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LPGA golfers ‘frustrated’ over Paulina Gretzky making Golf Digest cover

Paulina Gretzky Golf Digest

Paulina Gretzky is on the cover of the May 2014 issue of “Golf Digest,” and that has left some LPGA golfers frustrated.

Gretzky is only tangentially linked to golf through her fiancee, Dustin Johnson, so the selection of her to appear on the cover as opposed to other women who actually play on tour and win events is troubling for some.

Stacy Lewis, who has won two majors, expressed frustration to The New York Times.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” Lewis said via The Times. “It’s the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get the respect for being the golfers we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

Golfer Juli Inkster is similarly frustrated.

“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Inkster told the New York Times. “I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect? I’m guaranteeing you right now, it was not a woman editor who chose that cover.”

She’s right — Jerry Tarde is the magazine’s editor in chief. He explained the decision to put The Little Great One on the cover.

“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning. Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game.”

The Times notes that Golf Channel personality Holly Saunders and supermodel Kate Upton (who posed alongside Arnold Palmer) were the last two women to appear on the cover. The last LPGA tour winner to appear on the cover was Lorena Ochoa in 2008.

Look, they can be frustrated over the decision and everyone understands why. Putting Paulina on the cover of “Golf Digest” is a stretch. But they’re a media company and in the business of selling magazines and attracting eyeballs. Putting Paulina on the cover accomplishes that. End of story.

At least Paulina does have some support:

H/T Sportress of Blogitude, Puck Daddy

Tiger Woods will miss the Masters

Nick-Faldo-Tiger-WoodsTiger Woods announced on Tuesday that he will be unable to play in the Masters next week after undergoing a successful microdiscectomy procedure to repair a pinched nerve that has been causing him pain for months. He will need to rest and rehab for several weeks.

“After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done,” Woods said in a press release on his website. “I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.”

Woods also thanked the fans for their support, adding that he is frustrated to have to miss golf’s most storied event but is following the advice of his doctors to preserve his long-term health.

It’s hard to imagine the Masters without Woods, as he will be missing the event for the first time in his career. He has won the Masters four times and would have been searching for his first major tournament win since 2008. The last time he won the Masters was in 2005.

Tiger had to withdraw from the Honda Classic last month due to back spasms. It was reportedly the same discomfort he had experienced last year at The Barclays, so this is something that has been going on for a while. He hopes to be back at some point during the summer.

Justin Rose hit a shot that will make casual golfers feel great (Video)

Justin-Rose-awful-shotAs someone who greatly enjoys golfing and is not very good at it, watching the PGA usually reminds me of all the inefficiencies in my game. But every once in a while, a player like Justin Rose comes along and proves that the professionals are capable of embarrassing themselves too.

Rose hit one of the worst shots you’ll ever see at a PGA event during the final round of the Valspar Championship on Sunday. He was just over 100 yards out and hit the ball fat, and it wound up going about 20 yards in front of him. For once in my life, I can confidently say I could have hit a better shot than a pro did.

Rose was in the hunt heading into Sunday, but shots like the one you see above led to a disappointing final round score of 74. Hey, at least it wasn’t the Masters.

Video via Eye on Golf

Hideki Matsuyama apologizes after Ian Poulter rips him for ‘idiot’ move (Video)

Hideki MatsuyamaHideki Matsuyama apologized to Ian Poulter and other golfers on Saturday, a day after learning that the veteran called him an “idiot” for damaging a green during the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on Friday.

Matsuyama, 22, was playing in the group ahead of Poulter, who was in a group with Charl Schwartzl and Jason Dufner. Damaging the 13th green left the next group to clean it up. Matsuyama apologized to all three prior to his third round on Saturday.

“At the time, I didn’t think I did it so strong, making the divot on the green,” Matsuyama told Japanese reporters in remarks that were translated, per ESPN. “Upsetting the players behind me means I did it.

“I was not careful enough. I need to be more careful about etiquette and manners in the future.”

Poulter called Matsuyama an “idiot” in a series of tweets sent Friday night.

Poulter and Matsuyama were actually paired together for Saturday’s third round. The youngster shot a 1-under 71, while Poulter went 1 over. Matsuyama is +4 for the tournament.

Looking at the video, what Hideki-san did seemed very minor.

Tiger Woods: Explaining quitting to your daughter is no easy task

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods withdrew from the Honda Classic last weekend with back spasms during the middle of the final round. He was putting together a horrible round and later said he had no idea where his shots were heading. Tiger was in the hunt heading into Sunday, so it must have been incredibly difficult to bow it. It was even tougher to explain it to his daughter.

Woods’ 6-year-old daughter Sam walked off the course with him at Palm Beach Gardens.

“Explaining to your six-year-old daughter why you quit is certainly an interesting concept and topic,” Tiger said, via Eye on Golf. “I was telling Sam, ‘hey, daddy can handle pain’ but I just couldn’t move out there. It got to a point where I couldn’t twist.”

Little girls like to think of their daddies as superheroes, so you can imagine why being in pain was no excuse for a 6-year-old. The good news is Tiger said his back feels much better and has not been an issue this week. He should be good to go for the Cadillac Championship this weekend.

Tiger Woods withdraws from Honda Classic with back spasms during rough round

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods withdrew from the Honda Classic during the middle of his final round Sunday.

Woods shot a 65 on Saturday and was being mentioned as someone who could contend for the tournament, but he imploded and was five over on Sunday.

Woods shot over par on five of the holes on the front nine, including a stretch on holes 2-4 of two bogeys and a double-bogey.

Tiger was through 13 holes when he withdrew. He was even par for the tournament and tied for 45th.

NBC reported that Tiger’s spokesman says the golfer cited his back as his reason for withdrawing. NBC reported that Tiger experienced back spasms during warmups and that they were the same issues he experienced last year at The Barclays in August.

Rory McIlroy involved in legal battle with former management company

Rory-McIlroyRory McIlroy is looking to bounce back this year after a disappointing golf season in 2013. The former world No. 1 signed with Nike and became one of the wealthiest 24-year-old’s in the world last year, but his game faltered. Back in November, McIlroy hinted that legal troubles with sponsors contributed to his poor play in 2013. He may still be having them.

According to the Irish Independent, McIlroy attended a hearing earlier this week that dealt with a lawsuit he has filed against his former management company. McIlroy reportedly claims he signed an agreement with the company under “undue influence” when he was 22 years old.

McIlroy claims he has paid “unreasonable” fee rates to the company that are far greater than an athlete would pay a standard sports agency. He also does not believe he has to pay the company, Horizon Sports Management in Dublin, fees related to his $20 million per year endorsement deal with Nike.

The agency denies the claim and insists McIlroy freely entered into an agreement in 2011. They say he agreed to pay them certain fees and are seeking roughly $3 million in fees for of-course revenues earned by McIlroy. They are also seeking damages, claiming McIlroy continues to breach their contract.

All legal jargon aside, McIlroy fans should be hoping the youngster is able to is able to focus on his golf game this year. He and Caroline Wozniacki are engaged to be married, so one would think analysts would get off his case about Woz being a distraction. Hopefully the legal troubles are sorted out sooner rather than later.