Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-9-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Aug. 9.

 

Kate Upton opened up to Elle Magazine on a variety of topics, like how her first SI swimsuit cover made her hate herself.

 

Steve Spurrier: No shirt, no shoes, no problem, except for the golf tan.

 

• Don't you love it when a pro athlete who's also a jackass gets caught in a lie? Here are the 20 most aggressive, in-your-face liars in sports.

 

• Now for something completely different: Matt Kemp's touching relationship with a cancer patient.

 

• Kevin Durant wasn't content to humiliate a young camper by launching his shot into the stands. He also posted a video of it.

 

• "Idiocracy" was not quite a documentary, but it's getting closer all the time. Here's a look at what that visionary movie has already gotten right.

 

• Where the running game still matters: Ranking the SEC's running backs.

 

Fortunately, South Carolina didn't hire Jadeveon Clowney to spell.

 

The Manziel family has hired a lawyer with NCAA experience. Stuff just got real.

 

Watch this biker recover from a crash with a crazy-good move.

 

Rory McIlroy's crib is pretty spectacular.

 

• Miguel Cabrera even falls down with style.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 10:28
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-8-2013
Body:

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

 

Kaley Cuoco is dating some tennis player we've never heard of. That news is nothing more than an excuse to run a photo of the lovely Ms. Cuoco, who was an accomplished junior tennis player herself.

 

Fox gets the U.S. Open starting in 2015, meaning no more Chris Berman. Of course, Fox will probably replace him with a giant talking robot or something.

 

There was some classic garbage-time baseball last night courtesy of a catcher pitching and a pitcher hitting.

 

Gary Patterson sees a missed opportunity for Les Miles in the Jeremy Hill situation.

 

A nice refresher going into the final season of Breaking Bad. Spoiler alert, of course.

 

• Meanwhile, in the make-believe world of highly paid actors, Bruce Willis said no to "Expendables 3" because they wouldn't pay him $4 million for four days of work. So they turned to Harrison Ford, who's doing it for just under $1 million a day.

 

• Three weeks from tonight, college football will be played. Here's a poem to help you through the home stretch.

 

• This is something I've never seen: An angry minor league manager emptied his dip on home plate.

 

Kobe brought a grown man to tears. So he doesn't just make women cry.

 

Mike Trout homered on his birthday for the second straight year. Kid's got potential.

 

Andrew McCutchen's mom sang the national anthem. Inspired, McCutchen homered.

 

• With the PGA teeing off today, enjoy this video of colorful golfer Rickie Fowler taking on the psychedelic golf challenge.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 10:38
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-7-2013
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This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Aug. 7.

 

• Elsewhere on this website, you can find this gem: the Houston Texans cheerleaders engaging in something called "Freestyle Friday." We heartily endorse the concept.

 

Raul Ibanez, professional outfielder.

 

• As a palate cleanser from that last atrocity, enjoy this GIF of Elvis Andrus making a nice play from his butt.

 

• Finally, an area of SEC football where Alabama's not No. 1: The SEC fanbases, ranked.

 

• You've seen this by now, but I can't not link to it: The Manning bros (and Archie) pimp for Sunday Ticket.

 

Is the Manziel affair a tipping point in the whole paying players debate? For his part, Jay Bilas is doing what he can to expose the NCAA's hypocrisy in the deal.

 

• Deadspin whipping boy Jay Mariotti, who for some is the epitome of all that is wrong with sports media, is getting into the branded website game.

 

• We bring you stories you can actually use: Cartoons that are fit for adults.

 

• Did you know RG3 collects superhero dolls? That, and other weird facts about athletes.

 

• It's Shark Week, which gave Mensa member Tara Reid the opportunity to drop some knowledge about whale sharks.

 

• Bryce Harper didn't take kindly to getting plunked. Enjoy.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /18-amazing-holes-golf-you-should-play-2013
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More Bang for Your Buck
When selecting the best holes you can play, price is usually no object, but not this year. We have chosen golf holes that are just as spectacular as some of their famous contemporaries but come at half the price. All the holes on this list are at courses with greens fees less than $100, proving that sometimes you get well more than what you pay for.

