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Showing posts with label golf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label golf. Show all posts

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rory McIlroy Is The Next Superstar

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Twenty-five year old golfer Rory McIlroy led the 2014 British Open from wire-to-wire, finishing 17 under par for the tournament by shooting a 71 on Sunday. McIlroy has won his third Major tournament in golf’s Grand Slam in four years. A Masters green jacket will complete the collection.

The Northern Ireland gold prodigy burst on to the scene three years ago with a victory in the U.S. Open. A PGA Championship victory in 2012 resulted in comparisons to golf’s biggest and most recognizable superstar, Tiger Woods, currently ranked #9 in the world. Rory is unquestionable one of golf’s “Big Three” along with Woods and Phil Mickelson.

While McIlroy (or anyone else) will likely never, ever experience a tear like Woods did from the late 1990s through the late 2000s, his dominating win on Sunday confirmed that he is the next young superstar in a golfing world that has been starving for one since Woods personal and professional lives began to decline in 2009. The irony is that while Tiger is past his peak, he is far from done. On the back end of his prime, perhaps approaching his twilight as a top ranked player, Woods is emerging into a rival-mentor of McIlroy.

After getting off to a promising start, Woods showed that he is far from "back". Ahead of schedule, perhaps...not "back". 2
Woods recorded more wins in 2013 than any other golfer on the PGA Tour and was ranked #1 before undergoing back surgery and being absent from the Tour until earlier last month. After shooting an impressive 69 on Thursday in the Open Championship, Woods had faded to the back of the pack by Friday. The road to recovery from major surgery is long. But as long a Woods continues to recover, the emergence of McIlroy offers the potential for many compelling golf narratives in the coming years.


One conclusion is clear to me. McIlroy is at the top of golf’s summit in rare company. The game is much more interesting when he, Woods, Mickelson, or one of a few recognizable people are winning. In the golfing world, for the time being, Rory is the story.

There is more to come with Rory, left, and Tiger, right. 3
To advertise with The Daily Hat Trick, or to submit a guest column, please contact the editor at eric@thedailyhattrick.info.

1) Image from http://bbc.co.uk
2) Image from www.freep.com
3) Image from www.news.com.au

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Retweet of the Day - May 28, 2014

Caroline Wozniacki has had, by her own words, “a hard time” lately. First the #14 WTA ranked Danish tennis star was dumped by her then-fiancée, golfer Rory McIlroy. Perhaps McIlroy saw tennis rackets being hurled at him on Thanksgiving’s eve in his future and learned from the mistakes of other golfing superstars.
Then again, in the words of golf analyst David Fehrety, “He has a face like a half-chewed caramel.” I don’t see how he expected to do any better than the athletic, endowed, and pretty 23-year-old Wozniacki. That considered, the blow must be even harder for Wozniacki.

Making matters worse, Wozniacki was bounced in the first round of the 2014 French Open by 64th ranked Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium. Throwing more salt in the wound, McIlroy appears to be coasting along on the course. McIlroy completed an improbable comeback to win the BMW PGA Championship tour this past weekend. Clearly he’s handling the split in stride.

Today’s retweet, from Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) boils all of the above into 140 characters or less:

“Poor Caroline Wozniacki. 1) Dumped by Rory McIlroy. 2) Watches him win w/out her. 3) Booted in 1st round of French.”

McIlroy, right, dumped Wozniacki, far left. Seriously? I know championship athletes have to be confident, but that is bordering on "overconfidence".
Image from www.politiken.dk

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bubbalicious

Bubba Watson, 35, won his second Masters tournament in three years. The American golfer has always been among the better known participants on the PGA Tour. Sports enthusiasts who watch the occasional major or flip the tube on when Tiger Woods is in the running have heard his name and probably know that he is pretty good. Sunday catapulted Watson into golf’s unquestionably elite.

As usual, Rickie Fowler (above) injected some style into the Masters. He finished 5th. 4
ABOVE THE RADAR


When Watson won the 2012 Masters, the common media narrative treated Waston as a bit of a late-blooming underdog. Watson has talent. Watson can compete.

But Bubba is not Tiger; just wait until Tiger gets back on his horse (Tiger Woods finished 4th in the 2011 Masters). Bubba is not Phil Mickelson, an established repeat champion. Bubba is not Rory McIlroy; he’s on the wrong side of age 30. Watson’s 2012 Master’s win was a great golf feel good story, but don’t expect to see Watson’s name dominating the gold headlines in the coming years.

Yesterday eliminated any remnant of the “aw shucks”, quirky, good but not great image of Bubba Watson, currently ranked #2 in the world. From his left handed swing to hitting balls through trees and onto the green like a nine cushion billiards shot to his humble emotions exhibited after a win, Watson is a brand. He is known. He is a the top of the PGA Tour’s marquee.

