Golf Buzz

March 6, 2013 - 12:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy faced the media at Doral on Wednesday to set the record straight about his surprising withdrawal from last week's Honda Classic.

 

Some might say Rory McIlroy acted like a spoiled young athlete when he took his golf ball and went home last Friday, withdrawing from the Honda Classic midway through his second round.
 
His reasons for leaving were that he wasn't there mentally and, he was experiencing extreme pain due to an impacted wisdom tooth.
 
The biggest pain in the days that followed, it turns out, was a bruised ego due to the backlash the world's No. 1 player received as a result of the withdrawal.
 
Well, whatever bad feelings people had over the incident, McIlroy deserves a tip of the cap for the way he took ownership of his mistake in a press conference at Doral on Wednesday morning.
 
Asked difficult question after difficult question, McIlroy did what's expected of elite-athlete role models. He faced the music, gave honest answers and vowed it would never happen again.
 
CBSSports.com golf blogger Kyle Porter put together a nice recap of the McIlroy presser. Here's some of it:
 
This is pretty much the same thing he told Sports Illustrated on Sunday. He continued and talked a little bit about his wisdom tooth issue:
 
I wasn't in a good place with my golf game. Mentally my head was all over the place. At the same time I have been struggling with my lower right wisdom tooth for over a year. I had braces on for six months last year to try and relieve a bit of the pressure on it. I'm taking medication until I get home to Northern Ireland and see my dentist who would be the only guy that I would trust to take it out. My tooth was bothering me but it wasn't bothering me enough to probably quit but that's just the way it is.
 
That's basically what everyone had surmised about two minutes after he walked off the course last week. As for why it happened, McIlroy had this to say:
 
It was a buildup of everything. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform and I've been working so hard and not really getting much out of it, that's just been the frustrating thing. That's sort of what happened. It was a buildup of high expectations from myself coming off the back of such a great last year and wanting to continue that form into this year and not being able to do it.
 
I just sort of let it all get to me.
 
It's not the first time he's let the game get to him either, he talked openly about last season:
 
It's the same thing as last summer, Dave Stockton said to me 'when I see you out there you're not smiling, smile more.' When I smile it lifts the spirits and that was basically the whole turnaround from last summer was my attitude. When you start to enjoy your golf you start to play better.
 
You can read all of Porter's piece by clicking here.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 5, 2013 - 8:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Masters jacket
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The question of who owns a green jacket from the Masters is at the center of a dispute that is now headed to trial.

A judge in Dallas has ordered an auction company to hold onto a champion's green jacket from the Masters until a trial can be held to determine its ownership.

Judge Emily Tobolowsky granted Augusta National Golf Club a temporary injunction to stop Dallas-based Heritage Auctions from selling the jacket won by Art Wall Jr. in 1959. Last month the club, which claims the jacket was stolen, was granted a temporary restraining order days before the jacket was to be auctioned.

Golf memorabilia collector Stephen Pyles says there's no proof the jacket was stolen, and disputes the club's claims that Masters jackets are supposed to remain at the club.

The Golf Buzz covered this story in detail on Sunday, and you can catch up on every aspect of it here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

March 5, 2013 - 8:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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the Golf Boys
Photo by Bubba Watson via Twitter
The music and lyrics in the new Golf Boys song comes from Nashville songwriter Mat Kearney.

The new Golf Boys video, "2.Oh," has been out less than 36 hours as I write this, and it's already approaching 1 million views on YouTube. And seeing as I began my career in journalism as a film and music critic, I can tell you that my professional opinion is that this new video is even better than the first one.

The reason for that improvement is Nashville singer/songwriter Mat Kearney, who wrote the catchy music and punny lyrics for the new song. Kearney, an avid golfer who's been friends with Ben Crane for some time, was teasing Crane about the first video, and Crane challenged him to put some music where his mouth was.

"I said, 'All you guys are doing are just saying 'Oh, Oh, Oh' a bunch of times, '" Kearney told Lynn Hoppes of ESPN.com. "He said, 'Why don't you write us a good one then!' So I got this hip-hop beat and started thinking of writing puns using golfers' names. It was pretty entertaining. I sent him the song and he said the guys were freaking out about it."

