And in This Corner

By Michael CollinsFebruary 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL.
So, Im on the flight to Tucson for the Match Play (not in first class this time!) sitting next to a couple of beautiful blondes, Robin and Arlyn (How sweet is that name? And, yes, she is as hot as her name.), on their way to Phoenix so Arlyn can interview to get into dental school.
So were talking golf and schools ' Arlyn graduated from UF last year; Robin (her mom) owns a cleaning company ' and, of course, they ask me about Tiger and Phil. Are they cool? Are they nice guys? Nah, theyre both huge jerks. You shouldve seen their faces! Then I let em off the hook and told them how cool they really are and I start thinking how lucky we are in the sport of golf that we really dont have villains. I mean we try to create them (see Rory Sababtini, Vijay Singh, even Nicklaus back in the day) but it just doesnt really work, because when it comes down to it most guys out here on tour are good at heart.
Now there are guys I would like (Id actually pay) to see fight. Lumpy vs. Colin Montgomerie (Heavyweights); Charles Howell III vs. Camilo Villegas (Featherweights); Boo Weekly vs. an Orangutan (that one actually happened!); Frank Lickliter II vs. Peter Lonard (Redneck vs. Rugby); and the main undercard, Phil vs. Vijay. Now some people wanna see Tiger vs. Phil, but I think the Vijay match-up would be better because they have a past.
Imagine Vijay taking a swing at Phil! Phil smiles sheepishly as he kicks Veej below the belt! Vijay goes down but being a former bouncer, and having golf balls of steel, he grabs Phil by the hair and pulls him down, too. And, of course, Phil is still smiling. After three rounds Vijays bloody, ashy, and has bite marks on his shoulder. Phil has three teeth and hes STILL SMILING!
Now who should Tiger fight? KJ Choi! Former power lifter, you know hed know some tae kwon-something thatd at least confuse Tiger for a little bit. I dont think KJ could win but itd be a good fight!
This week the sports news has been all about steroids. Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were actually in front of a congressional committee and the public to talk about or deny their use of human growth hormones and steroids. First of all, arent we at war in TWO PLACES? What the hell are our congressmen doing talking sports at a time like this? And second do we really care? I mean lets be real, were gonna start testing this year on the TOUR for drugs and to be honest with you, I dont care if someone tests positive for anything. A friend of mine, who will remain nameless, had the funniest line at the player meeting a few weeks ago when the players and TOUR got together to talk about the testing policy.
The exchange went like this: Player, So you saying that you can come to MY HOUSE at anytime and test me? Tour, Yes, thats the gist of the agreement. Player, Hows the tester gonna get out of my house with a bullet in his a--? Eruption of applause and laughter from the other players present.
I dont care if Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Floyd Landis and even Marion Jones used. You know why, because no matter how many steroids, HGH, and horse tranquilizers I took, I cant do what these people can do. I cant golf, run, jump, swim, hit, throw, and ride a bike at the level these people can when theyre NOT on steroids. I think thats what most of the people making all this noise are truly so pissed about. Heres a reality slap: if Tiger, Phil, Vijay, Ernie, and even Jim Furyk were all doing steroids and then stopped, theyd still put a whooping on you and me. Maybe we should require them to play while they are on mushrooms just to see!
Robin and Arlyn previewed this column and they both agreed with me. Robin says we should let them all do steroids if they want to; they know the price theyll have to pay later in life. Arlyn says, whatever helps her get into dental college. Beautiful, single, and gonna have a good paying job. WHERE ARE MY CARDS?!?
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    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x