Golf

Hi friends. How are you? It’s been a while. Luckily for you, online the SDI family was never too far from my heart. Every time I saw some asinine sports atrocity, nurse I kept it in my mental rolodex (i.e. my Twitter favorites) just in case I was able to share it with you guys. And now the opportunity has finally come to share my thoughts on random sports stories with you.

So here we are. It’s football season. Baseball season. I’m sure hockey might be on (???). Or table tennis. Maybe curling is happening…in Canada or Russia or wherever they watch that. The Cubs are good (right?). The Bears have a two-time-Super Bowl-appearing coach (he lost, cialis but still….he was in the building). Everyone’s favorite Bull may or may not have been involved in a gang rape (I. Can’t. Even.) And the Blackhawks dismantled their championship team and have deflated the hopes of another ticker tape parade in Chicago for like a decade.

Eesh.

So what have I been up to sports-wise? Well, I learned to golf. Ok, well not like actually learned to golf. I got golf clubs, try hopelessly to hit the ball with either my driver or my nine iron, and give up at around the third hole to focus on keeping score and getting drunk. You have no idea how difficult it is to count when you’re six mimosas in. I am a great humanitarian.

I also moved to Pittsburgh and have spent the past five months devising a plan to bribe bartenders to play Bears games when the Steelers are on. In addition to that, I am trying desperately to become the best amateur binge-watcher in America: I devoured four seasons of Game of Thrones in two weeks. If I keep this up, I’ll surely qualify for the Olympics. Because America.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about other people. So pop the cork on the Cabernet, light your pumpkin-scented candle and let’s talk proper sports.

The NFL

I really don’t want to talk about Deflategate but since I have a column with thousands of readers (right? RIGHT?!), I’ll throw in my two cents. Here’s the thing: the Patriots are known simultaneously as champions and cheaters. So it’s very difficult to believe that Belichick and Brady wouldn’t do this. That’s the thing about lying; get caught doing it once and everything else you say comes into question. Do I think they did this on purpose? I sure hope not. I would like to believe that what we are witnessing is a great team headed up by a brilliant coach and a seemingly terrific owner in Bob Kraft who are playing a brutal, unforgiving game as fairly as possible. But I will say this: it wouldn’t exactly surprise me if this ended up to be true.

In other news, Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson is dating singer Ciara. And that makes sense for both parties. Russell probably never got any action with chicks as ridiculously gorgeous as Ciara. And now, because she’s on his arm, Ciara is introduced as an R&B star (which – name three unaccompanied Ciara tracks not called “Goodies”… exactly.)

The NCAA:

So, two things:

  1. Kansas has a football team! WHO KNEW?!
  2. Students at the University of Kansas cannot name the head coach of said football team.

Yep. Moving on.

Golf

I am very confident in my relationship, but if some heifer EVER asks my man out on a date with me standing right there?! {link: http://thebiglead.com/2015/08/21/miss-texas-jordan-spieth-girlfriend-rangers-game/} No ma’am. In the illustrious words of Tupac, ‘you betta back the duck up before you get smacked the duck up.’ Because no rapper rant will ever beat the one at the end of Hit ‘em Up. {link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41qC3w3UUkU}

Aside: can someone tell the people in charge of autocorrect over at Apple that I literally never mean duck? Thanks.

Tennis

Drake and Serena Williams have been a thing for a while, so this is not news{link: http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/2554239-report-drake-and-serena-williams-seen-making-out-at-cincinnati-restaurant?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming-national?is_shared=true). I compare this to having a real boyfriend, breaking up with him occasionally and hooking up with the side piece. Who is Drake in this scenario? Side piece.

One last thing…

Im currently drinking my way through Italy so I feel it would be remiss not to talk about soccer. JUST KIDDING! Thanks for reading. Until next time!

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I’ll admit it—golf is probably one of my least favorite sports, viagra one that I have a hard time diving into for an afternoon of viewing. And I know I’m not alone when I say this. But leave it to the Masters to remind me of the incredible skill involved in the game beloved by so many, and just as important –  that there’s plenty of eye candy that makes viewing a little more bearable, including former HAM of the Week (and an SDI fave) Adam Scott.

We’re ready to add another to that list: Jordan Spieth, our HAM of the Week.

The 20-year-old golfer was tied with eventual winner Bubba Watson for first place leading into yesterday’s final round, and despite finishing tied for second with Jonas Blixt, he’s emerging as the sport’s “next Tiger Woods”. And when Forbes calls you “the Derek Jeter of golf”, you know you’re a pretty big deal.

So what’s the 411 on the young pro?

Jordan Spieth, http://www.nytimes.com

Jordan Spieth, http://www.nytimes.com

The 6’1”, 185 lbs Dallas native is the spitting image of an All-American boy. He began his career with two second-place finishes in the 2008 and 2009 Junior PGA Championship. Spieth (pronounced SPEETH) followed that with two wins in the U.S. Junior Amateur tournaments in 2009 and 2011, which, ironically, he joined Woods as the tournament’s only multiple winners.

