Category: Tony Romo

February 10, 2013

They Said It! Left and Right spar over Phil's taxes in Top Quotes of Week

Posted at 10:42 AM by Mike Walker

Keithellison_quote1. “I think it’s fair to ask Phil Mickelson to put in a little bit more money to make sure that we can continue to invest in infrastructure in this country.”

--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on tax hikes on the wealthy



Rush_quote2. “He's almost stuck in California, 'cause now if he does move, they're gonna tar and feather him as an ingrate who's somebody shirking their responsibilities, somebody who's failing to meet their patriotic duty.”

--Rush Limbaugh on why Phil Mickelson retreated from his criticism of tax hikes on the wealthy



3. “If you start popping shots for guys, they are going to start moving.”

--Hunter Mahan on why the PGA Tour should give stroke penalties to slow players instead of fines



Westwood_quote4. “We both started playing together. I turned pro at 19 and came on tour and he was still at 12 handicap, so I can't understand the reasons for that.”

--Lee Westwood on playing with his father John in the Pebble pro-am


Goosen_quote5. “The long putter does make it easier on the shorter putts to keep the putter better in line a bit easier.”

--Former anchored putter Retief Goosen on why anchoring is an advantage




6. "It might just be that he goes through a bit of a hiccup for a few months before he gets back into full flow but the Duval story is not something you should just wipe away and not pay attention to."

--Sandy Lyle on Rory McIlory’s adjustment to new clubs



Condi_quote7. “I know how to do diplomacy, I'm not so sure about the golf course."'

--Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on playing with pro-am partner Jason Bohn



Hahn_quote8. “You look over to the right, see the ocean and you think about how cool it would be to be a surfer. And I think the waves are perfect for surfing, and I just want to jump in there...once you just start thinking about that, everything is bound to fall in.”

--James Hahn on keeping his cool atop the leaderboard at Pebble Beach




9. “Most of these guys kicked my butt on the regular tour, and I'm ready to change that.”

--Rocco Mediate on playing in his first Champions Tour event at the Allianz Championship




10. He’s got a real bright future. It’s a marathon not a sprint, and he’s going to be one of the good ones.”

--Tony Romo on Pebble Beach pro-am partner Jordan Spieth


[Photos: Getty Images]

April 20, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Romo passes on U.S. Open qualifying

Posted at 1:54 PM by Mike Walker

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has tried to qualify for three U.S. Opens, but he won’t be making a fourth try in 2012, according to ESPN Dallas.

Romo said he has elected to skip the May 14 local qualifier at Old American Golf Club in The Colony.

According to the USGA’s Web site, Romo was listed in the upcoming field, but the quarterback said the application to play in the event was not made by him.

Romo has attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open numerous times and reached the sectional qualifying in Houston two years ago. He did not make it out of local qualifying last year.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said Romo made the right decision:

Romo, like many other football players, plays a lot of golf in the off-season. It has never caused him to miss any team-related or football-related activities.

Romo's and the Cowboys' struggles late in seasons and late in games when it matters most invite criticism, and he is roundly criticized for playing golf.

Everyone knows Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers don't eat, sleep and drink football in the off-season.

Of course, they have title rings that give them the benefit of the doubt.

Romo doesn't.

That's why this little decision to forgo an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open should not be brushed aside. This is a big deal for Romo and the Cowboys. Never mind that the decision could also partly be brought on by Romo becoming a new father in the past couple of weeks. 

Retired Naval officer says Tiger wouldn't make cut as Navy SEAL
Tiger Woods didn’t like former coach Hank Haney’s allegation that Woods considered quitting golf to become a Navy SEAL, but it caught the eye of retired Naval officer Michael K. Bohn. In a provocative essay for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Bohn takes a serious look at the driven, intelligent and physically gifted Woods as a Navy SEAL candidate.

I served with SEALs in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War in a support unit that repaired their boats. We called them the “snake-eaters” because they were tough guys who could live and fight in the jungle. I worked with them ashore and have friends who were SEALs. Their unmatched capabilities at “SEa, in the Air and on Land (SEAL)” -- think Osama bin Laden’s death -- are equaled by their integrity and preference for recruits, who, as one former SEAL put it, are “good citizens.”

