Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Jim Furyk, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-14-jim-furyk
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 14: Jim Furyk

Born: May 12, 1970, West Chester, Pa. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 16 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,204,779 (15th) World Ranking: 24

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Jim Furyk is already close to Hall of Fame numbers, but at 43 he still has another five good years left to add to his resume. With this being a Ryder Cup year, Jim perhaps feels an extra motivation to make the U.S. team to avenge his painful play in that event in 2012. The Ryder Cup aside, the 2003 U.S. Open champion continues to play at a very high level and is still one of the most consistent players on tour. His second-place finish in last year’s PGA Championship was his 20th top ten in a major, and with The Open Championship returning to Hoylake, a place where he finished fourth in 2006, Jim looks to be, sooner or later, a multiple major winner.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 73
Wins: 1

2013 Performance:
Masters - T25
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - 2

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 4 (1998, 2003)
U.S. Open - 1 (2003)
British Open - 4/T4 (1997, 1998, 2006)
PGA Championship - 2 (2013)
Top-10 Finishes: 20
Top-25 Finishes: 35
Missed Cuts: 15

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 11:20
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-26-2014
Body:

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

• My Michelle Jenneke obsession continues. Click here and see why.

The Buffalo Bills left a single light on to honor late owner Ralph Wilson.

Enjoy this time-lapse video of the creation of the Final Four floor.

USF couldn't hire Pitino protege Steve Masiello because he never got his degree from Kentucky, even though his resume said he did. Details, details.

Meet one of the guys who parachuted off One World Trade Center.

This Nick Young highlight is truly classic. He pulled the Larry Bird celebrate-the-three-before-it-goes-in. With one problem.

Here's a rundown from the owner votes on proposed rules changes from the NFL's Competition Committee. Five rules changes in all. Moving the extra points got tabled. They rejected expanding instant replay to include personal foul penalties, which I would support. Jeff Fisher also says they're cracking down on taunting.

Guess who's donning the shades and other tings of dis nature to play the T-800 yet again? Yep. Ahnuld.

After 250 years, women will be allowed to join the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. What's next, letting them vote?

More evidence that the NCAA is just the worst.

• I don't really follow hockey, but I think this is frowned upon.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 10:59
All taxonomy terms: Jordan Spieth, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-15-jordan-spieth
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 15: Jordan Spieth

Born: July 27, 1993, Dallas, Texas | Career PGA Tour Wins: 1 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,879,820 (10th) World Ranking: 13

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods are the only two players to have ever won the U.S. Junior Amateur multiple times, and last year Jordan did something Tiger never did, winning a Tour event while still a teenager. The win propelled the former No. 1 amateur in the world all the way to 10th on the money list after starting out the year with no status. Star status will follow the young Texan everywhere he goes in 2014 as we all watch him continue to do unprecedented things, thanks largely to a razor-sharp putter and a maturity that cannot be explained.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 4
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - DNP
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - T44
PGA Championship - Cut

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - n/a
U.S. Open - T21 (2012)
British Open - T44 (2013)
PGA Championship - Cut (2013)
Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 1
Missed Cuts: 2

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 11:04
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-25-2014
Body:

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

• Our kind of bracket: The cheerleaders of the Sweet 16 face off. I think Florida might be the favorite.

Mets marketing dept. in midseason form.

Vincent Lecavalier's chip shot goal missed by hitting all three posts. A hat trick of fail.

The Twins punk'd pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Cruel but funny, like all good pranks.

Drew Brees and his wife dressed in costume to go see "Noah." Nothing like some Biblical cosplay.

Jadaveon Clowney tries his hand at photobombing. Needs some work.

A tremendous gallery of NBA flopping GIFs. Haven't seen overacting like that since Nick Cage in "Wicker Man."

Bob Knight goes to the rape analogy well yet again.

George Takei brings the funny to Twitter. Oh, my.

• My favorite part of spring training: the premature slides that start about 15 feet short of the base. Still working out the kinks.

• Nerd alert: The Durham Bulls will wear R2D2-themed jerseys for an upcoming promotion.

• Some insane daredevils base-jumped off New York's Freedom Tower. You'll have to watch it for me; I'm scared of heights.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 10:36
All taxonomy terms: Matt Kuchar, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-16-matt-kuchar
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 16: Matt Kuchar

Born: June 21, 1978, Winter Park, Fla. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 6 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 2 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $5,616,809 (3rd) World Ranking: 11

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Matt Kuchar seems to win nothing but big events. His last three wins have been the 2012 Players, the 2013 WGC Match Play and the 2013 Memorial, and those wins put his name near the forefront in all major championship talk. However, Matt’s consistency trails off somewhat in the majors because he is not a very good driver of the ball. Given his lack of great length, he needs to find more fairways, something he struggles to do, but he more than makes up for it with a strategic savvy, great wedge game and a calmness that seems perfect for late Sunday pressure. He needs one great week off the tee at the right event for his breakthrough year.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 33
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - T8
U.S. Open - T28
British Open - T15
PGA Championship - T22

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T3 (2012)
U.S. Open - T6 (2010)
British Open - T9 (2012)
PGA Championship - T10 (2010)
Top-10 Finishes: 5
Top-25 Finishes: 12
Missed Cuts: 15

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 11:08
All taxonomy terms: Adam Scott, Matt Every, Golf
Path: /golf/5-key-stats-arnold-palmer-invitational
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Adam Scott Version 2.0 entered the weekend at Bay Hill playing dominating golf. Scott held a seven-shot lead and was poised to take the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking away from Tiger Woods and stamp himself the favorite to defend his Masters title. Sadly, the old Adam Scott re-appeared over the weekend, as a balky putter led to a collapse and opened the door for Matt Every to earn his first PGA Tour win.

