Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf, News
Path: /tiger-woods-tames-firestone-61
Body:

The one missing accomplishment on Tiger Woods' resume remains elusive. Woods flirted with a 59 on Friday before settling for a 9-under par 61 to take a seven-shot lead into the weekend at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

Woods dismantled a track he loves, tying his own course record on the storied South Course at Firestone and putting himself in prime position to win this event for the eighth time. Tiger stood at 9-under through 13 after an eagle and seven birdies — that's a picture of his scorecard after his fourth straight birdie to start the back nine — but makeable birdie tries at 15 and 16 failed to drop, leaving him with a 61 that tied his own course record, as well as matching his personal best in professional competition.

It shouldn't be all that surprsing. Woods' record in this  tournament stands apart from anything the game has ever seen. It's simply jaw-dropping. For a decade, Tiger put an MMA-style chokehold on storied Firestone, leaving competitors flailing. Between 1999 and 2009, Woods played the Bridgestone 10 times, missing the 2008 tournament with injury. In those 10 years, he won the tournament seven times. That's an acceptable percentage for free throws. For golf tournaments, it's insane.

The three years Woods failed to win, he finished 4th, T4 and T2. Over a 10-tounament span, that's an average finish of 1.7. Let all that sink in for a minute. The WGC events assemble the greatest fields in world golf. The Firestone South course layout is a classic track that has hosted three PGA Championships. Woods has treated the tournament, the course and the field like he was Steve Williams and they were pesky photographers.

Over those 10 tournaments, from 1999-2009, Woods won $9,352,500. That number would rank sixth on an all-time list of single-season earnings, and Woods accumulated it in 10 tournaments. Over that span, Woods averaged 67.5 strokes per round on a course that Arnold Palmer once dubbed a "Monster." Basically, it's his best tournament. Heck, it's probably the best tournament for any player in the game's history. And he's a good bet to win it for the eighth time.

 

- by Rob Doster
Follow me on Twitter @AthlonDoster

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 17:16
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-2-2013
Body:

• Just because it's Friday: Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez riding scooters in bikinis.

 

• Failed audition dept.: Seattle bench coach and acting manager Robby Thompson confused his right and left arms and called for the wrong pitcher out of the bullpen. The Mariners then lost.

 

• Well worth a click: Myles Kerr, American hero.

 

Athletes vs. Animals: The Slideshow.

 

The SEC dominated the USA Today Coaches top 10. In other news, the sun rose and water is wet.

 

The touching story of Roger Federer and a cancer survivor. Proof that not all athletes are spoiled jerks. Just most of them.

 

Celebrate International Beer Day with these beer-based cocktail recipes. For some of us, every day is International Beer Day.

 

• Reporter Jenny Dell got soaked while interviewing Johnny Gomes following the Red Sox' walk-off win. She handled it like a pro.

 

Cubs fans obviously aren't used to celebrating. They kinda suck at it.

 

• The latest stupid social media trend: Smack Cam.

 

• Anything's possible: A minor leaguer recorded a one-pitch strikeout.

 

• Check out Blake Griffin's new Nike ad.

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-1-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Aug. 1.

 

We lead off today with 20 crush-worthy Hollywood bachelorettes, starting with Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, please.

 

20 awesome athletes in diapers. Not including Juwan Howard. (Get it? It's because he's old.)

 

An open letter to Johnny Football. I'm sure he's reading this blog and will click the link.

 

Steve Nash is still haunted by an awful photograph of him and Dirk and Cubes. Can you blame him?

 

Ever wished you could practice your putting while seated on the throne? You're in luck.

 

The SEC was a hot topic at other conference media days. Saban & Co. are in their heads.

 

Johnny Gomes does not require your assistance to turn double plays.

 

• Priceless historical artifact alert: Could this be the chalice from the Malice in the Palace?

 

An unfortunate typo involving "Chooch" Ruiz resulted in an amusing screen grab in Philly.

 

Riley Cooper gets the Taiwanese animation treatment, complete with golden shower from angry teammates.

 

• They're apparently making a movie about Kurt Warner. Here are some clever casting suggestions.

 

• Presenting the Dodgers' starting lineup, Mr. Chow-style.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 10:38
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-31-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 31.

 

• July is all but over, but we still have the memories. Here's a rundown of sports-related ladies who wowed us this month, including Matt Stafford's patriotic girlfriend (pictured).

 

• Speaking of American heroes, one Arizona Cardinals cheerleader did a tour of duty in Iraq.

 

This is the best use of facial hair I've ever seen. Andy Dalton agrees.

 

• Nike's latest handiwork: Oregon's football performance center would be the envy of most NFL teams.

 

• All 12 SEC first-round picks are signed, sealed and delivered to their new teams. Here's a contract rundown.

 

• While we're talking SEC, here's a ranking of the league's top defensive back units. Vanderbilt is second. I expect to see the sky raining frogs and blood any second.

 

There's a new Barkley in Philly, and he didn't come to hold a clipboard.

 

Check out this Manziel profile from Wright Thompson. Johnny Football is starting to worry his parents. Speaking of Manziel, here's the story of one writer's quest to interview the new king of all media.

 

Some chick from Glee went on Kimmel last night wearing what looked like a bikini top. Might have to start watching Glee.

 

• You're never too old to get excited for the ice cream man. Just ask the Ravens' Arthur Jones.

 

• Who doesn't love a good redemption story? The Rays ballboy redeemed himself with this catch after a couple of misses.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:32
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-30-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 30.