Also, I occasionally have reported on PGA Tour events and have observed Tiger on the golf course and in press conferences. Sure, he’s fit and mentally tough, and his focus can burn holes in the side of a ship. But SEALs tell me that 80 percent of making it as a SEAL is from the neck up. While I marvel at Tiger’s brilliance in golf, I have formed a less glowing assessment of his personal traits.

The new book exposes a good bit of the inner Tiger, so I have compared his character strengths and weaknesses, as described by Haney, to the profile that the Naval Special Warfare Command uses to assess potential SEAL candidates. In my view, Tiger would have whiffed.

Romney says Obama plays too much golf
It’s been the favorite sport of many 20th century presidents, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney said that President Barack Obama is playing too much golf, according to CBS News.

"I must say I scratch my head at the capacity of the president to take four hours off on such a regular basis to go golfing," Romney said during an interview with conservative radio host Bill Cunningham, who asked Romney about Obama's more than 90 rounds of golf since becoming president. Romney added, "I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years, particularly when the American people are out of work."

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January 20, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Schwartzel wants BBQ for Masters dinner

Posted at 11:17 AM by Alan Bastable

BraaiReigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel doesn’t want to just host this year’s Champions Dinner -- he wants to prepare it. The 27-year-old has visions of grilling up a braai [right] -- a sampling of traditional South African meats -- under the iconic oak tree outside the clubhouse. Call it Pit Masters: Augusta National Edition. Global Golf Post has the details:

“We’ve put in the request and are still waiting to hear from them,” Schwartzel said. “But I’d love to be able to braai there. I want to braai everything myself, but we just have to see if that will be possible with the number of people there. I could end up with a very sore hand at the end of an evening turning all that meat.”


Schwartzel has already started planning his Masters braai. “I’ll keep it very simple. Ideally I would like to have a few lamb chops, some fillets and of course some boerewors (a traditional South African sausage).”

According to Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle, Schwartzel would be the first champ to trade his green jacket for a green apron:

In general, the club balks at outsiders cooking in their kitchens. Other than Vijay Singh famously bringing in a prominent Atlanta restaurateur to prepare his Thai menu in 2001, Augusta National has used its own chefs to prepare whatever the host champion desires (with the possible exception of Sandy Lyle’s haggis).

New year, same old Phil

Phil Mickelson picked up his 2012 season pretty much right where he left off his 2011 season. An eagle here, a three-putt there, tee shots everywhere. It all resulted in a two-over 74 at the Humana Challenge on Thursday, a discouraging opening round at La Quinta Country Club that included a pair of out-of-bounds tee shots. Mickleson looked at the bright side

"The round wasn't indicative of how I know I was playing. I've been playing really well heading in. I played well the front nine, made some good birdies."

"And then the back nine those couple out of bounds, one was a matter of two feet and a couple of inches on the other and those could have been a big difference."

Mickleson, who dabbled with a long putter toward the end of last season, has returned to an Odyssey blade, which is “very similar to the putter I grew up with as a kid just going back to that type of freer motion.”

“I feel really good with the putter. And that was the one area that I was concerned with. I spent the whole off-season working on that, deciding on the direction I was going to go, with what putter and what have you.

“I'm trying to make, I feel like I can make everything on the greens. I had a couple 3-putts ... my speed was off on a couple, but really excited with the way it was transpiring and given the way I've been hitting it the last couple years I know I'll get that fixed and I can start shooting some numbers.”

Lefty's last win came the week before the Masters, at the Shell Houston Open.

Tiger says he’s executing “all the shots”

Hank who? After 17 months under the tutelage of swing coach Sean Foley, Tiger Woods says the Tao of Foley is finally clicking in an interview with ESPN's Bob Harig.

"Last year at this time I didn't truly understand what Sean was trying to teach me," Woods said. "I was very one-dimensional in my ball striking."

One-dimensional? Where does that leave the rest of us?

“I had this baby draw, didn't have a fade, and when I got to Dubai, my second tournament, the wind was howling and I couldn't hold the ball up against the wind with a fade.”

"One of the things we had to work on through the year was hitting all the shots. It didn't really start happening until the fall. I started picking up some good, positive momentum with the exhibitions I did in Asia, Australia and then winning [the Chevron World Challenge]."

Woods also revealed the genesis of his much-ballyhooed pairing with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in next month's Pebble Beach pro-am.

"He called me when I was in Australia [in November] and asked me if I was playing Pebble," Woods said. "And I said yes.” He said, 'I'd like to throw my name in the hat as a possible pairing.'

