Archive: December 2011

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December 15, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Overton arrested for public intoxication

Posted at 10:10 AM by Ryan Reiterman

Jeff Overton hasn't generated many headlines since his famous "BOOM, BABY!" moment at the 2010 Ryder Cup, but he is back in the news now and it has nothing to do with golf.

According to the Evansville Courier & Press and Bloomington Herald-Times, Overton was arrested and charged over the weekend with three misdemeanors for public intoxication, yelling at people from his limousine and resisting arrest.

Overton appeared at Assembly Hall during the Indiana-Kentucky basketball game to present a $50,000 check to the university to support the Play Golf America University program, the Herald-Times reported.

According to a police report, officers said Overton was yelling at people from a limousine that blocked traffic in front of Kilroy’s Sports Bar on Walnut Street.

The limousine driver told police they were waiting on others, and the driver was instructed to not block traffic.

Later, the limo carrying Overton pulled up next to Bloomington police, and officers report Overton was yelling at people on the street again. Police pulled the limousine over, according to the Herald-Times.

The newspaper reported that Overton repeatedly refused to give his ID to police and refused to step out of the limo. A police report described Overton’s behavior as “belligerent,” and he reportedly told officers “he wasn’t going to do anything.” Police say he smelled of alcohol, his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred.

Overton told the Bloomington paper that he would fight the charges.

"I feel my rights were violated," he told the newspaper. "I'm sitting in my own limo and got pulled out. Other than that, I'm going to let my lawyer handle it."

Sergio chucks 4-iron into water after bad shot
Sergio Garcia was on a roll in October, winning twice on the European Tour following a self-imposed hiatus from the game last year. But it seems his fiery temper got the best of him in Thailand after a poor tee shot on a par 3.

The Ryder Cup star, who twice finished second at the PGA Championship, chucked his 4-iron into the water in fury after a poor connection at a par-3 during a nightmare opening round in Chonburi, Sky Sports reported.

Garcia's day failed to improve as he finished with a 4-over 76 to end tied for 100th in the 130-strong field.

Volcanoes, flames and Phil! Oh my!
Callaway took over the Las Vegas Strip recently to shoot its upcoming ad campaign directed by David Kahn, who is known more for music videos than filming golfers. According to Steve DiMeglio at USA Today, the commercials will feature several Callaway staffers, including Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake and Alvaro Quiros, hitting balls all over the Strip with 25-foot flames and erupting volcanoes.

"I like this out-of-the-box thinking," Mickelson said. "It has the 'wow' factor and it shows how excited Callaway is about its products. And instead of just telling you how great the products are, we show you in unique ways."

Timberlake is lending creative input and talents behind the camera during both the pre- and post-production work. He and Kahn have worked together on music videos in the past, and Timberlake, who brought sexy back and now wants to bring fun back to golf, jumped at the chance.

"It's always great when professional projects surround subjects that I am passionate about, and the sport of golf and my work with Callaway definitely fit that criteria," said Timberlake, who in 2008 became the first non-tour player to join Callaway's team of Staff Professionals that includes Mickelson, Ernie Els, Annika Sorenstam and Arnold Palmer.

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December 14, 2011

A Hall-of-Fame Dan Jenkins reader from the SI Vault

Posted at 5:05 PM by Golf.com

Congratulations to Dan Jenkins, the first living writer inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. A legend at 82, Jenkins has covered golf for more than 60 years, many of them at Sports Illustrated. In honor of Jenkins, we collected some of our favorites Jenkins stories from the SI Vault. Enjoy, it's hard not to...

