My 2014 moment: Grill Room show

By Bailey MosierDecember 27, 2014, 1:00 pm

(Editor's note: This is part of a series in which staff reveal their favorite or personal moments of 2014.)

If you haven't seen the Grill Room, feel free in the new year to join the rest of the masses who already have and who enjoy it weekly. 

And to those loyal fans out there who feverishly refreshed their browsers every Wednesday evening (here's looking at you, mom), waiting for the newest episode to be posted, thank you for having impeccable taste in Internet video.

My favorite moment of 2014 was more of a collection of moments surrounding the launch and development of the Grill Room show that Golf Channel's digital team debuted in May.

Creating a show every week was hard work. It was a grind. Most weeks looked like this:

Tuesday, 11 a.m.: Ideas meeting.

Tuesday, 12 p.m.: Leave ideas meeting with no idea what the show’s going to be about.

Tuesday, 12:01 p.m. until 6 p.m.: Confer with colleague Jason Crook on what to write and how to make the show funny.

Wednesday, 1:30 a.m.: Have a show written, but don’t totally love every segment. Decide to go to sleep, hoping genius strikes in the morning.

Wednesday, 6 a.m.: Mediocrity strikes. Change a few lines. Send script to producers and bosses for approval.

Wednesday, sometime after 6 a.m. and before 1 p.m.: One or two new stories break, or someone tweets something noteworthy. Script rewrite to include new items.

Wednesday, 1 p.m.: Film. Hope for the best.

Every now and then, we were onto something. Other times, we did the best we could with what we had to work with. My writing cohort and confidant Jason Crook and I sometimes felt like we were writing for “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” or that we were clever enough that we could. Maybe, years down the road when we are at "The Tonight Show," we will look back at these moments and say, “That’s where it all started.” If Jimmy Fallon rings, I will take that call.

The first time I met Sara Brown, she was in the Golf Channel makeup room, in town to audition for School of Golf - which she now hosts and does a wonderful job. I walked in to get my hair and makeup done for that week's Grill Room episode. Our conversation went something like this:

"Hi, I'm Sara."

"Yeah, Sara No H Brown. Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Bailey."

"I just LOVE the Grill Room. My husband and I watch it all the time. We think it's so funny."

The rest of the conversation is pretty much a blur. I instantly loved her and we are now great friends. Wonder why ...

Sara appeared in a Grill Room episode where we pretended like she was taking over the Grill Room show, timed during the week when Tiger Woods publicly responded to the fake Dan Jenkins article he wrote for Golf Digest by saying that it was “not true, not funny.” This became my response to Sara's takeover.

In that same episode, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee appeared to read mean tweets (Yes, I know, we stole it from Jimmy Kimmel. But imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. And we have a low budget and sometimes scarce attendance for ideas meetings.) The next day, Morning Drive co-host Paige Mackenzie said she watched the episode and thought the mean tweets were hilarious. She then said she wanted to come on and read some mean tweets, and that she thought every on-air talent at Golf Channel should. Now that it's in print, you have to do it, Paige. So, too, must everyone else.

The Grill Room started out as a "social show," yet no one really knew what that meant. Six people showed up to our first ideas meeting. As time went on and the show evolved, there were sometimes as many as 10 people showing up to help brainstorm and to share their ideas. (Also, there were some times when there was scarce attendance - see above.) This really meant a lot to me, because it shows that a) people care about me enough to want to help support the show and make it as great as possible or b) they had an idea for a skit where we could throw something at Correspondent Crook or make him wear a blonde wig (both of these things happened). Likely, the latter of the two. Either way, a sincere and huge thank you to everyone whose job it wasn't to help put together that show, yet who showed up to the meetings with ideas, and who helped make those ideas a reality.

Here's to a fantastic 2015 in the Grill Room. Cheers!

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”

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PGA Tour Latinoamérica moving season finale to Doral

By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

PGA Tour Latinoamérica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit's money list competing on Doral's Golden Palm Course.

“We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamérica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.

The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort's Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed as then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his bid for the presidency.

“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in December 2015, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric concerning Mexicans and Muslims.

The event was moved to Mexico City in 2017 and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

The Latinoamérica Tour Championship was staged the last two years at Melreese Country Club in Miami, where David Beckham is currently attempting to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer expansion club, Inter Miami.

PGA Tour Latinoamérica's release states that the move to Doral "keeps the event in this part of the Sunshine State and allows the tournament to maintain its ties to The First Tee of Miami as a charitable recipient and sponsor." Melreese, the city's only public golf course, is home to the First Tee of Miami, which naturally opposes Beckham's efforts to close the facility and repurpose the land.

A November referendum will ask voters to decide if the city should negotiate a no-bid lease with Beckham's ownership group, which seeks to create a $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

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Im wins Player and Rookie of the Year awards

By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 1:22 pm

Sungjae Im on Thursday was named the Tour's 2018 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

Im won twice on the this year, taking the season opener in January, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and the season finale in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, to become the first player in history lead the circuit's money list wire-to-wire.

Im is the first Korean-born player to win the Web's POY award and, at 20 years old, its youngest recipient.

In a player vote, Im bested Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer, 2018's only other two-time winner, for POY honors, and Burns, Hickock, Trainer and Cameron Champ for ROY honors.

“My first year on the Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Tour before making it to the PGA Tour, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA Tour season on a good note.”

In his first PGA Tour start, Im tied for fourth at the Safeway Open, earning $241,280, a little less than half of the $534,326 he amassed in 25 starts as the Web's regular-season money winner.

Playing this week's CJ Cup in his native South Korea, Im opened with a 1-over 73 Thursday.