“I thought about it…"

What’s to think about? Who’s a better option? Darius Rucker? Kenny G?

"…and then I called him a day later and said, 'All right, you're in if you want to be in.'"

Gee, Tiger, way to make a guy feel good about himself. Romo later admitted that he hadn’t been that nervous since he asked Betty Finkelstein to his seventh-grade dance.

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[Photo credit: Gallo / Getty Images]

July 18, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Clarke parties hearty with claret jug

Posted at 11:25 AM by Mike Walker

We all knew this was coming. When the European Tour’s leading bon vivant wins the major championship he wants the most, he’s going to throw a great party.

Here’s a report from Clarke’s manager Chubby Chandler from after 1 a.m. Sandwich, England, time:



The party continued straight through until morning, according to the European Tour’s web site. Here's the post-celebration report from a bleary-eyed Clarke posing with the claret jug Monday morning:

"I probably won't get any sleep until tomorrow at some stage. Have to enjoy it when you can.

"I had quite a few pints and quite a few glasses of red wine and it all continued until about 30 minutes ago.

"It's been a very good night."

Nothing, though, had been poured into the trophy.

"I'm a little bit of a traditionalist. I feel a bit funny about putting stuff in the Claret Jug that shouldn't be in there. "There's nothing in it as yet. That may not be the case as the week goes by!"

We’ll give Rory McIlroy the final word.

Tom Watson visited D-Day sites before playing British Open  

Before traveling to Royal St. George’s in Sandwich for the British Open, Tom Watson made an emotional visit to the World War II battlefields and graveyards of Normandy in northern France. Watson talked about the experience after his round on Sunday.

TOM WATSON: I visited the British military grave site at Ranville first and then I went on to Sword Beach, which was the eastern flank, and then we overnighted in Caen, and then the next day we went to the U.S. cemetery and Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach. It was very emotional.

Q. You've been here, seen it, done it. There must be few things that can move you, but that must have been...

TOM WATSON: Oh, there are a lot of things that can move me. There are a lot of things. That certainly is -- you know, that particular turning point in World War II certainly was a -- it was a feat extraordinaire.

Q. Describe your emotions around a place like that.

TOM WATSON: Well, the visuals there are -- I wanted to see, first of all, Pointe du Hoc. It was man against man and gun against gun. Talk about a disadvantage. It was like me playing Phil Mickelson on this golf course. The Rangers, the Second Battalion Rangers, had to go up 115 feet in the air, straight up, and the Germans were up there shooting at them. And they managed to do it. Omaha Beach was a disaster in a lot of different ways. The weather forecast was not exactly right, and the seas were really, really big, and they lost a lot of men before they even got to shore. They couldn't get to shore. To see the cemetery there and the 9,000-plus marble crosses is a striking reminder of what the human condition can do. I was very emotional, very emotional seeing that.

Jack Wagner takes down Tony Romo in celeb tournament

Darren Clarke’s win at the British Open was drama-free after Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson flamed out on the back nine, but that wasn’t the case for soap star and celebrity golf stick Jack Wagner, who had to shake a charging Tony Romo down the stretch at the American Century Championship in Reno, Nev., according to Dan Hinxman of The Reno Gazette-Journal.

By the time the two reached the par-3 17th, Wagner's lead was down to two. He sank a 10-footer for birdie right after Romo missed his 12-foot birdie try, and then both players hit their second shot on 18 into Lake Laimbeer. Romo needed to make about a 30-footer to force Wagner to get up and down in three shots, but he missed and Wagner claimed his second ACC title in five years.

It put the finishing touches on a day of quality golf, with Wagner shooting a three-under 69 and Romo shooting a 66. Wagner finished with 80 points, the second-highest total in the tournament's modified Stableford scoring history (since 2003).

Good thing it didn't go to a playoff. Cowboys fans know how that would end.

When is Tiger Woods returning to the PGA Tour?

In case you missed it, Tiger Woods is planning to play Stanford bud Notah Begay’s charity tournament on Aug. 31 in Upstate New York. However, the CEO of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia said that rumors of a Tiger return at the Greenbrier Classic on July 28 are just that, according to Dave Morrison of The (Beckley, W. Va.) Register-Herald.

“There is absolutely nothing to the Tiger rumor, absolutely nothing,” Justice said, without even being asked. “That means I have heard nothing (from Woods’ camp),” Justice said. “Surely to goodness, I would have been the first to know that. It would be great news, and we would love to have Tiger. But as far as Tiger committing, there is nothing to it.”

