Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-22-2013

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

Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:27
All taxonomy terms: British Open, Golf, News
Path: /golf/phil-mickelson-thrills-british-open-win
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
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

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

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

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: 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.




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

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.

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

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.




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

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."

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

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

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

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."


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

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 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."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.



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Post date: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 10:42
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlon-essential-11-links-day-july-9-2013

• We knew Anna Benson was crazy, but not this crazy. Just as a refresher, here's a picture of Mrs. Benson in happier, saner days (relatively speaking).


• Urban decay: Meyer's rep has taken a hit in the wake of Gonzo's arrest. Of course, some say it's more than fair to question Meyer's methods at Florida.


• Colin Kaepernick wore a Dolphins hat on the Fourth, much to the consternation of Niner Nation. He's responded to Lid-Gate by saying he's gonna wear what he wants.


Gary Player nude! Need we say more?


• Boy, the SEC's loaded — with coaches. Saturday Down South ranks them 1-14. When Dan Mullen's No. 11 after taking Mississippi State to three bowls in four years, you know it's a CEO's league.


A young Ohio State fan named his brain tumor "Michigan" then proceeded to kick its ass. I suspect even Michigan fans can get on board with that.


• Horror isn't the only movie genre where they follow rules, Scream-style. Here are seven rules every sports movie follows.


• Not every athlete commands a high price tag on the trade market. Here are some athletes who were traded for a song (or a case of bats, or $1, or 15 kilos of pork…)


Elvis Andrus loves to screw with Adrian Beltre on pop-ups. Not sure why, but it's GIF gold.


• Now this is a defensive play: Robbing your opponent of a go-ahead home run with two outs in the ninth inning.


• Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime. Teach an old man to fish with his hands, and he's an Essential 11 link.



Post date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 16:14
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /weekend-golf-july-4-7-what-you-might-have-missed

A few highlights of an interesting holiday weekend in golf:

• Has anyone had a stranger season than Graeme McDowell? His last eight appearances on the PGA and European Tours go something like this: missed cut, win, missed cut, win, missed cut, missed cut, missed cut, win. He's the walking personification of feast or famine. McDowell won the French Open by four shots for his ninth European Tour victory, a win that moved him to sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. We would put him at the top of British Open favorites, but two of those missed cuts we mentioned came at The Masters and U.S. Open. "Thankfully I've managed to learn how to calm my emotions and learn how to respond under pressure, sometimes,'' McDowell said. Key word: sometimes. Here are the highlights:

• Meanwhile, Jonas Blixt rocketed up 100 spots — from 139th to 39th — in the FedExCup points standings with a two-shot win at the rain-interrupted Greenbrier Classic. Blixt earned a green jacket for his efforts, but the win gets him a shot at the Green Jacket that truly matters, as he's now in the 2014 Masters field. The win was his first top-10 finish of 2013 and moves him to 51st in the World Golf Ranking, giving him a shot at a spot in next week's British Open field as a top alternate. "This is what I play for," Blixt said. "I play to win. It just confirms that if you do the right things, that you work hard, dreams can come true." Here are the highlights:

Tom Watson spent time with the youngsters at the Greenbrier and more than held his own, finishing T38 after rounds of 68, 69, 72 and 67 to finish one stroke behind Bubba for low Watson. The ageless 63-year-old Watson is approaching shoot-your-age territory.

Post date: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 12:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Essential 11
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-8

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 8.

• Country songbird and Eric Decker better half Jessie James might be our new favorite WAG. Here are a few reasons why.

Here's how Andy Murray spent his post-Wimbledon morning. I'd say Britain is pleased — as were Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler at their bro-tastic best.

Mr. and Mrs. RG3 made a weird, creepy video together and posted it on Facebook.

Here are 21 ways not to celebrate a championship. My only quibble with the list: Nothing wrong with hitting up Denny's. A grand slam breakfast is a perfectly good way to celebrate.

• Sometimes, ESPN does things well. This is one of those times. A moving story of a producer and two special athletes.

The Seahawks got together with Fail Mary replacement ref Lance Easley for a charity softball game, where Easley posed for a photo with Golden Tate that will be like picking a scab for Packers fans. 

• Pro hoops has a new power couple: Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx player Monica Wright.

