Golf Claps & Silent Treatment: McGladrey Classic

October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Entertaining News, Golf News, Pro Insider, Spy Blog 

Ben Crane is a funny guy, but he was all business Sunday at the McGladrey Classic.

Ben Crane

Ben Crane

Perhaps best known for his series of quirky YouTube videos and his role in the laughably bad “Golf Boys” routine, Crane ran down Webb Simpson with a final-round 63, then won on the second playoff hole.

All this while his wife was in Dallas prepping for the birth of the couples’ third child (scheduled to arrive Monday via C-section). For good measure, Crane nearly withdrew from the McGladrey Thursday with an aching hip.

Seriously.

As for Simpson, it wasn’t all bad. He overtook Luke Donald for the PGA Tour money lead with one event remaining. The pair will slug it out for the title this week at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Orlando.

Crane, understandably, is skipping the event. Too bad – we were hoping for a duet with Mickey Mouse.

This week’s applause meter goes to 11 -- 12 if you count the 0:

Golf Claps

Bud Cauley: The curly-locked Cauley, a 21-year-old from Alabama, finished T15 to earn $64,000, plenty to put him inside the top 125 on the money list. That gives Cauley PGA Tour exempt status for 2012 – in other words, no Q-School for Bud.

He’s just the sixth player ever to take the express route to the Tour; the others included Tiger Woods.

Tom Lewis: Speaking of Woods, he was one-upped this weekend by Lewis, an English phenom who won in his third professional start. Actually, Lewis two-upped Tiger, who took his sweet time before winning on the fifth try.

Tom Lewis, winner of the Portugal Masters

Tom Lewis

Lewis blew past a bevy of veterans with a final-round 65 at the Portugal Masters. You may have watched the 20-year old in July during the Open Championship, where his Thursday 65 was the lowest round by an amateur in the event’s history.

Silent Treatment

Greg Norman: Maybe the Shark should put a gag order on himself. Then again, his mouth may have already done its damage.

Clearly, Norman believes Woods is washed up. How else to explain his weekend comments stating that Keegan Bradley should’ve gotten the Presidents Cup pick that U.S. captain Fred Couples spent on Tiger.

“I can understand the name of a Tiger Woods and his history of what he’s done on the golf course,” Norman said. “But I pick the guys who I think are ready to get in there and play and have performed to the highest levels leading up to it.”

Psst, Greg: You’re coaching the other team!

It’s not that we disagree with Norman. On the contrary, we’re with him 100 percent. But we’re not coaching against Tiger!

Neither is Couples, who takes a step closer to looking like a genius every time Norman opens his yap.

Spy on Golf: Tales of Redemption

September 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Entertaining News, Pro Insider, Spy Blog 

With the FedEx Cup playoffs on hiatus this week, we considered taking a breather, too. Hey, if there’s one thing more taxing than playing golf for a living, it’s writing about it.

Amateur David Law won the Northern Open

David Law

Yeah, not really. Besides, there’s still plenty of golf goings-on to discuss, such as:

Scottish amateur lays down the Law

How’s this for an in-your-face response: Snubbed for a spot on the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, David Law went out and won last week’s Northern Open. A professional tournament.

Law, who must watch GB&I take on the United States from the sidelines of the very links where he won the 2009 Scottish boys championship, posted a four-round total of -14 to become the first amateur to win the event in 40 years.

For good measure, he took the high road afterward. “The timing of this is more important to other people,” he said, “than it is to me.”

Law is actually the first alternate for GB&I should one of its 10 players become incapacitated. Could make for a real Hollywood ending.

New Bjorn identity

From 1996-2006, Thomas Bjorn was a mainstay on the European golf scene. The burly Dane earned a pair of Ryder Cup berths, regularly contended in major championships, and never finished worse than 21st on the European Tour money list.

Over the next three years, Bjorn’s scores soared and his world ranking plummeted – all the way to 250th by the end of 2009. His swing and passion seemed to vanish overnight.

Bjorn began showing signs of renewal in 2010, when he won the Portuguese Open, then returned to genuine prominence by claiming the Qatar Masters in June of this year. His back-to-back victories at the Johnnie Walker Championship and Omega European Masters completed Bjorn’s rousing comeback story at age 40.

Yet more proof that golf is, despite appearances to the contrary, a forgiving game.

A couple more takes on golf’s hot topics:

  • Mickelson adds sports psychologist to team: Julie Elion joins Phil’s phalanx of on-call gurus, featuring Dave Pelz (short game), Dave Stockton (putting), Butch Harmon (full swing) and Sean Cochran (fitness). Next thing you know, Mickelson’s hair stylist will be joining him at Tour stops.
  • Faldo says Tiger won’t catch Nicklaus: Sir Nick claims Tiger is too distracted to win four more majors. And we thought his shredded knee, shattered ego, dozens of young challengers and re-re-reconstructed swing were the big obstacles.

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