In other Tiger news, Woods texted his pal Darren Clarke some final-round advice before, but Clarke declined to say what it was. (Via The Associated Press). Also, Palm Beach Realtor Jeff Lichtenstein does the math and figures that – in addition to his mortgage -- Tiger has about $5.4 million in monthly taxes and expenses on his Jupiter Island, Fla., mansion. No wonder he might come back soon! 

Sports Photo of the Year

If the average picture is worth a thousand words, this one posted on Twitter by Brian Keogh of IrishGolfDesk is worth 10,000.



May 24, 2011

Top Golf appeals to golfers and non-golfers alike

Posted at 10:52 AM by David Dusek

TopGolf-Bays Irving, Texas — Before tonight, my favorite place to hit balls was Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., because scattered among the rocks and cacti are stereo speakers that pump satellite radio. With Pinnacle Peak in the distance, the Rolling Stones floating in the air and Phil's Grill just a few steps away, it's a cool spot.

But tonight I drove about 20 minutes north of Dallas to Allen, Texas, for the grand opening of a new Top Golf complex. I will always love Grayhawk, but it has some serious new competition.

There is another Top Golf facility in Dallas, as well as locations in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas, and three near London, but according to Scott McMahon, the company's regional marketing director, the Allen facility is the largest and most sophisticated. More are planned to open in the next two years, with the company's eyes set on the Mid-Atlantic region and the Southeast.

TopGolf-Range_600 There are 94 hitting bays on three levels at Top Golf Allen (top photo), and each has a small touch-screen computer monitor next to it. There are 10 circular targets scattered around the range (middle photo), and because all of the golf balls have a microchip embedded in them, the system knows exactly where you hit in relation to those targets. After every shot, you're awarded points based on distance and accuracy (bottom photo).

Up to six people can play at once, and there are sofas, chairs and tables scattered everywhere so you can relax when you're not hitting. There are also flat-screen TVs everywhere, three full-service bars, and a restaurant serving good pub grub, so no one minds waiting to hit.

TopGolf-Scoring It's kind of like a bowling alley mixed with a high-end sports bar and a driving range.

On Monday night, most of the people at Top Golf Allen were excited to see Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hitting balls alongside Hunter Mahan, Notah Begay, Bo Van Pelt and Colt Knost in a charity event.

I was blown away by the concept of the facility itself. At a time when golf in the United States is far from flourishing, Top Golf could be really successful, and important, for three reasons.

1. The time factor. As much as people love golf, carving out four or five hours every week to play can be hard for some people. A game that takes less than 60 minutes is almost always possible once or twice a week.

2. Golfers can hone their skills. Is there any golfer who couldn't benefit from hitting balls to specific yardages with the pressure on and friendly competition in the air?

3. You don't have to be a golfer to enjoy it. For people who don't play, the idea of hanging around a driving range must sound painful. But with so many things going on—and the food and drinks flowing—anyone can relax and have a good time at a place like Top Golf.

I hope that Top Golf is successful and inspires more facilities like it around the country. Now, if they'll only build one in Brooklyn.

May 11, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Sergio Garcia shines in caddie-pro soccer match

Posted at 12:37 PM by Mike Walker

Golfweek’s Jim McCabe found the most exciting sports action at Ponte Vedra Beach so far this week, and it didn’t take place on a golf course. In town for the Players Championship, Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros played soccer on a team of pros and caddies against a local club Monday.

“We’ve come a long way,” said James Williams, the caddie for Nick O’Hern, and the guy who gets credit for gathering a group of PGA Tour players and caddies for organized soccer games. Like many splendid ideas, it was hatched well after working hours, in a New Orleans pub, to be specific, when “I met a bloke after having had too many beers,” Williams said.

The guy played on a local club soccer team and since Williams loved to play the sport, he figured why not set up a game. A few years later and Williams, who has settled in this area, is still putting together games. There was a match against Charlotte United last week, a 7-4 loss, but things went a lot better against Lynch’s Irish Pub at Davis Park, the PGA Tour group erasing deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to salvage a tie.

Of course, it continues to be a work in progress for the Airmail Rovers – and, by the way, nobody seemed quite sure how they got that name, though they loved the blue uniforms – because as the game ended, Alvaro Quiros announced that things would be different next game.