Saturday Down South picked East-West SEC All-Star Teams a la MLB. That's a game I'd pay to see.

• More Roger Goodell moralizing: The NFL reportedly is considering not inviting academically ineligible players to the NFL Combine.

• Interesting historical footnote: Kid Rock was present for the Malice at the Palace.

• Manny Machado went all Brooks Robinson on the Yankees yesterday.


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Post date: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 10:44
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-5

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 5.

• Sorry, fellas — Natalie Gulbis is engaged. Oh well. We'll always have the bodypaint spread.

Joey Chestnut ate 69 hot dogs yesterday. As Bob Ley tweeted, this is why our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor.

• As our tribute to American gluttony, here are 25 epic "Only in America" food items.

• It was an especially happy Fourth for one (no doubt long-suffering) Royals fan. A Lorenzo Cain grand slam netted her 25 large.

• Proving that baseball isn't the only sport with insufferable stat nerds, KenPom digs into the value of two-for-ones.

The Bruins hired a guard to prevent Tyler Seguin from partying during the playoffs. Now that's attention to detail.

• Looking to creep our your guests at your next dinner party? Serve them Silence of the Lambs-themed chianti.

• This is a bit random, but whatever: Celtics fan Roddy White is not a fan of the Brad Stevens hire.

• Already thinking about life after Johnny Football? You'll be glad to hear that the future of the quarterback position in the SEC is very bright.

Serena Williams, towel thief?

Mike Scioscia joins the "Yasiel Puig isn't an All-Star" chorus.

• Chris Parmalee didn't care that his team was down 9-1. He was going to catch the baseball.


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Post date: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 11:24
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-3-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 3.

• In honor of our nation's 237th birthday, here's a gallery of famous ladies in patriotic bikinis and other assorted red, white and blue outfits.

• Homer Bailey doesn't always pitch shutouts, but when he does, they're no-hitters. He's the sixth pitcher to toss MLB's two consecutive no-no's. Here are the highlights of last night's gem. Of course, in the afterglow, Bailey had to go and drop an f-bomb.

• An MLB career ended yesterday because of drugs. Not a player; an umpire.

• A minor league player hit what he thought was a game-winning walk-off single. He was tragically wrong.

Urban Meyer: Florida whistleblower.

Pictures of babies doing kegstands. We in no way condone this behavior, but we will link to it.

A 2010 Aaron Hernandez draft profile pretty much nailed it. Also, delightfully, the Hernandez murder case gets the Taiwanese animation treatment.

Doug McDermott: History's greatest walk-on.

• One of 2013's intriguing subplots: Is Texas A&M here to stay?

• They don't love A-Rod in Charleston any more than they love him anywhere else.

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Rounding up the web's best sports links so you don't have to.
Post date: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 13:34
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-2-2013

July 2

• Remember that hot UCLA girl who caught the eye of the camerman during the College World Series? She may be cashing in. More power to her.

• Here's one that's sure to spark a reaction, especially among Michigan fans: The 10 most iconic college football uniforms.

This proves that people will go to creative lengths to smuggle their booze into a stadium.

The Jags are apparently going to try to draw people to their stadium by giving them something other than the Jags to watch. Hey, whatever it takes.

The Butler bulldog had to undergo a rigorous (and adorable) training regimen to prepare for life in the Big East.

I'd say that Mark Stoops is recruiting aggressively, if 182 letters to one recruit in one day counts as aggressive.

Apparently, Cam Newton would rather be hit by a fast-moving 300-pound D-tackle than a tiny fast-moving baseball.

A gallery of stuff thrown by fans, from chairs to flares to phallic balloons.

Photos have surfaced of Alabama's new locker room. Call me when they install the waterfall.

• Speaking of Alabama, wanna see defensive coordinator Kirby Smart posing with a frighteningly huge snake he killed? Of course you do.

Running Vandelay Industries doesn't prevent Art Vandelay from enjoying the occasional Mets game.

• Yasiel Puig has more hits in his first month than anyone in baseball history not named Joe DiMaggio. Here are the video highlights of Puig's epic ascent to superstardom.

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Rounding up the web's best sports links so you don't have to.
Post date: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 13:42
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/pga-tour-adopts-usga-anchoring-ban

The PGA Tour has acknowledged that the USGA ban on anchored putting strokes will apply to Tour events as of Jan. 1, 2016.

“In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said. “The Board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion."

This polarizing issue has been raging for some time, especially given the success in major championships that players employing anchored putting strokes have enjoyed of late. Athlon addressed the subject in its 2013 Golf Annual by posing the question in our anonymous player survey. Here are the responses we got at the 2012 Tour Championship:

• “I think it’s fine. I don’t think they have proven that there is a huge advantage statistically for guys who use it, so I have no problem with it. It’s just a different way for guys to do things.”

• “Let them use it. I’m fine with it. If a player needed to use it to stay on Tour, I think most would.”

• “I’m yet to find a good reason for them to ban it. The arguments so far aren’t really valid.”

But then….

• “I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s true to the original ideals of golf. I’ve used one before but just don’t think it’s right. I’d be glad to see it gone.”

• “I’m against it just because I’ve always worked so hard on my own short game without going there, and I think that’s how golf is supposed to be. I’d like to see everyone else struggle and work harder like I’ve always had to.”

• “I think it’s cheating and should be banned. It goes against the spirit and rules of golf.”

• “Anchoring has to go. Just because stats don’t say long putter users are better doesn’t make it right.”

• “I think it should be outlawed. I want guys to have to hold a putter in their hands when they have a five-footer to win, to feel those nerves, not to anchor it to their body to take that away.”

And the fence-sitters…

• “I’ve tried it, it still is something you still have to learn so I don’t really care one way or the other. I don’t need to use it so it doesn’t really affect me.”

• “I don’t really care. But I know there are more out there that don’t want it. I think if it is banned there will be guys who will be gone from the Tour, some really good guys. But banning anchoring is probably fair.”

Post date: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 13:31
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-june-24

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

• Coaches somehow manage to consistently outkick their coverage. Here's a rundown of sideline bosses who are married to beautiful women (like Amanda Enfield, pictured, wife of balding, nondescript USC hoops coach Andy Enfield).

Twitter went bananas last night over Nik Wallenda's Grand Canyon crossing. (Of course, Dick Vitale apparently thought it was the late Karl Wallenda doing the stunt.) Whatever ratings that thing got, they can thank social media. So is life-risking danger the future of television?

Bubba Watson put a little dent in his image by hanging his caddie out to dry on national television.

Here's every one of LeBron James' made shots in Game 7 compiled into one mesmerizing GIF.

This year's key SEC revenge games start early. Buckle in.

An amusing oopsie courtesy of a Milwaukee television station. (Warning: Somewhat R-rated.)

Chris Chambliss is selling the bat and ball from one of the most famous postseason home runs in history.

• It's always fun when angry fans get hold of somebody's Wikipedia page, as happened to Doc Rivers.

Jose Molina is so slow that Robinson Cano practically ran the ball from second to first to complete a double play.

• Proof from yesterday's Tigers-Red Sox game that there is no such thing as a routine fly ball.

Your browser does not support iframes.

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<br />
Post date: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 10:29
All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/tiger-woods-injury-history-breakdown

Even while winning 78 PGA Tour events and 14 majors, Tiger Woods has suffered an alarming litany of injuries, to the point that we have to wonder whether he’ll ever be truly healthy again. On the occasion of his latest malady (a strained left elbow that will keep him sidelined until the British Open), we present a breakdown of many (but not all) of the well-known injuries that have befallen Woods — and this doesn’t include anything that may or may not have happened to his face on that fateful Thanksgiving night in 2009. Not to mention the injuries to his pride, reputation and self-esteem.

<p> Tiger Woods' Injury History: A Visual Breakdown</p>
Post date: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-june-17

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for June 21.

• So did Kate Upton zing her apparent ex-boyfriend Justin Verlander via Twitter? Sure seems like it. Of course, that just gives us the excuse to link to another Kate Upton photo.

• The Heat finished off one of the most compelling NBA Finals in years, a series that was so intense that both teams were exhausted by the end of it. Here's a comprehensive rundown of a historic evening.

Nike was quick to celebrate LeBron's title with this cool ad.

So this is how South Beach superstars celebrate an NBA title: By eating pizza on-stage with Drake.

Hey LeBron: Bill Russell is bored and unimpressed by your two rings.

Somebody tell Aaron Hernandez the cops want to chat. I'm sure he'd want to know.

A ballboy made one of the catches of the year, considering he started from a seated position. Of course, when you get a good look at him, he's actually a ball-man. Time to get a real job, bro.

Did Kim and Kanye really name their baby North? As in North West? Is this real life?

• In honor of Chad Johnson's recent indiscretion, here are the most awkward hugs and butt-slaps in sports.

• The SEC West will be the epicenter of college football this year. Here are the most important games in the most important division. And speaking of the SEC, here are the most dominant linebacker duos the league has to offer. Also, are SEC offenses going too fast for their own good? 

• Let the LeBron-MJ comparisons commence. As this video asserts, The King is on pace to surpass His Airness.

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June 20

• Wanna score a date with a professional cheerleader? Some of them were nice enough to share the path to their heart with Bleacher Report.

LeBron James. Tim Duncan. Game 7. Not much at stake, other than a title and a legacy.

The Stanley Cup is tied, Yasiel Puig is inhuman and more from last night.

• What's the sound of one hand high-fiving? Justin Morneau found out last night.

The SEC's mediocrity-fighting team of Stoops and Jones continues to impress on the recruiting trail.

• Over in the Ladies' NBA, they make their big announcements without any fanfare. The league's second all-time leading scorer announced her retirement by responding to a Tweet. Of course, I guess for there to be any fanfare, there have to be fans.

• Got $3.195 million lying around? You can have Chipper Jones' Roswell mansion. Take a virtual tour here.

• We lost James Gandolfini yesterday at the shockingly young age of 51. Here is his appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio. And here's a worthy tribute from someone who knew him.

The Aaron Hernandez story continues to unfold. I'm going to withhold judgment, but it doesn't look great.

SEC rookies are already making an impact.

• Routine popup? For Ronald Belisario, there are no routine popups.

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June 19

• Summer TV used to be a wasteland of reruns interrupted by the occasional sporting event. Not anymore. The hottest women of summer television, including The Newsroom's Olivia Munn.

The big winners last night? Fans of compelling basketball. The losers? Sellers of headbands.

The greatest moment from last night's game captured on film: Ray Allen's game-tying 3. My only question: Why is Ginobili flopping in the photo? Floppers gonna flop, I guess.

Stupid Heat fans who left early last night soon realized their mistake.

Are there chinks in Pop's armor after the Spurs' late-game mistakes last night?

Saturday Down South gives Athlon's rundown of opposing coaches' comments about SEC West teams. Thanks for the shout-out.

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey lost a no-hitter yesterday in the Mets-iest way possible.

Serena Williams played a little blame-the-victim in the Steubenville rape case in her Rolling Stone interview. Predictably, she's apologized.

Hadn't heard much from Charlie Sheen lately. Glad to see he's still winning at the expense of others.

• It was classic Pop in the postgame press conference. His classiest answer: "Is that a European question?"

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June 18

• Not all supermodels are created equal. Here are the 10 who are dominating 2013 so far, including our old favorite Kate Upton.

• There's nothing better in sports than a Game 7. Let's hope the current respective finals get there, and if they do, that they live up to the greatest game 7s since 2000.

Alabama is adding a waterfall to its locker room. What's next, live mermaids?

• Don't you like those history what-if games? Here's one: Vin Scully could have been a Yankee.

Seven SEC East teams, seven questions for the fall (and their answers).

The most interesting team in the world: Texas A&M. I don't always watch college football, but when I do, I watch the Aggies.

• Note to shock jocks: If you're going to disgustingly mock a beloved guy with Lou Gehrig's disease, at least be funny doing it.

I find the headline at this link highly amusing. Gotta click to see it, though.

If you were waiting to buy the new Kanye album until you heard Dick Vitale's opinion, you're in luck.

Possibly gay NFL player Kerry Rhodes thinks he could be the father of Kim Kardashian's baby. In other news, Kim's baby has already been kicked out of a club and hired Jay-Z as her agent.

• Remember Bruce Hornsby? His kid's gonna play hoops in the SEC. That's just the way it is.

• I'm not a fan of the look-at-me home run bat flip. But there's something mesmerizing about two minutes' worth of such behavior. Judge for yourself.

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June 17

• Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and the other losers of the weekend's U.S. Open can console themselves with some of sports' finest WAGs.

Phil Mickelson plays U.S. Open word association: "Heartbreak."

It was an eventful Father's Day weekend. Here's a roundup.

• What's it like to date Tiger Woods? The New York Times asked, and Lindsey Vonn answered.

• Tis the season for meat. Here's a handy grilling guide for the carnivore in your life.

• During a pause in the golf action, Bob Costas took a moment to eviscerate the New York Mets. Now back to Dan Hicks.

Miss Utah displayed her mastery of economics with a classic pageant answer. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

• From the "Where Are They Now" files: Former Bowling Green great Omar Jacobs is still winning and putting up video game numbers, just on a small stage.

Will Mississippi State actually take the field in these jerseys?

• Cleaning this headline up a bit for a family audience: 20 Coaches Who Just Don't Care.

Jay-Z continues to take over the world.

• Danny Green is putting on a 3-point shooting exhibition the likes of which we've never seen in the NBA playoffs. He's made more 3-pointers in these Finals than Larry Bird ever attempted in an entire postseason. Here's every one of them.

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Post date: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 10:44
Path: /golf/rose-denies-mickelson-merion

He wasn't the people's choice, but Justin Rose, an overnight success 15 years in the making, grabbed the 2013 U.S. Open by the throat with a clutch final-round 70 — the only score among the leaders to equal par. His 1-over finish gave him an unexpected but well-deserved two-shot win over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

Rose, who contended as an amateur at the 1998 British Open, becomes the first Englishmen to win a major since Nick Faldo in 1996, beating heralded countrymen Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter to the punch. Rose's fairway metal from the fringe on the 72nd hole set up a clinching par and was a fittingly creative end to an Open that saw more changes in fortune than the financial meltdown.

On Father's Day, an emotional Rose credited his teacher/father, who died of cancer in 2002, with making him the golfer and man he is. "I couldn't help but look up at the heavens and think that old Ken had something to do with it," he said.

Rose also gave a shout-out to Masters champion Adam Scott for a confidence boost.

"I took a lot of encouragement from Adam Scott. … He sent me a beautiful text. He said, 'Your time is coming soon.' He's a wise man."

Philly Mick Falls Short Again
What can you say about the latest Lefty loss? The weekend was setting up beautifully for Mickelson, who posted a brilliant opening-round 67 at a surprisingly brutal Merion track, then held steady to take a one-stroke lead into the final round.

Finally, it seemed, the demons would be exorcised. Finally, the tournament that owed him one after two decades of heartbreak would yield to the will of his legion of followers. Lefty would celebrate his 43rd birthday and Father's Day with a trophy that he covets more than any other in the embrace of his loving family.

And when he erased one of his two early double bogeys with scintillating eagle 2 on No. 10 to retake the lead, it seemed that destiny was smiling on proud papa Mickelson.

Here's the Philadelphia eagle that electrified Merion and unleashed another ungainly Lefty Leap.

But two bogeys down the stretch and far too many burned edges and missed opportunities left Lefty the hard-luck loser yet again.

"This was my best chance. I was playing well on a golf course I really liked," said a candid, emotional Mickelson afterwards. "I hit good putt after good putt that I couldn't get to fall. I don't know what I would do different.

"When I made the eagle, it made me relax. It got me back to even, about where you think the winning score will be."

But mis-clubbed wedges at 13 and 15 led to crippling bogeys, followed by a makeable birdie miss at 16.

And another unhappy Father's Day.

The Week's Real Winner: Merion Golf Club
They said Merion was too short and too easy. They were dead wrong. Lee Westwood put it best with a succint tweet: "If Merion would have played dry this week like the USGA wanted, it would have been impossible."

It came darn close. The tight fairways and gnarled, rain-enhanced rough claimed victim after victim, including the world's top two players, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who finished 13-over and 14-over, respectively. "I'll look back at the things I did right and the things I did wrong. … I did a lot of things right. Unfortunately, I did a few things wrong," Woods said. After a 13-over finish, I'd say more than a few.

<p> A Rose for Father's Day at the U.S. Open</p>
Post date: Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 19:38