Mexico Meets Canada in California

By Rich LernerJanuary 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicGeorge Lopez scratched his thick black hair, wondering about his playing partner at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
 
How could a guy who just spent a week in Kapalua, asked the red-hot comic actor of Mike Weir, be as white as the day he left?
 
Masters sun block, deadpanned the low key Canadian, slipping comfortably into the role of straight man.
 
I think youre using mayonnaise, Lopez fired back.
 
At the first tee at Bermuda Dunes for round one, the duo grew to an ensemble cast. Film star Samuel L. Jackson and legendary burnout Cheech Marin joined Mike and George.
 
The Incredibles of color, quipped Lopez, referring to the animated hit in which Jackson played the super cool super hero, Frozone.
 
About Cheech, who played the loyal and loopy looper to Kevin Costners Roy MacAvoy in Tin Cup, Lopez said, If we stay upwind everythings fine, although I brought a sheriff over to check his bag.
 
Cheech told the good natured law enforcement official, Its OK as long as you dont have a dog.
 
In the end, Weir registered more laughs than birdies in a tepid round of 71. The shot of the day actually belonged to Lopez.
 
I hit a five wood at 18 five feet above the pin, the 14 handicap recalled. It never left the flag and Mike was right over my shoulder watching the whole time.
 
That has to be the best shot you ever hit, Weir said at the time.
 
It was, confirmed Lopez.
 
The 18th at Bermuda Dunes alongside a couple of pop culture icons and a Masters champ is a long, twisting dog leg from the Mission Hills section of the San Fernando Valley where Lopez grew up.
 
I used to hit lemons with a garage sale three wood in our backyard, remembers Lopez of his introduction to golf in the early 80s. The only other club I had was a seven iron but we used that to keep the door closed so the dog wouldnt get out.
 
Lopez was raised in a lower middle class area primarily by a stern grandmother. An only child who filled the lonely hours watching comedy on television, his early idol was the late, great Freddie Prinze, who starred in the 70s sitcom, Chico and the Man.
 
Tiger Woods hung pictures of Jack Nicklaus in his bedroom as a child and dreamed of breaking his records. George Lopez hung Prinzes picture on his wall. In his New York Times bestseller, Why You Crying?, he writes, Day after day I stared at it, thinking, I can be a comic. I can do what Freddie is doing. I want to make people laugh.
 
His first mini-break, what Lopez calls a minor fracture, came with an appearance in the early 90s on The Arsenio Hall Show. The big shot came in the late 90s at the Improv in Southern California. Actress Sandra Bullock was in the audience. Blown away, she approached him after his spot and said she wanted to do a show.
 
Today, with Bullock as executive producer, Lopez anchors his own prime time hit, The George Lopez Show on ABC on Tuesdays at 8:30pm.
 
It allows me to close those painful circles that began as a kid, he explains. Instead of being angry and shutting down I turned it into music on the other end. Its beautiful.
 
His enormous success has allowed him to move from that lemon tree in his backyard to a whole different golfing neighborhood. Hes a member of fabled Lakeside, whose roster once listed W.C. Fields, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and today includes Ray Romano, Joe Pesci and Jack Nicholson.
 
Lopez has a second home at Pebble Beach above the 15th hole. Its the most peaceful, tranquil place Ive ever been, he said. When youre putting on the 7th green, its like youre hanging on to the end of the world.
 
Hell play the upcoming AT&T for the second time, and is intent on helping to put what he calls a fresh coat of paint on The Hope.
 
Getting set for his second round, George is dressed in pinstriped slacks, an argyle sweater and teal shoes.
 
Right out of Duck Soup, he cracked. If I showed up in the hood dressed like this, everyone would yell, Narc!
 
Hoping to witness one last glorious and well played comedic stroke, I asked George if its harder to be funny when you have money.
 
Since Im Mexican, he began, people assume I dont. I bought a Porsche. People looked at me funny like I was takin it to get detailed. So I got rid of it.
 
Good shot, George. Good shot.
 
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”