Nothing gets your blood boiling more than a showdown between two stodgy golf executives. And because I love to give people what they want, you get a front-row seat to our second celebrity deathmatch. This time LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem square off in the battle of the golf execs.
The 2006 season had plenty of drama. At the end of it all there some who were hot and some who were not. Phil Mickelson finished fourth on the money list, won a Masters, choked away a U.S. Open, and is looking forward to returning to the winner's circle after coming away from his extended vacation.
Tiger was Tiger and there were a few names who emerged from this season with some shine. Let's take a look at who was hot and who was not in 2006.
While there was little doubt, Lorena Ochoa has proven she belongs on the LPGA Tour this year. She has distanced herself from promising young stars like Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, and Morgan Pressel and is threatening to knock off the Queen Bee of women's golf: one Annika Sorenstam.
While a major championship eluded Ochoa this year, it appears that it won't be long before Mexico's favorite golfer starts collecting a mantle full of major trophies.
Lace up your golf shoes, grab your clubs, and join me for nine holes with one of the LPGA's very best.
You might be surprised to see who is above 100 on the PGA Tour money list. 2006 has been a memorable one on Tour with another career defining year for Mr. Woods, a career most-embarrasing-moment for Phil, and a slew of first-time winners.
Every year there are those who struggle to perform at a level we expect them to. Lets take a cursory look at the above-100 crowd and see what we find…
Those who knew Byron Nelson recognize that his records and trophies all take second place to his tremendous depth of character. Anyone who witnessed Nelson at the tournament that bore his name, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, knew how respected he was by every participant. The Byron Nelson award ceremony was always a tender moment as Nelson greeted and congratulated the victor.
Nelson's achievements are pinnacles of excellence that rival that of any athlete in any sport. His high level of play over a relatively short time-span amassed an impressive number of victories, set a new standard for the golf swing, and left us with the memories and example of what every sportsman should be: a gentleman.
This is it. All the predictions are in. All any fan on either side of the pond can do is sit back and enjoy the competition. Europe has fielded a very good team once again and it is incumbent upon the Americans to validate their potential.
Lehman and Woosnam have made their crucial pics. With the top three players in the world on the United States team there is good reason to expect good things. But Europe has made a habit of foiling U.S. plans.
What impact will this year's rookies have. Read on to find out…
In the minds of many Americans, golf celebrity was realized in Arnold Palmer. He was the people's champion. He could hit the ball a mile, had a quirky follow through, and putted knock-kneed, which was fun to watch. Then along came Jack. He stole the show and set an almost unattainable standard for success in the golfing world. Tiger showed up a few years back and began to redefine the title "best golfer ever" yet again. He's probably already done but we'll still wait until he beats Jack's record.
Long before any of them there was a quiet man who redefined the word "champion." He was a lowly greens keeper who became the first international celebrity in golf: Harry Vardon. Here is a snippet of his fascinating life…
Integral to just about every sport (minus curling) is some kind of ball. For hundreds of years the golf ball has evolved from a rock or primitive wooden sphere to the technological marvel it has become in recent years.
No other sport has allowed as many differences in their ball's playability as golf has the golf ball. Foremost on a modern player's mind are spin, compression, distance, and aerodynamics. Different players want different things from golf balls. Some need lower spin for distance others are looking for higher spin for different flight and control possibilities. Golf ball makers have seized upon this opportunity and churn out a plethora of options for amateurs and pros alike. Golf equipment manufacturers make more money from golf balls than they ever will their clubs.
So where has the lowly golf ball come from? What is it's history? Lets take a peek…
And now we all turn our attention to the Ryder Cup, is only a month away. The United States finally has some new talent on the roster. The new guys have tons of incentive to prove themselves worthy of the spot they fill and the old guard are tired of losing.
With Tiger Woods playing like his dominant self there is no reason that the United States won't bring the Ryder Cup back to the United States. Unless you consider that Colin Montgomery, Sergio Garcia, David Howell, and other dominant Europeans stand in their way.
Sneek a peak with me into the history of the Ryder Cup and get my prediction for this year's winners.