's me.
Video of the Year: We've got two competitors here, and they're both so good that I can't bear to choose between them. First, there's Charles Barkley's squirrel-whacking tee shot:
And next, we've got Boo Weekley riding the pony at the Ryder Cup:
High art, friends. High art.
Interview of the Year: Corey Pavin, the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, stopped by to chat with us before he was named to the spot, and his nervousness dripped through the phone lines:
So when do you expect to hear, one way or another?
I'm waiting along with you! The PGA just had their annual meeting, so hopefully they made their decision then and I'll be getting a phone call with some good news soon.
And as we know, he got just that.
So there you go -- ten (or so) of the best posts of 2008 here at Devil Ball! A hearty thanks to each of you for reading, emailing, and commenting! And if this happens to be your first visit to Devil Ball, bookmark us at www.devilballgolf.com and stop by every day. Be sure to drop me a line at email@example.com with any tips/posts/links/offers of tee times. See you on the first tee, friends!
More Y! Sports year of the blog posts: The Y! Sports Blogs (general), Shutdown Corner (NFL), Big League Stew (MLB), Ball Don't Lie (NBA), Puck Daddy (NHL), Dr. Saturday (NCAAF), The Dagger (NCAAB), From the Marbles (NASCAR) and Cage Writer (MMA)