Category: 2012 Masters


April 23, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Harmon criticizes Haney, says Tiger lost his 'nerve'

Posted at 11:56 AM by Mick Rouse

Tiger Wood's other ex-swing coach is finally speaking out in regards to Hank Haney's polarizing book, The Big Miss, reports Jeff Neuman of The Wall Street Journal, and Butch Harmon says he was shocked by Haney's decision to include information on Tiger's family.

"I'm very surprised that he would write it," Harmon said this week. "I'd never do that to Tiger or Greg [Norman] or any of the guys I've been with. We get to spend a lot of time with these people, sometimes even more time than their own families. Things are said, or you see different things, and it's just—it is what it is, you just leave it where it belongs. I was really shocked to see him talk about Elin and Tiger's kids and stuff like that, I don't think that had any place in it."

"It almost seems the way he has everything documented in there—too many times and dates and places that you wouldn't come up with from memory—it's like he kept precise notes all along with writing a book in mind." 

While Harmon makes it clear that he wouldn't write a book about his former students in Haney-esque fashion, he's still game to analyze Tiger's swing woes.

"For me, and I think we saw this at the Masters, he looks like he's playing 'golf-swing' and not golf. In my opinion, he's very robotic. And you could see that at Augusta with all his practice swings and the double-cross shots when he's trying to fade it and he hooks it. I think everyone thought because he won at Bay Hill that he was back; well, he didn't hit it great at Bay Hill, he hit it OK. And Bay Hill's not a major."

"When I had him, I'm more of a natural-type teacher, I like to keep what you do naturally and just try to improve on it. I like to let you be creative, which he was good at."

"And for me, I think he's lost his nerve putting. I think his nerves are bad, and he's lost his confidence."

So what would Harmon do if he was back coaching the biggest name in golf? In a sense, nothing.

"If he ever asked me what I thought he needed to do, I'd tell him, look, go on the practice tee without anybody—without me, without Sean [Foley, his current coach], without Haney, without a camera, and start hitting golf shots. Hit some high draws, some low draws, high fades, low fades, move the ball up and down, move it around; don't worry about how you do it and go back to feeling it again. Quit playing golf-swing and just hit shots; just say to himself, I'm gonna hit a low fade, and I don't need anybody to tell me how to do it, I'm just gonna feel it. He's Tiger Woods, for God's sake. He doesn't know how to hit a shot?"

Little green jacket

You know what they say: like father, like son. So after Bubba Watson won the Masters this year, it was only a matter of time until son Caleb got in on the action. That's why Bubba had a second green jacket made, just for Caleb. 

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Caleb even has the same Travis Matthew polo to go along with it. No word yet if he's hitting a pink driver, though.

Na remembers infamous 16

Remember that one time Kevin Na made a 16 on a single hole? Yeah, so does Kevin Na. Luckily, Na has a sense of humor about things. With a camera crew in tow (he is hosting a future episode of "Inside the PGA Tour"), Na returned to the scene of the crime Monday before this year's Valero Texas Open -- with a chainsaw. 

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That's not all, though. Na replayed the No. 9 hole at TPC San Antonio to see if he could best his 16 from a year ago -- using only a 6-iron. You'll have to wait until Tuesday night on "Inside the PGA Tour" on the Golf Channel to see how he fared (6:30 p.m. Eastern if you're setting your DVR).

To top it all off, though, Na left the same shirt he wore on that fateful day in memoriam during the first round of the tournament.

China gets third European Tour event, and Rory will be there

The European Tour announced that they will be hosting a third tournament in China, according to Reuters, and the payoff will be BIG. The BMW Masters, hosted by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, is set to be played at the end of October and will offer a purse of $7 million. One player already marking his calendar? The world No. 1.

"I am already looking forward to teeing off at the tournament," said world number one Rory McIlroy, who won last year's Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters which is now being replaced by the new event.

"The tournament will be one of the very best events in the world. That obviously makes it all the more exciting to defend my title there," added the Northern Irishman in a statement.

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April 16, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Bubba gives Masters badge to Tim Tebow

Posted at 10:22 AM by Mick Rouse

Keeping his promise to participate in the Tim Tebow Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic less than a week after his Masters victory wasn't the only good deed done by Bubba Watson this past weekend. Bubba also brought a gift for his buddy Tebow—his player's badge from Augusta National that just so happened to be emblazoned with the number 15, according to Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union.

