August 19, 2014 - 9:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Steve Stricker
USA Today Sports Images
Due to back and hip issues, Steve Stricker will not be playing competitive golf until at least December.

During PGA Championship week, Steve Stricker was named as the third Vice Captain for the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team by Captain Tom Watson.

Just last week, after tying for seventh in the PGA Championship and finishing 29th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, Stricker put in a call to Watson to ask a simple question and make a point: Are you considering me for one of your Captain's Picks? If you are, I'm going to try and play the next couple of tournaments.

RELATED: Stricker named Vice Captain | Woods out | Watson's latest blog | Ryder Cup coverage

Well, it turns out the doctors had other plans for Stricker.

Stricker sent a text to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel golf writer Gary Gary D'Amato Monday night, confirming that multiple injuries will keep him out of competition most likely until the end of the year.

"Sounds like I've got a back and hip issue," Stricker said in the text. "Going to shut it down till December. Rest and rehab and then try to play and see how it goes."

Stricker, 47, was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip two weeks ago. According to a report on GolfChannel.com, he's also been dealing with herniated discs in both his back and neck.

Stricker is still scheduled to make the trip to Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup as a Vice Captain, but it doesn't look as though he'll need to "bring his clubs" as Watson half-joked at Valhalla.  

Injured Steve Stricker out until December
August 19, 2014 - 7:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jimmy Fallon
Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were guests Monday on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." The appearance included a fun segment called "Facebreakers" between McIlroy and Fallon with Woods serving as Fallon's coach.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were guests of Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" Monday.

The appearance included a fun segment with a game called, "Facebreakers."

In the game, McIlroy and Fallon pitched golf balls to a wall of glass pictures alternately emblazoned with each other's face (Tiger -- injured and unable to partake -- served as Fallon's coach).

Check out the Facebreakers segment here:

During the segment, Woods also spoke about the injuries that will keep him sidelined until December.

"I need to get stronger because this little guy over here is hitting it miles and kicking everyone's butt," Woods said, smiling while looking over at McIlroy.

Fallon then asked McIlroy about his win at the PGA Championship and how dark it was on the finishing hole. McIlroy was trying to explain just how dark it was when Woods chimed in, "It looked really bright on TV though... from my couch."

Fallon laughed and responded with, "Tiger, don't be so hard on yourself."

McIlroy is on an incredible run of late, having won in his last three starts -- the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship. He told Fallon that this run he's on has put the dominance of Woods over the years in perspective.

"I've gotten to know Tiger over the last few years and, I guess this little run I'm on -- it makes me appreciate what he's done in the past," McIlroy said. "It's phenomenal to keep a run like this going. And he's done way more than me. It makes me appreciate how hard he worked and how dominate a figure he was in our game."

McIlroy will try to make it four wins in a row this week in the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup opener, the Barclays. 

McIlroy, Woods make appearance on "Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon
August 18, 2014 - 2:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Arnold Palmer
USA Today Sports Images
On Monday, Arnold Palmer had successful pacemaker implant surgery to correct an abnormal heartbeat.

According to his website, www.arnoldpalmer.com, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer is on the mend after successful pacemaker implant surgery today.

The statement, posted at 2:34 p.m., read:

Arnold Palmer had successful pacemaker implant surgery today at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh to correct an abnormal heartbeat. He will remain in the hospital for observation overnight and is expected to be released Tuesday.

Good news for the King -- a seven-time major champion and arguably the game's greatest ambassador (Check out this story of a letter he sent a recent high-school graduate for one small example).  

Arnold Palmer has successful pacemaker implant surgery
August 18, 2014 - 10:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ryder Cup Captain's Picks
PGA of America
There's no atmosphere quite like the Ryder Cup. Visit "MyCaptainsPicks.com" for your chance to win a dream trip for two to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland.

The PGA of America has announced a promotion in which you have the chance to win a dream trip for two to Scotland -- the birthplace of golf -- for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

All you have to do is think like U.S. Captain Tom Watson in terms of his three Captain's Picks that will complete the 12-man roster.