 

• Here's a countdown of the hottest golfers to appear on The Golf Channel's Big Break reality show. My takeaway: I gotta start watching Big Break.

 

This guy's torso is illustrated as only a Pittsburgh fan's can be.

 

SI sounds the death knell on the A-Rod era.

 

Ranking the SEC coaching staffs. Not surprisingly, it's pretty similar to the actual rankings.

 

• Not everyone can say they broke a record held by Hank Aaron. Jason Giambi can.

 

• It's Packers training camp's most popular interactive game: Eddie Lacy - Fat or Not Fat?

 

Clayton Kershaw is upset that Pluto is no longer a planet. His great uncle discovered it, after all.

 

• The trend toward personality-branded sports websites continues: I see your Peter King website and raise you a Peter Gammons.

 

Do you know Bill Paxton from Bill Pullman? Find out by taking this quiz.

 

Josh McDaniels says Tim Tebow is in New England to play quarterback. If that's true, Tim Tebow may not see the field in 2013.

 

Hawk Harrelson: still on the leading edge of baseball analysis.

 

• The ump blew a call in last night's Rays-Red Sox game. As a result, the Rays are in first this morning.

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 10:42
Path: /5-amazing-stats-rbc-canadian-open
Body:

The next round of Molsons is on Sneds.

An intriguing weekend at Ontario's Glen Abbey Golf Club concluded with the World's No. 7 player, Brandt Snedeker, outlasting Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, among others, to win the RBC Canadian Open, earning his sixth career PGA Tour title and moving to third in the 2013 FedExCup points chase. The win was especially gratifying for Snedeker, whose caddie, Scott Vail, is a native Canadian. "Just ecstatic right now," Snedeker said. "This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie (Scott Vail) is actually from Canada and it's his national open. It meant a lot to him, meant a lot to me. Third-oldest tournament on Tour and it's got some great history to it, and now to put my name on that trophy it means a lot."

Snedeker tipped his Bridgestone cap to 36-hole leader Hunter Mahan, who withdrew to be present for the birth of his daughter Zoe. "Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me," Snedeker said. "I can't thank Kandi (Mahan) enough for going into labor early. I don't know if I'd be sitting here if she hadn't. But that is a way more important thing than a golf tournament. I missed a golf tournament when my first was born, and it was the best decision I ever made. I'm sure Hunter would say the same thing."

Here are some numbers to ponder from the weekend's action:

1 After moving to third in the latest FedExCup points standings, Snedeker is in prime position to become the first FedExCup champ to defend his Cup title successfully.

 

7 Having surged into a tie for the lead with two holes to play, Johnson sailed his tee shot on 17 out of bounds, hit his second drive into a bunker, hit the lip to leave it in the bunker, then had to drain a tough five-footer for a triple-bogey 7. A par would have put him in a playoff.

 

7 The Canadian Open represents the only real gap in Jack Nicklaus' legendary resume. The Golden Bear finished second in the event an astounding seven times.

 

8 The win marked Snedeker's eighth top-10 finish of the season in 16 appearances. That's tied for the most on Tour with Bill Haas (eight top 10s in 18 appearances).

 

-12 Dustin Johnson's dominance of the par-5s on the PGA Tour is breathtaking. For the week, Johnson was 12-under on Glen Abbey's par-5s, and that includes a couple of bogeys, which were offset by eagles. Johnson is tied for the Tour lead with 11 eagles in only 49 rounds.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 29, 2013 - 12:04
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-29-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 29.

 

• Brandt Snedeker won the RBC Canadian Open this weekend, but he was careful to share credit with Kandi Mahan, who went into labor and prompted hubby Hunter to withdraw with the 36-hole lead. Here are some pictures of Kandi in her pre-pregnancy, Dallas Cowboy cheerleader days.

 

• The Offseason of Johnny Football continues. He showed up at a Texas frat party, where he was not welcome. He then had a classic drop-the-mic-like-Kanye moment on Twitter where he basically scoreboarded a hater.

 

Terrelle Pryor says he "never really knew how to throw a football before" working with his coaches in Oakland. Good work, Jim Tressel.

 

Coach Cal has launched his own clothing line. I have no doubts that it will succeed; the guy could sell sand in the Sahara.

 

• Deadspin has been documenting the activities of bored baseball fans at big-league parks this season — knitting, solitaire, reading. But this chick wins.

 

This is a hilarious genre: Horrendous TV dubs and edits. Yipee ki yay, Mr. Falcon.

 

Superstar athletes and their rock-star equivalents. I like the Ryan Lochte-Jessica Simpson comparison.

 

• Anthony Weiner's sexting partner did a bikini shoot. The results were … underwhelming. Hope it was worth it, Weiner.

 

Rex Ryan probably shares the sentiment of this fan's T-shirt.

 

Jonathan Papelbon didn't sign up for this. At least he has his $50 million to console him.

 

• Move over, Reggie: This six-year-old kid saw five pitches in a game and launched all five into the parking lot.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 29, 2013 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-26-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 26.

 

• Geno Smith, Eric Fisher, Ziggy Ansah, et al aren't the only rookies we'll be watching this year. Here's a slideshow of 50 rookie cheerleaders you'll be seeing on NFL sidelines, including Houston's Caitlyn (pictured).

 

A Brewers fan wanted to make a statement via her jersey. Security did not comply with her wishes. 

 

Atlanta's Matt Ryan just signed a $103.75 million deal. For the math impaired, that equates to $103.75 million per career playoff win for Ryan thus far.

