Presenting golf's 2014 Dubious Achievement Awards

By Jason SobelDecember 10, 2014, 12:00 pm

With respect and homage to the good folks at Esquire, allow us to present the 2014 Dubious Achievement Awards in Golf.

Said the parking space: ‘It is what it is’

For two hours on Wednesday afternoon prior to the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods’ parking space outside the Valhalla clubhouse was surrounded by dozens of camera crews awaiting his arrival.

That’s what you call taking relief

On the verge of sealing the BMW Championship victory, Billy Horschel sprinted down the 18th hole in search of a porta-potty.

He was just dancing around the question

Asked about a possible injury during the BMW PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy explained, “I twerked my knee.”

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Eww, eww, eww!

Two months before his Masters champions’ dinner, Adam Scott threatened to serve some untraditional fare. “There’s definitely going to be an Australian theme,” he said. “Whether that means they are eating kangaroo, I’m not sure yet.”

Maybe he ran out of fingers

Not long after declaring himself one of the world’s “top five” golfers following his WGC-Cadillac Championship victory, Patrick Reed was asked to name the other four. He listed Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and Dustin Johnson.

And at 12:01? Lunch

To help his confidence on the greens, Russell Henley revealed, “Every day at noon, I have a reminder on my phone that says I'm the best putter in the world.”

Good thing he didn’t take off his socks and shoes

An image of Stewart Cink went viral when he removed his hat after finishing the first round of the Sony Open, revealing a glaring tan line against his bald head.

‘… and that’s a bush, and over there is a flower…’

Augusta National’s famed Eisenhower Tree was uprooted after suffering major damage during an ice storm. When asked to reflect on its importance, Rory McIlroy shrugged, “It’s a tree.”

Just call him an ace-stronaut

With a hole-in-one during the final round of the KLM Open, Andy Sullivan earned a trip into outer-space.

Unlike him, she was already over the moon

When asked whether he’d take the trip, Sullivan said, "I'm not sure if I'll go. I'll check with the missus.”

Bad swing thoughts greater than Bad sting thoughts

Attacked by a swarm of hornets at the Maybank Malaysian Open, Pablo Larrazabal tried to run away, then jumped into a nearby water hazard. “It was the scariest moment of my career, for sure,” he insisted. “I've never been so scared.”

Breaking news

Just minutes after the trophy presentation at The Barclays, Hunter Mahan’s newest piece of hardware came apart from its base.


After winning the IPSA Handa Perth International, Thorbjorn Olesen offered this on his impending celebration: “I'll definitely have a few beers. Maybe some other stuff also, champagne, I don't know. Whatever I can get my hands on, I'll drink it.”


After winning the Dunhill Links Championship, Oliver Wilson offered this on his impending celebration: “I don’t know. I could be drunk for a while.”


After earning the clinching point for the European side at the Ryder Cup, Jamie Donaldson was asked the next morning whether it had sunk in yet. “No,” he said, “because I’m still drunk.”

Must’ve been before he learned numbers

Victor Dubuisson on when he stopped attending school during his formative years in France: “I was like 10 or 12.”

Even Lydia Ko has socks older than her

At 11 years old, Lucy Li became the youngest competitor in U.S. Women’s Open history.

Like that old motto for a plumbing company: ‘We’re No. 1 in taking care of No. 2’

With a playoff loss at the HSBC Champions tournament, Tim Clark claimed a runner-up finish on the PGA Tour for an 11th consecutive season.

But did he hold on to that old Slazenger?

Golf ball diver Stephen Martinez was attacked by an alligator in Florida for the second time in less than a decade, leaving minimal bite injuries to his left hand and arm.

Finally, a solution to slow play

A golf cart in South Carolina was modified for speed, setting a Guinness World Record by reaching 118.76 mph.

Now who’s chicken?

A suspect fled the scene after breaking into a Foster Farms ranch near Fresno, Calif., and slaughtering more than 900 chickens with a golf club.

And you thought the 1996 Masters was cringe-worthy

Greg Norman nearly lost his left arm after a heavy tree limb forced it down against the running blade of a chainsaw.

Considering the alternative, thank goodness it was funny

In a satirical video featuring the catchphrase, “That’s How Duf Does It,”usual flatliner Jason Dufner deadpanned his approach to golf on the website Funny or Die.

The 19th hole barely had enough prune juice for everyone

Dom DeBonis, an 81-year-old recreational golfer, carded holes-in-one during three consecutive rounds in October.

You mean he didn’t have holes-in-one during three consecutive rounds?