Scott's opening-round 62 had threatened to turn the Arnold Palmer Invitational into an old-school Arnie-style runaway, and the Aussie still held a four-shot lead entering the final round. But a sloppy 76 awakened old demons as Augusta approaches. "Sometimes you've got to be hard on yourself; sometimes you don't," said a philosophical Scott. "And I think I was getting into a really good spot and had an opportunity here to run away with an event and really take a lot of confidence. I'm annoyed that I didn't do better today.

"Today was a bit shaky. It was just a little out of sorts for whatever reason. And my short game just wasn't there. So that needs to be tightened up and probably shows that I need to do a bit more work on it to hold up under the pressure. If nothing else, it's a good reminder on how much putting practice I need to do for going to the Masters and just how important it is. And if I think back to last year, I made every putt that you expect to in that last round and ultimately that's, I guess, maybe what gave me the chance to win."

Every seized his chance, making four birdies in a five-hole stretch to pass Scott and build enough of a cushion that two late bogeys didn't hurt him. "I can't believe I won,” said Every, who earns his first Masters appearance. “Being close to winning out here, I mean it can be kind of discouraging because if you don't win you just wonder if it's ever going to happen.

“I don't see how it could get much better than this, being so close to where I grew up and all the fans out there that were cheering me on. It was awesome.”

 

Some key numbers from the weekend:

63 Scott required 63 putts over his final two rounds, including 32 in his final-round 76. His frustration on the greens was summed up in a disappointing three-putt par on the easiest hole on the course, the par-5 16th.

5 Scott missed five putts inside 10 feet on Sunday.

93 Every earned his first win in his 93rd start as a professional. His best previous finish had been a pair of runner-ups in 2012.

80.56 Henrik Stenson led the field in greens in regulation, hitting 58 of 72 greens (80.56 percent). That's a good sign in what has been a disappointing season for the defending FedExCup champion. Stenson also tied for the lead in driving accuracy.

2006 Scott can take solace in the fact that no player since Phil Mickelson in 2006 has won The Masters after winning a tournament earlier in the year.

 

Here are the highlights of Every's day at Bay Hill.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 10:56
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-24-2014
Body:

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

Pregnant Mila Kunis joined baby daddy Ashton Kutcher on the Clippers Kiss Cam. Yep, she's preggers. We prefer to think of her this way.

Some late clock confusion was a but of a buzzkill at the end of an otherwise classic Iowa State-UNC game.

20 observations from one of the better opening weekends in NCAA Tournament history. Plus, Athlon weighs in with some great off-the-court moments from the weekend's madness.

Dougie McBuckets went out with a whimper.

• Meanwhile, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is feeling some sweet vindication, as indicated by a classic postgame selfie.

The Nae Nae has become the official dance of March Madness.

• Speaking of dancing, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg danced on camera in the locker room, then texted his daughter to apologize for embarrassing her. The Mayor's also Dad of the Year.

Here's a link to some amazing badminton footage. Don't laugh, just click. Badminton's actually kinda badass.

Last week's funniest tweets, from our friends at Mandatory.

• A sixth grader nicknamed Baby LeBron is already dunking in games.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 10:20
All taxonomy terms: Dustin Johnson, Golf
Path: /golf/conversation-dustin-johnson
Body:

Watching Dustin Johnson hit soaring drives is like watching Picasso paint. It’s what he was born to do, an act of effortless genius. And now, the rest of his game — including the part that resides between the ears — seems to be catching up with Johnson’s prodigious talents off the tee.

Johnson is building an enviable resume. He enters the meat of the 2013-14 schedule as the PGA Tour’s biggest winner still in his 20s, a distinction he’ll hold until his 30th birthday on June 22. With eight career wins, the Columbia, S.C., native is one of only three players under the age of 30 with four or more PGA Tour wins; Rory McIlroy (six) and Webb Simpson (four) are the others. Johnson now has at least one PGA Tour victory in seven consecutive seasons (2008-current); only Phil Mickelson (10 consecutive years) has a longer active streak. (Tiger Woods had a 14-year winning streak from 1996-2009.) Johnson is the first player since Tiger (1996-2002) to win in his first seven consecutive seasons straight out of college (2008-current).

Johnson plans to fill the one remaining gap in his career ledger — a major championship — very soon. Athlon sat down with the Tour’s top power hitter to talk majors, Cups (Ryder and FedEx) and playing golf with The Great One.

You’re known as one of the real athletes on Tour. What role does athleticism play in the game today?

For me, I think golf is becoming more athletic. If you see the generations coming out now, both my generation and all the younger guys who are coming out, they’re all tall and big and strong. The breed of golfer now is just a lot bigger and stronger. Golf has definitely become a lot cooler for high school athletes to take up. Over the last 15-20 years, even the last five years, golf has become a cool sport to play.

Did Tiger play the key role in that?

For sure. There’s not one golfer who can’t thank Tiger for everything he’s done. He’s really made the game popular, and he’s made the game cool to play.

Clearly, the next step in your career is winning a major. You’ve had some painful near-misses. Have those left any scar tissue, or will you be better prepared for the moment next time?

When you fail, or something doesn’t go right, you learn a lot more about yourself than when it does go right. You always learn more from your mistakes. Those situations have helped me in my career. Majors are tough, and if you’re not spot-on, you’re not going to play very well. You’ve got to put four good rounds together. In China (at the WGC-HSBC in November) was one of the first times I played good four days. Got off to a bad start the first day, but turned it around and played really well the rest of the way, and then played really good on Friday and Saturday. I made a couple mistakes on Saturday, but played really good golf. And then on Sunday, I got off to a bad start, but then played exceptionally well after that. It was really the first time where I felt like I played well the whole time.

So you know what it takes now for a major.

Right. To win a major, you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to play four good days of golf.

You’d take any of them, but is there one major you’d value over the others?

