Allie LaForce is 26. 32-23-34. Sideline reporter, model.
SEC football and March Madness sideline reporter for CBS. Former Miss Teen USA 2005 (representing Ohio). Began modeling career with Trump Modeling Management. Graduated from Ohio University and was a starting point guard. Engaged to Los Angeles Angels pitcher Joe Smith. Oh well...
“The more reps the better.”
As I've said and written numerous times, GolfChannel analyst Brandel Chamblee is one of my favorite sports analysts. Whether you like him or not, he's honest and does extensive research to back his stances.
He writes about the dicey role of saying what he firmly believes--at the risk of hurting some thin-skinned Tour players.
In my first year as a commentator I received some impassioned advice about how I should approach the job. It was 2003 and I was still playing a few events on the PGA Tour. During the third round at Colonial I was walking off the ninth tee with a five-time Tour winner whom I had known as long as I had played golf. We were talking about the people in the profession I was joining.
“I hate Johnny Miller,” my fellow Tour player said. “Whatever you do, don’t be like him.”
“Why do you hate him?” I asked.
“Because he thinks he knows everything.”
Johnny Miller is the king of saying why something happened. This infuriates many players and viewers, but what the players don’t get is that Johnny is not commentating for them. He is talking to millions of viewers. As a colleague is quick to say when confronted by an irate Tour player, “I had your job for 20 years; you haven’t had mine for two minutes.”
The host might ask me, “Why doesn’t Charles Howell win more golf tournaments?” I hate questions like this because I really like Charles Howell and I don’t want to say anything to upset him or his family, but I have to give my opinion, so I try as hard as I can to give an educated opinion and to be fair. Then five minutes later I might be asked another question: “Brandel, how come Tiger changed his swing in 2010 and is this swing as good as his 2008 swing?”
I can’t just say “he changed his swing to get better”; why would anybody change to get worse? I have to look at this new swing and compare it with the previous one and to the one before that and then do countless hours of research and give my opinion. This involves some guessing, obviously, but I am paid to guess to some extent in every opinion I give. And then a few minutes later I am asked to give another opinion.
Some might find it curious for International captain Nick Price to sit Korean born Sang-Moon Bae in the President's Cup opening match beginning Thursday. Bae is one of two Koreans on the squad along with Danny Lee.
Here is Price's reasoning...
Bae was scheduled to be paired with former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who arrived in Korea with a virus. They played a practice round together Tuesday, and according to Price, the duo won their intramural team contest. But when Schwartzel missed Wednesday's practice session because he was feeling increasingly poor, Price fought the urge to shoehorn Bae somewhere in his lineup.
"It was certainly very tough, very tough," Price said wearily when asked how difficult it was to bench the home country's hero. "First of all, I didn't want to break up the other teams that had played so well together. The other thing is Moon hasn't played a lot of alternate shot. It was unfortunate because he and Charl played unbelievably well [Tuesday].
"The thing is everyone has to play twice [before singles]. I looked at what they did with their pairings, and it was a tough one, but this is how we have it set up."
I kind of get it, but you'd think Price would want to involve the Korean gallery early to hopefully build momentum with some hometown partisian noise.
Alicia Silverstone turns 39. 34-24-34. American actress.
Clueless, Batman & Robin, Blast From the Past, The Crush
Burst on the scene in Aerosmith's Cryin' video. Signed a $10,000,000 3-movie deal with Sony after Clueless (1995). Speaks fluent French.
"I hate people to call me 'that Aerosmith chick!"
One reason this week's President's Cup matches possess little buzz is due to the International team's woeful record of 1-8-1. It's no rivalry unless the matches offer competitive juice and reminds one of the America's Cup when the U.S. dominated contests until we finally lost back in 1983. Suddenly, outcomes were in doubt and interest rose dramatically.
Thus, for good reason International captain Nick Price believes this one is so important for the event to stay relevant--and if the International stars will continue to show up.
“I will tell you guys, this is a really important Presidents Cup,” Price said. “I’m not going to say, ‘What if?’ But this better be closely contested. I’ll let you guys figure out the repercussions.”
“We seem to think looking at the past, that the most excitement there is in an event is when you have a 28-point format. I think the Solheim Cup showed that two weeks ago,” Price said. “Some people think that you're hiding your weakest players, but in actual fact what you're doing is putting your strongest team forward. It's glass half-full or glass half-empty, depends which way you look at it.”
Following months of internal dialogue over the proposal, the Tour and Finchem reduced the total number of points available to 30 with the caveat that every player must play at least twice before Sunday singles.
“It’s hard for these guys,” Price said. “You ask these guys to give up a week and to play in an event that is not competitive. Any one of these guys can go play anywhere around the world and receive money and they can easily dump this event if they wanted to. Most of them don’t want to do that.”
“This is a huge deal for us right now. If it doesn’t happen and we keep losing guys won’t get interested in it and won’t want to play in it and won’t want to travel,” Jason Day said. “I’m here for the captain and for the guys. We would like to win one. No one likes losing.”
It's hardly news that working with the wheels-off Robert Allenby is a constant struggle. But this report by USA Today gives further insight into why a caddie must really, really need a bag to work with the unstable Aussie.
“The running joke is, ‘Did The Beast get out of the cage today?’ Especially when there’s a little pressure on, Robert becomes that beast even more,” said Cameron Ferguson, one of at least 24 caddies who have worked for Allenby.
USA TODAY Sports interviewed nine of those caddies, and they said he can be among the most generous players in golf — as well as one of the most verbally abusive.
