Golf's word of 2013: Dufnering, Phrankenwood or something else?

By Jason SobelNovember 20, 2013, 1:02 pm

The good people at the Oxford English Dictionary have chosen "selfie" as 2013's word of the year. While there’s been a wealth of professional golfers posting these types of self-aggrandizing pics on social media platforms this year – hey, let's face facts like they’ve faced the camera lens - it's clear that the dictionary people aren't hardcore fans of the game.

If they were, the word of the year would be “Dufnering.” You know, that sitting-on-his-hands thing that Jason Dufner did in a Texas classroom which was caught on camera and within 24 hours became an Internet meme.

In choosing selfie, the Oxford officials noted a 17,000 percent increase in usage of the word over a year ago. Well, guess what? Dufnering didn’t even exist a year ago, so that’s, what, about an infinity percent increase? Sorry, I’m not a math guy. But I know words – and Dufnering is a word that exploded this year.

But if memes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other options. Like “anchoring.” The process of sticking the butt end of a putter where the sun don't shine - namely, a player's belly - didn't originate in 2013, but consternation over the issue reached epic proportions.

It was enough that the USGA and R&A jointly enacted an impending rule banning anchoring. Therein might lie the true definition of a word of the year: If it became so popular that it was banned, it's a solid candidate.

Conversely, a word can reach new levels simply by not being implemented. It was only last December when Graeme McDowell - one of the game's most prevalent thinkers - was asked for his thoughts on “bifurcation” and admitted he didn't know the meaning of the word.

These days there's rarely a golf fan - let alone a player - who doesn't understand that it means a separate set of rules for professionals and amateurs. The USGA and R&A have yet to implement this one, but that doesn't mean it hasn't made an impact on our language.

That's more of a golf-related term, of course. The same can't be said for the word "oscillate," which can be used to describe movement in everything from particles to pendulums. In our corner of the world, it was used ad nauseum to describe Tiger Woods' opinion of how his ball moved during a controversial incident at the BMW Championship.

Anytime a word receives -Gate treatment on the back end, it's a big deal. And so it was for OscillateGate.

Maybe all these rules-related words are too serious for the word of the year, though. Maybe we need something a little more fun. Something that isn't really a word after all. Something with a hip, funky spelling.

Enter "Phrankenwood."

That's the on-again, off-again half-driver, half-3-wood invented by Phil Mickelson and used throughout his three-victory season. And yes, it even spawned a 2.0 model called, of course, Son of Phrankenwood.

Or maybe the word of the year isn't just one word. For anyone who hasn't just watched a professional event but also listened to one this year, the terms "mashed potatoes" and "Baba Booey" have - quite unfortunately, most of us would agree - become major words in the game.

Don't believe it? Try listening to a big-time event for 10 minutes without hearing either one. I dare you.

With all of these candidates, I’m fully expecting the people at Oxford English Dictionary to issue golf a soulful and apologetic, “Sorry.”

Actually, that right there is our word of the year.

Sergio Garcia said it to Tiger Woods after insensitive comments; Phil Mickelson said it after criticizing California’s tax structure; Michelle Wie said it after walking off the green early at the Solheim Cup; D.H. Lee said it after gesturing with his middle finger; Yani Tseng said it after oversleeping; Bubba Watson said it after berating his caddie; and Butch Harmon, Steve Elkington, Chris Kirk and Stacy Lewis each said it after unrestrained Twitter rants.

So, there you have it. The word of the year is: Sorry.

And if you don’t like it, I’ll apologize.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.