Gulbis Rep Says Image Wont Change
At least thats what Gulbis people are charging when it comes to the part about the re-vamping and de-vamping.
The controversy began late last week when the a Virginia newspaper published a story saying Gulbis had hired a marketing agency and that she was in the process of being rebranded.
Now Gulbis people are saying most of what appeared in the article was inaccurate. Natalies brand has been set all along, a Gulbis spokesman told GOLF CHANNEL. Nothing has changed. That article was a little bizarre.
Her brand is still the all-American girl who is very smart, very driven and very conscious of fitness who just happens to be a very good golfer.
The newspaper piece said, among other things, a decision was made to not have any swimsuit photos in the 2008 Gulbis calendar. It also quoted Circle S marketing president Susan Hogg as saying, With the original stuff, she (Gulbis) was in a beautiful bathing suit, tights and things and that certainly got the attention of a lot of people. But were trying to scoot it more to who she is and where she wants to take (her career and name) ... and being a role model, specifically to young girls and women in general. Thats the brand were trying to portray.
The Gulbis camp acknowledges there are no swimsuit photos in her 2008 calendar but says most of the quotes attributed to Hogg were incorrect.
The USGA banned sales of the Gulbis calendars at this years U.S. Womens Open because they were, reportedly too risqu.
That actually helped the sales of the calendars, said the Gulbis spokesman. But, the spokesman added, in order to get wider distribution to giant outlets, with a wider audience, such as Wal-Mart, Waldenbooks and Amazon, it was decided to not have any bathing suit shots in the 2008 calendar.
For her part, Gulbis has just completed a commercial shoot for a new set of spots for Winn Grips with Butch Harmon and John Daly.
THE GOOSE AND THE DUCK:
The collective eyebrows of the people who were paying close attention were raised last week when Angel Cabrera and Retief Goosen skipped the final event of the PGA TOUR season.
It meant that both players finished their season with 14 events on the U.S. Tour, one short of the total needed to fulfill yearly card requirements.
A quick check with the PGA TOUR, however, revealed that Goosen and Cabrera took advantage of a little-known rule to keep their playing privileges for 2008.
Both played on the International squad in the Presidents Cup in late September. And the PGA TOUR has confirmed that participation in a Presidents Cup or a Ryder Cup counts as an official start. In the cases of Goosen and Cabrera, the Presidents Cup counted as their 15th event.
Gary Planos roots for all golfers equally. But now that the PGA TOUR season is completed, he will not deny being happy that Canadians won two of the last three events.
Planos is the tournament director of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua, Hawaii which is also the first event of the 2008 season. Players qualify for the Mercedes-Benz Championship by winning a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event.
When Mike Weir won the Frys Electronics Open last month and Stephen Ames captured the Childrens Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart Sunday it closed out Planos field at 35. Both Weir and Ames are Canadians.
Canadians love to travel on vacation to watch their favorite players. Historically at Kapalua, Weirs galleries have rivaled those of Tiger Woods.
Planos also noted that Ames caddie Sunday was wearing a Kapalua shirt during the final round. It did, Planos said, 'bring good luck.
As to whether Woods and Phil Mickelson, the worlds top two ranked players respectively, will play in his event, Planos said this, We are hoping everyone comes to play in January.
Woods and Mickelson both have missed the last two Mercedes-Benz Championships. Before that, Woods played in eight of the last nine going back to 1997. Mickelson hasnt played the event since 2001.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.