1. "The Glory Game at Goat Hill" (Sports Illustrated, Aug. 16, 1965)

Goat Hills is gone now. It was swallowed up almost four years ago by the bulldozers of progress, and in the end it was nice to learn that something could take a divot out of those hard fairways. But all of the regular players had left long before. We had grown up at last. Maybe it will be all right to talk about the place now, and about the people and the times we had. Maybe it will be therapeutic. At least it will help explain why I do not play golf so much anymore. I mean, I keep getting invited to Winged Head and Burning Foot and all those fancy clubs we sophisticated New Yorkers are supposed to frequent, places where, I hear, they have real flag sticks instead of broom handles. It sounds fine, but I usually beg off. I am, frankly, still over golfed from all those years at Goat Hills in Texas. You would be, too, if.... Well, let me tell you some of it. Not all. I will try to be truthful and not too sentimental. But where shall I begin? With Cecil? Yeah, I think so. He was sort of a symbol in those days, and... Read more

2. "A High Kind of New Low Life" (Sports Illustrated, July 6, 1964)  

In professional tournament golf the clubhouse veranda can be a noteworthy blend of rumble seat, wax museum, promenade deck, theater wings and courthouse steps. As the tour moves from one Crystal Rancho Happy Avocado Creek Country Club to another, the verandas undergo some severe botanical changes—for example, palm trees become pines and vice versa—but the human plant life remains practically changeless. Except for the occasional intrusion of a spectator, fully equipped with binoculars, periscope, chair seat, transistor and hot dog, and the almost invariable presence of at least one young girl in Capri pants beneath a large straw bonnet, the regular veranda standers comprise a remarkably homogeneous and identifiable part of golf. They are the in-group, style-casual, up-scale, hanging-in, cooling-it businessmen of the game. And as they spread across the lawn, gazing toward the nearest leader board while a tournament progresses, they are not unlike a cluster of military commanders watching the glow of shellfire from a distant valley. Read more

3. "There’s Never Been an Open Like It" (Sports Illustrated, June 1960)

 They were the most astonishing four hours in golf since Mary, Queen of Scots found out what dormie meant and invented the back nine. And now, given 18 years of reflection, they still seem as significant to the game as, for instance, the day Arnold Palmer began hitching up his trousers, or the moment Jack Nicklaus decided to thin down and let his hair fluff, or that interlude in the pro shop when Ben Hogan selected his first white cap.

Small wonder that no sportswriter was capable of outlining it against a bright blue summer sky and letting the four adjectives ride again: it was too big, too wildly exciting, too crazily suspenseful, too suffocatingly dramatic. What exactly happened? Oh, not much. Just a routine collision of three decades at one historical intersection. Read more

4. A Braw Brawl for Tom and Jack (Sports Illustrated, July 18, 1977) 

Go ahead and mark it as the end of an era in professional golf if you're absolutely sure that Jack Nicklaus has been yipped into the sunset years of his career by the steel and nerve and immense talent of Tom Watson. You could argue that way now, in these hours after Tom Watson has become the new king of the sport in a kingly land; when Watson has already become the Player of the Year, not to mention the future; when he has done it in the most memorable way in the annals of golf; and when he has done it for the second time in this season to the greatest player who ever wore a slipover shirt—Jack Nicklaus. Read more

5. Where a Golf Nut Is King (Sports Illustrated, Sept. 28, 1970) 

What could happen in the middle of this story is that the writer might decide to hurl Morocco to the ground and ravage it. Nothing obscene, mind you. Just a gentle, loving tussle in a platter of couscous while his heart thumps ecstatically and the neckcloth on his Foreign Legion cap billows in the soft Marrakesh breeze. The thing is, Morocco grabs you here, right here, like a haunting song. But even before I went there recently on a golf assignment—uh huh, golf among the Arabs—I had been carrying on a rather violent affair with the country. Casbahs and French Legionnaires had done it. And harem girls. And Humphrey Bogart running a bar in Casablanca. What chance did I have on a visit? None, of course, which explains why I shall soon be rejoining a group of contented Berbers in Tiznit, there to enjoy the quiet life of carving silver gunpowder horns and perhaps helping tend the greens of the Robert Trent Jones course that King Hassan II is certain to have constructed one day in the Anti-Atlas.

