BE LIKE JIM?: Football legend and social activist Jim Brown took a hard swipe at Tiger Woods in the recent 'Real Sports' on HBO. Brown said Woods is a 'monster competitor' on the course, but has been 'terrible' as a social contributor off of it.
Brown's problem is that he is closed-minded. If people don't think and act like him, then they're in the wrong. But it's Brown who is wrong when he says that Tiger's only social contribution is 'teaching kids to play golf.' Tiger's foundation has helped thousands of kids outside the realm of his sport. Brown does, however, bring up a good question: Does Tiger do enough? Ultimately that's for Woods to determine, not Brown.
MY CLUBS TALK FOR ME: Tiger Woods won his own AT&T National for the first time, defeating a hard-charging Hunter Mahan by a stroke at Congressional. The victory was Woods' third of the season and the 68th of his PGA Tour career.
Woods might not take many stands off the course, but he stands above all else on it. For the third time this year, Woods has won his major tune-up. And for the third time this year, said victory has come at an event hosted by a legend (Palmer, Nicklaus and himself). Having extended this streak, he hopes to extinguish another as he failed to win either of the season's first two majors. British Opens at Turnberry are won by Hall-of-Fame-caliber players. Tiger probably falls in that category.
NOT SO FAST, MY KIM: Anthony Kim entered the final round of the AT&T National tied for the lead with Tiger Woods. He closed in 1-over 71, however, to finish in solo third place, four back of Woods.
Kim and his cocksure walk made birdie on the first hole to take a one-shot lead. Woods, of course, never blinked. He's seen it all before: confident kids, hopeful veterans, players looking to establish their legacy at his expense. Woods just plays his own game, while his opponents get taken out of theirs. Despite the loss, this was a good experience for Kim. We'll find out later if he learned anything from it.
GET OUT OF THE GROOVE: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced that the Tour would adopt the U.S. Golf Association's groove change beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
There has to be a different set of rules for professionals and amateurs. Has to be. It's nonsensical. This decision ' to allow for smaller grooves that create less spin ' was made solely because the USGA felt the game is a bit too easy for the pros. Fine. Punish them, not us.
'HI, I'M RICH.' 'HI, I'M RICHER.': Sports Illustrated released its annual 'Fortunate 50,' a list of the 50 top-earning American athletes in salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees. Tiger Woods was No. 1 with $99,737,626, while Phil Mickelson was second (go figure) with $52,950,356.
Woods reportedly makes $92M in endorsements. 92 million! Mickelson, according to SI's numbers, makes $46.6M. Jim Furyk was the only other golfer to crack the list, with a total of $16,263,127, $11M of which came via endorsements. I have a hard time getting my wife to admit she's married to me, let alone have someone pay to be associated with me.
YI BEFORE WIE: Eunjung Yi claimed her first LPGA title, defeating Morgan Pressel on the first hole of sudden death at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. The 21-year-old Yi led by as many as six in the final round, but was eventually caught by Pressel, who holed her approach for eagle at the par-5 17th.
Lost in the mix was Michelle Wie's closing 64. Unfortunately for her, it was her close on Friday that really cost her a shot at winning her first LPGA event. Wie had a chance to tie for the 36-hole lead, but made double bogey on the par-5 18th. Even on Sunday, with a chance to put some heat on the leaders, Wie hit a horrible approach shot at the last and had to settle for par. Until she learns to keep her focus for 18 holes ' or the LPGA let's players just pick their 15 best scores every round ' she will remain winless.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Kapalua LPGA Classic was canceled this year when the sponsor reneged on the final four years of its five-year deal. ... Bryce Molder, Paul Goydos and Brandt Snedeker earned spots in the British Open. ... Martin Kaymer defeated Lee Westwood in a playoff at the French Open.
The tour is exploring 'legal remedies.' At some point, the LPGA might want to think about teaming up with the PGA Tour, like the NBA and WNBA. It might be the only means of survival. ... After watching Lucas Glover win the U.S. Open, these three guys have to feel they have a shot at the claret jug. ... Westwood has only two European Tour wins over the last six years.