Category: Vijay Singh

October 08, 2012

Tweets of the Week: Golfers talk politics, football and more

Posted at 12:52 PM by

Without giving their personal opinions, golfers made it clear that they tuned in to the presidential debate:

NCAA and NFL football are on the minds of many golfers:

Players competing in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals have arrived in Antalya:

LPGA players traveled to Asia, where the next four LPGA events will be held:

March 05, 2012

Tweets of the Week: Rory is No.1, Paula poses, and Vijay tweets

Posted at 4:59 PM by Jillian Whalen

All Hail Rory
Fellow PGA Tour pros and other athletes tweeted their congratulations for Rory McIlroy winning the Honda Classic and taking the No. 1 spot.

LPGA's Next Top Model
Paula Creamer tweeted some behind the scenes pictures from a photo shoot for her Japanese calendar.

Vijay Tweets
Vijay Singh finally hopped on the social media bandwagon and joined Twitter.

January 16, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Sabbatini, Vijay in verbal altercation; Lexi's family reveals secret

Posted at 2:00 PM by Jeff Ritter

If Rory Sabbatini was striving to do a better job at controlling his temper on the course in 2012, he can now toss that New Year's resolution out the window.

At least this time, he wasn't the one who started it.

Last year, the fiery South African nearly came to blows with Sean O'Hair during the second round at the Zurich Classic. On Saturday at the Sony Open, Sabbatini was paired with Vijay Singh, who reportedly became incensed with Sabbatini's caddie following a blown par putt, and a profanity-laced argument soon followed. Here's the report from the New York Times' Karen Crouse.

According to volunteers who said they witnessed the incident, Singh, just after missing a 6-foot par put on the first hole of his third round, swore at Doran for moving while he had lined it up. When Sabbatini spoke up in defense of Doran, Singh swore at him loudly enough for volunteer marshals near the gallery ropes to hear. Singh and Sabbatini continued to jaw at each other. A security volunteer, Alan Awana, said he had never seen anything like it in his more than two decades working on the tournament.

The PGA Tour does not publicize disciplinary action against players, although it's believed Sabbatini may have been suspended for at least one week last season for his altercation with O'Hair. Stay tuned to see if either Sabbo or Vijay suddenly withdraws from any upcoming events.

Lexi's Parents Reveal Family Secret

Randall Mell at has an excellent feature on Lexi Thompson's family, which revealed a secret in hopes of dispelling gossip outside the ropes.

Judy Thompson, the mother of Lexi and her older brothers Nicholas and Curtis, used to be married to Lexi's uncle, Paul Curtis "Curt" Thompson, who is the father of Nicolas. But Curt died tragically in a skiing accident in 1983, and Judy eventually married Curt's brother, Scott, who is the father of both Lexi and Curtis. Mell explains more:

They are revealing their scars reluctantly, only because they have heard whispers grow more loudly, because they dread gossip taking cruel, inaccurate twists. They’re disappointed they feel pressure to share private family matters, but they’re doing it so the story isn’t turned into something ugly.

Here it is, the simple and complicated truth: Scott Thompson isn’t really Nicholas’ father. Well, not his biological father, though Nicholas will tell you Scott is his father in every other way imaginable.

Tweet of the Day





Translation (we think): "Excited to begin the year in Palm Springs. It's going to be a very good week, but we will try not to make it so dramatic."

June 09, 2011

Truth and Rumors: McDowell concerned for Woods

Posted at 10:59 AM by Ryan Reiterman

Now that Tiger Woods has announced he'll skip next week's U.S. Open to rest his injured knee, it's time for another round of player reaction to the latest news on Tiger. First up is defending U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who stared down Woods and won his charity event in December.

"Of course it's a massive blow for the U.S. Open -- to not have one of the greatest players that's ever lived is massive," McDowell said.

"There have been question marks over his health for the last couple of months. When I saw him hobbling through the locker room at the Players Championship the warning signs were there. We all hope as golfers that his health can come back. We thought he'd be ready for the U.S. Open."