I thought I knew what to expect in the way of golf in Morocco. I knew the king was building courses as if he had heard that Charlie Farrell was opening a racket club in Agadir. I was aware he had also been flying in Claude Harmon between nines to put some altitude on his low darters. But a golf course there, I felt, would have to combine all that was beautiful and serene about the St. Louis zoo and the battle of the Kasserine Pass. Read more

Update:

6. You're All Right, Jack (Sports Illustrated, April 1975)

Yeah, but Manny, we want Bob Redford for all three leading men. O.K., Jimmy Caan for Weiskopf, but Redford's got to play those two blond guys, Nicklaus and Miller. We call it The Greatest Golf Tournament Ever Played. So people argue. Who'll know? One blond guy makes a putt from here to Encino, and then the other two guys miss putts on the 18th from so close the hole looks as big as Coldwater Canyon. Now the blond guy who wins, Nicklaus, who is already the best there ever was, he marries his one-iron and takes his putter for a mistress. Cut and print. Ciao, baby.

There was something about the 1975 Masters that was cinematic from the beginning. The setup was perfect, all of the world's best golfers coming into the thing primed, poised, inspired, eager. And sure enough, it began to unfold toward what promised to be a historic climax, one way or another. But no one could possibly have imagined that in the final hours, it would become so excruciatingly exciting and monumentally meaningful in terms of the characters involved.

Honestly, if someone had said to one of those brilliant screenwriters, Do me a script where the year's first major tournament comes along, and on the last day, Sunday, April 13, Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf go out there and undergo the most unbearable of sporting pressure and provide the most inconceivable of thrills, hole after hole, until the whole business is ultimately decided by the vagaries of the game itself, what would have been written was precisely what happened last week in Augusta, Ga. Read more

More Dan Jenkins from the SI Vault

Truth & Rumors: More buzz over Tiger at Pebble?

Posted at 1:43 PM by Mike Walker

In November, the Associated Press said, “Indications are that Woods plans a return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time since 2002” after Woods announced he was opening his season at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi and skipping his traditional Torrey Pines stop. On Tuesday, Lee Siegel of CSN Bay Area said he has heard Woods will play Pebble as well.

Seems like the AP report that had Tiger playing at Pebble Beach is accurate -- it's really going to happen. People I talked to seemed to think it’s pretty much a done deal.

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am takes place Feb. 9-12.

In the immortal words of Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, elk'
The members at private TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Washington state won’t have to share their course with elk anymore after state officials approved a plan to hunt the animals, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

General manager Ryan Whitney said over the past two years, the golf club has used flares to scare away the elk, traps to frighten them and even tagged several of them to follow their movement. But nothing worked, and the prized playing surface continued taking a beating.

"We've not only seen greater visits, but greater numbers coming," Whitney said.

With mounting damage, the state has finally approved a plan to kill several of the elk.

Expert hunters can even vie for the chance to shoot one of them from a designated area on the course.

The hunting will take place on Mondays, when the course is closed to golfers.

Rory’s ex says he always had thing for Caroline Wozniacki
Rory McIlroy’s ex-girlfriend Holly Sweeney told the Irish Sunday Mirror that she knew McIlroy liked current girlfriend, pro tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, but didn’t think he would actually start dating her.

"I always suspected he had a thing for her. He's always been a big fan of tennis. When he was watching the women's games he always said he fancied her but I didn't take it that seriously - little did I know.

"It was Rory that ran away with Caroline - not the other way around - so I guess I blame Rory, or both of them if I'm totally honest.

"I have to put the blame on him for what has happened but obviously I'm not her biggest fan ever."

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December 13, 2011

Truth & Rumors: McIlroy says Donald deserves No. 1 spot

Posted at 9:46 PM by Michael Chwasky

In case you didn't know, Luke Donald, the current no. 1 player in the world, just became the first player in history to win the money title on both the PGA Tour and European PGA Tour in the same year. Yup, a guy who doesn't hit it very far, do anything that looks too spectacular, and likes to paint is clearly the best player in the world right now. "But he hasn't won a major," a lot of you are probably saying, "and there are a lot of guys out there who just seem better." While that sentiment might be shared by a lot of golf fans fight now, the current world's no. 2 golfer Rory McIlroy strongly disagrees

“Luke’s had an incredible year and I hope he now gets the recognition he deserves,” said McIlroy. “From within the golfing family he’ll receive a lot of applause for what he’s done this year.

“But, unfortunately, maybe people outside the golfing world think that even though he’s won four times this year, there will always be that question of ‘Is he the real No.1 because he’s not got a Major?’

