Category: Alan Shipnuck

March 02, 2013

Alan Shipnuck takes first place in 2013 GWAA writing contest

Posted at 10:10 AM by Coleman McDowell

Shipnuck_300Sports Illustrated senior writer Alan Shipnuck earned his sixth career win in the 41st annual 2013 Golf Writers Association of America’s annual writing contest.

Shipnuck's oral history of the thrilling final Sunday of the 2011 Masters was awarded first place in the "Special Projects" category. He also received honorable mentions in the non-daily column category for two columns: "Dufner is golf's coolest man" and "Rory is not Tiger." In addition, Shipnuck earned an honorable mention for non-daily news for his piece on Rory McIlroy's global brand and took second place in the non-daily features category for his work detailing how Jhonattan Vegas became the "Pride of Venezuela."

Shipnuck wrote his first cover story for Sports Illustrated in 1994 and became a staff writer for the magazine in '96.

Here are the other and Sports Illustrated winners and honorable mentions:

- Daily columns: Josh Sens,, Honorable mention -- "Invited to The Country Club, finally"

- Non-Daily News: Damon Hack, Sports Illustrated, 2nd place -- "Red Storm Rising"

- Non-Daily News: Michael Bamberger, Sports Illustrated, 3rd place -- "Phil Wins, Tiger loses at Pebble"

- Non-Daily Features: Gary Van Sickle, Sports Illustrated, 2nd place -- "Education of Tom Watson



DAILY COLUMNS – 1. Dave Seanor, Yahoo! Sports, "The false promise of Tiger Woods"; 2. Jeff Rude,, "Vivid memories of Hogan and Nelson"; 3. John Hopkins,, "In praise of the Amateur"

Honorable mention: Ron Borges, Boston Herald, "PoulterHeist"; Steve Eubanks,, "A Selah for Furman"; Jim McCabe,, "Remembering Furman Bisher"; Josh Sens,, "Invited to The Country Club, finally"

DAILY NEWS: 1. Ron Green, Jr., Charlotte Observer, "McIlroy slays field in PGA Championship"; 2. Brian Wacker,, "Bubba is part artist, part magician"; 3. Ian O’Connor,,"Olympic’s 16th Hole doomed Furyk:

Honorable mention: Tony Dear,, "Win by Els is bittersweet"; Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times, "A new name in Masters lore"; Jay Flemma,, "Triple Double at Winged Foot"

DAILY FEATURES: 1. Jason Sobel,, "More to The Jungle Bird"; 2. Lisa Mickey, New York Times, "A path to opportunity"; 3. Jeff Babineau,, "Good attitude a must at Open"

Honorable mention: Gary D’Amato, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Chuasiriporn left game behind"; Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "Rory’s future is limited only by his drive"; Jim McCabe,, "Euro teammates trust Poulter"; Alan Tays,, "Back on course after accident.

NON-DAILY COLUMNS: 1, Beth Ann Baldry, Golfweek, Creamer’s tearful farewell to Pops; 2, Jim McCabe, Golfweek, Jack: Heart of a champion spans generations; 3, Ron Sirak, Golf World, Pepper’s pardon"

Honorable mention: Jeff Babineau, Golfweek, "A band of believers"; Alan Shipnuck, Sports Illustrated, "Dufner is golf’s coolest man"; Alan Shipnuck, Sports Illustrated, "Rory is not Tiger"

NON-DAILY NEWS: 1. Tim Rosaforte, Golf World, "No rest for Rory"; 2. Damon Hack, Sports Illustrated, "Red Storm Rising"; 3. Michael Bamberger, Sports Illustrated, " Phil wins, Tiger loses at Pebble"

Honorable mention: Jim Moriarty, Golf World, "Beach Party, Rory wins PGA"; Jeff Rude, Golfweek, "Duval returns to Lytham"; Curt Sampson, Golf World, " Collectibles, bidding for history"; Alan Shipnuck, Sports Illustrated, "Rory, globe-trotting star"

NON-DAILY FEATURES: 1, Jaime Diaz, Golf Digest, "Billy Casper, Out of the darkness"; 2. Gary VanSickle, Sports Illustrated, "Education of Tom Watson"; 3. (tie) Steve Rushin, Golf Digest, "Bad to the Bone" and Jeff Silverman, Golf World, "Book worms"

Honorable mention: Jim Moriarty, Golf World, Upside-down world of Randy Simmons; Alan Shipnuck, Sports Illustrated, "How Jhonny V made good"; Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest, "Christina Kim: Tears of a clown"

