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Tiger Takes Tough Questions in Ireland

One could say that the Tiger Woods firestorm has cooled off over the past few months. Sure, he’s faced rumors that he’s fathered children out of wedlock and dealt with the occasional heckler, but things have calmed down for the most part. He’s no longer making covers of the tabloids on a daily basis nor is he the brunt of every comedian’s jokes. Tiger played in the charity J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am on Tuesday, his first foreign tournament since all the madness went down. He was peppered with questions unlike any other media session since the Tom Rinaldi interview. Witness the following video of Tiger being questioned by the Irish media as shared by You Been Blinded:

The questions arose because Tiger’s heading back home from Ireland rather than sticking around in the U.K. to prepare for the British Open at St. Andrews. While all the questions were fair and much harsher than what Tiger will face from the U.S. media, it’s pretty clear that he’s keeping matters private. That’s probably the best thing he can do.

Sources:
Reporters Grill Tiger at JP McManus Pro-Am [You Been Blinded]
Woods turns icy at personal questions in Ireland [AP/Golf.com]
Video Credit: ESPN

A Round of Golf with President Bush

One would think that golfing with eight carts filled with Secret Service men would make you a nightmare to share the golf course. To his surprise, however, Golfweek’s Jeff Rude had the pleasure of letting the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, play through at the Dallas National Golf Club on Monday.

It seems that being a U.S. President out of office is a pretty sweet gig. Playing three to four rounds a week when home in Dallas, Bush clearly rolls out in style, sporting an exclusive, custom made number “43” cap and, as Rude describes, “those cool looking, Fred Couples style black Ecco shoes.” Apparently, “number 43” isn’t afraid to use a little presidential privilege on the course either.

“After he scuffed a chip just short of the green, he looked at me and said, “There’s mud on my ball. Can I wipe it off?”

I had been introduced to him as a Golfweek writer. Now I was playing rules official.

“I suppose you have some sort of presidential privilege,” I said.

Given that unofficial permission, he picked up his ball, cleaned it, looked over and said, “I’m not going to read about this in the magazine, am I?”

I smiled but didn’t answer. I’ll answer now: No, not in the magazine.

On the Web site.”

Say what you will about W’s track record in public office, he doesn’t seem like the worst guy to have in your foursome. Playing 18 holes with eight secret service cars is probably the safest day on the links you could ask for—now watch this drive!

Sources:
Hate to be Rude: A President plays through [Golfweek]

Tony Romo Reaches Sectionals of U.S. Open Qualifying

Tony Romo’s success story in the NFL is pretty well documented (although the success part would be debated by many). Much like Kurt Warner, Romo was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Cowboys before eventually taking over the team’s starting job from Drew Bledsoe. Before making it as a starting quarterback, Romo made attempts to qualify for golf tournaments such as the Byron Nelson Championship and the U.S. Open. Romo was planning to attempt to qualify for the Byron Nelson this year but his tee time conflicted with a Cowboys practice so he decided to skip the golf dream. Romo however is trying to make it into the U.S. Open this year as a qualifier and has moved one step closer to reaching that point.

As Todd Wright mentioned on Sporting News Radio, Romo won the a third playoff hole to become the sixth golfer from his local qualifier to make the sectional qualifier. Romo finished his 18 hole round at 2-under 69 and left the course before being called back to play in the playoff. Romo parred all three playoff holes and won when his opponent bogeyed the third playoff hole. He now moves onto sectional qualifying with a chance to become one of 90 sectional qualifiers who will make the U.S. Open field of 156. What’s the best part of all? Romo won’t have to miss any practice time with the Cowboys to participate in the sectional qualifying! Can you imagine if he does make it into the U.S. Open?

Sources:
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo advances in U.S. Open golf qualifier [Dallas Morning News]
Romo pars playoff holes, moves on [Calvin Watkins/ESPN Dallas]

Tiger Offered Endorsement Deal Worth $100 Million…From a Gambling Website

Here’s a new idea, Tiger.  Instead of apologizing for all the terrible things you’ve done to your family and all the lies you’ve told over the years — why not embrace your new image?  Rather than fretting about the millions of dollars you’re missing out on as sponsors drop you left and right, why not seek out new sponsors — ones who want you to essentially say, “I’m a scumbag, I’m still rich, deal with it.”  That’s exactly what Calvin Ayre, founder and owner of the popular online gambling website Bodog, would like Tiger Woods to do.  In fact, he’s willing to give him $100 million dollars to do it.  Here’s what Ayre had to say about his offer to Woods, courtesy of CTV News via Sports by Brooks:

“If Tiger would just come clean and admit he likes to do the same things I like to do, I think he’d fit our brand perfectly. As is always the case in these situations it is the fact that you are living a life that is not true that actually causes the problem. If he’d just come clean and admit ‘This is who I am’ that I think there would be a lot of opportunity for him with a different image.”