“He deserves it all. He played great all year and he deserves to be No.1 in the world and deserved to win both money lists.” 

You think the fact that Rors' girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki is currently the no. 1 player in her sport and has never won a major has anything to do with the young Ulsterman's opinion? I'd say so. 

Bubba on Phil, 'I didn't really like the guy'

Bubba Watson just might be the closest thing to a cartoon character the game of golf has seen since another long-hitting country boy named John Daly. His exploits with his driver, which include numerous 400-yard blasts in his career, as well as his lack of interest in French culture, are well-documented. But Bubba's got a funny side and his honesty, which includes some interesting comments on Phil Mickelson, is undeniably entertaining. Here are some of the best bits from an appearance he made at Torrey Pines yesterday: 

On his first PGA Tour event: 

"Here's this long-hitting, goofy dude named Bubba," he said. "Lots of TV cameras around. Lots of people watching. And I rope-hooked it."

On his new gear for '12: 

"Yup, going to the belly putter," he said, giggling along with the audience. "I just get a new set of the same clubs every year. I stay with the Pings. Nobody else wants me."

On Phil Mickelson, who was chasing down Bubba at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey last year: 

"At first, when I got on the Tour, I didn't really like the guy," Watson said. "Of course, I didn't know him. He would just kind of show up and then be gone. I was always wondering, did he park in the same parking lot with the rest of us guys?

"Now, I love him. It's an honor to call him a friend. You get to hang out with guys a little more at team things like the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup. You learn a lot from guys like Phil. I really like him now. I wouldn't take a bullet for him, you know, but I'd help him out."

On his early days in golf: 

"My dad got the club pro to cut off an old 9-iron to my size," Watson said. "Good thing the club pro was left-handed. My dad taught me how to swing, and the basics. He wasn't very good. He couldn't break 100."

On his playing style: 

"Take Jim Furyk," he said. "He learned the most important thing was to hit the ball on the fairway. So he does, but he doesn't hit it very far. I was taught to just hit it as far as I could, and then, if I got better at the other parts of the game, that would be even better."

 On his win at Torrey Pines last year: 

"Phil, of all people, with a wedge in his hand," Watson said. "I couldn't even look. Those two minutes of waiting felt like an hour."

On his three career wins coming at the Travelers, Zurich, and Farmers: 

"I'm trying to get an insurance company to sponsor the majors."

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Tweets of the Week: Luke makes history, bad golf pants and Paula's stylin' hat

Posted at 12:40 PM by David Dusek

Priase for Donald
When Luke Donald locked up the European Tour's money title on the heels of winning the PGA Tour's money title a few weeks ago, congratulatory notes poured in from all over the world.

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Never forgetting where they came from
If you win a major championship, it's likely you won't need to clip coupons again, but pros still love getting free stuff. Even little things make them happy. 

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Bad pants never die ...
These days, you need to be careful when critiquing others, because any skeletons in your closet will surely come out.

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In more fashion news, Paul Creamer was presented with a hat last week.

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SI Golf Ranking: Westwood moves into top 3

Posted at 9:55 AM by Golf.com

SIGG-Ranking-logo3Each week, 15 staffers from SI Golf+, Golf Magazine and GOLF.com vote for their top 10, awarding 10 points to their first choice and proceeding in descending order to the 10th player, who gets one point. The points are then added and the ranking calculated. Tell us your top 10 in the comments field below.

RANK (TOTAL VOTES, FIRST PLACE VOTES, LAST WEEK'S RANK)

1. Luke Donald (148, 13, 1) - Last three finishes: 3, Dubai World Championship; 7, Nedbank Golf Challenge; 1, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic
- Official World Golf Ranking: 1

2. Rory McIlroy (136, 2, 2) - Last three finishes: T11, Dubai World Championship; 1, Hong Kong Open; T4, WGC-HSBC Champions
- Official World Golf Ranking: 2

3. Lee Westwood (99, 0, 4) - Last three finishes: 29, Dubai World Championship; 1, Nedbank Golf Challenge; T13, WGC-HSBC Champions
- Official World Golf Ranking: 3

