Top 10 personalities in the men's game

By Randall MellMay 25, 2012, 8:30 pm

Jason Dufner’s game is on the rise.

So is his persona. We’re learning there is more than meets the eye as we get to know the subtle, wry dimensions of his personality.

NBC analyst Johnny Miller said in a media conference call this week that Dufner was among his favorites at the U.S. Open because he had the game and the personality to win at The Olympic Club. Miller said Dufner is one of those competitors who barely seem to have a pulse, and he likes those guys at a U.S. Open.

Here is one man’s completely subjective listing of the top 10 personalities in men’s professional golf under age 50, guys with a ton of pulse, guys who you eagerly await in the media room after good rounds because you know they’re going to fill up your notebook. They may be on this list because they’re funny, quirky or just gifted with colorful insight into the game and human nature, or maybe all of the above:

1. Bubba the White

Bubba Watson’s personality is much too large to be restrained to a single spot atop this listing of top-10 personalities. Bubba the White, like Gandalf the White in the Lord of the Rings, radiates with a wizardly charm. Watson possesses a quirky but intriguing perspective on life as only Bubba can see it. He’ll make you chuckle at his folksy views. He’ll also awe you with the magic in that pink driver of his.

2. Bubba the Grey

Like J.R.R. Tolkien’s wizard, Bubba has a darker alter ego who fits the author’s description, “. . . quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly.” Yeah, that’s pretty much Bubba, too, though folly is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

3. Paul Goydos

If this guy won more, he would be a superstar. His wit and dry humor were unveiled for all to see in his playoff loss at The Players Championship four years ago. He’s Bob Newhart in golf cleats. He is self-deprecating and gifted in expressing it with some good one-liners.

4. Rocco Mediate

He is not your ordinary PGA Tour pro, to be sure. For starters, he has a tattoo on his right arm (RNM, the first initials of his three sons). He is a wisecracker who can be brutally honest – just ask Tiger Woods – but in the most disarming fashion, usually. Nobody rambles more delightfully than Rocco. You rarely want him to stop talking when he’s in the media room.

5. Phil Mickelson

Yeah, he’s a lightning rod, but Lefty brings as much game into the media room as he does on the golf course. His messages can be calculating, but he wins us over delivering them so cleverly. There’s a lot of thought that goes into Lefty’s opinions, and they carry considerable weight in the game. When Mickelson makes a stand, he makes it count. And while he may lumber across a golf course, he is as quick as anyone on his feet in the media room, with witty jabs and needles aimed at writers.

6. Boo Weekley

The guy galloped down the first fairway at Valhalla in the shadow of Churchill Downs straddling his driver as if he were riding Secretariat. You don’t see that every day at a Ryder Cup. He was voted Class Clown his senior year at Milton High in the Florida panhandle. He once felt like a clown getting knocked out by an orangutan in a boxing match at a carnival. Weekley tells his stories with a folksy charm that endears him to his audiences.

7. Henrik Stenson

The Swede once stripped to his underwear to hit a shot out of the muck at Doral. He looked completely uninhibited doing so. He was as funny talking about it as he was doing it. Even amid slumps, some nasty ones that might have ended the careers of lesser men, Stenson is a cheerful subject, mostly.

8. Lee Westwood

His sharp, penetrating English wit comes through in most of his media sessions. Westwood is smart, and he knows how to make an important point with levity punctuating his message. That’s a nice trick. His opinions also carry substantial weight because of the respect he has won among his peers.

9. Graeme McDowell

The good-humored Irish outlook passes comfortably through McDowell’s persona. He is candid, with strong opinion, but he has the knack of making you like him even if you disagree with him.

10. Rory McIlroy

The youngest member of this list, McIlroy, 23, can sound wise beyond his years in an interview room, while also being boyishly playful. He is surprisingly unguarded for a No. 1 player in the world, open and eager to share his opinions.

Honorable mention: Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Darren Clarke, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Geoff Ogilvy, Jerry Kelly.

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”

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Final-round tee times for the 147th Open Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth begins his quest for a second consecutive claret jug and fourth major overall at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday at Carnoustie, playing alongside Xander Schauffele. This marks the first time Schauffele has ever held a 54-hole lead in his career.

The Kevins – Kisner and Chappell – are in the penultimate group, 10 minutes earlier at 9:35 a.m. Kisner is tied with Spieth and Schauffele at 9 under par. Chappell is two shots back at 7 under.

But it’s the next group that has people interested the most. Tiger Woods is paired with Francesco Molinari at 9:25 a.m. Woods, in search of his 15th major championship and first in 10 years, shot a third-round 66 to vault into a tie for sixth place, four shots behind the lead. He began the day six shots behind. Molinari has two wins and two second-place finishes in his last four events.

Rory McIlroy was within striking distance of the lead but bogeyed two of the last three holes to drop into a sixth-place tie. He is paired with 2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar at 9:05 a.m.

3:00AM ET: Beau Hossler

3:10AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Rafa Cabrera Bello

3:20AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Si-Woo Kim

3:30AM ET: Luke List, Keegan Bradley

3:40AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

3:50AM ET: Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Dunne

4:00AM ET: Cameron Davis, Brooks Koepka

4:10AM ET: Brett Rumford, Kevin Na

4:20AM ET: Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

4:30AM ET: Gavin Green, Ryan Fox

4:45AM ET: Shubhankar Sharma, Gary Woodland

4:55AM ET: Sam Locke (a), Masahiro Kawamura

5:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Rhys Enoch

5:15AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Jason Day

5:25AM ET: Adam Hadwin, Yuta Ikeda

5:35AM ET: Sung Kang, Brandon Stone

5:45AM ET: Thomas Pieters, Stewart Cink

5:55AM ET: Lee Westwood, Julian Suri

6:05AM ET: Tom Lewis, Marc Leishman

6:15AM ET: Ross Fisher, Jason Dufner

6:30AM ET: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed

6:40AM ET: Phil Mickelson, Eddie Pepperell

6:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Bernhard Langer

7:00AM ET: Michael Kim, Patrick Cantlay

7:10AM ET: Shaun Norris, Lucas Herbert

7:20AM ET: Sean Crocker, Louis Oosthuizen

7:30AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Satoshi Kodaira

7:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Danny Willett

7:50AM ET: Haotong Li, Kyle Stanley

8:00AM ET: Chris Wood, Byeong Hun An

8:15AM ET: Erik Van Rooyen, Yusaku Miyazato

8:25AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

8:35AM ET: Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman

8:45AM ET: Justin Rose, Austin Cook

8:55AM ET: Tommy Fleetwood, Zach Johnson

9:05AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy

9:15AM ET: Webb Simpson, Alex Noren

9:25AM ET: Francesco Molinari, Tiger Woods

9:35AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell

9:45AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele