Grapplin Guv Goes For Golf

By Rich LernerAugust 16, 2002, 4:00 pm
The grapplin' governor hardly tiptoed around the tough questions. No, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura prefers the forearm shiver he once used on Hulk Hogan.
 
'Let them have their own rules,' he snapped, when asked about Augusta National. 'They're a private club. Where will it end? I can't walk into a female-only gym. 'Politically correct' has never been in my vocabulary. If Augusta wants an all-male membership, that's up to them. We don't need government sticking its nose into private business.'
 
Does Tiger have an obligation to take a stand on this or any other issue?
 
'None,' said Ventura. 'Tiger Woods is a golfer. He needs to concentrate on winning golf tournaments, not setting social policy in the world. I'm not worried about Tiger's opinion on women at Augusta. I'm more worried about watching Tiger strike the golf ball to give me my entertainment.'

Jesse VenturaVentura figures to have more time for entertainment in six months. That's when his four-year term as Minnesota's major domo expires. He'll not seek re-election.
 
'You've got people making careers out of getting elected,' he explained. 'I don't think that's what our forefathers had in mind.'
 
He wouldn't reveal his future plans, but odds are that he'll be delivering his no-holds-barred brand of talk to a national cable outlet near you. Clearly, he's not lacking for opinion.
 
Asked whether the lovable, front-running Twins would survive baseball commissioner Bud Selig's plan to contract some teams, Ventura connected beautifully with a perfect hit. 'They should contract the Brewers,' he said, referring to the woeful team that Selig owns.
 
The Twins want a new stadium, as do the NFL's Vikings. Ventura put the sleeper hold on that idea. 'Does the PGA come in and tell us they need a publicly funded golf course? No. Why should pro sports be funded by taxpayers? If they want a new stadium, let them build it themselves.'
 
Ventura's a former Navy Seal who spent more than a decade playing a flamboyant villain in the World Wrestling Federation. He'd strut into the squared circle with a do-rag, pink feathered boa, sunglasses and earrings.
 
'I enjoyed being a bad guy because it allowed you a lot more artistic control,' he said on the set of Viewer's Forum. 'In the early days you got paid by how many people you drew. So my job as a wrestler was to get people so angry at me that they'd pay their hard-earned money to see me get beat.'

He still carries residual physical pain, though not enough to keep the wild-swinging left-hander from playing at The TPC at Twin Cities, where he carries a respectable 14 handicap.
'When you get body slammed, you get body slammed,' he emphasized. 'I once wrestled 63 nights in a row. I used to land on concrete floors.'
 
For that reason, he bristles at the suggestion that wrestling is rigged.
 
As for which is the more ruthless business, wrestling or politics, Ventura doesn't hesitate to answer.
 
'Politics, without a doubt,' he barked. 'I'll tell you why. In all my years of professional wrestling I never had a promoter or wrestler or the media go after my children. But in politics, they'll attack your kids. They don't care.'
 
Ventura's 22-year-old son was alleged to have thrown beer bashes in the governor's mansion, and the media pounced like Jimmy 'Superfly' Snooka coming off the top rope.
 
'Last time I checked,' Ventura countered, 'when you're 22 you can drink beer.'
 
Ventura, spurred by what he felt was an environmental injustice, became mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The former radio talk show host then shocked the nation by beating Hubert Humphrey III and St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman, two political veterans, to win the highest seat in the state.
 
Completely unpretentious, he arrived at our set in khaki pants and a well-worn white golf shirt. He sported a Navy Seals hat and worked what was left of a chomped-on stogie. I wanted to talk wrasslin', wondering if he'd ever taken a boot to the belly from the Iron Sheikh. Jesse wanted to talk golf. We compromised.
 
Would he show Phil Mickelson the old Boston crab move so that he might apply it to Tiger?
 
'I'll do that for Phil if he shows me how to hit those great flop shots,' he said with a laugh.
 
'I'm a golf fan now. I'm addicted to it. I'm much more into golf than wrestling. I don't keep up with wrestling anymore.'
 
Ventura was the highlight of the past champion's clinic on Tuesday, sparring with John Daly. When Ventura told the huge crowd that he was headed to a Navy Seal reunion in San Diego to do some parachuting, Daly said that as big as he is he'd break the cord. Ventura shot back, 'We'll send you out in a cargo 'chute.' On it went with the two heavyweights. It was edgy, funny and definitely not your average golf clinic.
 
Of course, The Body's not your average governor, is he?

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.