Alexa Vega turns 28. 34-24-32. American actress/singer.
Evening Shade, Spy Kids, Machete Kills, Repo! The Genetic Opera
Whether you enjoy or despise his work, GolfChannel lead analyst Brandel Chamblee always does his homework before spouting hot sports opinions. Chamblee's been a frequent critic of Tiger Woods' constant swing changes ("why keep messing with success?") and now, compares TW's current demons with the once-great Seve Ballesteros.
What has happened in the last few years has defied all reason. Both his body and his swing have become so altered from that architecture, and he seems so orphaned from the intuition that led to that swing, that he is scarcely recognizable.
Like Tiger would be after him, though, Seve was wild off of the tee and like Tiger would do after him he let the pursuit of perfection engulf his talent. Seve, seeking to straighten his drives, sought the guidance of Mac O’Grady, whose mythical ball striking was just that, mostly myth. From 1983-93, his productive years, he was, if I were being nice, average tee to green. But he was a student of Homer Kelly’s book “The Golfing Machine”, a sort of cryptic geometric bible about the golf swing and this advanced the myth.
Seve took the bait and digested those inscrutable golfing machine ideas and never had a top-five finish in a major after age 32. By his mid-30s I saw a player that was divested of all that he was.
Do yourself a favor, go onto YouTube and search Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino,Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Scroll down until you find video of them playing in a tournament and watch, not how they swing, but how they begin to swing. In those 20-30 seconds before the club moves away notice how forthright and confident they move – authoritative and awesome to watch.
None of their teachers were ever in sight.
Now search for Suzann Pettersen, Mike Weir, Michelle Wie and Justin Rose, not to see their swings, which are beautiful, but to see how they begin to swing. You will notice a distinct difference to the names above, in both the purpose and cadence of their pre-shot routines. They make rehearsals, they contort their bodies into positions they hope to achieve during the swing, they fret with faux takeaways, all to do something they are already exceptional at. It’s a type of timidity that has become the norm.
The difference between these two groups is the very nature of the way this game is taught now at the professional level – by helicopter teachers who hover. These teachers are well informed and drown out the self-discovery and the confidence that comes from that and replace it with one idea after another and another.
Who should be his next coach is likely the difference between him breaking Jack’s major record or not and because of what he means to golf, that decision means a lot to the game. This is all precisely why I hope his next teacher’s name is Tiger.
Touche. Even Tiger's biggest fans should have a rough time arguing Chamblee's points.
I think Hank Haney gets unfairly slammed for his opinions on Tiger Woods' golf game, because he's merely responding to countless interview requests when something newsworthy occurs in Eldrick's life. Lets face it, he does have some insight into Woods' after coaching him for six years.
So, what's he think Tiger needs to do? Practice. A lot.
"The biggest thing I see is that you have a cumulative effect of lack of practice. This is the biggest issue as opposed to who is going to coach him next."
"Either Sean hasn't told him the right things, he hasn't been able to commit to it, or Tiger hasn't tried it," Haney said. "In all honesty, all three of those things fall on the coach. It's part of coaching. At some point, you have to take responsibility.
"But then again, has he had a fair chance? If Tiger hasn't listened, that's on the coach. If he hasn't practiced, that is on the player. If he can't practice, there is nothing you can do about it. But that has been my theme for you know how long. What is his commitment level like? Is he capable of practicing?"
"In the last six years, he's only played golf three years," Haney said. "Who else could take three years off and do any good? Really, you're going to take three years off? I know he's great, but that's a lot to ask. And even this year, how much did he practice? He's gone this whole year with next to no practice time.
"Ben Hogan used to say the first 500 balls he hit during the day got him back to where he was yesterday. Now that might be a stretch, but even if it's the first 150 balls you hit to get you back to yesterday, how far has Tiger fallen behind in the last six years?"
"He's got to get healthy," he said. "He's got to get his technique better, and he has got to practice. And if he doesn't do those things, it's going to be hard to see how he can get back to where he's Tiger Woods. Every time I watch a tournament, I'm still shocked when he doesn't win."
Blake Lively turns 27. 35-25-36. American actress/model.
Gossip Girl, Savages, Green Lantern, The Town
Didn't even audition for role in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Just left her photo and got the part. The role was her big break into the biz. Married to actor Ryan Reynolds. Ranked #4 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 Women of 2010 list.
"Yeah, I don't comment on my relationships... My anonymity is something I treasure. Wanting to be an actor and wanting to be famous are different."
Here are the latest odds posted by paddypower.com on whose life Tiger Woods will change forever if chosen by El Tigre. Butch Harmon was even money yesterday but Michael Bannon and Grant Waite now move up the leaderboard.
Look for the toteboard to change daily depending on the latest rumors. Of those in the first column, I'd concentrate on names flying under the limelight radar. 'Tis interesting that Woods himself isn't listed as I think he should go it alone for awhile just to change things up and rediscover that inner child to golf playfully rather than a mechanical drone.
In fact, Harmon suggested Tiger go it alone as well.
