Hooks and Cuts: Hair of the (under)dog

By Rich LernerJanuary 30, 2012, 9:19 pm

Bobby Rock, aka Robert Rock, doesn’t get haircuts, just trims. He’s never in a state of growth, just maintenance. Because that soap opera hair, that “Dynasty” hair, that Lee Majors hair requires constant care. And it does not do well under a hat. I mean, who says no to a lid in the Arabian Desert? Who plays ice hockey without a helmet? Bobby Rock.

• Golf’s the great equalizer. Kyle Stanley’s breezing across Torrey Pines in all his Camilo-ness, like a movie star – trim, fit and cool as if in an Esquire fashion shoot – and then in five agonizing minutes he’s a 15 handicap making triple. What a brutal game.

• My dad is almost 85, fighting through a tough year health wise. Last week, he finally sounded upbeat. Why? He had hit a few golf balls for the first time in months, telling me, “I was hittin’ ‘em pretty good, not like you guys but 150 yards or so.” What a beautiful game.

• I love Rory. I really think he’s special. But in terms of star power, he simply can’t match Tiger. Rory sells some tickets, sure, but Tiger has a line around the block at Times Square.

• Lydia Ko, a 14-year-old amateur, won a women’s professional event in Australia. It’s getting to the point where if your 15-year-old can’t break 75, they’re a chop.

• Tiger admitted he went to Abu Dhabi for the seven-figure appearance fee. Can you imagine Tom Brady bowing out of a Patriots’ regular season game to go play in China because a bank threw $2 million at him? 

• Stanley’s third shot to 18 in regulation looked lovely, didn’t it? Being a little long in two looks better, a fact that is of no help now to Stanley but should be to all future leaders playing Torrey’s 72nd.

• A pudgy overachiever nicknamed “The Grip,” a South Korean power-lifter, and now an English driving range pro. Alongside the likes of Ed Fiori and Y.E. Yang, Rock assumes his place in the odd assemblage of men who’ve taken down a 54-hole, front-running Tiger.

• Rory’s clearly improved his conditioning, but paired with Tiger he looks like Wes Welker next to Ray Lewis.

• In the triple bogey-to-blow-a-tournament club that should never admit any more members, Jean Van de Velde and Robert Garrigus have company in Stanley. Did I mention that this can be a brutal game? Absolutely brutal.

• Tiger swung it poorly down the stretch and his ability to stay in the moment while fine tuning his new move remains questionable, but he is coming back. To argue otherwise would not be a sensible position. And when he’s hitting that squeeze 3-wood with a slight peel, 290 yards off the left side as he did for three days, you get a glimpse of what he’s after.

• Turns out that golf’s not unlike football. Prevent defenses never seem to work when you’re trying to protect a lead.

• Tiger used to run through, walk over and occasionally trample people. Now he’s older, with a few demons of his own and up against fields that are significantly better and deeper. He used to be The One.  At the moment, he’s one of many competitive and capable players.

• The best football players in the world always play in the NFL. The best basketball players in the world always play in the NBA. The best golfers in the world don’t always play The PGA Tour. And it diminishes, if only slightly, the Tour’s brand while confusing fans. Fans don’t have eight hours to watch two tournaments in the same day. They make choices. If history’s a guide, Tiger was the popular choice this past weekend.

• The football may be over after Brady and Manning settle their Super Bowl score this weekend, but there’ll still be a great passer worth watching over the next few months. Ricky Rubio’s as good as I’ve seen in years.

• Why go for the Tudor clubhouse or the Mediterranean style when you can unleash the Falcon? Nothing says “oil’s flowing” quite like the Falcon clubhouse in Abu Dhabi.

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Watch: Hahn slam-dunks ace on 11th hole

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:20 pm

There are aces, and there are slam-dunk aces. No question which one this one by James Hahn on the 154-yard 11th hole was.

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Els' nephew Rebula wins Amateur Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:05 pm

Ernie Els is one proud uncle.

His nephew, Jovan Rebula, won the Amateur Championship on Saturday at Royal Aberdeen to become the first South African to capture the title since Bobby Cole in 1966.

Rebula, a junior at Auburn, will join his famous uncle in Carnoustie next month for The Open. He also will get invites to the 2019 Masters and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Rebula defeated Ireland's Robin Dawson, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.

"It’s unreal," Rebula said. "It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different."

Rebula received plenty of texts from Els throughout the week, and the encouragement paid off. Rebula opened a 1-up lead after 18 holes, and he extended his advantage by winning the 26th and 27th holes. He was 5 up with six to play before finally closing out Dawson on the 16th hole with an up-and-down from the bunker.

"It’s been a long week and especially today," Rebula said. "I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me."

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Squirrel gets Rory's round off to a rocky start

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 6:42 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy’s third round at the Travelers Championship got off to a peculiar start before he even hit a shot.

McIlroy had just been introduced on the first tee at TPC River Highlands and was ready to unload on his opening drive of the day when a squirrel ran across the tee box a few feet in front of him.

McIlroy stopped his swing and laughed it off, but the squirrel continued to linger for several seconds, criss-crossing from one side of the packed tee box to the other. And while this was no black cat, the pump-fake to start his round didn’t exactly help the Ulsterman.

McIlroy ultimately blocked his drive into the right rough after enduring his brief rodent delay en route to an opening bogey, and amid soft conditions at TPC River Highlands he played his first five holes in 2 over. McIlroy started the day at 7 under, three shots behind leader Brian Harman.

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Kaymer in six-way tie for BMW International lead

By Associated PressJune 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

PULHEIM, Germany - Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a 5-under 67 to equal the week's lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.

Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on 5-under 211 - jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England's Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia's Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.

Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.

Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.

Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.

Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week's best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.