No. 1
Palouse Ridge Par 4, 463 yards
Pullman, Washington

This is the home course for Washington State University and is consistently ranked as one of the top college courses. The opening hole uses the university's iconic Bryan Clock Tower as an aiming spot for the first two shots. From the tee it's a slight dogleg, and golfers should favor the left side because of the sloping fairway. The clock tower is just left of the middle of the fairway and is a good guide to determine where approach shots should be played. An extra club might be in order because of an elevated green that is 40 yards deep.
Contact: 509-335-4342, http://www.palouseridge.com

No. 2
Grand National (Lake Course) Par 4, 428 yards
Opelika, Alabama

Part of the famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, this hole is not only one of the best at this facility, but also one of the best of the 11 courses that comprise the golf trail. Native plants, shrubs and trees crowd both sides of the tee box, presenting a visually daunting tee shot, especially from the back tees. This is one of the few holes on the course that doesn't have the famed lake guarding the fairway or the green, but the two fairway bunkers and two greenside bunkers make up for the lack of water. The kidney-shaped green has several undulations and several possibilities for difficult pin positions.
Contact: 334-749-9042, www.rtjgolf.com/grandnational

No. 3
Wildhorse Par 5, 537 yards
Gothenburg, Nebraska

It doesn't seem wise to aim at a bunker, but on this long, reachable par 5, it's encouraged and may make birdie more possible. The hazard on the right is far enough away that it can't be reached, and when a ball lands on that line, it filters to the left because of the slope of the fairway and provides the opportunity of reaching the green in two. If that is an option, aim for the right side of the small green, avoiding the bunker that eagerly awaits miscalculations 10 yards in front of the hole. Lay-up shots have two well-placed pot bunkers that will also trap any careless efforts.
Contact: 308-537-7700, http://www.playwildhorse.com

No. 4
Circling Raven Par 4, 406 yards
Worley, Idaho

This golf course is part of a casino, and this hole fits the theme. Golfers can gamble off the tee and try to cut off yardage by sending a drive down the left side, taking the dogleg out of play. Go too far left, and the wetlands will take your ball. The second shot also can have a more difficult angle to the green. Safer players will stay to the right, but not too far right, because three large bunkers await any slice. The oval-shaped green is undulating and quick. Beware of left pin placements, as a large greenside bunker will grab anything short.
Contact: 800-523-2464, www.cdacasino.com/golf

No. 5
Sand Creek Par 4, 345 yards
Newton, Kansas

This is one of the easiest holes on the course, and if played well it is a realistic eagle opportunity. Driving the green depends on the wind, which can knock down shots when it comes from the south. The hole is slightly elevated from tee to green, and a strong tee shot has to negotiate not only the incline but also the strategically placed mounds in the fairway. There's a wide landing area, so gripping and ripping it shouldn't be a problem. There are no hazards fronting the green, but a mound about 20 yards in front of the green will stop balls trying to roll up onto the putting surface.
Contact: 316-284-6161, www.sandcreekgolfclub.com

No. 6
Ross Creek Landing, Par 3, 204 yards
Clifton, Tennessee

This is a brief reprieve from the tight fairways of the first five holes. This hole is placed in a wide-open space. The trees are set back behind the green, and the fairway gives the illusion that there is more room than there actually is. The pot bunker that fronts the green is clearly visible, but the larger U-shaped trap on the left is hidden and captures many balls that stray in that direction. The oval-shaped green is deep, and pin placements dictate the shot. Stay away from the left pin, hit the middle of the green and gladly take a two-putt par. The bail-out area is short and right.
Contact: 931-676-3174, www.rosscreeklandinggolfclub.com

No. 7
Old Kinderhook Par 3, 152
Camdenton, Missouri

A picturesque hole and the shortest on the course, though not necessarily the easiest. The elevated tee shows you all the pitfalls, including a large bunker on the front right of the green. There are three grass bunkers to the left, and they may be more difficult to extricate a ball from than their sand counterpart. The green is straightforward, and birdies are a definite possibility. One club less than the yardage suggests may be a smart play considering the elevation and prevailing wind.
Contact: 573-317-3500, www.oldkinderhook.com

