December 23, 2013 - 10:05pm
Dwyane Wade via Instagram
Here in the dead of winter, it's hard for us golfers not to cast our thoughts ahead to the first part of April, when the Masters unfolds before us. Apparently, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade also has Augusta National on the brain.
At the Heat's annual Christmas party, Wade presented Masters-like green jackets to the players from last season's championship squad. I say Masters-like because the jackets aren't exact replicas. For one thing, they have the players' numbers on the sleeves.
But Wade was clearly going for the ''tradition unlike any other,'' because when he posted an Instagram photo of his teammates wearing the green garb, he added: ''Channeling our inner Masters w/ the green jackets…#Lovemyteam #MastersGolf #wedowhatwewant #grownmenish.''
LeBron James also shared a team photo on his Instragram account, and said: ''@dwyanewade is in the giving mood tonight! Gave everyone from our championship team last year a green jacket reminiscing of the Masters! Unbelievably thought out! Fashion at the same time! Crazy! #TheHeatles #ChannelingOurInnerMastersAtGolf #RoleWithTheWinners.''
The players look very dapper in their jackets – even Chris ''Birdman'' Anderson there in the middle. I think my favorite part is that Wade, well known as one of the NBA's best-dressed men, is wearing those, shall we say, ''festive'' red pants.
And by the way, the Masters tees off on Thursday, April 10.
December 23, 2013 - 12:46am
This weekend was a big one for teen star Lydia Ko – it began with a second wave of rumors, as yet officially unconfirmed, that she has signed an endorsement deal with Callaway Golf. And it ended with the shocking news that she is splitting with the only coach she's ever had.
Ko told Television New Zealand on Monday that she was sad to have ended her partnership with Guy Wilson, whom she called a great coach and friend. But she said she and her family had decided it would be impossible to continue the relationship because she will be based in the United States and he in New Zealand.
''It doesn't really work, him being here and him coming on the weeks that I'm not playing a tournament means I'll only see him like 10 times a year, and to me that kind of situation didn't work out,'' Ko said.
Ko, 16, has worked with Wilson ever since she took up golf at age 5. He issued a statement saying he was ''incredibly disappointed'' their partnership was over.
Ko dominated the global amateur game in her early teens, and won five professional tournaments – four as an amateur, followed by her first victory as a pro at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan just a few weeks ago – under his tutelage.
IT'S A BOY!: Cristie Kerr and husband have a son via a surrogate
''When I first met her, the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn't know the first thing about a driver or a putter, but now she has one of the most envied swings in the women's golf world,'' said Wilson, who added that it had ''been an honor to help develop Lydia into the No. 4 golfer in the world.''
Michael Yim, her agent at IMG, said Monday that Ko worked with various teachers at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida before going to Taiwan for the Swinging Skirts tournament. Kim said Ko plans to meet with other teachers before deciding on a full-time coach.
Confirmation of her signing with Callaway is expected soon. Ko recently spent some time at Callaway's world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., where she met one of her idols, Callaway ambassador Phil Mickelson. Also recently, Ko has signed a management agreement with IMG Golf, and her family has begun looking into a home base in the United States as she prepares to play the LPGA Tour in 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
December 22, 2013 - 12:30am
Cristie Kerr via Twitter
Cristie Kerr has become a mother – she announced on Twitter Saturday night that she and husband Erik Stevens have had a son, named Mason Kerr Stevens.
And if you hadn't noticed that she was pregnant in her recent LPGA Tour starts, well, your eyes weren't playing tricks on you. On Twitter, the 16-time LPGA Tour winner indicated that she used a surrogate to carry her child to term.
''FYI he is our baby. 100%,'' she said on Twitter. ''I am not physically able to carry our children due to a medical condition. I wish I could.''
The little guy was born on Dec. 8, Kerr tweeted, as she offered her thanks for all the well-wishes she was receiving.
And, she added: ''By the way magnificent baby clothes with the magnets are the bomb! #nobuttons. ''
Here is her original tweet with the baby's photo, along with some congratulations by her fellow LPGA Tour players:
December 21, 2013 - 11:42pm
Courtesy of Cal Athletics
Michael Kim, the 2012-2013 college player of the year, has turned pro and will surrender his last two years of eligibility at the University of California. Kim, who grew up in the San Diego area, is expected to make his pro debut at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in late January after accepting a sponsor's exemption.
