Articles By Rob Doster

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. 

)

 

-- 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.

)

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:37
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Luke Donald, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-25-luke-donald
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. 25: Luke Donald

Born: Dec. 7, 1977, Hemel Hempstead, England | Career PGA Tour Wins: 5 (7 on European Tour)  | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,930,646 (36th) World Ranking: 25

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Luke Donald finished in the top ten 14 times in 2011, eight times in 2012 and just five times in 2013. As Luke has fought to make changes in his long game — always somewhat of a hindrance — his spectacular short game has become less dependable, and now he seems to be caught in a state of flux. Understandable, however, is his desire to make changes, as he has done just about everything in golf — ascending to the No. 1 spot in the world and winning both the U.S. and European money titles in the same year — except for win a major championship. To this pursuit he has enlisted the help of the teacher Chuck Cook, who has counted the late three-time major champion Payne Stewart and most recently Jason Dufner among his many students. If the changes take hold and Luke’s short game comes back, Donald might finally get that major.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 41
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - T25
U.S. Open - T8
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - Cut

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T3 (2005)
U.S. Open - T8 (2013)
British Open - T5 (2009, 2012)
PGA Championship - T3 (2006)
Top-10 Finishes: 8
Top-25 Finishes: 15
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 11, 2014 - 11:27
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-11-2014
Body:

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

100 hot celebrity Instagram photos, although I'm using the word celebrity very loosely.

Is this a fire-able offense for Texas hoops coach Rick Barnes?

A Marlins fan wearing jorts let his kid's wagon roll down a hill so he could chase a baseball. Oh, and the wagon had the kid in it.

The Adam Muema saga gets more bizarre. No snark here; I'm really worried for the guy.

• Our legal system at work: A Colorado man plans to sue the first responders who saved him from drowning in a flood.

The towel-wavers on the bench for Division III Colby College have perfected the art of sideline antics.

• I don't watch a ton of NBA, but apparently everybody's annoyed with Blake Griffin, and he's annoyed with everybody.

A long-form Grantland profile of the great Dan Jenkins. Name-drop of the day: I once sat at a table in the media tent at a U.S. Open with Dan. He talks just like he writes.

Enjoy a mesmerizing GIF of a muddy woman trying and failing to climb a wall.

Funny photos of miserable men waiting for their shopping companions. Been there, dude.

A skinny Barry Bonds, his head once again human-sized, arrived at Giants camp yesterday.

• An under-used weapon in the grappling game: an especially rank burst of flatulence caused an opponent to tap out and puke.

)

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:43
All taxonomy terms: Graham DeLaet, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-26-graham-delaet
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. 26: Graham DeLaet

Born: Jan. 22, 1982, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada | Career PGA Tour Wins: | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,834,900 (21st) World Ranking: 30

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Graham DeLaet is a Canadian golfer who has not won on the PGA Tour, which makes it an oddity to find him on this list, but what he did in 2013 is just too hard to ignore. Graham, having never had a full swing lesson in his life, led the PGA Tour in Total Driving and Ball Striking, and at times strung shots together that made the game look laughably easy. A gym rat with tremendous speed and a homemade swing, he had struggled with his short game but enlisted the help of former Tour player and short-game wizard Gabriel Herjstedt, and the coaching paid off, as he finished second at the Barclays and third at the Deutsche Bank late in the year before posting back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Farmers and Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2014. Expect to see DeLaet on the leaderboard a lot this year.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 2
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - DNP
U.S. Open - DNP
British Open - 83
PGA Championship - Cut

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - n/a
U.S. Open - n/a
British Open - 83 (2013)
PGA Championship - Cut (2013)
Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 0
Missed Cuts: 1

—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 10, 2014 - 11:42
All taxonomy terms: Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/5-key-stats-wgc-cadillac-championship
Body:

An uber-confident, uber-talented guy in a red shirt and black pants cruised to a Sunday victory in the WGC-Cadillac Championship against the most talented field that golf could muster. And it wasn't Tiger Woods, who was wearing the uniform but couldn't produce the results. Patrick Reed, a chubby-cheeked, baby-faced 23-year-old, appropriated Tiger's Sunday sartorial preference and posted Tiger-esque results, cruising to a fairly relaxed one-shot win and then expressing an utter lack of surprise at his success.

At Donald Trump's toughened, tricked-up Doral, Reed earned his third PGA Tour win and then matched the tournament host in hubris and blustery self-belief, putting himself among the game's elite in his post-round comments. "I’ve worked so hard,” said Reed, who proceeded to give a brief resume recital. “I’ve won a lot in my junior career, did great things in my amateur career, was 6-0 in match play at NCAAs, won NCAAs two years in a row, was third individually one year. Now I have three wins out here on the PGA Tour.