4. Webb Simpson (97, 0, 3) - Last three finishes: T13, Chevron World Challenge; T6, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic; 2, The McGladrey Classic
- Official World Golf Ranking: 9

5. Charl Schwartzel (77, 0, 5) - Last three finishes: 5, Dubai World Championship; 6, Nedbank Golf Challenge; T4, WGC-HSBC Champions
- Official World Golf Ranking: 11

6. Keegan Bradley (71, 0, 6) - Last three finishes: 17, Chevron World Challenge; T16, WGC-HSBC Champions; 12, Shanghai Masters 
- Official World Golf Ranking: 30

7. Martin Kaymer (36, 0, 8) - Last three finishes: T11, Dubai World Championship; 8, Nedbank Golf Challenge; 1, WGC-HSBC Champions; 23, Andalucia Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 4

8. Adam Scott (35, 0, 7) - Last three finishes: T4, Australian Open; T11, WGC-HSBC Champions; T6, Tour Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 5

9. Nick Watney (34, 0,98) - Last three finishes: 18, Chevron World Challenge; T4, Australian Open; T33, WGC-HSBC Champions
- Official World Golf Rank: 12

10. Tiger Woods (21, 0, 10) - Last three finishes: 1, Chevron World Challenge; 3, Emirates Australian Open; T30, Frys.com Open

- Official World Golf Ranking: 22

Others receiving votes:
Steve Stricker (19)
Jason Day (12)
Dustin Johnson (10)
K.J. Choi (9)
Bill Haas (7)
Sergio Garcia (6)
Jim Furyk (3)
Matt Kuchar (3)
Hunter Mahan (1)
Y.E. Yang (1)

December 12, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Westwood's major motivation and...dancing?

Posted at 12:26 PM by Mick Rouse

In 2009, Lee Westwood made waves when he topped the European Tour's money list and was named European Tour Golfer of the Year. In 2010, he finished runner-up twice at major tournaments and overtook Tiger Woods's ranking as number one golfer in the world. Following that trend, 2011 looked to be a big year for Britain's biggest talent, but he has since dropped to third in the world. Speaking with John Huggan, Westwood aired out some of his frustrations with his play this season.

“It’s been a pretty good season, but not in comparison with the previous two. My major championship performances, for example, were generally OK this year. But I never really had a chance of victory. In 2009 and 2010 I had chances to win nearly all of them. So following that was always going to be tough."

"Away from the majors I’ve won three times this year. That’s not an unsuccessful year. But I have to acknowledge the fact that I’ve gone from number one in the world to number three. So that’s a step back even if my game is, all around, better than it was a year ago. The common theme to my putting this year was that they weren’t going in. I had a poor pace and direction to my stroke, both of which I’ve been working on with Phil Kenyon.”

Taking up PGA Tour membership for the first time since 2008, the former world No. 1 believes playing more in America will increase his chances to grab that elusive major title.

“Playing more in America can only help me get used to that style of golf. With three of the majors over there, that could be important.”

“The majors are obviously a big motivation for me. I haven’t won one yet and I would like to. They are the starting points for my schedule. Everything else has to fit in with what I think will be the best preparation for them. I’ve played in more than 50 of them so I know what to do in order not to put extra pressure on myself."

Another thing Westwood knows how to do? Dance. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until his playing days are over before you see him cut a rug on "Strictly Come Dancing" (the original BBC show that spawned "Dancing With the Stars").

“In retirement I’d love to have a go,” confirms the man from Worksop. “My Nan and Grandad used to run an old-time dance school, so I did do a bit when I was a little boy. I was even ‘highly commended’ in a couple of dances: the Lilac Waltz and the Boston Two-Step. And I’ve still got the medals to prove it.

“We’re talking 30 years ago mind. So it’s been a while since I slipped on my patent dancing shoes. I’m a bit out of practice. But I’d have a fair idea going in. Although I’m not too sure how I’d look in those tight sequined outfits. I think I’d have to lose some weight. And the fake tan? I’d have to get the hair-removing cream out first!”

