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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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

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“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.