Spieth took his game to the University of Texas, where he helped the Longhorns win the NCAA championship, was named Big 12 Freshman and Player of the Year, and was named to the first team All-American.

He earned a spot in the U.S. Open in 2012 as an alternate and tied for 21st place, and he turned professional midway through his sophomore year at 19 years old.

Spieth participated in a few minor tournaments at the beginning of 2013 as an amateur, but really hit his stride by winning the John Deere Classic in July, becoming the fourth youngest PGA Tour winner and the first teenager to win the tournament since 1931.

But that win granted him more than brownie points: it gave him status as a PGA Tour member, eligibility for the FedEx Cup, and entry into the 2013 Open Championship, PGA Championship and 2014 Masters. Oh yeah, and he earned a spot on the United States squad in the 2013 Presidents Cup in October.

By September, Spieth was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and ended the season ranked 22nd in the world. We’re guessing that number jumped just a little lower since yesterday. He may not be #1 (that’s Adam Scott), but he’s definitely #2—especially for his feelings on the Heat:

 

Spieth is not just about the game: the Presidents Cup selection led him to start the Jordan Spieth Charitable Trust, which lends time, awareness and financial assistance to special needs youth, military families and junior golf.

He’s got that Southern charm and class, and is a true Texas boy—he’s a Longhorns fan and Rangers fan, owns four pairs of cowboy boots and calls all of his elders “Mister”, especially to a golf royalty like Watson. Spieth also played baseball as a pitcher and loves tropical vacations—sounds like a great match for us! Spieth looked like he had a ton of confidence in his game (and, well, was easy on the eyes if I’m being honest here), and we know he’ll get his green jacket in due time.

Follow Spieth on Twitter at @JordanSpieth and Instagram at @jordanspieth and at http://www.jordanspiethgolf.com.

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2013 Open Championship

The 2013 Open Championship begins tomorrow, medical Thursday, July 18 at Muirfield Golf Links in Gullane, Scotland on the northeast coast of the United Kingdom. As golf’s oldest and toughest major with a pool of global competitors competing for the iconic Claret Jug, the Open is definitely one worth keeping up with this weekend.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 

Dating back to 1860, the Open Championship (commonly known as the British Open to differentiate from the US Open in the states) tests the best in the world with links style golf.  Some have said the trick to this style is not just getting your ball on the green, but keeping it there.

The firm, fast golf course will be the first challenge. The second will be the unpredictable weather of the United Kingdom coast. Within the course of a few hours there can be sideways rain, howling winds, and clear skies with sunshine.  As is the case with the US Open, this is not only a test of tremendous skill, but also of mental fortitude.

Muirfield has hosted the Championship 15 previous times. South African Ernie Els is the defending Champion in two regards.

Els won the Open Championship last year and also won in 2002 the last time the Championship was hosted at Muirfield.

WHO TO WATCH: 

I sound like a broken record, but of course, Tiger Woods. Even though Woods was tremendously disappointing at the US Open with a t-32 finish, and has recently nursed a left-elbow injury, he still has the most wins on the PGA Tour and is still the #1 ranked golfer in the world. Woods tees off at 9:45 AM EST on Thursday with Graeme McDowell (2010 US Open Champion) and Louis Oosthuzien (2010 British Open Champion).  The last time Woods has won an Open Championship were his back to back wins in 2005 and 2006.

Phil Mickelson has normally never faired well at these Championships.  His best finishes in the last 12 years are only two top 10s.  For one of the modern masters of short game this is surprising.  This year Mickelson decided to get over to the UK early to get accustomed to conditions.  He competed in the Scottish Open last weekend and pulled off a dramatic playoff victory. He is bringing the most confidence he’s ever had into an Open Championship.

Phil Mickelson celebrating Scottish Open win with his family. Photo: guardian.co.uk

Justin Rose and Adam Scott who have both won their first majors this year at the US Open and Masters respectively will be fan favorites.  Rose became the first British US Open Champion in 17 years, he would love to continue that streak to win in his home country.

The dark horse for this year is Sir Nick Faldo.  He won an Open Championship at Muirfield in 1992.  The last time he won an major was in 1996. He is pictured to the right putting on Tiger Woods’ first green jacket in 1997 as is the tradition at the Masters.

Sir Nick Faldo helps Tiger into his first green jacket after his victory at the 1997 Masters

The last time he competed in the Open Championship was 2008.  Faldo has since taken a post in the announcers’ booth and covers the PGA Tour and Major Championships.  He is 55 years old, but will be familiar at Muirfield.  The past two years we have seen winners over 40, maybe this year we will witness one over 50.

