The mane event: One-on-one with @BrandelsHair

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 31, 2014, 10:00 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Grill Room is on-site at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, and our correspondent was granted an exclusive, one-on-one interview with local celebrity @BrandelsHair, who has called Scottsdale home for the past 30 years. Catch him on top of Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee’s head in the broadcast booth all week from TPC Scottsdale, or if you’re in the area, come out and say hello.

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Grill Room: What were you like growing up?

Brandel's Hair: All I can say is in the third grade, girls used to chase me and fight over who could run their fingers through me. As Brandel’s gotten older, he's learned to run slower. 


GR: A lot of people think Brandel colors you. What do you say to that?

BH: I'm a big believer in playing the hand you're dealt. I just happened to have been dealt a royal flush.


GR: What color are you?

BH: I like to say I'm 50 shades of gray.


GR: What products do you use?

BH: Who are you writing for, In Style? Is this going to be one of those "Who Wore It Better?" deals? Listen, I've got to maintain some mystery here. Let's just say I use shampoo and conditioner. When they start paying me to use them, I'll give them some props.

GR: What about mousse?

BH: Chocolate's OK, but I'm more of a creme brulee guy.

GR: You know what I mean. Are you going to be serious?

BH: You're interviewing hair. You shouldn't be surprised if I occasionally bristle.

GR: OK, I'll let that go. Blow dry or air dry?

BH: I'll answer that this way: Do you see Brandel playing persimmon woods and using hickory shafts?

GR: You know, you're being very difficult to deal with.

BH: That's what Brandel says. 


GR: Do you have a regular stylist?

BH: I don't know if he's regular or not - I've never asked him. That's a little personal, isn't it?

GR: No, is there someone you go to, uh, regularly?

BH: Nah, this crazy guy will go to anybody.


GR: What's a bad hair day for you?

BH: When Brandel doesn't go out. If you got it, you gotta flaunt it, right?


GR: Who's your favorite golfer?

BH: That's easy. Robert Rock. Great hair, great name, no hat.


 GR: Brandel analyzes swings. I'm assuming you'd like to analyze hair. Let's start with Stewart Cink.

BH: Brandel likes natural swings, and I'm a fan of no dyes, plugs or wigs, but the alabaster dome needs some sun time.

GR: Ian Poulter

BH: He's going for Rod Stewart, which at least is better than going for Patrick Stewart (and let's face it, Stewart Cink is all over that look). He's got the clothes, but the hair doesn't quite cut it. Talk to me when it gets its own Twitter handle.

GR: Rory McIlroy

BH: I like it. Natural, long and curly. Kind of like his drives.

GR: Miguel Angel Jimenez

BH: Ponytails on men are just wrong. See Steven Seagal. But he's the exception to the rule. It's like Jim Furyk's golf swing. It's all wrong, but it works.


GR: Among the people Brandel works with, who has the best hair besides you?

BH: People always ask me if Holly Sonders' hair is real. Real or fake, I say who cares?! And Frank Nobilo never wore a hat when he played golf and why would he? That's one terrific head of hair. Sometimes, when I look at it, I feel like Ben Hogan watching Sam Snead swing a golf club.


GR: If you could be anybody else's hair, who's would you be?

BH: Please. That's like asking the Mona Lisa if you'd like to be another painting.


GR: Who's the better half, you or Brandel?

BH: Me. I have no idea what's coming out of that guy's mouth. I'm so close to his brain but I can't control it.


GR: What's your biggest fear?

BH: That he'll start playing, play well and get a hat deal. But I've seen him hit it recently and I think I'm safe.


GR: Who’s the most famous person to touch you?

BH: Christophe. He said I was fabulous.

(Editor’s note: Christophe is a Belgian American hair stylist based in Beverly Hills. His clients have included Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson, Goldie Hawn and, most notably, @BrandelsHair. He currently charges $500 for a haircut.)


GR: How have you handled fame?

BH: I look at it this way: When you're on top, just enjoy the view.


GR: Have you ever been blamed for a bad shot?

BH: When he used to play golf I got in his eyes a few times on critical shots, and I felt bad about it. But we did look good.


GR: Do you ever feel taken for granted?

BH: No, I can tell by the look in Brandel's eyes every morning that he truly loves me.


GR: Which have you enjoyed more - golf or the broadcast booth?

BH: Golf brought out the best in him. TV brings out the best in me. You tell me which one of us has had the better career.


GR: People say you’re the best hair on TV. Do you agree with that?

BH: Well, modesty prevents me ... oh what the heck, yes, absolutely. 


A big thanks to @BrandelsHair for taking time out of his busy schedule. Remember to catch him all week live from the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”