Tom Glavine's Hall of Fame golf balls
Photo by Michael Abramowitz
"Nobody laughed harder than Tom Glavine" when he received a box of golf balls emblazoned with the number of his losses he recorded in his Major League career.
By Michael R. Abramowitz, The PGA of America
 
When former Atlanta Braves and New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine plays a round of golf, he doesn't have to look too far for a not-so-gentle reminder to remain humble.
 
Glavine, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, won 305 games during his Major League career. What isn't as well known is that he also lost 203 games during his 20-year stint in the big leagues.
 
After Glavine received the phone call from the Hall of Fame that he would be a first-ballot inductee, his friend, Jack Kennedy, decided to mark the occasion with some good-natured ribbing, courtesy of a gift of six dozen customized golf balls. So, on one side of Glavine's Titleist Pro V1s is his old uniform No. "47," and on the other is "Tom Glavine 203 losses." 
 
 
"When I opened up the package, I saw 47 on one side, and I thought, 'That's cool.' And when I turned the ball, and it had my 203 career losses on it. I thought that was pretty funny," said Glavine, who carries a 3 handicap and used to play "all the time" during Spring Training at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., when he was with the Mets. 
 
"I knew him before he was good," said Kennedy. "With all this talk about Tom having 305 wins and [former teammate and fellow Hall of Fame inductee] Greg Maddux having 355, nobody ever mentions that they also had 430 losses between them. So, I figured I'd have these made for Tom through a golf professional friend in Chicago. Nobody laughed harder about it than Tom Glavine."
 
"When I play at Country Club of the South [near Atlanta] with my normal group of buddies, I might leave a few that I hit in the woods for some of the members to find," said Glavine, who takes lessons from PGA Professional David Potts. 
 
Yet, when Glavine played at Leatherstocking Golf Club in Cooperstown, N.Y.,  during Hall of Fame Weekend, he sported another set of balls that merely displayed the date of his induction. "I think," he said, "Jack softened up a little bit for the induction ceremony."
 
 
In a number of ways, golf has served as a grounding experience for Glavine.
 
"During my career, [Braves Manager] Bobby Cox recognized that we needed an outlet, and golf was the perfect way to get away from baseball," he explained. "Still, we'd have a lot of conversations on the course centered around baseball, individual things, who we were facing next and ways to approach different hitters."
 
Spoken like a very humble Hall of Famer with 203 losses and 305 wins!
 
Tom Glavine gets special golf balls for Hall of Fame induction
July 30, 2014 - 2:42pm
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Rickie-Fowler-Jonas-Blixt -orange
USA TODAY Sports Images
Even Jonas Blixt got into the fad of copying Rickie Fowler, wearing an all-orange outfit when they were paired together at the Barclays last year.

They say we all have a doppelganger somewhere in the world. That is unless you're Rickie Fowler, in which case, you have quiet a few. 

While at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational practice round on Wednesday, Fowler stopped to take a selfie with a special guest: a giant cutout of his head. 

Fowler, a social media connoisseur, also found a young fan dressed along the lines of Fowler's alter ego, Dick Fowler, P.I.

RELATED: Fowler stars in commercial as Dick Fowler, P.I.

Then again, finding young fans dressed up like Fowler is nothing new for the 25-year-old who played for Oklahoma State. Whether it's something as simple as starting off with an orange Puma hat...

...or dressing up in his traditional Sunday orange attire to watch him at last year's PGA Championship...

...there seems to be no end to the number of children who want to be like Fowler. Apparently, even young Fowler got into the act of dressing up as his favorite golfer.

This all sounds a bit like the basic idea behind the movie "Inception." But instead of having a dream within a dream, we have children dressing up as a golfer who dressed up as a golfer when he was younger. 

And speaking of "Inception," we can't help but notice a resemblance between Fowler and that movie's star, Leonardo DiCaprio.

The many faces of Rickie Fowler
Rory McIlroy at the British Open
USA Today Sports Images
Rory McIlroy was obviously the big winner at the British Open, claiming his third major and a cool $1.67 million in prize money. Pretty soon, there might be another big winner – the guy who caught the ball that McIlroy flung into the stands at Royal Liverpool after he sank his final putt.
 
That guy, Lee Horner from Leeds, England, snagged the Nike RZN Black ball that McIlroy tossed, and has put it up for auction on GreenJacketAuctions.com.
 
The bidding began at $1,000, and is already up over $6,000. And seeing as how the auction doesn't end  until Aug. 9, it's surely headed much higher.
 
 
After all …
 
"How many chances will a collector have in their entire life to obtain the actual ball used to win a Major Championship?," Green Jacket Auctions asks. "This is a ball that will only gain in significance for the next 20, 50, even 100 years. In the collecting world, this is what's called a "dream piece" – something that no one could ever expect would become available for sale; yet here it is."
 
On the auction page, Green Jacket Auctions explains that "we too watched in astonishment as Rory chucked that Hall of Fame-worthy ball into the crowd. But we went a step further. We immediately took to Twitter to tell our loyal followers, as well as several prominent sportswriters, that we had a mission for them: Find. That. Ball."
 
