Golf Buzz

March 5, 2013 - 10:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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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
tj.auclair's picture
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.
March 4, 2013 - 12:10pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Golf Boys video "2.Oh"
Photo: From Golf Boys "2.Oh" video
The Golf Boys Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan are at it again

 

Following the wildly popular "Oh Oh Oh" single and video - you knew there was going to be a sequel. Well, here it is. 
 
The "Golf Boys" are at it again - showing the lighter, funnier and less dressier side of golf. 
 
Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan are golf's version of the Fab Four (or "Fearsome Foursome?").  However you see them, this single and video will be sure to cause some winces, some eye-rolling but more than anything, plenty of laughs and smiles. And most all, as they are always quick to point out, it's not just simply about the laughs - the downloads of the tune will once again raise some good money for charity.
 
So without further ado - take a peek at the video here. 
 
You can follow John on Twitter at - @johnkim_10
March 4, 2013 - 9:50am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Masters Green Jacket
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Augusta National has gone to court to assert that it owns all the green jackets won by all past Masters champions.

If you win the Masters, do you actually own the green jacket you get for your victory?

The men who run Augusta National Golf Club say no. They've gone to court to try to block the sale of one of those jackets, and the case will be heard in a district court in Dallas on Monday.

The short version of the story is this: In February, golf memorabilia collector Stephen Pyles of Tampa, Fla., tried to sell the champion's jacket won by the late Art Wall Jr. in 1959 for as much as $90,000. The sale, handled by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, was stopped when Augusta National asserted that it owns all the jackets, and the one Pyles has is considered stolen.

Ultimately, Steve Hummer wrote in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the case tests one of the enduring romantic notions of the Masters: that the green jacket is an inviolate symbol of achievement; the sole property of those who belong to a most exclusive club; a garment found only within the cloister of Augusta National.

The Masters winner is allowed to take his jacket off the grounds for a period of one year after his victory, according to documents Augusta National Inc. (ANI) filed in court. ''Thereafter, it must be stored on ANI premises for use only on the grounds and during the annual tournament. Thus, a champion's Green Jacket is owned by ANI, with a champion having possessory rights when on the premises of ANI.''

But possession is 9/10ths of the law, Pyles contends.

''I have owned six, maybe seven, green jackets,'' he said. ''I can go on the Internet right now and buy you a member's green jacket.'' And, he added, he bought Wall's jacket just last year for $62,000 in an online auction.

Augusta National claims that Wall's jacket was accounted for as recently as 2010 when the club took an in-house inventory, but that it was among four champions' jackets stolen after that by former employees. The other three have since been recovered.

However, Pyles argues, there was no police report to back up the claim of the theft, and that many jackets won by players from Doug Ford to Gary Player to Seve Ballesteros can be found far outside the gates at the Augusta National. Even a member's jacket belonging to Augusta National co-founder Bobby Jones was sold at auction in 2011 for $311,000.

''There are plenty of green jackets that are out there, both members' and champions' jackets,'' said golf memorabilia expert Ryan Carey, a co-owner of GreenJacketAuctions.com, which sells a variety of Masters items. ''I’m not sure if Augusta National really realizes that, but I guess for the first time it is going to try to assert that it is the rightful owner of them.”

 

March 4, 2013 - 9:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Yani Tseng
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Yani Tseng says that being the No. 1 player in the world might not be as glamorous as everyone thinks.

 

South Korean Na Yeon Choi and American Stacy Lewis, who captured the HSBC Women's Champions on Sunday, are quickly closing in on Taiwan's Yani Tseng for the No. 1 spot in the women's world ranking.
 
Tseng, a 15-time LPGA winner, including five major championships, fell into a slump in the middle of the 2012 season and has had a problem crawling back out of it.
 
The fact is, said Tseng, being No. 1 isn't all that easy.
 
"It's tough and it's very lonely," she told the Associated Press. "No one knows how do you feel. Everybody wants to be in your shoes, but no one knows how tough is that.
 
"The first year, when I was world No. 1, I feel good. But every month, everybody keeps building the expectations on me and that's lots of pressure."
 
In two starts this season, Tseng has tied for third and 28th (she was also the runner up in the Ladies European Tour's ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open). 
 
To put her "slump" in perspective, Tseng has four, top-5 finishes in her last eight starts. Still, it qualifies as a slump when you take a look at her otherworldly 2011 season in which Tseng finished in the top 5 13 times in 22 starts, including seven wins. 
 
"World No. 1, I know it's good and people like it, but I want to care about myself more," she said. "If I lose (it), I'll get back one day, too."
 
Tseng is the youngest player ever -- male or female -- to achieve the No. 1 ranking.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 4, 2013 - 9:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
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The start to the 2013 PGA Tour season has been far from ideal for world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

 

The 2013 PGA Tour season is still young, but with two full months having passed since it officially teed off in Hawaii, now is the time to look at some of the most impressive and disappointing players thus far.
 
Nick Juskewycz, a contributor for BleacherReport.com, did that in his latest piece.
 
Juskewycz wrote: 
 
The 2013 PGA season is in full swing, and the best golfer on the PGA Tour currently isn't Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. 
 
Sure, McIlroy is the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Rankings, Woods coasted to a four-shot victory at Torrey Pines and Mickelson's score of 28-under made TPC Scottsdale look like an average municipal golf course.
 
However, people want to see McIlroy develop more consistency in his young career. Golf fans want to make Augusta the loudest place on the planet again when Tiger dominates on Sunday. Everyone is still waiting for Mickelson to close the door at the U.S. Open and Open Championship.
 
Through nine weeks, there have been several other golfers that are more noteworthy of PGA Tour headlines in 2013. Here are the players who qualify.
 
For context on McIlroy, he's only made two starts on the PGA Tour this season. He was bounced from the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and then withdrew in controversial fashion from the Honda Classic last week, a place where he gained the No. 1 ranking in the world in 2012 with a victory. Also, he's famously switched all his clubs and golf ball from Titleist to Nike and it hasn't been a smooth transition.
 
McIlroy, Woods and Mickelson are all back in action this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.