Tiger Woods

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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Pink's Pulse

Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, diagnosis I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, no rx cocktail parties, clinic board rooms, and well, just knowing your week in sports.

HOT

  • Urlacher calls it quits: The big news of the NFL world this week was that former
    Brian Urlacher retires

    From Suntimes.com

    Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is retiring. His retirement comes after the Bears gave him the  ultimatum in March: a $2 million/1-year deal or nothing. Urlacher walked away to find…absolutely nothing. I think he realized that no team is in the market for an old linebacker so Urlacher did the right thing and retired. The Bears will truly miss him. What’s next for the veteran? Urlacher is considering a career in television…although I don’t know how good he will be at it.

  • The Detroit Red Wings: Well, let’s just say as Chicago Blackhawk fan, last night was ugly. I hate to say it, but the Red Wings are playoff hot. They’ve won five out of their last six games and now looking to close out the one-seed Blackhawks. What makes playoff series, in any sport, interesting are those teams that are hot. Look at how the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a few years back, or even how the Detroit Tigers got to the World Series last year. The Wings definitely have momentum on their side right now and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the Blackhawks as their historic season is very close to coming to an end way too soon.
  • Danks’ return to the South Side: It’s been more than one year since John Danks
    John Danks returns

    From DMZsports.com

    has pitched for the Chicago White Sox. The left-hander will make his debut on Friday against the Miami Marlins. Danks had surgery on his left shoulder to repair his rotator cuff and bicep. He told reporters than he’s putting the same amount of pressure on himself just as he did before he got injured. I’m looking forward to seeing Danks comes back, and let’s hope he surges the White Sox out of the bottom of the Central Division.

COLD

  • Sergio Garcia racist remarks towards Tiger: I find it rare these days that athletes are vocal about racism…until this week. Professional golfer Sergio Garcia was on stage at the European Tour Player of the Year awards when the American host started to talk about next month’s US Open at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. The host asked Garcia is he was going to invite Tiger Woods to dinner and Garcia replied, “We’ll have him round every night…and serving him fried chicken.” Uhhh, yikes. Talk about a racist public relations crap storm. Garcia apologized, but something tells me Woods won’t be attending dinner next month with Garcia, as this relationship was already heated prior to Sergio’s careless remarks.  
  • Cleveland Cavaliers get No. 1 pick in NBA draft: Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a lottery for their top picks in the draft. The teams with the worst records from the previous years have the best odds to get the top pick. And with the third best odds, the Cleveland Cavaliers will get the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
  • Castroneves “would give up sex for a year” to win Indy again: You’d think winning the Indy 500 three times would be enough for one lifetime. For IndyCar driver Helio Helio CastronevesCastroneves, it’s still not. In an interview with “Stoney and Bill” on 97.1 The Ticket, the handsome IndyCar driver revealed that he would give up sex for one year to win another Indy 500. Doesn’t this sound either a little desperate or just straight up weird? This guy has already won the Indy 500 three times and yet he would STILL give up sex to have another? I would ask him, “Why only one year?”  If it’s that important to him, I can’t imagine him putting a limit on something like that. Although, if I was his wife, I would make sure he keeps his mouth shut.
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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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Pink's Pulse

Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, help  I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending in sports: perfect for water coolers, cocktail parties, sports bars and board rooms.

HOT

  • The Bulls cooling off the Heat: Not much feels better to a Bulls fan than a win against the Miami Heat. What feels even better? Being the team to end the Heat’s historic win streak of 27 games. It was Wednesday night, and I still can’t stop talking about it. The dunk by Jimmy Butler, the aggressive pressure the Bulls put on LeBron, and the total team effort made this game a sexy one.  The extremely short-handed Bulls proved that they don’t need Derrick Rose or even Joakim Noah to beat LeBron and crew when they come together as a team. Ever since the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals when the Bulls lost to the Heat in five games, blood has boiled between these two teams and things always get physical between the two. As Bulls fans we can only hope this historic win gave the Bulls the confidence to realize that they have the skill (especially if at full strength) to get past the Heat in another Eastern Conference Finals. Now, the tricky part is just getting there.