For me, it’ll always be Augusta. I grew up an hour away from there. As a little kid on the putting green, it was never putts to win the U.S. Open. Living so close to Augusta, it was always putting on the putting green to win The Masters.

Do you feel like The Masters sets up well for your game?

I think it does. I like putting on fast greens, and the greens at Augusta are always fast. It’s a big golf course, and you have to drive it well there. It’s crucial to control your distance. It’s one of those courses, the more you play it, the more you learn. You learn something new every time you play at Augusta. There are just certain spots you cannot hit it. I think it definitely sets up well for me. I definitely think I’ll contend there.

It’s a Ryder Cup year, and the Ryder Cup obviously means a lot to you.

It’s just so different than what we’re used to, and so much fun. We enjoy everything about it — the dinners, the camaraderie, the team room. For me, being on the last two Ryder Cup teams, we lost both of them, and I did play well in the last one — I was 3–0 — but it’s a team event. It doesn’t matter how well I played, the team has to play well. I could have gone 5–0, and it doesn’t matter, and we lost. It sucks, especially going into singles with the lead we had. You can ask anybody who was on that team — it still stings.

Is the pressure a different kind of pressure?

It’s a completely different kind of pressure. But it’s so much fun. You’ve got your whole country rooting for you. It’s really a cool feeling. It’s really intense. You can’t describe it.

You called the WGC-HSBC in November 2013 the biggest win of your career thus far. The leaderboard on Sunday at the HSBC was basically you and half the European Ryder Cup team. It had to feel pretty good to stand up to those guys.

In that moment, I wasn’t really thinking about that, but obviously, I could see the leaderboard, and every player that was on it was a top-25 golfer in the world. It was a who’s who of a leaderboard on Sunday. For me to play that well coming down the stretch to win was very important to me, very important for my confidence, just to know and believe in myself that I can do that. It’s special.

That day, you got off to kind of a slow start while the guys you were playing with (Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell) were on fire out of the chute, erasing your three-shot lead.

At that moment, there’s all kinds of thoughts going through your head. "Oh, no. Am I really going to do this?" I’m like, alright, we’re starting over. It’s Sunday, I’m one back and have 14 holes to play. Let’s see how good I can play. Let’s show these guys how good I am. I had to change my mindset.

Any opinion on the Brandel Chamblee-Tiger Woods controversy?

Honestly, I haven’t even seen it (Chamblee’s article insinuating that Woods was guilty of cheating in his brushes with the Rules of Golf in 2013). I’ve heard from guys what happened, but I don’t really pay attention.

Do guys care what analysts say about them?

It obviously depends on the person. I don’t watch the Golf Channel. It doesn’t bother me. People are entitled to their own opinion, I’ve got mine, they’ve got theirs. My opinion matters more than theirs.

How important is the FedExCup?

It’s really important. There’s 10 million reasons why it’s important. I think the first year, it’s like anything, guys were like, what is this? But now I think everyone really likes it. They’ve got it to a system that works. I think it’s great for the PGA Tour and the game of golf. You get a lot more interest, and you’re starting to see a lot more of the top Europeans playing the U.S. Tour because they want to play the FedExCup.

That brings up the global nature of the game. Do you anticipate playing more overseas?

That’s hard to say. I’m playing more overseas than I used to. My first few years out, I don’t think I played overseas at all, but the game’s definitely gotten more global. I definitely will be playing overseas, but you can only play so much. A few times a year.

When you really cut loose, how far can you hit a drive?

When I’m on the launch monitor, when I’m swinging really hard, which I never do on a golf course, I can get one 330-335 in the air. A normal swing when I’m on the golf course, it’s going to fly maybe 300. Anywhere between 290 and 300. Obviously, I can step it up once in a while and maybe fly one 310. But I never like swinging with that mindset. I don’t want to hit it hard. Maybe when I’m on the driving range and just goofing around I’ll smash ‘em sometimes for fun. But on a golf course, I might swing 85 to 90 percent at the highest.

Other than the driver, what’s your favorite club in the bag?

That’s a tough one. I like all my clubs. When I was growing up, you’d have a club like a 7-iron, or a 9-iron, that you hit better, where even if it was an 8-iron shot, I’d hit 7, or if it was a 6-iron, I’d hammer a 7 because I liked it. But now, there’s not one club I like more. My putter, maybe my 60 degree, my 3-wood. But I like them all. TaylorMade does a great job. I’ve got zero complaints. They’ve been very good to me, and they make the best equipment. I only need 10 or 11 clubs, I don’t need to play 13, but I have 13 of them. Every one of my professional wins has come with the same putter (a Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport 2 Prototype). Every once in a while it’s got to sit in time-out, though (laughs). I bring out that white TaylorMade to get its attention and let it know who’s boss.

You played college golf at Coastal Carolina, not a traditional golf powerhouse. What role did that experience with coach Allen Terrell have in making you the player you are?

When I was looking at colleges, I remember it was the first week of summer, and I was going to the beach, and I passed by Coastal Carolina. I thought, that looks like it would be a fun school to go to. I called up the coach and sent him a resume. He called me back the next day and said, “Can we meet?” I went and met him. It was definitely a lifestyle change, but Coach Terrell has played a big part in my success, as a person and as a golfer. I don’t know what we were ranked my freshman year, but it wasn’t very good, maybe 100. Then I think by the end of my freshman year we were maybe in the 70s, then my sophomore year we got into the top 25, and my junior and senior year were top 10. So we became a powerhouse. He was really disciplined. Obviously, I tried to bend the rules as much as possible, so the whole time I was in school, we knocked heads. But I understood. It was what I needed — someone that wouldn’t put up with the BS. He helped me tremendously. Going to Coastal was the best thing I ever did — the best decision I ever made.  

What first got you interested in the game?

