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The Social: From Ludacris to the ridiculous

By Jason CrookSeptember 19, 2017, 5:00 pm

PGA Tour stars walk the red carpet before the Tour Championship (and look good doing it), Rory McIlroy shows off his soccer skills without tearing a ligament and some of the wildest swings you've ever seen are on full display.

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

Welcome to Atlanta, where Ludacris serenaded the top 30 in the FedExCup rankings for making it to the playoff finale at East Lake.

The players were shown plenty of southern hospitality as they walked the red carpet at the kickoff concert, posing with the rapper and "The Fast and the Furious" actor.

Stand up #tourchampionship #fedexcupplayoffs

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If the choice of music for the event seems like an odd pairing, you haven't been paying much attention to golf this year.

Snoop Dogg kicked off major season by headlining "Augusta Jam" on the night before the opening round of the Masters at the Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon, just a couple miles down the road from Augusta National.

Live rap music from guys 40-and-over. The hottest trend in golf. You heard it here first.

McIlroy and soccer kind of go together like lamb and tuna fish. He may like it – a lot – but you can't blame golf fans if they cringe a little while viewing this next clip considering he tore an ankle ligament playing the sport in 2015 and missed his Open title defense while nursing the injury.

Responding to international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s #CR7Challenge, McIlroy posted a video to his Instagram on Tuesday showing off some pretty impressive juggling skills.

Of course, McIlroy wasn't the only one getting back on the horse this week. Greg Norman, who once almost severed his left hand with a chainsaw, posted this photo of him on clean-up duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma at his home in Jupiter, Fla.

Once you get over the fact that he is indeed wearing a shirt, you will see The Shark is once again wielding a chainsaw.

Clean up time. Thanks Irma. And to everyone else in its path I hope any damage was minimal.

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Ever hear that joke about women living longer than men? Insert it here.

Much was made about the LPGA’s decision to shorten their fifth major, the Evian Championship from 72 to 54 holes and wipe out the scores of those who had begun their rounds on Thursday after weather made the course unplayable.

No matter where you stand on the issue, and many thought the credibility of the event took a major hit, you had to feel for those players who had gone out and put up some early birdies only to see them taken off the board before play started on Friday.

One of those players was co-leader Jessica Korda, who wasn’t shy about sharing her opinion on Twitter.

Replying to a Golf Channel story about the decision, Korda said she was "super pumped" about it, but we have a sneaky suspicion that she wasn't actually super pumped about it and quite possibly wasn't happy about it at all.

Cheering on their favorite human #HockeyDog @spittinchiclets

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"Who's winning the match?" - This good dog, probably.

Kids say the darndest things … and they aren’t too shabby on the golf course these days, either.

At this past week’s KLM Open, 11-year-old Mattias Henke came closest to the pin in a "Beat the Pro" competition against Chris Wood and Max Albertus and winning a free flight to anywhere in Europe in the process. You read that right, an 11-year-old beat a European Ryder Cupper in a closest-to-the-pin contest.

At least some pros still beat the 8-year-old who gave it a try, although it's a pretty good bet you may be hearing Tom Hendricks' name in the future after this drive.

Not to be outdone, over on the PGA Tour 6-year-old one-armed golfer Tommy Morrissey hung out at the BMW Championship with Paige Spiranac and ... you guessed it ... beat her at a closest-to-the-pin contest ... by hitting the pin on his second shot.

Live look at Tommy:

Technically there’s no wrong way to play golf, but there are some methods that seem to work better than others. These next three swings that were floating around on social media this week certainly wouldn’t be taught in your local group lessons, but hey, to each their own.

The two drives, one from Steve Wheatcroft’s pro-am partner at the Albertsons Boise Open, are pretty impressive just to make contact, let alone go over 200 yards, as Wheatcroft claimed.

Grip it & rip it @foreplaypod

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This chip though, could probably use just a little less follow-through. Just one man's personal opinion.

That follow through though... (ht @jaclynvinciguerra)

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Accurate.

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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.