The weird, wild and wacky in golf this year


With respect and homage to the good folks at Esquire and their annual Dubious Achievement Awards, allow us to present some out-of-the-ordinary moments in the golf world in 2013.

Maybe he meant to say ‘dentally’

After walking off the course while playing the ninth hole of his second round in the Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy told reporters, “I’m not in a good place mentally.” He later listed his reason for withdrawal as a sore wisdom tooth.

He thought he’d heard it takes big tentacles to win the U.S. Open

In contention at Merion, Billy Horschel showed up for the final round wearing navy trousers with large white octopi plastered all over them.

He must be nuts

During the first day of the Presidents Cup, assistant captain Davis Love III befriended a squirrel later named Sammy, keeping him in his pocket throughout the day.

She must be really nuts

Later that day, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn placed Sammy on the unknowing shoulder of her boyfriend Tiger Woods, much to his immediate displeasure.

Hey, at least Sammy didn’t bite

Daniela Holmqvist used a tee to squeeze out venom from a spider bite during the Women’sustralian Open. “It wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever done,” she confessed, “but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible.”

DufnersThat makes two of you

After hitting his tee shot on the final hole of the PGA Championship into a fan’s back pocket, Jonas Blixt said, “I’m just glad it didn’t plug.”

‘I don’t know what to do with my hands!’

The act of “Dufnering” became an Internet sensation when Jason Dufner was photographed sitting on his hands with a glazed-over look in his eyes while working with students in a Texas classroom.

Now this is ‘Dufnering’

When shock-jock radio host Howard Stern asked Jason Dufner about his post-PGA victory celebration with wife Amanda, the laid-back champion casually replied, “Yeah, I grabbed her butt.”

Or roughly the equivalent of two-and-a-half butts

In the same interview, Dufner revealed that the Wanamaker Trophy can hold exactly 43 beers.

Sheesh. Didn’t he learn anything as a kid?

Asked about his ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ handshake with partner Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup, Matt Kuchar explained, “This guy was the perfect Carlton.” Great quote – except Woods was actually playing the part of DJ Jazzy Jeff in this celebration.

Blixt and FowlerSo … last night then?

Ye Wocheng, a 12-year-old who qualified for the China Open, said, “I’ve dreamed of this since I was a boy.”

In his defense, autocorrect changed it from, ‘Don’t you linger out in the grass’

After Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy sent him a congratulatory text message. In response, Woods texted that it was his turn to win, telling McIlroy, “Get your finger out of your a--.”

On the bright side, the locusts held off

Twenty-two different PGA Tour events were marred by weather delays during the 2013 season, including wind at Kapalua, snow in Tucson and flash-flooding at Bay Hill.

The figurative definition of grabbing a bite at the turn

Midway through her third round of the U.S. Women’s Open, Jessica Korda fired caddie Jason Gilroyed. “I knew I needed a switch,” she said. “It just wasn’t working out.”

Orange you glad you don’t have to wear it again?

Blixt playfully dressed like playing partner Rickie Fowler for the final round of The Barclays, but the joke was on him. Blixt shot an 81 in the all-orange, too-tight get-up, then revealed his plans for the clothes afterward: “I was going to burn them.”

Gary PlayerAnd the rest of us immediately felt terrible about ourselves

At the age of 77, Gary Player posed nude for the cover of ESPN The Magazine.

He also recommends lots of naked sit-ups

Player offered some unsolicited advice for McIlroy on his love life and potential choice of spouse. “If he finds the right wife, if he practices and if he’s dedicated,” Player promised, “he could be the man.”

But they were both looking at him funny

Henrik Stenson destroyed his driver on the course at the BMW Championship, and then took out his frustrations on a Conway Farms locker.

And they love to eat asparagus, just like Robert Garrigus

The band Golf Boys – comprised of Ben Crane, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Fowler – released a second single called “2.Oh,” which includes lyrics such as, “I got a drippy faucet on my Stewie Stewie Cink” and “I took a vacay at Sang-Moon Bae.”

He now believes in crocodiles, too

Amateur golfer Dougie Thomson of Scotland was vacationing in Cancun when he was attacked by a 12-foot crocodile on a golf course. He survived the attack thanks to friends who beat the animal with golf clubs and ran it over with a cart. “It’s only by the grace of God I’m alive,” Thomson said, “and I’m an atheist.”

Miguel Angel JimenezWas that the temperature or a local radio station?

Indiana assistant club pro Michael Bembenick shot a second-round 103 at the Tour’s United Leasing Championship.

Well, he’s no Michael Bembenick

Long-drive competitor Maurice Allen shot a second-round 115 at the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica’s Dominican Republic Open.

Even Miley Cyrus was kind of offended

In contention at the Open Championship, Miguel Angel Jimenez continued his unique stretching routine on the practice range – a strange combination of yoga and twerking, always accompanied by a lit cigar.

And the leader for Most Ignorant Comment of the Year honors is …

Asked about making amends after a tiff with multi-cultural Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia answered, “We will have him ’round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”

And the new leader for Most Ignorant Comment of the Year honors is …

In defense of Garcia, European Tour executive director George O’Grady said, “Most of Sergio’s friends in the States happen to be colored athletes.”

HovercraftHe then had meatloaf for lunch – and he hates meatloaf

Padraig Harrington started using a belly putter at the Wells Fargo Championship, even though he is fundamentally opposed to the club’s legality. “I don’t support the belly putter,” he said. “I think it’s bad for the game of golf.”