The ball has been confirmed by Nike as the real deal, and contains a few very specific markings. It is stamped with McIlroy's nickname "Rors," and has a black dot underneath the Swoosh and a black aiming line through the words "RZN Black." 
 
 
Rory McIlroy's British Open-winning golf ball up for auction
July 27, 2014 - 11:04am
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PGA.com staff
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Drew Brees and Bubba Watson
Courtesy of New Orleans Saints
Bubba Watson hung with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees during last week's training camp at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where Watson owns a home.

By PGA.com staff

Bubba Watson’s chance to impress his favorite NFL team slipped through the two-time Masters champion’s fingers.

Watson, an avid New Orleans Saints fan, attended the team’s training camp last week at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where he owns a home. Watson tweeted pictures of him with Saints’ coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees. But his big moment came on Friday.

In a designed trick play that NOLA.com reported had Watson randomly coming off the sideline onto the field after the ball was snapped, Brees targeted him a deep ball. The pass hit him in the hands. And he dropped it. Stories vary regarding who was to blame for the incompletion that drew boos from spectators.

“He’s blaming me, saying I under-threw him,” Brees told reporters after the practice. “I didn’t want to overthrow him. I thought it was something he could come back to. So he’s saying QB error. I’m saying receiver error. What I really wanted was an over-the-top throw. We’re going to have to practice that. I’m going to have to get him off the course this afternoon and back here for some extra reps.”

By the looks of things, Watson had plenty of fun, though. He spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with fans and the Saints players and coaches. And he even got his hands on the Saints playbook. We're guessing the trick play to Watson is no longer included.

 

Bubba Watson can't make the play at Saints camp
Graeme McDowell at the RBC Canadian Open
I picked Graeme McDowell as one of my 5 players to watch this week at the RBC Canadian Open because I thought his game was a perfect fit for the Blue Course at Royal Montreal. G-Mac isn't leading, but he did pull off the shot of the day.
 
After his tee shot on the par-4 11th hole – the hardest hole on the course, by the way – McDowell was 213 yards out and hitting into the wind. So he pulled out a hybrid – and drained the shot for an eagle.
 
 
He also birdied the 10th and then made a gorgeous 25-footer for another birdie on No. 12 to go 4 under on the first three holes of his back nine. That stretch was the highlight of his day, however, and he completed his first round at 2-under 68.
 
Here's his eagle:
 
 
Graeme McDowell cans 213-yard eagle at RBC Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
"I would be very surprised" if Rory McIlroy doesn't become one of the game's all-time great players, says Jack Nicklaus.
When Rory McIlroy captured his third major at the Open Championship last week, he earned a lot of comparisons with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, both of whom also were piling up majors at the age of 25.
 
So perhaps it's not surprising that Nicklaus sees a little bit of himself when he looks at McIlroy these days. More important, the Golden Bear likes what he sees.
 
"I certainly don't have any criticism of Rory by any means," Nicklaus said during a wide-ranging news conference on Thursday. "I think his career is progressing very nicely and I think he's going to win a lot of major championships. I love his swagger. I love his demeanor. 
 
"I love the way he sort of has a confident cockiness yet not offensive with it. It's self-confidence, I guess you would call it," he added. "I like that in him, because I like the kid. I've spent a little bit of time with him and I like him very much."
 
 
When he was young, Nicklaus admitted, he "played golf courses more with power than I did with finesse," and noted that "Rory has a tendency to do that." And even with his length off the tee – McIlroy ranks among the game's longest drivers – that aggressiveness sometimes gets McIlroy in trouble, just as it did Nicklaus.
 
McIlroy's boldness has "served him well on several occasions, but probably doesn't serve him well on other occasions and didn't serve me well on some other occasions," Nicklaus noted. "But as you get older, you sort of say, you know, hey, I think I would rather play that from 160 yards than 120 yards out of a foot deep rough. That's maturity and age."  
 
McIlroy requested a meeting with Nicklaus after the Memorial Tournament to talk about both golf and business, and Nicklaus said he "saw a couple of things what I thought could help him" in his swing. 
 
 
The Bear won't divulge what they discussed, but he did say that when he saw McIlroy on TV at the U.S. Open, he was "doing a couple things that I thought that he was trying to do that I was talking about. And then I saw at the British Open, he looked very much at ease with what we were talking about."
 
McIlroy "may not even have remembered it or thought about it. So I don't want to take any credit whatsoever," Nicklaus said of the advice he provided. "I think Rory's swing looked great at the British Open, and some of the faults that I've seen in his swing previous that caused him problems, I did not see."
 
Nicklaus believes that McIlroy has the potential to become one of the greats – perhaps even reaching the heights that he achieved. In fact, Nicklaus said that "I would be very surprised if he doesn't" become one of the game's great players.
 
"I think a lot of it depends on what Rory's desire and focus [are] and what he wants to accomplish in his life," he explained. "He's a nice young man.  He's very talented, and I think that he's the one that has to decide how he wants to focus and how hard he wants to work for what he's going to do."
 
Jack Nicklaus likes Rory McIlroy's swagger as much as his swing