"No I would not and he's not going to call and ask," Harmon said. "I don't think he needs a swing coach. If I were advising Tiger I'd tell him, 'You're the greatest player that ever lived, just go to the range and hit shots.'"
More on the Woods/Foley divorce.
Tour AP pool reporter Doug Ferguson with added tidbits. Wonder how many recall that Tiger changed his swing twice with Harmon.
Woods began working with Butch Harmon as a teenager, and they changed his swing twice. The biggest overhaul was after Woods won the Masters by 12 shots. Many believe the new swing produced Woods' most dominant golf, though he also was in his early 20s and had not had serious issues with his knee. Woods won eight majors while with Harmon, including seven in 11 attempts and an unprecedented sweep of them in 2000-01. They parted in 2003. Woods went to Hank Haney and produced another memorable stretch with an entirely different swing. In a two-year period covering 34 tournaments, Woods won 18 times (including four majors) and was runner-up six times. That ended with the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, right before his fourth and most invasive knee surgery. That was his 14th major, and Woods has not won another since.
Paul Azinger throws his name in the coaching ring.
“There are only three things great players have done the same with their swing, the three fundamentals,” Azinger said. “That’s physically. There’s a mental side. Of the three physical things, Tiger has lost track of one, and he’s got to fix it. It’s a very easy fix.”What is it?Azinger says he isn’t sharing that publicly, but he would tell Tiger Woods.
Rory McIlroy is on a roll. $100 million deal with Nike last year and no doubt pocketed more from watch maker Omega et all via his 4 major wins. So, what to do with the loot? Spend it on some choice Florida real estate!
To victors come the spoils.
Rachel Bilson turns 33 Tuesday. 32-23-34. American actress.
Jumper, The O.C., Hart of Dixie, The Last Kiss
Italian-Jewish mix. Ranked #28 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 Women of 2008 list.
"I hate it when people are like, 'How do you stay thin?' or 'Do you work out? What's your routine? What's your diet?' Then it's like, 'If I tell you I don't, then are you going to give me a hard time?"
I beleive the golf world was wondering when the Tiger Woods/Sean Foley marriage would dissolve. The not so surprising news this morning ended a relationship that began in 2010. Yes, Tiger did win five times last year, but Foley is the first coach not to be associated with a Woods major win.
“Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him,” Woods said. “With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”
Seems most would like Woods and Butch Harmon to mend their differences, but both egos probably won't allow it. Hank Haney sealed his fate by publishing his book The Big Miss.
For Foley, his student Hunter Mahan won yesterday and Justin Rose won consecutive events a month ago. Mahan defended his coach prior to the firing news.
“Most of the people haven’t made any sort of effort to get to know Sean and understand what he’s trying to do,” Mahan said of the criticism, before adding: “It frustrates me and kind of angers me a little bit. … Foley is better for it because he can handle a guy like Tiger – a lot comes with that and I think he’s done a pretty good job of containing himself and not letting it bother him. He just does his job every day and does it better than anyone.”
I wonder if Tiger should try and go it alone for awhile. A player with his talent no doubt could first try finding his once magical game digging it out of the dirt. Go back as a feel player rather than being so mechanical. And, will he return to a sole-source coach rather than share time with other players? Woods has always enjoyed "a second pair of eyes" starting with dad Earl. So...
Here is the rundown of Tiger's record with the various swing coaches.
He won 8 majors with Butch, 6 with Hank and 0 with Sean. His winning percentage in all PGA Tour events was 26.8 under Butch, 33.3 under Hank and only 14.5 with Sean.
For the fourth time in his career, Hunter Mahan won an event by shooting a final round 65. His latest was in yesterday's Barclay's Championship where the strange points format took him from 62nd in FedEX Cup rankings to #1.
As Tour player Bob Estes tweeted, "Mahan just won the equivalent of Pebble Beach, Bay Hill, Colonial, Memorial, & the Canadian Open ALL in the same year."
Does seem like overkill, but other sports grind through a regular season with everything being reset during the playoffs.
More importantly, his name apparently goes to the top of Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson's at large picks. You may scratch your head, but who else would ya put there? It may also be the fourth time he's secured an at large berth for a Ryder or President's Cup. And, the captain usually chooses the hottest golfer in addition to the steadiest players throughout the year (the picks will be announced next Tuesday).
A couple of notes:
Mahan was 16-16 making putts inside 15-feet for the week.
He was first in GIR the last three tournaments--which bodes well in best ball and alternate shot.
A weird view occurred on the 18th green when wife Kandi and daughter made a last minute trip to surprise Mahan. Hunter gave an strange look and totally ignored her leaving the green. Talk about awkward... Someone should have alerted wifey that the tournament wasn't over as Jason Day still had a chance to tie from the fairway.
Meanwhile, Jim Furyk failed to win for the eighth straight time when holding a 54-hole lead.
Jordan Spieth, who led in top-10s last year, now has only one top-10 since the Players Championship.
At the Barclay's Championship, Phil Mickelson channeled his best Tin Cup impression from the same hospitality tent not once but twice in consecutive rounds.
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