He added, "Tiger plays his cards close to his chest and it's pretty difficult to know what's going on, but obviously this is a lot more serious than we thought. His quest to beat Jack Nicklaus's record is one of the great golf stories and we hope he gets better soon."

Not Vijay's Day
Reaction continues to come in on Vijay Singh's decision to withdraw from Monday's 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. ESPN's Bob Harig makes a great point: what's the point of hitting all those golf balls if you're not trying to play for history?

Singh, 48, said after the final round of the Memorial on Sunday that he'd be taking a pass on the 36-hole sectional the next day.

"I'm just tired," Singh said. "I'm tired of shooting 71, 72 all week. I'm just going to go home and come back and try to win Hartford."

Hartford? With all apologies to the Travelers Championship -- an excellent tournament on the PGA Tour schedule that follows the U.S. Open -- is that really what Singh cares about at this point?

He has won 34 PGA Tour events, all after joining the tour in 1993. He has won more than $64 million in official prize money. But he's not thinking about adding to his streak of 67 consecutive majors played, dating to 1994? Or, more important, adding to his three major wins? And he just came off shooting 65 on Sunday.

Singh is one of just four players to shoot 63 at a U.S. Open. He has finished in the top 10 on seven occasions. He has missed just one cut, back in 1993. And he doesn't want to play?

Rock and Rolling Putts
Hunter Mahan raised some eyebrows when he appeared on the Golf Channel sporting a plaid shirt, bow tie, vest and glasses. In short, not typical golf attire. I happened to like it. Mahan looked like a well-dressed roadie for the Kings of Leon

It was fitting then that Mahan was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland this week for a First Tee event and to promote the upcoming WGC event at Firestone, which Mahan won last year.

Larry Dorman of The New York Times has the details:

“I wanted to do something different, didn’t want to wear a blue blazer and khaki pants like all the other guys,” Mahan joked, looking up at the photo and back at his audience, some of whom were wearing exactly that. “Just a different side of me people don’t see. They see me in golf clothes all the time. I like doing different things.”

Mahan is a study in differences, an outwardly cool competitor who, the noted Australian mental coach Neal Smith said, can be “extremely passionate and pretty emotional.” He is a seemingly quiet and retiring guy who owns a Bentley along with a collection of muscle cars and is married to a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

So it was not that surprising to see him at a golf media day at the I. M. Pei-designed Hall of Fame, where fans of Elvis and the Beatles rub shoulders with devotees of Aretha Franklin and Grandmaster Flash alongside other folks who dig Metallica and AC/DC.

Tweet of the Day

Iowa native Zach Johnson caught up with former Florida coach Urban Meyer at the pro-am at the St. Jude Classic, and apparently they talked about the controversial 2006 bowl game between the Hawkeyes and Gators.

Zach  @ZachJohnsonPGA: Oh...all Hawk Meyer said it was a BAD call in 2006 Outback bowl! But, said they still would've won! #goodstuff

June 06, 2011

Vijay Singh likely to miss U.S. Open for first time since 1994

Posted at 10:13 AM by Ryan Reiterman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three-time major champion Vijay Singh is likely to miss the U.S. Open for the first time in 15 years after he failed to show up for his tee time this morning at Brookside Country Club.

The former World No. 1 player was scheduled to tee off this morning at 8:10 a.m. in a 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier.

Despite winning two PGA Championships, a green jacket and 34 PGA Tour events, Singh has fallen out of the top 50 in the world and had no choice but to try to qualify for the U.S. Open and the British Open.

According to the BBC, Singh has also withdrawn from British Open qualifying. Singh was scheduled to tee it up this week at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, but there is no word yet if he has withdrawn. Singh, who is ranked 61st in the world, would qualify for the U.S. Open if he finished first or second in Memphis, according to The Associated Press.

On Sunday, Singh shot a 65 on Sunday to finish T37 at the Memorial Tournament.

According to the Associated Press, it is unlikely that Singh will be offered a special exemption into the Open by the USGA:

    Singh has played the last 67 majors, the longest active streak in golf. A year ago, he was given a special exemption to the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but USGA executive director Mike Davis has said no special exemptions were likely to be awarded this year.

