Daly Drinking and Tiger Juice

By Dena DavisMarch 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: As a part of the creative braintrust in the GOLF CHANNEL news department, Dena Davis thrives on uncovering compelling stories in golf for our shows, and finding unique, fresh ways to give viewers their golf news. These are her weekly thoughts, some random musings, and even a few programming notes. And she would like you to remember: It's all said in good fun.
 
Cut-Off Man
John Daly, our favorite drinker with a golfing problem (hey-ohhhh!), was partying like it was 1999 ... or maybe 1993 ... this weekend. After missing the cut at the PODS at Innisbrook, the former two-time major-winner resumed his sideshow at the Hooters Owls Nest tent off of the 17th hole -- getting schnockered, while signing autographs on womens posteriors. Later, JD was found at the Phillies spring training facility where he hurled B.P. to big-league bombers like his pal Pat Burrell. Clad in a P-stitched ball-cap and a tent-sized red No. 3 jersey -- looking eerily like a vintage '93 John Kruk, Long John Slinger kept his circus-act hits coming while giving up a few hits to Ryan Howard with his 85 mph fastball. With only three cuts made this year -- his highest finish registering at T69 -- Daly was actually the one whiffing. Instead of getting the most out of yet another sponsors exemption, the man with a grand gift for the game was once again allowing his affinity for self-destructive behavior take priority over his career -- and his health. I couldn't help but dwell on all that enormous talent being carelessly wasted. Butch Harmon, JDs swing instructor, apparently cut him off Tuesday, no longer wishing to be associated with the, well, the Busch leaguer ' there were just too many strikeouts to even count now.
 
What Els?
Coming off his MC (a free weekend!) at the PODS, I was disheartened to see Ernie withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational citing fatigue. I sympathize in what must have been an emotional week for his family with the disclosure of his sons autism, and the subsequent exhausting media attention surrounding it. However, I was eagerly (and selfishly, really) anticipating the affable South African back in the same field as Tiger again. Of all the tracks Tiger hasnt been able to tame in the last few years, Bay Hill was the one which might have posed the best opportunity for the Big Easy to take him down, erase the dreadful Dubai memories, and raise his confidence back up to 2002-Big Easy-playing levels. Now, hell (and well) have to wait a few more weeks until The Masters ' where, certainly, a pressure-packed major environment will really fatigue the guy.
 
Juiced Up
There are really only three situations in which Ill guzzle Gatorade: after running a race, if besieged by the flu, or when I'm doling out orange slices at my nephews soccer game. Though already having sufficient daily-potassium levels (I heart bananas!), I went ahead and took the Tiger-juice plunge in all three flavors anyway. The beverage bearing Gatorade Tiger accompanied by a fierce familiar fist-pump on the label, turned out to be the tastier than I thought! After playing Goldie Locks with the milk of El Tigre, I decided that Quiet Storm (the purple one) was juuuuust right for me. (I think I once had a Quiet Storm love-song compilation CD with the soothing sounds of Lionel Richie, DAngelo and even Barry White.) The unique grape-ish flavor was irresistible and instantly brought back childhood memories of holiday dinners at the card table on the farm. Grandma Davis used to mix up a similarly-flavored brackish and watered-down kool-aid which was always served to us kids with a plate of turkey and stuffing. So, in summary: R&B love songs and Grandma = Tiger Gatorade.
 
*Any personal product endorsement by Ms. Davis is wholly unaffiliated with the GOLF CHANNEL.
 
Did Colt Knost Best?
With a bad-ass name like Colt, youre pretty much destined to become a swash-buckling, uber-talented, hot-shot athlete (with lots of cool hyphenated adjectives preceding your name). However, as smooth as this young gun out of Southern Methodist University is (see: his impressive, heralded amateur career akin to that of Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore), Im reminded this week of his perhaps not-so-smooth decision to go pro last fall and forfeit his U.S. Pub Links Amateur Champion spot at Augusta National next month. (In September, Knost picked payday over a few months of patience -- and pimento sammiches at the most coveted invite in golf.) Well, this week, we find our Colt hero in the Bay Hill field on a sponsor's exemption. Since going pro, he's earned only a small cache of money and has not seen much success ' making just two cuts in four starts (two on the Nationwide, two on the PGA TOUR). In fact, Tom Scherrer has had a more productive and lucrative past six months. But here is Colt (hoping to not become the next Scherrer) looking to get his game in professional gear in front of the man with one of the coolest monikers of all time, The King. Heres hoping the talented Mustang can buck my opinion of his decision and really live up to his name this week.
 