“There’s definitely a split personality there,” said Joe Damiano, who added that Allenby has fired him twice. “Put it this way, it can be hell.”
Many of his former caddies said Allenby repeatedly blamed them for his mistakes.
“You kind of need to accept responsibility for your own actions on the golf course,” said Robert Floyd, who is the son of Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd and caddied for Allenby for about nine months starting in 2011. “He never has and never will.”
“And I kept going back for the simple reason that he needed help and I could use the money,” Damiano said. “If he’s playing good, everything is fine. If he’s playing bad, everything’s wrong and your the biggest a------ that ever lived.
“It was just one of those deals where he got sick of looking at me, I guess. I definitely got sick of looking at him. He made a few comments that were extremely personal, so if he didn’t fire me, I was going to quit.”
For most golf fans, the only President's Cup intrigue this week is when Jordan Spieth is paired agains Jason Day. Both had phenomenal years (Spieth's a little better of course due to the two major wins) and are fairly hot heading into the event in Korea.
NBC's Johnny Miller is hoping like us that maybe the entire match comes down to a last mano y mano final with the teams' two marquee players.
“Hopefully the captains are smart enough to give that to the viewers.”
“Spieth is going to have to bring his ‘A’ game putting to offset Jason Day’s advantage off the tee,” Miller said. “That’s sort of one of those coin tosses. I don’t know if there’s an advantage. That’s a heck of a close call either way.”
NBC’s Notah Begay, however, gives a slight edge to Day “based on the setup of the golf course.” The fairways are wide, which should give the big hitters plenty of leeway off the tee.
“Having got to see a lot of those drives firsthand on the golf course,” Begay said of Day, “it’s pretty impressive to see a ball go that high and that far, and for the most part, straight. Jordan Spieth got a ringside seat at the PGA Championship on the final day, and we know how dangerous Jason can be when he gets the ball out there and is in the fairway.”
Brianna Brown is 35 today. 34-23-34. American actress-producer.
General Hospital, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Spider Man 2
Named "Sexiest Actress on General Hospital" in 2011 by Soap Opera Digest. Likes yoga, running, hiking, skiing, dancing, singing. Suffers from stage fright.
Enjoy the weekend.
Once someone reaches the top of their field, folks typically wonder what will ultimately bring you down. It's incredibly tough to constantly stay in top form and little blips can cause significant damage as fans and media are quick to react and fret.
Golf Digest's Jaime Diaz writes that the very qualities that makes Jordan Spieth great could also be his biggest challenges down the road.
Meaning, his bright shine could have a shorter shelf life--if past history is any indication.
Golf is better for Spieth’s special qualities, but he’s got to be of careful of where they can take him. Unlike power, a strength that makes for tour longevity, Spieth’s talents are those that tend to have a shorter shelf life.
Spieth’s best qualities evoke athletes from other sports. At the moment, his putting is eerily good. He led in several putting categories, but the stat that resonates most is his conversion rate of better than 25 percent on putts between 15 and 25 feet -- first on tour by a lot. It’s an ability that currently separates him from his peers in the same way NBA MVP Stephen Curry has separated from his.Magical periods of putting among the game’s very best tend not to last beyond a few seasons, as Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson can attest. Even Woods, who made more bombs over a longer stretch than anyone, has seen his putting decline.Intensity is tricky. Those who burn the hottest tend to burn out the soonest. Curtis Strange won with ferocity, but it aged him prematurely as a player. Johnny Miller, always a close student of the strengths and weaknesses of extraordinary players, noted at the Tour Championship that Speith “is kind of twitchy for a 22 year old.”
And while giving quality interviews creates goodwill with sportswriters and fans, the cumulative effect from the volume of questions demanded of a top player is inevitably draining. The adjustment is usually shorter, safer responses (see Phil Mickelson). But those wired to give fuller answers can become resentful of the process, even to the point of losing their zest for tournament golf.
Golfers love their carts. Courses love the cart revenue. But what to do in Hong Kong when cart users must now provide a drivers license?
The Wall Street Journal reports on irate Hong Kong golfers teed off about the new requirement.
After all, only about one-third of driving-age residents have licenses and about 90% of commuters take public transportation or walk to work, according to government statistics.
“It doesn’t make sense to get a driver’s license just to play golf,” said Sandra Fung, a secretary who plays most weeks at Kau Sai Chau, pronounced “cow sigh chow.”
Golf carts are no mere luxury at Kau Sai Chau, whose rocky peaks and sea bluffs make walking onerous. They are mandatory on the East Course—one of three on the island—where the steep, twisty eight-mile cart path can be tricky to navigate.
The golf-cart crackdown is aimed at satisfying the Hong Kong Transport Department, which last year asked all golf courses in the Chinese territory to apply for permits for golf carts and ensure drivers have licenses. That step followed a 2013 ruling by the top appellate court involving a Kau Sai Chau golf course worker who died after a light utility vehicle turned over.
“We see it appropriate to draw the attention of local golf club operators to the licensing and related requirements regarding the operation of vehicles, including golf carts,” said a Transport Department spokeswoman.
Brett Mogg, a partner and golf architect at Nelson & Haworth, which designed the East Course, agrees with many Hong Kong golfers, calling the measure “extreme” in a place where most people don’t have cars.
“A better solution in our opinion would be for the club or all HK golf clubs to band together and issue cart-driving licenses after some basic training in the use of carts,” he said by email.
I'll agree with Mogg. While walking or taking push carts is a welcome option, carts provide lots of room for beverages, Bluetooth speakers and well, more beverages...
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