Bonds Jordan and the Presidents Cup

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2009, 4:15 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds was inside the ropes following Tiger Woods, which was alternately causing both great amusement and great consternation to the fans at the Presidents Cup.

They couldn’t stop talking about how slimmed down Bonds seems now that he’s out of baseball. But he was still big enough that he kept blocking their view of the man they had really come to see – Tiger Woods – and a few weren’t shy about letting him know it.

Michael Jordan didn’t have that problem. Wearing an official windbreaker befitting his role as an assistant captain for the home team, he scooted around in a golf cart from hole to hole and no one was about to complain if he occasionally got in the way.

Barry Bonds Presidents Cup
Barry Bonds watches the action during the Thursday Foursomes at Harding Park. (Getty Images)

Besides, Jordan had a job. He was there to motivate, even if it cost him an afternoon without the company of even one lit cigar.

Jordan had talked to the young players on the U.S. team about believing in themselves while joining them in a practice round earlier in the week, an experience that left Sean O’Hair so in awe that he said he would someday tell his grandkids about it. No need to use the old trick of trotting out an aging president or two to give the team a spark when the greatest basketball player ever was so eager to please.

Not that there wasn’t some presidential star power on hand Thursday. Former President George H.W. Bush was sitting in the front row of the VIP section on the first tee at Harding Park when another former basketball great walked by.

“Jerry, do you know President Bush?” the woman next to Bush asked Jerry West.

It was that kind of day in the opening session of the Presidents Cup, a competition that every two years desperately tries to rise to the level of its older sibling, the Ryder Cup. It never does, but that doesn’t stop the PGA Tour from bringing in all the big names it can to schmooze with all the big sponsors it can find a way to round up.

Call it Ryder Cup Light because it seems to inspire more polite applause than fervent fandom. Maybe that’s because it takes some thinking to figure out that the U.S. versus the International team is basically the best American players against the best players who are from somewhere other than Europe.

But Jordan takes it seriously, perhaps too seriously. He’s so involved that he spent Monday playing the course with members of the U.S. team, nearly creating an incident when city officials were informed that he was smoking cigars on a municipal course where smoking is not allowed.

Some of the U.S. players were so awed by his presence that they would have gladly taken the rap for him. Jordan was about all they could talk about after the practice round, making it even more difficult for the PGA Tour to sell the idea that the late season event is all about players giving it their all for a patriotic cause.

That was why Jordan wasn’t on stage for the opening ceremonies Wednesday, which so upset the caddies for the U.S. players that most of them wrote red No. 23s on their caps for the opening round. But it didn’t keep him from the opening alternate-shot matches, where he went from hole to hole in his golf cart to confer with players and offer them advice.

“It’s not over yet,” he assured Lucas Glover on the eighth green after Glover and Stewart Cink fell two holes behind Ernie Els and Adam Scott.

That’s like telling Dennis Rodman not to stop rebounding midway through the first quarter of a Bulls game, but excuse Jordan because maybe he has just never been an assistant golf captain before. Indeed, the first round of matches mean little in the grand scheme of things, though on this day the Americans were good enough to win three and split one out of the six.

The large crowd at Harding Park seemed to enjoy it all, though they were relatively subdued. There were no “USA! USA!” chants like you hear in a Ryder Cup, perhaps because they’re so used to seeing players from both sides competing against each week after week on the regular tour.

Bonds seemed to enjoy himself, too. It took him a few holes to figure out that he had to get down on one knee so people could see over him, but after that he managed to be relatively unobtrusive. He even signed a hat for one fan as he walked between holes following Woods and Stricker as they won by a lopsided margin over Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa.

Then again, he might have had reason to be nice to the people of San Francisco, including those who kept remarking that his head looked two sizes smaller than a few years back.

Some of them might end up on his jury when the perjury case against him goes to trial.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.