SPECIAL PROJECTS: 1. Alan Shipnuck, Sports Illustrated, "Best Sunday ever"; 2. Guy Yocom and John Huggan, Golf Digest, "Rowdy Ryder Cup at Kiawah"; 3, Gregg Dewalt, Times Daily, "Revisiting Robert Trent Jones Trail"

Honorable mention: Mercer Baggs, Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel,, "The year 1912 and how it changed the game"; Peter Finch and Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest, "How golf really treats women"; Scott Michaux, Augusta Chronicle, "Charles Schwartzel, rise of a natural"

(Photo: Alan Shipnuck at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Kohjiro Kinno/SI)

October 09, 2012

Live tweets from 'The Re-Match' at Cypress, featuring Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler vs. Davis Love and Nick Watney

Posted at 12:29 PM by

SI's Alan Shipnuck tweeted from the hush-hush charity match at Cypress Point today, which featured Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler vs. Davis Love and Fred Couples Nick Watney, who stepped in as a last-minute replacement:

August 29, 2011

Tweets of the Week: Earthquakes, Keegan's dream and Poulter's dessert

Posted at 5:26 PM by David Dusek New Jersey?
On Monday of the Barclays, as players casually hit balls on the range and played practice rounds at Plainfield Country Club, an earthquake centered in Virginia shook the course.



Keegan still can't believe it
Keegan Bradley, the rookie who recently won the PGA Championship, was grouped with Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald for the first two rounds of last week's Barclays. Although he was the only player among them to have won a major this season, you get the feeling that he was pinching himself before the round.


Goydos's woes
While Bradley was still basking in the glow of his recent win, veteran Paul Goydos was on the opposite side of the spectrum.


Hurricane tweets
After all the shaking was over, players at the Barclays shifted their concerns to Hurricane Irene and how they were going to get home. But one player had other thoughts on his mind.


Mr. 54
Dustin Johnson won the rain-shortened Barclays, prompting SI's Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) to wonder about Johnson's record in weather-shortened events.


Poulter shows good taste
Clearly Ian Poulter had an incomplete childhood. What do they eat around campfires in England?



June 02, 2011

Rumors: Tiger earned just $1.1 million for IMG in 2010

Posted at 3:29 PM by Jeff Ritter

Tiger not worth IMG's trouble?
Tiger Woods's agent, Mark Steinberg, split with IMG last week, and details of the fallout are slowly trickling out. The latest news describes the revenue IMG lost after several of Woods's big-money sponsors bailed in the aftermath of Tiger's sex scandals. Steve Elling of CBS Sports cites a Sports Business Journal report, and concludes that that Tiger-Steiny duo were simply too pricey for the agency to keep around.

In a scenario that some had posed last week, potentially casting aside Tiger Woods as a client won't exactly take a heavy toll at IMG, the sports-management giant that has represented the fading former No. 1 since he turned pro in 1996.

Woods and his agent apparently were too expensive to keep.

According to a report in Sports Business Journal, the income generated by Woods for IMG had fallen to $1.1 million in 2010, after the sex scandal had hit, and that wasn't nearly enough to offset the contract and annnual bonuses of his longtime agent, Mark Steinberg.

Steinberg's contract was up for renewal and last week, but IMG severed ties rather than renew.

IMG agreed to a reduced percentage with Woods on his endorsement earnings, and as his deals disappeared in the wake of his scandal and lackluster play, the income dollars dwindled. The source cited in the SBJ report stated that IMG cleared $7.8 million on Woods' endorsement earnings in 2007 but that the number cratered after the scandals hit and he lost rich deals with Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and others.

The source told SBJ that Steinberg "would have made about $3 million this year in salary and bonuses, significantly more than the fees Woods would have generated."

Woods still hasn't commented on whether he will remain with Steinberg, or leave his agent to stay at IMG. 

Bruins great Ray Bourque congratulates Boston fan Keegan Bradley on first victory

Last Sunday Keegan Bradley beat Ryan Palmer on the first hole of sudden death to win the Byron Nelson and his first career PGA Tour title. The well-wishes have been pouring in for Bradley, and Stephanie Wei at Wei Under Par has an inside look at the aftermath of Bradley's victory, including a voicemail from a prominent New England sports hero.

Keegan grew up in Woodstock, Vermont, and Hopkington, Massachusetts, so he's naturally a Boston-sports fanatic. He played Borque's voicemail, which was nearly two-minutes long, for me, and it's pretty cool. Here's Bourque going into fan-boy mode!