“I knew I’d see Tim in a week,” Watson said. “I told my caddie, I’m going to keep it unopened, and I’m going to hand it to him. I just felt like I should give it to him. It’s his football number, and I thought he might want it more now that I won."

“It was very special,” Tebow said. “He didn’t have to do anything like that. He’s just an amazing guy. He’s been so supportive of me and my foundation. He really cares about giving back and making a difference. He has a huge platform, and I think it will continue to increase, because he’s so real. He’s so genuine.”

Watson said he always intended to play in the charity event, despite his busy schedule after winning the Masters.

“I’m honored to be here,” Watson said. “I’m honored that he asked me to play in it. It’s for a great cause. It has a great champion with great character in Tim Tebow, so why would I not be here?”

Evel Knievel's son hopes to qualify for U.S. Open

The late Evel Knievel made a name for himself with his daredevil antics on a motorcycle. Now his son, Kelly Knievel, is looking to make his name on the golf course, setting his sights for the U.S. Open according to a tweet from the USGA.

Kelly Knievel is an accomplished player. Last May, he fell in a playoff to 17-year-old Taylor Montgomery for the Southern Nevada Amateur, according to Ryan Ballengee. He also is a past winner of the Las Vegas City Amateur title.

His father also played golf, sporting a single-digit handicap before his death in 2007. Here's hoping the U.S. Open doesn't become Kelly's Snake River Canyon.

Cart path prompts two holes-in-one at high school tryout

Two freshman golfers notched nearly identical hole-in-ones during their tryout for their high school golf team, reports Tom Mix of the West Central Tribune. Brandon Winter and Collin Larson both aced the 140-yard, par-3 hole No. 4 at Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo, N.D., using 9-irons during a qualifying round of team tryouts.

That's right—same club, same hole, same day.

“In all my 22 years of coaching, I don’t know if I’ve heard anything like that happening,” Fargo Davies coach Steve Kennedy said. “I can’t recall any of my players ever hitting a hole-in-one in practice or during a tournament. I know some of them had holes-in-one, but never during high school. Then to have two in one day on the same hole, it was exciting.”

Adding to the madness, both players hit nearly identical shots—coming up short, only to receive a helpful kick from the cart path.

“When I saw it bounce up and start rolling, I was just hoping I would get close,” Larson said. “Then when it dropped in, I couldn’t believe it.” 

Winter’s shot was equally as bouncy and exciting. 

“It was kind of surprising, because the first couple holes didn’t go my way,” Winter said. “Right away when I shot it I kind of looked up, so my shot went kind of crazy. It bounced off the cart path, it rolled in and I just didn’t know what to do so I just stood there.”

The aces were the first for both youngsters. No word on whether they made the team, though. 

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April 12, 2012

Rumors: Bubbamania takes over New York City

Posted at 12:09 PM by Jeff Ritter

Bubba Watson's post-Masters media blitz continues, and on Wednesday the first of a two-part interview with Charlie Rose became available online. Highlight: Rose chatted with Bubba about his approach to the game, to which Watson responded, "I just hit, go find it and hit it again.”

Watch Part 1 of the interview here. Part 2 is scheduled to run Thursday night.

Limbaugh Talks Tiger

From an infamous club kick to a T40 finish, it's fair to say Tiger Woods didn't have a very good week in Augusta. Now Rush Limbaugh has chimed in with his own psychoanalysis of the former No. 1. USA Today's Gary Mihoces has more.

"He wasn't the best father. He wasn't the best husband. He was the best golfer for a while, but it was all a manufactured image. This is the danger of these kind of things."

He said that now Woods "knows wherever he goes that everybody knows this" and that is has become a "mental thing."

"It's gonna take some time for him to overcome (that) ... I mean, the cure for Tiger would be to become entirely absent of any self-awareness. If he was totally able to not think about himself, then he'd be able to overcome it. Sure, I think the ability is still in there,'' Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh is also a golfer and feels the sport could have a unique role in, of all places, the prison system.

"Golf is such a mental game. I think they ought to make prisoners play it," he said. "It's so frustrating. It makes you so mad at yourself. It can make you so irritated. It would be the best form of punishment for people behind bars I could think of, to make 'em play the game and actually make 'em care about wanting to be good at at it."

