Maybe Sergio was right. Maybe Tiger Woods really “isn’t one of the nicest guys on Tour.”?
The latest evidence comes from well-established Tour nice-guy Rocco Mediate, who, during a recent appearance on Golf Channel’s “Feherty,” recalled a Tiger memory from the 2009 Players Championship. At the time, Mediate was roughly a year removed from his playoff loss to Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, so he thought he’d ask Tiger for a memento.
According to Mediate, he left in Woods’ locker a photo of the two of them from the playoff, along with a pin sheet from their fifth-round match. He also left a note, requesting an autograph and an inscription.
“Look, sign these for me, write something on there, and personalize it and then sign the pin sheet,” Mediate told David Feherty, summing up his note to Tiger. “Because I’m going to put them on my wall somewhere.”
Well, Mediate got the autograph, but that was it. As Rocco tells it, Woods returned the materials later that day, having signed the photo but without writing an inscription. The pin sheet came back to Rocco untouched.
Mediate says he threw everything in the trash.
“That tells the story,” Mediate said. “Why wouldn’t he ... just mess with me, and the sign my pin sheet, so I could put the damn thing on my wall and say, ‘I almost got the guy that day.’”
Mediate emphasized that he’s still a Tiger fan.
“I’ve been a big fan of Tiger since I met him,” he said. “I love the way he does his job. I don’t care what anybody thinks or anybody says; we ain’t gonna see this kid come about again.”
You get the feeling that Sergio Garcia -- among many others -- would be just fine with that.
The third season of "Feherty" includes interviews with golfing icon Billy Casper – a 51-time winner on the PGA Tour and three-time major winner – at his Utah home. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who has been married to the same woman for 60 years (they have eleven children), Casper takes Feherty to a rehearsal of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Subsequent interviews include volatile, chair-throwing basketball coach Bobby Knight, golfers Jack Nicklaus, Paul Azinger, Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, as well as PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.
Feherty also provided some entertainment for the members of the Television Critics Association.
He regaled gathered reporters with tales of his checkered past as an addict, his views on the game now (“golf is a depressing sport”; everyone who plays it has some form of PTSD), and his interviews with luminaries including Bill Clinton (who said it has been one of his “great dreams” to be interviewed by Feherty) and Samuel L. Jackson (“he has very little time for anyone who finds him impressive,” said Feherty).
(Photo: David Feherty in Pasadena, Calif, on Monday. Getty Images)
Love him or hate him, David Feherty keeps getting awards. And on Thursday, the honor is coming from a company that's typically hard to please.
Feherty will be awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Army for his work with the Troops First Foundation, the non-profit he started to provide sports-based support for wounded soldiers and their families.
The Outstanding Civilian Service Award is the third-highest honor the Army can bestow upon a civilian. Feherty will be presented with it during a military ball on a Virginia airfield.
Born in Northern Ireland, Feherty, who calls golf for CBS and the Golf Channel, became an American citizen in 2010.
There are a few things I wouldn't let John Daly do to me. A lot of things, actually. But none of them are higher on that list than letting him slash a drive teed up in my mouth.
I'm not David Feherty. The Golf Channel host let Long John do just that on the season finale of his TV show, Feherty, which aired over the weekend. Watch the clip below:
Now, as the video mentions, John is a pro. But some might say pegging a ball on a head the size of Feherty's is a high tee indeed. We think Ernie Els may have taken a little divot.
T-Minus Four Years 'til Rio Pro golf has a pretty strong couple of weeks coming up, with a World Golf Championship event (Bridgestone Invitational) and one of the world's biggest tournaments (PGA Championship) occuring in the next fortnight. But the Sport of Kings is going to be fighting for attention with some big to-do going on in the Queen's backyard. It's tough for anyone to compete with gymnastics’ quadrennial moment in the sun.
But golf will get its due in four year's time, and golf writers are already curious about who might be playing for medals in Rio. So if you can't beat 'em, join the hype.
Ryan Ballengee gets the ball rolling, running the numbers for Golf News Net to give us a (very) early look at the possible fields for men and women. Apparently, if the men's field were set today, it would include eight Americans and reach down to the 334th ranked player in the world to fill out the 60-man lineup.
The women's field would dig even deeper, pulling 446th ranked Paola Moreno of Colombia into the fold.
The reason, Ballengee explains, is the selection criteria. The top 15 men and women will automatically qualify; after that, 45 players are added by rank. The catch is -- after the top 15 -- no more than two representatives from any single country can play. So Moreno and Norwegian Espen Kofstad would get the call.
But before they book flights remember this -- along with really any other aspect of the golf event -- is subject to change. In the meantime, we recommend any Norwegian with Olympic dreams to hit the range. Your tee time may only be four years away.