My dad was a head pro at a golf course when I was little. Me and my brother would go to the golf course with him. Especially in the summer, we’d go every day. We had a swimming pool there, so we’d go play 18 holes, go to the pool, then go back out and play 18 more. Since my brother played too, it was fun for us to play together. Also, there was a driving range right by my house that my dad’s buddy owned. I’d be there until 10 o’clock at night.

Have you gotten Paulina (fiancée Paulina Gretzky) interested in golf?

No. She’ll go hit a ball or two every once in a while, but it’s not her thing.

Your future father-in-law (hockey legend Wayne Gretzky) can play, though.

Yeah, he’s a pretty good stick. He can shoot 74, or he can shoot 85. We’ve played a lot of golf together. He’s got game, for sure, and he’s fun to play with. We have a good time.

You’re joining the family of somebody who’s considered the greatest ever to play his sport. Is that inspiring? Intimidating? Does he still have the "Great One" aura?

Yeah, he does. I think just being around him and seeing how he handles everything and how he conducts himself and the way he treats people. He’s the greatest hockey player to ever play, and he probably will always be. Just to see the way he carries himself, and how nice he is to people. It takes a special person to be that way, and he does it better than anyone I’ve ever seen. He couldn’t be a nicer, more down-to-earth guy. When I’m out there we go play golf almost every day, and we’ll go the club and have a beer. It’s just fun.

Goals for 2014?

Definitely be more consistent. Contend more. I just want in 2014 to try to get better each week. Just put myself in position to try to win on Sundays. The more times you do that, the more you win. I need to contend in the majors, too. The majors are definitely something I’m looking forward to in 2014.

You’re known for your skills on the basketball court. If you were picking the Tour basketball team, who are some of the other athletes out there?

I’d have Gary Woodland on my team. Probably Kooch (Matt Kuchar). Me. We’re going tall; Gary can run point. There are just so many guys coming out now who are athletic and can play other sports. Keegan (Bradley) is pretty athletic. Even Sergio (Garcia) — you know, Sergio doesn’t play basketball, but he’s a really good soccer player and loves to play. It’s just a different breed of golfers today. Keegan can shoot a little bit. I don’t get to play that much any more. Ever since I had my knee surgery, I’ve stayed off the court. I love it, and I want to play, and I’ll go shoot around some. I used to play pick-up games, but I just don’t do it anymore.

How do guys typically unwind and recreate?

It depends on the person. For me, I like going on the boat, whether I’m going fishing or just going out and having a beer, cruising around and listening to music. That’s something I really enjoy doing. On Saturdays and Sundays, watching football.

Looking way ahead, 20 years from now, what kind of career numbers would you want to look back at and say, I’ve had the kind of career I envisioned?

I’ve never really thought about it. I want to look back and know that I helped grow the game of golf and had a career that people respect. One of my ultimate goals is to get to that 20-win mark. Once you get there, then you can look past that, but right now, getting there means you’re a lifetime member, and it does a lot of things for you. If I do get there, once I get there, then I’ll re-evaluate.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 13:39
All taxonomy terms: Steve Stricker, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-17-steve-stricker
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 17: Steve Stricker

Born: Feb. 23, 1967, Edgerton, Wis. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 12 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $4,440,532 (7th) World Ranking: 14

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Steve Stricker played the best golf of his life in 2013, yet he didn't win a PGA Tour event and played in only 13 events, stating early in the year that he was going to be semi-retired from now on. In those 13 events, he had eight top 10s, led the tour in scoring average, finished third in driving accuracy, second in greens in regulation, second in strokes gained-putting and was second in scrambling. If I knew how much and where he was going to play, I would put him near the top of this list. He hasn't had a top-five finish in a major since 1999, but it looks like Steve is better late than ever.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 60
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - T20
U.S. Open - T8
British Open - DNP
PGA Championship - T12

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T6 (2009)
U.S. Open - 5/T5 (1998, 1999)
British Open - T7 (2008)
PGA Championship - 2 (1998)
Top-10 Finishes: 11
Top-25 Finishes: 28
Missed Cuts: 14

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 11:23
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-21-2014
Body:

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

• I normally find sideline reporters utterly useless. I'll make an exception for CBS' Allie LaForce (pictured).

Dayton's newspaper had fun trolling Ohio State after the Flyers stunned Big Brother in the NCAA Tournament.

• Another highlight of Day One: North Dakota State's locker room celebration.

• The lasting image of Thursday: the Arizona State bench after Texas' buzzer-beater.

• The breakout star of March Madness: Phil Martelli's grandson.

Grant Hill has an interesting theory on Duke hatred.

We won't have Aaron Craft to kick around any more, while we wait eagerly for the next Aaron Craft.

• Not to be outdone, the Red Wings had a buzzer-beater of their own last night.

• Michigan and other teams have turned to an old-fashioned energy drink: chocolate milk.

Tiger Woods has a bulging disc. Sportscasters everywhere woke up all night in cold sweats at the thought of mispronouncing that diagnosis.

• In the market for a new home? Oscar Pistorius' murder house is for sale.

• One-time March legend Steph Curry has taken his game to another level.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 11:11
All taxonomy terms: Lee Westwood, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-18-lee-westwood
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 18: Lee Westwood

Born: April 24, 1973, Worksop, U.K. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 2 (22 on European Tour) | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,081,731 (31st) World Ranking: 36

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Lee Westwood didn't win in 2013, but besides moving to the U.S., he was going through some changes in his swing and trying to improving his ailing short game, the latter of which he was able to do. In spite of not being at his best tee to green, he still managed to finish eighth at the Masters, 15th at the U.S. Open, third at The Open Championship and 33rd at the PGA Championship, making this the fifth year in a row that Lee has finished in the top ten in two of the four majors. With a few more months to work on his swing, a newfound short game and a greater feeling of comfort in the U.S., Lee could end that winless drought quickly in 2014.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 63
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - T8
U.S. Open - T15
British Open - T3
PGA Championship - T33

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 2 (2010)
U.S. Open - 3/T3 (2008, '11)
British Open - 2 (2010)
PGA Championship - T3 (2009)
Top-10 Finishes: 16
Top-25 Finishes: 27
Missed Cuts: 16

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 11:19
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-20-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 20.