 

I'm all for any video that ends with a bro-splat.

 

Here's a list of things every man should have in his place. I lack many of these things. Now questioning my manhood.

 

• Touching story of the day: a Memphis quarterback, a piano and an 11-year-old cancer patient. There's hope for humanity.

 

The 49ers' Tarell Brown learned via Twitter that by missing offseason workouts, he had cost himself $2 million. So he fired his agent. Sounds like he wanted to kill the messenger, but you can't kill Twitter, I guess.

 

Lindsey Vonn is apparently worried about an ex-wife backslide from Tiger on his upcoming trip to Sweden. Can you blame her?

 

Darnell Dockett has a pet tiger, because of course he does.

 

Angels reliever Dane De La Rosa rescued a wounded pigeon during last night's game.

 

Todd Herremans of the Eagles decided he wanted to look like a Viking (not the Adrian Peterson kind).

 

• Enjoy this video of a U.S. airman throwing down a windmill in fatigues and boots.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:19
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-25-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 25.

 

• Elsewhere on this very site, you'll find a must-watch video of the Bucs cheerleaders doing a "Blurred Lines" video. I'll wait while you go watch it here. That photo is a sneak preview.

 

• Aaron Hernandez forfeited his freedom. Now he's forfeited his All-American brick at Florida.

 

• Speaking of tight ends from the state of Florida, FSU's Nick O'Leary absolutely shredded his motorcycle but somehow walked away. You'd think Jack Nicklaus' grandson could drive better than that.

 

Kids and adults have differing perspectives on summer. Kids love it; adults wonder if they've actually died and gone to hell.

 

• Best part of a knucklehead rushing the field at a sporting event? Security guard bodyslam. Here's a video gallery.

 

Check out this youth football de-cleating. Looks like a pee-wee remake of "The Waterboy."

 

Updates on Tim Hudson's gruesome ankle injury. Don't watch the video if you've already eaten this morning.

 

• Brandon Moore, who put the "butt" in the "butt fumble," is retiring. That's just an excuse to link to my favorite NFL play of the last decade.

 

Guy stuck his head in a crocodile's mouth, with sadly predictable results.

 

Ranking the top 10 linebackers in the SEC. Guess who has the top two?

 

Andrew Bynum apparently walked in to his barber and said, "Give me the Don King."

 

• Play of the night: The Rays turned a tasty double-play against the Sox.

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:32
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-24-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 24.

 

• UFC champion Ronda Rousey has scored a role in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables 3. Let the butt-kicking and name-taking commence.

 

• Sure, everyone dislikes A-Rod, but the New York Daily News' Bill Madden auditions for the job of chief of baseball's moral police with this rant.

 

Chris Johnson and Devin Hester will race a cheetah on television. Loser gets eaten.

 

• Helpful advice: 15 movies you should avoid on a first date. Then again, I'm not sure Human Centipede 2 is appropriate for any sort of dating situation.

 

• Today is Karl Malone's 50th birthday. Celebrate with this gallery of rare photos of the Mailman.

 

Phil Mickelson paid 61 percent of his Scottish Open earnings in taxes. Hey, George Harrison tried to warn you.

 

Linebacker Tig Willard paused on his way to Titans training camp to save a family from a burning car.

 

Here are college football's 25 most engaged fan bases. The SEC is well represented, but not No. 1.

 

• Rex Ryan unplugged: 10 things he thinks he thinks, from MMQB.

 

Watch a D-Backs fan drink beer through a snorkel.

 

This might be MLB's slide of the year.

 

• Note to sidelines reporters: Wait for the concussion symptoms to subside before interviewing an injured athlete.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:48
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-23-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 23.

 

• A countdown I can get on board with: Ranking the 50 Most Famous WAGs in sports history. Kate Upton (pictured) is only 17th, so you know it's a strong list.

 

Aaron Rodgers once bet a guy his salary via Twitter that Ryan Braun was clean. Let's see if A-Rod is a man of his word.

 

• Presented without comment: Dashcam video of Antonio Morrison barking at a police dog.

 

• Sage advice: Let's all relax and let Johnny Football do his thing.

 

An update on the guy who has 22 kids by 14 women. He might get a reality show, and he's about to become a grandpa at 33. Nice to see responsible behavior rewarded with fame and fortune.

 

Ray Lewis treads lightly on the subject of Aaron Hernandez. I think that's probably wise.

 

The latest clown to rush the field got a taste of the infield dirt in San Fran.

 

Apparently, Larry Legend is still money from three. But does he still have his amazing hops?

 

Jason Heyward ended last night's Braves win in style.

 

• Today's odd coupling: Mr. Cub joined Pearl Jam onstage.

 

• SI's Richard Deitsch got people to share photos of their happiest moments via Twitter. The results are heartwarming.

 

• The grandson of a Brewers coach wanted his money's worth on his first pitch: 60 feet, six inches. Or, in his case, about two feet.

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 10:29
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-22-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 22.

 

• It's late July, meaning that football season is a little over a month away. Here's a cheerleader gallery to while away the dog days.

 

The most athletic couples in sports. Undoubtedly, agents are already lining up to sign their spawn.

 

Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested for barking at a police dog. Will he now find himself in Will Muschamp's doghouse? (rimshot)

 

• Deadspin brings the goods today. First, there's George Brett eating baby food in slow motion. Then you have jiggling breasts at a Brewers game — just not the kind you want to see. Finally, there's no brawl quite like a badminton brawl. See for yourself.