“We will have two balls. One for Sergio and one for the rest of us,” Quiros said.

Sergio Garcia posted a team photo on his Facebook page:


Tony Romo shoots 81 in U.S. Open qualifying

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, an excellent amateur golfer, was not able to advance past the local qualifiying stage for this year’s U.S. Open. Charean Williams of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details:

Tony Romo was in need of a fourth-quarter comeback with four holes remaining in a U.S. Open local qualifier. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback was 5-over on Stonebridge Ranch Country Club's tough Dye Course and figuring he needed two birdies to give himself a chance.

But his tee shot on No. 15 went right, and after a search, a Cowboys fan in his gallery pointed out Romo's ball lying behind a wrought-iron fence in the perfectly manicured St. Augustine lawn.

The grass never looked greener on the other side of the fence.

Romo was forced to use his provisional tee shot and ended up with a triple-bogey on the 460-yard, par 4. It was the unofficial end of his bid for a second consecutive trip to sectional qualifying.

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From's own David Dusek.



May 02, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Bin Laden hideout near golf course

Posted at 9:50 AM by Mike Walker

Osama Bin Laden had been hiding in an affluent Islamabad suburb near a golf course (map below), according to the Huffington Post’s Richard Eskow.

A quick round of Internet research reveals that he lived in a beautiful climate, in a town along a well-traveled tourist route, near some military sites that included an advanced hospital. He lived in a luxurious neighborhood, a short drive from a golf course and an airport.

And if all that weren't enough, the most hunted man on the planet was also just down the road from a Red Onion Restaurant.

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Tiger wore a protective boot at Tiger Jam in Las Vegas
Tiger Woods, who will miss this week’s Wells Fargo Championship because of injury to his left knee and Achilles tendon, wore a protective boot on stage at his Tiger Jam benefit concert Saturday, according to The Las Vegas Sun. He also had a protective schedule at his charity event, speaking onstage for less than a minute.

After canceling last year’s Tiger Jam fundraiser because of scandals and tabloid trouble, golfer Tiger Woods stepped cautiously back into the Las Vegas spotlight last night. Cautiously because he had to walk onstage at his Mandalay Bay Events Center concert with Keith Urban and John Mayer with a boot on his Achilles heel injury and knee injury.

But also cautiously because of the unknown audience reaction for his Las Vegas return. There were many empty seats at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Tiger was uncomfortable being back onstage and kept his welcome speech to less than 30 seconds.

In fact, Tiger’s return here was so under the radar in terms of a fast in-and-out, he even shot a 60-second TelePrompTer video about his charity and its educational work for underserved youth that played before he hobbled onstage. That’s all fans got to see of him in his shrouded-in-secrecy return to the city where the scandalous stories of his extra-marital affairs first broke.

Johnny Miller says revamped Napa Valley course ready to host events again
Co-owner of the Silverado Resort, Johnny Miller said the course has been redesigned and is ready to host professional events again, according to The Napa Valley Register. (The last pro event at Silverado was the Champions Tour Napa Valley Classic nine years ago.)

“We’ve had every tour inquire about coming here already, because they’ve heard we’re re-doing things,” Miller told Silverado members during a grand re-opening of the North Course over the weekend. “Everybody wants to come to Silverado. I feel really good about what we have here. I did my homework prior to coming here.”

Miller, one of the owners of the resort, completed a re-design of the North Course that took six months. Opened on Saturday, the championship course features new championship and forward tees, new fairway and greenside bunkering with the introduction of new sand, a better quality of fairway turf, and new markers, giving more movement to the holes and challenging angles for golfers for their drives, second shots and approach shots. It’s a spectacular new look, one that Miller, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, is very proud of.

Smoltz and Romo to compete in U.S. Open qualifying
Cowboys quarterback and ex-Braves pitcher John Smoltz are among the 8,300 entries for U.S. Open qualifying accepted by the USGA. (Smoltz shot 84-87 in his Nationwide Tour debut last week.) Bloomberg News’ Michael Buteau has the details:

Romo, who won a four-man playoff to reach the final qualifying round for the 2010 tournament before withdrawing due to a weather delay, will be trying for the third time to qualify for golf’s second-oldest major championship. He never has made the field.