Ayre is obviously a very smart and successful businessman, so he must know as well as we do that there’s no way Tiger is going to agree to something like this — no matter how much he offers.  If nothing else, he’s creating enough of a buzz just by making the offer known publicly.  I have to admit it is interesting to think about, however.  While Nike is running ads that are meant to more or less showcase the humility Tiger supposedly feels, there’s a whole new industry out there waiting for him to embrace his “bad boy” image and become even more wealthy doing it.

Sources:
SbB Live
Company offers Tiger Woods $100M to be ‘bad boy’ [CTV News]

Notre Dame Golfer Annie Brophy Disqualified for Lying About Her Scores

Nothing like a good old collegiate golf cheating story to brighten our day. Golfweek shares with us the story of Notre Dame senior golfer Annie Brophy who turned heads by lighting up the front-nine at the NCAA Central Regional on Saturday. Brophy may be good, but she’s not good enough to shoot a legitimate 30 on the front-nine as investigators came to find out. According to Golfweek:

When members of the NCAA rules committee heard about Brophy’s five birdies and an eagle (she threw in a bogey for good measure), they went out to the 11th hole to see for themselves. Notre Dame assistant coach Kyle Lynne Veltri told them that front-nine score couldn’t possibly be accurate.

Turns out Brophy had reported inaccurate numbers to Golfstat volunteers.

The NCAA committee decided to disqualify Brophy for unsportsmanlike conduct, no surprise. I have no idea what caused Brophy to do this. Did she decide that because she’s a senior she wanted to go out with a bang? Was she hoping she could get away with it? Whatever the reason, there’s no question that Annie Brophy messed with a lot of people and wasted their time. Quite an exit for someone who will go down as one of the better golfers in the program’s history.

Sources:
Notre Dame senior DQ’d for lying about scores [Golfweek]
Photo Credit: Annie Brophy Player Bio

Fan Heckles Tiger Woods, Pays The Price

Using a Taser has apparently gained popularity as the most efficient way of controlling unruly fans at sporting events across the country.  The Philadelphia Phillies’ security team made national news earlier this week when they used a Taser to drop a fan who jumped onto the field and outran them for a while — apparently angering the security guard who was chasing after him.  The PGA is now getting in on the action as a means of protecting Tiger Woods from inconsiderate fans.  According to Deadspin, via NY Daily News, Security guards at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach called the sheriff after a fan refused to stop heckling Tiger on Friday.  Apparently he still wouldn’t give it up when officers got there, inspiring deputies to Taser and arrest the fanTravis Parmelee, 36, of Jacksonville, Fla. has been charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest.  I’m shocked alcohol was involved.

Maybe the genius who flew banners with phrases heckling Tiger over Augusta knew what they were doing when they chose to take shots at him from an altitude of several thousand feet.  Clearly, the PGA isn’t going to tolerate any extensive harassment of its former poster boy, so it’s probably safer to do it that way if you must.  We knew when Tiger returned stories like this one would start surfacing.  I found it quite fitting that this particular incidence happened to involve the newest fad in professional sports — the Taser.  Gotta love this guy’s Hawaiian shirt, too.  Great touch.

Sources:
Drunk Golf Fan Taunts Tiger, Gets Tasered at The Players Championship [Deadspin]
Drunk golf fan Tasered for heckling Tiger Woods at The Players Championship [NY Daily News]

Rory McIlroy: My New Favorite Golfer

In case you didn’t hear, a 20-year-old golfer named Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland dominated the scene at the Quail Hollow Championship over the weekend, becoming the youngest PGA Tour winner since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat a few years back.  The up-and-coming star finished the event at 15-under and won himself $1.17 million in the process.

Let the gossip begin as pictures of the young star’s girlfriend — Holly Sweeney — have been rapidly surfacing all over the internet.  The two have been dating since they were only in their mid-teens, and good friend Sports By Brooks directed our attention to the heat the now 19-year-old is bringing.  Here’s what McIlroy told the Belfast Telegraph about his girlfriend a few years back:

Holly is quite shy. This is the first time she has been in the media spotlight and she has handled herself really well, but I think she doesn’t want to turn into a typical girlfriend of a sports person, so she likes to take a back seat.”

That’s probably a good idea, Holly.  Sometimes “sports girlfriends” and wives find themselves being cheated on.  Not saying McIlroy has the morals — or lack there of — that Tiger has, but I’m sure girlfriends of golfers are now a bit more worried about their boyfriends cheating on them with porn stars than they were, say, last year. Sweeney doesn’t look to be very shy anymore to me, but that’s just my opinion. In any event, here are some pictures of Rory McIlroy’s girlfriend if you care to have a look at the better half of my new favorite golfer on the Tour:

HOLLY SWEENEY PICTURES

Sources:
Photos of Rory McIlroy’s “Quite Shy” Girlfriend [Sports by Brooks]
Holly doesn’t want to be a typical sports girlfriend [Belfast Telegraph]
Photo Credit: Flickr