Park Stadler Lehman All Sign on the Dotted Line
Ink flows, money changes hands, and logo embroiderers get to work:
NIKE SIGNS PARK: LPGA sensation Grace Park has signed a comprehensive, multi-year equipment deal with Nike Golf. Shell play Nikes Pro Combo irons, as well as a driver, one fairway wood, and three drivers, all from Nike. She will also play the TA2 SPN, a mid-trajectory ball. She will also showcase Nikes womens golf apparel line.
Park and Nike engineers and designers decided what should be in her bag during a recent four-day visit to Nikes development facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
As important as her signing will be for Nike Golfs appeal to women, it will be even more compelling in the Korean market, where Park is a national sports hero at the tender age of 23. Shell show off her newly swooshed game and self at the LPGAs season opening event, the Welchs/Frys Championship, March 13-16 in Tucson, Ariz.
WALRUS ALERT: As he prepares to sharpen his tusks on the Champions Tour, PGA Tour veteran Craig Stadler has signed an equipment deal with Tommy Armour Golf. The Walrus will play Tommy Armours 845 irons in his waning months on the regular circuit, then on the Champions Tour beginning in June.
Stadler, winner of the 1982 Masters and 12 PGA Tour events, may resonate well with golfers who still revere the original 845 irons. Some of those players are likely to be Champions Tour watchers, so this may be a sly marketing move by Huffy Corp., owner of the Tommy Armour brand.
LEHMAN RE-UPS WITH TMaG: Five-time PGA Tour winner Tom Lehman has renewed his equipment deal with TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Lehman, who has been allied with TaylorMade since 1996, won the 1996 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
FINE TUNING: Just as example of how Tour players are willing to micro-tweak their gear week to week: Word from the range at the Tucson PGA Tour event is that Fulton Allem and Jim Carter both had the soles of their Callaway Golf X-16 irons reshaped to work better on the hard ground in the desert. Also, Ty Tryon felt he needed a bit more lift, so hell be using a 9.5-degree loft Great Big Bertha II driver at Tucson this week instead of his usual 8.5-degree model.
CLOSING THOUGHT: Can we have a playoff like Weir vs. Howell every week? Even every other week?
Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter
Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.
His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.
Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.
No bogeys on the weekend!!— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
Is it a man or a machine???
No matter what happens
Amazing performance @F_Molinari
What a day— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
What a week
What a year
What a round by @F_Molinari. Played with him Thursday-Friday, not surprised! Guy is the hottest player on the planet currently. Bogey free out there today is a championship round— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 22, 2018
Viva Italia...— Gary Player (@garyplayer) July 22, 2018
How good has @F_Molinari been!!! Bogey free for the last 37 holes!— Cheyenne Woods (@Cheyenne_Woods) July 22, 2018
Wow just awesome So happy for @F_Molinari . What a fantastic player, a great person and super role model for aspiring golfers. What an achievement #championgolferoftheyear@TheOpen . So pleased for you and all the team. Enjoy the celebrations cos you deserve it— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) July 22, 2018
Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.
Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.
Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.
“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.
“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”
Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.
Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger
Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.
His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.
We compiled some of their missives below:
Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.
Starting to wonder how many Tiggy is going to win by here........... #isheback— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
Tiger is leading the open pic.twitter.com/MbGnJIt1Jj— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) July 22, 2018
That FW bunker shot by Tiger tho... pic.twitter.com/Fi3GY6AegO— Scott Langley (@Scott_Langley) July 22, 2018
Tiger back doing Tiger stuff.......— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
I love you https://t.co/JovVz2clm2— Braden Thornberry (@tberrygolf) July 22, 2018
Omg lesgo @TigerWoods— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) July 22, 2018
Right now, Tiger is like everyone’s ex who we’ve given way too many 2nd chances to, and he has the opportunity to rip your heart right out of your chest but we’re all ok with it because we tend to only remember the good times— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 22, 2018
Woods shares emotional embrace with his kids
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would’ve vaulted him into a tie for second place at The Open. It was a difficult way to end an otherwise successful week for the 14-time major champion, who is just happy to playing majors again.
Then he walked off the 18th, saw his two children, daughter Sam and son Charlie, and they all took a moment for a long embrace. Turns out, that was the perfect way to end the week.
“I told them I tried and I said, 'Hopefully you’re proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did,'” Woods said Sunday after putting the finishing touches on an even-par 71 to end at 5 under for the week.
“It’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed. I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.”
In 2008, when Woods won his last major, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Sam was a year old and Charlie was not yet born. They don’t know how much their father used to dominate this game, especially majors. The last time Woods won a PGA Tour event was five full years ago. Woods has joked in the past that they only know him as a YouTube sensation.
“So, for them to understand what I was doing early in my career,” he said. “The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me. Man, it’s just such a great feeling.”