Category: Truth & Rumors

December 20, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Mickelson presents plans for redesign of Torrey North

Posted at 12:35 PM by Samantha Glover

Phil Mickelson presented part of his plan for the renovation to the North Course at Torrey Pines this week in front of nearly 75 of San Diego's municipal golfers.

The extensive plans, which include rebuilding all 18 greens and bunkers, the addition of full cart paths, and replacing the current irrigation system, are budgeted at more than $7 million, according to U-T San Diego's Tod Leonard.

“I do believe,” Mickelson said, “that modern-day architecture is the single-most reason why play and participation in golf has decline. It’s just too hard. It’s not fun.”

Among Mickelson’s ideas for the North: fairways and greenside areas that will feed shots toward the hole, not repel it away; chipping areas that will challenge better players but allow higher handicappers to putt from off the green; greenside bunkers placed to the sides and not the front of greens; at least one driveable par-4 on each nine; shorter holes for women and juniors.

More specific plans for holes 1-3 are set to be released Jan. 10, 2013, according to the report.

Truth & Rumors: Monty fears Euro stars moving to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup team

Posted at 12:33 PM by Samantha Glover

Colin Montgomerie captained the victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup Team. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Former European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie fears that the trend of European stars like Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood moving to Florida to play the PGA Tour will hurt the next Ryder Cup team, according to the Daily Mail's Mark Garrod.

As European golfers play more events on the PGA Tour, and fewer European events, the players become less familiar with European Ryder Cup venues, according to the report.

'It's very difficult and we have to sit down and try to address this.

'Sponsorship is getting harder and the first thing a sponsor asks is "who's playing?". He wants as many Ryder Cup players as possible.

'It's important for the future of European golf.'

'We need to get our team to Gleneagles. We have to have that advantage,' the Scot said. 'In 1997 our biggest advantage was Valderrama. The Americans had three days to prepare, we had 10 years.'

Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari are the only two members from the 2012 European Ryder Cup team who will not be members of the PGA Tour in 2013.

December 19, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Rory McIlroy thought he blew Ryder Cup for Europe

Posted at 12:13 PM by Mike Walker

Rory_watchLate-arriving Rory McIlroy celebrates the European Ryder Cip win with a giant clock (

Central Time Zone victim Rory McIlroy showed up just minutes before his Sunday singles match at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah before coolly dispatching Keegan Bradley 2&1 to help the Europeans secure their miracle comeback.

But if he looked cool on the outside as he arrived at Medinah in a police car, McIlroy was terrified that he had lost the Cup for Europe. McIlroy told the story of that morning in an exclusive interview with Ireland's RTE:

“On the Saturday night, before I went to bed, I was watching the Golf Channel and they posted the tee-times (for Sunday). But they posted them in Eastern time and we were in Central time in Chicago, so 12:35 Eastern is 11:35 in Chicago.

“Next morning I get up and get out of the shower at 11am. I get a phone call from Conor, my manager, and he says ‘Are you at the golf course?’, and I tell him that I’m not.

“He says ‘You should be, you’ve got half an hour to your tee-time’. “And I say ‘No, I’ve got an hour and a half, I’m off at 12:35. He says ‘You’re not. You are off at 11:35’.

“I have never been so scared going to a golf course. It was such a mad rush. Luckily there was a state trooper waiting for me and if it was not for him, if I was not in that car, I would not have made my tee-time.

“I actually played my best golf of the whole week on that Sunday!”

December 18, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Police car that rushed Rory to Ryder Cup to be sold on eBay

Posted at 4:22 PM by Samantha Glover

Now you, yes you, can own the police car that rushed Rory McIlroy from his hotel to the course just in time for his match against Keegan Bradley in the final round of the Ryder Cup. The car will reportedly be listed for sale on eBay sometime in January.

The unmarked 2005 Ford Crown Victoria is being listed using the auction website by the Village of Lombard because of the amount of attention it has received following the swift actions of Rory's driver, deputy chief Pat Rollins, according to the Daily Herald's Marie Wilson.

"Since it's drawing so much attention," Village Manager David Hulseberg said in October, "we figure we have nothing to lose by putting it out there for any European or anyone who would like to buy the car and do whatever they would like with it."