"This is Ray Bourque. I used to play on the Boston Bruins. I'm a big fan of yours. I'm not sure if you know who I am, but I'm a golfer…I was watching today and congratulations on a great win and you're off to a great start.

I've been in the sporting business and I know how you must feel and you should be so proud and just keep doing what you're doing…You gotta be dedicated and working hard and doing all those things that you need to do to be the best. Just enjoy this moment and keep going forward, buddy…

I can't wait to meet you…Have a great night and I'm babbling now. I'm also a Bruin, so let's go Bruins. Maybe we'll have a few things to celebrate. Not only your win today, but the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup."

Tweet of the Day

Tn_bigger @alanshipnuck: Rickie Fowler is leading at Memorial but don't get too excited: He's 30th in scoring average before the cut, 64th on Sat., 116th final round

February 11, 2011

My Pebble Beach Adventure: Shipnuck gets 'Shipnucked'

Posted at 8:00 AM by Alan Shipnuck

Friday Update
Shipnuck My quest to make it into the field as an alternate to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am has become an existential exercise. I am in but I am not in. I am a player who can't play. After a week of hob-nobbing many of the other ams now know my plight. When I see them in the buffet line or on the practice green some avert their gaze, not wanting to be sucked into my melodrama; others offer an expectant nod, which is met by a grim shake of the head. No words are needed.

This morning I was again up at 5:30 and on the range by 7. Thursday I felt real optimism. Today hitting balls was nothing more than due diligence. At the first hole I no longer scour the tee box for the amateurs. I know they will be there, because they always are. My least favorite number has become 10:12. That's the morning's last tee time; two days in a row it has made me officially meaningless. And yet I can't quite let go of the dream. While the tournament plays on without me I am heading inland, for a game at Corral de Tierra Country Club. Gotta keep the game sharp. Tomorrow could be my lucky day.

Thursday Update
It’s usually not a good thing when your name becomes a verb. Unfortunately that befell me during my torturous first-tee vigil during the opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. As the designated alternate I was standing sentry at Pebble’s first hole a few minutes before the day’s first tee time, at 8 a.m. Over the next two hours and twelve minutes I waited (and waited and waited and waited and…) for one of the 52 amateurs to oversleep, blow out his back on the range, slip on the stairs and fracture an elbow or otherwise be unable to tee it up for the first round. It didn’t happen.

I live-tweeted this agonizing limbo, much to the amusement of some of my press tent cohorts. Steve Elling, the sardonic scribe of, wrote on Twitter, “Thus, a new term is added to golf lexicon. ‘I got flat Shipnucked means left at altar, holding bag, rained out, unfulfilled.” Soon folks from all over the Internet were chiming in. “The guy who got left at the altar by Katherine Ross at the end of the movie ‘The Graduate’ got Shipnucked,” tweeted Robert Goodwin. Paul Lapierre of Dalton, Mass. typed, "Found a $100 bill outside pro shop. Tried to buy some pro v1's but the bill was counterfeit. Shipnucked.”

On and on it went.

I know I was asking for it with my breathless practice round dispatches. The odds were never in my favor as I embarked on this quixotic journey. And to be honest, having golf fans root for and against me getting into the tournament was a big part of the reason for doing it. My badge may say CONTESTANT but I’m still a lowly reporter at heart; I knew going in that even if I don’t get to play in the tourney being an alternate would still be a fascinating chance to see the tournament from a new vantage point. Setting aside the crushing personal disappointment, this morning was another interesting experience.

It began with a 7 a.m. breakfast in the contestant hospitality area. All week long this has been a jovial gathering spot, but now there was a different  feeling in the air. Gone were the wives, friends and assorted entourages. The tables were crowded with serious looking players methodically stuffing their faces. I expected to be nervous but felt no butterflies and therefore decided to get in as many calories as possible at the buffet, going with a made-to-order omelet, tall stack of pancakes, chocolate chip muffin and huge plate of fruit. I sat at an empty table—dining with all my friends, you might say—and was reading the newspaper when Padraig Harrington sat down across from me. “I think you need more food,” he said, smirking. “You are getting good value, there.” A good line—all the food is free, of course. We chatted amicably, and then Paddy abruptly took his leave, saying,”Everything is on a schedule.” One last pro move: he left a $20 tip.

