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Better Than Caffeine

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Sharni Vinson turns 31. 32-23-33. Aussie model/actress/dancer.

Home and Away, You're Next, Step Up 3D, Cold Case

Trained and competed at a National Level in Australia for swimming. Started competitive dancing at age 3. Founding member of Australian pop group 'Girlband'. The movie Step Up 3D grossed over $400 million worldwide. 

Rory Is No Phil As ESPN Ratings Drop 28%

 

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You'd think that Rory McIlroy, being one of the more popular players on Tour, would've helped Open Championship television ratings. Or at least not lost viewers compared to last year.

Apparently not

With Tiger Woods far out of contention and Rory McIlroy beginning with a six-stroke lead, the final round of British Open on Sunday produced a 2.6 overnight Nielsen rating on ESPN, a 28 percent drop from last year (3.6), when Phil Mickelson overcame a five-stroke deficit to win.

The rating matched 2010 as the network’s lowest in the five years since the Open moved exclusively to ESPN.

Yes, the six-stroke lead had something to do with it, but that margin shrank to two. And you had big names Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler in close pursuit for a bit. 

Its a tough pill for the Tour to swallow if only Tiger and Phil move the needle. If so, that spells trouble as those two are on the backslope of their tremendous careers. If Rory, Sergio and Rickie can't do it, who else fills the gap? Maybe Jordan Spieth? Maybe?

 

Jack: 'Rory Is Cocky In A Good Way'

 

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Jack Nicklaus liked what he saw in Rory McIlroy's victory march at the Open Championship

"I like his swagger," said 18-times major winner Nicklaus on his official Facebook page. "I like the way he handles himself.

"I like his desire to be great. I like his desire to do the things he needs to do. I like that in a young guy. He's cocky in a nice way."

"He didn't take some of the chances that he did in the other rounds as far as the clubs he hit off the tee," added the Golden Bear.

"Rory didn't put himself in position to lose the golf tournament. He did what he needed to do ... It's about shooting what you have to shoot to win the golf tournament."

Tiger Woods had a slightly different take. 

"The way Rory plays is pretty aggressively," said the 14-times major champion. "When he gets it going, he gets it going. When it gets going bad, it gets going real bad - it's one or the other.

"He's very similar to what Phil does. He has his hot weeks and he has his weeks where he's off. And that's just the nature of how he plays the game.

Its hard to disagree with Woods. When Rory's game goes south, its terrible. The greatest aspect of Tiger's game in his prime was gutting out rounds with less than his "A" game. Rory--like Phil--needs to add that to his repertoire to stay consistently in the hunt.

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Ali Landry is 41 today. 36-24-34. American model/actress/spokesperson.

Eve, Repli-Kate, Bella, Felicity

Is of Cajun French and Spanish descent. Jumped onto the public consciousness as the Doritos Girl during 1988 Super Bowl ads. Was crowned Miss USA 1996. A trained dancer in jazz, tap and ballet for 15 years and also enjoys kickboxing and gymnastics.

How Rory's Dad Also Won Big At The Open

 

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Rory McIlroy's Open Championship win was maybe more sweet for dad Gerry than his son's previous two major victories. Seems that the elder McIlroy and three buddies were fairly clairvoyant ten years ago...

You may have heard of the £400 (now $680) bet Gerry McIlroy placed on son Rory 10 years ago to win the British Open before the age of 26.

In case you missed it, Gerry and his three partners got 500-1 odds on their prescient wager -- he will cash in for £200,000. That £200,000 is worth $341,730 in American cash. Let’s say Gerry gets a quarter share of the winnings –- that’s a cool $85,432.50.

Gerry wager earnings would've placed him 23rd in the field. Rory took $1,665,993 for the win. 

Meanwhile, Rory becomes the first Euro player in history to record wins in three different majors. He's also the third youngest ever to win three different majors (behind Jack 23, and Tiger 24). To get to No. 3, it took Rory 24 major starts, Tiger 20 and Jack 16.

 

So Where Does Tiger Go From Here? Nobody Knows

 

 

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Tiger Woods continued his comeback from back surgery, but its apparant he and his game aren't ready for prime time just yet. I'll take a pat on the back for saying Woods should've shut it down thru the Ryder Cup, get healthy, maybe play some easy appearance fee events late in the year, and start fresh in 2015.

But Woods was either bored or antsy enough to give it a shot with little regard if his current game warranted it. Okay many shots. Tiger ultimately fell 23 shots back from the winner McIlroy. The T69 finish was his worst ever in a major when he made the cut (previous; T40).