Not an expression often used with golf, but Watson's trick shot on the 15th hole was "gangsta"! 3
THE BIG FOUR – FIVE? SIX?


Throughout the 2000s, the phrases “golf” and “Tiger Woods” have been almost synonymous among even the most casual of sports observers. While Woods is no longer the seemingly invincible force he was in his 20s and early 30s, he is still, indisputably, the premiere name (and premiere draw) in professional golf.

However, Tiger’s coattails have benefits. Phil Mickelson’s brand has benefited from sparring with Tiger on the Tour over the years. Young Rory McIlroy is positioning himself to be the next young, dominant golf prodigy in the coming years. With yesterday’s win, I think it would be difficult to argue that Watson is not among golf’s “Big Four”.

On the rise are stand outs like the (literally) colorful Rickie Fowler, age 25 (who finished 5th yesterday), and 20 year old Jordan Spieth, finishing 2nd. Spieth mounted a challenge in the fourth round to possibly become the youngest, ever Masters winner.

Runner up Jordan Spieth (left), 20, and 2014 Masters champion Watson (right), 35. 2
THE TOUR IS ON!


Every year, the Masters seems to give us a good story. Good golf stories are great for the game of golf. With the possibility that Tiger Woods may not compete on the Tour this year, rehabbing from back surgery, the rise of stars like Watson, McIlroy and others could not come at a better time for the PGA.

Assuming Woods’ health allows him to be competitive upon his return and assuming the profiles of players like Spieth and Fowler continue to rise, golf can expect to transform from the (seemingly) one man show it was in the 2000s to a series of rivalries in the 2010s. In major competition, Bubba Watson has drawn first blood.

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Don't forget to vote in the fan polls! 

To advertise with The Daily Hat Trick, or to submit a guest column, please contact the editor at eric@thedailyhattrick.info.

1) Image from www.telegrah.co.uk
2) Image from www.bleacherreport.com
3) Image from http://news.gnom.es
4) Image from www.sportingnews.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Master Away from the Links

The Masters tournament starts tomorrow, kicking the first of four PGA Tour major events. While superstar golfer Tiger Woods will miss the Masters for the first time in two decades rehabbing from back surgery, there will be plenty to see in Augusta, GA.

Not the least of media interest will be the fiancée of golfer Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky (daughter of Hall of Fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky). Miss Gretzky, already an Instagram selfie celebrity, made waves with a relatively racy cover shot on Golf Digest magazine. That's all the cause I need to make Paulina Gretzky, again, the subject of today's Chick Pic.

This is one way to get a bump in circulation. 1
I would have preferred this cover, but to each his own. 2
Another golden selfie opportunity.... 3
And another.... Paulina loves her some Paulina, as I'm sure you guys do, too. 4
Stick to modeling, Miss Gretzky. Diving isn't your thing, though we're still looking. 5
Always willing to lend a hand. 6
She's a team player, like so many other Chick Pic subjects. 7
And she is on Team Dustin! Smoking is bad, Dustin Johnson, but your smoking hot future wife is good (to view)! 8
1) Image from www.nydailynews.com
2) Image from Maxim Magazine via www.slamxhype.com
3) Image from www.wikifeet.com
4) Image from www.bleacherreport.com
5) Image from www.sawfirst.com
6) Image from www.reddit.com
7) Image from www.bluetoro.ca
8) Image from www.cbssports.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Presidential Streak

Not something you see everyday on a golf course...a streaker made her way across the greens carrying the Red, White, and Blue wearing nothing but her flesh colored birthday suit. The proper name for the improper lass is Kimberly Webster, 23, from Dublin, Ohio; the President's Cup Streaker is the subject of today's Chick Pic!

She's just representing her country...probably her high school, too. 1

Apparently she's a decathlete. 2

She must have had a helluva 40 yard dash time. She's still running! 3
Here's a sky view (or a moon view). 4
No...no. That's...that's just too easy. 5
God bless the U.S.A.! At least we won. 6
1) Image from http://abcnews.go.com 
2) Image from http://smokingsection.uproxx.com
3) Image from www.independent.co.uk
4) Image from www.huffingtonpost.com
5) Image from www.washingtonpost.com
6) Image from www.newsrender.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Happy Putter

PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky, daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, were recently engaged. I am noticing a pattern that golfers get all the hot chicks. See tiger Woods as a reference. Ms. Gretzky is the subject of today's Chick Pic.