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April 11, 2012

Bubba Watson tells David Letterman his golf game is 'awesome'

Posted at 9:28 AM by Golf.com

Bubba Watson continued his media tour on Tuesday, when he appeared on the "The Late Show with David Letterman." When Letterman asked Watson to describe his golf game, Bubba quipped: "Awesome."

April 10, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Olazabal busted, Masters fan steals sand and Zinger zaps Tiger

Posted at 11:26 AM by Mike Walker

Olazabal mug shotJose Maria Olazabal can't drive 65
Jose Maria Olazabal was pulled over for speeding after the Masters Champions Dinner on Tuesday night, according to The Savannah Morning News.

Ehsanipoor said the two-time Masters Champ was going 97 mph on Ga. 21 in a 65 mph zone when he was stopped by a deputy.

Olazabal apologized and told the deputy he was leaving the Masters Golf tournament in Augusta and was traveling to another tournament, Ehsanipoor said.

Olazabal was allowed to follow the deputy to the sheriff’s office where he posted a cash bond of $621 and was released.

Enter Sandman
A Masters patron was busted Sunday after he attempted to steal a cup of Augusta National's famous white sand from a bunker, according to The Augusta Chronicle.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Clayton Price Baker, of Ohio, slipped under the ropes following the tournament and attempted to put the sand in his cup.

After a short foot chase by Augusta National security and sheriff’s deputies, Baker was apprehended and charged with disorderly conduct.

You won't believe it, but police say Baker had been drinking.

Azinger calls Tiger's behavior 'embarrassment to the game'
After Tiger Woods drop-kicked a club on his way to shooting 75 on Friday at Augusta National, former Ryder Cup captain and 1993 PGA Champion Paul Azinger vented his disgust on Sirius Radio, according to Hank Gola of The New York Daily News.

“Tiger’s antics this week were an embarrassment to the game, to the membership at Augusta,” Zinger said. “I was really disappointed to see him carry on that way. He’s not trying to endear himself to anybody. And after he won Bay Hill I thought, ‘here we go again, this is going to be Tiger just kicking butt and taking names.’ I don’t know. I thought he acted like the south end of a northbound mule.”

As for Woods’ golf, Azinger said, “I think his brain is full of swing thoughts, not swing feelings."

"He thinks he needs to know it all so he can fix what’s wrong, but that’s not what happened here,” he went on. “When it started to go off he didn’t have a go-to shot, there was nothing he could do. I can’t compare my career to Tiger Woods’ career for sure, but I’ll say this, in the 28 years I’ve played golf for a living I’ve never been as lost as he looked out there.”

Mets bring in a winner...but only for one night
Yani Tseng threw out the first pitch for the Mets at Citi Field on Monday on Taiwanese Appreciation Night. The Mets won 4-3 over the Nationals.

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Yani with Mets catcher Josh Thole. (AP Photo)

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April 09, 2012

Twitter highlights from Bubba Watson's Masters wins

Posted at 4:33 PM by Jillian Whalen

Bubba Watson in 2011: 'I care' about Augusta National excluding women

Posted at 2:47 PM by Mike Walker

At his post-victory press conference on Sunday evening, Bubba Watson was asked about winning the 2012 Masters and being a new father, but not about Augusta National's all-male membership. However, Golf Magazine asked Watson about Augusta National's membership policy in its 2011 Masters survey. The survey is anonymous, but Watson wanted his response on the record:

Does it bother you that the club's membership excludes women?

"Yeah, I care, and you can quote me on it." —Bubba Watson

Watson's fellow Tour pros weren't as concerned. Ninety percent of the 40 Tour players surveyed said that they were not bothered that women can't be members at Augusta National.

Should Bubba Watson have incurred a penalty on his winning hook shot off the pine straw?

Posted at 2:36 PM by Mick Rouse

In Sunday's Masters playoff, Bubba Watson hit a clutch hook shot from the pine straw on No. 10. HIs ball found a way through the trees and somehow trickled to a stop 10 feet from the hole. It will be remembered as the shot that won Bubba Watson his first major. Was it legal, though? Watch his pre-shot movement closely in the video below.

