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Better Than Caffeine

 

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Elizabeth Banks
 is 42 today. 34-23-35. Actress. 

The Lego Movie, The Hunger Games, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Spiderman, Zach and Miri Make a Porno. 

Mix of English, Irish, Scottish, and more distant Dutch. Saucy combo of comedy and hot. Magna cum Laude grad at Univ of Penn. Loves fantasy football! Has weakness for cupcakes. 

Every once in a while I play a true idiot, and they're really fun to play.

 

Feherty Talks About Tiger And His New Gig On NBC

 

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David Feherty officially started his switch to NBC at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week. In a fun interview with Golf.com's Connell Barrett, he talks about working with Johnny Miller and recollections of watching Tiger Woods in his prime. 

As a fellow broadcaster, what do you most admire about Johnny Miller?

He's immensely knowledgeable, and he played the game at the very highest level. That's the biggest difference between us. Johnny knows what it's like to win. I'm an expert in what it's like to lose.

When you follow Tiger's group, how much do you two interact?

Often. One of the first times I covered him, he called me out. It was at Cog Hill, and on the ninth hole, he'd hit it underneath a tree, off the right fairway. Now, I'm new to broadcasting, so I go have a look at the line, and I come back and say, "He's got to chip it out sideways." Fluff [Mike Cowan] was on his bag, and he pulls out a long-iron. I think, What's he doing with that? Is Tiger's back itchy? Then I see he's aiming directly at me. Now, I'd been a pro for 20-plus years, so I thought I knew where I could safely stand. Nope. Tiger unleashes a vicious swing and violent follow-through. The ball shoots over my head and goes 240 yards, cuts about 50 yards, bounces twice and onto the green. McCord says, "It must have been a better line than you thought." I said, "No. It wasn't."

And did Tiger then say something to you?

He did. I went back for another look at this line because I'm pissed. This kid just made me look like an idiot on TV. I'd played with the best. I knew what Greg Norman or Seve Ballesteros or any other human would do from that position. They'd chip out sideways. I hear "Oy!" Tiger flashes that beautiful smile and says, "You called that one, didn't you?" I'm thinking, You little.... I say, "I don't know what you are, but there weren't two of you on Noah's Ark." Those were the first words we ever exchanged.

You've said there are sides to Tiger that most people don't ever see. Like what?

For one thing, he shows up at my foundation's events for wounded military. He comes on his own, no cameras, has lunch with the boys. If a kid's got one arm, Tiger will hit balls with one arm. Or no legs, he'll hit it off his knees. And he's so darn funny, but we beat that out of him by following him from the minute he arrives [at a Tour event]. As badly as he's played lately, there's still a camera on him when he walks in the door, or when he walks to the courtesy car, or takes off his shoes. If Phil or Furyk or Els shoot 75, there's no need to interview them. With Tiger, after every single round he plays in public, there's a forest of microphones -- and a bunch of pricks holding them. That's why he doesn't offer much up in interviews. He's numb to it all. He's developed a heat shield.

Come on, isn't that the deal you make when you're an elite athlete? It's easy to blame the media for Tiger being a bit closed off.

I don't blame the media completely. I never thought I would feel bad for the guy who's made a zillion bucks, but it's been a very difficult part of his life. But there's a difference between scratching your ass and tearing yourself a new one. When he hit that period with all the women, other a--holes like John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer were also running around, but the Tiger coverage was relentless. You'd have thought he was a mass murderer. He got so much limelight that he was scorched by it. But I know he would be the first to say, "A lot of this is my fault."

 

I asked Feherty during his appearance on the Teebox Golf Show about two years ago if or when he expects Woods to appear on his Feherty Live show. At the time, he figured it would happen when Woods won his next major. Of course, we're all still waiting.

Feherty's first guest for his new season on GolfChannel March 9 will be Jordan Spieth.

 

Are Millennials Capable Of Being Golf's Next Big Hope?

 

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The health of golf is probably in better shape than most doomsayers predict. On nice days, the courses continue to be packed with full tee sheets. 

But a cloudy issue could be looming on the horizon as industry leaders wonder if millennials are a large enough force to infuse enough new players into the game once the baby boomers age out. 

Some worry millennials won't have either the disposable income or patience as their parents to hang around a course for 5+ hours. Or the dress codes are far too stringent. Yet, in a personal small sample size, my 26-year old son and all his friends love playing the game. So, we have that going for us. 

In an interview with The San Diego-Tribune, Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation has a ready answer. 

"There are between 20 and 21 million people who play golf who say they are committed to the game, that they plan on playing this game years from now," Mona said. "The fact is that we have a franchise – if you want to use that term -- that is quite stable."

The National Golf Foundation estimates that about 25 million people play at least one round of golf during the year. With a plus-or-minus margin of error of 875,000, that number has been close to the same since 2013, though the alarm went off a few years ago because participation was down from 30 million in 2005. (Pre-Tiger Woods, participation was about 25 million.)