I guess it's really hot where she is, probably because she's there. 1





Playing "peek-a-boo"? 2
Who's her friend? 3

Seriously, who are her friends? 4

Is that for Dustin or the camera? 5

Even on a rough night, she looks pretty smooth. 6
Anyone else wanna Skype with her? 7
Congratulations to the lucky bastard...er...um...lucky couple! 8

1) Image from http://dailymail.co.uk
2, 3) Images from www.bluetoro.ca
4) Image from www.sportsmockery.com
5, 7) Images from www.kootation.com
6) Image from www.canadasrock.com
8) Image from www.nextimpulsesports.com

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Retweet of the Day - May 22, 2013

PGA golfer Sergio Garcia of Spain "went there" in his rivalry with fellow tour member Tiger Woods. Woods and Garcia traded jabs in the media recently involving an incident during a recent tournament. Yesterday, during the European Tour awards dinner in London, England, Garcia, when asked if he would have dinner with Woods during the U.S. Open, was quoted as saying, "We'll have him 'round every night. We will serve fried chicken."

Ignorance begets ignorance. The Twittersphere blew up with equally offensive possible responses Woods could have offered to Garcia. This one, by John Beck (‏@jotting1), stood out because it was a doubly offensive example of a return-fire. 1) Garica is a native Spanish speaker from Spain, not Mexico. Yet American sterotypes of anything and everything associated with the Spanish language often revert to references of Mexico and its descendants. 2) The example in the tweet is equally stereotypical and tired.  

"@TheSergioGarcia how bout you come over and YOU can serve me some chinchilla and burritos with that one mexican soda that tastes good"

Even the Dos Equis guy wants nothing to do with him.
Image from www.gamedayr.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Masterful View

Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of retired Hall of Fame NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, is dating golfer Dustin Johnson. She was spotted at The Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. That's all the cause I need to include her in today's Chick Pic.

This picture is a lot more dad-friendly than the last ones we ran of Paulina Gretzky. 1

At least Wayne passed on the value of teamwork to Paulina. 2

Note how closely those old men are looking and following. 3

Life's a beach for Dustin Johnson right now. 4

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Dustin is living the dream, baby! 6

1-5) Images from www.bigleadsports.com
6) Images from www.sportressofblogitude.com

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Retweet of the Day - April 11, 2013

Tiger Woods is off to a solid start in the first round of the 2013 Masters today. Woods has birdied two holes on the front nine and is currently two under par. Woods has three tournament wins this year, regained his #1 ranking in the world, and has looked as good as he has looked since his personal and health issues completely derailed his golf game in late 2009. Many sports analysts are speculating that this Masters could be the major tournament that Woods wins to break his streak of 18 consecutive major tournaments without a win (last major win - 2008 U.S. Open).

Of course, it is hard to forget the events that triggered Woods hiatus from elite performances on the course. Today's retweet is from NOTSportsCenter (‏@NOTSportsCenter):

"Lindsey Vonn isn't the only one at the #Masters to watch Tiger Woods. A few of his mistresses showed up too: pic.twitter.com/WMfdQpBsPd"

Are those all of them? That number seems a little low.

Image from www.twitter.com

Monday, March 18, 2013

Retweet of the Day - March 18, 2013

After weeks of speculation about Tiger Woods' personal life, the superstar golfer confirmed that he is in fact dating skier Lindsey Vonn. As many of you remember, Woods had some...control issues in his last confirmed relationship, wife ex-wife Elin Nordgeren. Among Woods' seemingly infinite peccadilloes was a Waffle House waitress and an adult film star. Tiger neither shot for the stars nor landed on the moon with his extramarital flings.

Today's retweet is from Jeff Arnold (@NWH_JeffArnold):

"Wondering now that @TigerWoods and @lindseyvonn have gone public if it means the skier has a future as a Waffle House waitress?"

If Tiger got roughed up by a nine iron, I hope for his sake he doesn't experience Lindsey's ski poles.
Image cited in a prior posting to The Daily Hat Trick.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Common Threads

World famous golfer Tiger Woods has experienced a meteoric rise in the golf world followed by a meteoric fall from grace after a revelation of his serial infidelity. The fall from grace was followed by his golf game simply plummeting, in large part due to injury. During the last year, Woods has (somewhat) quietly built his game back up. While he has not won any majors, and needs to before the monkey is officially off of his back in the public eye, he has been near the top of the pack for earnings and PGA tournament wins.

Another star, Ireland's Rory McIlroy, has begun to rise in golf in recent years. Woods and McIlroy have developed somewhat of a rivalry/mentorship relationship over the past couple of years. I think both have benefited, helping young McIlroy develop into an "A" list sports star and Woods continue the long road to his recovery as a superstar. This week, the pair was reportedly engaged in a private golf duel prior to this week's Honda Classic tournament.

Woods is rumored to be dating (or have dated) skier Lindsey Vonn, today's Chick Pic subject. Vonn is also making a difficult road to recovery after being injured in an accident on the slopes. She says that she will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Besides fame and fortune (and in Vonn's case, being smoking hot) clearly Woods and Vonn have competitive spirit and perseverance in common. It's also good to see Woods exercising a little more discretion, as his personal life has been the subject of unsupported rumors and innuendos and not the smoking guns of dozens of low rent women yapping to the press for their 15 minutes of fame.

