Talking Drugs and Ryder Cup


Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
HOME BOUND: Tiger Woods wasnt on hand to host his own event at the AT&T National, but he did address the media ' and updated his physical situation ' in a brief teleconference Monday.
Backspin Tiger said he couldnt make it to D.C. because he wasnt able to fly after undergoing knee surgery. He added that hell be in a brace and on crutches for three weeks, so dont expect to see him in public any time soon, especially not in Valhalla.

NO I IN TEAM, BUT AN I IN TIGER: Asked during his teleconference whether or not he would go to Louisville to cheer on the American squad during the Ryder Cup or would possibly accept a vice-captain position should captain Paul Azinger offer him one, Tiger responded with: Its about those 12 guys, not about me. Im not a part of that crew.
Backspin Players likely to make the U.S. team have said they would like to have Tiger around Ryder Cup week, if only in the team room for camaraderie. Aint gonna happen. If Tigers not playing, Tigers not caring. Well, make that, Tiger's not going out of his way to care. Well, make that, Tiger can do whatever Tiger wants to do. Well, never mind, you get the point.

AT&T NATIONAL: Anthony Kim fired a bogey-free 5-under 65 on Sunday to rally for his second win of the season at the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
Backspin Kim is beginning to look more and more like the answer to all the critics as to 'who' is going to finally be the next young gun to step up to the plate and - although not necessarily challenge Tiger - but to at least show some golf balls when it comes to winning tournaments. He's loaded with talent, boasts plenty of confidence and, of course, wears a belt buckle that even makes Rory blush.

TEST, 1, 2, 3, TEST: The PGA TOUR began its drug testing policy this week at the AT&T National. Players are randomly tested with urine samples taken (with an administer present) to determine if players are taking steroids or other performance-enhancing substances, as well as illegal recreational drugs.

Backspin Appropriately enough, testing began at Tigers event. Woods has been calling for this for years. Though he wasnt in the field this week, Tiger said on Monday that he has taken the test a couple of times on his own just to make sure that it didnt detect anything out of the ordinary. Not all players are on board with the policy. Some dont think its necessary at all, while others just dont like the process, i.e. someone gathering a sample while watching you first hand. Its just a matter of time before someone gets busted for Vicks Vapor rub.

LEFTY TESTING THE MARKET: Phil Mickelson has put up one of his two estates in Rancho Santa Fe for sale. El Mirlo, the home for the world's No. 2 and his family for seven years beginning in 2000, sits on five acres and is described as 'looking very much like a European villa, Americanized with a swimming pool and huge putting green.' And it, of course. comes with a hefty - or let's say - a Lefty price tag.
Backspin 'Phil phanatics' would jump at the opportunity to own a house formerly occupied by Lefty. However, the $10-12 million listing might price out more than a few potential buyers. Most will just have to wait for their next chance at Mickelson memorabilia when one of his apple cores appears on eBay. Oh, who are we kidding? Shall we say: when one of Phil's Twinkie wrappers makes its way to eBay?

LONG NAME, ONE WINNER: Seon Hwa Lee won the - get this - P&G Beauty LPGA NW Arkansas Championship presented by John Q. Hammons. It was Lee's second win of the season and the fourth of her LPGA Tour career.
Backspin Not sure which is more impressive - Lee's dramatic birdie on 18 for the win or the seemingly never-ending title of the tournament - which is, once again - the P&G Beauty LPGA NW Arkansas Championship presented by John Q. Hammons. And exhale. But as for Lee, the victory vaults her into the top-10 of the world rankings and, strangely enough, just barely into the top-10 of the South Korean women's world rankings.

QUALIFYING STANDARDS: Just as he did for the U.S. Open, Davis Love III went through qualifying to get into the Open Championship. Love made it through a four-man playoff Monday to reach the seasons third major at Royal Birkdale. Rich Beem and Paul Goydos also qualified, while Jose Maria Olazabal, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy failed to make it.
Backspin Too bad about McIlroy, who made a huge splash last year in finishing as low amateur. But congratulations to Love. After all hes accomplished he is now forced to play his way into majors. And hes successfully done so without complaining. Fortunately, he wont have to worry about qualifying for the PGA Championship as hes automatically exempt due to his 1997 triumph.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Argentina's Eduardo Romero won the Dicks Sporting Goods Open by one shot over Fulton Allem and Gary Koch for his second career Champions Tour victory; Ross Fisher shot a 4-under 68 Sunday to easily win the European Open by seven strokes over Sergio Garcia - and well ahead of Padraig Harrington - in a wire-to-wire victory.
Backspin It had been two years since Romero, an 8-time winner on the European Tour, visited the winner's circle; Harrington commented on the course layout calling it, 'A great tune up for the [British] Open.' But it looks like Harrington could use another trip to the garage as the Irishman finished 18-shots off the pace.

Related Links:
Full Coverage - Arkansas Championship
Full Coverage - AT&T National
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