No 1 is 1st No 2 is 2nd

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 4, 2008, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
HELLO, DUBAI: It's a pretty good time to be Tiger Woods. The world's No. 1 came from behind to win the Dubai Desert Classic with six back-nine birdies to edge 54-hole leader Ernie Els. It seems painfully obvious that Woods feeds off of comments like the one Ian Poulter made, and is now 2-foir-2 in 2008.
BackspinAfter opening the week with a 65 it seemed like it would be another runaway for Tiger. But to make things interesting Woods cooled off, spotting the leader, Ernie Els, a four-stroke cushion, only to shoot a 65 on Sunday to win by one. After being asked whether he liked winning at the Buick by eight or in Dubai Woods said, 'I like (winning) by seven or eight a lot. It's a lot less stressful.'
OH, ERNIE: Els stood four back of Tiger as they headed into the weekend at Dubai and proceeded to blow by the worlds No. 1 and his arch nemesis with a near flawless third-round 65. Four ahead of Tiger entering Sundays final round, Els suffered yet another collapse with three back-nine bogeys, none worse than the one coming on the 72nd hole, when a birdie would had gotten him into a playoff.
Backspin Much has been made ' mostly by Els ' of the South Africans three-year plan of overtaking Tiger as the games No. 1 player. Already one of the most resilient players on tour, this latest collapse, however, could take a serious toll on the Big Easys three-year plan and perhaps his overall legacy on the game. A few more choking incidences like this and he will be treading in Greg Norman waters.

WHAT'S UP, HOLMES?: The playoff between Phil Mickelson and J.B. Holmes was a fitting end to the PGA TOUR's most exciting week in golf. Holmes, in his first ever playoff, defeated Mickelson on the first playoff hole to win the FBR Open at the TPC Scottsdale.
BackspinMickelson battled his way into contention late, but just didn't have enough juice to win in the playoff. The Arizona State graduate got some of the biggest cheers of the weekend, particularly at the par-3 16th. But in the end it was Holmes getting the victory and walking away with the giant check.

PARTY IN THE DESERT: The FBR Open cemented its legendary status as the biggest party on the PGA TOUR this year. A record of over 500,000 fans made their way out to TPC Scottsdale for the drinks, women, and debauchery... Oh, and when they had time, some golf, too.
Backspin With the Super Bowl nearly within a Bubba Watson tee shot, this year's FBR broke all sorts of attendance records. Just to put it in perspective, all the fans who attended the final round made the TPC Scottsdale the seventh biggest city in Arizona, with a higher population than the city of Scottsdale itself.

BRAIN F*RT:'I haven't played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger,' Ian Poulter recently told Golf World magazine. Poulter later called it a misquote saying, 'The whole answer to the question has been taken out of context.' Poulter finished tied for 39th in Dubai, a mere 13 strokes behind Woods.
Backspin Poulter proved to be all talk this weekend in Dubai, and why he felt the need to challenge the best golfer in the world to play better is beyond us. But for as good as Poulter is, and there is little doubt the Englishman is talented, maybe he should call Rory Sabbatini, or Stephen Ames, to ask how it turned out for them after verbally challenging the Mr. Woods

WIE WOULD LIKE TO PLAY:Michele Wie accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in The Fields Open in Hawaii, hopeful of getting her career back on track after last year's tough season. Wie has started her season at the Sony Open on the PGA TOUR the previous four years but she did not play the Sony this year, a sign that she plans to concentrate on the LPGA while trying to regain her form.
Backspin After a tumultous 2007 season Wie will be looking for a more consistent 2008 as she tries to manage professional golf with being a freshman at Stanford. Wie is still trying to live up to her lofty expectations, but it is easy to forget that she is only 18-years-old.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:Jarrod Lyle won the Nationwide Tour's Mexico Open event in Morelia; Leo Fiyalko, a 92-year-old blind man, recorded a hole-in-one on the fifth hole at the Cove Cay Country Club in Clearwater, Fla.
Backspin Lyle, a 26-year-old Australian, won his first Nationwide Tour victory in style, firing a final-round 63 for a five-shot win; A 92-year-old blind man gets a hole in one? Who saw that coming? Well, certainly not him. Here's hoping his other senses are heightened and at least he could hear the ball go into the cup.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage -FBR Open
  • Full Coverage - Dubai Desert Classic
  • Full Coverage - Mexico Open present by Corona
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  • LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

    LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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    Finally got it down lol

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

    Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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    How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

    Getty Images

    Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

    In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

    “Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

    Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).

    And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

    FILM 1

    Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

    Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 

    FILM 2

    Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

    The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 

    FILM 3

    Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

    In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

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    Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

    By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

    Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

    Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

    It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.

    Updated Official World Golf Ranking

    Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

    There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

    Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

    With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

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    USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

    By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

    Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

    The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

    “We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

    Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

    The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

    “These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.