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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Golf

Kevin Na zings fellow golfer Grayson Murray with great tweet

Kevin Na holds a club

Kevin Na is defending his title this week at the Sony Open, while Grayson Murray is sitting at home watching.

That has provided Murray a little more time to spend on Twitter, which he used to take aim at Na.

Although he’s a bit busy at the moment, Na caught wind of the tweet and decided to fire back at Murray. And as he’s done on the golf course, Na took home another “W” over his rival.

In the words if Michael Kelso, “burn!” Or if you prefer Sheldon Cooper, “bazinga!”

But it didn’t end there. Murray also reportedly wrote, “hahah love it little guy! would never tell that to my face” before deleting the tweet. He later returned to tweet, “If they penalized you like they should for slow play you’d never make another cut either.”

Murray had missed seven cuts and withdrew twice in his last nine PGA Tour events before announcing in July that he was dealing with alcoholism. Why he chose to take unprovoked aim at Na, who always chases his puts before they drop, is unclear.

It’s also not the first time Murray found himself in hot water for a negative tweet. In 2017, he was forced to apologize after making an extremely inappropriate comment toward an underage high school girl.

Na has yet to reply to any of Murray’s more recent jabs as of Saturday morning.

Image: January 14, 2022; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Kevin Na prepares for his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Lindsey Vonn shares challenges of dating Tiger Woods

Lindsey Vonn sitting

Lindsey Vonn has had a couple of public relationships and is used to being in the spotlight. But her first foray into being part of a celebrity couple came when she began dating Tiger Woods nearly a decade ago.

Vonn and Woods met in 2012 and began dating in 2013. They eventually split in 2015.

Vonn talked with Entertainment Tonight to promote her new book “Rise: My Story.” During the interview, she talked about what she learned regarding the challenges of dating someone as famous at Woods.

“I just think, generally, it’s really difficult to date anyone in the public eye, and I’ve always been a really open person. But I think I learned that there’s some things that need to be kept private,” Vonn shared. “And as much as I didn’t want to share everything that makes me happy and all the fun times that I had, that’s also just for me and my partner, and I didn’t need to share that. So it’s difficult, obviously, being in this position because everyone wants a scoop and no one wants to know what I’m doing.”

The experience Vonn gained from dating Woods helped her when she later dated hockey player PK Subban. The two dated for 2.5 years and broke up in late 2020 despite previously being engaged.

Vonn, an Olympic gold medal-winning skier, was linked to an actor in May. It’s unclear whether they are still dating, but Vonn has a much better idea now what to share publicly and what to keep private.

Photo: Sept 6, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Lindsey Vonn watches the Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Daniil Medvedev of Russia semifinal match on day twelve of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Golf reporter Tim Rosaforte dies at 66

Tim Rosaforte conducts an interview

The golf community is mourning the loss of one of its most well-known reporters.

Tim Rosaforte died on Tuesday following a brief battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Golf Channel. He was 66.

Rosaforte covered the biggest stories in golf for Golf Channel, Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest. He was known as one of the sport’s original insiders, often sharing behind-the-scenes stories about the top golfers in the world.

Rosaforte retired in 2019 after covering hundreds of tournaments, including more than 125 majors. He was a recipient of the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and the Memorial Tournament’s golf journalism award. Rosaforte was also the first journalist to be awarded a lifetime membership from the PGA.

The Golf Channel ran a tribute to Rosaforte following the news of his death.

Many of the entertaining stories Rosaforte covered have helped grow golf into the popular sport that it is today. There’s no question he made a major impact.

Video: Charlie Woods looks just like dad Tiger in sinking birdie putt

Charlie Woods putter raise

Charlie Woods looked an awful lot like his dad in sinking a 25-foot putt at the PNC Championship on Saturday.

Tiger’s 12-year-old son looked like he belonged on the fourth hole at the pro-am tournament, in which major champions play alongside family members. Charlie finished seventh at the event in 2020, and looked even sharper putting for birdie here.

That’s a professional putter raise. It’s straight out of his father’s playbook, which just makes it more awesome.

At the same event a year ago, Charlie, then 11, showed that he’d mastered his dad’s famous fistpump. It looks like he’s taking a lot of other cues from his father, which is a pretty good sign for his prospects of a golf career if that’s what he wants.

Tiger Woods provides key clarification about PGA Tour future

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods sounded a cautious note about returning to the PGA Tour after a successful return to competitive golf at the PNC Championship.

There had been some speculation that Woods would request the use of a golf cart in order to return to the PGA Tour while still recovering from the broken leg he suffered in February. Woods made clear that he didn’t even consider that to be an option.

“No. I wouldn’t, no. No. Absolutely not. Not for a PGA Tour event, no,” Woods said Friday, via Adam Schupak of Golfweek. “That’s just not who I am. That’s not how I’ve always been, and if I can’t play at that level, I can’t play at that level.”

Woods has long opposed the use of carts on the tour, arguing that it would give golfers too much of an advantage over those who choose to walk. Even in a scenario where it could help him play at the PGA Tour level, he will not compromise on that.

The legendary golfer could have dealt with even more severe consequences from his February car accident. Even playing with a cart in a more casual tournament is a huge accomplishment.

Paulina Gretzky broke her dating policy for Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson Paulina Gretzky

Paulina Gretzky, daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, long adhered to a very specific set of dating rules. Having grown up around athletes, she refused to date them. She believed they viewed her as little more than a trophy and that any interest they had in her was insincere.

But things changed in 2011. Gretzky broke her own set of rules when she began dating golfer Dustin Johnson.

During an appearance on the “Pillows and Beer” podcast this past Thursday, the 32-year-old Gretzky explained how her anti-athlete wall had been torn down.

“How I looked at it was like, I don’t ever want to date somebody that’s an athlete because, whether or not it was me or not, I felt like it was like a achievement for them. Being with me, dating me, whatever it was, it just didn’t feel authentic,” Gretzky explained. “I truly stayed away from athletes, I really did.”

Then she met Johnson, the world’s No. 3-ranked golfer.

“Dustin was the first person, I won’t talk about the other one before … I didn’t like that, really,” Gretzky said, denying that she was ever a cleat-chaser.

Gretzky and Johnson became engaged in 2013 and have two sons together — Tatum, 6, and River, 4. More than sports and entertainment, family life has become their top priority.

“For me, golf was always the most important thing. And now, it’s Paulina and the kids. And they’ll always be the most important,” Johnson told Golfweek last September. “Obviously, I love the game of golf, competing and playing. But they’re the most important thing.”

By all accounts, Gretzky made the right decision when breaking her own rules. And now, she and Johnson will be wed at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Tiger Woods has shocking revelation about his car crash

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries when he was involved in a single-car accident earlier this year, and the 15-time major champion confirmed on Tuesday that he is fortunate he did not lose a limb.

Tiger spoke with the media for the first time since the crash ahead of the Hero World Challenge, which is a tournament he hosts. He was asked by a reporter how close he was to losing a leg, and he said amputation was “on the table” at one point.

Woods suffered severe fractures to his lower-left leg. There were questions about whether he would ever walk again, let alone play golf. Tiger said he feels fortunate to be alive and still have both of his legs.

Tiger shed some light on his comeback plans during an in-depth interview this week. What he said makes even more sense now that we know he nearly lost a leg.

Tiger Woods reveals plans for his playing future

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has dropped some hints recently that he is working toward playing competitively on the PGA Tour again, but the 15-time major champion clearly understands things will never be the same for him.

Woods spoke with Dan Rapaport of Golf Digest for his first in-depth interview since his February car accident. He said he is planning to return to the PGA Tour, but he doesn’t expect to ever play full time again.

“I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods said. “You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”

Tiger also said he feels differently about his latest comeback than he did when he returned from back fusion surgery years ago. He described a feeling of wanting to “climb Mt. Everest one more time,” which he did by winning the Masters in 2019. He doesn’t think his body will cooperate this time.

“This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest and that’s OK. I can still participate in the game of golf,” Tiger said. “I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there. But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”

There is certainly a lot working against Woods. He’s 45, has a history of back problems, and is now going through another grueling rehab after suffering multiple leg fractures in February crash. It was remarkable that he won the Masters two years ago. Repeating the feat would seemingly be impossible.

All of the questions we heard about whether Tiger would ever play again were understandable. Golf fans will be happy to hear that he is not giving up, even if expectations should be tempered.

PGA legend Lee Elder dies at 87

Lee Elder at the 2021 Masters

Former professional golfer Lee Elder has died.

The PGA Tour announced on Monday that Elder has died at the age of 87. Elder made history in 1975 as the first black golfer to play in the Masters.

No cause of death has been revealed.

Elder was honored during the opening ceremony at the Masters earlier this year.

Elder played in the Masters several times. His best finish was 17th place in 1979. The Texas native won four times on the PGA Tour and eight times on the Champions Tour. He finished 11th at the 1974 PGA Championship and 11th at the 1979 US Open.

Photo: Apr 8, 2021; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Honorary starter Lee Elder is seated at the 1st tee during the first round of The Masters golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Floyd Mayweather, Brooks Koepka sit courtside for huge basketball game

Brooks Koepka seated next to Floyd Mayweather

Friday night’s Duke-Gonzaga game was a big contest in the college basketball world, and a few heavy hitters were at the game.

ESPN showed Floyd Mayweather and Brooks Koepka sitting courtside for the game, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mayweather lives in Vegas, which helps explain his presence at the game. Koepka was in Vegas taking on Bryson DeChambeau for the latest installment of “The Match” earlier in the day.

Duke won the game 84-81 to hand Gonzaga its first loss of the season.

Wondering what Mayweather and Koepka were doing sitting next to each other? Maybe they both just wanted premium seats for the premium event and coincidentally were next to each other. Or maybe we’re going to see them starring in a buddy cop movie together next.