PGA Tour China leading money winner Xin-Jun Zhang was suspended for six months after being found guilty of signing multiple incorrect scorecards.

OK, now that’s a hole-in-one

During the opening round of the PGA Championship, Chris Wood split his pants in an inopportune wardrobe malfunction. “I’m 6-foot-6 with a massive hole in my trousers in America,” he later said. “It’s the most embarrassed I’ve ever been on the golf course."

As it turns out, money can buy you love

One-upping fellow competitors who threw sponsor-related knickknacks into the stands surrounding TPC Scottsdale’s rowdy 16th hole, Ryan Palmer won over the fans by tossing cold, hard cash.

Here’s a guy who knows how to move up a leaderboard - literally

English factory worker John Singleton, whose day job consists of operating a forklift, qualified for the Open Championship.

Ba-hack Obama?

Michael Jordan listed President Obama in his dream foursome, then quickly took it back. “He’s a hack,” the former basketball star said. “It would be all day playing with him.”

The commander-in-giving-grief

Upon hearing of Jordan’s comment, the president fired back: “He might want to spend more time thinking about the Bobcats – or the Hornets.”

His mama always said that

Tom Watson explained of Open Championship host Royal Liverpool: "It's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Or, if you keep missing, even more frustrating

As part of an effort to grow the game, TaylorMade introduced 15-inch holes which ostensibly make golf easier.

One dig deserves another

During the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Ian Poulter called Hideki Matsuyama an “idiot” for digging his putter into the 13th green in frustration, then leaving it for a rules official to repair.

Taking this whole ‘man of the people’ thing entirely too far

On two consecutive days at The Barclays, Phil Mickelson pushed drives into the hospitality tent left of the fifth green at Ridgewood Country Club, each time hitting his next shot from among the spectators.

‘And I might be off, but one Masters win plus another Masters win is two Masters wins, correct?’

Bubba Watson to caddie Ted Scott, while standing over a birdie putt on the final hole of the Masters: “I'm not very good at math, but we've got four putts, right?”

Anyone know how to get maple syrup out of a green jacket?

Following his victory, Watson tweeted a photo of himself celebrating with friends and family at a local Waffle House.

Membership has its privileges

Playing with Augusta National member Jeff Knox during the third round of the Masters, Rory McIlroy suffered a worse score than his marker.

Proclaimed The Donald: ‘It’s the Trumpiest Trump in all of Trumpland’

Ubiquitous developer Donald Trump bought venerable Turnberry Resort and, like most of his golf properties, eponymously renamed it Trump Turnberry.

When found, it was hailed as a diamond in the rough

At the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, an errant drive by Sergio Garcia knocked the diamond out of a female spectator’s engagement ring.

And all you got your dad this year was an ugly tie

A decade-old wager on his son to win the Open Championship by age 25 earned Gerry McIlroy and two friends more than $300,000 after Rory's victory at Royal Liverpool.

In his defense, he didn’t have enough characters left to write ‘Little’

PGA of America president Ted Bishop was ousted from his position after referring to Ian Poulter on social media as a “Lil Girl.”

Take the putt, leave the bologna

Following a lengthy ruling, Sergio Garcia conceded an 18-foot putt to Rickie Fowler during their match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. “I didn’t know what he meant,” Fowler said of the unlikely halve. “I didn’t know if he had a sandwich over there waiting and asked if I wanted to split lunch or something.”

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Aggressiveness pays off for Spieth vs. Schwartzel

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 9:32 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On Tuesday, Jordan Spieth said he hoped this week’s format would free him up and allow him to play more aggressively.

Although that wasn’t the case early in his Day 1 match against Charl Schwartzel, Spieth was able to get his week off to a solid start with a 2-and-1 victory.

After playing his first nine holes in even par, Spieth moved ahead in the match when Schwartzel made bogey at the par-5 12th hole and the American hit his approach at the par-4 13th hole to 3 feet, a shot he said was “pivotal,” and he added another birdie at the 14th hole to pull away.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

“I had a couple of iffy numbers and some swirly winds. I did not play aggressively,” Spieth said of his opening nine. “Once I got a couple numbers where I could put really nice, solid swings on, zeroed in at the target with no worry about anything else around, I did just that and it led to three or four birdies from the eighth hole on. You have to go at flagsticks to make birdies here.”

The early victory puts Spieth on a collision course with Patrick Reed, who also won his first-day match against HaoTong Li, 3 and 2. Spieth and Reed, who are a combined 7-2-2 when teamed together in the Ryder and Presidents Cup, will play each other in the final day of round-robin play on Friday.

