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The Social: 'Get those party boots on'

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2017, 7:00 pm

Pat Perez and his wife are ready to celebrate, #SB2K guys hit the college scene, Tour stars vacation all over the place and Sylvester Stallone's model daughter jumps into your dream foursome.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

After going years without exactly setting the world on fire, Tiger's social media accounts have become must-watch internet television.

As the golf world goes nuts for any little hint that he may be on his way back to competitive golf following several back surgeries that wiped out much of the last few years, Woods dropped a big one on us Sunday – full swing with a driver, and in his traditional red shirt, no less.

It was hard to think he wasn't nearing a return after watching that, and Big Cat went ahead and made it official on Monday, confirming that doctors had given him the go-ahead to resume all golf activities.

Making Progress

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What's more? Woods' former coach, Hank Haney, thinks this swing looks like one the 14-time major champ could return to the winner's circle with.

It's go time!

Hope it works out a little better for Tiger than it did for the Mandelbaums.

The latest chapter in the feel-good story of Perez's career resurgence unfolded over the weekend in Malaysia, as the outspoken 41-year-old won the CIMB Classic – his second PGA Tour win in less than a year.

In typical Perez fashion, it didn't take long after the final putt dropped for him to offer up the quote of the week:

“I’m not going to change anything,” he said. “I’m still not going to work out. I’ll still have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself.

And he's in luck, because his wife, Ashley, immediately took to social media to echo that sentiment, captioning a few pictures of the couple with, "Get those party boots on for when you get home!"

Check out more photos of the couple here.

Pat Perez just picking up wins left and right.

And from the looks of his Instagram feed, he knows it:

Current mood.

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But while Perez's celebration will have to wait, back-to-back European Tour winner Tyrell Hatton got his victory party going shortly after wrapping up the Italian Open on Sunday, wasting no time getting to the nearest ... Burger King?

Burger King may want you to have it your way, but Hatton's way, with a new $1.96 million in the bank, looks pretty delicious.

While Justin Thomas was off "working" in Malaysia, trying to win the CIMB Classic for the third straight year, the other three members of the #SB2K squad were taking some time off and supporting the football teams of the schools where they played their college golf.

Of course, "supporting" means different things to different people.

Jordan Spieth helped his Texas Longhorns with the coin toss and watched from the sidelines during the annual Red River Showdown with Oklahoma:

Rickie Fowler helped lead a parade through town and then pumped up the crowd at the pep rally while serving as the homecoming grand marshal for the Oklahoma State Cowboys:

And Smyle Kaufman, well Smylie passed out Natural Light swag to fans and watched LSU from not-exactly on the field.

Which, if we're being honest, sounds way more fun than being put to work all weekend.

Tigers win! A fun weekend down on the Bayou seeing old friends! #LSU

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Smylie Kaufman - perennial MVP of the spring break bros.

With just a couple months left in the calendar year, it's time to start thinking about how to use those vacation days ... even for those living amongst us who play professional golf and are on sort of a lifelong perm-vacation.

Hence the sudden influx of PGA Tour stars to Italy over the past week or so.

The McIlroys, Horschels, Walkers and Donalds have all been busy posting photos of their trips to Italy, because, well ... it's Italy.

Buongiorno Venezia!

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Great day walking around Milan with @dianedonald #nailedit #tourist @openditaliagolf

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Something about this professional golf thing correlating directly to incredible looking vacations.

We'll have our investigative team dig into it.

Move over, Lamest Person in Your Current Dream Foursome - you've been replaced.

Sylvester Stallone took to Instagram last week to show off his daughter Sistine's golf swing, and let's just say if this modeling thing doesn't work out for her, she could have a solid back-up plan in golf.

Update: This modeling thing is going to work out just fine.

1st MET!!! Thank you @topshop for an incredible night

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drama queen

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Venice Film Festival @twinsetofficial

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Once upon a time, Sergio Garcia was just a kid trying to live up to some gigantic expectations as a professional golfer.

He was reminded of those times last week at the Italian Open, when he was grouped with Austin Connelly 18 years after meeting him for the first time.

Whether he remembered or not, Connelly's mom did, obviously. That's what moms do.

The photo probably meant a little extra to Garcia, 37, in light of recent events. Sergio and his new bride, Angela, recently announced they are expecting a baby next March.

So it could be a new Garcia on the other end of this re-created photo with his/her favorite golfer a couple of decades from now.

After all, time is a flat circle ... or something like that.

Nothing gets past this guy, especially sarcasm.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.