Kim, currently fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was Cal's first national player of the year in men's golf last season, when he swept the Haskins Award, Golfstat Cup, Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and Nicklaus Award as his Golden Bear squad won 12 of their 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record.
''I can't thank Cal enough for what it has done for me,'' Kim said. ''It was a really tough decision but I feel like I'm ready to take the next step in my career and turn professional.''
Kim also was the Pac-12 Men's Golfer of the Year as a sophomore, and earned first-team Ping Division I All-American and All-West Region honors in 2012-13. In addition, he was the individual medalist a single-season school-record four times last season, and tied for second on two other occasions among his seven top-5 and team-high 10 top-10 finishes.
Kim qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open, and finished as low amateur by tying for 17th place after rising as high as tied for third during the third round. He made the cut in the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic, reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and was on the winning United States teams in both the 2013 Palmer Cup and Walker Cup.
''We knew this was a possibility as last year unfolded,'' Cal Head Coach Steve Desimone told The San Francisco Chronicle. ''At some point, Michael was going to make this move. We wish him all the best – he was a great Golden Bear and always will be.''
Kim, 20, tied for 56th at the Web.com Tour Q-School finals last week, giving him only partial status on that circuit.
December 20, 2013 - 9:53pm
While many of us spent Friday rushing to make our final preparations for Christmas Week, Tiger Woods was far from the madding crowds. The world No. 1 turned up in Val d'Isere, France, where girlfriend Lindsey Vonn is competing in this weekend's World Cup event.
Vonn has been spotted at several of Woods' tournaments since they confirmed they were a couple last spring, but this is the first time that Woods has attended one of her ski races.
The high-profile couple was spotted in a cafe on the main drag of Val d'Isere, according to a story by the Agence France-Press wire service. Woods, wearing what AFP called a ''a dark puffa jacket buttoned to his chin and hood up, hands dug deep into the pockets,'' quickly returned to his hotel after he realized he'd been spotted by photographers.
On Thursday, Woods had hinted at his trip in an item on his blog saying that ''I'm going to put my clubs away for a while to spend more time with my kids and support my girlfriend Lindsey Vonn as she tries to prepare for the Sochi Olympics. '' He also empathized with Vonn as she attempts to come back from knee surgery after a major knee injury last spring.
''Having experienced reconstructive surgery on my knee and the ensuing rehab, and the amount of pain associated with it, it's really hard to explain to anybody unless you've been through it. And then coming back on it athletically, to trust that it's going to be there, that's a whole different ballgame,'' he wrote. ''I've had my share of experiences in that regard – unfortunately – but I think it helps her in a sense because she can bounce ideas off me about what to expect. It is a frustrating process and really difficult to go through.''
As far as Vonn getting all the way back into form for the Sochi Olympics, Woods said that he and Vonn are very hopeful. ''It all depends,'' he wrote, ''on how that knee is.''
December 20, 2013 - 7:29pm
St. Andrews is so famous in the world of golf, and so much has been written about it, that you'd think we know all there is to know about the place and its history. Turns out, that's not true at all.
Roger McStravick, a golf history writer, has come up with a fantastic new bit of information – the previously unknown location of Old Tom Morris' original golf shop. Morris – who was a greenkeeper, a maker of clubs and balls and a prolific course designer in addition to being a four-time British Open champion – opened his own shop in 1848 after serving as an apprentice.
McStravick, who is researching a book on Morris called ''St. Andrews, In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris,'' was digging around in some old manuscripts in the Golf Collection in the University of St. Andrews Special Collections Department when he discovered what is known as a ''precognition'' – a statement from Morris from around 1878 explaining how he had built his shop right beside the 18th fairway of the Old Course several decades earlier.
The address today is known as 15 The Links.
''In his statement talking about his life around 1848, Tom says that he built his own shop and through statements by others at the time, including the father of the R&A John Whyte-Melville and clubmaker Robert Forgan, I was able to identify the exact location for this little shop,'' McStravick told Scotland's STV News.
In that same precognition, McStravick also discovered that Daw Anderson – known in St. Andrews lore as the ''the ginger beer seller'' – had his own golf shop at 9 The Links, where his son and three-time Open champion Jamie Anderson living upstairs for almost 10 years during the prime of his playing career.
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