"Anything above and beyond what we normally receive for a police vehicle of its kind would be a bonus to the village and the taxpayers," [Carl] Goldsmith said.

After confusion about the time difference, McIlroy arrived at the course a mere 11 minutes before his match. Without warming up, the Irishman went on to beat Bradley 2 and 1.

(Photo: McIlroy and Bradley shake hands before their singles match at the Ryder Cup; Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Truth & Rumors: Merion members hitting off fairway mats as course prepares for U.S. Open

Posted at 12:55 PM by Samantha Glover

In preparation for hosting the 2013 U.S. Open, Merion Golf Club has made artificial mats mandatory for golfers hitting approach shots from its fairways.

The mats, rectangles about 5 inches wide by 15 inches long, have been used as a way to control divots since October, according to a report by Joe Logan at

It’s a simple concept. Each caddie at Merion, which is a walking-only course, carries a mat in the pouch of his caddie bib. By the time his player reaches his tee shot, the caddie has lifted, cleaned and placed his ball on the mat.

"They’re just like something you’d find at the driving range," one Merion member said of the mats. "I actually find them easier to hit off of than turf."

In an effort to preserve prime landing areas of the fairway, the mats are mostly used on second shots on the course's shorter par 4s, Nos. 1, 7, 8 and 10, according to the report.

"When the pros are playing next summer, if they land where they are supposed to land, you want to give them good turf," said the Merion member. If they skull it, or hit long or short, you are not going to guarantee them good turf."

Truth & Rumors: Anthony Kim won't return from Achilles surgery until March

Posted at 12:10 PM by Samantha Glover


Kim at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2012. (Kohjiro Kinno/SI)

Following an Achilles injury in June that led to surgery, the once-promising American star Anthony Kim won't be playing competitive golf again until March at the earliest, according to The Desert Sun.

At just age 27, Kim's career has had incredible highs, like his debut Tour win at the Wachovia and a starring role on the last winning U.S. Ryder Cup squad in 2008; and lows, like his chronic injuries and murmurs that his Entourage-like lifestyle was holding back his golf game. Here's where Kim is now, according to The Sun:

Kim always said stories of his partying were overblown at best, wrong at worst. In 2009, he didn’t win but had three top-three finishes. He added a third win at the Shell Houston Open in 2010 and was third in the Masters. But a torn ligament in his left thumb forced him to have surgery a few weeks after the Masters, and he didn’t do much when he returned. He drifted through an average 2011, then got hot at the end of the year and played very well in Asia in the fall. He was excited at the start of 2012, ready to hit the tour full bore and win again. But he made just two cuts in his first 10 starts before announcing he would take time off to allow tendonitis in his thumb to heal properly.

What most people don’t know is the report that last June Kim injured his Achilles tendon while running near his Dallas home. Surgery was reportedly performed, and the recovery time was said to be nine to 12 months. That means Kim likely won’t be seen on tour again until March at the earliest.

Truth & Rumors: Tiger not welcome at Australian PGA host course

Posted at 12:09 PM by Samantha Glover

P1-TigerWhile campaigning for his course to continue to host the Australian PGA Championship, Clive Palmer, owner of Australia's Palmer Coolum Resort, spoke out against World No. 3, Tiger Woods.

During an interview with The Australian's Brent Read, Palmer says Woods is no longer welcome at the event.

"Tiger Woods isn't the No 1 golfer in the world any more," Palmer said. "We don't want to look backwards, we want to look forwards. So why would you get Tiger Woods here? I would prefer to have Peter Senior than Tiger Woods.

"I am sure Peter Senior could beat Tiger Woods on a good day. I am sure he could.

"Tiger Woods has improved a lot but he's an emotional wreck and he's not a good example for kids, anyway."

The resort, located in Queensland's Sunshine Coast, has hosted the last 10 Australian PGA Championships. Palmer recently installed a 26-foot mechanical T-Rex between the ninth and 10th tees that drew the ire of some pros at this year's Aussie PGA. The prehistoric beast has been cited as one of the reasons officials are trying to find a new host course for the championship.