"I just don’t see a lot of guys that have (won three times before age 24), besides Tiger Woods of course, and all of the other legends of the game,” he said. “I believe in myself — especially after how hard I’ve worked — that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself."

Gotta love the kid's confidence. Let's see how he holds up next month when he tees it up at Augusta in the first major championship of his career. Something tells us he'll be ready for the moment.

Meanwhile, Woods couldn't capitalize on a third-round 66, fighting through more back pain on his way to a Sunday 78, his worst-ever score on a Sunday. A swing from an awkward stance set off the back spasms that forced his withdrawal from the Honda last week. "If it flares up, it flares up," he said. "It's just a matter of keeping it calm, and we had a quick turnaround here from last week. It would be nice to have a week off where I can shut it down and get some treatment." Woods will return to action March 20 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he's won seven times.

Here's a quick statistical summary of a weekend at Doral:

5 Reed becomes the fifth active player to earn his third PGA Tour win before his 24th birthday, joining Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.

25 Reed also becomes the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship event, eclipsing Tiger Woods' record by 25 days.

8 On Sunday, Woods had only the eighth birdie-free round out of 1,128 rounds in his professional career.

564 Reed has vaulted up 564 spots in the World Golf Ranking since the start of 2013. He began last season 584th; as of this morning, he's No. 20.

318 A tournament-record 318 balls found the water hazards sprinkled throughout the Doral layout during the four days of the Cadillac, crushing the old tournament record of 220 in 2004. A windy Friday produced a field scoring average of 76.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 11:24
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-10-2014
Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 10:46
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-7-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 7.

An entirely subjective ranking of the top 10 cheerleader squads in the NFL. Spoiler alert: The Dolphins are ranked No. 1.

A UCSB bro lost his mellow and stormed the court during the game with Hawaii to let Warriors coach Gib Arnold know what it's like.

Frank Jobe, savior of countless pitchers' careers, has died. They should find a spot in Cooperstown for him.

Super slo-mo footage of a hawk attacking a water balloon.

Another week, another 20 funny tweets.

So Bob Costas' disgusting eye condition at the Winter Olympics was reportedly the result of botox. Should have stopped with the rug.

Wade Phillips dissed Jason Garrett via Twitter in classic passive-aggressive fashion.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is learning to embrace the suck, out of necessity.

Tiny Tim Lincecum and colossal Kameron Loe traded uniforms yesterday.

• Wow. A couple of female Bruins fans ended up bloodied when the netting fell.

The 50 greatest sports movie quotes. One of my favorites: "You're gonna eat lightning, and you're gonna crap thunder!"

• The Clippers dealt the Lakers their worst loss in franchise history. There were a lot of Clipper highlights. A lot.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 7, 2014 - 10:24
All taxonomy terms: Ernie Els, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-27-ernie-els
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. 27: Ernie Els

Born: Oct. 17, 1969, Johannesburg, South Africa | Career PGA Tour Wins: 19 (28 on the European Tour)  | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,173,761 (74th) World Ranking: 29

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Ernie Els may be in his mid-40s and struggling with his putting, but his golf swing and resume are just too hard too ignore. His fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open last year was his 34th top ten in a major, and this year's major venues will no doubt play into the hands of the veterans who have played there in the past. The Open Championship is Ernie’s best event, and this year’s venue is at Hoylake, where he finished third in 2006. As he showed at the close of the oldest championship in golf in 2012, sometimes it just boils down to who has been there in the past, and there is hardly anywhere in golf that Ernie hasn't been.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 84
Wins: 4

2013 Performance:
Masters - T13
U.S. Open - T4
British Open - T26
PGA Championship - Cut

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 2 (2000, 2004)
U.S. Open - 1 (1994, 1997)
British Open - 1 (2002, 2012)
PGA Championship - 3/T3 (1995, 2007)
Top-10 Finishes: 34
Top-25 Finishes: 51
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 6, 2014 - 17:34
All taxonomy terms: Charl Schwartzel, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-28-charl-schwartzel
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. 28: Charl Schwartzel

Born: Aug. 31, 1984, Johannesburg, South Africa | Career PGA Tour Wins: 1 (9 on European Tour)  | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,256,723 (25th) World Ranking: 16