The 31-year-old quarterback will take part in the 18-hole local qualifying round at Stonebridge Ranch and Country Club in McKinney, Texas, on May 9. He would then need to advance through a second 36-hole qualifying round to compete in the U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

The U.S. Open field will consist of 156 players, including 65 who are already exempt. To be eligible for qualifying, amateurs must have a handicap index -- a measure of a golfer’s skill in relation to par -- no higher than 1.4. The deadline to enter was April 27.

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January 20, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tony Romo, John Daly team up at AT&T Pebble Beach

Posted at 4:45 PM by Mike Walker

After missing the cut last year, John Daly and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo are partnering again at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next month, according to The Dallas Morning News.

"After Qatar I'll head back and team up my Cowboys partner Tony Romo at Pebble Beach once again this year," Daly said via Twitter. …

Daly, who played at Arkansas, is a big Cowboys fan. Romo plays to a scratch handicap. Last year he shot 69 in the local U.S. Open qualifier at the Honors Golf Club. He also appeared on Daly's reality TV show. And before the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Romo and Daly hosted a VIP party in Dallas to raise money for the John Daly Foundation and launch the second Texas Celebrity Shootout.

The Romo-Daly team will be a nice draw for fans at Pebble next month, but it's going to be hard to top the show Daly put on with pal Kid Rock at the late, great Buick Open in 2008. Somehow, I don't think we'll see any balls teed on Bud tall boys this time.

Why Jack won't tweet
The ranks of professional golfers on Twitter increases almost daily with even sharing-averse Tiger Woods joining the fun. However, we're not likely to see Jack Nicklaus trading online barbs with Lee Westwood anytime soon. According to The Palm Beach Post, Nicklaus appeared with Florida Gov. Rick Scott to talk about the economic impact of golf on Florida'a economy when the subject turned to social media.

Tonight, Scott is hosting a Twitter town hall where he'll take questions and give answers, all within the 140-character social media site's limit.

"I'm going to Twitter a town hall meeting," Scott explained to Nicklaus. "So you can get online and ask questions with Twitter and I'll respond."

Nicklaus appeared blase about Scott's social media event.

"Do you Tweet, sir?" he was asked.

"No. I make sure I remain totally illiterate in that state," Nicklaus said.

Shadow Creek open to public for Michael Jordan charity event
Sure, you can watch Wayne Gretzky and Mark Wahlberg try to break 80, but the real draw of the Michael Jordan Invitational charity golf tournament at the end of March is the chance to see legendary Las Vegas golf course Shadow Creek. John Katsilometes of The Las Vegas Sun has the details.

If ever a woodsy, grassy, lake-laden expanse could be considered mythic, it would be Shadow Creek Golf Course.

In its first decade of existence, the stories of Shadow Creek's exclusivity permeated the clubhouses of Las Vegas golf lore: Only the "whales" who patronized Steve Wynn's hotels would be permitted to play it, and so rare was human activity that groups teed off an hour apart. …

Today, standards are somewhat more relaxed than in the days when Wynn ran the operation, as MGM Resorts guests are permitted to play Shadow Creek. Green fees are listed at $500, with includes limo service to and from the course. Otherwise, commoners have not been allowed on the course.

But Shadow Creek, conceived by Wynn, created by Fazio and owned today by MGM Resorts, is opening to the public for the first time. We get to see what all the hullabaloo has been about during an event equal to the task: The 10th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, set for March 31-April 4. It's the first time the tournament will be held in Las Vegas.

Stray Shots: Things we noticed while wishing the Bob Hope Classic was the same week as the Coachella Music Festival...

Tiger's nurse has filed a lawsuit. No, it's not what you think. (Via The Orlando Sentinel

Phil Mickelson must be feeling better because he's back to eating meat again. (Via The Irish Times)

There's been an Arnie sighting at the Bob Hope Classic. You won't get that in Abu Dhabi. (Via Pro Golf Talk)

Rory McIlroy says he's still "good friends" with ex-girlfriend Holly Sweeney, with whom he recently split. No word on who gets to keep the hair products. (Via The Belfast Telegraph)

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Azinger @PaulAzinger: Davis and Ollie will be terrific captains. Won't be the usual finger pointing at captains during this RC. Press will have to blame players

May 24, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Woods not guaranteed spot on Ryder Cup team

Posted at 1:40 PM by Mike Walker

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin told Reuters that Tiger Woods is not an "automatic pick" for the 2010 U.S. team.