They key segments to all of golf are youth and the millennials, which the NGF deems as those between 18 and 34 years old. The NGF did a comprehensive study of millennials and found that six million are currently playing and contributing about $5 billion annually to the golf industry. Another 12 million millennials expressed interest in taking up the game at some point.

"This kind of sky-is-falling talk that millennials aren’t playing the game, the facts belie that," Mona said. "It would be disingenuous of me to say, though, that there aren’t issues to address."

The NGF study reported that millennials value the tenets of the game as much as their older peers, but are turned off by perceptions of stodginess or lack of acceptance. Among the areas that need to be addressed, Mona said, are dress codes, use of technology on the course and even the use of music while playing.

"There are courses that already are reshaping their whole experience to be extremely millennial-friendly," Mona said. "There are others who haven’t so much. But if you talk to any operator who is paying attention to the business, most of them will tell you they are making adjustments to appeal to the millennial audience.

"They’re the next group coming along, and they’re going to be the core."

Also among golf’s larger issues is the perception that the game is expensive. Mona said the average cost for a round in America is $37, with numerous options well below that.

"Part of that is communication," Mona said. "To me, playing golf is like eating. You can go to the Capital Grille or Ruth’s Chris and have a completely different dining experience than at Subway or McDonald’s. But you’re still eating, and you don’t hear eating described as an elitist activity."

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Margarita Leviera turns 36. 32-23-32. Russian-Jewish gymnast/actress

Revenge, The Invisible, The Lincoln Lawyer, Spread, Adventureland

Trained as a rhythmic gymnast, but was ineligible to compete for the United States in the Olympics because she was not a citizen, and elected not to compete for Russia. Has a BA in economics from NYU. 

"I grew up in communist Russia where we didn't have anything, so I'm not worried that I can't buy an extra pair of shoes."

 

If You're Wondering What Tiger Woods' Caddie Joe LaCava Is Up To...

 

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The constant question I and many others ask is what's Tiger Woods' caddie Joe LaCava been up to as Woods mends on the sidelines. Can he snare another bag in the meantime? Is Tiger still paying him?

Inquiring minds wanna know. 

Well, LaCava talked with ESPN's Bob Harig to give us an update

"I miss it, for sure,'' LaCava said in an interview with ESPN.com. "I never complain about being home, but I miss working in general. Then when you see a tournament like San Diego come along, a place he owns and you think, he's won at this place ... that stinks. I miss my buddies, some of the caddies, going out to dinner. But most of all I miss being in the hunt and winning. Definitely miss it, how could you not?''

LaCava, 52, lives in Connecticut and highlighted all of the positives of the long layoff. He got to see all 10 of his son Joe's high school football games. He was able to drop his daughter, Lauren, off at college near Boston. A big sports fan, he has been to numerous Giants, Rangers and UConn games.

Then there's golf, and instead of caddying, he was playing. Often. LaCava, a 6-handicap, estimated he played as many as 50 rounds from September through November, and some at places like Ridgewood and Baltusrol, where the PGA Championship will be later this year.

So, is LaCava's boss still paying him? And, has another golfer requested his presence on their bag?

"I understand what you are asking and what I'll tell you is this: Tiger has been great to me since day one,'' LaCava said. "And he continues to be great and very generous with me.''

"A couple of guys approached me, I don't want to name any names, but I [politely] said no,'' LaCava said about offers to caddie part-time. "My plan is to wait for Tiger to get back. I've told them I just want to work for Tiger and nobody else at this point. They were all nice about it. They didn't know what my situation was. I've elected to wait things out with Tiger and that is my plan going forward.''

"I still have faith he's going to continue to do well and win. My thought is he will overcome the injury or whatever you want to call it. He might not be able to play as often as he would like. Once he's healed from this, he'll come back and play again and play well. My outlook is basically the same as when I started with him. He's Tiger Woods.'' 

 

Trinity Forest GC Concerns Local Conservationists

 

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The new Trinity Forest Golf Course (and future home of the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship) mystifies many. First off, it's the only new local golf course we know of that issues very few press updates--if any. I can't remember being so left in the dark. The only recent photo op was of Jordan Spieth sitting on a bulldozer (that I cannot locate anywhere online). 

However, there is some news about the course--although not on a positive note (thanks to Craig Rosengarden for Robert Wilonksy's Dallas Morning News story). It appears the city and conservationists are at odds on how construction is affecting the local wildlife. And more importantly, who is minding the store?

Most of the newer courses do pay close attention to protecting the accompanied wildlife areas. Thus it is possible for both a course and surrounding areas to coexist. Let's hope that is the case for Trinity Forest GC as well. 

At a council briefing Monday afternoon concerning the golf course, a skeptical council member Sandy Greyson spoke on their behalf. She’s no more convinced than they that Trinity Watershed Management and the Company of Trinity Forest Golfers, Inc. are good caretakers for the forest.