• Face it, you're not working today. Occupy yourself with these March Madness cheerleader photos while you wait for the games to start.

Here's a rundown of celebrity NCAA Tournament picks. James Van Der Beek likes St. Joe's over St. Louis in the finals. Warren Buffett's money is safe.

Mick Cronin sent Cincy fans a doctor's note excusing them from work today.

Aroldis Chapman had his face broken by a 110 mph line drive. Earlier in the week, Chapman had poked fun at Sammy Sosa with a little whiteface. This was God telling him that doctoring your face to look like another race is never a good idea.

Five legal cases represent the five gravest existential threats to the NCAA.

Michelle Beadle ate a cockroach on live television. Career's going well.

It was a tough Wednesday for Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.

• More proof that they do things backward in Australia: Watch a security guard teach a young Aussie baseball fan that he can get what he wants by throwing a tantrum.

Here's a bracket featuring the best Seinfeld episodes. The Strike (aka the Festivus episode) is woefully underseeded as a 7.

An in-depth analysis of the best fictional quarterbacks of all time. Uncle Rico at No. 10 seems low.

• Miguel Cabrera did a crazy spokes-video for PlayStation’s ‘MLB 14 The Show.'

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 11:04
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Hunter Mahan, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-19-hunter-mahan
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 19: Hunter Mahan

Born: May 17, 1982, Orange, Calif. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 5 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,036,164 (18th) World Ranking: 32

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Hunter Mahan continues to improve, which, when you get to his level, comes with some risk, as attention to one area necessarily distracts from another. In 2013, every facet of Mahan's game was better than it was the year before, and those improvements landed him in the final group on Sunday of the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. Familiarity with that type of pressure takes some time and is the last piece of a complex puzzle to reach the highest levels of professional golf. If Hunter finds himself in the same position this year, he will no doubt be a different player, and as such 2014 promises to be a great year for the former OSU Cowboy.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 32
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - Cut
U.S. Open - T4
British Open - T9
PGA Championship - T57

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T8 (2010)
U.S. Open - T4 (2013)
British Open - T6 (2007)
PGA Championship - T16 (2009)
Top-10 Finishes: 6
Top-25 Finishes: 13
Missed Cuts: 12

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 11:04
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-19-2014
Body:

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

• This bracket's pretty evenly matched: The 68 cheerleading squads of March Madness.

Vin Scully meeting a koala. The Internet was created for things such as this.

Here's a painting of George Washington dunking on Kim Jong-un, with Lincoln boxing out Stalin. I want this painting.

• Today's longform must-read: The Game that Saved March Madness. (Georgetown-Princeton, in case you're wondering.)

Bruce Pearl arrived at Auburn like the Beatles at JFK. Auburn fans finally realized they have a basketball program.

The First Four takes a good thrashing from Greg Doyel.

How the top 16 seeds fared against other tournament teams in the regular season. Hard to believe that Kansas played 20 games against tourney teams (12-8). They're well seasoned, I'd say.

Watch the Twins mascot catch a foul ball with his mouth.

This LeBron assist defies description. So I won't describe it.

Tom Brady and Gisele are selling their LA mansion for $50 mil. Seems a little steep, but it does have an infinity pool, which is nice.

Here's a handy map showing what each state is worst at. My state has the most bankruptcy filings.

• Watch a Canadian college player go Reggie Miller with 12 points in less than 30 seconds.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 10:52
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Zach Johnson, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-20-zach-johnson
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 20: Zach Johnson

Born: Feb. 24, 1976, Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Career PGA Tour Wins: 11 | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $4,044,509 (9th) World Ranking: 10

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Zach Johnson finished in the top 10 in seven of his last eight events on Tour in 2013. In addition, he won Tiger’s event in December (the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge) with a dramatic holed wedge at 18 to get into a playoff with the host and then won on the first extra hole, making the end of 2013 one of the highlights of Zach’s career. He then won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in early January. Always consistent, he seemed to find even a new level and for the first time had back-to-back top tens in majors, finishing sixth and eighth in the British Open and PGA Championship. Perhaps he found a way around his low ball flight in the game’s biggest events; in his entire career, he’s only twice been in the top 10 in greens in regulation in a major, winning one of them at the 2007 Masters. If that’s the case, 2014 might be his best year ever.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 39
Wins: 1

2013 Performance:
Masters - T35
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - T6
PGA Championship - T8

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 1 (2007)
U.S. Open - T30 (2011)
British Open - T6 (2013)
PGA Championship - T3 (2010)
Top-10 Finishes: 6
Top-25 Finishes: 10
Missed Cuts: 14

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 11:09
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-18-2014
Body:

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

Angels pitcher CJ Wilson is married to supermodel Lisalla Montenegro. Lucky guy.

This, my friends, is what a $25 corn dog looks like. It's a foot and a half long, and it can be yours at D-backs games this season.

Three ways to win your office pool.

Greg Doyel says the history-making potential of this year's tournament is riding on Doug McDermott's shoulders.

Vegas is not impressed with the work of this year's Selection Committee. And Vegas would know.

• When underachieving has-beens collide: Vince Vaughn bought Lane Kiffin's Manhattan Beach house.

Dikembe Mutombo punked Rocky, the Denver Nuggets mascot, and even added a finger wag. Things continue to go poorly for Rocky, last seen here being lowered lifeless from the ceiling to the horror of children in the arena.

Enjoy this Gerald Green double-clutch dunk. I know I did.

Watch the Tennessee baseball team clean off their home field in 30 seconds. All that's missing is the Benny Hill music.