"I'm not going to treat Tiger any different than any other player," Pavin told Reuters after the final round of the Byron Nelson Championship. "He's certainly not going to be an automatic pick.

"He's just going to be treated like everyone else. I'd love to have him on the team but I want him to be playing well," added Pavin, who said he had not spoken to Woods this year.

Woods faced questions about whether he'd like to play in the Ryder Cup at the Masters. His response: "Would I like to play in it? If I qualify."

Only eight players will automatically qualify for the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team, which will face off against the Europeans at Celtic Manor in Wales in October, and Woods is 11th in Ryder Cup points after missing five months of golf after ... well, you know. Pavin has four captain's picks for the team.

Woods is out with a neck injury, but he's not expected to miss any big tournaments and presumably he'll be healthy for the Ryder Cup. If you believe a healthy Woods is going to be left off the Ryder Cup team, I've got a dinged-up Cadillac Escalade to sell you, drives like new.

Jack Wagner beats Tony Romo at Drew Brees' celebrity golf tournament
Before Tony Romo tries to challenge the best players in the world at the 2010 U.S. Open, he might want to beat the dude from General Hospital first. Romo, who advanced through local qualifying for the U.S. Open last week, finished in 10th place at the Cox Celebrity Classic Hosted by Drew Brees at Morgan Run Resort Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., eight strokes behind winner, soap opera star Jack Wagner, who finished 2-under.

I was at the course on Saturday, and soap opera actor Wagner can play. On the range, he was hitting beautiful, Tour-quality high fades. He also kind of looked like a vampire. The most Hollywood-friendly PGA Tour pro, Tommy Armour III, calls Wagner his favorite celeb to play with because their matches are competitive. The San Diego Times Union's Tod Leonard has a good recap of the event here.

Brees finished T25 at his event, but the Super Bowl champ said he wants to win it someday. He told Southland Golf magazine: "I'm going to win this thing. I'm not making any guarantees for this year, but at some point, I will win." Brees also told the mag that his ultimate foursome would just be a threesome of him, Ted Williams and John Wayne.

The celebrity tournament benefits the Brees Dream Foundation, which was founded in 2003 with a mission to advance research in the fight against cancer and provide care, education and opportunities for children in need.

Jose Lima brightened golf courses as well as ballparks
Baseball is mourning the passing of one of its great characters, pitcher Jose Lima, who died Sunday of a heart attack at age 37. Everyone in baseball has a great Lima story, but here's one about Lima on the golf course. John Lowe of The Detroit Free-Press talked with Tigers' pitcher Brandon Inge about a classic golf bet Lima made with Inge.

"We were playing golf one day in Atlanta. He had just come from a casino where he'd been all night. He was a clean guy. He wasn't doing any drugs. He was just having a good time.

"He went straight from the casino right into the cab to the golf course. It's the ninth hole, and I've got a 5- to 7-foot putt with a pretty good bend to it.

"He's whipping me, and he knows I'm not the best putter in a world when I have 5- to 7-foot putts.

"He takes a wad of cash out of his pocket. It had to be close to $10,000. There were hundreds everywhere. He throws it down on the ground. The wind is blowing a little bit, and cash is blowing all over the green. He says, 'If you make this putt, you can have all that money right there. If you miss it, you've got to give me $100.' "I was a young player, and $100 was a lot of money to me.

"I missed the stinking putt by 20 feet. It wasn't even close. I was shaking so much. I'd never seen that much cash.

"I remember his cackling laugh for probably two holes. He laughed for about two holes about that. That's how he made a very bland 5-foot putt into something I'll never forget."

Also, make sure to read Joe Posnanski's appreciation of Lima. Posnanski captures Lima's magic on and off the field.

Stray observations
Just a few items we noticed while wondering if the PGA Tour's 2010 season will conclude with a close-up of Tiger Woods' eye closing.

Stung by criticism of his changes to Wentworth's West course for the Euro Tour's BMW Championship, Ernie Els realizes his fellow players are back-stabbing cry babies. Welcome to the working world, Ernie. (Via The Guardian UK)

Charles Barkley says golf is good for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. "The level of concentration, the stuff he has to go through on a golf course and attention to detail, I think it really does help in football," Barkley says. (Via The Dallas Morning News)

Great golf style advice from Donald Trump. Save the shorts for the beach. "I have never been a believer in shorts on a golf course," Trump says. "It’s not elegant. I wear slacks and a sports shirt." (Via The New York Times)

May 21, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Rand Paul's clubby party irks Democrats

Posted at 11:20 AM by Alan Bastable

Rand Paul's rager at Kentucky golf club irks Democrats
However you may feel about the politics of Rand Paul, who rode a wave of Tea Party support to victory in the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky earlier this week, must we attack the guy for throwing a victory party at a golf club? Indeed, we must, The New York Times reports:

Mr. Paul also found himself on the defensive on Thursday when he sought to justify his decision to hold his election night celebration at a country club in Bowling Green, arguing that was not in any way at variance with the grass-roots movement he has come to epitomize.

