Golf Magazine columnist and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee ranks the best and worst swing fixes ever.
THE BEST SWING FIXES
1. BEN HOGAN
Ben Hogan at the 1956 Ryder Cup (Getty Images).
Hogan transformed himself from a hook-hitting journeyman into perhaps the greatest player and ballstriker ever. And he did it without video or TrackMan.
2. TIGER WOODS [1998-'99]
Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open, which he won by a record 15 strokes (AP Photo).
After winning the Masters by 12 strokes in 1997, Woods and Butch Harmon took Tiger's powerful but inconsistent move -- which was slightly shut at the top of the backswing -- and crafted a swing that won four straight majors in 2000-'01.
3. NICK FALDO
Nick Faldo at the 1990 Open Championship at St. Andrews (John Iacono/SI)
Early in Faldo's career, his loose, languid swing failed to deliver on Sundays. David Leadbetter helped his man perfect a flatter, early-set Hoganesque technique that led to six majors. He went from surly to Sir Nick.
1. TIGER WOODS [2010-PRESENT]
Tiger Woods loses control of his driver at the 2012 PGA Championship (Darren Carroll/SI).
Now majorless since 2008, Woods abandoned a swing that gave him the advantages of length, height and improvisation for a prosaic, rigidly rehearsed move. To borrow Emerson's line, he went from being the mountain from which all drift boulders come…to being a drift boulder.
2. MICHELLE WIE
Michelle Wie at the 2010 U.S. Open at Oakmont (Carlos M. Saavedra/SI).
With a high-hands technique that took full advantage of her six-foot frame, Wie may have been the greatest teenage golfer ever, male or female. She now swings shorter, quicker, and looks confused on almost every shot. The one-time future of golf appears to be on the brink of the abyss.
3. MIKE WEIR
Mike Weir at the 2009 Chevron World Challenge (AP Photo).
By chasing the Stack-and-Tilt method -- which takes vigilant rehearsals and assassinates pure talent -- Weir left behind the simple, repeatable swing that accentuated his razor-sharp wedge game and, oh yeah, won him a Masters.
Jessica Korda and Michelle Wie on the 16th hole on Saturday (Getty Images).
She got a little carried away.
Michelle Wie walked off the green after making a putt on the 16th hole of her fourball match Saturday with Jessica Korda against Europe's Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall. The problem was that Masson and Hedwall still hadn't putted yet. Wie and Korda ended up halving the hole and they lost the match 2 & 1 on the 17th. Wie later apologized on Twitter for the incident.
Feel absolutely horrible about running off the green on 16. Got caught up in the moment and was so tired that I forgot what was happening.
For Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon, finding the right mix of players is crucial to winning the match play tournament, set for August 16–18 in Parker, Colo.
Though the teams are not set, there are a few players that could still earn their way onto the U.S. squad. Golfweek says Michelle Wie is one of the those players and she can earn a spot by winning next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open to make the team on points.
Wie has just two top-10 finishes this year, and has made the cut only seven times out of the 15 tournaments she has entered.
It’s crunch time for the Solheim Cup, and believe it or not, Michelle Wie is very much in the conversation for making the U.S. team.
Otherwise, captain Meg Mallon would need to make Wie one of her two captain’s picks, which isn’t out of the question considering that she already has three Solheim rookies who are locks for the team (Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas) and Wie is a two-time participant. Thompson and Korda are currently in on points while Salas is safely in at No. 21 in the rankings. (The top two players in the Rolex Rankings not otherwise qualified through Solheim points earn spots.)
Jennifer Johnson is the only player who can finish second at the British Open and crack the top eight (assuming current No. 8 Brittany Lang finishes outside the top 12 at St. Andrews). Gerina Piller, Salas, Morgan Pressel and Wie would need to win at the Old Course to jump into the top eight.
Duncan French is a caddie. He is the boyfriend of LPGA pro Christina Kim, currently ranked No. 217 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
The only problem? He also caddies for Michelle Wie, who happens to be best friends with his girlfriend.
Could this end well?
In a Q&A with Marlborough Express, French discussed his road from a scratch golfer who caddied on the European Tour to being on the bag for one of the highest profile golfers in LPGA history with a short stint caddying for his own girlfriend.
We have been very good friends ever since I have been on tour. Michelle
and my girlfriend are best friends on the tour. Michelle's old caddie
[Kiwi Brendan Woolley] left at the end of last year to go to the PGA
Tour so she was looking for a new caddie and gave me a call. I jumped at
the chance to work with her.
But the obvious question: how does your girlfriend feel about it?
She is very supportive. Being a great friend of Michelle she wants her
to play to her full potential, which is very, very high. She wants what
is best for both of us and, at this stage, Michelle and I are both in a
good place so [Christina] is very supportive and happy.
Several dynamics are at play here. If French and Kim's relationship ends, can Wie, being her best friend, continue to employ him? If Wie's performance doesn't improve with French on the bag -- her best finish is a tie for 28th this year -- could she fire her best friend's boyfriend? Could competitiveness or jealousy emerge between Wie and Kim? So many possibilties.
After confirming that she was suffering from a stomach infection and fever that caused her to miss media commitments and the Challenge Match on Monday, Wie competed in the pro-am at the Ladies Dubai Masters on Tuesday, according to a report by The National.
