2013 Rexys: Excellence (not always) in golf

By Rex HoggardDecember 19, 2013, 7:20 pm

In recognition of one of the most contentious years in golf, we asked PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Vijay Singh to co-host this year’s Rexy award soiree, but the commish was concerned there was IGF-1 in the Moët and the Fijian’s lawyers didn’t have time to file a confidentiality agreement with the court. So you’re stuck with your scribe.

The envelopes, please. (Click here for a look at the 2012 Rexys)

Snowman Award (Non-scorecard division): This goes to the unknown attendant at Dove Mountain who dug through the storage room during the blizzard of 2013, also known as the WGC-Accenture Match Play, to find a pair of gloves and a stocking cap for your correspondent to weather the wintery storm.

As an aside, Charlie Beljan won the actual Snowman Award after carding 2013’s first 8 in Round 2 at the Humana Challenge. But Beljan’s miscue was not nearly as entertaining as the Blizzard of ’13.

Dufnering Crown: Give it to the man himself for sparking a viral sensation, but the list of honorable mention candidates for the first-year award is extensive. From Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter to a flight of Blue Angels aviators and Ted Bishop, the president of the PGA of America, Dufnering’s 15 minutes was fun for everyone.

Jim Cantore Award: The folks in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., took on Mother Nature in 2013 and lost. All total, 22 of 40 events were impacted by weather delays last season, from heavy fog at Torrey Pines and frost at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to the winter wonderland that became the WGC-Match Play.

Things were so bad in ’13, the word is the Tour plans to have Cantore double as next year’s first-tee announcer to hand out hole locations, scorecards and weather reports.

Caddie races at Phoenix Open

NFL (No Fun League) Cup. Only the Tour – only the Tour! – could turn something as harmlessly entertaining as the annual caddie races at TPC Scottsdale and Colonial into a good run spoiled.

The Tour nixed the races, in part, out of concerns for caddie safety and because the event had become a “carnival show.” Yes, we wouldn’t want a carnival atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale’s 16th hole, would we?

The Sausage Silver. The inaugural award goes to the European Tour’s Ryder Cup captain selection process. The scene in the Abu Dhabi hotel, where Paul McGinley was named next year’s skipper, was surreal and the politicking that went on to land the Irishman the gig would make a Washington politico blush – but the system worked.

The players got the captain they wanted. It was like sausage – you don’t want to know how it’s made; you just want to enjoy the end product.

The Worst Timing Award. Because of Tour regulations, Si Woo Kim, who earned his card at last fall’s Q-School, wasn’t able to enjoy the benefits of membership until his 18th birthday on June 28. As a result, the South Korean played just eight times and didn’t cash a check.

Yeah, happy birthday. You’re headed back to Q-School.

Jim Mackay and Phil Mickelson

Top Outdoor Butler Bowl. We pinched this award from Kip Henley, Brian Gay’s longtime caddie, and the inaugural recipient is a runaway winner – Jim “Bones” Mackay.

Bones helped loop Phil Mickelson to the one title that few outside Camp Lefty thought he’d ever win, in July at Muirfield. It’s time to add another line to the caddie credo, show up, shut up, keep up and, now, step up.

Game of Thrones Chalice. Compromise was a rare commodity in 2013 and the list of potential candidates for this award reads like a who’s-who roll call of the game’s powerbrokers.

From Bishop and R&A chief executive Peter Dawson’s public dustup over the proposed – and eventually passed – ban on anchoring, to the reported coup attempt by outgoing president Glen Nager at the U.S. Golf Association, 2013 was characterized by not-so-quiet contempt.

On the bright side, however, we may have touched on a cure for slow play. Put that group in a threesome and watch how fast they blaze through 18 holes.

Velvet Underground Award. Vijay Singh admitted to using the Ultimate Spray, which is derived from deer-antler velvet and contained IGF-1, which is on the circuit’s list of banned substances; he was sanctioned by the Tour for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy; he was later cleared of any wrongdoing and subsequently sued the Tour for, among other things, public humiliation.

If it seems like nobody wins in this scenario it’s because nobody does.

Tiger Woods

Best Selfie Award: No, not the self-portrait that has become the social media norm. The “Best Selfie” goes to Tiger Woods for a performance that looked a lot like those historic campaigns in 2000 and 2006.

While it has become good sport to pick apart Woods’ play in the majors and his caustic relationship with the Rules of Golf in ’13, he won five times, claimed his 11th Player of the Year Award, secured the winning point for the U.S. side at the Presidents Cup and looked, well, a lot like the old guy.

King of Cool Cup. The Rexy committee voted to retire this award in honor of Fred Couples, who again proved to be the most interesting man in the room in ’13 after completing the Presidents Cup trifecta at Muirfield Village and joining the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“This is the coolest night of my life,” Couples said through tears in May at the induction ceremony.

Couples, once and for all, answered the question, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” Freddie.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm