For the birds: This Buffett fan sure to ruffle feathers

By Jason SobelJuly 6, 2014, 6:55 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. - I'm a Jimmy Buffett fan. Not a Parrothead by any means, but enough of a fan that on a nice sunny day I've got no problem rolling down the windows, tuning in to his XM station and even belting out a few stanzas of "Cheeseburger in Paradise" if nobody can hear me.

(And yeah, just reading that paragraph makes me want to punch myself in the face, but I digress …)

So I was pretty excited to see him booked for a concert here Saturday night, just down the road from The Greenbrier Classic. I’d never seen him perform live. As I told a PGA Tour media official when we left the course after the third round, "Buffett's not my favorite, but I’ve seen all my favorites. This should be pretty cool."

And then I got ready for the show and boarded a crowded shuttle bus and got to the amphitheater and he started playing. And, well, it wasn’t that cool anymore.

Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band opened with "Summertime Blues," a campy cover track that was popular when the 67-year-old Buffett was a pre-teen and it was probably hokey even back then. They followed with "Brown-Eyed Girl."

(Yes, he went 0-for-2 in playing actual Buffett songs to start, immediately giving the show a karaoke disposition. In fact, later he'd even play a song with the word "KARAOKE" bleating on a screen behind him, which at least proves he was in on the joke.)

The caddie standing next to me was so young that he asked whether the Van Morrison wedding-stalwart was a Buffett original.

I'm not that young, but I'm young enough that ever since I've enjoyed music, I've always seen the Beach Boys as a Kokomo-crooning, Baby Boomer-swooning, cheesy caricature of surf-life in the 1960s.

But Buffett? Man, Buffett was cooler. Buffett was the dude who'd rather hang out at the beach bar with a few cold beverages and a guitar than show off to the coeds with his surfing moves.

On this night, though, I couldn't help thinking he wasn't cool anymore. Maybe he never was in the first place.

He wore a bright pink "Margaritaville" T-shirt, lemon yellow shorts and no shoes. He smiled a lot, which was good, and paused a lot, which wasn’t.

The entire show, which featured at least a dozen guitarists and horn players and AARP-ish women singing background vocals alongside him onstage, had the feel of Uncle Larry crashing your Fourth of July party with some of his pals.

Or better yet, Uncle Larry shooting a commercial for his Lucky Larry's Used Car Emporium.

It was schmaltz upon schmaltz. It was music’s answer to vaudeville theater.

If the Beach Boys are a caricature of long-ago surf-life, Buffett is a caricature of Buffett.

Then again, it seems to be working for him.

The amphitheater was packed. Fans sang along. When Buffett wailed, “Fins to the left, fins to the right …” everybody clapped two hands together over their heads and swayed back and forth. A few diehards even wore actual stuffed parrots on their heads.

Hey, more power to 'em. The brand works. Just like we’d say of a few of the older golfers who were in attendance, Buffett may not do anything great, but he knows how to get himself around the course and post a score.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.