 

MMQB, Peter King's vanity project, has launched. Gotta admit, I'll be a frequent visitor.

 

Is Jim Boeheim running out of gas? There's photographic evidence that he is.

 

• The SEC Media Days offered the usual coach-speak and pablum. But we had a translator on hand who tells us what they really meant.

 

This GIF will make it tougher to sell seats right behind home plate.

 

From the growing file of foul balls in beer, a lady makes the grab, then shares the brew.

 

• A sneaky Red Sox fan conned a Yankees coach out of a foul ball. Well played, son.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:27
All taxonomy terms: British Open, Golf, News
Path: /golf/phil-mickelson-thrills-british-open-win
Body:
Phil Mickelson Wins the British OpenSo Phil Mickelson has finally won an Open. Just not the one we thought he’d win. 
 
One of the greatest rounds in major championship history gave Mickelson his fifth career major, and perhaps the most unlikely: Before Sunday, Mickelson had more career missed cuts at the Open (four) than top 10s (two) and had publicly expressed doubts whether he had the game to win golf’s oldest championship.
 
On Sunday, he had the game and then some. 
 
Mickelson birdied four of the final six holes at tough, unyielding Muirfield for a three-shot win over Henrik Stenson, punctuating a stunning run to the Claret Jug with a double fist pump after his final birdie putt at 18 found the bottom of the cup. Mickelson’s 66, which was the low round of the day and tied for low round of the tournament, will take its place alongside Johnny Miller’s 63 at the 1973 U.S. Open and Jack Nicklaus’ 65 at the 1986 Masters among history’s greatest major final rounds, and given the conditions, it might have been a little better. Legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins, who’s been watching players win jackets, trophies and jugs for half a century, tweeted this: “That 66 by Phil is one of the greatest final rounds of a major on one of the most baffling courses I’ve ever seen.”
 
Leave it to Phil to bring the Muirfield monster to its knees. Those last six holes were pure artistry, and his last three should go in a time capsule:
 
• On 16, a perfect tee shot cruelly rolled off the front of the green, but Mickelson executed a brilliant up-and-down to save a critical par. 
 
• On the par-5 17th, Mickelson smoked two perfect 3-woods to set up a routine two-putt birdie.
 
• On 18, with Lefty’s army of fans holding its collective breath remembering the Winged Foot meltdown in 2006, Mickelson hit a perfect drive, then striped a 6-iron to 12 feet and drained the putt for a cathartic back-nine 32 that erased some of those demons that had been piling up at Opens on both sides of the pond for two decades. 
 
In his post-round interview, Mickelson was up-front about his ongoing love-hate relationship with links golf. “That relationship is minute-to-minute,” he said with a smile, adding that after what he called a “perfect” 6-iron at 16 rolled off the front of the green, “Love was not what I felt.”
 
But Mickelson erased any lingering doubts about his links mettle with his birdie at the par-5 17th. “Those two shots were very risky,” he said of his back-to-back 3-woods that left him with a two-putt birdie. “I had to take on those bunkers, and the worst rough on this course is on 17 short of the green.”
 
That hole was Exhibit A for a legendary round of ball-striking. Mickelson’s only bogey came on No. 10 and was promptly erased by that six-hole sprint to the finish. 
 
Mickelson has often talked the talk, citing quality preparation and control of his game heading into majors only to see it all crumble with ill-timed miscues. But he exhibited a level of control all week that was unprecedented in his roller-coaster career. “I’m playing some of the best golf of my career,” he said after adding the Open to his Scottish Open triumph the previous week, a rare tartan-clad two-fer. “It’s the best I’ve ever putted.”
 
Lefty now holds three legs of the career Grand Slam, and we’ll see if the golf gods will ever relent and allow him to add a U.S. Open, where’s he posted six agonizing runner-up finishes. “If six seconds counted as a win, I’d have all four of them,” he joked.
 
In the end, a day that started as a Lee Westwood coronation ended with Mickelson cementing his place among history’s greatest players.
 
“This is a day I’ll remember my entire life,” Mickelson said. At that moment, he spoke for all of us.
 
The Twitter reaction
Phil’s colleagues were quick to take to Twitter to congratulate Lefty. Here’s a sample:
 
“Great playing Phil Mickelson.” — Ian Poulter, whose final-round 67 had been the round of the day until Lefty’s heroics.
 
“66 from Phil today is ridiculous. Best golf I’ve ever seen. #boss” — Keegan Bradley, Mickelson’s Ryder Cup protégé
 
“So pumped for Phil right now!” — Rickie Fowler
 
• “Fitting that Phil destroyed holes 13-18 today to win the Claret Jug, while that same stretch destroyed most players hopes all week.” — 2010 champion Stewart Cink
 
• “Congrats to Phil, welcome to the @The_Open Muirfield unofficial champions club! #GreatPlaying” — Nick Faldo
 
Open Notes
• How tough was Muirfield? Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker were the only two players in the field to shoot two rounds in the 60s. Sneds’ second-round 79 prevented him from contending, but aside from a disastrous second-nine 43 on Friday, Snedeker played 4-under golf.
 
• The win moves Mickelson to No. 2 in the World Golf Ranking, behind only Tiger Woods. Tiger and Phil, 1 and 2. Seems like old times. But they’re going in opposite directions. While Mickelson was shooting his 66, Woods limped to another disappointing major finish, shooting a final-round 74. In his last seven majors, Woods is plus-23 in his weekend rounds, and his four scores at Muirfield got progressively worse. Didn’t the guy used to own Sunday like the Man Upstairs? 
 