April 26, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tiger not the only great player with putting woes

Posted at 12:15 PM by Mike Walker

The Belfast Herald's Karl McGinty notices that Tiger Woods is not the only PGA Tour mainstay to fall into a rut due to his putting stroke. His entire peer group (briefly known as the Big 5) is having the same problem.

None more so than Ernie Els, 41, who was so deep in the horrors last week at Hilton Head, he tried out an option in practice which a few years back he’d loudly derided as unacceptable — the belly putter.

Singh, 48, continues to wrestle with his putting demons and the weird grip he currently employs might have been recommended by an exorcist.

While Retief Goosen, 43, seems to have halted the decline of his putting powers, the South African is a shadow of the man acknowledged as the world’s hottest performer on fast surfaces following US Open victories at Southern Hills and Shinnecock.

In common with Woods, Els, Singh and Goosen, Phil Mickelson’s feeling pain where it hurts most. Mickelson misses too many short range putts. He ranks a lowly 155th on the US PGA Tour when it comes to holing-out from inside five feet. Els is 183rd in that category, Singh is 141st and Goosen 98th.

Tiger’s putting has gone to pot at the tender age of 35. His Tour statistics are as startling as that three-putt bogey at 12 as he stalled badly on the back nine on the Sunday at The Masters. Woods currently takes an average 1.794 putts per hole, leaving him a lowly 121st on Tour, while his 29.38 per round leave him in 124th.

Ben Crane helps Katrina charity in New Orleans
Ben Crane does more with his free time than make ridiculous YouTube dance videos. Doug Tatum of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports on how Crane has partnered with his sponsor Zurich to raise money for families still trying to return to their old homes since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Crane, Zurich and the St. Bernard Project came up with the Driving It Home campaign in which Zurich donates $100 for every fairway Crane hits from the Farmers Insurance Open in late January through this week’s Zurich Classic. Farmers is a subsidiary of Zurich, and Crane won their event in 2010. He carries the St. Bernard Project logo on his golf bag.

“I just saw the whole vision, saw how well it’s working, how efficient it is, how lean it is and then you talk to people who get back in their houses and … they just had a need and here comes the St. Bernard Project that says we care about you, we value you and we want to help,” said Crane, 35. “That’s a pretty pure act of love. And it’s inspiring. So it’s something we wanted to be a part of, and we get really excited about.”

Tweet of the Day:

From 2006 U.S. Open champ and Metallica fan Geoff Ogivly:


March 04, 2011

Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Tiger's next win, Michelle Wie's attitude, Vijay's nickname and more

Posted at 2:16 PM by Alan Shipnuck

Vj Who wins first? Mickelson or Woods?
Mark Potts

Will either Vijay Singh or David Duval win a regular PGA event before Tiger Woods?

So it has come to this: Tiger has now sunk to David Duval territory. Maybe lower; Duval's swing actually looks pretty good these days. Mickelson played beautifully in San Diego and was pretty solid in Pebble. I expect him to win before Woods. I also expect the big Fijian to get a W before either of them. Vijay's a Florida guy and his game appears to be peaking. Yes, these are crazy times in golf.

Going off last year's British Open and the recent event in Dubai, it seems that high winds disproportionately punish the very best players. Tiger's best round was when he had an 8 a.m. tee time. McIlroy's best round was when he teed off even earlier — yet when they rose to the top of the leaderboard the late tee times put them right in the face of the worst of the wind. This allowed the rest of the pack — who now had the benefit of an earlier tee time — to catch up. It seems fitting that Quiros — the guy who knows least about where his ball is going — should get lucky and win. However I don't believe it makes for good golf.
David Crowe

Unless pro golf goes to shotgun starts, the early starts are usually going to have better conditions: smoother greens, less wind, fairways with fewer divots, more sober fans. Playing late on Sunday afternoon is full of challenges and hassles. That's why winning is so difficult, and venerated.