Few things are as amusing as unfortunate typos.

• Watch an MMA fighter get knocked out in less than two seconds.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Ian Poulter, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-21-ian-poulter
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 21: Ian Poulter

Born: Jan. 10, 1976, Stevenage, England | Career PGA Tour Wins: 2 (12 on European Tour) | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,723,463 (49th) World Ranking: 18

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Ian Poulter has been as high as fifth in the world rankings, although he's never reached the height he predicted in 2008 when he said, if he played to his potential, it would be just Tiger and him. As I write this he is 18th in the world, so while his peers may have snarled at the comment, the fact is that he is not far off from his boast. It is said that belief matters more than anything in sport, and that is certainly evidenced by the success of Ian. Year after year, he is one of the worst ball-strikers in the game, and yet he plays at a high level and especially so in match play, where his brusque manner and hot putter drive opponents to distraction. This being a Ryder Cup year, Ian will make a lot of noise, I have no doubt.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 44
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - Cut
U.S. Open - T21
British Open - T3
PGA Championship - T61

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 7 (2012)
U.S. Open - T12 (2006)
British Open - 2 (2008)
PGA Championship - T3 (2012)
Top-10 Finishes: 7
Top-25 Finishes: 17
Missed Cuts: 7

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 11:33
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-17-2014
Body:

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

• Reese Witherspoon is launching her own Southern lifestyle company, providing an excuse to look at old Reese Witherspoon photos.

• The best story of championship weekend: Ed Cooley and Providence win the Big East.

• The weekend's other big winner: Phil Martelli's adorable grandson.

Five teams that got screwed by the tournament committee.

Get some expert advice on filling out your bracket. Or, be like me and humiliate yourself with your own hunches.

The 10 worst people in your office NCAA pool. I'm always the "My bracket is dead" guy.

The 10 best dunks of this college basketball season so far.

• Speaking of idiots, here are nine buffoons you'll bump into on St. Patrick's Day. I particularly hate the pinching bandit.

The action in the stands at UFC 171 was better than the action in the ring.

Is there a thug culture in NFL front offices too?

World Top 10 golfer Justin Rose hit one of the worst shots a pro has ever hit. Or, as I call it, a typical wedge.

• This morning's LA earthquake produced this priceless live reaction from a couple of newscasters.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 11:15
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-14-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 14.

Jessie James Decker, arguably the hottest football WAG, is taking her talents to New York.

• Take a seat: Great MLB strikeout faces.

The most disturbing story of the day involves a Playboy model, her buttocks and a golf tee.

•  Louisville beat Rutgers by 61. Rick Pitino's advice to Knights coach Eddie Jordan? Go have a drink.

The trailblazing Spencer Haywood in his own words.

A play-by-play guy pauses mid-action to let one rip.

• How's this for an occupational hazard: Fox Sports’ Mike Greenlay took a hockey stick to the face and bled all over his shirt.

• For a smart guy, Richard Sherman gets in a lot of stupid Twitter beefs.

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari trust Jenny McCarthy for important medical decisions.

The Marlins mascot shoved a pie in some guy's face. This concludes your Marlins highlights for 2014.

• Remember that doughnut shop that Golden Tate snuck into? They're sorry to see him leave Seattle.

• Charles Barkley almost nodded off at work. That's fine, except he was on the air at the time.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 11:11
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Graeme McDowell, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-22-graeme-mcdowell
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 22: Graeme McDowell

Born: July 30, 1979, Portrush, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 2 (9 on European Tour) | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 3 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,174,596 (28th) World Ranking: 15

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Graeme McDowell is good at everything — and by everything I mean dealing with the media, multitasking business concerns while managing a world class game and being, well, just a good guy to have a beer with. All of this makes him popular, but may not necessarily make him as good as he can be at golf, which takes a selfishness he doesn't appear to possess. Nonetheless, he won three times in 2013, once on the PGA Tour and twice in Europe. At his best, he hits some of the coolest irons in the game, and it was the strength of that iron play that made him a U.S. Open champion in 2010. If his short game improves in 2014, besides being a thorn in the side of U.S. players at the Ryder Cup he will make the media rooms a whole lot more fun to be in.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 33
Wins: 1

2013 Performance:
Masters - Cut
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - T58
PGA Championship - T12

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T12 (2012)
U.S. Open - Won (2010)
British Open - T5 (2012)
PGA Championship - T10 (2009)
Top-10 Finishes: 4
Top-25 Finishes: 14
Missed Cuts: 12

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 10:16
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-2014-whats-hot
Body:

Equipment manufacturers have gone back to the future, dusting off some iconic brands with new versions. Adams Golf has resurrected the Tight Lies fairway wood, the club that took the small company to new heights in the 1990s. COBRA Golf has launched a new line of easy-to-hit drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons for men and women called the Baffler XL, a family of clubs that takes inspiration from the original Baffler driver built 40 years ago. PowerBilt is offering a contemporary version of the Countess, a women's set that originally debuted in 1968. Most intriguing of all, Callaway Golf revived the Big Bertha with two new drivers in 2014, the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha. Phil Mickelson already has one in his bag.

The retro theme has certainly raised some eyebrows in the golf industry, but new ideas and concepts continue to dominate the marketplace. Here’s a look at a handful of hot products for 2014:

Golf Clubs

Cleveland Golf 588 Woods – The 460cc titanium head of the 588 Custom Driver offers the greatest combination of distance, forgiveness and accuracy of any driver Cleveland Golf has ever made. An adjustable hosel creates 12 different settings to precisely tune loft, lie and face angle. The back of the sole has an adjustable weight screw to optimize swing weight. The line includes 588 Fairway woods and 588 hybrids. Variable face thickness helps both maximize distance and playability. The hybrid features a slightly offset face and Gliderail Technology. Website: www.clevelandgolf.com.

