Just Getting Weirder

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 24, 2010, 11:15 pm

Jim Thorpe

THE MIGHTY THOR-PE?:  Jim Thorpe was sentenced to one year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes. The 13-time Champions Tour winner, who turns 61 on Feb. 1, must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he’s on supervised release.
BackspinIt used to be that a professional athlete could kidnap the Pope and only have to pay a minimal fine and do some community service. Now they're going to prison left and right. Two rules every professional athlete – and really everyone in general – should live by: 1) Keep your gun at home. 2) Give the government their money. Just adhering to those two things will cut your chances of going to jail by 70 percent.

Tiger Woods

ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Tiger Woods was purportedly photographed at a sex rehab clinic in Mississippi. The photos surfaced courtesy the National Enquirer. Other reports had Woods in a six-week program, with speculation that he would return to the PGA Tour during the Florida Swing in preparation for the Masters.
BackspinPurportedly. Speculation. Words like these have been tossed around quite liberally over the last few months. Of course, the Woods camp could turn rumors into facts with a little disclosure. Geoff Ogilvy, for one, thinks Woods at least needs to meet the press prior to returning to competition to avoid an on-site media circus. I, on the other hand, hope he doesn't speak until he returns and that he returns at Bay Hill. Normally I'd avoid such a chaotic scene like it was a Jennifer Aniston movie. But that I would have to see first-hand. In a perverted way, it's golf history.

Bill Haas

: Bill Haas birdied the 90th and final hole Monday for a one-shot victory at the weather-delayed, five-round, six-day Bob Hope Classic. Haas edged three others to join father Jay as Bob Hope champions. Jay won the event in 1988. They became the eighth father-son duo to win on the PGA Tour.
BackspinBill took a little flak coming off a stellar amateur career when he grumbled over having to begin his professional career on the Nationwide Tour. It took five years, but the younger Haas not only proved he belongs on the big stage, but proved he's more than just a guy struggling to earn a card each year. Congratulations, Bill. And thank you for avoiding a playoff and extending this event any longer than it had to be. 
Martin Kaymer

MY FAVORITE MARTIN: Martin Kaymer birdied the final hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club for a one-shot victory in the Abu Dhabi Championship. It was the German's second triumph in this event in the last three years and his fifth tour title in less than three seasons.

BackspinWe could have put a photograph of Hennie Otto above, called him Martin Kaymer and barely a handful of people would have noticed. But despite a lack of facial recognition, his name is getting plenty of respect among his peers. He just beat a field which included eight of the top 14 players in the world. No European Tour regular has more wins than does he since the start of the 2006 season. And he's only 25. For all the hype surrounding Rory McIlroy, Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler and the like, right now, Kaymer is the world's best player under 30.

Tom Watson

FEELING YOUNG AGAIN: Tom Watson won a shootout in the Champions Tour season-opener, making birdie on the final two holes for a one-shot victory over Fred Couples. Watson shot 7-under 65 Sunday, while Couples, who was making his senior debut, carded a 66.
BackspinThe Champions Tour could not have scripted a better start to their season. Maybe a Couples victory would have resonated a bit more, but a Watson win ain't bad. Congratulations to the 60-year-old for beating the 50-year-old head-to-head. And a special thanks to the late Dr. Robert Adler, who invented the remote control in 1956, thus allowing me to watch both the amazing finish to the Mitsubishi and a classic NFC Championship game at the same time.
Phil Mickelson

WELCOME BACK: Phil Mickelson was on the list when the field was announced Friday for the upcoming Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Mickelson was the only top-10 player on the field list and one of only three top-20 players scheduled to attend [Robert Allenby and Ernie Els]. Tiger Woods will be missing the tournament for the second consecutive year.


BackspinNormally, the best part about Mickelson's return to competition after a lengthy offseason is his first press conference, where he'll say something kooky like he's found a way to better treat botulism. But after ending 2009 barnstorming the globe, taking home trophies from Atlanta to Shanghai, and considering Woods' current state of flux, it's with great anticipation we wait to see what he's capable of in 2010. Keep an eye on June. Mickelson turns 40 on the 16th. The U.S. Open begins the 17th. On the 20th, he could be celebrating Father's Day, his first U.S. Open victory and his ascension to No. 1 in the world.

Jack Nicklaus

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Jack Nicklaus turned 70 Thursday. ... Doug Barron, banned from the PGA Tour, signed up to play a developmental tour in North Carolina. ... Sea Island, Ga., home to Davis Love III, will host a PGA Tour Fall Series event beginning this year. ... An Ohio high school golfer, who called a scorecard infraction on himself which cost him the state championship five years ago, was named to the Sports Illustrated sportsman of the decade list.
BackspinAnd in case you missed it, GolfChannel.com celebrated Jack's birthday with a Q&A and 70 facts about his life. ... Barron paid his membership fee of $2,250 for the eGolf Professional Tour. There's always a golf tour to play somewhere. ... The McGladrey Classic will be played Oct. 7-10 on the Seaside Course. ... It's easy to say you would do the same thing in his situation. But, as a teenager, would you?
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.