It's been my contention that Michelle Wie would benefit from getting just a little pissed off. With so much talent, she just comes across as so willing to accept her top 5s over and over again. Sure, she looks whiny and put-upon sometimes when things don't go her way, but that's not the same as getting angry, and I swear she would benefit from that. What do you think?
Mark Limbaugh

Yes, I too would like to see Wie play with more passion and emotion. It was a joy to watch her at the last Solheim Cup when she let it all hang out, and it's not a coincidence that she played some of the best golf of her career that week. I don't think Wie is a natural competitor, like a Juli Inkster or Karrie Webb. Those players don't just want to win, they want to beat you, too. Wie is almost too smart for her own good. She's a perfectionist for whom golf is an intellectual exercise. She wants to hit every shot perfectly, and a lot of her satisfaction comes from mastering the execution, not necessarily the ensuing result. I'd like to see her more focused on getting the ball in the hole and taking down the other players. A little anger might help.

Why does every single article that refers to Vijay Singh inevitably refer to him as "the big Fijian" in the second paragraph? It's not a particularly clever nickname — is it laziness on the part of the writers or is that just the nicest thing they can think of to call him?

You mean like in my answer to the first question? No, it's not clever, but it is fun to type. And let's face it, it's hard to come up with colorful things to write about Vijay.

The 17th of May, we'll know where the Ryder Cup 2018 will take place. Your choice among candidates and why?
Yannick Cochennec

Six countries ostensibly are in the running: France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. None of the would-be host courses are anything like classics. (Madrid would be the host city, a long way from Valderrama.) Anyway, I'm not too worried about the course. In stroke play, the playing field is paramount. Match play is all about beating the other guy and the nuances of the course recede into the background. After the rain-soaked debacle in Wales weather has to be a factor. As much as I like blondes, that's a strike against Holland, Sweden and Germany. Portugal and France are swell places to visit but they don't have strong golfing traditions. The '97 Ryder Cup was probably the most spirited I've ever attended. Seve and Jose Maria defined the European team's duende for two decades. And Madrid is one of my favorite cities in the world. So, Spain gets my highly idiosyncratic vote.

Why, when discussing Tiger's swing change(s), don't the SI, analysts and others report that one of the main reasons for the swing changes may be the four operations on his left knee? It seems there is a strong effort to relieve the pressure on the knee, especially when the swing speed is about 120 miles an hour.
Fran Fanucci

I think Tiger has made this point himself a number of times. But in general I don't feel like there is enough focus on the wear and tear on Tiger's body. I was the ghost-writer for Harrison Frazar's piece in the recent Golf Plus standalone. Harrison is 39 and after four surgeries and dozens of cortisone shots he's contemplating retirement in part because of the physical toll of playing golf for a living. Tiger is an old 35, a range rat since the days of "The Mike Douglas Show." After four surgeries on his knee and a blown-out Achilles you have to wonder how much more his body can take. Woods is too talented and too dedicated not to master his recent swing changes. But I think whether he makes it to the top of Mt. Nicklaus depends largely on how healthy he is going forward.

(Photo: Fred Vuich/SI)

February 10, 2011

What to Watch For: Friday at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Posted at 10:21 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Knock, Knock, Knockin' on the Door
Last year at the Masters, I stood on the 10th tee and watched Steve Marino blast a drive down the fairway. After watching his effortless power, I was left wondering why in the world hasn't this guy won a tournament?

It's not like he hasn't been close. Marino has already tied for second this year at the Sony Open, and he finished tied for fourth last year at Pebble Beach. It's no surprise then that he's back on top of the leaderboard after firing a bogey-free 65 at Spyglass Hill. So is this the week that Marino will finally break through and get his first win? There are still three rounds to play, but Marino says he's carrying a better attitude this year, which he thinks might help get him over the hump.

"I just was excited about playing this year," Marino said. "I did not play well for the majority of last year; towards the end of the year last year I started to play a lot better. I was just real excited to come out this year and start playing. Had a great tournament in Hawaii; had a pretty good tournament at the Hope; not so great in Torrey Pines. But I am just really excited to be playing good golf again, and I'm having fun out there. It's a blast."