Brandel Chamblee's Take

With his Masters title and his beautiful golf swing, one would expect Charl Schwartzel to contend more often, but his ball-striking stats contradict the aesthetics of his swing, which is why he has just two top 10s in majors, albeit one of them is a win. Still he has a knack for being just outside contention and close enough, often enough, to make one wonder when, or if, he will go on a run. If he's on the range, I can’t help but watch him swing, and if he gets on the leaderboards more often in 2014 maybe his resume will be as pretty as that swing.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 28
Wins: 1

2013 Performance:
Masters - T25
U.S. Open - 14
British Open - T15
PGA Championship - Cut

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - 1 (2011)
U.S. Open - T9 (2011)
British Open - T14 (2010)
PGA Championship - T12 (2011)
Top-10 Finishes: 2
Top-25 Finishes: 11
Missed Cuts: 9

—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 6, 2014 - 10:50
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-6-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 6.

• Katherine Webb is trying modeling. If nothing else, she has attractive co-workers.

Some guy who looks a lot like Tupac was at a basketball game last night.

• This is great: 2014 college football standings projections for the massive homer in your life.

Watch a hockey player pick his teeth up off the ice. This is why it's the only sport that has team dentists.

Nevada's 6-1 point guard threw down the windmill of the season.

Proposed rules changes by Nick Saban, courtesy of Clay Travis.

• Is Tiger a quitter? Wojo says no. I happen to agree. But he might be facing an opponent he can't overcome.

Swagged-out athletes of the '70s and '80s. I remember them well.

• This is interesting: Mike McQueary might have thrown an unnecessary touchdown pass for Penn State in 1995 simply to cover the spread.

A putt-putt golfer recently rolled a perfect game. (An 18, for those who don't follow competitive putt-putt.)

• Ken Griffey Jr. was interviewed by Linda Cohn. It was...uncomfortable.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 10:36
All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /tiger-woods-injury-history-visual-breakdown
Body:

Even while winning 79 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 (back spasms that have forced his withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he's the eight-time champion), 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.

Teaser:
<p> Tiger Woods' Injury History: A Visual Breakdown</p>
Post date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 11:46
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-5-2014
Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 10:41
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Harris English, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-29-harris-english
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. 29: Harris English

Born: July 23, 1989, Valdosta, Ga. | Career PGA Tour Wins: | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,201,167 (27th) World Ranking: 36

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Harris English was only the third amateur ever to win on the Web.com Tour, and in his rookie year on the PGA Tour in 2012, he made 22 of 27 cuts. He continued to improve in 2013, notching his first win in Memphis and then adding another win at Mayakoba late in the year (part of the wrap-around 2014 schedule). He has length off the tee and the ability to do some things better than anyone on Tour, leading in smash factor (finding the middle of the face) and putts from 15-25 feet. Those two are a pretty powerful combination, and why as I write this I think his 36th world ranking is the lowest he will be for some time.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 3
Wins: 0

2013 Performance:
Masters - DNP
U.S. Open - DNP
British Open - T15
PGA Championship - T61

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - n/a
U.S. Open - n/a
British Open - T15 (2013)
PGA Championship - T61 (2013)
Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 1
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: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 16:02
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-4-2014
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 4.

• It's already March 4, but here's a look back at February's lovely ladies of sport, including some Polar Bear Plunge hotties.

This baby picture is one for Grandma's wall.

LeBron  James scored a career-high 61 points last night. And here's a cool interactive shot chart from King James' evening.

• At the other end of the spectrum, this 10-year-old Knicks fan doesn't like what he sees.

Today's feel-good story involves some racers and a WWII veteran.

Brett Favre is looking like the love child of Santa Claus and Popeye.

Dirk Nowitzki did a more than passable Arnold Schwarzenegger impression on the Dan Patrick Show. Of course, the accent gives him a built-in advantage.

The NFL might test 43-yard extra points. Not so routine now, is it?

• Late to this party, but there's a widget to do to your name what John Travolta did to Idina Menzel's name at the Oscars.

• Snowed in? Time to kill? Going on Nancy Grace later? You can watch the Oscar Pistorius trial streaming live.

• Watch a soccer coach take a beverage to the mouth.