  • Tiger Wood’s is back on top: Is it true that vintage Tiger Woods is back? The way he finished his latest Tournament Win at Bay Hill and his celebration certainly looked as though. With winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past weekend, Tiger Woods has now moved to the number one ranked golfer in the world. The last time Woods was number one was October of 2010. Woods is finally got his groove back, or so it seems. And just in time with The Masters about two weeks away.  
  • The Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight: Thursday night Sweet 16 games are now in the books and the upsets continued with Indiana as the latest #1 seed to go down. Indiana lost 61-50 to 4th seeded Syracuse in an embarrassing effort where the Syracuse Orange held the Hoosiers to their lowest season output of only a measly 50 points and forced 19 turnovers. If your bracket wasn’t trashed already, this might have been the final nail in the coffin. Ohio State survives by squeaking past Arizona and Marquette and Wichita State (the new Cinderella) advance to the Elite 8. Michigan State and Michigan both play tonight (Friday) along with the darling of the Tournament, FGCU.
  • The Incredible Sports Weekend Ahead: I’m not complaining because I’m a little obsessed with sports, but there is almost too much sports on this weekend.  But what’s wrong with this picture? The balancing act between college basketball, the Chicago Bulls playing on Saturday and Sunday, and the
The Blackhawks play the Ducks Friday night

From Blackhawks.NHL.com

Blackhawks playing on Friday and Sunday. Having to chose between any of these is just mean. Don’t miss out on the Blackhawks rematch with the Anaheim Ducks, the Bulls final stretch and March Madness. The best solution? Grab your friends and watch them all at the bars while impressing all those that come your way with your sports knowledge!!

COLD:

  • Preseason baseball:  Spring Training wraps this weekend and it couldn’t have come soon enough. This weekend the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox will play their last games before the regular season begins on next week. It’s about time the preseason is over with. I’ve about HAD it with all these games that don’t count towards an official record. I can’t believe these teams even play 30+ games before their 182-game regular season.
  • The hesitance to accept gay players: On Monday, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman wrote that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly. It feels like the topic of homosexuality is a sore subject when it comes to professional sports. Teammates have publicly come out and said they won’t accept players coming out of the closet. It’s time that these teammates get over themselves and accept all sexualities in the locker room everyday. Enough is enough already. Times are different and changing, and it’s about damn time for NFL players to feel that they can tell the world the truth.

 

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Pink's Pulse

Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, cure  I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending in sports: perfect for water coolers, sovaldi cocktail parties, unhealthy sports bars and board rooms.

HOT

  • Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are official: That’s right. Tiger Woods is dating again, and his latest item is World Cup skier Lindsey Vonn. After the tragic ending to the

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods

Woods’ marriage, he’s finally moved on. Vonn ended things officially with her husband in January making this a very quick turn around for the celebrated skier. Rumors have been flying around about the couple for months and the two, who have asked for “privacy”, ironically took to Facebook to come out publicly about their relationship and chose to publish professionally taken pictures to help make the announcement. Woods commented on the relationship via Facebook, “Something nice that’s happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating.” If the relationship were to last, of course, we’re thinking about the freakish athlete children these two would be capable of producing. Key word being IF. 

  • NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament: The next two weeks are all about college basketball. With play-in rounds already underway (Tuesday and Wednesday) and the back-to-back games that bring out the crowds (the second round) beginning on Thursday at 11:00AM CT, time is running out to get that bracket locked and submitted. Don’t be left out. I recommend doing research to find your Cinderella team or stick with the favorites – the top seeded teams. Have fun with it. Even if your alma mater or favorite school didn’t make the cut, having a bracket will give you a reason to cheer or watch teams you wouldn’t have before.

Wrigley Field

COLD

  • New pitches to move the Cubs out of Wrigley: Wrigley Field is in dire need for an upgrade and the Ricketts are having a tough time getting the city to support the funding to do so. On Monday, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens pitched a 25-acre piece of land located around the corner from O’Hare International Airport to be the next home of the Chicago Cubs. Originally, I thought this was a joke. The Cubs owe their loyal fan base and returning crowds year after year, despite having the longest World Series drought in MLB, to Wrigley Field and all of its nostalgia. Rosemont doesn’t exactly deliver an atmosphere remotely close to Wrigleyville. I can’t see the Ricketts actually taking this offer seriously. Watching the Cubs lose in an iconic ballpark with hundreds of bars and fanfare just outside the stadium is manageable. Watching the Cubs lose with planes making their approach to O’Hare is a different story.
  • Urlacher’s fate as a Bear: As of today, the Bears and linebacker Brian Urlacher still haven’t come to an agreement on his return next season. If the Bears management really wanted him back, he would have
    Brian Urlacher

    From SI.com

    been signed already. For the first time in his career, Urlacher has been shopping around in free agency, but hasn’t had much luck yet. #54 has been apart of the Chicago Bears family his entire NFL career but maybe it’s time for us to let go. I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Bears didn’t sign him back or if he did sign for one more year. He’s getting older, and it shows. Let’s let it go, and stop making this a catastrophic event.