Weir's Comeback
It's always strange to see former champions struggle to keep their card. It's even more puzzling to see former major champions struggle to stay on the PGA Tour. But that's the reality facing 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir. After struggling with swing changes and an injured elbow, Weir, who last won at the 2007 Fry's Electronics Open, is playing on a major medical extension. Having earned $559,092 last year, Weir needs to make $227,885 in five starts to equal the 125th spot on the 2010 money list. 

After a 4-under 68 Thursday at Spyglass Hill, Weir is off to a solid start in a tournament where he's had plenty of success. In 13 starts, Weir has seven top 10s at Pebble Beach. A high finish would secure his playing privileges for the rest of the year. If he doesn't earn enough scratch in five events, Weir will have to fall back on his past champion status.

Not Done Yet
Coming off two-straight winless seasons, former World No. 1 Vijay Singh, 48, has been largely forgotten with the emergence of several young faces on the PGA and European tours. But after a T3 finish in Phoenix and an opening 3-under 69 Thursday at Pebble Beach, Singh is showing he still has plenty of game. It was his sixth-consecutive round in the 60s and 17th-straight round at par or better dating back to last season.


February 08, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Westwood gets lifetime membership to Euro Tour

Posted at 12:53 PM by Michael Chwasky

If Lee Westwood, the current No. 1 player in the world, had any worries about retaining his European PGA Tour status, he can relax. Joining an elite group of players, Westwood recently received a rare honorary life membership to the European PGA Tour, to which he said:

"I have always loved the Tour and the people surrounding it - it has played a huge part in my life and I will cherish this honour for the rest of my life."

Westwood is only the second English player to hold the top spot in the world rankings since they began in '86 (Sir Nick Faldo is the other), and is third on the all-time European PGA money list behind Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie. To date Westwood has amassed just over 20,000,000 pounds in winnings.

PGA Tour sued by Stanford Financial Receiver
Disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford is still making waves in professional golf, as his company's court-appointed receiver and a bunch of investors are suing PGA Tour Inc. for nearly $13 million.The receiver filed suit today in a Dallas court, claiming the money paid to the PGA Tour was tainted as a result of Stanford's alleged $7 billion financial fraud.

The Tour is not alone in Stanford's mess. David Toms is also targeted by a group looking to recoup $900,000 Toms supposedly received in Stanford-related profits. In addition, Vijay Singh's management company IMG Worldwide Inc. is also being sued for approximately $10.5 million by Stanford's receiver.

Ex-Masters champ has back to the wall
It wasn't too long ago "Canadian" Mike Weir was seemingly one of the best players in the world. The lefty won the Masters, of course, but also had a very solid all-around game and a good deal of respect on the PGA Tour. These days Weir is struggling to simply retain his credentials. Currently Weir is playing on a temporary medical extension which has run out. If he doesn't win approximately $217,000 in his next three tournaments he'll lose exempt status and have to go back to Q School, rely on sponsor exemptions, or play on the Nationwide Tour. Weir will be competing at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am this week.

Tweet of the Day

From new Tweeter Darren Clarke, to manager Chubby Chandler:

Clarke @Theprincedc: @chubby6665 will have to be very very careful on here chubb....especially after a few pints!!

January 26, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tiger Woods ignores Ian Poulter on Twitter

Posted at 11:56 AM by Ryan Reiterman

Tiger Woods took to Twitter yesterday to answer questions from his followers (he likes Tupac over Biggie, and he's pulling for the Steelers in the Super Bowl), but when Ian Poulter tried to get Woods to join the playful Twitter banter with Lee Westwood, Poulter's tweets went unanswered.

"@TigerWoods why don't you follow the Lads @WestwoodLee etc & join the banter. We could have a good laugh & let people join in our fun," Poulter tweeted.

Poulter then tweeted fellow Englishman Lee Westwood, the world number one: "@TigerWoods wants some questions. What shall we ask him"

Getting nothing in reply from Woods, Poulter tweeted Westwood: "im not having it that No3 (Woods's world ranking) is writing his own tweets. He doesn't want to play."

