Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are very grateful this year. Yes, for the turkey, but also for Tiger. That’s because as lucky as Tiger Woods is to be alive after his car crash in February, it now looks like golf fans will have the chance to see him attempt another comeback!
Yes! What a beautiful view ! With two words and a three-second video, Tiger plunged the sports world into absolute giddiness. And if that sounds a bit familiar to you, it’s because it’s:
We promise not to get too carried away, but this is the last time Tiger tweeted: “Making progress.” And a year and a half later, he won the Freaking Masters. I’m just saying… Anyway, here’s what else we’re talking about after a particularly crazy week in golf.
Collin Morikawa: As if it wasn’t enough for this guy to trample the euros at the Ryder Cup, now he’s taken the lead and resumed their tour. By winning the European Tour season finale in Dubai, Morikawa also became the first American to win the Race to Dubai season title, despite competing in three European Tour events this past. season, not counting the majors and the WGCs.
Jin Young Ko: The 26-year-old South Korean also won a season finale to win her second LPGA Player of the Year award. And she did it in a stunning way, hitting her last 63 greens in regulation to ultimately pull away from Nelly Korda in both the tournament and the points race for the season. That’s right, she hit SIXTY-THREE greens in a row! (Most on the PGA Tour in the 2020-21 season was Steve Stricker with 35.) Simply absurdly good play by Ko, who has won five of his last nine starts of the season.
If the POY run was a GIF, Ko would be DK Metcalf chasing that Arizona defensive back. What a race. And if you thought Morikawa’s win / cup ratio was amazing, treat yourself. Ko now has as many POY Awards as she has missed cuts since joining the LPGA in 2018. That could be more ridiculous than her 63 straight greens in regulation.
Talor Gooch: If you are plugged into the golf game scene like I am, you knew it was going to happen. Gooch has long been a cherished fantasy, and his victory at the RSM Classic was the culmination of his coming together on several occasions before breaking through. Of course, I still haven’t bet on the 30-year-old former Oklahoma State to succeed, but congratulations, Talor.
Like most people, I love her last name, but it’s especially funny for me since I’ve always called my oldest daughter “Grouchy GOOCH” when she is moping. Either way, there won’t be much gloominess from this Gooch as he heads into the offseason on a good footing.
Tiger Woods: Did we mention this guy is BACK? !!!
OK, so he obviously has a long way to go, but allow us Tiger fans to be excited. It has been a difficult year.
Rory McIlroy: The four-time major champion has said in the past that he could play the Dubai Earth Course blindfold. Sunday, it was nice of him to do this in the home stretch to give his opponents a chance. Yes, McIlroy got a brutal break at the 15th hole, but a pair of closing bogeys at the 16th and 18th holes were on him. And so far, he hadn’t done much else to maintain the 54-hole lead he had kept that day, either. Needless to say he was a little frustrated when he went all over the Incredible Hulk on his golf shirt after:
Rory’s shirt isn’t quite Zion’s shoe in the pantheon of Nike wardrobe controversies, but it’s up there. Besides, if you had pecs like him, wouldn’t you want to show them off?
The people who knocked out Morikawa by winning the Race to Dubai: Granted, I came across the idea of Morikawa claiming the European Tour points title despite the fact that, you know, he doesn’t play on the European Tour. On the one hand, it was a smart tour decision because, without disrespecting most of the participants in Dubai, but the event would only have garnered a fraction of the attention if someone from other than the world number 2 had won. On the other hand, that bonus was “only” $ 1 million while the much larger prize of $ 3 million went to the tournament winner (again, you could say “But why should Morikawa- he be allowed to play? ”and again, I would say,“ eyeballs ”). And finally, former European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn put me on the brink with this tweet:
Achievements of a lifetime, indeed. So let’s focus on those three wins and not the three regular Euro Tour events this guy has played. Technically, Morikawa has had an incredible season on both tours. So I’m not going to get upset that he buys extra hardware and earns extra money.
Sabbatini sticker penalty: The (silly) rules of golf have struck again as Rory Sabbatini was DQ of the RSM Classic for having a sticker on his club. Yes, a sticker. “There are stickers, reflective stickers. [They are] tiny, ”John Mutch, Senior Tour Tournament Director Equipment Standards, told Golf Channel. “Players use them to keep up with clubhead speed when they practice, and he just hasn’t taken them off.” If so, what is the problem ?! And, as a person with young children, I’m especially sensitive to this because I constantly find stickers all over my stuff. In fact, I just noticed Beauty and the Beast on my sweatshirt. Anyway, kudos to Rory for surrendering for this HEINOUS offense.
The PGA Tour is headed for… wait a minute… there is finally no tournament this week! But don’t worry, golf enthusiasts. There is still THE MATCH between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau on Friday. And Brooks pulls out a pair of missed cuts. Something Bryson was happy to remind everyone:
I know they bloated this stuff, but I really don’t think they like each other. Both even called this viral Ryder Cup hug “forced.” Not that everyone who saw it hadn’t already thought about it.
If they really want to spice things up, the loser should have to take a freezing dip in this stunt.
RANDOM PARIS OF THE WEEK
—Tiger Woods does not win the best Player Impact Program bonus: 8 MILLION odds
—Tiger Woods to win Masters 2022: odds 35 to 1 (real odds!)
-Tiger Woods will be hailed as a winner if he does it right in April: LOCK
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NON-RORY-RIPPED-SHIRT DIVISION)
What a fantastic battle between these two. The LPGA is in good hands.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (NON-TIGER DIVISION)
We’ve all been there, kid.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (OLD-MAN DIVISION)
Here are the reactions of the year:
As if we needed another refresher, golf is a LIFETIME SPORT.
THIS WEEK IN CELEBRITY GOLFERS
It’s Yankees star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton posing with golf writer Robert Lusetich on the course. Why is he posing with him? Because it happened a few moments before:
Since Stanton has the hardest hit baseballs list, we don’t think getting hit by one of his golf shots wouldn’t be fun.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC AFFECTION POSTERS
Introducing Sammy Spieth!
Awww. Congratulations to Jordan and Annie. And good luck to everyone next season now that Spieth has that fatherly PERSPECTIVE.
“Make progress.” —The GOAT KING / PIP
The PGA Tour has informed players that they will be increasing PIP prizes and money for next year. Tour pros should feel damn grateful for all of these potential rival leagues. … Congratulations to Davis Love III for making the cut by hosting the RSM Classic at 57 years old. Now is a class he could play blindfolded, but it’s a good job nonetheless. … Kudos to Srixon on signing Brooks Koepka, Big Gear Free Agent, and great timing ahead of “The Match”! Well, provided that Brooks is playing a little better than he has recently. … And speaking of branding, I added to my Costco-PUMA collection and now I have this comfortable tracksuit in all colors:
It’s the season. And yes, I have a big one. Let me live, okay?
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
How many hours have I spent sweating in the past two years?
How many mashed potatoes will I eat this week?
What chances can I get on Tiger to win the Masters 2023?