Has the local hero from Holywood, Northern Ireland, gone too Hollywood?
The Irish Times' Brian O'Connor defends Rory McIlroy from critics uncomfortable with McIlroy's embrace of celebrity, especially after his recent White House visit.
The tone was one of disappointment, of barely disguised disapproval. Our young fella with the swaggering gait and swing from God doesn’t look like the ordinary, unaffected kid from Norn Iron anymore. The star system is taking over, apparently.
Rory has security now, and a high-profile girlfriend, and takes private jets, and gets invited to the White House, and hangs out with Clooney and Clinton and that red-haired bloke from Homeland, and promises to help Obama with his swing, and generally looks like he is way too-at-ease in celebrity-land.
Boo! To which one can only ask, what is Rory supposed to do? RSVP Obama and say he can’t accept an invitation to the leader of the free world’s gaff because there might be a few hacks out there with enough time on their hands to ponder whether Rory is keeping it real, like? Sometimes it’s just plain inevitable that sporting passions lead us to ascribe human virtues in proportion to the wondrous talent in front of us. Journos are no different to anyone else. In fact, sometimes there’s almost a sense of ownership about it.
Michelle Wie and her parents moving to Tiger and Rory's neighborhood Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy made moving to the West Palm/Jupiter area fashionable for PGA Tour pros, and it appears the attraction must be strong for women golfers too. According to Golf Digest, Michelle Wie is going to move to Jupiter, Fla., after she graduates from Stanford this spring.
[Her parents] will be making the move from Palo Alto to Jupiter as well. [Her parents] shadowed Wie during her regular practice sessions in Northern California, traipsing along in a golf cart, and they travel with her to every LPGA event. The habit drew not-so-muffled criticism over the years, and it seems their role will not subside once Wie is a college graduate.
B.J. comes across as calm and rational, but that's not always the image Bo projects. She's a onetime amateur champion in South Korea, openly emotional when watching her daughter play. Observers describe her as living and dying with every shot as she follows Michelle at tournaments, screaming at times. There are two ways to view this. On one hand, Wie's parents allowed Michelle some independence at Stanford. Then again, they lived in Palo Alto and now will join her in Jupiter.
Feherty heckles Tiger, Els at Tavistock Cup David Feherty served as starter/heckler in chief for the Tavistock Cup. Some highlights:
Tiger Woods: "Many of us are out here by helicopter, he came by ambulance."
Ernie Els (who missed a four-foot putt at the Transitions to get into a playoff Sunday): "Ernie will be putting with a live rattlesnake today."
Stray Shots: Things we noticed while remembering the first rule of journalism: "We don't report on ACLs that don't get injured."
They named a street after the Golf Channel in Orlando. The name: "Golf Channel Drive," not "The NBC Golf Network Drive," as some predicted. (Via Word Golf)
During his live Super Bowl special, David Feherty sat down with Tim Tebow and pressed the young QB if leading the nation could be in his future after he finishes leading mediocre football teams to playoff berths. Feherty pleaded his case to Tebow, saying, “Would you ever think of running for office? Please? Because, here’s the thing, we’ve got Romney and Gingrich here at the minute and I don’t know what anybody else thinks, but they’ve got the sort of faces you never get tired of punching.”
Tebow didn’t completely knock the notion, though, responding, “For me, it could be something in my future. It’s something I’ll have to think about and pray about.”
Check out an excerpt of Feherty’s interview with Tebow in the video below, as well as extended clips from his Super Bowl special.
I may be alone in this, but I never get sick of Ben Crane’s racing helmet and goggles. For more images of the Waste Management Open’s party hole, check out our gallery here.
Nager appointed as USGA’s 62nd president
During the USGA’s annual meeting in Houston, Glen Nager was announced as the 62nd president of North American golf’s governing body, reports Ryan Ballengee. Nager has been elected to serve a one-year term and hopes to keep the organization focused on challenges faced by predecessor Jim Hyler, including improving participation and environmental stewardship in the game.
“At a time when the game faces increasingly complex challenges, we must recommit ourselves to the USGA’s mission,” Nager said at the annual meeting. “To sustain the game, we must do more. We have to promote a more enjoyable, more affordable and more welcoming experience for golfers – without fundamentally changing the game itself.”
Nager, 53, resides in Washington, D.C. where he is a partner in the Jones Day law firm. He has an extensive background in constitutional law and has argued 13 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Nager is also a single-handicap golfer and was named the volunteer general counsel of the USGA in 2006. He most recently served as chairman of the USGA’s Rules of Golf, Commercial and Compensation committee.