No. 8
Lakota Canyon Ranch Par 4, 398 yards
New Castle, Colorado

It is easy to feel like a long-drive champion on this hole with the combination of the course's altitude and the tee box's elevation. The back tees are 67 steps from the cart path, and even if they aren't played, they should be visited for the amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The dogleg left layout can be taken advantage of, but three penalizing pot bunkers are well-placed in the wide fairway. The second shot shouldn't be anything more than a 7-iron, and firing at the pin is definitely encouraged on this large green with one bunker in front.
Contact: 970-984-9700, http://www.lakotacanyonranch.com

No. 9
Neshanic Valley (Lake) Par 5, 525 yards
Neshanic Station, New Jersey

Another elevated tee with a stunning view, but just like the previous hole, don't get caught gazing at the scenery for too long. The fairway is not too tight, but long hitters will have to contend with bunkers on both the left and right side of the landing area from the tee box. A wetland area dissects the fairway near the green, and long hitters should be able to clear it easily. Shorter hitters will have to carefully select a proper club for the lay-up shot. The slightly undulating green is 35 yards deep and has a sand trap on both the left front and right middle.
Contact: 908 369-8200, www.neshanicvalleygolf.com

No. 10
Twin Warriors Par 4, 483 yards
Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico

This hole is not only long but also intimidating and should be played with much respect. The fairway is wide at first but narrows the longer you try and go off the tee. Go too long and you will have a downhill lie for your approach shot. The second shot is even more harrowing than the first. There is a deep ravine that separates the fairway and also comes into play on the left side of the green, which is elevated, adding even more length to the second shot. The bailout area on the right is a safe play, but even there a bunker awaits any miscalculations. Par is a great score here.
Contact: 505-771-6155, www.mynewmexicogolf.com

No. 11
Old Works Par 5, 597 yards
Anaconda, Montana

At nearly 600 yards, this is only the third-longest par 5 on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, but it is the best. Warm Springs Creek runs up the entire left side of the fairway and cuts across the middle near the green. Tee shots should be placed on the right side and will trickle toward the middle due to the tilt of the fairway. Getting to the green in two is difficult even for long hitters, and the green is protected by the creek in front as well as a bunker. A hill at the back will claim any long shots. The green is wide and shallow and much better attacked with a wedge.
Contact: 406-563-5989, www.oldworks.org

No. 12
Sugarloaf Par 5, 542 yards
Carrabassett Valley, Maine

An unusual setup awaits on this medium-sized par 5, where two sets of tees are available. The left tee box is accessible by bridge, and tee shots must cross over the Carrabassett River that runs along the left side of the fairway. The right takes the water out of play, but golfers must employ a fade to have a chance of getting to the green in two. The fairway tightens considerably from about 250 yards to the green, and trees frame both sides of the hole. Getting to the green in two shots is possible, especially with the prevailing wind at your back.
Contact: 800-843-5623, www.sugarloaf.com

No. 13
Gray Plantation Par 3, 213 yards
Lake Charles, Louisiana

This challenging par 3 will definitely test any golfer's nerves. The tee shot is about 170 yards of carry over one of the 60 acres of man-made lakes on this course. Getting the ball over the pond is no guarantee of success. There is a large, deep bunker in front of the green that captures any ball that doesn't make the green. Hit too much club, and balls will find the back bunker. Flare a shot, and there is another large bunker waiting on the right. Even the left side of the green doesn't provide a measure of safety, with balls rolling to a small collection area. The green is long and narrow.
Contact: 337-562-1663,  www.graywoodllc.com

No. 14
Bully Pulpit Par 4, 404 yards
Medora, North Dakota

The course has rebounded nicely after the Little Missouri River flooded and damaged several of the holes. Fortunately, this wasn't one of them, and it begins what course architect Michael Hurdzan coined the "Oh my goodness corner" to describe 14, 15 and 16. This hole is in the state's famous Badlands and is surrounded by hills. The drive should be to the left middle of the fairway, which slopes to the right. An additional club is the play for the second shot since it is to an elevated green and into a prevailing wind. The oval green has slight undulations.
Contact: 800-633-6721, www.medora.com