Paramor then lectured about how in his day, he would walk 10 miles uphill in the snow on every hole – and still go faster than him

Tianlang Guan, 14, was assessed a one-stroke penalty for slow play by rules official John Paramor at the Masters.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas

In his 2013-14 season debut, Jhonattan Vegas was docked two strokes at the Open for being late to his tee time after making a pit stop at a restroom.

Or as he likes to tell people, ‘I had three 1s on my scorecard’

During the third round of the World Cup of Golf, Stuart Manley posted a hole-in-one on the third hole, and then followed with a septuple-bogey 11 on the fourth.

Which means a green jacket is now only the second-coolest thing that he owns

Watson helped design a Hovercraft golf cart that can easily drive through water hazards.

Arnold Palmer and Kate UptonWhere’s that Hovercraft when you need one?

In contention at The Players Championship, Garcia hit two shots into the water at the 17th hole and another on the 18th to drop six strokes on the final two holes and finish in a share of eighth place.

Meanwhile, Tebow’s list of teams who won’t sign him is just the golfer’s last name

Matt Every competed in the Deutsche Bank Championship with Tim Tebow’s name and number and the New England Patriots logo on his golf bag, days after Tebow was released by the team just a few miles away in Foxborough.

If that was the case, more caddies would try to marry their players

Patrick Reed won the Wyndham Championship with wife Justine on the bag. She later joked that she’d take 100 percent of the winnings for her caddie fee.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it

Arnold Palmer gave supermodel and beginning golfer Kate Upton an introductory swing lesson.

In related news, David Blaine is now the Masters favorite

In November, the USGA announced Decision 18/4, which states that “where enhanced technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or online visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time.”

Tumbledown TrailsApparently Tumbledown Trails is like school in summer: No class

Wisconsin golf course Tumbledown Trails offered a $9.11 green fee for nine holes to “commemorate” the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

And that death stare? Total coincidence

Following an errant approach shot into the 12th hole during the third round of the AT&T National, D.H. Lee turned toward the gallery and gestured with his middle finger. “I am sorry,” he later said. “It was just frustration. It was not directed at anyone.”

In response, California complained that Mickelson still can’t win the U.S. Open

During the Humana Challenge, Phil Mickelson complained about the high tax rate in his home state of California.

Just call her ‘million-dollar baby’

Leading the RBC Canadian Open through 36 holes, Hunter Mahan withdrew from the tournament to fly home to Texas and witness the birth of his first child, a girl named Zoe.

Don’t most people play more golf when they retire?

Enjoying what he called “semi-retirement,” Steve Stricker played just 13 times, but had eight top-10s, including four runner-up finishes.

James HahnHe then added, ‘But that was before he couldn’t find a fairway with a compass’

Speaking at the global G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June, President Obama said, “I did meet Rory McIlroy last year and Rory offered to get my swing sorted.”

Unlike most political issues, this one crosses party lines

Former president George W. Bush voiced support for President Obama playing more rounds of golf while in office. “I know what it’s like to be in the bubble,” he said. “It does give you an outlet.”

But she’s definitely not giving up her 11-wood

D.A. Points won the Shell Houston Open while using a Ping Anser putter that he stole out of his mother Mary Jo’s golf bag when he was 11 years old. He said after the victory, “I think Mom is just fine with me having it.”

And for an encore? The entire ‘Thriller’ video

After making birdie during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the overpopulated and over-served 16th hole, James Hahn celebrated in front of the gallery by doing the Gangnam Style dance. “Every time that song comes on, my friends want me to do the dance,” he later said. “It’s like, ‘James, it’s your song. You have to dance.’ And I seriously don’t know how to do the dance. So I was like, I think this is what he does. I’ve seen it a couple of times. It’s all fun. Even if I didn’t do it correctly, I was committed to putting on a show.”

Even Johnny Manziel wouldn’t sign that card

Texas A&M was assessed a one-stroke penalty for slow play in the final round of qualifying prior to the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship. The team was later prevented from advancing when it lost a four-for-three playoff for the final spots.

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger WoodsHere’s an idea: Don’t read the entire title while standing on the first tee

The USGA hosted a symposium in November titled, “While We’re Young: Golf’s Pursuit of a New Paradigm for Pace of Play.”

Now that’s how you curb slow play

With host site Ocean Club Golf Course saturated from flooding, the LPGA’s Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was shortened to three 12-hole rounds.

It was the best 42 of her life

Ilhee Lee won the Pure Silk-Bahamas tournament by posting a final-round score of 5-under 42.

That wouldn’t even have won the Pure Silk Classic

In the third round of the Memorial Tournament, Woods posted a front-nine score of 44 – the worst nine-hole total of his professional career.

Hey, it beats being grumpy, dopey or … wipey

In a television interview, Lindsey Vonn referred to boyfriend Woods’ personality as “dorky goofy.”

Bubba WatsonSooo, you’re saying you don’t like it?

When asked for his thoughts on the course setup at Merion during the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson replied, “I would describe the whole golf course as manipulated. It just enhances my disdain for the USGA and how it manipulates golf courses.”

Actually, you don’t

Watson posted a septuple-bogey 10 on the par-3 12th hole during the final round of the Masters. “If you’re not going to win,” he explained, “you’ve got to get into the record books somehow.”

Whoa. Hold on, dude. We’re still looking up ‘bifurcation’

In speaking of the impending joint anchoring ban from the USGA and R&A in January, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem explained, “Our objective always has been to try our best to follow the rules as promulgated by the USGA and R&A.”

Sounds like Tiger is confusing Jack with a member of the media

Debunking the widely held notion that the game’s two leading career major championship winners have a close relationship, Jack Nicklaus said of Woods, “I never really had a conversation with Tiger that lasted more than a minute or two. Ever.”