Watson will announce his three Captain's Picks during a live show in New York City on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. from "Saturday Night Live" Studio 8H.

RELATED: Watson to announce Captain's Picks during live NYC show | Visit MyCaptainsPicks.com

From now until then, fans 18 and over can make their Captain's Picks predictions on MyCaptainsPicks.com. Fans who correctly pick the same three players Watson does on Sept. 2 will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize of a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland that includes: Two 2014 Ryder Cup tickets for the climate-controlled Harris Pavilion (Sept. 23-28); complimentary roundtrip airfare for two to Scotland; five nights of accommodations at the Hilton Glasgow; a limited-edition United States Ryder Cup Team shirt; a round of golf at premier golf course in Scotland; a new set of golf clubs from Adams Golf; and a $50 per-person, per-day Ryder Cup food and beverage credit.

Fans can visit RyderCup.com to also see picks from celebrities, as they share their passion for golf.

In the video below, Captain Watson explains the contest:

 

Win a dream trip to the 2014 Ryder Cup
August 18, 2014 - 7:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tom Watson
Tom Watson
ALS hits close to home for 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson. So, it was no surprise to see him take the "Ice Bucket Challenge" over the weekend to raise awareness for the disease.

By now, you've surely heard of the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

If you haven't, here's the skinny: It's an act that has taken over social media of late, where people take video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head to raise awareness -- and money -- for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Along with dumping a bucket of ice water on their head, people who partake in the challenge donate a small sum of money to ALS research. They then nominate others to take the challenge. Should the nominees fail to complete the challenge within 24 hours, they're supposed to donate a larger sum (typically $100) to ALS research.

RELATED: Tom Watson's latest Captain's Blog | Pro golfers and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Over the weekend, 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson got in on the challenge. ALS hits close to home for Watson. He lost his great friend and longtime caddie Bruce Edwards to the disease in 2004.

You can watch Watson and wife Hilary's video here:

 

Pretty cool there that Watson nominated his entire U.S. team to take the challenge. Expect more fun, creative videos to come all in the name of a great cause.

According to a story in the New York Times on Sunday, the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has raised a whole lot of money for ALS:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

The article also says roughly 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis. 

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
August 17, 2014 - 9:13am
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Wes Roach
Getty Images
Wes Roach had seven birdies Sunday at the Wyndham Championship.

Wes Roach promised he'd play a fast round of golf Sunday in the final round of the Wyndham Championship, and he didn't disappoint. In fact, he shot his best score of the tournament -- a 5-under 65, including seven birdies -- despite burning through 18 holes in less than two and a half hours.

 

 

The next closest group was six holes behind when Roach finished up with a par at No. 18. And there were still 42 golfers waiting to start their rounds.

How fast did Roach play? The final group at the European Tour's Made in Denmark tournament still had five holes to play, and there's a six-hour time difference between Greensboro and Aalborg, Denmark. (However, factor in a 90-minute suspension of play for heavy rain, but still.)

Fast rounds aren't always the norm in a sport where "on the clock" is a phrase no one wants to hear, but there was a quicker one earlier this season on the PGA Tour. Max Homa's caddy, Joe Greiner, clocked Homa's round at the Puerto Rico Open in March at just a tick under two hours.

 

 

And here was Homa's take:

Roach's round perhaps wasn't one of the fastest in professional golf history, but with seven birdies, nine pars and only two bogeys over 2:25, it has to be one of the best. 

According to England's Golf Today website, the fastest unofficial professional round was in the 1998 Nabisco Championship at Pebble Beach, when Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman both shot 79 in the final round to finish last and next to last, taking one hour and 24 minutes.

Just to show that slow golf is a relatively new phenomenon, in 1960, George Bayer and Jack Fleck played 18 holes at Augusta in the final round of the Masters in 1:52, with Bayer shooting 72 and Fleck 74. That was five minutes quicker than what Gene Sarazen and George Fazio were able to accomplish in 1947, but Sarazen shot 70 that day.

Wes Roach shoots 65 in 2:25 round