One Big Rollercoaster Ride

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 5, 2008, 4:00 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.
COUNTRY SONG: John Daly's week started with the now widely viewed round of golf he played at his home course in Arkansas without wearing a shirt. Then came the war of words with famed instructor Butch Harmon. Soon thereafter, it was reported that Roger Clemens and one of Daly's exes, Paulette, had been involved in some kind of relationship. And to top off the week, JD flew all the way across the Atlantic to miss the cut at the Spanish Open.
Backspin Daly making news headlines is nothing new, but this past week was a banner week even for Big John. The playing golf while shirtless incident for some reason ignited quite a few people to become very upset and angry, while the rest of the golf fans just thought it was kind of comical and didn't get bent out of shape. As for the Harmon brouhaha, not sure why the swing guru was so intent on making sure everyone knew that he never offered an apology - as if saying 'I'm sorry' to someone is one of the worst things in the world to do. With the Clemens/Paulette Dean story, this one even John didn't have anything to do with - he was just an innocent bystander and got swept up by the now runaway Rocket Express. And lastly, missing the cut at a golf event? Well, we guess that doesn't really amount to news these days when it comes to his golf game. Perhaps the bright side of all this for Daly? The past week has given him an entire country album worth of material. Sing it JD!

THE FUTURE IS NOW: Anthony Kim waltzed to a five-shot win at the Wachovia Championship, and in the process became the youngest player to win on the PGA TOUR since Sergio Garcia back in 2002.
Backspin At just 22 years of age, Kim has now made good on what many people have been predicting for the former Oklahoma University golfing star. And the style in which he did it shouldn't go unnoticed, as he shattered the tournament scoring record by three shots - previously held by a guy named Eldrick Woods. And speaking of style, did you get a look at that belt buckle of his? Fancy-schmancy for sure. Which begs the question - is Rory Sabbatini happy that he crushed Tiger's tournament scoring record or is he ticked that now he has stiff competition in the belt buckle department?

NOT THIS TIME: Paula Creamer held a two-stroke lead heading into the 72nd hole of the SemGroup Championship before a bogey - and a clutch Juli Inkster birdie - forced a playoff. Creamer rebounded, however, and drained an 8-footer on the second playoff hole for her sixth career LPGA Tour title.
Backspin Kudos for Creamer for conquering the demons that were no doubt swirling in her head after what had happened the week prior in her battle with Annika. All the greats speak of learning from tough losses and the Pink Panther bounced back quicker than most would have suspected. And not a bad run for the LPGA Tour either - world No.1 Lorena Ochoa winning two weeks ago, then world No. 2 Annika winning last week and now Creamer, the newly-minted world No. 3. That's probably some kind of record or something and no doubt has tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens smiling ear to ear.

SORENSTAM, LOPEZ AND...NOBODY ELSE: Lorena Ochoa winning streak came to screeching halt this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ochoas difficulties started early, as the worlds No. 1 struggled to just make the cut before rallying to finish in a tie for fifth, five strokes behind Creamer.
Backspin Well, she cant win em all. Much like we saw with Tiger, sooner or later in golf there will be days where the magic just isnt there. Ochoa was vying for a record tying fifth straight LPGA Tour victory, a record set by Nancy Lopez (1978) and matched by Annika Sorenstam (2004-05). In the end, it was a remarkable run for Ochoa, one that was arguably better than Tigers since it was highlighted with a major championship victory.

PRICE GOUGING: Denis Watson took advantage of a late Nick Price collapse and birdied the final hole to win the Kinko's FedEx Classic by a stroke over Price, Scott Hoch and Tim Simpson.
Backspin A ruthless competitor and closer - albeit commonly referred to as the nicest guy on TOUR - back in his heydays on the PGA TOUR in the early 90s, Price inexplicably folded down the stretch. Searching for his first-ever Champions Tour win, Price double bogeyed both the 15th and 16th holes late Sunday afternoon and couldn't recover from the meltdown. Stating the obvious, the obviously stunned South African said afterwards, 'This is such a crazy game.' Thanks Nick, but tell us something we don't know.

EURO: Peter Lawrie defeated Ignacio Garrido on the second playoff hole to win the Spanish Open on Sunday. Lawrie shot a final round 67, erasing a five stroke deficit to capture his first European Tour title.
Backspin It took six years and 175 events for the Irishman Lawrie to get his maiden victory on the European Tour. And as one might expect, a great moment like this in the 34-year-olds career, he said, Im not a party person, but I will enjoy this. Come on Peter, a little bubbly, er Guinness, is in order after six long years.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Juli Inkster announced this week that she will be opting out of the LPGA's second major of the season, the McDonald's LPGA Championship in early June; Phil Harison, who called out the names of Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Ballesteros and Tiger Woods as the official starter on the first tee of the Masters, died at the age 82.
Backspin Inkster's no-show, due to her daughter's graduation fro grade school, will mark an end to an amazing 56 straight major championships played in. No word yet if the grade school will push back its graduation date after seeing her gutsy performance from this past week in Tulsa; Harison's indelible words on the first tee will forever be remembered by Masters patrons - 'Fore please.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • Full Coverage - SemGroup Championship
  • Full Coverage - FedEx Kinko's Classic
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    Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

    By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

    The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

    Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

    Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

    He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

    There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

    In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

    So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

    The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

    Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

    When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

    Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.

    Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

    Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

    “The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

    This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

    The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

    It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

    “The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

    Pay per view does that.

    “You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

    If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

    Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

    Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

    Trail date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

    By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

    AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

    District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

    Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

    Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

    Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

    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:

    View this post on Instagram

    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.

    View this post on Instagram

    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.