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.

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“Table for One.”

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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.

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Social Media Trolls Now Just Cost of Doing Business on Tour

After a sinus infection forced Billy Horschel to withdraw halfway through the first round of the Dell Technologies Championship, it didn’t take long for the pains in a different orifice to surface.

“Seriously? You walk off the course like a spoiled (expletive) and rather than apologize you blame it on a sinus infection? ‘Billy Ho’ just took on a whole new meaning,” offered one Tweeter.

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Jarrod Lyle’s Impact Measured By More Than Golf

The two most well-worn ruts in professional golf are when a player judges his self-worth by his scores and when fans weigh his impact solely by heft of trophies won.

Those are myopic criteria, and wholly inadequate to measure the legacy of Jarrod Lyle.

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Fifteen Years Later, Shaun Michael Finally Feels Worthy

This ought to be a week that Shaun Micheel savors, returning to a major championship where he can wrap himself in gauzy memories of his finest achievement. Instead, he approaches the 100th PGA Championship with a familiar gnawing anxiety, conscious that every mention of his “once upon a time” fairytale victory in 2003 brings detractors eager to emphasize the “once.”

“I look forward to getting back, but I have some trepidation about the noise that’s going to start appearing on social media before too long,” he said last weekend.

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Molinari Masters The Open At Carnoustie

Carnoustie’s charms can be elusive, but its cruelties are readily apparent. The old links has scant aesthetic appeal, no alluring views or heaving dunes. Like the village from which it draws its name, Carnoustie is simple and functional, and that function is simple: stress test the world’s finest golfers until just one remains unbroken.

Sometimes not even the winner emerges unscathed from a cross-examination at Carnoustie. Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, sought therapy after his victory was widely dismissed as a gift from a clownish Frenchman.

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Francesco Molinari held off a stellar field at Carnoustie.

There’s a reason why the lingering images from recent championships here have been of the vanquished, not the victors: Jean Van de Velde barefoot in Barry Burn, Sergio Garcia doubled over in anguish after his putt to win lipped out.

At Carnoustie Opens, one man’s ecstasy is invariably built on another’s agony.

Not at the 147th Open, however. It was won by Francesco Molinari, not lost by his challengers.

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Phil Now More Major Sideshow Than Major Contender

It’s been exactly two years and two days since Phil Mickelson was relevant in a tournament that matters.

That was his outstanding duel with Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon in the 145th British Open. He missed the cut in the 146th edition, and the 147th isn’t looking very promising either after a first round of 2-over-par 73.

That’s not to say Mickelson hasn’t made news in those two years, during which he accumulated zero top-20 finishes in six majors played. He ended a five-year winless drought at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March, but for the most part his headlines haven’t been so much earned with fine play as extorted with sideshow stunts.

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