 

In the video, Watson can be seen moving leaves and pine straw with his hand and feet before taking his stance. This has led some to dust off their rule books and point to Rule 13-2, which states "a player must not improve or allow to be improved the area of his intended stance or swing." A player breaking this rule incurs a two-stroke penalty.

So, did the rules official miss a call that would have almost certainly handed the green jacket to Louis Oosthuizen?

The key factor here is what Bubba was moving prior to taking his stance — pine straw and leaves. These objects are all loose impediments, according to the USGA. By definition, loose impediments are natural objects that are not attached in any way to the golf course. As Rule 23-1 states, "Except when both the loose impediment and the ball lie in or touch the same hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty."

So there you have it, Rule 13-2 does not prohibit the movement of loose impediments, and Rule 23-1 specifically allows their movement.

So, there is no controversy here, folks. Please move along.

Truth & Rumors: Awkward Masters handshake, and Christina Kim vs. Bubba

Posted at 2:05 PM by Mick Rouse

We've all been there: a handshake that goes awry. Except for most of us, the awkward encounter isn't captured on live television. During the Masters. While receiving the coveted green jacket. Enter Masters champ Bubba Watson and chairman of Augusta National Billy Payne.

As Payne instructs 2010 Master's champion Charl Schwartzel to present Bubba with his green jacket, Bubba mistakes Payne's outstretched hand as an offer of congratulations. With a sly move that suggests this isn't the first time this has happened in his life, Bubba swivels to offer his now outstretched hand to Schwartzel. Payne, a little slow on the uptake, then realizes Bubba was trying to shake his hand, but offers his back a fraction of a second too late and receives a whole lot of Bubba's cold, cruel shoulder. Commence awkward face scratch. This encounter would probably be a whole lot more embarrassing if not for the fact that Bubba just won the freakin' Masters. In fact, I think it may raise a more important question: Could the Masters green jacket ceremony be any more boring?

'Bashful Prince' Ishikawa finds his princess

After another lackluster showing at the Masters (he's missed the cut three out of four times), Ryo Ishikawa returned home to Japan where legions of disappointed fans and reporters awaited. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, Ishikawa's Masters performance was quickly forgotten as he announced upon arrival that he is now engaged to his junior high school sweetheart. 

“I turned 20, so I feel like it’s a good time to make this decision,” Ishikawa said, referring to his coming of age in Japan.

While Ryo remained mum on the identity of his wife-to-be, not even revealing her first name, he did reveal that her father wasn't the only person whose blessing he sought.

Back in Japan, Ishikawa’s face is ubiquitous both on and off the green. He was the face for 17 ad campaigns from Panasonic to Lotte in 2011, appearing in more commercials than any other male celebrity for the third year running, according to market researcher Nihon Monitor.

“I informed my sponsors last month,” Ishikawa said. “And I got their blessing.”

Christina Kim goes OFF on Bubba on Twitter

In case you hadn't heard, Christina Kim isn't the biggest fan of Bubba Watson. Therefore, it was no surprise that Bubba's name would be brought up while Kim tweeted through the final round of the Masters. It all began when one of Kim's followers became upset that Christina was tweeting her support for Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen as opposed to a fellow American--specifically Bubba.

Kim was just warming up. Over the next three hours or so, she let loose a barrage on the Masters winner. Luckily for you, we've extracted the highlights of Kim's candid tweets.

Following his playoff victory, Kim held back on the Bubba bashing, offering up a seemingly sincere congratulations.

This is surely the end to it all, right? RIGHT?! Wrong. Apparently Kim's attempt to take the high road further incensed Bubba's fans.

How did it all round out? With Bubba interjecting his two cents? Not quite.

Sometimes I wonder what we did for entertainment before Twitter...

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Bubba Watson didn't get in on Christina Kim's Twitter rant, but that's probably because he couldn't get his phone to stop ringing.

Bubba did make his presence known in this mini-Twitter feud featuring Piers Morgan, though.

April 08, 2012

2012 Masters: Final Round Live Blog

Posted at 12:30 PM by Golf.com

Golf Magazine's Mike Walker is live blogging the final round of the Masters.

Mobile users, copy and paste this link in your browser, http://bit.ly/HpZzYN

Leaderboard | Photos | Video





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