The Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 18, 2011, 3:45 pm

We asked Charlie Sheen to host the annual 'Rexys' gala but he cited conflicts, specifically with Stevie Williams’ demands for “tiger blood” in the green room and Jeff Overton’s claim to all the “Adonis DNA” east of the Mississippi River.

But like Sheen the 'Rexys' are all about winning, so without further ado the envelope please . . .

The Hangover II. Jeff Overton was a consensus late edition thanks to what authorities claim was an alcohol-induced tirade from a limousine window last weekend in Bloomington, Ind.

According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, Overton was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and disorderly conduct, although reports that he was yelling “boom baby” at Kentucky fans have not been confirmed.

He was released from Monroe County Jail after posting a $500 bond shortly before presenting a $50,000 check to the university to support a Play Golf America program during the Indiana-Kentucky basketball game.

The Herald-Times also reported that Overton was arrested in Bloomington in December 2007 on a public intoxication charge that was dismissed when he enrolled in a pre-trial diversion program.

The only thing missing from Overton’s wild night was a drug-dealing monkey, Mike Tyson’s tiger and an ill-advised tattoo. Remember, what happens in Bloomington, stays in ...

Tim Tebow Chalice. OK, maybe Webb Simpson’s rise in 2011 is not exactly Tebow-esque, but the similarities between the two are unmistakable.

Even Simpson’s own caddie once questioned his swing mechanics and the two-time Tour winner has not been shy about his faith, so much so one half-expects him to show up next year with “John 3:16” etched onto his hat.

Like Tebow, Simpson exceeded everyone's expectations except his own in 2011, nearly claiming the FedEx Cup and money titles, posting 12 top 10s and going 3-2-0 in his first Presidents Cup.

Word is ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith will retire if Simpson wins a major in 2012, or something like that.

It’s not you, it’s me Award. Phil Mickelson’s worst putting year as a professional begot one of the most unexpected changes in modern history when the southpaw switched to a belly putter midway through this year’s FedEx Cup playoffs.

The move garnered plenty of attention but did little to help Lefty fix his putting woes and by the time he arrived in Australia for last month’s Presidents Cup he’d benched the long version.

Lefty said he would practice with the long putter during the offseason, but the body language was clear – don’t call me, I’ll call you.

The Silver Scapegoat Award. It may be time to rename the “SSA” the Rees Jones Cup following a particularly difficult year for the “Open Doctor.” The criticism reached a crescendo after Geoff Ogilvy rallied in Boston to advance to the third postseason event in Chicago. “My reward is I get to play Cog Hill,” the Aussie deadpanned.

It is curious that there wasn’t a single complaint filed against Jones for his handiwork at East Lake, home of the final playoff event. At East Lake officials were clear that Jones was to adhere to the original Donald Ross design, whereas in Chicago the mandate was to create a course that could host a U.S. Open.

So to be clear, if Jones is guilty of anything it is his ability to follow directions.

Conspiracy Cup. In one of the season’s most surreal moments Tiger Woods marched off TPC Sawgrass after just nine holes and onto the “DL” for the second consecutive year. Amid the confusion of Woods’ early exit from The Players, an overzealous security guard closed off the players’ parking lot “by order of the FBI.”

Tour officials denied any such order and there were no “G men” to be found as Woods wheeled out of the parking lot on his way to, we can only assume, Area 51 for treatment.

The vanishing man Award. Through the first month of the season Mark Wilson was one of the Tour’s hottest commodities, winning two of his first three starts and quietly becoming the player to beat in 2011.

When the dust finally settled, Wilson – one of the circuit’s most endearing and likeable players – had posted just two more top 10s and narrowly advanced to the Tour Championship.

In short, the Chicago-area resident faded faster than the Cubs in September.

Can you hear me now Cup. For two years Tiger Woods has gone from being the game’s bottom line to a punch line, so it must have taken no small amount of effort to choke back a hearty “I told you so” following his victory at the Chevron World Challenge.

Although Woods’ 18-man member-member will never be confused for a Grand Slam, the host’s victory had to be just as rewarding on some level, whether he’d admit it or not.

“I felt very comfortable in the tournament from start to finish,” Woods said in his year-ending post on his website. “Golf doesn’t change.”

A good fall doesn’t guarantee anything – remember, he closed 2010 with a solid Ryder Cup and runner-up showing at the Chevron – but your scribe could almost hear Woods as he left Sherwood Country Club, “Can you hear me now?”

The REM Trophy. To be clear, front-man Michael Stipe said he’d reunite with REM only “if we need the money,” and Dustin Johnson just seemed to need something familiar. Still, Johnson’s renewed relationship with former caddie Bobby Brown has a “getting the band back together” feel to it.

Johnson and Brown split in the spring and the player’s decision to hire caddie-yard legend Joe LaCava seemed a perfect fit. When LaCava bolted DJ’s bag for Tiger Woods, however, all roads led back to Brown, who Johnson teamed with for four of his five Tour victories.

Although the move seems obvious enough let’s hope the duet avoids some of their old stuff, most notably high-profile snafus at the 2010 PGA and 2011 Northern Trust Open.

Most likely to need a Gag Order Award. For more than a decade getting Stevie Williams to say anything was nearly impossible, but in the wake of his high-profile mid-summer split with Woods it’s become a challenge to get him to shut up.

Following his new man Adam Scott’s victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Williams caused a stir when he told reporters, “I’ve caddied for 33 years, 145 wins now, and that’s the best win I’ve ever had.”

At the WGC-HSBC Champions the New Zealander sparked an even larger controversy with racially insensitive remarks at an awards dinner that were directed at his former boss.

Your scribe has just two questions: When did Williams learn to talk, and how is it possible that a man with 145 career wins isn’t in the World Golf Hall of Fame?

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.