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Hooks and Cuts: All over the map

Rory McIlroy
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NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Mike Weir of Canada hits a drive during the first round of the Deutche Bank Championship at TPC Boston held on September 4, 2009 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)  - 

Cleaning out the notebook after a couple weeks on the road. From Tiger Woods, to Rory McIlroy, to Yani Tseng, here is my latest hooks and cuts:

- Tiger Woods always has been more interesting when he plays than when he talks.

- Rory McIlroy’s humility is as appealing as his swing. I like that he admits that Tiger’s U.S. Open rout was more impressive than his because Tiger was the only one to break par at Pebble Beach back in 2000. Rory was one of 20 to do so at Congressional.

- American golf certainly isn’t bad, but it’s difficult to point to a guy under 30 and say, “he’s got it all.”

- Yani Tseng has grown up since her father backed off, giving her room to be her own person.

- I’ve not heard any love whatsoever for Royal St. George’s.

- My last four flights have been on SBA – Screaming Baby Airways. They have several daily non-stops to Orlando and the Magic Kingdom.

- Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel are the faces of American women’s golf – all dress well, look good and play well. They acknowledge, too, that there’s an expectation to do all three, which they don’t think is the same for the men.

- Y.E. Yang was there for the end of Tiger and the start of Rory.

- There is no shortage of Korean companies that want to do business with the LPGA. There is, however, a shortage of American companies, though I’m told a few domestic events will be added over the next two years.

- iPads and iPhones are alive and well. Eye contact and conversation are on life support.

- If it’s Rory vs. Tiger Sunday on the back nine of a major in the U.S., the crowds will be tilted in whose favor?

- Sergio Garcia is good again, and that’s good.

- The John Huston Era has begun on the Champions Tour.

- Erik Compton said goodbye to his family twice, on his way to the operating table to get a new heart. Somewhere in Indiana, another family must’ve experienced a bittersweet moment when Compton won on the Nationwide Tour. Erik’s last donor was a vibrant college athlete who was killed in a motor accident.

- If it rains at Merion for the 2013 Open at 6,900 yards and change, what do they do? Fairways 15 yards wide? Eight-inch rough?

- Yani just hits it better than anyone else on the LPGA – longer, higher and straighter. As tough as Pressel is, it’s tough to compete when you’re spotting Tseng 30 yards off the tee.

- A pro gave me a lesson. I’m ready to give it back.

- If it’s a major … men, women, or even the older guys, I’m in. I just like watching majors.

- I like hoops, too. And I think NBA owners are going to back off labor Armageddon because the league is the hottest it’s been since MJ’s final, glorious days. The good will goes away quickly in a lock down.

- It took 25 years but there’s another Freddie on the scene. Of course, there’s really only one Freddie, just as there’s really only one Freddy Yock (Travelers champ Jacobson).

- It may not be a 'Citizen Kane' classic, but Scorsese’s 'The Departed' is inching toward the Shawshank-Gladiator-Godfather-Casino-Goodfellas-Braveheart echelon of watch-it-every-time-it’s-on Hall of Fame.

- I don’t think Rory will duplicate Tiger with five wins a year every year for 10 years, but I’m comfortable saying he’ll win a handful of majors before he’s done. There’s an undeniable bigness to his game and he loves the big moment, whether it’s his 62 to win at Quail Hollow or his 63 to open at St. Andrews. Or, of course, his 16 under to decimate the field at Congressional.

- By 2016 Olympic golf will feel important because our network will have pushed it and promoted it in a way tennis never did.

- Finally, a nod to the Babe, Babe Didrickson Zaharias, whose 100th birthday was June 26. Fifteen months after a cancer diagnosis, she won the U.S. Open by 12. A ground breaker and founding member of the LPGA, Babe was not only one of the greatest golfers that ever lived, but possibly the greatest all-around female athlete that has ever lived.