• The last eight winners at Muirfield are legendary Hall of Famers, all: Mickelson , Els, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player. Only one name conspicuously absent from that list.
 
• Mickelson tied 2011 winner Darren Clarke for the slowest to win his first Open Championship: Both won in their 20th Brtish Open start.
 
• The Open has become the major of choice for geriatrics: The last three winners are Mickelson (43), Ernie Els (42) and Darren Clarke (42). 
 
• Lefty’s longtime caddie Bones Mackay was almost as happy as his boss. “When you work for a guy for 21 years, and you watch him play the best round of golf he’s ever played, it’s pretty cool,” he said.
 
• Woods let a few choice expletives fly with microphones nearby, but there were no fireworks between Woods and his former caddie Steve Williams, on the bag for Woods’ playing partner Adam Scott. The two exchanged a cordial handshake on the 18th green, and Woods responded to Williams’ comment with a sincere “Thanks, man.”
 
• Perennial bridesmaid Lee Westwood shot a disappointing 75, one of the worst rounds among the leaders. But Mickelson’s win at 43 has to provide incentive to the 40-year-old Westwood to keep grinding. Lefty’s won two majors since turning 40.
 
• Mickelson pulled off the rare feat of starting as many as five shots behind and winning by three or more, joining Justin Leonard (1997 British Open) and Nick Faldo (1996 Masters). 
 
• Mickelson’s major ledger now includes five wins, eight seconds and 7 thirds. 
 
• American players have now won 12 of the last 17 Open Championships. 
Phil Mickelson's final putt to with the 2013 British Open
 
Teaser:
Phil Mickelson Thrills with British Open Win
Post date: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 15:22
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-19-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 19.

 

• Sofia Vergara was nominated for an Emmy, which seems like a good excuse to link to this amazing assortment of pics and GIFs of the Modern Family starlet.

 

Tom Rinaldi only shakes hands when Tom Rinaldi wants to shake hands.

 

• Looking to endanger your life to relieve summer boredom? Check out these insane summer stunts.

 

• Brian Urlacher doesn't want the Bears to win a Super Bowl without him. Smokin' Jay understands.

 

• Awww. Here's a gallery of athletes celebrating with their kids. Some of them seem to be saying, get away from me, you large sweaty man.

 

• Interesting column: AJ McCarron has self-branded as the anti-Manziel.

 

• This just in: J.J. Watt is an insane athlete. Basically, he could hurdle Danny DeVito from a standing start.

 

Charles Barkley: Saying what he thinks since 1984.

 

• Charl Schwartzel destroyed a 5-iron in anger at the British Open. He thereby joins Athlon's video countdown of golfers behaving badly.

 

• Remember that kid who ran onto the field at the All-Star Game because Twitter told him to? He might spend a year in prison. Apparently it's illegal to make the All-Star Game remotely interesting.

 

Jadeveon Clowney posted a priceless picture of Steve Spurrier on Instagram.

 

• Jonesing for a little hoops action? Here's a tasty dunk from NBA Summer League play.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 10:28
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-18-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 18.

 

• The ESPYs provide the lovely ladies of sports, like Jennie Finch (pictured), with an opportunity to glam up for a night. The results are pretty impressive.

 

A countdown of athletes who are absolutely scandal-proof. Sounds like famous last words to me.

 

• This is interesting: NFL.com ranks the 50 most talented college players this year. No. 1 is no surprise. No. 2 is a big surprise, at least to me.

 

Apparently, the law's got ol' Rick Flair in a chickenwing over-the-shoulder crossface hold over failure to pay spousal support.

 

• Yesterday at SEC Media Days, Johnny Football became Johnny Rock Star by handling the media hordes with aplomb.

 

• Rory McIlroy's struggles continued with a 79 at the Open today. That's what happens when you putt it into a bunker.

 

A celebratory dance done right, courtesy of an Azerbaijani wrestler.

 

Tiki Barber just went public with his man-crush on Eli Manning by saying that Eli's better than Peyton. Oh yeah? Well I think Ronde's better than Tiki, and I bet Peyton does too.

 

• CJ2K has big plans should his Tennessee Titans win the Super Bowl. Those plans apparently involve a comically oversized cigar. Bill Clinton called to ask where he could get one (your cheap '90s reference for the day).

 

Les Miles explains social media by referencing the Harlem Shake. Sounds about right.

 

For some reason, the Predators painted their ice to look like a giant pool of pee.

 

• Thomas Bjorn destroyed an $80,000 camera with his golf ball at the British Open today.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 10:56
Path: /british-open-5-burning-questions
Body:

Can Phil Mickelson win?

Shockingly, given Mickelson's creativity and brilliant wedge play, the Open Championship is historically his weakest major. He has contended only twice and missed the cut last year at Royal Lytham. But his Scottish Open win this past weekend demonstrates a newfound appreciation for links golf. "I used to hate it and now I love it," he said. He's also expressing an intriguing level of confidence in his putting stroke. "I am really optimistic about this week and going forward because I'm starting to putt as well as I ever have," he said. "… You've seen me try the belly putter, you've seen me try different grips, and finally I believe I have kind of found the secret to my own putting." He's leaving the driver out of the bag this week; we'll see if that's a smart play or typical Mickelson over-thinking.

 

Is Rory McIlroy distracted by girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki?