Kearney had never met any of the other Golf Boys until they covened in Dallas in December to shoot the hilarious video, which took two days to film. And while Crane, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson are obviously the stars, Kearney earned a few seconds of screen time – he's the guy who takes the photo of Crane during his backswing.

Creating ''2.Oh'' wasn't any tougher than any other songwriting challenge, said Kearney, though he admitted ''it was a little hard finding words to rhyme with Louis Oosthuizen.'' But, he said, he ''started with hot wings at Stuart Applebee's and I just continued down that path.''

March 5, 2013 - 4:06pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

 

Do you absolutely hate having to check that favorite driver or lucky putter at the airport, fearing that it may not be in one piece once you reach your final destination?
 
Well, according to a report today by Bloomberg.com, beginning April 25, passengers on U.S. flights will be allowed to carry on -- among other things -- up to two golf clubs.
 
 
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.
 
The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch, TSA Administrator John Pistole said today at an aviation security conference in Brooklyn. The change, to conform with international rules, takes effect April 25.
 
Passengers will also be allowed to board flights with some other items that are currently prohibited, including sticks used to play lacrosse, billiards and hockey, ski poles and as many as two golf clubs, Pistole said.
 
The changes attracted criticism from labor unions representing flight attendants.
 
“This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer,” Stacy Martin, president of the Transportation Workers Union local that represents Southwest Airlines Co. flight attendants, said in a statement.
 
“While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin,” Martin said.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 5, 2013 - 10:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy has set the record straight. His withdrawal from last week's Honda Classic was a mistake.

In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger, Rory McIlroy admitted that withdrawing from last week's Honda Classic was a big mistake.

McIlroy, who became the No. 1 ranked player in the world with his 2012 Honda Classic victory, withdrew after eight holes in the second round last Friday. To that point, he was 7-over par for the day and looking to add to that total when he found trouble on his ninth hole.
 
“It was a reactive decision,” McIlroy told Bamberger. “What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85. What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me -- it was not the right thing to do.”
 
What happened next was, well, bizarre. First, McIlroy told reporters he pulled out of the tournament because he was in a bad state mentally. Later, in a statement from his management group, McIlroy insisted the early exit was due to a painful wisdom tooth.
 
Needless to say, there was a lot of confusion. Ever since bursting onto the scene, McIlroy has been a media favorite thanks to his honesty and willingness to be forthcoming. Something wasn't right in this instance.
 
Because of the confusion, people were left to speculate. Could this be a result of McIlroy's equipment change? Did he and tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki break up? Was Rory simply fed up and decide he didn't want to play anymore?
 
An enormous responsibility comes with being No. 1 -- something McIlroy seems to have now learned the hard way.
 
And, as it turns out, the pain McIlroy was suffering from the wisdom tooth was no white lie. It was a serious problem, but not one that should have kept him from finishing his round.
 
Bamberger wrote:
 
On Friday morning, by the time he reached the ninth hole of his second round, Rory McIlroy was, he said, “seeing red.” His bottom right impacted wisdom tooth, which is being treated by his childhood dentist in Belfast, was causing him pain. His “out of sorts” swing was causing him more pain. His scorecard through eight holes -- par, double bogey, par, bogey, par, par, triple bogey, bogey -- was causing him the most pain. When his second shot on the 18th hole at PGA National, home course for the Honda Classic, settled in a pond, McIlroy’s mind was overwhelmed with a single thought: “I don’t want to be here.”
 
Later, Bamberger wrote:
 
On Friday, within a half hour of shaking hands with Els and Wilson, McIlroy knew that by quitting he had done the wrong thing. He drove to his home, in a gated development in Jupiter, with his instructor, Michael Bannon, and his caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald. Soon after, he was joined by his parents, Rosie and Gerry, and by liaison Sean O’Flaherty, who works for Horizon Sports Management, the Dublin agency that represents McIlroy. Rory spoke by phone to his agent, Conor Ridge. “By the time I got home I was saying, ‘We need to reassess here,’” McIlroy said. The drive home was about 15 minutes.
 
