Hooks & Cuts: A lot going on besides Super Bowl

By Rich LernerJanuary 30, 2014, 5:30 pm

It’s almost February so it’s time for another installment of Hooks and Cuts:

• Peyton Manning is not unlike Tiger Woods. He’ll play Sunday, not just for a Super Bowl win, but for a stronger position in the greatest-ever debate.

• We see them every year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, low scores and high heels.

• Life on the road: trudging on the treadmill before daybreak, listening to Tupac, watching Golf Channel from Dubai. Barry Lane for par to stay at plus 7, and no, another dropped shot for the veteran Englishman.

• Is Phil like Steve Young: an exciting left-hander with an uncanny ability to scramble?

• Suddenly, Bubba, Rickie and Hunter feel like long shots to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

• Luke, Kenny and now Jimmy.  All “sky Walkers.”

• I watched the U.S. Figure Skating Championships recently, prepping for the Olympics when I’ll turn to my wife and say, “Wow, she stuck that triple Salchow.”

• I visited Roberto De Vicenzo last week outside Buenos Aires. At nearly 91, still lucid, funny and deep. Of his scorecard gaffe that cost him an opportunity for a playoff spot in the 1968 Masters, he said, “It was the best mistake I ever made.” De Vicenzo never complained, earning universal respect. “Money is easy to get. I could rob a bank. But prestige, a good name, that’s not so easily won.”

• Rickie Fowler is a slot receiver, Bo Van Pelt a tight end, Gary Woodland a quarterback and Tiger Woods a big-hitting free safety. Who are some other golfers with gridiron game?

• Johnson’s a Zach-tician.

• Switching to baseball, Phil lopes like a power-hitting first baseman, like Jim Thome or old school Boog Powell. Harris English ambles like a Cy Young winner taking the hill for Game 7.

• In Argentina Angel Cabrera told me Seve taught him how to play Augusta National. “What did he tell you about putting those greens?” I asked.   Angel held up his hands and wriggled his fingers. “It’s right here,” Angel said with a smile. “Right here, in the hands and fingers.”

• Make it two in a row for the big fellas’. Patrick Reed and Scott Stallings start at left guard and right tackle on the PGA Tour’s agile offensive line. I like Brendan de Jonge and Angel Cabrera to win the next two.

• I think about it every time he travels to places like Dubai. What’s the most money Tiger’s ever been offered to play a single round of golf?  Do you think some crazy rich dude’s ever waved 10 figures his way?

• Scott Stallings is part of the Tiger effect. He says that when he was 12 he watched Woods win the 1997 Masters. Inspired, he quit every other sport he’d been playing and dove into golf.  His friends thought he was crazy. Wonder what they think now?

• Terry Bradshaw threw 46 interceptions his first two seasons in the NFL, then went on to win four Super Bowl titles. Is he football’s Tom Watson?

• Rory’s revival began in Australia. Now he’s firing in Dubai. We’re early in the alphabet and far from America, but the Masters beckons.

• From the low, low summer swoon last year, Sergio’s rising with wins in Thailand and Abu Dhabi. On talent alone, he lives in the same exclusive neighborhood as Adam Scott and McIlroy. The head and heart were the issue. They seem settled.

• Kevin Durant is on an absolutely insane scoring jag right now, as if he’s gone three straight weeks shooting nothing higher than 66. I saw him last year from the floor and it blew me away. He’s almost 7 feet tall with two-guard skills. Freaky.

• Self-loathing fights self-love on Tour. A multiple major champion laughed when I asked if there are times when he hates himself on the golf course. “Are you kidding me?” he shot back. “When it’s going south I’m not just a bad player, I’m a bad human being.”

• British sports book Ladbrokes puts Adam Scott at 16-1 to win the Masters, Sergio and Matt Kuchar at 40-1. I believe that’s what they call value. Marc Leishman and Harris English at 100-1 look like worthwhile long shots. And I’m not condoning, just reporting.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.