I journeyed to the range with my friend/looper Kevin Price, who had been dining in the separate caddie tent, a scene he describes as “burnouts, aspiring players, buddies, logo-laden outfits, mediocre (blessedly free) food, ping pong.” It was literally freezing on the range—some of the grass still had frost on it. Reigning PGA Tour player of the year Jim Furyk was nearby, grinding. I did a half dozen jumping jacks to get the blood pumping and then had a spectacular warmup session, flushing practically every shot. I made the mistake of letting myself get excited.

Kevin and I hopped a shuttle to the first tee and watched the first few groups tee off. I was impressed with how well the amateurs got off the tee. (Surely it reveals a character flaw that I was hoping each of these jabronis would cold-top their shots.) I headed to the nearby practice green to kill some time. It was a cool scene—almost completely silent, lotsa game-faces. The tense vibe forced me to concentrate more on my stroke and when I rolled in a few longish putts I have to admit it was satisfying to hear the murmurs of appreciation from the fans ringing the green.

I expected the time would crawl by but it was just the opposite—when I looked up it was well after 9 a.m. and half the field had already teed off. At that point I knew in my gut I wasn’t going to be called upon so I stopped sweating it and just enjoyed watching a little golf and the exceedingly pleasant vibe of a beautiful morning. My father David had been by my side the whole time and it was a pleasure just to have some relaxed time to catch-up.

At 10:12 the last group teed off and my dream was officially deferred. I’ll be back on Friday to try again. Same routine, but hopefully a new day will bring a better ending.

(Photo: Kohjiro Kinno/SI

January 28, 2011

Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Tournament texting, future U.S. stars, Woods and Kaymer's 2011 chances and more

Posted at 12:55 AM by Alan Shipnuck

Jan28-martin-kaymer_299x408 Do ever see fans bringing their phones into a tourney? — Michael Brigham, Los Angeles
Yes, I saw it today during the first round at Torrey Pines. The Tour is doing a beta test to allow some phone usage. At Torrey the designated approved areas were around the concession areas and clusters of outhouses, far from play. A few people loitered in these areas, but tons of fans were brazenly following Tiger and Phil, phone in hand. I saw marshals take PDAs from three people (they were given a claim check and could retrieve them when exiting). Whatever the letter of the law may be, the policy in effect seemed to be that if folks were walking a discreet distance from the ropes and pecking out texts/emails/tweets, they were left alone.

Along the rope line people were told to put their phones away, but I didn't see any confiscated for quiet thumbing. Anyone talking or, especially, taking a picture was treated with extreme prejudice. I didn't witness any instances where a fan's phone interfered with play. Overall, I think this is a pretty promising start. At every other sporting event spectators can have their phones. These days no one wants to lose the ability to sext for eight or ten hours. I hope the Tour continues to refine the policy and its enforcement, and that fans are respectful enough so that phones, within reason, will be allowed at Tour events. It certainly makes it easier for me live-tweet out there!

Can you name the top five American players in 2016? You can't even name two, can you? Europe owns us. — Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes, N.Y.
In this order: Dustin Johnson, Anthony Kim, Jamie Lovemark, Rickie Fowler, Peter Uihlein. That wasn't so hard.

Ignoring what the OWGR says, in your opinion who are the top five? — Golfnut
Based strictly on the results of the last 12 months, which I think should be the time horizon for the World Ranking, I'd go: 1. Kaymer 2. McDowell 3. Westwood 4. Furyk 5. Kuchar/Mickelson (tie)

How do you define "talent"? It is an ephemeral, idiosyncratic thing. For me, it's the ability to execute difficult shots; an imaginative short game; power; clutch putting; ability to shape shots. My list of the game's most talented players: 1. Woods 2. Mickelson 3. Dustin Johnson 4. Rory McIlroy 5. Anthony Kim

What's the big difference in these lists? The top Euros are grinders and technicians who bring a relentless desire to compete and maximize their abilities.

Which would you rather watch/write about: Tiger wins the first two majors of the year, or Martin Kaymer wins the first two? Follow up: while I admit both scenarios are totally unrealistic, which is more likely? — Scott Morgan
Trick question. If Kaymer won the first two majors, he'd go to the British seeking the Tiger Slam. It'd be a monumental achievement and a great story but not nearly as much fun as Tiger taking the first two. Kaymer is a golfer's golfer but he doesn't capture the imagination of the general sports fan, to say nothing of magazine editors and other media gatekeepers. I'm a fan of Kaymer's and got to know him and his family pretty well reporting a big feature last year. I'd be thrilled for him, but there is no athlete on the planet who moves the needle like Tiger. If this comeback year includes a triumph at the Masters it'll be a blockbuster moment, and I'd love to write the cover story for SI. As to which scenario is more likely, you gotta say Kaymer. He has no weaknesses. If Tiger sprays it at Congressional, it'll be close to impossible for him to win the Open.

