We'll charitably call Nike's new Rory McIlroy commercial an "homage" to Tiger Woods bouncing a ball off his wedge in Nike's famous 1999 commercial. The video features McIlroy's Nike stablemates Kyle Stanley, Nick Watney, Suzann Pettersen and Paul Casey, but not Woods, whose absence is conspicuous. Take a look:
Now watch Tiger's 1999 Nike commercial, aka, the greatest sports commercial ever:
Paula Creamer and her caddie, Colin Cann, sustained minor injuries in a car accident Sunday night when they found themselves in the middle of a five-car pileup on their way to the Bangkok airport after the Honda LPGA Thailand event.
In addition to Creamer and Cann, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen were also involved in the five-car pileup on the highway. According to Mell, Miyazato's car was in the accident, while Pettersen and her mother narrowly missed it.
Creamer was in the front seat of a VIP car, and though she was wearing a seatbelt, she said her air bag did not deploy. She and Miyazato visited a hospital in Singapore after their flight landed for this week’s HSBC Champions. Creamer said doctors told her she did not suffer a concussion, but she did suffer moderate whiplash and has a sore shoulder.
Creamer reported Cann, who was in the back seat, has a sore neck and shoulders.
“I will probably be sore for several weeks,” Creamer tweeted. “We were very lucky. Hope to be able to play this week.”
On our way to the airport we were in a car accident! Paula , Ai , my mum and myself with the rest of our entourage! We were driving on the highway pretty fast and at times maybe to ruff. Meaning , no room for errors what so ever ! And it was just a matter of time we must say before something actually happend! Don’t know how it all went down, but in a split second the entourage of our 5 cars was all crushed together! Paula said she felt like a ping ping ball being hit from both ends pretty hard! I was in the last car and manage somehow to just miss the rest! Out of all the cars , the car I was in was the only car suited to take us to the airport! We are just happy no one got more seriously injured from the impact! Ai and Paula and some of the guys had some pain in their necks! It was a scary split second, where u realize how quick it can go!
I took a picture in the car just before the incident, not knowing what was just about to happend! We were all lucky this time;)
"With great concern for the players, caddies and families involved, we've been working through the necessary channels to gather available and accurate information beyond the original wire report... although follow up information trickled in slowly as players traveled from Thailand to Singapore. At this point, we've now been in contact with each of the players involved and their representatives. We're glad to report that there are no serious injuries. Paula and Ai have been seen by doctors, x-rays have checked out ok, and each is receiving excellent follow up care. All players say they are hopeful of competing this week at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. We will update as necessary."
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.”
Suzann Pettersen will become the latest golfer to strip down for ESPN Magazine's the Body Issue, according to CBSSports.com (and, well, much of the internet). For comment on this development, I defer to the source of the article, CBS's Shane Bacon:
"Back in my caddie days, I had a few experiences with Suzann in the gym and let me tell you, she's a beast. Her workouts are hard and long and intense and she works really hard on her body to get the best out of it. Having her in the Body Issue seems like a lay-up for ESPN and golf fans should be excited to see a speciman (speciwoman?) in the game."
And there it is.
The magazine hits newsstands July 13. The Norwegian pro, currently ranked fifth in the world, joins the expanding Mt. Rushmore of LPGA players to appear in the annual issue, alongside Belen Mozo, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal and Anna Grzebien.
Furyk Ready to Forget U.S. Open Meltdown Jim Furyk would, very courteously and with all due respect, request that you stop reminding him of his early-evening misadventures Sunday at Olympic Club. Thank you.
That was the gist of his performance for the press Wednesday before the AT&T National, according to Emily Kay of SBNation. It's making it really hard for him to forget, and that's an important step toward recovery:
"I've always been really good at kinda putting it behind me," Furyk said, adding that those around him have made it harder for him to do that. "I get reminded of it at least two dozen times a day [by] hundreds of hundreds of people just seeing me in public at the grocery story, at a restaurant, and you know, 'I was rootin' for you, I was pullin' for you.'"
Even PGA Tour service personnel have hopped aboard the sympathy train.
"Our commissioner was telling me yesterday that our local dry cleaner was trying to figure out, 'well, why did he hit that shot?'" Furyk recounted. When Tim Finchem noted that Furyk was not trying to shoot himself out of contention, the launderer pressed him further. "'Yeah, but he shouldn't have done it in that situation.'