No. 15
Mountain Ranch Par 4, 395 yards
Fairfield Bay, Arkansas

This is not only the hardest hole on the course, but it is also considered by many to be the hardest hole in the state. What makes it so difficult is the narrow fairway and steep incline off the tee box. There are bunkers on the left and the right guarding against any stray tee shots, and when the rough is high, making bogey from there is almost a certainty. Par is not a given even if you are in the fairway. The green is protected by bunkers in the front, back and the left. The bailout area is the right side, but even reaching that can be a chore. Par is a great score here and not often attained.
Contact: 501-884-3400, www.tboxgolf.net

No. 16
Old Silo Par 4, 432 yards
Mt. Sterling, Kentucky

This hole has one of the few tight fairways on the course, and traps guarding both sides add to the difficulty. The course's namesake is on the left side but invisible from the tee box. The old silo comes into view on the left as you approach your drive's landing spot, and if your ball goes too far left, the landmark can affect your second shot. A creek runs across the fairway short of the green and turns to protect the left side of the putting surface. Other obstacles are bunkers on the left and right of the green. Putting the ball near the pin is important since the heavy undulation can make two-putts tricky.
Contact: 859-498-4697, www.oldsilo.com

No. 17
White Clay Creek Par 3, 183 yards
Wilmington, Delaware

It's the shortest hole on the course, but it will take a golfer's power of concentration not to get distracted. The safest shot is center of the green regardless of where the pin is to set up a two-putt for par. The obvious disturbance is the pond that fronts the left side of the green. The farther back you tee off, the more the water is in play. Aim right and you will bring grass mounds into play if you don't reach the green. The other distractions are the horse racing announcer's call of the races that travel throughout the course and the long, winding whistles from distant trains. Both sounds can be oddly melodic and comforting.
Contact: 302-994-6700, www.whiteclaycreek.com

No. 18
The Fort Par 4, 474 yards
Indianapolis, Indiana

This finishing hole will exhaust most golfers with its length and treacherous layout. Architect Pete Dye constructed the tee like Augusta National's 18th with a long chute framed by mature trees that will visually intimidate golfers no matter their skill level. Try to drive the right side, because balls will funnel toward the middle of the fairway. The second shot could be on an uneven lie because of the slope and will require a long iron or utility wood to reach the green. The putting surface is receptive to long shots but does have some subtle breaks that may derail par.
Contact: 317-543-9597, www.thefortgolfcourse.com

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 13:26
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-6-2013
Body:

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

 

• Wonder if Ashley, the Yankees' hottest fan, was watching A-Rod get booed last night. That's her in the picture. No, A-Rod, you can't have her number.

 

Jadeveon Clowney has an unfortunate nickname from childhood. I'll end the suspense: It's "Doo Doo." Click to see why.

 

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the London Olympics' greatest meme. And no, she's still not impressed.

 

• Ever wonder what kid stars of old sports movies look like now? Click here and find out.

 

• Can you say "ti**ies" on television? Apparently, if you're on Family Feud, you can.

 

A tragedy from the world of bowling involving a premature pin-setter.

 

• Not entirely safe for work, but here you go: A game of guess the SI swimsuit model butt.

 

Tiger Woods is the GOAT. Just ask Lindsey Vonn.

 

Hurdler-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones live-tweeted her random drug test-slash-birthday party.

 

The graphics department at ESPN thinks this little leaguer's favorite singer is "Wandai Wrection." Everybody knows they're a band, not a singer.

 

Enjoy Arianny Celeste's calendar shoot in GIF form.