NBC analyst Johnny Miller sure seems to think so. And Sir Nick Faldo jumped on the bandwagon this week, advising Rory to concentrate on golf while is window of greatness is open. But McIlroy is not taking the criticism lying down, firing this withering counterattack in a news conference: "I saw what he said, and he said I should be at the course 9 to 5. I actually was on the range at 6:15 and got out of the gym at 6:15, actually a 12-hour day compared to his nine-hour day. It is what it is, and Nick should know how hard this game is at times. And he's been in our position before. And he should know how much work that we all do put into it." Of course, the proof's in the results, and Rory's results have been lacking. But a win this week would do a lot to shut up the critics.

 

Which Graeme McDowell will show up this week?

McDowell's roller-coaster ride defies comprehension. How’s this for feast or famine: McDowell’s last eight appearances on the PGA and European Tours include three wins and five missed cuts (two of which came at The Masters and U.S. Open). So which Graeme will show up at Muirfield? He thinks he knows: "I still have the links game — the wind game — inside me and I will be relying on that at Muirfield. Links golf is in my blood and I feel like I slip back into that mode easily." If the wind blows, watch out for McDowell.

 

Muirfield: easy or hard?

The course historically produces worthy champions: Els, Faldo (twice), Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus and Player are the last seven winners at the storied venue. Nicklaus liked the course so much that he named his home course in Ohio in its honor. But as for its degree of difficulty? The fact that the players are trying to outdo each other in calling the layout "fair" would seem to indicate that they feel that low scores are there for the taking. Watch the conditions. If the wind blows, the course's circuitous layout makes changing breezes hard to gauge. Remember — Tiger Woods shot 81 at Muirfield in a gale-force wind in 2002.

 

Who'll kiss the Claret Jug?

There's no shortage of viable candidates: Mickelson's hot; Ernie Els is playing well heading into his title defense; McDowell's in his comfort zone; Justin Rose and Adam Scott have their breakthrough majors and will be loose and confident.

But we're going with Tiger Woods. Noted golf psychologist Bob Rotella thinks Woods is showing signs of "panic" that he'll never regain his major mojo. But we think he's cornered and angry that no one seems to fear him any more. And it's not like has hasn't been close; since his last major win in 2008, he has seven top-six finishes in majors, including a T3 at last year's Open Championship. "I think it's just a shot here and there," he said. "It's making a key up-and-down here or getting a good bounce here, capitalizing on an opportunity." We think that opportunity will knock this week.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 12:31
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-17-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 17.

 

• Essential 11 favorite Kate Upton has done a photo shoot for Redemption Choppers, a custom motorcycle company. The results are intriguing.

 

• Mo stole the show at last night's All-Star Game. In a classy move, his fellow All-Stars allowed Rivera to take the field alone for warm-up tosses. Chill-bumps ensued. The game also yielded the most surreal piece of video I've seen in a while: Prince Fielder legging out a triple while Tim McCarver reads the words to Metallica's "Enter Sandman."

 

• The power of Twitter: An idiot ran onto the field and got bodyslammed because he got 1,000 re-tweets.

 

Johnny Football was the headliner today at SEC Media Days, where he was grilled for acting like a 20-year-old. Which he is.

 

• Speaking of Manziel, does Texas A&M have the SEC's best backfield? That Kevin Sumlin is building a monster down in College Station.

 

• Speaking of A&M, Nick Saban hasn't forgotten. And neither will his team. You've been warned.

 

Keith Olbermann is returning to ESPN to host a talk show on the Deuce. I give it six months until he hacks off the wrong person again.

 

• Lindsey Vonn Dufnering? Lindsey Vonn Dufnering, with the man himself.

 

Bubba Watson has mastered the photobomb, to the point that he's the one in focus.

 

Florida D-lineman Dominique Easley had never heard of Bear Bryant and asked if it was some sort of cartoon. I blame our educational system.

 

• Enjoy Mariano Rivera's last All-Star Game entrance.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:30
Path: /2013-british-open-what-theyre-saying
Body:

Here's what some possible contenders are saying leading up to this week's Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Course:

 

• Tiger Woods: "I feel very good about my game. I felt very, very good going into major championships. I've had a pretty good year this year so far; won four times. Even though I haven't won a major championship in five years, I've been there in a bunch of them where I've had chances. I just need to keep putting myself there and eventually I'll get some."

 

• Phil Mickelson: "You need an element of luck, but you also need to play some great golf. These last few months I've played well enough to get in contention and play well, but I do need some luck. I am really optimistic about this week and going forward because I'm starting to putt as well as I ever have."

 

• Graeme McDowell, who's paired with Tiger Woods and Louis Oosthuizen on Thursday and Friday: "I've played with Tiger enough now over the years to be more than comfortable with it and you want to be playing with the best in the world. You don't need to create any intensity on the Thursday of a major but playing with him increases the focus. It gets you fired up and ready to go. He's the kind of guy you want to be measuring yourself against on a course set up like this. Finish one ahead of Tiger on Sunday and you're not going to be far away."

 

• Masters champ Adam Scott: "I think it’s the greatest tournament in the world. It’s really the one you want to win. Well, except for an Aussie. Because an Aussie always wanted to win the Masters."

 

• U.S. Open champ Justin Rose: "I have faced questions for years about who the next English guy to break through will be. I feel fortunate it was me who broke through first but I am sure it will give the others a little extra burst of enthusiasm. It probably gives them that added bit of belief. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the other guys follow in the not too distant future."