The PGA Tour of Australia is set to meet Wednesday to discuss potential venues for the event, although it is likely to be moved to the Gold Coast next year, according to the report.

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

December 17, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Syracuse coach played Augusta as reward for national title

Posted at 3:27 PM by Samantha Glover

Tonight in Syracuse, N.Y., basketball coach Jim Boeheim will try to lead the Orange to a win over Detroit. A victory would be the Hall of Fame coach's 900th career win, but it took winning a national championship to get to golf-loving coach invited to play Augusta National, according to a report by Mike Waters.

Boeheim's former assistant coach, Tim Welsch, tells the tale:

“In spring of 2002, Jim and I were in a car, coming back from one of our golf days during the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedre, Florida. We were talking about golf courses and he said, ‘I’ve never played Augusta.’ I told him I had a friend who was a Syracuse grad who was a member there. I said I’m sure he’d love to invite you. He said ‘Get him on the phone now.’ We called him on the phone. I said ‘Jim wants to talk to you and invite himself to Augusta.'

"My friend said to him, ‘Sure, Coach, we’d love to invite you to Augusta, but first, you’ve got to win a national championship.’ Jim says, ‘What? You’re kidding.’ My friend said, ‘No. I think that’s fair exchange. You bring us a national championship and I’ll invite you to play Augusta.’

A year later, with the help of Carmelo Anthony, Boehiem's Orange defeated Kansas to earn the title, and Beoeheim's special round, according to the report.

"After the game, I went up to [Boeheim's] suite in the Marriott. It was about one in the morning. I walked in and I gave him a handshake and a hug. I told him how happy I was for him. He said, ‘We’ll talk about the game later. Get your boy on the phone. We’re going to Augusta.’

Truth & Rumors: Jack says Rory is the push Tiger needs

Posted at 1:10 PM by Samantha Glover

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus togerth at the 2012 Memorial Tournament. (Fred Vuich/SI)

After a season in which Rory McIlroy became the world's No. 1 golfer and won the PGA Tour Player of the Year award, Jack Nicklaus believes McIlroy's success could benefit Tiger Woods, according to a report by ESPN's Bob Harig.

"Maybe somebody else gives you a little kick and gives you a boost. Tiger certainly hasn't lost his talent, certainly hasn't lost his desire. But he's got a few more guys out there now who can finish coming down the stretch than he did a few years ago."

"It'll definitely be helpful for Tiger," Nicklaus said. "Tiger probably needs somebody to pop him a few times so he gets a chance to go pop him back. It's kind of good for you to get drummed a couple of times, and all of a sudden he says, 'I'm not getting drummed anymore. I'm going to go drum that guy back.'

"That's sort of what rivalries are all about. They always want to win. The competition is fierce, and that's good."

Truth & Rumors: Could golf be best workout of them all?

Posted at 11:47 AM by Samantha Glover

A new study suggests that the health benefits of playing golf might be just as good, if not better, than the benefits of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise such as cycling and running.

According to the Wall Street Journal's Kevin Helliker, the study is the newest piece of evidence that shows that long periods of high intensity workouts may not be productive.

The study in the Christmas edition of BMJ—the peer-reviewed publication formerly known as the British Medical Journal—is based on the mortality records of 9,889 athletes who competed in the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1936. "Engaging in cycling and rowing (high cardiovascular intensity) had no added survival benefit compared with playing golf or cricket (low cardiovascular intensity)."

The study adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that years-long doses of extreme exercise — measured by amount or intensity — may be unproductive, if not counterproductive. In general, the research suggests that the well-established longevity benefits of exercise may cease to accrue or may even diminish beyond a point, for instance, 20 miles a week of running.

"During high intensive exercise the human body has to deal with all kinds of micro traumata. Over time, this will result in an accumulation of damage, which can be explained as a form of aging," said Frouke Engelaer, an author of the study, conducted by a vitality-and-aging department at Leiden University Medical Centre in Leiden, Netherlands.

The article says the research is "too preliminary and controversial to trigger warnings against marathons and triathlons," but it should help make the case, once and for all, that golf is indeed a sport.

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