TaylorMade Golf SpeedBlade Irons - The ‘Speed Pocket’ of the SpeedBlade irons is wider and longer than the successful Rocketballz line. The handlebar-shaped slot in the sole of the 3-7 irons enables a large area of the face to flex and rebound at impact, resulting in faster ball speed, higher launch and better feel. This improvement allows shots hit below the center of the face, where most golfers miss, to come out higher and longer. More skilled players might gravitate toward the newer Tour Preferred MB, Tour Preferred MC and Tour Preferred CB irons released in January. Dustin Johnson used the Tour Preferred MB irons at the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui. Website: www.taylormadegolf.com.

Adams Golf New Idea Hybrid irons – High handicappers can rejoice that Adams Golf continues to look after their needs. A revolutionary wraparound slot helps these new hybrid irons generate higher ball speeds and more forgiveness, especially on mis-hits. Extensive research revealed that 15-plus handicap golfers make the majority of contact nearly a half-inch toward the toe. These irons enhance the face speed in the area. Adams recently signed Ernie Els to an endorsement contract, proving that its equipment can satisfy the game’s elite, too. Website: www.adamsgolf.com.

Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance mallet putter – Master craftsman Scotty Cameron has created another magic wand that coaxes balls into the hole with striking consistency. The club’s advanced perimeter stability weighting in the head, a 50-gram counterweight in the butt of the shaft and the 15-inch grip that reduces hand action all work together to promote a smoother, more stable stroke. The proper length of a Dual Balance putter is 38 inches, three inches longer than a conventional putter length. Two of the hottest players in golf, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth, use Scotty Cameron putters. Website: www.scottycameron.com

Miura K-Grind Wedge – The distinctive fluted sole of this popular 56-degree wedge is known for producing high-spin exits from bunkers. Two new recently introduced lofts, 52 and 60 degrees, make this short-game weapon more versatile than ever. Katsuhiro Miura, a one-man wizard of craftsmanship, has built Miura Golf, Inc., based in Vancouver, Canada, into the world’s preeminent maker of quality forged golf clubs. Its wedges are second to none. Website: www.miuragolf.com.

Golf Balls

Nicklaus Golf Balls – Jack Nicklaus has thrown his hat into the competitive golf ball industry. Forget about launch monitors and ball testing. Players choose their Nicklaus ball — the Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus White — based on the color of the tees they tend to play from. A percentage of every golf ball sold will be donated directly back to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation to support pediatric programs and hospitals nationwide. Balls sold through the website listed below will be cheaper — the Black for $32 and Blue and White for $28 — than those sold at pro shops nationwide (costing between $46-$50) to encourage consumers to donate to the cause. Website: www.Nicklaus.com.

NIKE Golf RZN Golf Balls - For the second time in three years, Nike Golf has unveiled another industry first. Building on the success of the 20XI ball, Nike Golf has introduced its innovative Speedlock RZN core technology with four golf balls — the RZN Platinum, RZN Black, RZN Red and RZN White — designed to deliver more distance, better feel and a more consistent, stable ball flight. The new Speedlock RZN core technology features an interlocking core that connects with the compression layer to form a tighter bond. This ‘Speedlock’ harnesses energy for more explosive results. Website: www.nike.com.

Golf Shoes

adidas Golf adizero one shoes – Weighing less than 10 ounces, the second generation of the adizero line weighs 10 percent less than last year’s innovative Tour shoe, already among the lightest in golf. The seven spikes strategically located on the sole are three fewer than the Tour shoe, yet still maintain traction and stability on the ground. Seven flashy color patterns will be available by May 1. Website: www.adidasgolf.com

Ecco Street EVO One – Ecco dominates the casual street shoe market with a stylish look that functions at a high level. The Street EVO One comes in high-grade cow leather or genuine camel leather versions. Both combine the award-winning ECCO-Dynamic Traction System (E-DTS) with an array of stabilization and weather-resistant features. Its design cups and cushions the heel, delivering comfort and support. The Danish company owns its own factories, a key component in delivering a quality product. Website: http://us.shop.ecco.com.

Golf Fashions

Tommy Hilfiger Golf - Preppy, with a splash of attitude, defines Tommy’s fashions. Its spring 2014 golf collection celebrates the energy and spirit of coastal destinations like California’s trendy Monterey Peninsula all the way to the traditional country clubs of East Hampton in New York. A palette of tonal blues and turquoise accents color certain polo shirts and sweaters inspired by the California lifestyle. Other pieces toned in sophisticated greens, navy blues and whites mimic the classic look of East Coast heritage. Special fabrics and cottons combine comfort with performance. Website: www.tommy.com.

TravisMathew – The Spring 2014 Huntington Collection hearkens back to California of the 1960s. As children of the postwar baby boom became teenagers, the so-called “Age of Youth” became a time of freedom and exploration. The Huntington Beach-based golf outfitter wanted to capture what it calls “A Wonderful Time” with its hip patterns, styles and colors. These cool and casual golf outfits can be worn on the course and to the party afterward. Website: www.travismathew.com.

Sunice Pro Sport Collection – This Canadian sportswear company makes cold and wet weather tolerable with lightweight and fashion-driven layering pieces. The new Triberg, a super lightweight and four-way stretch jacket, is the category’s most breathable piece. It’s 100 percent windproof and highly water repellent. The sharp Malaga vest incorporates the same features. The Harvey, York, and Huntley all provide new design options for Sunice’s Windstopper-lined sweaters. Website: www.sunice.com.

Golf Accessories

Sun Mountain H2NO Golf Bags – This line’s popularity in Europe comes down to its walker-friendly design and waterproof characteristics. The integrated handles on top and swinging legs make it easy to pick the bag up or set it down. The E-Z Fit Dual Strap System distributes weight equally across each shoulder. The bag bottom still fits snug into a golf cart for riding. Multiple pockets organize and store items with ease. Website: www.sunmountain.com.

