Grill Room debate: Favorite Augusta National tradition?

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 4, 2013, 2:00 pm

Favorite Masters tradition? You get to have your say by voting here. The Grill Room Gang offers its opinion below:

Champions Dinner – The Super Bowl MVP might get to look into a TV camera and shout 'I'm going to Disney World' to 500 million people worldwide, but there is nothing better in sports – in my mind – than winning the Masters and then having the honor of planning the following year's Champions Dinner. Surf and turf? A pizza party? Hamburgers and hot dogs? Nothing but desserts? Oh the possibilities! – Golf Guy

Green jacket – You can take the girl out of the fashion blog, but you can't take the fashion out of her blogs. Or, at least not when the clothing in question is the greatest fashion statement in golf – the green jacket. It signifies a belonging into golf's most elite club by way of either an Augusta National membership or a Masters victory. It's the one article of clothing that makes men – and women now, too – green with envy. It's a symbol of greatness and accomplishment, something that money can't buy. It's the one Masters tradition that will never go out of style. – Bailey Mosier

Limited commercial interruption – Hi, I'm Jason, and I'm a technoholic. I'm not afraid to admit that DVR has completely changed my television viewing habits – if I can avoid commercials, I do it. Before digital recording, I went to the fridge during commericials to grab an adult refreshment. Now I have the pause button for that. And as great as those new AT&T spots are with the cute kids, you can always check them out on YouTube. So in a way, I feel like the Masters is put on especially for me, and (channeling my inner T.O.) I love me some me. – Jason Crook

Amen Corner – A demanding par 4 (No. 11), a diabolical par 3 (No. 12) and the ultimate risk/reward par 5 (No. 13) add up to the best three-hole stretch in golf. Each hole holds countless memories and is always integral in deciding who will slip on the green jacket each April.

Larry Mize’s miracle chip-in on the 11th in 1987 to beat Greg Norman in a playoff. Fred Couples’ ball defying gravity and staying on the bank and out of the water on the 12th in 1992. And, of course, Phil Mickelson’s stunning approach in 2010 from the trees on the 13th as he marched to his third Masters title.

These are just three of many snapshots in my mind. Whether a player is making a charge or fading away, this iconic stretch is never lacking in drama. – Byron Fisher

The back nine on Sunday – It's not only when the Masters begins in earnest, it's when the golf season begins in earnest. Everything else is just a run-up.

Nine holes, each with its own brand of drama played out multiple times, as each contender passes through. Some holes are a matter of avoiding obvious danger – don't let your approach roll off the left side of the 10th green; don't challenge the front-left pond at No. 11; make sure you clear the water at No. 12. Others tempt with opportunity – the reachable par-5 greens at the 13th and 15th, the opportunistic Sunday pin position at the 16th.

In the best of times, the leaderboard will be jammed, the top spot passed back and forth among multiple contenders. Ultimately, only one will succeed, the others often seeing their dreams drowned on one of the five water holes on the back nine.

For me, the winning putt is bittersweet. Sure, it's the culmination of someone's finest day, but it also means it's over, and I have to wait another year to experience the best day in sports. Al Tays

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

At the par-4 eighth, Woods went with 3-wood off the tee and startled a duck that was walking down the middle of the fairway.

The duck walked away, and Tiger stuffed his approach inside nine feet, setting up his third birdie of the day.

Woods dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 ninth after hooking his tee and then short siding himself right of the green. He made the turn in 2-under 33.

(More coming...)

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.