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February 08, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Clint Eastwood joins new golf network

Clint_1974Fresh off saving the American dream in his inspiring Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler, Clint Eastwood is taking on the challenge of saving golf. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Eastwood will be “creative board chairman” and “founding shareholder” for the Back9 Network, a fledgling golf lifestyle network.

In his new role, Eastwood, 81, will meet with the Back9 brass once per quarter to go over programming and casting choices for the network, which is currently in talks with distributors and is slated to launch later this spring. Back9 executives declined to comment on the nature of those conversations.

“He’ll be a big picture sounding board,” said Back9’s chief executive James Bosworth, who was an assistant pro at Pebble Beach in the mid-1990’s when he first met Eastwood. The pair remained in touch, and continue to play golf together. “It was natural to seek his advice,” Bosworth added, noting that Eastwood, along with his wife Dina, has been consulted and supportive of the Back9 concept since its inception some two years earlier.

“There’s no better guy to go to for a golf media company.”

Eastwood is a longtime golfer who owns Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, Calif., and he is a part-owner of Pebble Beach Golf Links. [Photo: Eastwood waits to tee off at the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach in January 1974. Associated Press]

Gary Player says Rory McIlroy has ‘as much talent as I’ve ever seen’

Nine-time major winner Gary Player said Rory McIlroy is one of the most talented golfers he has ever seen in an interview with Reuters.

"Rory's swing is so magnificent," purred Player, slowing down his voice for emphasis. "He's got as much talent as anybody I've ever seen," the 76-year-old told Reuters in an interview at a Laureus sports awards event at Championship (second division) soccer club Millwall in south London.

Player said the only imponderable about U.S. Open champion McIlroy, 22, was his desire.

"Nobody knows what's inside of the man, how much passion he has," said the nine-times major winner. "Is he prepared to go through the pain barrier?"

Tom Watson’s chip-in at 1982 U.S. Open named best shot in Pebble Beach history

Watson_pebbleThe San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick lists the top 10 shots in Pebble Beach history, and we don't think he'll get many arguments over his first choice.

1. Tom Watson's chip: This might be the most famous shot in golf history. Watson arrived at the 71st hole of the 1982 U.S. Open tied for the lead with Jack Nicklaus, who already had completed his round. Nicklaus sensed he might win when Watson's tee shot on No. 17 sailed left and settled in thick rough.

The pin was tucked close to that side, so Watson didn't have much room to maneuver. Caddie Bruce Edwards encouraged him to "get it close," prompting Watson to reply, "Get it close? I'm gonna make it!"

He dropped the shot softly onto the green -- and the ball zoomed downhill and into the hole. Watson skipped onto the green in celebration, pointing at Edwards and saying, "I told you!"

"I say what it was: a lucky chip," Watson said in a 2010 interview. "I took dead aim and fortunately it hit the pin and went in.”

Spoiler alert: Kevin Costner did not make the list. [Associated Press photo]

Tweet of the Day

From Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson:

Wie_tweet


 

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