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List takes Thomas to 18 putting with a wedge

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 7:57 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – As he walked off the sixth tee on Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Luke List “swiped” his putter into what he thought was a bush. It was a wall.

List’s putter bent slightly, which meant he wasn’t allowed to employ it the rest of the round. Using a wedge to putt, he lost his opening-day match to Justin Thomas, 2 down.

“Stupid on my part,” List said. “I'll get the club fixed and go on to my next two matches.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Despite his putting disadvantage, List pushed Thomas to the 18th hole thanks to birdies at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, which included a chip-in from 18 feet at 15. Thomas was 3 up with four holes to play and managed to birdie the last, but it was far from stress-free.

“I was thinking about it, how bad that would hurt if I couldn't get it done,” Thomas said. “He hit some great putts and he made some good ones when he needed to.”

The situation also prompted Thomas to change his strategy on the greens, with not nearly as many conceded putts as normal.

“He putted probably two or three putts I wouldn't have made him putt with a putter,” Thomas said. “[No. 13] was a short putt he's probably going to make. It had a lot of break. But 12, that putt was 2 feet straight uphill. But I was like he's got a wedge, so I'm going to make him putt it.”

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 7:45 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm:  (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman (20) X. Schauffele (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas (41) D. Frittelli (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 0-1-0 (10) P. Casey (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-0-0 (45) K. Stanley (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 1-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-1-0 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello (24) G. Woodland: 0-1-0 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-1-0 (40) S. Kodaira (37) W. Simpson: 0-1-0 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-1-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-1-0 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Hot Seat: The driver is burning Tiger

By Randall MellMarch 21, 2018, 6:51 pm

The men’s first major championship of the year is two weeks away, the women’s just a week away.

Here’s our Hot Seat lineup with the approach of the Masters and the ANA Inspiration in mind:

Smoking carbon composites – Tiger Woods

Woods is the betting favorite to win the Masters in most sportsbooks, and while his game is coming together quickly, he won’t be the experts’ pick without getting his driver under control.

The driver looks like the last piece Woods needs to once more become the favorite wherever he goes.

Right now, though, there’s an open wound that needs to be cauterized before he heads to Augusta National.

That double-cross Woods blew into someone’s backyard along the 16th hole Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational came from a reservoir of uncertainty that his driver continues to create. 

Woods has come a long way with his driver. When he pulls it out of the bag, it isn’t like he’s ripping a bandage off anymore, not the way it was three and four years ago. Still, he doesn’t pull that club with the same relish Rory McIlroy does, or Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, for that matter. Physically and psychologically, they’ve got an advantage on him until he does. 

Woods did not qualify for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, so he’s got extra time to address his biggest shortcoming.

“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver,” Golf Channel’s Notah Begay said earlier this week. “Tiger has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

Dustin Johnson at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Smoldering Tex Mex Tango – Dustin Johnson

The world No. 1 is playing just fine enough since his victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at year’s start. He’s just been overshadowed by the brilliance of a lot of fellow stars.

With McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas all winning in the last month, with Woods stepping up his game, Johnson has been quietly toiling toward the Masters.

Johnson has won 10 times since Woods' last victory, and yet Woods is the 8-to-1 favorite to win the Masters.

Johnson, McIlroy and Thomas are listed at 10-to-1 by the Westgate Las Vegas SportsBook.

It doesn’t rankle Johnson.

“It’s fine with me,” he said Tuesday. “He’s playing pretty well.”

Even as the defending champ this week at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, Johnson isn’t center stage, not with McIlroy marching into town off his dominant finish at the API.

Flying relatively under the radar might seem like a comfortable position for a world No. 1, but he won’t stay atop the world rankings for long flying under the radar.

Shanshan Feng during Round 2 at the 2017 Japan Classic.

Rolex Ranking Roast – Shanshan Feng

The women’s Rolex world No. 1 enters the week at the Kia Classic trying to hold off a strong field with the ANA Inspiration looming next week.

The top seven players in the world rankings, and 11 of the top 12, are at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.

Feng has quietly reigned atop the world rankings for 19 consecutive weeks, holding off bids to overtake her by No. 2 Lexi Thompson, No. 3 So Yeon Ryu and No. 4 Sung Hyun Park.

They’ve all been close enough in world ranking average this year to take the top spot, but Feng isn’t backing down. She’s winless so far this this year, but she has finished fifth or better in two of her three starts.