 

• Brandt Snedeker, last year's 36-hole leader at the Open: "I just made typical American mistakes. The first two days I had no wind really whatsoever, and played great golf. The last 36 holes I drove the ball horribly. I tried to ride the wind too many times. I tried to not play against the odds; you've got to try to hold the ball up against the wind. Little stuff like that."

 

• Rory McIlroy: "I like Muirfield and feel I can play well. It’s fast, firm and this is going to be a great test. If you hit it in the rough here, you’re chipping out."

 

• Defending champion Ernie Els: "I feel quite good about my game. I feel like I'm striking it nicely. There are a lot of good things happening in my game. … I really can't wait for Thursday. I really have a good feel about it."

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 15:59
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-16-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 16.

 

• Tennis star Agnieszka Radwanska was a representative for a Catholic Youth Movement called Youth Crusade. Then she posed nude for ESPN and promptly lost the gig. That's one of the offending photos to the right.

 

• The most interesting moment of last night's Home Run Derby came when a fight broke out in the stands behind Mike Piazza's massive talking dome. In case you care about the actual competition, Yoenis Cespedes won impressively.

 

Bartolo Colon accidentally slapped Robinson Cano's kid, resulting in a hilarious GIF. (Hilarious if you like to watch a little kid get accidentally slapped.)

 

Jimmy Fallon sent Matt Harvey onto the streets of New York to ask random people their opinions of Matt Harvey. The results were amusing.

 

• This is kinda fun: A blogger eviscerates Mark May for criticizing Johnny Manziel. Note to armchair critics like May: The Internet has a long memory.

 

• So who's most likely to stir things up at SEC Media Days? Here are 12 candidates.

 

This photo of Charlie Weis must be seen. A mere description can't do it justice.

 

• This link has nothing to do with sports, but Florida Man, the world's worst superhero, has really outdone himself this time.

 

• Today's useless bit of knowledge: Rick Pitino is a fan of rapper Pitbull.

 

As someone who has always thought that Family Guy was a shamless Simpsons ripoff, I found this link particularly enjoyable.

 

• This awesome little Rockets fan is adorably excited about Dwight Howard's arrival and wants Shaq to know about it.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 10:35
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /2012-pga-championship-recap
Body:

It may have turned into the Snore by the Shore, but it was a weekend of milestones for Rory McIlroy, who's out-Tigering Tiger Woods at the same point in their respective careers. In 27 holes of rain-delayed Sunday golf at the formidable Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, McIlroy put on a breathtaking display: 9-under par, no bogeys, a not-so-subtle signal that he's now the face of global golf.

Rory's litany of achievements at the Ocean Course:

• He became the youngest PGA Champion (23 years, three months) since the tournament moved to stroke play in 1958, beating Jack Nicklaus' record.

• His 8-shot margin of victory broke Nicklaus' record 7-shot margin at the 1980 PGA.

• McIlroy is the second-youngest player to win two majors. Nicklaus was one month younger when he won his second; Tiger was four months older.

• His 8-shot win reprised his 8-shot demolition of the U.S. Open field in 2011. He's the first player to earn his first two major victories in such dominant fashion.

• He's halfway to a career Grand Slam, and had he avoided a Sunday back-nine meltdown at the 2011 Masters, we'd be talking about him in the reverent tones once reserved for Tiger at his apex.

One of the refreshing things about Rory is his relative humility given his youth and level of accomplishment; he hasn't burst into the champions' locker room and started throwing elbows. Yes, he wore Sunday red in an obvious nod to the guy who made such attire famous, but he said afterwards that he would have left the red shirt in the closet under certain conditions. "I thought if I was playing with him (Woods), I wouldn’t wear it,” he said. “Obviously him, you know who 'him' is."

 

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 11:48
Path: /weekend-golf-5-amazing-stats
Body:

A roundup of the amazing numbers that have the golf world abuzz:

 

19 Jordan Spieth, a 19-year-old phenom who seems to have already been around awhile, became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event since Ralph Guldahl in 1931 when his par putt dropped on the sixth hole of Sudden Death at the John Deere. Spieth is the fourth-youngest Tour winner in history and scored his first win at a younger age than fellow phenoms Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Some of the spoils of victory: berths in this week’s Open Championship at Muirfield, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, the PGA Championship, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and The Masters.

 

11 Spieth moves to 11th in FedExCup points, thanks to his sixth top-10 finish of the season in 16 starts.

 

59 Over on the Web.com Tour, Will Wilcox shot golf's magic number, firing a final-round 59 on the par-71 Willow Creek Country Club to win the Utah Championship. Wilcox's card included 10 birdies and an eagle.

 

20 Phil Mickelson won on European soil for the first time in 20 years, capturing the Scottish Open ahead of this week's Open Championship. Mickelson's birdie on the first playoff hole beat Branden Grace and moves Lefty to No. 5 in the World Golf Ranking heading to Muirfield. Mickelson's last win in Europe came in 1993 in Paris on the European Challenge Tour.

 

2 Kenny Perry has gone back-to-back in Champions Tour majors after shooting a final-round 63 to earn a five-shot win in the U.S. Senior Open, adding that to his Senior Players Championship two weeks ago. "This is by far the biggest tournament I ever won," Perry said. "I lost the playoff at the Masters and the PGA playoff. I didn't get the job done. Now to have a USGA title, it's an Open, it's our Open, it's what the players play for. To finally get it, even though it's a Senior Open, I still regard it as a very high honor."

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 11:23
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, _none, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-15-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 15.