Tseng wins—again

Yani Tseng once again showed us that she is the most dominant force in golf right now, notching win number 12 at the Swinging Skirts Invitational in her home country of Taiwan.  According to the Taipei Times, Tseng posted a final round four-under 68 in cold and rainy conditions to win the tournament by seven strokes, besting the likes of Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis.

“I’m very satisfied and happy,” Tseng said after winning the title. “I played steadily and I felt really great.”

“Seeing so many people to cheer for me in such poor weather really touched me. The fans’ support means a lot to me, pushing me forward.”

To express her gratitude, Tseng handed out “hot hands” to fans during the tournament’s final two days to help them keep their hands warm.

Yani’s win pushes her winnings this year to more than $3.4 million, though she said she was happier with the number of wins than the prize money she earned.

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December 09, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Romney slams Obama's golf habit—again

Posted at 11:23 AM by Alan Bastable

Mitt Romney has launched a full-bore offensive on President Obama's scandalous hobby: yep, golf. During a conference call earlier this week, Romney took a shot at the Prez for scheduling a 17-day vacation to Hawaii. (“I just think it’s time to have a president whose idea of being 'hands on' doesn’t mean getting a better grip on the golf club," Romney said.) Now the Republican presidential hopeful has launched a web site that lists the number of holes Obama has reportedly played in office (1,584). The site also implores visitors to “donate $18 to send President Obama on a permanent vacation." (Isn't that a Schwarzenegger line from Red Heat?)

Question is, when you get past the rhetoric, is Romney's dig warranted? Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post explores:

The fortyfore.com Web site, saying Obama needs to go on “permanent vacation,” strongly suggests he is a slacker while many Americans are looking for work. In fact, a case could be made that Obama is not taking enough time off. Take a look at these vacation statistics provided by Mark Knoller, the White House correspondent for CBS Radio:

At this point in their presidencies:

Obama:

— 11 vacations, totaling all or part of 70 days

— 22 visits to Camp David, totaling all or part of 54 days

Bush:

— 28 visits to his Texas ranch, totaling all or part of 207 days

— 72 visits to Camp David, totally all or part of 228 days

Coming soon to a European Tour stop near you: Mike Weir 

Former Masters champ Mike Weir, who is winless since 2007, says he is seeing some positive signs after a recent surgery to his balky right elbow. “I can really feel my fingers on the club these days and that's something that was missing the last few years,” Weir wrote on his blog. Weir also stumbled upon some other good news, which he might want to share with other long-ago major-winners scrambling to maintain their Tour cards.

As far as my overall schedule, I'm hoping to play as much as I can on the PGA Tour through exemptions and my status. But I recently discovered that I'm fully exempt on the European Tour. It seems they give major champions a 12-year exemption and so I've taken out membership there.

(In fact, Mike Weir earned a 10-year exemption on the European Tour for his 2003 Masters win. In 2009, the rules were changed so that a major win now results in only a seven-year exemption on the European Tour.)

While I still would like to play most of my golf in North America, I'm also kind of excited about the chance to play in Europe. I think it would be fun to tee it up in the different countries they have on their tour and I'll likely use that to fill in when I'm unable to play over here.

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December 07, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Donald says his Tiger-Rory comparison misunderstood

Posted at 2:53 PM by Mike Walker

Luke Donald said Wednesday in Dubai that he thought Rory McIlroy was a more talented golfer than Tiger Woods:

I think Tiger's work ethic has always been tremendous, and his mindset, as well. I think his mindset is what has separated himself from the field when he was really at the top of the game. But in terms of talent, I think Rory has more talent.

But when news outlets picked up on his remarks, Donald went on Twitter to explain he was just talking about McIlroy’s easy swing and that Tiger is still the greatest player he’s ever played with.

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Yani Tseng too shy to wear skirt at pro-am
Yani Tseng played in the “Swinging Skirts” pro-am match that kicks off a women’s golf charity tournament in Taiwan this weekend, but she decided to wear shorts instead of a skirt or a kilt, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.  

World No. 1 female golfer Yani Tseng on Wednesday wore shorts to a pro-amateur match play that precedes an LPGA invitational tournament featuring players dressed in kilts or skirts, saying she is too shy to wear skirts.

