Tunes Toned and Tune-ing Up

By Dena DavisApril 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: As a part of the creative braintrust in the GOLF CHANNEL news department, Dena Davis thrives on uncovering compelling stories in golf for our shows, and finding unique, fresh ways to give viewers their golf news. These are her weekly thoughts, some random musings, and even a few programming notes. And she would like you to remember: It's all said in good fun.
Master(s) of His Domain?:
Last July, Andres Romero had already expedia-dot-com-ed his trip to Magnolia Lane after notching a third-place finish at Carnoustie. So the golden ticket the Argentine received in the magical city of New Orleans last weekend granting him access to Billy Payne and the Azalea Factory for his maiden PGA TOUR victory was, well, meaningless. However, what if it hadnt been? If only those primo passes could be transferable. For instance, given to one of the two 2008 winners on the PGA TOUR who didnt get an invite but perhaps deserved one given their seasons performances so far. Yes, Im talking about Brian Gay and Greg Kraft, who captured those opposite PGA TOUR events in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hey, no offense to our 2005 U.S. Open Champion -- and thereby an owner of a 5-year Masters exemption -- Michael Campbell, who has never made a cut at Augusta National in six attempts. But I think Gay or Kraft would have made a lot more out of their starts at The Masters than the New Zealander who has only teed it up twice this year ' missing the cut both times on the European Tour. (Todd Hamilton could not be reached for comment.)
Pretty Young Thing:
Michelle Wie has a boyfriend! OMG! And hes so dreamy! Yes, but will he have more success on the professional level than his girlfriend? Perhaps not. Stanford hoops star Robin Lopez is a 7-foot center who may have more uh, tremendous upside, as a boyfriend than a pro athlete. Robin and his Twin Tower brother Brook are sensitive, wholesome boys who enjoy everything Disney and own every Michael Jackson album ever made (I want to love you, P.Y.T.!) And both are foregoing their junior years to leave the amateur ranks for the big bucks and endorsement deals (this sounds familiar, Michelle). However, Brook is further along in his skills as he is projected to go in the top 10, while Robin may not get taken until the second round. The NBA Draft is June 26th. Interestingly, the U.S. Women's Open week at Interlachen begins June 26th. I wonder if Robin will be bringing a date to Madison Square Garden.
On Another (Musical) Note:
I thought it was over when Roy Hibbert and his Hoyas were ousted from the tournament. No longer would I be singing out loud about the Georgetown big fella, I said a hip hop the hibbie hibba Hibbert, you dont stop the rock it, to the bang bang boogie No? Im the only one? Yeah, well, Roy Hibbert is now forever synonymous with Sugar Hill Gangs Rappers Delight in my crazy musical world. Well, this weekend promises to hold more of the same kind of ditty doozies. Get ready for repeated renditions of Sasha Kaun, let me rock ya, let me rock ya Sasha Kaun, from all your bar friends and maybe some hip sportscasters. What is it with these college hoop centers? Still, those tunes are considerably less annoying than what Ive been belting out (read: butchering) around the newsroom for over five years now ' much to the dismay of my co-workers, Dont cry for me Arjun Atwaaaaaaaal! The truth is, I never left yoooooou. Yep.
Does This Suit Make Me Look Fat?
'I don't eat ice cream or bacon or sausages or white bread or milk...It's simple. Fatty things make you fat,' said Gary Player to Golfweek when asked how he stays so healthy and fit at age 72, as he embarks on his 51st Masters. Yes, but what about beer, Mr. Player? Beer! Surely, a Guinness here and there wouldnt hurt? I wonder if Mr. Player would be impressed to know that on the weekends at work, sometimes we pick TOUR players for the day and drop down and do push-ups every time they make birdies? True story.
A Knight to Remember:
Speaking of being impressed, the first time I met Gary Player, I was a hot sweaty mess. It was a weekday night a few years ago and I stopped by work after spending several intimate hours with a treadmill, a stair-master and some weights. Being late in the evening, I figured I could just grab some things off my desk without any fanfare. I pulled up to The Channel, grabbed my employee badge and headed in. As I opened the door of the lobby, barreling in at a fast pace, there stood a South African legend in my path. I practically bounced into ' and off of ' the steely sturdy 5-foot-7 Black Knight, as if he had just set a basketball screen on me.
Well, of all the Hall-of-Fame golfers you would want to (literally) run into whilst looking bedraggled, hat-pulled down, and clothed in just a perspiration-drenched sports bra and gym shorts, its the fitness-fiend known as Gary Player, my friends.
Whoa there, champ! He said to me, chuckling, Youre looking strong! And I just stood there frozen in my tracks, wide-eyed and grinning. (I had met Tiger, Jack, and Arnie without losing the ability to talk in their presence, but with Mr. Player, a guy who Id always admired for his incredible work ethic and exuberant passion for golf ' and life, my mouth was completely caught off guard.) Eventually I was able to spit out a meek Hi, and then something to the effect of, Yes um I worked out.
And then it was over. He was out the door. And I had just met a man I considered a hero and Id forgotten to shake his hand or tell him my name. I'm never getting that moment back.
Going Yard:
On Sunday, Ryan Zimmerman launched a two-out solo home run into the left-field stands in the bottom of the ninth to give his Washington Nationals a dramatic opening night victory and christening the fancy fresh ballpark with the walk-off dinger. Heres hoping well see similar heroics by a golfer in Texas this Sunday; perhaps with a memorable winning putt on the 72nd hole at the new Rees Jones' Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club, sending someone straight to Amen Corner for the first time. Houston, Hallelujah!
Things Im Not Buying Into:
  • Colin Montgomeries Payne-ful Pity-Party - Come on, man! Get ahold of yourself. Have you no shame! I usually love Mrs. Doubtfire in all of his curmudgeon glory (I might be one of the few), but you cannot start calling out The Masters committee --and Asian players who received special invites -- grumbling that you didnt get in because youre not Chinese? Because of television rights? Dude. What have you done on a golf course lately? Youre ranked 75th in the world and plummeting pronto-like. And may I remind me you, that youve missed the cut at this particular major Toonamint four times in the last five years? And Im not even going to embarrass you by bringing up the fact that the three Asian players youre complaining about: Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, Liang Wen-hong of China, and Jeev Milkha Singh of India, have all out-played you this year, with better finishes in PGA Tour starts?
  • Stef-FIN Curry is 20 years old? - I dont believe it. Youre telling me this baby-faced peach-fuzz-above-the-lip kid is the same age as old-man-get-off-my-lawn-kid! Greg Oden? Its a good thing Dells son is coming back to Davidson (my prediction for Cinderella two weeks ago, ahem) for another year. Imagine how good hes going to be once he hits puberty! Ha. Did you see what I did there? Combined last years trendy college hoops age-joke with this years so yeah.
  • Chocolate Skittles? - Seriously? Really. REALLY? Was there a need? Why are you putting chocolate on my Skittles? That makes them non-Skittles in my book ' youre completely altering their God-given genetic makeup. Skittles should taste like Skittles, not like chocolate. Am I right? Answer me that. (No, not you, Mr. Player. Skittles make us fat.)
    Email your thoughts to Dena Davis
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.