Winsday Hot List: Beauty and the beat

By Win McMurryFebruary 6, 2013, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson's back-to-back wins have the golf world buzzing with excitement for 2013. Mickelson continues his run this week at Pebble Beach, where we'll see celebrities and professionals share Mother Nature's stage on Stillwater Cove. Here's a roundup of the hottest topics being putted around this week.

1. Phil Mickelson: Welcome back to the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since May 2012. He had us on the edge of our seats last Thursday, staring down 59 and ultimately settling for 60. His consistent play for the next three rounds solidified the unthinkable at rowdy TPC Scottsdale: an anticlimactic Lefty victory. 

2. TPC Scottsdale's 16th hole: The fans at the stadium hole this year on Saturday reached 179,022, while the attendance at the Super Bowl on Sunday was more than 100,000 less coming in at 71,024.

3. Brandt Snedeker: No FedEx Cup-champion slump for Snedeker. In addition to his runner-up finish in Phoenix, he also has a third-place showing at Kapalua and a T-2 at Torrey Pines. Where does he currently sit in his FedEx Cup title defense? First. Give him some love.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links

4. Pebble Beach: While the PGA Tour season starts the first week of January and majors kick off in April, seeing the ethereal beauty of Pebble Beach and the history of the tournament on the majestic landscape, spurs the inner golfer in all of us. Mother Nature and golf purity reign on high this week on Tour.

5. Vijay Singh: Timing couldn't have been more advantageous for the Fijian when the news broke about his use of deer-antler spray and its banned properties. The professional golf world went from a Tiger high to a Vijay low that was quickly trumped by Phil gunning for history. A Christmas card should be in the mail early to the Mickelson household. 

6. World's Largest Golf Tee: And now for the funny, absurd and corky! Brolin Enterprises broke the Guinness World Record with a tee that is 30-feet long and weighs more than 6,000 lbs. It took half a year to build this gigantic tee which resides in Casey, Ill., and will be put in the ground at a local golf course to help bring attention to the town.

7. James Hahn goes Gangnam Style: The more outrageous the better when it comes to entertaining fans at No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale. Hahn thrilled the beer-fueled crazies Sunday after his birdie putt dropped inside the stadium with his best rendition of Psy's one-hit wonder on his way to get the ball out of the hole. Hahn had moves, and he has game. He finished T-16 in Phoenix and also has a T-4 earlier this season at the Humana Challenge.

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Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”

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Rory almost channels Tiger with 72nd-hole celebration

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:11 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy’s final putt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational felt awfully familiar.

He rolled in the 25-footer for birdie and wildly pumped his fist, immediately calling to mind Woods’ heroics on Bay Hill’s 18th green.

Three times Woods holed a putt on the final green to win this event by a stroke.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

McIlroy was just happy to provide a little extra cushion as the final group played the finishing hole.

“I’ve seen Tiger do that enough times to know what it does,” McIlroy said. “So I just wanted to try and emulate that. I didn’t quite give it the hat toss – I was thinking about doing that. But to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special.”

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McIlroy remembers Arnie dinner: He liked A-1 sauce on fish

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 1:06 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fresh off a stirring victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy offered a pair of culinary factoids about two of the game’s biggest names.

McIlroy regretted not being able to shake Palmer’s hand behind the 18th green after capping a three-shot win with a Sunday 64, but with the trophy in hand he reflected back on a meal he shared with Palmer at Bay Hill back in 2015, the year before Palmer passed away.

“I knew that he liked A-1 sauce on his fish, which was quite strange,” McIlroy said. “I remember him asking the server, ‘Can I get some A-1 sauce?’ And the server said, ‘For your fish, Mr. Palmer?’ He said, ‘No, for me.’”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

A few minutes later, McIlroy revealed that he is also a frequent diner at The Woods Jupiter, the South Florida restaurant launched by Tiger Woods. In fact, McIlroy explained that he goes to the restaurant every Wednesday with his parents – that is, when he’s not spanning the globe winning golf tournaments.

Having surveyed the menu a few times, he considers himself a fan.

“It’s good. He seems pretty hands-on with it,” McIlroy said. “Tuna wontons are good, the lamb lollipops are good. I recommend it.”

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DeChambeau comes up short: 'Hat’s off to Rory'

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 12:48 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid a leaderboard chock full of big names and major winners, the person that came closest to catching Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational turned out to by Bryson DeChambeau.

While Henrik Stenson faltered and Justin Rose stalled out, it was DeChambeau that gave chase to McIlroy coming down the stretch at Bay Hill. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 were followed by an eagle out of the rough on No. 16, which brought him to within one shot of the lead.

But as DeChambeau surveyed his birdie putt from the fringe on the penultimate hole, McIlroy put an effective end to the proceedings with a closing birdie of his own to polish off a round of 64. DeChambeau needed a hole-out eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff, and instead made bogey.

That bogey ultimately didn’t have an effect on the final standings, as DeChambeau finished alone in second place at 15 under, three shots behind McIlroy after shooting a 4-under 68.

“I thought 15 under for sure would win today,” DeChambeau said. “Rory obviously played some incredible golf. I don’t know what he did on the last nine, but it was deep. I know that.”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

DeChambeau will collect $961,000 for his performance this week in Orlando, just $47,000 less than he got for winning the John Deere Classic in July. While he would have preferred to take McIlroy’s spot in the winner’s circle, DeChambeau was pleased with his effort in Sunday’s final pairing as he sets his sights on a return to the Masters.

“For him to shoot 64 in the final round, that’s just, hat’s off to him, literally. I can’t do anything about that,” DeChambeau said. “I played some great golf, had some great up-and-downs, made a couple key putts coming down the stretch, and there’s not really much more I can do about it. My hat’s off to Rory, and he played fantastic.”