(Going) Out of Africa
Perhaps it's ethnocentricy (thanks, 10th grade history class!) or just plain ignorance, but I'm always amazed learning of golf's global far-reaching roots and impact, even in some of the most unlikely locations. The latest involves my cluelessnes that the country of Uganda has a long and proud history of the game we love. When I was google-ing golf yesterday -- as I do every morning upon rolling out of bed -- I came across a story on Africas friendliest country (yep. didnt know that one either). Apparently, the fine people of this landlocked country, whose sporting fandom is actually more cricket-centered, are celebrating 100 years of golf this week, at the countrys leading club, the Uganda Golf Club. That's right. One hundred years. As part of the festivities, they opened the Ugandan Golf Hall of Fame, recognizing all their 'golfing greats', so that finally, household names such as Deo Akope, Sadi Onito, Charles Yokwe and Dedan Kagonyera will be honored in an appropriate manner. Do these guys get invited to WGC events?
 
Instant (Coffee) Karma
So, the merciful java gods smiled upon me at work this weekend. I did not have to fetch (nor spend not one red cent on) coffee for two days. Completely unsolicited, our insider Tim Rosaforte generously bought me a towering frothy latte from that colossal caffeine conglomerate (rhymes with sharmucks) on Saturday afternoon. And on Sunday, one of our producers spotted me a free freshly-brewed cup from a local gas station (hey, its better than the office stuff). I thought to myself, if my run of good luck continues like this, the UCLA basketball team may want to recruit me for their run in the Big Dance.
 
Bet Sounds
So, in honor of the regular-season Pac-10 champs and this NCAA Hoops Championship Week! (and the Beach Boys' best album), I leave you with my straight-up picks for this weekend. Im taking:
 
  • Tiger Woods over the Houston Rockets -- in keeping respective winning streak in-tact.
  • Ben Crane over Sean OHair -- in most times to be put on the clock at Bay Hill.
  • Anthony Kim (Ballantines Championship) over Jason Day (Bay Hill) -- as 21-year-old wholl have a lowest 72-hole score come Sunday.
  • Arron Oberholser over Albert Pujols -- as first to schedule surgery for a season-ending injury.
  • Cubs starting centerfielder Felix Pie over your starting Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- as athlete wed least want to be right now.
  • Syracuse over Colin Montgomerie -- as the bubble competitor who will play their way in.
  • Eliot Spitzer over Pacman Jones -- as seedy, salacious character 'da Cowboys will inevitably pick up.
  • Arnold Palmer over Billy Crystal -- as senior citizen wholl get the most distance when (if) making contact.
     
    Programming Notes:
     
    Analyze This
    Speaking of Rosie, the Senior Golfworld writer will help break down the Bay Hill action this weekend with Kraig Kann and Brandel Chamblee (fyi, the production staff on the show is already looking into a recipe for 'Brandel-ade'; drink it and your hair will grow fluffy bangs?) in our live 'Sprint Post-Game' shows from our networks global headquarters in Orlando.
     
    Paint it again, Graeme
    As a dabbler in oil painting myself, I have tremendous respect and admiration for this incredibly talented gentleman. I have a limited print (framed poster) of his painting of La Costa in 2003, when the Carlsbad course played host to the WGC-Accenture Match Play. Graeme W. Baxter is one of the world's most highly acclaimed painters of golfing landscapes. Some of his original paintings hang in famous clubhouses from Muirfield, Scotland to Augusta National. Last fall, he was commissioned to paint the landscape at the 18th hole of Bay Hill. Adam Barr followed him from the day he conducted the site survey many months ago, all the way through to the finished masterpiece. Tune into 'Golf Central' this Saturday, March 15th, to meet the artist, as well as the collector who bought his work.
     
    All the King's Men
    Additionally, the 'Golf Central' spotlight on Saturday and Sunday will feature a unique look at Arnold Palmer. Rich Lerner will explore what it's like for Arnie's friends to play regularly with the legend on his own course -- and at the Bay Hill Shootout.
     
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”