Wednesday at Doral, McIlroy is scheduled to meet with all the media -- some of whom are angry that Bamberger got the exclusive.
 
Put it this way -- McIlroy, by all counts a great young man -- made a mistake that he instantly regretted. Who hasn't? He probably wanted to set the record straight before the scheduled presser to start the process of getting past it.
 
As McIlroy is learning, unfortunately you can't please everyone.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 4, 2013 - 12:49pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Cobra AMP Cell
COBRA PUMA GOLF
The Cobra AMP Cell, limited edition green driver is here just in time for the Masters.

 

Over the last several years, various golf manufacturers have pulled out all the stops to do something special for the major season-opening Masters.
 
Whether it's golf bags, headcovers, hats, clothes, shoes, or whatever, the common theme is Masters green.
 
Cobra has taken that one step further. In anticipation of the year's first major, Cobra has announced the release of a limited edition, green AMP Cell driver.
 
Here's the release:
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (MARCH 4th, 2013) – It’s almost time for the first Major of the year and COBRA Golf is celebrating by bringing golfers the AMP CELL  Limited Edition – Green Driver. An AMP CELLTM head complete with MyFlyTM, SmartPadTM, E9 Face TechnologyTM and Advanced Material Placement, is paired with a Diamana Blue Board shaft, LE headcover, LE wrench and, of course, is being released in ‘Season Opener Green.’ 
 
Starting on March 15th, 1,800 of the Limited Edition Drivers will be available at select golf retailers globally. Each driver is marked with a ‘1 of 1800’ stamp on the sole for authenticity. 
 
“We are aiming to be the most desirable brand in golf,” commented Jose Miraflor, Director of Product Marketing, COBRA. “It’s one of the most exciting times of the golf season and this Limited Edition Driver builds off of that energy. With all of our game changing technology, like MyFly and SmartPad, we are bringing game enjoyment to golfers everywhere,- the added desirability of a Limited Edition Driver for the first Major is exciting for our consumers.” 
 
MyFly Technology offers a simple solution for golfers to optimize trajectory and distance. The Driver can be adjusted to the following lofts with a simple wrench; 8.5°, 9.5°, 9.5° Draw, 10.5°, 10.5° Draw and 11.5°. With MyFly, golfers can now customize their club based on swing speed (higher lofts for slower swing speeds and lower lofts for faster swing speeds), weather (lower lofts to bring ball flight down on windy days) and course conditions (higher lofts for more carry). 
 
Unlike other drivers that require a golfer to adjust the sole plate after adjusting loft for a square face, COBRA’s proprietary SmartPad technology delivers a square face at address regardless of loft setting and still allows for workability to slightly open or close the face as desired.   
 
COBRA’s E9 Face TechnologyTM with dual roll provides an elliptical face shape with a canted bulge and roll that improves distance and accuracy on mis-hits from heel to toe and above and below the centerline.  Advanced Material PlacementTM and Cell technology work together to enable a 12% larger elliptical E9 Face shape to deliver faster ball speeds and high MOI (moment of inertia) on mis-hits. The Cell technology saves and redistributes weight in a granular way and is visible on the drivers in the Cell band which wraps around to the crown. This wrap also visibly shows a golfer where the weight is distributed, with the Driver having a CG optimized for low-mid handicap players. 
 
The AMP CELL  Limited Edition – Green Driver (MAP $399) is available in right handed models with My Fly technology which allows any driver you purchase to be adjusted from 8.5° to 11.5° loft settings, including 9.5° and 10.5° draw settings. It is available in Stiff and Regular flexes and features a Diamana Blue Board Shaft (60g S and R, 55g L and 45.75” length). The grip and Limited Edition Headcover and Wrench match the head of the driver in Season Opener Green. 
 
The Limited Edition Driver will be available on March 15th, 2013. To find an authorized COBRA dealer near you, visit http://cobragolf.com/dealer-locator
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.