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The Social: Spring break show must go on ...

By Jason CrookApril 17, 2018, 6:20 pm

The “Shotmakers” girls step up their game with the #SB2K boys preoccupied at a wedding, Patrick Reed’s green jacket tour may never end and PETA takes aim at a PGA Tour player.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

They grow up so fast.

One year you’re bro-ing out in the Bahamas without a care in the world, the next you’re spending “spring break” at the wedding of one of your crew members.

But, even without the incessant week-long sponsored Snapchats, it looks like the boys found a way to have a good time despite trading in their swim trunks for tailored suits.

Luckily, the new Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman didn’t go full-McIlroy and allowed some photos of their big day in Birmingham, Ala., to leak out.

Now....We...GO! Let’s do this thing @smyliekaufman10 @francieharris #fransallsmyles

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And ... let's go live to Kaufman at next year's spring break:

You just never know if you're gonna have enough time for Bed Bath & Beyond.

Some would say Patrick Reed arrived when he slipped on that a fancy green jacket two weeks ago after winning the Masters. Some would be wrong.

Since topping the field at Augusta National, Reed has worn his new prized possession everywhere, from "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to courtside at a couple of NBA games to a Chick-fil-A drive-thru and everywhere in between.

But the moment he truly arrived would be when he posed for photos last week with American icons Guy Fieri and 2 Chainz.

Fieri, Reed and Mr. Chainz riding the ravioli train to Flavor Town in search of America's greatest diners, drive-ins and dives would be the most ambitious crossover event in history. Let's make it happen.

Do it for the 'gram.

I hope they made that a boomerang @starting9

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Kelly Kraft learned the hard way last week that there are some birdies you want no part of on the golf course.

The 29-year-old PGA Tour pro missed the cut by a stroke at the RBC Heritage after his tee shot on the par-3 14th hole hit a bird mid-flight and ricocheted into a water hazard, eventually resulting in a double bogey.

Kraft told reporters after the round he got “screwed” and even took to Twitter to call out the bird in a Happy Gilmore-esque post.

In a shocking development, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] came to the defense of the reportedly unharmed bird, and called out Kelly for not playing better on the other 35 holes of the event.

"PETA is glad the bird is OK and sorry Kelly Kraft didn't advance, but that's not the bird's fault,’’ PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange said in a statement to USA Today Sports. “Of course, he would have advanced if he'd played better on other holes — so practice, practice, practice."

Kraft hasn't responded as of yet, which is probably smart. Just let this juicy golf beef die.

With the spring break spotlight up for grabs, someone had to step up and take one for the team.

Enter the stars of Golf Channel's new original show "Shotmakers."

While Spieth, Fowler and Thomas were watching their unanimous spring break MVP get hitched, Chelsea Pezzola, Tisha Abrea, Kenzie O’Connell and Nikki Bondura did their best #SB2K impersonation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as part of a bachelorette party ... and they pretty much nailed it.

The foursome, whose show takes place at at Topgolf Las Vegas and debuted to more than a million viewers last week, soaked up a little sun on the beach, downed a few adult beverages and spent some time on the golf course - the tried-and-true vacation technique that has stood the test of time.

On behalf of the entire golf vacation viewing public, The Social would like to thank these ladies for their sacrifice.

Solid point. Why get married when you could be practicing? This guy seems fun.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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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's 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

Trial 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:

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Finally got it down lol

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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

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