 

• Watch a couple of Mormon missionaries in ties school some dudes on a playground, complete with pre-game bricks to induce a false sense of security.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 10:35
All taxonomy terms: Golf, News
Path: /golf/7-amazing-stats-wgc-bridgestone
Body:

With his eighth Bridgestone win in his 14th appearance at the prestigious World Golf Championship event at storied Firestone Country Club, Tiger Woods added to what might be the greatest record by any single golfer at any single tournament. Woods has won more than half the time against stacked, world-class fields on a tough course that has hosted several major championships. Here's a look at Woods' win by the numbers:

 

-9 Woods stood at 9-under through 13 holes on Friday, putting him within striking distance of a 59 (or better). Five straight closing pars left him to settle for a 61, which tied a career low score for Woods. For reference, co-runner-ups Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson finished 8-under — for the tournament. 

 

79 The win was Woods' 79th of his incredible career, placing him three shy of Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour record.

 

8 Woods tied a record he already shared with Sam Snead, winning the same tournament for the eighth time. Woods has also won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill eight times, and Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times.

 

19 Woods has now won his last start prior to a major championship an astounding 19 times. Of those, he went on to win the major in question "only" four times. In his career, he's won the Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in the same year three times (2000, 2006, 2007).

 

1.7 During a 10-tournament span at the Bridgestone from 1999 to 2009 (he didn't play in 2008), Woods' average finish was 1.7. He won seven times, and the years he didn't win, he finished 4th, T4 and T2. In those 10 tournaments, he won more than $9 million.'

 

10 Woods has now won five or more tournaments in a single season 10 times, adding to his personal record. Sam Snead is second with eight seasons of five or more wins. Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus had seven such seasons.

 

.428 Woods' winning percentage in World Golf Championship events is .428 — he's won 18 times in only 42 starts. Remember that theoretically, these wins have come against the best fields that golf has to offer.

Teaser:
With his eighth Bridgestone win in his 14th appearance at the prestigious World Golf Championship event at storied Firestone Country Club, Tiger Woods added to what might be the greatest record by any single golfer at any single tournament.
Post date: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 11:18
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-5-2013
Body:

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

 

• Ah, Instagram, where celebs go to lose their inhibitions. Here's a gallery of sexy celebrity Instagram photos, including Stacy Kiebler.

 

The heavy price of incarceration for Aaron Hernandez: No Internet.

 

The top 25 players in the SEC, starting with a certain athletic marvel in black and garnet.

 

• This is interesting: To be an SEC ref, you have to be able to run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes, 16 seconds. There goes my dream.

 

• This could be a movie: Football coach Ted Lasso tries his hand at football, English Premier League-style.

 

• I'm old enough to remember when Art Donovan used to go on David Letterman all the time. The Colts legend died this weekend. RIP.

 

• Football season's fast approaching, which means that the guys at Every Day Should Be Saturday are climbing back onto my radar.

 

• Tiger Woods has won 79 times. This was the first time that his son Charlie was there to see it.

 

A helmet sticker warns users against playing the sport of football. It's Roger Goodell's world now.

 

Is A-Rod aware that he's lost the New York Post?

 

In a battle of jacked-up juicer vs. lowly water bottle, I'm rooting for the bottle.

 

• Cris Carter videobombed Warren Sapp at the Hall of Fame ceremony the other night. Enjoy.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf, News
Path: /tiger-woods-tames-firestone-61
Body:

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

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

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

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

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

 

- by Rob Doster
Follow me on Twitter @AthlonDoster

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 17:16
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-august-2-2013
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• Just because it's Friday: Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez riding scooters in bikinis.

 

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

 

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

 

Athletes vs. Animals: The Slideshow.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

• The latest stupid social media trend: Smack Cam.

 

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

 

• Check out Blake Griffin's new Nike ad.

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

The next round of Molsons is on Sneds.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

This might be MLB's slide of the year.

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Charles Barkley: Saying what he thinks since 1984.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Can Phil Mickelson win?

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

 

Is Rory McIlroy distracted by girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki?

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

 

Which Graeme McDowell will show up this week?

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

 

Muirfield: easy or hard?

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

 

Who'll kiss the Claret Jug?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:30
Path: /2013-british-open-what-theyre-saying
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Here's what some possible contenders are saying leading up to this week's Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Course:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Post date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 15:59

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