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The Social: Aside from golf, Prez Cup entertained

By Jason CrookOctober 3, 2017, 7:00 pm

The real highlights from the U.S. Presidents Cup victory come after the event had concluded, the WAGs (maybe even Tiger's?) show up in a big way and Gary Player never ceases to amaze.

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

By all accounts, the Presidents Cup was a blowout from start to finish, culminating in the Americans' seventh straight win of the event and matching the third-largest margin of victory over the Internationals.

But if any fans out there stuck it out til the bitter end, they were treated to some great theatrics from the winning squad ... in the media center.

With the result basically wrapped up before Sunday singles began, the champagne celebration started early and it was in full swing by the time the U.S. players sat down as a team with the media - which led to some classic moments, such as Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson belting out their best rendition of “Si Woo, Si Woo, shaking that ass," a reference to the song American fans used in good fun to try and rattle International team member and Presidents Cup rookie Si Woo Kim.

But that wasn't the only fun the Americans had after their 19-11 win. While in the past Phil Mickelson has seemed more-than able and willing to make headlines in winning or losing team competition news conferences, on Sunday it was the U.S. squad's eldest statesmen who was the butt of a few jokes, despite posting a 3-0-1 record.

People can debate as much as they want about the Presidents Cup's lack-of "competiton" and what the best course of action is moving forward with an event that some say has lost its luster.

But do you want to know how you know it's still a big deal?

The WAGs showed up. Big time.

The annual "Take Your Significant Other to Work Week" was a great success, as usual, with all the fan-favorites showing up to cheer on their men.

One big happy #USTeam family Congratulations to @stevestrickpga & the entire 2017 team!

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Emerald City

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Had a Brunch of fun honoring the First Lady's today! @nchcf

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American girls

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Part of the winning international team..in the cook off that is!#PresidentsCup #internationalteam

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Paulina Gretzky. Tori Slater. Jena Sims. Allison Stokke. Annie Verrett. Jillian Wisniewski. Amy Mickelson. Ellie Day, Jessica Hadwin. Michelle Money. The list goes on and on.

Presidents Cup. Playing the hits.

There was one embrace in particular at Liberty National that seemed to catch people's attention, and we're not talking about apparent BFFs Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson hugging out the victory.

No, someone else was spotted getting even cozier with Woods.

Erica Herman, 33, who was once listed as the general manager of a Woods-branded pop-up restaurant at the Genesis Open, was snuggling up with Tiger all week, and while Woods neither confirmed nor denied the two were an item, they don't exactly look like, "just friends."

Of course, if they were officially dating, we'd know. Because we would have seen an over-the-top synchronized Facebook post complete with professional photos by now.

Perfection. #fail #karate #martialarts #lol #punch #ouch #slowmotion

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Is there anything Gary Player can't do?

The 81-year-old crushes his work-outs, does backflips off of boats and, evidently, can cut a rug.

On Monday at one of his Gary Player Invitational events in New York, which raise money for underprivileged children and communities worldwide, Player found himself on the dance floor and he did not disappoint.

Hey Gary, the phone is for you ... It's "Dancing with the Stars."

From Rory McIlroy to Phil Mickelson, there's been plenty of talk about the firing and hiring of caddies this year.

But there were a couple of caddie stories this week that were a little less serious in tone, which was nice considering we're talking about a job where the main duty is literally just carrying a bag.

First it was Sergio Garcia making a fan's day month year life by letting him loop during the Wednesday pro-am of the British Masters.

This particular fan, Mark Johnson, is what one might call "persistent."

This payoff came after he tweeted Garcia for 206 straight days with this particular request.

The second caddie story comes from the boys behind the SB2K18 CADDIES Twitter account. They want to, you guessed it, caddie for SB2K18.

The guys do make a compelling case for Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman to look over. They offer caddie races, dance-offs, sunscreen application and cocktail service.

Best of luck to Willie, Juice, Hammer and Mountain. And remember, if you get turned down the first time, just ask another 205 times. That will definitely show them you're serious and get you the job ... or a restraining order. Only one way to find out.

Good point. Maybe those guys will take this loss to heart and try harder to make the International Presidents Cup team in a couple years.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.