Bushnell Golf – Three new Bushnell products help golfers answer the age-old question: What club should I use? The NEO XS Golf GPS Watch is not only preloaded with over 33,000-plus courses in more than 30 countries, but it also features market-leading battery life and can be used as an odometer on the course or while exercising away from golf. The Pro X7 range finder and the more compact Tour Z6 JOLT use JOLT Technology, where vibrations alert golfers when they’ve hit the pin, and Second Generation E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision.) for faster, more accurate readings. Website: www.bushnellgolf.com.

Under Armour Fire Sunglasses – Made for the elite athlete such as spokesman Hunter Mahan, the new UA Fire offers a wide field of view through its ArmourSight Shield lenses. Adjustable nose pads create a snug fit. They’re versatile enough for baseball as well as golf. Website: www.underamour.com.

Oakley Belts – Oakley’s unique custom belt program launched last year, allowing customers to mix and match belt buckles with leather straps of all colors. The new aluminum Golf Pro Series Buckles ($25) are interchangeable with the Premium Belt Straps ($70) or the Reversible Leather Belt Strap ($45), which has stripes on one side and a solid color on the other. Website: www.oakley.com.

Practice Aid

SKLZ - Want to hone your game at home? Create your own practice range just about anywhere with the Glide Pad and Quickster Net by SKLZ, an innovative company of sports training equipment located in Carlsbad, Calif. The Glide Pad (costing $99.99) gives way when golfers strike it, allowing them to hit down and through. Its sliding mechanism simulates natural turf movement and helps reduce shock and injury during practice. The 6-foot-by-6-foot Quickster Net ($99.99) is easy to set up and take down. Website: www.sklz.com.

 

 

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 13:05
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-13-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 13.

Enjoy some new video of hurdler from heaven Michelle Jenneke.

Jets fans are handling the Darrelle Revis defection like the mature, level-headed fanbase that they are.

• On the mic for the new college football national championship game: Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.

• The headline says it all: Fans Sue Arena After Video Reveals Large and Small Beers Are Same Size.

It's been 40 years since the greatest game in ACC history — NC State 103, Maryland 100.

• The decline and fall of the Rick Reilly empire continues — the once-great columnist is giving up his online column and will be a strictly on-air personality for the worldwide leader.

• Today's amusing cheap shot: 14 reasons why Phil Jackson will not win a title with the Knicks.

Tip of the cap to Michelle Beadle for this classy move.

Another insane high school buzzer-beater, this one from Michigan. That one doesn't do it for you? Here's another.

Darren Sproles' wife went on a weapons-grade Instagram rant against the Saints on her husband's behalf.

• I know people are tired of Blake Griffin, but I never get tired of watching him do this. 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 10:51
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Hideki Matsuyama, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-23-hideki-matsuyama
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 23: Hideki Matsuyama

Born: Feb. 25, 1992, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan | Career PGA Tour Wins: 0 (5 on Japanese Tour)  | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 4 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $771,640 (107th) World Ranking: 22

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Hideki Matsuyama won on the Japanese tour four times in 2013, which is certainly evidence of a good year, but Japan doesn't have the deepest fields, and so players who come from there typically don’t carry that form with them. Which is why what Hideki did last year was so impressive. He finished 10th at the U.S. Open, sixth in the Open Championship (where he was assessed a slow play penalty) and 19th at the PGA Championship. Given that he was only 21 and the fact that Japanese players are loath to travel and be exposed to insane media obligations from their country, Hideki was one of the biggest surprises of 2013. He's long off the tee and possesses a wonderful touch on the greens. Combine those with a seemingly ideal temperament, and he looks poised for greatness.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 5
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - DNP
U.S. Open - T10
British Open - T6
PGA Championship - T19

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T27 (2011)
U.S. Open - T10 (2013)
British Open - T6 (2013)
PGA Championship - T19 (2013)
Top-10 Finishes: 2
Top-25 Finishes: 3
Missed Cuts: 0

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 10:08
All taxonomy terms: Bill Haas, Brandel Chamblee, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-24-bill-haas
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 24: Bill Haas

Born: May 24, 1982, Charlotte, N.C. | Career PGA Tour Wins: | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,475,563 (14th) World Ranking: 31

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Bill Haas has won five times in the last four years on some of the Tour's best courses and against some of the best fields and yet has failed to record even one top ten in a major championship. This lack of success in the game's biggest events can only be temporary, as Bill is just too talented not to start contending in majors. Winning last year at Tiger’s event, the AT&T National, might have been all the evidence he needed to convince himself what everyone who has seen him swing a club has been convinced of: that he is one of the best players in the world.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 17
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - T20
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - T25

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T20 (2013)
U.S. Open - T23 (2011)
British Open - T19 (2012)
PGA Championship - T12 (2011)
Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 5
Missed Cuts: 6

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.

 

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:52
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-12-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 12.

It says at this link that Leticia Cline is Kentucky basketball's hottest fan. I'm not going to argue.

• Some guy wasn't doing anything useful with his back, so he covered it with a giant LeBron tattoo.

Dwight Howard unselfishly gave up the rock — to a guy on the bench.

So Floyd Mayweather allegedly had some guys beaten over some missing jewelry.

• Remember Rex Chapman? Somebody does. He has a stalker.

A guy beat a robot at ping-pong. Humans are still in charge. For now.

Twitter's a great way for famous people to show the world how stupid they are.

Karl Malone's hanging on to his flip phone for when it comes back in style.

Best athlete movie cameos. "What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?"

SI replicated its famous Larry Bird Indiana State cover with Dougie McBuckets.

• NFL Free agent news is flying. Click here to keep up.

• A concerned MMA mom jumped into the ring to check on her son. I'm thinking he won't tell her where his next bout is.

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:37

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