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Lindsey and Tiger

The whole Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn thing got us thinking about other mismatched athlete couples. In today’s world, viagra the lines between athletes and celebs is so blurred that we expect athletes to date celebrities and vice versa. But sometimes, decease like the rest of us, cialis they end up in relationships that really leave us guessing. Here’s the Top 5 that have stunned us as of late.

photo credit: usmagazine.com

Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn

The two meet at a charity event back in April and have been rumored to have been together since November. The high profile couple have been extremely quiet about their relationship and have tried to keep it out of the spotlight.

Normally, that might work, but sending your private jet to fetch your girlfriend is a sure way to set off the rumor mill. After Lindsey’s recent accident where she tore her ACL and MCL in the World Championships Super G, Tiger sent his private jet to Austria to pick her up and bring her back state side. Impressive.

Now, the pair is getting their families involved. According to US Weekly, Vonn’s brother gave ski lessons to Tigers kids Sam, 5, and Charlie, 4.

Lindsey’s never been one to shy away from the spotlight or take on a challenge – which was made obvious in her recent comments about bouncing back in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’ll have to wait and see how this relationship holds up once the PGA Tour really gets underway. Maybe a healthy, monotonous relationship is the missing piece to Tiger’s highly anticipated come back as the #1 golfer in the world. It’s amazing what being in love will do for you…

photo credit: bleacherreport.com

Hope Solo and Jerramy Stevens

One of the most shocking and odd timed marriages has got to be Hope Solo and Jerramy Stevens. Hope, the goalkeeper for the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic soccer team married former NFL tight-end Jerramy back on November 13. The two applied for a marriage license after dating for just two months.

Things took a turn for the worse just two days before the two were to marry when Jerramy was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence on his soon-to-be bride after an altercation at a party in Seattle where Hope’s brother called the police. Hope has stayed on Jerramy’s side and continues to defend him, while denying that he has ever laid a hand on her. Unfortunately, he was arrested again two weeks later for a probation violation. Somehow the couple has stayed out of the public eye and have kept their marriage afloat.

photo credit: usmagazine.com

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari

Okay, this was one an obvious pick, but honestly, who would have thought the California bombshell would end up with the Chicago quarterback? Well, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised. Jay was ranked the 4th most hated professional athlete; and for anyone who used to watch Laguna Beach, Kristin was the villain who stole Stephen from Lauren. I guess that means they’re perfect for each other.

As evil as she may have been in her on-screen (and off – according to some who also attended Barrington High) past, Kristin certainly has her hands full with Cutty and his love affair with the press. Even if she did receive a proposal via text and her ring sent in the mail, she seems to take it all in strides and the two appear to be happily planning their wedding for sometime this summer. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping a close watch on this one.

photo credit: usmagazine.com

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom

I have to admit, out of all the Kardashians, Khloe is the one who I don’t really mind. When she married Lamar Odom after dating for only 30 days, immediately it seemed as a brash Kardashian type move, and I don’t think anyone believed they would actually last. Now three years later, they’re still happily married and proving us all wrong. After all, three years in Hollywood is impressive.

Rumors are constantly brewing about the couple, everything from divorce to baby drama. But the duo hasn’t let it phase them. Personally, I think Khloe has changed her priorities since the start of her marriage. It seems like she has backed away from reality TV and has stepped up to plate of being a NBA wife. Thank God Lamar is playing for the better team in LA this season (the Clippers) or things could be a little tougher on the home front for this high profile couple.

photo credit: people.com

Brian Urlacher and Jenny McCarthy

An unforgettable relationship to hit Chicago was Jenny McCarthy and Brian Urlacher. The former Playmate and Bears’ linebacker broke up in August after dating for just three months in a relationship that seemed to grab more headlines than Bears Training Camp. McCarthy, a south side native, had returned to Chicago to be closer to her family and get out of LA to raise her son. After McCarthy’s previous relationships, Urlacher seemed like a very strange choice but McCarthy defended it by telling the press she was ready for a ‘real’ man and was sick of the pretty boys out in LA.

After their 3-month paparazzi infused relationship ended Jenny released a statement saying, “Brian and I have decided to turn our romance into an amazing friendship. I will continue to be the biggest cheerleader for him.” That took the “lets just be friends” break-up to another level. After the breakup she donned the cover of Playboy for the 4th time of her career and looked every bit amazing.

McCarthy keeps a presence in the Chicago market contributing a column to Splash of the Chicago Sun Times. We’re hoping she sticks with athletes and takes her pick at some of the other fine, single players in the market.  We need more material and who doesn’t like having a celeb/athlete couple to follow here in Chicago? The Second City needs their own dose of celebrity and paparazzi! Check back in next week for my preferred picks for Ms. McCarthy.

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