“It’s important you keep a closer eye on the contractors working out there,” Greyson said to Sarah Standifer, director of Trinity Watershed Management. “We’ve had one situation after another. Are we really being careful now?”

Greyson and Tiffinni Young were the only council members to voice their concern for the care of the forest. Others were more concerned with other details — among them, how often the public will be allowed to step foot on the course (during the occasional tournament or when invited by a member) or when it will open (in the fall) or how many area residents will be employed there (about 50, give or take, said Woods).

Lee Kleinman, chair of the committee, said many of the concerns were much ado about nothing. He pointed to a wildlife fence recently constructed around the perimeter of the course.

Ben Sandifer, who keeps guard over the Trinity Forest’s myriad hidden treasures, told city officials earlier this year that the fence will decimate wildlife in the forest who will be cut off from their natural habitat. In an email to Mayor Mike Rawlings, council members and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials, among others, he wrote that “the City Council and City Staff at all levels allowed this horrible idea to materialize. Lack of oversight, lack of management, lack of transparency and lack of stewardship cast another dark shadow on a project full of trouble.”

We at AG Magazine are big fans of a new course gracing the D/FW region and would enjoy the opportunity to see how the course construction is coming along. And, of course we'd be happy to report what we see...

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Dawn Olivieri
 is 35. 32-23-34. American actress, model and voice actress.

American Hustle, House of Lies, Hydra, Heroes, Infamous 2, Entourage

Said she's been told she was "The type of gal in high school you'd never notice until one day you look up and realize she's gorgeous." Discovered by modeling agency her senior year in high school. Moved to Milan. Moved back to the states after said agency stiffed her on the modeling checks. 

"I wish i could lie and cheat but I'm not that kind of girl."  

 

Fowler Moved To Tears After His Demise On The 17th Hole

 

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Rickie Fowler was enjoying a two-stroke lead heading to the driveable par-4 17th hole. Until he decided to smoke his driver 360-yards into the drink. 

So, why bring the water into play?

“I hit it right on line, hit it exactly where I was looking,” Fowler said. “That's kind of the unfortunate part to hit the shots that I did and to pull them off, and then it kind of backfired there. Hit a perfect shot.”

Standing on the tee with Fowler, Matsuyama was just as surprised.

“He hit a perfect drive in regulation at 17,” Matsuyama said through his translator. “I'm surprised it went into the water. It was a great shot.”

Following the ensuing action, Fowler was tearful when meeting with the press.

"The hard part is having all my friends and family and grandpa here who haven’t seen me win," he said, choking up. "But I will be able to hang with them tonight. I’ll be alright. With how good I’m playing, I know I can win. That’s the hard part."

Tied after 72-holes, Fowler and Matsuyama continued thru three playoff holes until the fateful 17th once again. This time, Fowler chose a 3-wood--and hit it left into the drink again

He couldn't convert the par putt and Matsuyama wins his 2nd Tour event, joining Jordan Spieth (8) and Patrick Reed (4) as only players with multiple PGA Tour wins before age 25. 

Matsuyama also broke his Tour-leading streak of seven runners up finishes since the beginning of 2015 without a win. 

One thing I noticed though was how sloooooooow Matsuyama's preshot routine is. I mean, how is he not on the clock?

 

Better Than Caffeine

 

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Alice Eve
 is 34 tomorrow. 36-25-34. English actress. 

She's Out Of My League, Men In Black 3, The Raven, Star Trek Into Darkness, Entourage 

Has heterochromia; her right eye is green and her left blue. Ranked #7 of of the most "Beautiful Famous Faces" by "The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World." 

"I did literature at university, so I had a real relationship with poetry, but they don't make many films about the world of a poet."

Enjoy the weekend.

 

Another Pro Is Penalized For Too Many Clubs In Bag

 

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For the second time this year, a pro golfer was cited for exceeding the limit of 14 clubs in the bag. You know why it happens. Players try different sticks on the range and forget to remove something before entering the tournament. Still, caddies everywhere are probably counting a couple of extra times to makes sure. 

First, LPGA player Sandra Gal was penalized Wednesday for carrying an extra 3-iron at the Coates Golf Championship.

PGA Tour scribe Bryan Wacker reported that Keegan Bradley forgot to take out either a 3-iron or hybrid before teeing off at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Luckily for him, he noticed it after the first hole and was penalized only 2-strokes--and still shot a nice 68. 

“I don’t know what we missed to not catch that,” said Bradley, who signed for a 68 instead of 66, the latter of which would have left him just one back of co-leaders Rickie Fowler and Shane Lowry after the opening round. “It sucks.”

For his part, Bradley, who hasn't won since 2012, recovered well. He made four birdies over his next eight holes after the gaffe.  

Bradley’s caddie Steve Hale took the blame, saying, “That’s on me.”

Added Bradley: “He’s a great caddie. We all make mistakes.”

Be careful counting out there. 

 

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