"Well, no s**t," Furyk said with a laugh, "but you shouldn't break the buttons on my shirt, but it happens once in a while."
Furyk starts his first round at 1:02, alongside Robert Garrigus and Jason Day. Please address your Hallmark "Get Well Soon" cards to the Congressional locker room, c/o Fluff Cowan.
Another Open Closed Do you want to be Merion's "Jungle Bird" at the 2013 U.S. Open? Tough. All the general admission tickets for the championship rounds are already sold out. And while fences are probably no problem for the real Jungle Bird, well, we're not all quite so avian.
Aside from the usual "secondary" market, you can also buy tickets for the Monday-Wednesday practice rounds. You can also pony up some big bucks for the premium "Trophy Club" and "1895 Club" tickets. Both offer access to food, drink and (most notably) air conditioning in tents located near the 18th hole. Prices range from $50 for single-day practice-round tickets to $385 for Sunday 1895 Club ducats. (You can also get in free if you happen to be a kid or active-duty military, which is nice.)
The 2012 U.S. Open marked the event's 26th straight sell out. In all, 230,000 people graced Olympic's grounds. Since Merion is a smaller site, the USGA paired back ticket allotments - down to 25,000 per day from 33,000. Never too early to start digging your tunnel to the action…
And now for something frightening: Yahoo came across this add for SkySports, and found it in their dark hearts to share it:
Watching Tiger morph into Monty is like watching the bad guy age after picking the wrong grail in The Last Crusade. I wonder if this will turn me away from golf the way that did from water. Always choose the pewter cup, that's the lesson there. Applied here, it means always stick to a single spokesman's face, even that face belongs to Colin Montgomerie.
Tweet of the Day:
I guess the news has come out! Yes, Iam one of the athletes in ESPN's body issue! It was a different experience but an honor to be asked!
Woods and Westy banter on footwear Since he was not playing in the Tour Championship last week at East Lake, Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) had a chance to be filmed wearing his prototype Nike footwear. Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) couldn't resist needling the former top-ranked player ... who surprisingly answered Westwood's wit with some of his own!
Basking in the glow Ian Poulter (@ianjamespoulter), another player who didn't qualify for the Tour Championship, took his family on a vacation to the Bahamas last weekend. It didn't appear he was too heartbroken about not being in Atlanta.
Let him rephrase that Stewart Cink (@stewartcink) loves his barbecue and last week helped the Women's Club of Sugarloaf prepare for a charity cookoff. Apparently there was an awkward moment during a meeting.
Faldo's instant course Nick Faldo (@TheSirNickFaldo) spent most of last week in Vietnam and shared many of the sights with his followers on Twitter, including these before-and-after photos that show the work his golf course design company had done.
Reactions to Haas's amazing shot It seems like golfer writers aren't the only ones who watch tournaments and tweet. After Bill Haas pitched his ball from the lake on the 17th hole to within three feet in his playoff against Hunter Mahan, golf tweeters started typing.
More and more athletes and celebrities are being afflicted with the Twitter bug, including many of the world's top golfers. Here is a short collection of some of the best Tweets, photos and messages published this week.
Bubba Watson: @suzannpettersen, you have not been good this year
Suzann Pettersen: really, maybe i can hope for a bubbaclaus instead then. i want my wendys trophy back.... please
LeeJanzen (@LeeJanzen):Has bubba claus been drug tested?
While in Dubai, Christina Kim wrote: Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim): I can only imagine the weird dreams I'm going to have tonight. Last night included a doped human curry in Papua New Guinea. I didn't eat it!
After seeing a photo of Lee Westwood, who was having testing done, Ian Poulter wrote:
Ian Poulter (@ianjamespoulter): @westwoodlee you can breath out if you want. you don't have to hold it
After flying home from Calif., where he won the Chevron World Challenge, Graeme McDowell wrote: Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) This pic kinda sums up my year!! Beer in hand at a friends house watching Man U on the box. All original flags!!!
After Hunter Mahan finished playing in the Chevron World Challenge, he caught a show below his hotel room:
Hunter Mahan (@HunterMahan): Also there is a wedding happening outside our hotel with lots of music and not so good dancing! But entertaining!!
