New Years Hooks Cuts

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  • Used to be a time in golf when January in Maui with a million bucks on the line was a big deal. These days, superstars react as if theyre being asked to sling fries at a Jack in the Box in Detroit in February.
     
  • On the other hand, if Jack in the Box sponsored an event in February in Detroit with a five million dollar first prize, I suspect the heavyweights would put on the parkas and play.
     
  • Then again, if youre not moved by a million, and you have 20 or 40 or 100 of those tucked away, maybe youre not even moved by five large ones.
     
  • Favorite winter break moment: a well-struck 6-iron lingering against the setting Florida sun with my 13- and 7-year-old sons rolling the rock on the practice putting green behind me at our local muni.
     
  • Think about it, if youre Tiger, do you really need Maui when you can hop aboard your luxury yacht and cruise the Caribbean with your gorgeous Swedish wife?
     
  • Couple of reasons golf is better than college football: meaningful contests dont stretch past midnight, and unlike the Florida State kicker who lipped out an overtime field goal, the guy who blows the must-make three-footer cant hide from the cameras behind some mammoth linemen.
     
  • Wonder if Mr. Mercedes Benz has had any conversations with Mr. Tim Finchem? Cant imagine the premium automaker is very happy with the status quo. And with top players committed to the commissioners WGC largesse, and so many lucrative opportunities popping up across Asia, well, as I said, a mill in Maui isnt what it used to be.
     
  • The greats own all the jet skis and boats and planes and homes their hard-earned cash can buy, but its the majors theyre after and the majors that will define their legacies. And therein lays a problem for the commissioner. Not a single major belongs to the PGA Tour, which offers heaps of money that top players like but dont necessarily need, yet little of the glory they ultimately crave.
     
  • On the subject of majors, here are a handful of guys who should be feeling some heat this year: Davis Love III, Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. It should also get a bit uncomfortable for Stuart Appelby and Stewart Cink.
     
  • Reminded of several truths over the holiday hiatus: I still love pick-up basketball even if my 45-year-old body does not, and the sweats crucial because I also love Valdianos Pizza, Breyers Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream and Sweet and Sour Shrimp from Eastern Pearl.
     
  • Worth following early this year: Mike Weir, who fell from eighth to 45th in the world, and Charles Howell III, whose only win came several years ago and who has now fallen behind other young Americans like Sean OHair, Ben Crane and perhaps even Ryan Moore.
     
  • Played a charity event with Jim Thorpe and Im fairly certain Ill never again laugh that hard on a golf course. Hes to salty stories what Nicklaus was to the Masters.

  • Two-cent movie reviews: Crash is deep and disturbing, a solid rental; as for Syrianna, its timely, intricate, possibly even confusing, though in all a thought-provoking look at big oil, big government and the big picture in the Middle East.
     
  • When I start reviewing movies, its clearly time to check out. Happy, healthy New Year to you and yours. Of course, wed all be a little happier and a little healthier if we played more golf and shot lower scores, wouldnt we?!
     
    Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner