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Better Than Caffeine

 


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Susan Ward
 is 38. 36-23-33. Actress/model. 

Shallow Hal, Sunset Beach, Wild Things 2, Make It or Break It. 

Wanted to be a vet until age 13 when a talent scout altered her plans. At her parents' farm in Monroe there are dogs, cats, exotic birds, even a baby monkey.

 

Buck And Norman To Lead Fox U.S. Open Coverage

 

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Sports Business Daily announced Joe Buck and Greg Norman will lead their first U.S. Open telecast in 2015

Buck is a single-digit handicap and a quick study. The wild card is Norman replacing long time lead analyst Johnny Miller. Like how much teeth will the Shark impart in his presentation?

The decision to tap Buck and Norman comes as somewhat of a surprise, as neither has announced golf on television before. Norman, a two-time British Open winner, is a member of the Golf HOF. Buck is said to be a scratch golfer who is knowledgeable about the sport. Buck already is Fox' top voice, anchoring the network's "A" announce teams for the NFL and MLB. The network has not finalized other announcer positions yet, and it is not clear when the network plans to formally announce Buck and Norman.

 

John Daly Hits Ball From Model's Mouth

 

There is no doubt John Daly is a walking bit. His latest trick is hitting a ball teed up from model Kathy Michelle's mouth. Happily no major injuries were endured. 

No practice swings either...


 

Players Changes Playoff Format

 

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PGA Tour commish Tim Finchem announced a change to the Players Championship playoff. Instead of sudden death, it is borrowing the PGA Championship format by adopting a 3-hole cumulative score beginning this year

“Holes 16, 17 and 18 are perhaps the most dramatic closing holes in professional golf from a risk-reward standpoint, as they test all facets of a player’s physical and mental game while under the pressure of trying to win such a significant championship,” said Finchem. “Given the fact that winning The Players means you have defeated the strongest field in golf, we felt an aggregate playoff that incorporated these three holes was a more appropriate way to determine the champion.”

The last two playoffs included Sergio Garcia over Paul Goydos in 2008 and K.J. Choi over David Toms in 2011, began at the 17th hole. In 1987, Sandy Lyle beat Jeff Sluman, with the playoff starting at No. 16 and lasting three holes. It remains the longest playoff in tournament history.

I say its a good call. While sudden death is great for TV, a cumulative score better represents a big-time tournament winner. 

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Brooklyn Decker
 is 27. 36-24-34. Supermodel/actress. 

Battleship, Just Go For It, What To Expect When You're Expecting. 

Daughter of pacemaker salesman father and nurse mom. Discovered by talent spotter while shopping in mall at age 15. Three-time SI Swimsuit model and cover girl in 2010. Married to tennis player Andy Roddick. Ranked top-5 on the sexiest models list. 

I'm named after a horse. My mom's best friend had a horse named Brooke, so my dad suggested 'Brooklyn' as a more formal version, and it just stuck. And now I live in Brooklyn part-time, so go figure.

Hopefully, she'll make your tax day a tad more bearable. 

 

Woods' Won't Play U.S. Open According To Begay

 

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Its was really no surprise--at least to me--when Tiger Woods' confidant Notah Begay announced his buddy wouldn't be teeing it up at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June. 

“I’ve been in contact with him this week. He missed being at Augusta and certainly was watching the tournament, (but) I think he needs to give (his back) a minimum of 90 days to make sure that scar tissue heals up appropriately and he doesn’t run the risk of re-injuring it. So that would push him past the U.S. Open.”

I'd be surprised if he entered the Open Championship in July. Not only does Woods have to heal up, he'll need to actually practice to return to tournament form. 

 

Masters Ratings Lowest In 10 Years

 

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Several factors are to blame for the lowest Masters ratings since 2004. Tiger Woods didn't play, Phil Mickelson missed the cut and the back-nine Sunday was bereft of any real drama or loud roars. All these were a recipe of fewer viewers. 

The ratings were down 24 percent from last year’s Masters finale, in which Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera in a playoff. That Masters had a 10.2 rating. In fact, Sunday’s Masters rating was the lowest final-round rating since Phil Mickelson’s 2004 win, which garnered a 7.2 rating. Interestingly, the highest rating in the last 10 years was for Mickelson’s win in 2012, which got a 12.0 rating. Woods’ last win in 2005 got a 10.3 rating.

I would suggest that Masters officials take note and set up Sunday's back-nine for more risk/reward antics rather than careful play. We already have the U.S. Open for pars-are-your-buddy viewing. 

Dallas TV critic Ed Bark has the numbers with local product Jordan Spieth in the hunt

The presence of 20-year-old Dallas Jesuit grad Jordan Spieth, who played in the final twosome with eventual winner Bubba Watson, did not serve to “youthify” the D-FW numbers. He was hoping to become the youngest Masters champ ever, but finished three strokes back in a tie for second place.

CBS averaged 213,039 total viewers in beating all daytime and early evening programming on a stay-at-home rainy, windy day. Ratings peaked in the final minutes, with 340,862 viewers tuned in. The Masters’ first 15-minute segment, before Spieth and Watson teed off, drew 85,216 viewers. 

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, the entire Masters averaged 61,877 viewers with a high mark of 120,498 in the closing minutes. Both are far less than 50 percent of the total viewing audience. Better for selling Buicks to grizzled traditionalists than new 10-calorie, full-taste Fizzy Pop to “impressionable” younger viewers.

 

Bad Putting At Augusta Will Always Cost Ya

 

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Augusta rookie Billy Horschel had a great ball-striking week, finishing second to Jordan Spieth in most GIR. But the flatstick supremely failed him

Of the 51 players who made the cut, Horschel had the worst putts per hole average (1.82) and the most three-putts (eight).

While those stats make sense for someone playing the course for the first time, Blixt's don't. He finished third in putts per hole (Russell Henley, another rookie, was second and Rickie Fowler was first) and was the only player other than Miguel Angel Jimenez (T-5) to not register a single three-putt for the week.

Horschel's stats also fell in line with how he's been playing all season. He ranks 16th in greens in regulation on the PGA Tour, but just 91st in strokes gained/putting and an abysmal 188th in three-putt avoidance.

 

Better Than Caffeine

 


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Happy 37th to Sarah Michelle Gellar34-23-34. Actress. 

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Cruel Intentions, The Grudge, Scream 2. 

Discovered by talent agent at age 4. The Burger King commercial she did in 1982 was the first commercial to ever mention a competitor by name. Accomplished in Tae Kwon Do. Married to Freddie Prinze Jr. Is allergic to cats and has a phobia about broken glass. Natural brunette.

On horror movies: "I'm always the one who gets killed. And I want it to be really gory. Body parts all over the place. Mangled!"

 

Augusta National Is Now Bubba's Playground

 

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It was a compelling watch thru 7 holes Sunday with Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson trading blows. But a 4-shot swing on holes 8 and 9 sucked most of the anticipated back-nine roars out of event** when Watson's lead grew to 3 and was never seriously challenged by anyone. 

**The overnight ratings for Sunday's final round was 7.8, the lowest since 2004. Last year it was 10.2. 

It was the second green jacket in three years for Watson. The 6th win by a lefty in the last 12 years. Now folks are saying the course is set up perfectly for a long-hitting lefty who can power fade drives. Is Watson-proofing next?

A couple of Bubba trends that could be borrowed by future Masters players include using two rental homes to get away from the family mayhem. And eating at the local Waffle House after his big win...

Bubba Waffle House 


The course setup was far tougher than recent years. Only 7 players posted under-par scores compared to 17 last year. The greens were running at least 14 on the Stimpmeter. Hopefully, Augusta officials will lighten the conditions next year to allow for great rallies on the Sunday back-nine.

Caddie Ted Scott on Watson's decision to go through the trees on 15 with a 3-shot lead.  

“He asked me, ‘What’s the smart shot?’” Scott recalled. “The smart shot is to hit it through that huge gap (in the trees) into the bunker (right of the green), because that’s what he’s so good at. He can pull those shots off. I was personally not even worried about it.

“It’s Bubba golf.”

The SI golf writers give their take

Van Sickle: This already makes two more Masters than I thought Bubba would snag. It seemed as if he was ready to retire with the last one as a career achievement award, so I was glad to see him revive his interest and his game. He's long and hits it high and works that cut -- his game is perfect for this course if he can get his putter working. I'll be surprised if he doesn't win at least one more now. I'm convinced, Bubba.

Lynch: The most relevant comparison to another multiple Masters winner is with Seve Ballesteros. Like Seve, Bubba can manufacture shots that don't even occur to others, and he's an erratic character who is often his own worst enemy. When he drives it straight and manages his emotions, he will contend here. But let’s not get carried away and assume he always has it together at Augusta. He's won twice, but in four other appearances his best is T20. 

Passov: I don't respect Bubba and his game the way I do recent past multiple champions such as Woods, Mickelson and Faldo, but that's my problem. If I'm being objective, I have to acknowledge his incredible wedge that sealed his playoff win in 2012 and tip my hat to his inside straight on Friday of this year, birdies on 12-16 that gave him control of the tournament. And frankly, he dominated the second nine today. He's fun to watch play golf and is a totally deserving champion. He'll win one to two more green jackets for sure.

Sens: Honey, he shrunk the course, just as Nicklaus and Woods did before him. Next up, the Bubba-proofing of Augusta National, with thick forests of loblollies added to the left side of every fairway. I see him winning one or two more. Then again, I saw Tiger winning 10 more, and that ain't gonna happen.

LYNCH: Smash it a mile, draw up an imaginative approach shot, miss the putt and berate the caddie.


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