The Social: Tiger, Trump and Twitter

By Jason CrookJanuary 24, 2017, 5:50 pm

Donald Trump gets sound social media advice from the unlikeliest of sources, Tiger Woods continues to run a stellar Instagram account, LPGA stars flock to the Bahamas and – bonus! – multiple comments of the week. All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

Whether you support Donald Trump or hate him so much you felt compelled to smash a Starbucks window during his inauguration or fall somewhere in between, one thing is for sure: the social media enthusiast and new leader of the free world is going to continue to make headlines in the sports world, particularly golf. Monday alone, we had stories of Tiger Woods disecting Trump's game and the new POTUS hoping to tee it up in front of the Queen of England this summer.

While President Trump appears set on defying the No. 1 rule of Twitter – don't tweet – he might want to heed the advice of part-time golfer, Johnny Manziel.

Yes, this Johnny Manziel:

The former Heisman Trophy winner, who has battled personal issues and is currently not on an NFL roster, has plenty of experience with social media and being on the wrong side of it. He shared the following words of wisdom with the White House's newest resident on Monday:

Of course, because he's Johnny Football, he followed that stroke of genius by bizzarely deleting his Twitter account altogether, but hey, the man has a point. 

For those who don’t know, Tiger Woods owns a restaurant, The Woods Jupiter, in Florida, an upscale sports bar-type establishment that one would expect to have a bar, considering, you know, that they advertise a full bar.

But just in case there was any confusion, Tiger took to Instagram this weekend to give his 700,000 followers a glimpse of the options they offer:

We like our options when it's happy hour at The Woods. #thewoodsjupiter

A photo posted by Tiger Woods (@tigerwoods) on

That’s a lot of hooch. If we ever visit his restaurant, hope we run into this Tiger, circa 2013:

Noted New England Patriots fan Keegan Bradley was understandably excited after his team punched its ticket to the Super Bowl on Sunday after topping the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game. So excited, in fact, that he tweeted this GIF of Tom Brady showing off his four Super Bowl rings:

The tweet was met with plenty of backlash by people who hate the Patriots – so everyone outside of New England – but no responses were better than those from ESPN's Scott Van Pelt and fellow golfer Luke Donald, who reminded Keegs that one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is also better than him at basketball, and occasionally even golf.

Beer me!... er wait. #mcrib #heded #whoputthatpolethere #murca

A video posted by Kookslams (@kookslams) on

Never a bad time for this video. Just a man, his wakeboard, a wasted beer and an ill-placed pole.

It's been a rough couple of weeks in the Bahamas on the Tour, with swirling winds bringing high scores – none higher than Greg Eason, who lost 32 balls during the season-opening Great Exuma Classic with rounds of 91-95, and then returned at the Great Abaco Classic with a 90 that featured a record decuple-bogey 15.

But things are looking up. Not only did Eason shoot 68 on Tuesday, but the weather supposed to calm down and the LPGA is descending on the tropical paradise, bringing with them better scores and, if Jaye Marie Green is any indication, better views:

Loving life in the Bahamas! #grind @puresilkbahamaslpga @fitteamglobal

A video posted by Jaye Marie Green (@jayemgreen) on

Ottoman steak

A video posted by nusr_et (@nusr_et) on

For some reason, viral sensations make very little sense and somehow have ties to the golf world.

Well the newest thing taking the Internet by storm – a Turkish chef who now goes by "Salt Bae" after a video of him cutting up meat and seductively sprinkling it with salt wracked up nearly 8 million Instagram views in the last two weeks – has made its way to golf.

Rickie Fowler 'n friends ate at one of the chef's restaurants while in town for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and video evidence confirms the guy has definitely earned the right to be the most-memed figure of January 2017.

Here we have a comment thread posted on a story about the Rory McIlroy-Caroline Wozniacki relationship, where commenters could have chosen to a) write something nice and thoughtful a) bash McIlroy, b) bash Wozniacki, or c) bash both of them. Instead, these jabronis went with option d) debate grammar, specifically, when to use commas, with strangers, on an Internet message board.

These guys seem fun.

Getty Images

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.