Adam Scott Bashing Continues

By Brian HewittMay 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker is a mixed bag this week. A little Anthony Kim. A little Olympics. A little Masters. And more. A real moveable feast of edginess.
Without further ado:
Mark writes: Whatever. Anthony Kims got game. So do a lot of other players. Every year the media desperately tries to find the next One. In one short week, the golf world forgot about Adam Scott, who was supposed to be the one to dethrone Tiger. And then there are the others: Justin Rose, Sergio, Villegas, Luke Donald, Jason Day, Ryan Moore, Baddeley, Romero, Sean OHair, J.B. Holmes to name a few. Reality check. There are dozens of young talented players, but the Next Big Thing is not on the Tour yet. Unless and until Kim, Scott, or anyone else wins 5 or more times on the PGA Tour in a single calendar year, the only Big Thing out there remains to be Tiger.
The Comebacker
Dont forget Jamie Lovemark (still in college). And dont be surprised if Kim does something dramatic this week. And, by the way, I dont think anybodys forgotten Adam Scott just yet.

Rich writes: The Olympics is a druggy fest. The judges cheat and play favorites. It behooves golf (the most pure sport on the planet) to stay away from the Olympics at all costs. All the baseball players (put together) in the world have yet to take enough steroids to equal the yearly indulgences of any one Olympic team. Once golf is an Olympic sport it will be infected with the cancer of cheating. Any PGA, USGA, or other golf leader who promotes Olympic golf deserves nothing less than a public spanking on the 18th hole at the British Open.

The Comebacker
So let me see if I understand you on this, Rich: You dont support golf in the Olympics?

K writes: During the conclusion of the BMW Asian tournament I noticed that Darren Clarke had himself a Nicotine Fix (Smoke) before playing the final hole. Since he had just dropped shots on three of the four holes #14 through #17, I found it discomforting that he should birdie the final hole following his fix. I like Darren Clarke as a player and I'm happy that he won, but was there an advantage in the Nicotine fix calming his emotions on the final hole?
The Comebacker
Its a European thing.

Jack writes: Is it just me or should Finchem require these young guys to shave regularly? They look like hell! What's next, tank tops and cut offs and cold beer on every tee box?
The Comebacker
Theres a bad John Daly joke here somewhere. But what? You want them all to look like Ben Crane?

Kaddyshack writes:I play golf with a lady who is in her late 70s. My wife calls her my babysitter because she plays in any kind of weather, all winter long, with me. This lady and I bet $1.00 every time Tiger plays, she takes Tiger & I take the field. I'm certainly not rejoicing about his injury in any way, shape or form . . .but thank goodness he is rehabbing . . I was on the verge of having to take out a loan.
The Comebacker
First rule of betting: Dont make wagers with women in their late 70s who play golf in any kind of weather. By any chance is her first name Madge?

Matt writes:I just read your article, Restoring the Masters Roars and I think your source is off base. Throughout the history of the Masters tournament Augusta National has not had to use multiple tees to create drama during the final round (With the exception of the 4th hole where they have used the members tees in the recent past). Before the length explosion Jack Nicklaus gave us great drama in 1986 without the need of multiple tees. Actually it is Mr. Nicklaus who has the answer. He has pointed out more that once that Bobby Jones designed the course to provide the players a variety of ways to play each hole. While I do agree there was a need to lengthen the course to maintain shot value, I think the lack of drama stems from the tightening of the golf course. I have been an active and happy patron for the last 15 years and it has been my observation that the drama went away when all the trees were planted to tighten the golf course. The open fairways were part of the beauty and uniqueness of the first major of the year. Now it looks like a US Open course. Take out the trees, reduce the rough back to the original second cut and you will see the drama and creativity of the players return to Sunday at Augusta.
The Comebacker
Actually, I agree on this one. The need for multiple tee boxes would lessen if the trees were removed and the first cut given a haircut.

George writes: No one is going to doubt that Adam Scott is a great player and deserves a top 5 ranking. Anyone who wins a PGA (TOUR) event is the best man for that day. No question. That being said why cant we all call it as it is. Sunday, on the third playoff hole at EDS was a Hail Mary of putting. He stroked it hoping it would go close. I mean come on, the guy missed a close one on the 17th to clinch. If Scott is the putter, the media (with the exception of Andrew Magee) is trying to make him out to be, that playoff wouldnt have gotten to a third hole. And we all know its not the first time Adam has missed a short putt in the clutch. Every major winner will tell you that in order to win a major you HAVE TO GET IT DONE on the putting green. I believe that one day Scott will have a major championship on his mantle, but until then wouldnt the right thing be to call it as it is instead of lifting Adam Scott up as some sort of iron man?
The Comebacker
Still cant figure out why everyone wants to bash Adam Scott. I think Sergio Garcia, to name one, has a lot more to be taken to task for than Scott.

Randy writes: Anyway, as much as I love the Masters, I have no desire to go back right away if they keep the set up the same as this year. The new tee boxes would be a good idea in my opinion.
The Comebacker
Unless they remove the trees and trim the first cut.

Michael writes: I can understand having multiple boxes to help create a different feel for the course; however, moving the tee boxes so the pros can get more birdie and eagle opportunities is a bad idea. This is a major championship. Pars should be a good score. The 2008 event wasn't a birdie feast, and it proved to be plenty exciting. I bowl professionally on the Denny's PBA Tour, and have won a major championship, so I know what it takes
to get it done. Augusta has always been a sought after win on the PGA, let's keep it that way and not taint it by making it too easy to achieve a great score. It's about playing the course and the elements. Testing your mental strength as well as good shot making, and of course, some good uck.
The Comebacker
Have you ever converted the 7-10 split and is that harder than getting a hole-in-one? Just asking.

Tom writes: I'm amused by all the uppity comments about John Daly's conduct. While he's working he sometimes shows up and draws a crowd. The PGA (TOUR) can't really penalize him for poor play no matter what reason. His quitting tournaments isn't against the rules of golf however rude it may be to the tournament. If everybody will be patient all his endorsements and money will be gone anyway. He's a good example of how not to act. Take it easy man. He's on the way out anyway.
The Comebacker
Yeah, but the hard part is watching such a public self-destruction. Nobody should take any pleasure in that.

John writes:You know a pig is a pig no matter how much money they have. It seems obvious that he (Daly) needs help but where is Dr. Phil? Doesnt he normally have intervention at times like these? Good lord at least John has a gut and not boobies! Great talent, apparently a great guy but not a great model, swimsuit or role!! My rant.
The Comebacker
Rants are what The Comebacker is all about. Not sure Im down with the pig reference, though.

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    Teenager Im wins season opener

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

    South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Tour.

    Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

    Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

    Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Tour event at age 20.

    Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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    Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

    He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

    12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

    Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

    At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

    Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

    1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

    Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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    Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

    By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

    HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

    It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

    Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

    It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

    ''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

    The reward now?

    ''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

    He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

    During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

    ''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

    Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

    ''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

    During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

    ''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

    It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

    Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

    And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

    It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

    ''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

    Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

    And not the Masters.

    He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

    ''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

    There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

    Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

    ''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

    He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

    ''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

    He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

    ''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

    Except for that first week in April.

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    The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

    By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

    The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

    Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

    As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

    While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

    Yeah, you heard that right.

    “I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

    Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

    Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

    Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

    As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

    Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

    Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

    A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

    Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

    With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

    First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

    “I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

    Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

    We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

    The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

    These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

    Here's two more just for good measure.

    Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

    Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

    Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

    Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

    Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

    Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

    But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

    We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

    Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

    PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

    Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.