Hunter vs. punter

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 8, 2011, 9:24 pm

ARLINGTON, Texas – Perhaps Cowboys Stadium would seem less than ideal for a golfer named Hunter to square off against a former NFL punter. But Golf Channel’s “Hunter vs. The Punter” challenge on Wednesday was not your ordinary event.

Hunter Mahan withstood the fancy footwork of Mike Saxon, punter for the last Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl-winning team. They may have been competing inside the spacious stadium without a crowd, but they did have to endure the barbs of David Feherty, who stood alongside the two and provided steady banter.

The issue at hand: Is a Super Bowl punter or a PGA Tour golfer more accurate at his trade?

The catalyst behind the exhibition was Golf Channel’s NFL-themed, four-program series “Playing Lessons,” where current and past NFL stars play golf with Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. The four-part series of 30-minute shows begins Tuesday.

After the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets open the season Sept. 11, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo appears the following Tuesday on “Playing Lessons.” The next Tuesday, following Eagles-Falcons on Sunday night, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is featured. On Sept. 25, it’s Steelers-Colts, followed on the 27th by Jerome Bettis and Lou Holtz joining Chamblee. In the final week, after Packers-Falcons on Oct. 9, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers will appear on the Tuesday show.

And while the “Hunter vs. The Punter” event at Cowboys Stadium promoted “Playing Lessons,” it definitely had a unique, five-event format.

First, standing on the 40-yard line, Mahan chipped golf balls and Saxon booted footballs toward a corner of the end zone. Closest to the end zone without going into the end zone would win.  Hunter not only chipped closer, he traded one of his golf shots for a football and surprisingly kicked it dead inside the one-yard line.

“He’s at the peak of his career, and he just married a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader,” Feherty said of Mahan. “I hate him.”

Event 2 required Mahan to pop a golf ball off the face of an iron three times before trying to hit it into a tub 10 yards away without the ball touching the ground. Saxon had three shots at gently booting a football into a 10 tub also 10 yards away.         

“Well,” Feherty surmised, “the marks for technical merit were low, but artistic impressions . . . superb.”

In a third event Mahan opted to putt footballs while Saxon rolled footballs with his feet from the five points of the 50-yard line Cowboys star to the center of the star. The final two events involved trying to hit any part of the goal post’s crossbar or uprights from 10 yards out; and, trying to hit a pin flag from 10 yards away.

“It was fun to be out here,” Mahan said. “Something  different, crossing sports here. I don’t think many golfers can say they’ve played in Cowboys Stadium.”

Said  Saxon: “I haven’t swung my leg that many times in the last 15 years. It was fun. Good to be on the Golf Channel. Craziest event I’ve ever been involved in.”

- Hy Cotton contributed to this report

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Watch: Woods uses computer code to make robotic putt

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 3:10 pm

Robots have been plotting their takeover of the golf world for some time.

First it was talking trash to Rory McIlroy, then it was making a hole-in-one at TPC Scottsdale's famous 16th hole ... and now they're making putts for Tiger Woods.

Woods tweeted out a video on Tuesday draining a putt without ever touching the ball:

The 42-year-old teamed up with a computer program to make the putt, and provided onlookers with a vintage Tiger celebration, because computers can't do that ... yet.

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

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Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.