Wie, in her fourth successive appearance in Dubai, will compete against a strong field that includes defending champion Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, Laura Davies and Seo Hee-kyung.
Michelle Wie, a recent Stanford graduate, put her degree in communications to use as she interviewed Suzann Pettersen in a press conference before the CME Titleholders.
Wie, 23, asked Pettersen about her recent practice session, her shoulder injury and the latest addition to her bag, indicating that Wie may have a future in sports television after her golfing days are over, according to a report by SB Nation.
Wie pressed Pettersen about her recent practice session with coach David Leadbetter.
“Something must have worked right for you in the last week, last two times you won in Korea and Taiwan,” Wie said. “What are some of the things that you worked on?”
Pettersen wondered if she were “going to tell you these secrets,” to which Wie replied, summoning her best golf-scribe patter (which, after some 13 years on the national stage, the 23-year-old Hawaii native knows a thing or two about), “Um-hmm, yeah.”
Ah, July 5th. How tough it is to overcome that midweek hangover that inevitably follows our annual celebration of the Greenbrier Classic's Wednesday Pro-Am.
But Rumors never rests. And if you needed proof, there's this video, presented without context or explanation:
While that video inspires more questions than answers, let's take a shot. That's Cindy Lacrosse (La-boss) hyping up the runway, Tiffany Joh firing off the verse (with occasionally impressive fluency), and, of course, Michelle Wie dancing around with torn up bits of paper.
The song, as every golf fan surely knows, is DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," off his album "Victory," released on his label We The Best Music. 10-4, Khaled. Message received.
From what we gather, that's a chartered flight headed to Kohler for the U.S. Women's Open and -- just guessing now -- the plane wouldn't take off until everyone's hands went up, and they stayed there.
The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisc. At this point, any jokes about winning are too low-hanging to actually carry humor. So just remember this while watching the action over the weekend:
Wonder why it's different on the LGPA?! 'Cause Wie-Wie's dancing like a weirdo all up on the Jetway!
What do the players think about that? "It's fine," Michelle Wie said. "I think even when you didn't allow them, they were still out there. As long as everyone just turns them off, it doesn't really bother us that much. Just take pictures, but turn the sound off."
That's a far cry from the brimstone forecasts predicted on the men's side. If Phil needed a second reason never to compete in the Women's Open, this is it.
There will be some restrictions: Phones must be (gasp!) silenced, no photography, videography or audio recording will be allowed. Which, unfortunately, rules out making more music videos. Calls, though, can be made in assigned areas. But email and text messages may be sent anywhere, except "in the precense of a player who has addressed her ball."
It's a fair guess I wouldn't get service out there, anyway.
How to count to 100: In the cloud of dust and ratings Tiger Woods kicked up at last week's AT&T National - where he notched his 74th PGA Tour victory - the Tour itself took to Twitter to congratulate Tiger on his 100th professional victory. Which seemed odd.
By counting two wins from one tournament (1999 World Cup). By counting seven wins from the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a 36-hole exhibition for major champions. And by counting a World Cup with David Duval that featured alternate shot for two of the rounds.
The most peculiar decision is the World Cup. Before the PGA Tour took it over and tried making it a World Golf Championship, it was stroke play in which both scores counted. Woods was medalist in 1999 in Malaysia (one win), and he and O'Meara won the team total (another win).
So it's technically correct, maybe. If anyone would count that double, it'd probably be O'Meara. But there you have it. The way Tiger is playing, there's little reason to manufacture the path to milestones. Wait a month. But hey, why put off for tomorrow what can be Tweeted today?
Dottie's out of the dog house Adding some spice to the 2013 Solheim Cup, Dottie Pepper is back with the U.S. team as an assistant captain, five years after causing a firestorm by inadvertently describing the American team as “choking freakin’ dogs” during a Golf Channel Broadcast of the 2007 cup.
Pepper, 46, was in tears Wednesday saying how grateful she was for this opportunity to return to the team.
The announcement opens the door to the possibility Pepper will one day become the U.S. Solheim Cup captain. For a time, that didn't seem possible.
“I just felt it was enough,” Mallon said of the alienation of Pepper. “It was just Dottie’s passion; it wasn’t ill will. I felt like Dottie needed to stop carrying this burden around.”
Pepper regrets her comment caused such a maelstrom.
“I don’t know if any broadcaster in sports hasn’t said something they regret, whether they intended it for air or not,” said Pepper, who is currently an on-course reporter for Golf Channel on NBC. “It was hurtful. It hurt both ways. I was hurt, players were hurt.”
Pepper was, well, essentially telling the truth at the time. It took a serious singles rally on Sunday for the U.S. team to take the cup after a rough start. But the comment caused serious damage to Pepper’s rep with the squad. Little matter that she played in six Solheims herself, and ranks third in points won for the American side.
If anything, the comment suggests that she’ll make a great assistant captain. Pepper was acting like a fan – a very frustrated, very patriotic fan. Pepper, who went so far as to dye her hair red for the ’94 contest, was too engrossed in the competition to keep from cheering in the press box. About time to let her out of it.
Tweet of the Day:
Made it to the Greenbrier in West Virginia for Greenbrier Classic. Finally. Thought getting to Abu Dhabi was tough.