 

WHEN TO WATCH:

ESPN has exclusive coverage of the Championship. To catch the first golfers you can pull an all-nighter or wake before the crack of dawn. You can always grab a cup of tee (in the British fashion) after to keep your day going after the broadcast. Unlike the other Championships, you can watch all the coverage in the morning on the weekends and then go out and play a round of golf afterwards. Perfection!

Thursday July 18: 3 AM – 2 PM (CDT)

Friday July 19: 3 AM – 2 PM (CDT)

Saturday July 20: 6 AM – 1:30 PM (CDT)

Sunday July 21: 5 AM – 12:30 PM (CDT)

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Masters flag

It’s great to be out of hibernation and back talking to you sports divas! As the north continues to thaw, viagra the Masters at Augusta National will officially usher in the “real” start to the golf season this week.  The PGA Tour has been competing since January, but all is in preparation for the Masters, the first major of the PGA Tour.

12th Hole at August National

The Masters, which officially begins with tournament play on Thursday, is my favorite week in golf.  My first golf memory is Tiger winning his first Masters by a record 12 shots in 1997.  If you watch one golf event this year, make it this one. Golfer or not, it’s easy to get swept up by the beauty, elegance, and history that encompasses the Masters.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • The Masters is the 1st of the 4 ‘Majors’ in golf which also includes the US Open (June 13-16), the (British) Open (July 18-21), and the PGA Championship (August 8-11).
  • The first Masters tournament was played in 1935. Beginning in 1939, the tradition of awarding a Green Jacket to the victor began.  This is possibly one of the only sporting events where men want to win clothing.  Each year the reigning champion puts the green jacket on the winner to capture the continuing history of the Masters.
  • The Masters began as Bobby Jones’ vision.  Jones was the greatest amateur player of all time and dreamt of building a golf course fit for hosting a championship.

Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters champion

WHO TO WATCH FOR:

  • Tiger Woods is on a tear. Back in the lead as the #1 golfer in the world, he’s won 6 events in his last 20 competitions and is the runaway favorite this week. The guy has some experience winning at Augusta National, he’s won 4. Even though his last win at Augusta was in 2005 and his last Major win was in 2008, you can never count him out. Winning his 5th Masters would give him 15 Majors and leave him only 3 shy of tying Jack Nicklaus’ elusive record of 18 Majors.  He will dominate the headlines and commentary until the Masters Champion is crowned.  Augusta National is his “home” course and he wants a victory more than ever.
  • Bubba Watson is the defending champion and has been under the radar early on this season, but has steadily improved his game leading up to Augusta.  He also has recently unveiled his project for a hover craft golf cart the BW 1.  He’s a playful guy, who’s never had a golf lesson in his life. The public fell in love with him when he burst into tears after making his putt for victory on the first playoff hole last year.

Rory Mcllroy

  • Irishman, Rory Mcllroy represents all the rising young talent in golf. He is the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year and won the most recent Major, the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, SC last August. He won by a record 8 shots.  His start to 2013 has been shaky in the midst of all the responsibilities of his new found fame. With his new Nike endorsement he signed in January for a reported $125 million/5 years, he switched golf clubs and starred in a great Nike Golf commercial with Tiger. However at last week’s tournament in San Antonio, Rory came in solo second and is poised to add his third Major victory.
  • Guan Tianlang, the 14-year old Chinese golfer who will be the youngest player to ever compete at the Masters. How does a 14 year old get the chance to play in golf’s biggest major? By winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2012, the young phenom received an automatic bid. Every year there is an amateur to watch, but many say Tianlang has the chance to truly make an impact this weekend.

WHEN TO WATCH:

ESPN

Thursday, April 11 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT

Friday, April 12 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT

CBS

April 13 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT

April 14 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT

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Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice were given memberships to Augusta National

Augusta National, ed the famed hallowed ground of American golf, treat finally admitted its first two female members to the elite, albeit sexist golf club: former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore.  Rice is an avid golfer and Moore is a close friend of Augusta’s former chairman, Hootie Johnson.

Augusta National, with all its allure, beauty, history and controversy, has finally broken its membership barriers.   Augusta has never banned women from its grounds.  They can play the golf course with a male member, but could not have a solo membership.

Augusta’s decision to allow female members comes a decade after a public controversy between Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, and Hootie Johnson.

In 2002 Burk sent a private letter saying that Johnson should work to include women in its membership before the 2003 Masters Tournament.  Johnson was infuriated and issued a public response to the letter claiming Augusta National would not work “at the point of a bayonet.”  He said the club would work to give women membership on its own timetable. This caused a media frenzy. The story and the transpiring events were published and repeated countless times in the major American media outlets.  Tiger Woods was even brought into the fray when it was suggested that he should refuse to play in the 2003 Masters unless women were allowed to join the club.  The Masters resumed as scheduled and Augusta worked to protect its corporate partners.