“I think at one time, people used to think of golf and golf clubs and golf courses as being exclusive,” Mr. Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” adding, “Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that, in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities and to city youth.”

Representative James E. Clyburn, the Democratic majority whip, said Mr. Paul’s decision to hold his victory rally at a country club was a slap at his own supporters. “Who would have a victory party in a place where the minions who just voted for you ain’t welcome?” he said.

Hey, give him a break, maybe the bowling alley was booked!

Who said Tony Romo isn't clutch?
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has earned a reputation for wilting in big games. In big golf tournaments, however, the dude's cooler than John Elway on a two-minute drill. In local qualifying for the U.S. Open yesterday, Romo birdied three of his last four holes in regulation to post a 69 at the Honors Golf Club in Texas. That flourish got Romo into a four-man playoff, where he made three straight pars to earn a spot in the 36-hole sectional qualifier June 7 at the Club at Carlton Woods, also in Texas. Should Romo advance there, he would earn a starting time at Pebble Beach next month. Calvin Watkins reported the action for

[Romo] shot even par on the front nine but bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5, before bouncing back on No. 6 with a 16-foot birdie putt. After scoring par on No. 7, he had another birdie with a 38-foot putt that lay on the edge of the cup for about three seconds before dropping in.

When it fell, Romo yelled “Yeah!,” gave fist bumps to his caddie and smiled as he walked to his final hole of the day. He scored another birdie on No. 9, which would place him in the playoff and then in contention for the U.S. Open.

Clearly Jessica Simpson wasn’t on the bag.

Romo had to forfeit his place in Monday qualifying for the Byron Nelson last week when his tee time conflicted with a Cowboys practice session. The Cowboys last round of formal “activities” is June 8-10, so Romo's schedule will be clear for sectional qualifying.

Yet another 18th hole train wreck for Ernie Els
Ernie Els has had his share of 18th-hole disasters. Now, according to some of his peers, he has built one. The Big Easy redesigned Wentworth’s West Course, the English site of this week’s high-profile BMW Championship, and the reviews of Ernie’s handiwork have been less than glowing. Of particular concern is the 18th hole, where Els added a burn in front of the green, making the par-5 all but unreachable in two. Here’s how the field has reacted:

Lee Westwood: “If you are going to spend a lot of money on golf course changes, it would be nice to get them right first time round.”

Chris Wood: “It has lost its English feel. They have turned it into an American course, and the 18th hole into a 90-yard par three.”

Ross Fisher: “In a way I feel sorry for the viewing public.”

Noted Lawrence Donegan in The Guardian:

So much for the ya-ya brotherhood of word-class professional golfers. Yet if Els's peers felt the need to vent their spleen, they were outdone by the course itself, which delivered unto its newest designer a dose of his own medicine. As fate would have it, the South African found himself in the middle of the 18th fairway on two under par and faced with the choice of laying up or going for it.

He chose the latter, only to hit his five-wood approach into the burn placed in front of the green by one Ernest Theodore Els. Asked how he felt after making bogey to finish the day with a level-par 71, he replied: "Not very good right now."

And that was before he read the papers.

Your chance to play the "gold" tees
What's better than bobsledding on the same half-mile track that the Winter Olympians zipped down in 1980? How about teeing it up on the same course on which Olympic golfers will compete in the 2016 Games in Brazil? Henrique Lavie, commissioner of the Tour de las Americas, told the AP’s Doug Ferguson that he is committed to making the Olympic course open to the public.

"I think that's probably mandatory," Lavie said. "A public golf course can make a big difference. I mentioned at the Presidents Cup the beauty of Harding Park (in San Francisco) being public, because such an event going to a public place means a lot to the game."

Lavie said nearly a dozen architects have shown an interest in building the course.

No word on whether Ernie Els was is among them.

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