Tweet of the Day
I need to get my sponsors' logos on my helmet. It's obviously good luck...and fashionable too. Golf's biggest headwear trend since the visor
It was announced this morning at the PGA Merchandise Show that Meg Mallon will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2013 as they look to extract revenge on the European side when they meet at Colorado Golf Club.
Mallon is an 18-time LPGA winner, including four major championships, and played on eight U.S. Solheim Cup teams, sporting a 13-9-7 career record. She served as an assistant captain to the victorious 2009 team and also captained a winning American side at the 2011 PING Junior Solheim Cup.
"It's an absolute honor to be selected as the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain," said Mallon. "I've participated in The Solheim Cup on nine occasions and each has been a proud moment for me, but to represent the United States as team captain definitely caps off my career. I look forward to working hard on getting the Cup back in U.S. hands."
Back to school Rory McIlroy, the scholar. That’s right, the U.S. Open champ is set to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. According to the Irish Times, McIlroy will be awarded a Doctor of Science degree for his contribution to golf.
The university said: “Rory McIlroy has quickly established himself as a major force in international golf as a Major winner and Ryder Cup hero.”
Compatriots Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have also been honored by the university in the past.
Other notables to receive honorary degrees from the University of Ulster this year include Manchester United skipper Sir Alex Ferguson, Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody and actor Sir Ian McKellen, among others.
Golf’s Oprah Looking to build on a successful first season, Golf Magazine contributing writer David Feherty’s hit talk show, Feherty, will expand to a one hour time slot, beginning February 27. Due to viewer demand, Golf Channel has also ordered more episodes for season two and has pushed the original series back to the 10 p.m. time slot. In a press release, Golf Channel stated:
“We were blown away by the positive reaction our viewers had to this show and their appreciation for the truly heartfelt moments David was able to pull from each interview,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “People know David as funny and a bit irreverent, but they never knew how much emotion would come from this series. The one comment we heard repeatedly from viewers was ‘give us more’ -- so that’s exactly what we plan to do in season two.”
If you can’t hold out an entire month for your weekly dose of Feherty, don’t fret. Before season two airs, viewers will be treated to a special from the Super Bowl with Feherty performing before a live theatre audience, armed with a slew of guests from the world of sports and entertainment.
Additionally, Golf Channel will be airing bonus footage shot for two of the most popular Feherty episodes, including never-before-seen interviews with Johnny Miller and Tom Watson. The episodes will be re-aired in a one-hour format on February 13 and 20, respectively.
Speed golf Ben Crane isn’t the only one pumping out viral videos; rally driver and drifting champion Rhys Millen has teamed up with Hyundai to bring the largely underground world of Formula D to the golf course. Millen, who will race the 500bhp Hyundai Veloster in the US Rallycross championship, shows just how fast he really is, terrorizing the Purangi Golf & Country Club in New Zealand with his turbocharged golf cart.
PGA Tour, take notice. We just solved your pace of play problem.
Tweet of the Day
Steve Sands @ Golfchannel reports from Abu Dhabi that Tiger Woods took off his undershirt on hole 4 yesterday.... #tigersyearhasstarted
One last road trip for 2011 ... Everyone wants to be home for the holidays, but not everyone can be. David Feherty (@Fehertwit) had a great reason to pack his bags this week.
Breakfast of champions After winning the Australian Masters, Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) sat down to a traditional English breakfast and a little something to read.
... meanwhile, back in the United States, Stewart Cink (@stewartcink) was doing the work he hopes will lead to a breakfast like Poulter's in 2012.
Batter up It may not be baseball season here in America, but down in Venezuela, Jhonattan Vegas's (@JhonattanVegas) homeland, baseball is in full bloom. The winner of the 2011 Bob Hope Classic got a chance to show off his arm this week.
Whatever makes you happy Last week it was a Pink Panther hat that made Paula Creamer (@PCreamer) smile. This week, it's a soda.
Boys and their toys Robert Garrigus may like tiny putters, but he seems to have a thing for monsterously-big pickup trucks. In this message he says a new truck is on the way -- but his current beast doesn't look like it's been off-road too often.
Back in the winner's circle Finally, after Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) won the Chevron World Challenge to earn his first victory in more two years, he had an interesting message for his 1.4 million followers.
Lexi and Lincicome's fashion With the LPGA Tour's season concluded, Lexi Thompson (@Lexi) and Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) showed their followers what they like to do when they're not practicing.
Global Foodies David Feherty (@Fehertwit) made a quick trip to Europe this week and enjoyed some of the local cuisine.
Meanwhile, Ian Baker Finch (@IBFinchy) is still in Australia, enjoying his homeland's tasty food and beautiful views.
Cool photo from DJ Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) underwent knee surgery last week and decided to Tweet a few messages to his followers from his sofa.