That prompted current World No. 1 Westwood to ask a question of his own.

"@TigerWoods is it true you've dyed your hair Ginger, singed a deal with IJP (Poulter) clothing and bought a White Ferrari cos your in awe of poults?" Westwood tweeted.

Again no reply from Woods, who now has 449,698 followers on Twitter.

Poulter finally gave up prompting any reaction from Woods, tweeting: "Just for the record for our friends that dont have a sense of humor we all get on great with tiger, its called having some Banter & Fun."

Familiar Foes
When Tiger Woods gets to the first tee Thursday at Torrey Pines, he'll be greeted by a familiar face: Rocco Mediate. Woods hasn't won a major since his legendary duel at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with Rocco. Diane Pucin of The L.A. Times says Mediate is looking forward to seeing his old nemesis again.

"There are a lot of memories from that week for me," Mediate said Tuesday. "And 99.9% are really good ones. The only bad one was the outcome.

"But it's made me better, I think. I had my problems after that. I didn't want it, the U.S. Open at Torrey, to be my last anything. San Jose, last year, middle of October, it's like, 'That's not the end.' It's like, 'Yeah, I lost the U.S. Open but I came back a couple years later and won a golf tournament on the PGA Tour.' That's really cool to me."

Inside the PGA Tour players' meeting
Stephanie Wei talked to two pros who attended a players' meeting Tuesday at Torrey Pines and got them to dish on a few of the highlights:

*AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson took the podium (which a few players said was the most compelling part of the evening, for what it’s worth) and imparted some interesting tidbits. He explained that AT&T sponsors the PGA Tour because it has the best viewer demographic for their business and it’s a high quality product. At the same time, Stephenson sees downside of the Tour as having an inconsistent product, meaning he does not know which players will play his events year-to-year or week-to-week. Like all sponsors, he wants the top guys playing his events more often.

*What does it take to receive an invitation to play in the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am? At least $50 million. Stephenson said the company’s coveted spots are given to clients that bring in a minimum of $50 million a year of business to AT&T, with the majority generating $100 million. So that’s all it takes to get an invite to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am!

*As you may have heard, the PGA Tour’s television contracts are up for renegotiation this year, with the exception of the Comcast-owned Golf Channel deal that’s locked through 2020. With Comcast acquiring NBC, the Tour will receive a lot of cross-branding and cross-marketing through the NBC networks, which will help with contract discussions. (CNBC meets golf’s target audience — white collar, upper middle class to upper class clientele.) All the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour spots aired on the Golf Channel will run on the NBC affiliates and give ratings a boost. Sunday’s final round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua enjoyed a 38% increase in TV viewership, which may serve as an example of the trickle-down effect that Finchem mentioned.

Vijay's Free Fallin'
Golfweek's Jim McCabe breaks down some surprising numbers in the latest golf rankings. The most surprising stat? Former World No. 1 Vijay Singh has tumbled all the way down to No. 105.

The Big Fijian moving out of the top 100? That’s like Wayne Newton leaving Las Vegas. Or Mister Rogers the neighborhood.

But it’s true. The man who played majestic golf in 2004 to wrestle the top spot from Woods, and who sat as high as No. 5 just two years ago today, Singh was 98th a week ago but is squeezed between chaps named Gregory Bourdy (104th) and Gareth Maybin (106th).

Not exactly rubbing elbows with the Who’s Who crowd, is it?

OK, so he’s fast approaching his 48th birthday (Feb. 22, in case you want to send a card, or a gift). But isn’t Singh the guy who wasn’t going to stop winning or even slow down a little? Wasn’t he the coverboy for all those over the age of 40 who insisted they could still run with the young pups?

Yes and yes.

But he’s also proof that a steady stretch of indifferent play will drag even Hall of Famers down the world rankings.

Tweet of the Day

Azinger @PaulAzinger: I've seen more of Hank Haney's wife in a bikini in the last 2 Rush episodes than my wife in 29 years! And that's a fact!

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