Tiger Vs. Phil: A Rivalry Only in Vegas

Only in the city that promoted Mayweather-McGregor as a fair fight and Liberace as a sex symbol could Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson be considered rivals. “The Match” is fresh evidence that Las Vegas can distort any reality just long enough to separate a rube from his billfold.

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 6.45.36 PM

Continue reading “Tiger Vs. Phil: A Rivalry Only in Vegas”

Ryder Cup Drug Tests Fuel Rumor Mill

The Ryder Cup had its share of weekend thrills for fans, but for players the drama began much earlier. Tuesday evening, to be exact. And not at Le Golf National but seven miles away at the Trianon Palace hotel, which was home to both the U.S. and European teams. That’s when officials from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) arrived unannounced to conduct random drug tests.

The players had reason to be surprised. It was the first time drug tests were administered at a Ryder Cup. That it happened in Paris should be less surprising. The French take their anti-doping laws seriously. That’s why Lance Armstrong now owns as many Tour de France victories as Jack Nicklaus.

Continue reading “Ryder Cup Drug Tests Fuel Rumor Mill”

Scott Parel Living The Dream, Finally

Scott Parel is a throwback to the early charm of the senior circuit, when guys who had spent a career in golf’s obscure precincts – a Dana Quigley, a Mark Johnson – could author improbable Cinderella stories amid the seasoned winners collecting their reliable annuities.

That contrast in accomplishments will again be apparent this week when the PGA Tour Champions wraps its season with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Phoenix Country Club. Parel goes to Arizona second in the season-long standings, trailing only a man with more than 100 professional wins and north of $40 million in career earnings.

Bernhard Langer’s two biggest victories came at Augusta National. Parel lives a couple of miles from the famed club, but his one-way road in professional golf ran out of town.

Continue reading “Scott Parel Living The Dream, Finally”

Mark Hensby Tries to Battle Back from PGA Tour Suspension

Mark Hensby spent most of 2018 waiting for the year to be over.

An end of sorts finally came on Oct. 26, when his 12-month suspension from the PGA Tour expired, leaving a 47-year-old veteran unsure of how much game he has, where he will play and whether he’s even welcome.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 12.09.26 PM
Mark Hensby.

Continue reading “Mark Hensby Tries to Battle Back from PGA Tour Suspension”

Patrick Reed Will Save the PGA Tour—Seriously!

Golf has marketed the virtue of its players for so long that you’d be forgiven for assuming PGA Tour cards come with certificates of moral rectitude.

Until we recently began living under par, “These Guys Are Good” was recited with an almost evangelical fervor. The slogan wasn’t intended to refer only to the quality of play evident on Tour, but also to the not so readily apparent qualities of its members: sportsmanship, humanitarianism, charity.

That branding has two potential snares: Even a trivial divergence from the righteous narrative is magnified, and it denies golf fans the manufactured hatred that thrives in other sports. After all, it’s tough to hate a guy when you only hear about his decency and kindness to puppies.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 11.49.18 AM
“Table for One.”

Continue reading “Patrick Reed Will Save the PGA Tour—Seriously!”

Impact of Tadd Fujikawa Coming Out Remains to be Seen

Several things tend to happen when an athlete becomes the first man in his sport to publicly acknowledge he’s gay. Progressives cheer, pearl-clutchers jeer and reaction to the announcement is rapidly conflated with its lasting impact.

So it was last week when Tadd Fujikawa came out in a deeply personal Instagram post, making him the first golfer with even a whiff of name recognition to do so.

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 10.58.25 PM

Continue reading “Impact of Tadd Fujikawa Coming Out Remains to be Seen”