The Social: Rory goes the truth route

By Jason CrookJanuary 17, 2017, 7:15 pm

Welcome to the first edition of The Social, where we break down what’s happening on (but mostly) off the golf course. Because, despite a million reasons not to, we live in an era where people love putting their private lives on the Internet for our consumption. Lucky us.

Rory McIlroy is not afraid to speak his mind. And for that, we are thankful.

The latest example came courtesy an interview with the Irish Independent, in which McIlroy spoke about his personal happiness. .

McIlroy is now engaged to Erica Stoll. He used to be engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Here are some of his comments regarding his current relationship, courtesy the paper: .

“I found it refreshing being with someone who was living a normal life rather than, ‘Oh! My jet is 30 minutes late!’”

“I love that she knows everything about me, and there was no judgment there.”

“I don’t feel Erica wants to change me in any way. I can be myself around her; there’s no b---s---, no acting, no show.”

Talk about scorched earth. And Rory went the truth route. Bold. You never go the truth route. Might want to sleep with both eyes open for a while, dude, I’m sure your ex-fiancee will just take this in stride and not respond at all. That’s her thing.

Things you do for the girl you put a ring on!!!! @paulinagretzky

A video posted by Dustin Johnson (@djohnsonpga) on

Really, DJ? Really? It's not enough to be a U.S. Open champion, you have to be the world's greatest fiance too? You have, in fact, put a ring on it. You can stop wooing Paulina anytime now. She's been wooed. Give it a rest, man. You're making the rest of us with significant others begging them to participate in impromptu music videos look bad.

While Justin Thomas was too busy winning, Jordan Spieth and Smylie Kaufman went fishing just off the coast of Waialae Country Club, and, well, I think we figured out why they played so much golf on #SB2K16. The duo was so inspired by Kaufman’s first cast from the beach, which came closer to hooking his buddy than it did to landing in the Pacific Ocean, that they decided to take a kayak out on the water and ... they promptly flipped it.

They say a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work. I don't know who they is but I'm guessing they never met these two.

A video posted by @golf_snaps on

Justin Thomas thought he was upset about a football game … we beg to differ. This totally rational Cowboys fan put on a clinic about what it looks like to be upset over a football game after his team lost on a last second field goal to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

We've edited the video so you could enjoy this at work if you want to. (If you're at home or trying to get fired, you can view the full video here.) The man uses some pretty unsavory language one would expect to hear when watching someone destroy a 70-inch flatscreen.

While he did accomplish his mission, his methods are questionable. Everyone knows the best way to destroy a television is to throw a Dundie Award at it.

About this time every year, SI releases their list of "Most Beautiful Women in Golf," and about this time every year, someone, somewhere has issues with it. We're not going to be that someone, somewhere. We're just here to bring you the news. So here, um, is the news:

Supermaaaaannnnn @nellykorda

A photo posted by Jessica Korda (@thejessicakorda) on

John Daly showed up to the Diamond Resorts Invitational this week and turns out he's still got it! Sure, he doesn't win golf tournaments anymore, but he can cover "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" like it's nobody's business. Don't believe me? What about now? Or now? Or how about the time he belted it out just four days after he was literally knockin' on heaven's door while hospitalized with a collapsed lung?

Keep on keepin' on JD.

This week's prestigious honor goes to (drum roll, please) ... Daney Duperron!

You mad, bruh? You seem pretty mad from your very succinct sentences written in all caps.

Now I can't promise anything, but I have a hunch this Jordan Spieth character is probably just a fluke, so hopefully, for your sake, we can cover something else in the near future.

P.S. Sorry about the not having a face thing.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

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

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

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.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

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.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

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.