 

• Former wrestler Stacy Kiebler is not dating George Clooney any more, but her time with the Hollywood heartthrob paid off to the tune of $10 million. For $10 million, I'll happily date George Clooney.

 

The Freak tossed a 148-pitch no-no, a teen won on the PGA Tour, and other things you might have missed this weekend. My favorite part of Lincecum's no-hitter was his reaction to hitting the home plate umpire with a pitch, which was immortalized in GIF form.

 

Was Johnny Football kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy for being hung over? He was out late the night before, sick the next day. You do the math.

 

A fan caught four foul balls at an Indians game this weekend. Forget DiMaggio's hitting streak: Baseball has a new untouchable record.

 

• Boys will be boys: Stories of athletes stealing each other's girls.

 

• Is this possible? Did Jadeveon Clowney run a 4.46? Guy really is a freak.

 

Settle in for the circus that is SEC Media Days.

 

The goriest moments from Pamplona's Running of the Bulls. Click only if you have a strong stomach. The takeaway: Bulls win.

 

Phil Mickelson won the Scottish Open, then dropped the trophy. Fortunately, a photographer captured the magic moment.

 

Bryce Harper did not take kindly to getting ejected in the eighth inning of a one-run game.

 

• Carly Rae Jepsen came up about 58 feet short with her first pitch.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 10:48
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-12-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 11.

 

I have no idea whether Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke is any good at hurdling. Nor do I really care, if she continues to post Instagram photos like this one. In case you've forgotten, Ms. Jenneke is famous for doing this.

 

A minor Twitter war broke out between Ole Miss bad boy Marshall Henderson and Fox's Erin Andrews. No surprise; Gator fans just don't like the guy.

 

I missed Sharknado, but apparently it's the Citizen Kane of the flying-sharks-attack-Los-Angeles genre.

 

• This is a fun category: Sideline reporters getting utterly destroyed while trying to do their (pretty useless) jobs.

 

• Sure, West Virginia fans burn couches and LA, Detroit and Miami fans riot when their team wins a championship, but there are no crazies like soccer crazies. Here are the 10 most insane acts of soccer violence.

 

Sports pictures that will make you go, "Whaaa...?"

 

Georgia is withholding its "Aaron Murray for Heisman" campaign — for now.

 

Here's a ranking of the best SEC cities for sports fans, 1-14, that's sure to cause controversy. Nashville is No. 14, for starters. Speaking of SEC rankings, here's a look at the best and worst coaches

 

• Some say that Anderson Silva took a dive in losing his UFC title to Chris Weidman. I don't know; he seems pretty upset to me.

 

• One lone Titans fan camped out to secure his tickets. Fortunately, an intrepid TV reporter woke him up and interviewed him.

 

• Torii Hunter was rather coy during his postgame interview following a testy Tigers-White Sox game.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, July 12, 2013 - 10:42
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-11-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 11.

 

• Those rascally Johnson brothers. As you know, golfer Dustin Johnson is dating Paulina Gretzky, while his brother Austin is dating hot College of Charleston tennis player Samantha Maddox. Here are the brothers' two trophy WAGs posing together. 

 

Here are 20 Totally Badass First Pitches, although the countdown misses the most badass of all — Dubya in a flak vest after 9/11 throwing a strike at Yankee Stadium before Game 3 of the World Series. That's the Sgt. Pepper of first pitches.

 

The Yankees will look a little more like the Yankees today. The Captain is back.

 

The funniest Twitpic jokes on Twitter. Amazing what you can do with 140 characters and a photo.

 

• Is this really a thing? Internet nerds obsessed with My Little Pony who call themselves Bronies? I'm quitting the Internet.

 

More problems in Patriot Land. This was supposed to be the Summer of Belichick … the Summer of Belichick. In other news, Bill would be happy to answer any Tebow questions you might have. Anyone? Please?

 

Ranking the SEC's running backs.

 

Ole Miss pest Marshall Henderson has been suspended indefinitely. Gotta say, college basketball just got a little more boring.

 

• Not sports-related, but Holy Crap Giant Lobster.

 

The heavily hyped Alabama locker room waterfall is disappointing, unless its comprised entirely of Brian Kelly's tears.

 

Brandon Kelly went thermonuclear on Mitch Williams via Twitter. The results were pretty amusing.

 

• Yunel Escobar's pregame high-five ritual is rather elaborate.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 10:19
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-10-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 10.

 

It's the week of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. It's okay to link to, because it's, you know, sports. That's drag racer Ashley Force in the picture.

 

They take their bets seriously across the pond (NSFW ugly naked butt alert).

 

NFL thuggery has made its way to front offices across the league.

 

Who knew that a female athlete's toughest opponent is a part of her own anatomy? Also, boobehs!

 

• We all like to think we know what will happen in the SEC this season. In a twist on the old prediction game, here are five things that will happen down south this season, and here are five things that won't.

 

Speaking of the SEC, is it the villain of college football?

 

The Biebs continues to insert himself into sports-related situations. He must be stopped.

 

• Scary stuff: Anna Benson was armed for battle when she went to see Kris Benson. Hell hath no fury like a psycho chick scorned.

 

The Fourth was last week, but it's never not a good time to celebrate American heroes.

 

The LolMets strike again. They could screw up a one-car funeral.

 

• Miguel Montero gave rookie hot-shot Yasiel Puig the old "not in my house" treatment, complete with a Mutombo finger wag.

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at links@athlonsports.com

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 10:42

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