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Golfer Steve Elkington makes homophobic joke about Michael Sam

Steve-ElkingtonAustralian professional golfer Steve Elkington’s best days on the course are behind him, but he seems to think his wits are at their peak. The 51-year-old has become known for some of the off-color tweets he sends, so it was no surprise when he shared a controversial opinion about Michael Sam on Tuesday.

Elkington started off by calling it “embarrassing” that ESPN is covering Sam as a gay athlete.

Several hours later, he made a homophobic joke that even homophobes probably wouldn’t be proud of.

When Elkington’s followers began bashing him for being narrow-minded, he clarified that he supports Sam but does not support ESPN telling viewers that Sam is gay. As we know, it is fairly newsworthy that Sam could become the first openly gay player in the NFL this spring.

Sam himself recently stated that he wants to be known as a football player and not a gay football player. If that is the point Elkington was trying to make, he did a horrible job of conveying it. The handbag joke was incredibly immature.

Eisenhower Tree removed from Augusta National after storm

Tiger Woods Eisenhower Tree

The famous Eisenhower Tree was removed from Augusta National over the weekend after it didn’t survive an ice storm.

The Eisenhower Tree lied on the 17th hole of the famous course and was so named because the nation’s 34th president used to hit his tee shots into it. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was a member of Augusta National and played the course during his presidency, lobbied but failed to have the tree removed from the course. The club chairman at the time, Clifford Roberts, ruled Eisenhower was out of order and adjourned the meeting.

The Eisenhower Tree was a Loblolly Pine that stretched about 65 feet high. It was estimated to be between 100-125 years old. Current Augusta National chairman Billy Payne says the club is already considering options to replace the tree on the course. He also says preparation for the upcoming Masters in April will not be affected by the removal of the tree.

“The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept,” Payne said in a statement. “We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.

“We have begun deliberations of the best way to address the future of the 17th hole and pay tribute to this iconic symbol of our history — rest assured, we will do both appropriately.”

ESPN says the tree was already being held up by cables and that Augusta National was preparing for this day.

Here’s how the tree looked after the storm:

Rickie Fowler got a haircut

Rickie-FowlerRickie Fowler has one of the most unique images in golf. It all starts with his long flowing hair and continues with the flamboyant colors and Puma hats he loves to wear. But as of last week, the hair is no more.

Fowler got a haircut, and for some reason it makes him look like a 15-year-old boy. Not that the 25-year-old is an old seasoned veteran or anything, but the short hair makes him look even younger. The flowing locks matched the pink outfits. Now, Fowler looks like one of the kids who try to impersonate him.

Rickie-Fowler-haircut

Hank Haney: Tiger Woods works out too much, doesn’t practice enough

Tiger Woods Hank HaneyHank Haney and Tiger Woods have been trading some subtle jabs over the past few weeks, and things seem to start with Haney sharing his long held view that Tiger is working out too much.

Haney, who is Tiger’s former swing coach, shared his opinion on his SiriusXM radio show two weeks ago.

“My opinion is he did too much of that. He does a lot of the gym stuff. I know you need to do some for golf, no doubt about it. You need to be in shape, you need to avoid injury, but my opinion is he really overdoes that,” Haney said. “He looks like he’s gained more muscle mass. When he was thinner and younger he was actually faster then. The strength maybe helps you get out of the rough but I’d agree that he’s overdone it. But he loves to work out.”

Haney made those comments after Tiger missed the second cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. He later clarified over Twitter that he thinks Tiger’s bigger problem is not practicing enough.

Woods brought up Haney while playing in Dubai last week by making reference to some of his old habits developed under the coach. He’s what he said via ESPN’s Bob Harig.

“It’s my old pattern again. With my last coach, it was a push-block. We tried to get out of that and go to a cut [a ball that curves from left to right]. It’s harder to aim [more to the] right knowing that I’ve got to cut it.

“Last year all my misses were in the left rough. But they were all straight balls. It was dead straight because I aimed it there. Trying to aim down the right side of the fairway is a little harder. When I get it [correct], I hit these bullet cuts that go forever. And I started getting that toward the end [of the round]. At the beginning of the round, I was in that old pattern. Aim left and hit it. None of them overhooked. It just started left and stayed there.”

Then on Friday Tiger also talked about “hot pulls” on the course at Dubai.

One has to ask why Tiger is still bringing this up when he hasn’t worked with Haney for a few years. He has a new coach now and has been working with Sean Foley. Why is he still bringing up these explanations? Whatever the case, Haney is still defensive about it. He tweeted this on Thursday:

Sounds like they’re both sensitive about the subjects.

Fred Couples giving up Super Bowl tickets after making cut

Fred Couples Seahawks

Golfer Fred Couples made the cut at the Dubai Desert Classic this weekend, so the Seattle Seahawks fan will be giving up his tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII to continue competing in the event. Not a bad consolation prize, huh?

Couples, 54, bought Super Bowl tickets six months ago on a hunch that his hometown Seahawks would make the big game, ESPN reported. Couples said he paid a lot of money for the two tickets, which are on the 50-yard line, but will surrender them after playing well enough to make it to the weekend in Dubai.

Couples ordinarily plays on the Champions Tour, but he was participating in Dubai this week as part of the tournament’s 25-year anniversary celebration. Couples was the tournament winner in 1995.

Couples birdied his last two holes Friday to place himself tied for 44th at 3-under par. Though he’s eight strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy, who shot an impressive 63 on Thursday, he’s staying to see what he can do in the final two rounds.

“There’s no way I would ever not try,” Couples said via ESPN. “So I’ll watch it on TV, that’s the next best thing.”

The only downside for Couples is that the game comes on at 3:30 a.m. in Dubai on Monday morning, so it will be an early day for him to watch his ‘Hawks. The 1992 Masters champ is such a big Seahawks fan he raised the “12th Man” flag before Seattle’s Monday night game against the Saints on Dec. 2, so it’s not like he’s some bandwagon chump.

I guess we could say that even though he’s giving up his tickets, he was in a win-win situation. And by making the cut, he’ll more than make up the money lost with the tickets.

Photo: Twitter/Champions Tour

Paulina Gretzky appears in new TaylorMade commercial (Video)

Paulina Gretzky is now engaged to PGA golfer Dustin Johnson, which I guess brings her that much closer to the game of golf. Earlier this month, we were surprised by a video Gretzky posted on Instagram showing her impressive golf swing. We were much less surprised to see her make a cameo in the new TaylorMade commercial.

Paulina-Gretzky-Taylormade

Johnson is one of TaylorMade’s best clients, so it makes sense that his fiancee would be featured in an advertisement for the company that endorses him. TaylorMade obviously needed an attractive woman for their new “Speed Police” marketing idea, and we all know how Paulina can, well, bring the heat. This probably won’t be her last commercial.

Video via Eye on Golf

John Daly wears ‘SpongeBob’ pants at Qatar Masters

John-Daly-SpongeBob-pants

John Daly is known for many things. His long drive and love for partying are two of them. His wacky wardrobe selections are another, and the 47-year-old may have outdone himself this week on the European Tour.

Daly is playing in the Qatar Masters, where he has decided to redefine the pants game. During the pro-am event on Tuesday prior to the start of the tournament, he wore slacks with “SpongeBob SquarePants” plastered all over them. On Wednesday, he went with a sunflower theme for the first round of play.

John-Daly-sunflower-pants

I think I speak for all of us when I say I can’t wait to see what Daly has in store for the second round. And hopefully he makes the cut, because who knows what might be waiting in his closet for the weekend. It’s outfits like the ones you see above that inspire reporters like this.

H/T Eye on Golf