Here are a few "highlights" to his Sunday round. Yeah, he was pissed and frustrated. 

Woods also finished 5 shots behind 64-year-old Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. And yes, Tom noticed Tiger's spotty play. So, what does it mean for Tiger securing a captain's pick? Questions swirl. 

Watson had hoped to speak to Woods at some stage during their week at the Open but that has not occurred. He said: “I just said hello. We’re going to talk on the phone. But it’s a little bit early with Tiger to even talk to as far as where he is. Where it needs to be is higher up on the list.

“It looks like he’s playing without pain but, again, he’s not in the mix. He needed to get in the mix to get some points to get some money and get in the FedExCup. That’s what I was hoping he was doing this week.”

Phil Mickelson is another high-profile American player currently outside automatic selection. Watson said: “If Phil and Tiger don’t make it in the mix there, I’ve got some real thinking to do. Everybody is thinking that I’m going to pick them automatically but I can assure you that I’m not going to pick them automatically.” 

Oh, Woods has now gone 17 straight weekend major rounds without breaking 70. A trend that needs to change huge. Quickly.

 

Fowler And Sergio Get Close But No Jug

 

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While Rory was winning his third different major by age 25, two players put some significant heat on him Sunday to make it far more interesting than many predicted. 

Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler were 7 shots behind when McIlroy birdied the first hole, but that huge lead shrank to a mere two shots after Rory bogeyed 5 and 6. 

Garcia played exceptionally well before leaving a shot in the bunker on 15 which gave McIlroy some important breathing room.

What I loved was Sergio finally maturing into a likeable player and one who I now find easy to root for. None of his typical petulance, whining or woe-is-me attitude. So refreshing! He even waited to offer a congratulatory hug for Rory after finishing the round. Better late than never. 

Garcia now has six runner-up major finishes. That's tied with Colin Montgomerie and Doug Sanders for second-most for all players without a major win--trailing only Lee Westwood's eight. 

Fowler earned his 3rd top-5 finish in a major this year. Its the first time that's happened since Tiger did it in 2005. Since using Butch Harmon, Fowler's game has improved dramatically, rising to . 

A major win for either high-profile stars would only increase interest in golf viewing. And that's always a good thing.

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Kristen Bell
 is 34 today. 32-24-34. American actress.

Veronica Mars, Heroes, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, When in Rome, Deadwood.

Irish and Polish descent. Was voted PETA's "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" for 2006. Detroit Red Wings fanatic but broke both her wrists playing hockey. Has dessert after every meal, even breakfast. Engaged since 2010 to actor Dax Shepard. Voice of Frozen character Anna. 

"I rarely wear clothes when I'm home by myself. I love making breakfast naked. But you've got to make sure the gardener's not coming that day."

 

Ben Crane Flies Many Miles To Not Get Open Spot

 

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As first alternate, Ben Crane gave it all he could to arrive at Royal Liverpool on time in case a spot opened up

Crane was the first alternate two years ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, but he couldn't decide whether to come across because the Open had an overflow of players that year. Two players would have had to withdraw for the alternate list to even be activated.

Confusion followed. The R&A was notified that he had decided not to come, even as Crane was still looking at flights. Just his bad luck, two players withdrew. And then, Senior British Open champion Russ Cochran pulled out with a bad back and Michael Thompson -- the second alternate behind Crane -- took his place.

I had a pit in my stomach all week," Crane said. "I just couldn't believe it. I didn't expect it to move that much. They didn't expect it to move that much. I would love to win majors, and you've got no chance sitting at home."

Even after a 24-hour journey from Portland, Oregon, to the northwest of England, getting only a few hours of sleep and not having an opportunity to warm up on the practice range, Crane was beaming Thursday morning outside the clubhouse.

"Even if I don't get in, I am so glad I came," Crane said as the first couple of groups teed off for the first round. "This is so good for my soul just being here. Just to see this, it's inspirational."

Good for him. As there's no crying in golf. 

 

Tomorrow On The Teebox

 

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Tomorrow is another big day for the Teebox Golf Show as its Open Championship week. Lots of storylines to cover and you know we'll cover it like no other.

--A good debate on what everyone is rooting for as Tiger chases Jack.

--At 9:10 Craig and I reveal uncomfortable recent encounters being hit on by women (yeah, it occasionally still happens).

--Sometime during the show we'll give away two spots in a special tournament on August 27 at Cowboys GC using 15" holes.

And, we'll do it all from Park Place Motorcars in Fort Worth this Saturday morning from 8-10. So how about cooking up some bangers and mash and give us a listen. You might just win something too.

 

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