I'm confused. Is she hot or cold? The other "hot".... 1

She must be very warm blooded. 2

Lindsey Vonn and her sister Karin Vonn at the 2011 ESPYs. 3

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I'll believe it when I see them together. 5
1) Image from www.si.com
2) Image from www.desktopbetty.com
3) Image from www.aceshowbiz.com
4) Image from www.guyspeed.com
5) Image from www.sodahead.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let's Stay Together

I have no idea how much stock to put in trends that I see circulating on the Internet. Please take the following with a grain of salt: According to numerous gossip sites and Internet blogs golfer Tiger Woods reportedly re-proposed to his ex-wife, model Elin Nordegren. As most of you are well aware, Tiger Woods' dalliances came into the public eye in Thanksgiving of 2009. "Dalliances" became a "global harem" shortly thereafter and Woods and his wife began the track to divorce in 2010, including a nine figure monetary settlement.

Don't believe me? Google it. Where there is smoke, there's fire. I don't know how legitimate the reports are, but it is enough to make the former Mrs. Elin Woods (not for the first time) the subject of today's Chick Pic.

I'll bet Tiger was feeling lonely when the holidays got started. Looking at pictures like this (or better). It probably made him forget all about the crash of Elin's Big Bertha going through his driver's side vent window. 1
♫ "Blue Eyes...." ♪ 2

The thought of the douchebag-looking Jamie Dingman getting all up in his woman must have driven Tiger out of his mind. Still, if Elin's "payback ratio" is only 1 for every 12 by Tiger, he shouldn't complain much. 3
♪ "Swingin' like tiger Woods' wife!" ♫ 4
♪ "Memories...light the corners of my mind (and my hairline)."♫ 5
1, 2) Images from www.stepup21.com
3) Image from www.celebpromoter.com
4) Image from www.thespreadit.com
5) Image from www.people.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Whoop Dee Freakin' Doo!

Augusta National, home to The Masters golf tournament, admitted its first to female members in the 80 year history of the club, earlier this week. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore will be the first women to don the trademark Augusta green jackets. What a glorious day for gender equality!!!

I am glad Augusta allowed women into their ranks, but this is at least 20 years overdue. The time to give an exclusive institution "credit" for broadening its horizons in demographic categories like sex and ethnicity was from approximately 1970 until about 1990, give or take several years here or there. Once the years began with a "2" instead of a "1", such an institution was overdue in its mainstream inclusiveness. Regardless of your politics, love him or hate him, once Barack Obama, a black man, became President of the United States of America in 2009, the ultimate "Good Ole Boys Club", any institution claiming to be in line with mainstream American values became delinquent by excluding people, across the board, because of accidents of birth.

Guess who's coming for tee time! 1

OTHER BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS

Perhaps I am being cynical in assessment of Augusta National's removal of its gender barrier. Let's look at the timing of some other gender breakthroughs and contrast them to the 2012 admissions of a former Presidential Cabinet member of the highest rank and a successful businesswoman.

Source: Scholastic.com

1849 - America's first licensed female physician. 

1916 - The first woman is elected to Congress.

1920 - The 19th amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, granting women's suffrage.

1948 - The first woman breaks the sound barrier.

Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin - note that this was before color photography was ubiquitous. 2
Notice a pattern here? Most of you weren't even born, in fact, many of your parents weren't even born by this point. But hey, this was just the tip of the iceberg, we haven't even touched the Women's Lib movement yet.

1960 - The first birth control pill goes on the market.  

1963 - The Equal Pay Act passes.

1964 - Gender discrimination is effectively outlawed in employment, public accommodations, and other areas of commerce following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1968 - The first black woman is elected to the House of Representatives.

1973 - Roe vs Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court

1993 - The United States has its first female Attorney General appointed.

The term "lady" may be relative, but "woman" is not. 3

Perhaps I sound like some pinko, commie, tree-hugging liberal, but if we have women making and enforcing the laws of the land, I wouldn't think that allowing membership at a golf club is pushing the envelope much. I believe in every private club's right to associate, and not associate, with whomever they want. I also think that the notion of closing off membership on the basis or race, gender, religion or other demographics, in this day and age, is archaic. I have no problem with Augusta National's admission of women members. I have a problem with the perception some may have that Augusta deserves applause for a groundbreaking decision.

It is overdue. Much like when an overdue library book is returned, it is appreciated. It also should have happened sooner.

Don't forget to vote in the fan polls!

To advertise with The Daily Hat Trick, or to submit a guest column, please contact the editor at eric@thedailyhattrick.info.

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1) Image from www.cbsnews.com
2) Image from the Library of Congress via http://womenincongress.house.gov
3) Image from www.spokeo.com