"I didn't prepare any skirts because I'm too shy. I'm afraid I won't do well with a skirt on," the Taiwanese golfer admitted after a kickoff ceremony at the Miramar Golf and Country Club in Linkou, New Taipei for the Swinging Skirts 2011 TLPGA Invitational, slated to take place Dec. 9-11.

'Mashed Potatoes Guy' unmasked
While the world was wondering about the identity of the fan who yelled “mashed potatoes” when Tiger hit his stinger off the tee on 18 in the final round of last week’s Chevron World Challenge, ESPN.com’s Patrick Dorsey tracked him down. It turns out Mashed Potato Guy is a former Pepperdine golfer named Andrew Widmar. However, he’s not the only Mashed Potato Guy. They are a legion.

Page 2 caught up with Widmar, the man behind the plan, who didn't exactly get his inspiration from the Thanksgiving dinner table.

"I wish I could take credit," Widmar said, but really it came from previous (but not as widely noticed) instances, with Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Tiger himself all having been mashed potatoed at tournaments.

So after seeing the YouTube clips in the summer, Widmar decided to do it himself -- but only at the right time.

Enter Tiger, tied for the lead, on hole No. 72. Doesn't get much bigger.

"I figured there'd be plenty of viewers to appreciate it," Widmar said. 

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SI Golf Ranking: Tiger returns to top 10

Posted at 12:09 PM by Golf.com

SIGG-Ranking-logo3Each week, 15 staffers from SI Golf+, Golf Magazine and GOLF.com vote for their top 10, awarding 10 points to their first choice and proceeding in descending order to the 10th player, who gets one point. The points are then added and the ranking calculated. Tell us your top 10 in the comments field below.

RANK (TOTAL VOTES, FIRST PLACE VOTES, LAST WEEK'S RANK)

1. Luke Donald (147, 12, 1)
- Last three finishes: 7, Nedbank Golf Challenge; 1, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic; T11, Madrid Masters

- Official World Golf Ranking: 1

2. Rory McIlroy (137, 3, 2)
- Last three finishes: 1, Hong Kong Open; T4, WGC-HSBC Champions; 1, Shanghai Masters

- Official World Golf Ranking: 2

3. Webb Simpson (101, 0, 3)
- Last three finishes: T13, Chevron World Challenge; T6, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic; 2, The McGladrey Classic
- Official World Golf Ranking: 9

4. Lee Westwood (97, 0, 4)
- Last three finishes: 1, Nedbank Golf Challenge; T13, WGC-HSBC Champions; 5, Shanghai Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 3

5. Charl Schwartzel (73, 0, 5)
- Last three finishes: 6, Nedbank Golf Challenge; T4, WGC-HSBC Champions; T16, Shanghai Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 13

6. Keegan Bradley (67, 0, 6)
- Last three finishes: 17, Chevron World Challenge; T16, WGC-HSBC Champions; 12, Shanghai Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 29

7. Adam Scott (39, 0, 7)
- Last three finishes: T4, Australian Open; T11, WGC-HSBC Champions; T6, Tour Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 6

8. Martin Kaymer (34, 0, 9)
- Last three finishes: 8, Nedbank Golf Challenge; 1, WGC-HSBC Champions; 23, Andalucia Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 4

9. Nick Watney (30, 0, 8)
- Last three finishes: 18, Chevron World Challenge; T4, Australian Open; T33, WGC-HSBC Champions
- Official World Golf Rank: 11

10. Tiger Woods (20, 0, NR)
- Last three finishes: 1, Chevron World Challenge; 3, Emirates Australian Open; T30, Frys.com Open

- Official World Golf Ranking: 21

Others receiving votes:
Steve Stricker (17)

Dustin Johnson (15)

Jason Day (12)
Matt Kuchar (9)
K.J. Choi (8)
Bill Haas (7)

Sergio Garcia (6)
Jim Furyk (3)

Hunter Mahan (1)

Bubba Watson (1)

Phil Mickelson (1)

(NOTE: An earlier version of this article did not include the results from the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.)





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