I'm off to Chicago this week for the BMW, so I can get a firsthand look at the new Cog Hill and hopefully pick up a new driver… unless Stevie wins the footrace.
"Regarding Tiger's club-throwing incident on Friday, do you think he's tired (as he said) or tired of missing putts (as Brandel Chamblee said)? I tend to agree with Brandel -- how in the world can Tiger be tired? He's the fittest guy out there."
The fatigue isn't physical, it's mental. Tiger has to put up with so much during a tournament week -- endless media prying, swarming fans, obsequious Tour staffers. Then he grinds harder than anyone on every shot. Tiger has always played a light schedule to allow himself to recharge before every event, but Deutsche Bank was his 9th tournament in 13 weeks -– he hasn't gone that hard since he was a bachelor in his early 20's. Dude is simply a bit fried.
"Let's say Tiger finishes in the top 5 the next two events and overtakes Steve in the coveted FedEx Cup points race. If he wins the Cup without winning a 'post-season' event, what does that say about the Cup, and is he POTY?"
Tiger is the player of the year until he isn't. He's won the most tournaments and money, he's got the lowest scoring average. He certainly doesn't have to take the Cup to be POY. Five quality victories is all the resume he needs. Turning your question around, if Stricker has two more good finishes (but no wins) and wins the Cup, he could very well steal the POY voting. He'd have the second-most wins on Tour and the second-best scoring average, and he would have closed the deal in the, er, playoffs. Don't forget, the players do the voting, and they bring all their jealousies and double standards to the ballot. Stricker would probably be rewarded for a career-year while Woods would lose votes for merely an average campaign by his impossible standards.
"Ship! Come on, can you comment on what's going on with Vijay's game and what you see him doing in the future?"
Sucking and fishing, respectively.
"The only thing funnier than the LPGA caddies helping to line up their players is the fact that not a single one of them ever tells the player 'Hey, you look a big closed -- let's open up and aim a little more left ...' So are they afraid to say something (knowing a live TV camera may be watching their every move), or does every single one of these players line up perfectly? And if it's the latter, then why even do it at all? Just once I want to hear one of those caddies say 'You're 25 yards right of where you want to be -- we've been working on this for weeks and you are still making the same mistake!' "
Yeah, this is part of the absurdity. I, too, have never seen a caddie call his player off for misalignment. I'm gonna ask a couple of LPGA players for some anecdotes and report back. But I really feel the USGA should ban this kind of caddie help and leave my 64-degree wedge alone.
"Not sure if it was a weak attempt at humor or what, but you are way off base saying that Todd Hamilton was the worst person in his profession for a week. After all, he had to qualify for the event in the first place and then he made the cut. Someone had to finish last among the 77 that made the Barclay's cut. That does not make Todd the "worst" professional golfer (or touring pro) for the week. Your comment was either misinformed or a cheap shot or a stupid attempt at humor. Where do you rank this week among sportswriters?" —Andrew Langan
"What are your feelings about Suzann Pettersen? I love her -- plays with fire, looks nice, and just has a really powerful game. It seems like she should be a bigger star than she is." -- Mailbag loyalist John from Austin
I'm a big Pettersen fan, too. It will be interesting to see she if she can build on last weekend's commanding victory at the Canadian Women's Open. A couple of years ago I asked her mom how Suzann had spent the off-season. "Skiing and partying," was the answer. Suzann has definitely become more dedicated to her craft. The issues with her are mostly mental, as she had blown a handful of tournaments since her last LPGA win, way back in '07. I think slamming the door in Canada will free her up, and I wouldn't be surprised if she won a couple more times this fall to grab her first money title and POY.
"Shipnuck -- the Mailbag disappears for, what, 2 or 3 years, mysteriously reappears deep into the golf season and you have the audacity to bust chops because either the quantity or quality of queries doesn't meet your standards? A season for the Mailbag should have the same arc as a season on the Tour, and late-in-the-season party crashers have to take what they can get...."
So true. I can assure you that next year the Mailbag will define the season from Hawaii to Atlanta. Think of this fall's entry as a little test run and a chance to earn my privileges, sort of like Tiger turning pro after taking the U.S. Amateur.