Former Chairman Hootie Johnson

The controversy resurfaced earlier this year when IBM hired Virginia Rometty as CEO, leading some to believe that Augusta would break its traditions considering all of the last four CEOs have belonged to Augusta.  Burk believed that this was the opportunity for IBM to hold its corporate sponsorship of The Masters hostage unless their new CEO gained membership.  Billy Payne as chairman reminded the world that Augusta would work on its own schedule on this issue.

Set two and a half hours east of Atlanta, it is said that visitors are hard-pressed to find a piece of grass out of place, or a weed anywhere.  It is a “perfect” golf property that came to life with the vision of one of golf’s all-time greats, Bobby Jones.   It is my favorite golf tournament to watch and the golf course I most want to check off my golfing bucket list.

I congratulate chairman Billy Payne for taking this historic step to recognize the fact that women are powerful leaders and deserve equality in all areas with their male counterparts.

Today women can rejoice at this enormous step in the right direction for women and girls, not just golfers, everywhere.  I personally hope Rice and Moore team up to take on the male members and beat them!

 

View of the Augusta National Clubhouse with flowers in the shape of The Masters’ logo on the lawn

 

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Category: Golf
Woods British
Professional golf’s oldest major, viagra sale The (British) Open Championship, capsule begins on Thursday in Lancashire, nurse England.  As the oldest of golf’s ‘majors’, the 141st Open Championship will challenge the best golfers in the world to some of the most difficult conditions.  With a 6 hour time difference, live rounds on ESPN will begin in the wee hours of the morning here in the US, but will still draw viewers anxious to watch the best golfers in the world crumble under pressure on such a unforgiving course.   Bloody fun to watch, if you ask me.  Here’s why:
What You Need To Know:
  • As the 3rd of golf’s 4 ‘majors’ (1st: The Masters in April; 2nd: The US Open in June; 4th: The PGA Championship in August) the British Open is the only major tournament not hosted in the United States.
  • The Tournament is actually called “The Open Championship” but has been coined the “British Open” by Americans to distinguish it from the US Open in August.  For style points this weekend,  refer to it as “The Open”.
  • The annual tournament rotates between nine different ‘links’ courses in England and Scotland – the original birthplace of golf.  The Championship is played on a links style golf course, the oldest style of golf course that features coast lines, deep sand bunkers (pot bunkers), thick rough, uneven and fast fairways.  With no tree lines, players are left out in the open to battle the elements.
  • This year, the tournament will be contested at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England,  July 19-22.

Royal Lytham and St. Annes will prove to be a "major" challenge this week

 

  • On top of a treacherous golf course, players will have to mentally and physically overcome the extreme English weather to claim the title. Heavy rains and howling winds are common place at all Open Championships.

Modern golf’s origins can be traced to 15th century Scotland, and this Championship is a week to pay homage to golf’s roots and history.  The first Open Championship was played in 1860.

Unpredictable is the best word to describe the Open Championship. Creativity, strength of mind and body, and a little bit of luck will determine the Champion.  Nine out of the last 10 Major Champions were first time winners, so it’s hard to put your money on the regular favorites, but here are my recommendations on who to watch this week.

Players to Watch:

Tiger Woods is looking capture his 4th Open Championship and take yet another step to rebounding back to the golf legend he once was. Tiger would regain his place as the #1 player in the world with a win this week.  With 3 wins this season, and a few missed cuts, Tiger isn’t as consistent as he used to be, but is still an early favorite this weekend.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson came in 2nd in last year’s Championship, and is argued to be the best player to have never won a British Open.

Irish hopes rest with Rory Mcllroy and Padraig Harrington. Mcllroy has seemed to run out of steam as of late.  Some attribute that to his blossoming relationship with Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

Mcllroy and Wozniacki have been dating more than a year.

Since they started dating both have gained and lost their respective sports’ number 1 ranking. What ever happened to love conquers all?! I would never count out a talent like McIlroy, who grew up playing golf in these conditions.

Harrington won this Championship two years in a row (’07 and ’08).  With an easy smile and Irish accent he’s always a hometown favorite.

 

What’s Next:

The first foursomes that make the cut from Thursday and Friday’s 72-hole challenge, will be  teeing off at 6:00AM on Saturday and Sunday.  You might be rolling in from the night before just in time to catch The Open!  Wake up with the British Open Thursday through Sunday on ESPN as coverage lasts all morning long.  I know I will be enjoying my breakfast with a side of golf.  Hey, take some inspiration after watching with you out on the golf course for an afternoon round.

All times EST

Thursday July 19th 5:00AM–3:00PM

Friday July 20th 5:00AM–3:00PM

Saturday July 21st 7:00AM–2:30PM

Sunday July 22nd 8:00AM–1:30PM ESPN

Sunday 3:00PM–6:00PM ABC (tape delay)

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