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 12:12
All taxonomy terms: Brandel Chamblee, Jimmy Walker, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2014-majors-no-30-jimmy-walker
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. 30: Jimmy Walker

Born: Jan. 16, 1979, Oklahoma City, Okla. | Career PGA Tour Wins: | 2013 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,117,571 (30th) World Ranking: 25

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Jimmy Walker has improved his position on the PGA Tour money list every year since 2008, until finally breaking into the top 30 in 2013. Starting the season off in 2014 with a win at the Frys.com, his first on Tour, and following that up with wins at the Sony and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am certainly bodes well for the transplanted Texan for the rest of the year. It also validates what Butch Harmon told me a year ago when he first started working with Jimmy — that Walker had the potential to be one of the best in the world.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 6
Wins: 0

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

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - n/a
U.S. Open - T52 (2001)
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - T21 (2012)
Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 1
Missed Cuts: 4

—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:
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.
Post date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/5-key-stats-golfs-honda-classic
Body:

The Honda Classic was Rory McIlroy's to lose, and lose it he did, stumbling to a final-round 4-over 74 to fall into a four-man playoff won by Russell Henley with a two-putt birdie on the first playoff hole. McIlroy narrowly missed his first PGA tour win in 18 months when an eagle putt on the 72nd hole slid past the cup, but he regained a heavy dose of confidence in navigating the tricky Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA National, home to the touted "Bear Trap," the stretch of holes from 15 to 17 that claimed more victims on a difficult final day. Here are some key numbers from the weekend's action.

1 Henley was the only player in the four-man playoff to birdie the first playoff hole, converting a routine two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th.

4 Henley becomes the fourth player under 25 with multiple wins, joining McIlroy (6) and Harris English and Patrick Reed (two apiece).

3 Henley was three shots behind McIlroy after a bogey at 10, and a double at 15 seemed to end his chances, but he took advantage of McIlroy's repeated stumbles down the stretch.

13 Holes that Tiger Woods completed on Sunday before withdrawing with back pain. It marked the sixth withdrawal of Tiger's career and raises questions about his health heading to Augusta.

0 Tournaments that Woods has finished in two starts this season. He missed the Saturday cut at the Farmers after a 79 before his withdrawal at the Honda.

Teaser:
The Honda Classic was Rory McIlroy's to lose, and lose it he did, stumbling to a final-round 4-over 74 to fall into a four-man playoff won by Russell Henley with a two-putt birdie on the first playoff hole.
Post date: Monday, March 3, 2014 - 16:22
Path: /golf/athlons-2014-golf-annual-available-now
Body:

Athlon's 2014 Golf Annual is available now — click here to order your copy.

From professional golf's winningest 20-something to the game's pre-eminent elder statesman, this year's edition of Athlon Sports Golf Annual has it all.

Dustin Johnson is the PGA Tour's winningest golfer in his 20s, but he heads to Augusta seeking that career-defining major championship victory at the tournament he values most. Dustin spent some time with us sharing his approach to the game, which is enhanced by his incomparable athleticism but still has plenty to teach the average player, starting with his effective use of effortless power. Athlon also spoke to golf's top teacher, Butch Harmon, to get his thoughts on one of his prize pupils.

There’s never been a more important golfer than Arnold Palmer, and Athlon was fortunate enough to gain an audience with The King for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on topics from anchored putters to Adam Scott to the drink that bears his name. Enjoy a relaxed conversation with golf royalty in this year’s edition of Athlon Sports Golf.

Tiger Woods has already won twice as many majors as Palmer, but he’s still hounded by the question: When will he win another one? The drought has reached Death Valley proportions — it’s been almost six years since he limped past Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open. And the pressure’s self-imposed, given Woods’ stated goal of surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ major haul of 18. Controversial Tiger critic Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel thinks the drought is on the verge of ending, although Brandel remains a little skeptical of Woods’ unusual approach to the game. In his article "Build and Destroy," Brandel dissects Woods’ unusual habit of periodically tearing down his game and starting over.

The only thing that Tiger’s latest rebuilding project has failed to produce is a major, but this year’s venues set up well for some long-awaited drought relief. Athlon takes you on a tour of this year’s four major tracks — Augusta National, Pinehurst No. 2, Royal Liverpool and Valhalla — and lets you know what to expect from these four high holy weeks on the golf calendar.

Speaking of Pinehurst, emotions will be running high as Phil Mickelson makes what he hopes will be a triumphant return to the North Carolina sandhills. We all remember the 1999 U.S. Open, where Phil posted the first of six runner-up Open finishes and where Payne Stewart consoled him on the 18th green. Fifteen years later, Mickelson can come full circle by completing a career grand slam at the spot where his flirtation with the U.S. Open became a major obsession. You can read about Phil’s quest in this year's edition.

We unwind with a little R&R in our "Resorts and Real Estate" golf destination tips, look at "18 Holes to Play" for anyone working on their bucket list along with their golf game, and highlight the best clubs, apparel, shoes, shades and gear on the market.

Athlon Sports' Golf Annual is the most complete 2014 golf preview available today. Order your copy now!

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:13

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