Are there players that statistically putt better in different regions of the country or is good putting good putting? @Frazerrice, via twitter
I've never seen stats on this, but no question players putt differently on different grasses. Phil is a California guy, and one of the reasons so many of his wins have come on the West Coast—early in his career that was practically the only place he won—is because he has issues with Bermuda greens, which is what you find all over the Southeast. A lot of East Coast guys struggle on poa annua like you find at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach and other West Coast tracks. Did you see the details on Tiger's new backyard practice area? He built four greens, each with different grasses to replicate different playing conditions. So, yes, turf is a big, big deal to finicky Tour players.

Alan, what do you think of Tiger doing these Q&A sessions on Twitter? I'm loving it, fo' shizzle! I hope he keeps doing them! — Barbara
Hey, Barb, thanks for keeping "fo' shizzle" alive – I thought it died in 2006. Yes, it's cool that Tiger is (slowly) embracing Twitter. I've seen some of the texts he's sent other players; the guy is a pre-eminent trash-talker. It would be fun if he would let go a little and get with the Poulter-Westwood banter. Tiger can definitely hold his own. For a control freak like Woods, Twitter should be a no-brainer – he can reach fans without the filter of the pesky media. I think eventually he'll do a lot more with the medium. I hope so. Fans have gotten to know (and like) dozens of seemingly dull Tour players through Twitter. It could be a huge boost for Woods's ongoing image reclamation.


(Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

January 17, 2011

Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Send in your questions now!

Posted at 1:27 AM by Kevin Cunningham

The first full-field event of the 2011 PGA Tour season went down in Honolulu this week, with Mark Wilson taking the Sony Open title. That means it's time for the second edition of the 2011 mailbag. Leave your question in the comments section below or send an e-mail to, and SI's Alan Shipnuck will post answers to your questions later this week.

Follow Alan Shipnuck on Twitter

January 10, 2011

Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Submit your questions now!

Posted at 9:52 AM by Kevin Cunningham

The 2011 PGA Tour season got underway last week at Kapalua, so it's time for a new season of the mailbag. Leave your question in the comments section below or send an e-mail to, and SI's Alan Shipnuck will post his first mailbag of 2011 later this week.

Follow Alan Shipnuck on Twitter

July 26, 2010

Alan Shipnuck plays all four Bandon Dunes courses in one day

Posted at 9:49 AM by

April22_macdonald_299x199 On Monday, SI's Alan Shipnuck set out to play all four courses at Bandon Dunes before dark, a feat that was documented for Golf Channel's "Golf in America." Tee times were: 6:30 am at Pacific Dunes, 9:50 am at Bandon Dunes, 1:50 pm at Old Macdonald, 5:50 pm at Bandon Trails.

He walked with one other player, with fresh caddies for each round. Read about his adventure on Twitter, and check in a few weeks for an exclusive, in-depth account of his adventure. (Photo: No. 11 at Old Macdonald, by Wood Sabold.)

Have a question for Alan? Leave it in the comments field below and check back Friday for his Mailbag.

April 09, 2010

Twitter Chat: Alan Shipnuck on Friday, Masters Round 2

Posted at 4:17 PM by

SI's Alan Shipnuck, on location at Augusta National, hosted a live Twitter chat at 2 ET during Friday's Round 2.  Here's the transcript.  Follow Alan Shipnuck on Twitter:  @AlanShipnuck

'Twas a pleasure. Thanks to all ya'll for tuning in. Let's do it again. RT @Betfred_Golf: Enjoy the tourny and thanks for answering my Q's.

Be patient. Bogeys await RT @joemadison89: Dude, are Westw. and Poult. playing the same course? Or r they mailing in scores from Liverpool?
OK, 5 minute warning. I wanna catch Phil on 7 green. Or Westy on 9. Or Tiger at 15. Or...

Yes, Phil isn't afraid. TW fires him up RT @duquedonuts: Do you agree that Phil is the one guy who genuinely wanted Tiger to return?     
I'd love it. Would be great for golf, and the reputation of the club. RT @stevelyle61: what would you think of a ladies Masters at Augusta?

Is Tiger an underdog this week? Not sure. Choi is golfing his ball RT @GamingCounsel: If an underdog wins this Masters, who will it be?   

Continue reading "Twitter Chat: Alan Shipnuck on Friday, Masters Round 2" »

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