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Five Predictions for 2014

Jan. 30, 2014     By     Comments (2)

Trap Five Logo2014 is going to be an interesting year. We've got Rory McIlroy trying to recapture his pre-2013 form; Phil Mickelson giving the career grand slam another go at Pinehurst; Jordan Spieth and a number a young players looking to make the leap; and of course Tiger Woods six years removed from his last major championship win.

Let's get to it.

Measuring Time Since Tiger’s Last Major Win

Dec. 20, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Trap Five LogoDuring the PGA Championship coverage, as it became clear that 2013 would be another winless major championship season for Tiger Woods, CBS aired a graphic that included the exact date of Tiger Woods' last major win.

June 16, 2008.

What were you doing on June 16th, 2008, besides watching a wounded Tiger limp around Torrey Pines, while Rocco Mediate slowly let his only real shot at a U.S. Open slip through his grasp? I was finishing my sophomore year - of high school. I couldn't so much as drive a car.

It's been over 5 years since that date. For comparison, Tiger won seven majors in the five-year span from 1999 to 2003. He won six over five years from 2005 to 2009. And he hasn't won a single one since.

Here's what the world has been up to.

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How EA Sports Can Revive the PGA Tour Video Games Sans Tiger

Dec. 3, 2013     By     Comments (7)

Trap Five LogoAccording to a statement released by EA Sports recently, the video game giant and golfer Tiger Woods have severed ties.

According to who you believe, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video games already appeared to be on the rocks, and the '15 edition (to be released in 2014) will be either delayed until at least April or not sent to market at all.

Neither option would be all that unheard-of; EA has monkeyed with the release dates for the Tiger Woods games before. The games were released in the fall every year between 2003 and 2007, until moving towards the late summer for the 2008 version and earlier in the summer for 2010. In 2012 EA cut a deal to include Augusta National in the game, and worked hard to push it out before The Masters.

EA is also no stranger to cutting off a game entirely. They dropped the MVP Baseball series after 2007 (mostly because rival 2K Sports signed an exclusivity deal with MLB in response to EA's similar deal with the NFL), and have yet to pick the series back up even after the 2K/MLB deal expired. After their NBA Live 10 game received (justifiably) terrible reviews, they cancelled its follow-up, NBA Elite 11, at the last minute, and haven't released a basketball game since despite relatively weak releases from 2K (though NBA Live 14 is set to come back later this year).

It remains to be seen what exactly the ramifications of the Tiger/EA separation are. I suppose it's possible that Tiger remains in the game as a playable character, though his days on the cover are surely gone.

The games remain different year-over-year, but the yearly releases have become frustrating. Excess players, expensive extra courses, and rotating single player modes have made the games stale, and while the extra space of Blu-Rays and larger on-board stock hard drives should help them, EA needs to make some deep changes. Here are a few things I think could get the PGA Tour video game series off and running again.

Five Tour Roundup: July 2013

Jul. 30, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Trap Five LogoHere in the U.S., there are five golf tours aired on television: the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, the European Tour, the Web.com Tour, and the Champions Tour. Since we're about halfway through the season, it seems like now would be a good time to recap the action throughout the world of golf.

The PGA Tour has seen occasional dominance of four-time winner Tiger Woods, though he's shrunken during crunch time at the majors. The opposite could be said for Inbee Park, six-time winner on the LPGA Tour this year, and current grand slam candidate with three major wins thus far. The Web.com and Champions Tours each have a single multiple-time winner, while the Euro Tour has just two.

Let's get to it.

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Five People Who Need to Win the U.S. Open

Jun. 11, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Trap Five LogoThe U.S. Open heads to Merion Golf Club this year for the first time since 1981. The second major of the year comes around the halfway point during what has been one of my favorite seasons in a while.

We've seen Tiger Woods return to near top form, winning four of his first eight events, though he's still yet to win a major since the broken-knee victory at Torrey Pines in 2008. Three of the wins have come at courses where he's traditionally dominated (Torrey, Doral, Bay Hill), though he threw in a win at Sawgrass and a missed cut at Murfield for good measure.

There's also Phil Mickelson, who won in Phoenix early on but was virtually non-existent at The Masters, Rory Mcilroy, who is winless in Nike clothing, and of course Adam Scott, the winner of the season's first major.

We'll also take a look at the future of short courses in major championships, and the USGA needing a good week.

Recapping Tiger’s Last Five Wins

Mar. 23, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Trap Five LogoSince the infamous Thanksgiving Night 2009 car crash, Tiger Woods, once a sure thing to pass Jack's record of 19 major championships, has won just five times on the PGA Tour. All of those wins have come in a 13-month stretch, starting with the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and culminating in his won at Doral just recently. (And I'm not counting the Chevron because, c'mon, only host Tiger himself thinks that's a real tournament.)

Woods now has 76 wins on the PGA Tour, behind only Sam Snead's mark of 82 wins. His 14 majors trail just Nicklaus, and, if you're inclined to go there, he's also third all-time in European Tour wins (behind Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer) because they sanction the majors and WCG tournaments, which Tiger has dominated.

As Tiger marches back towards the world number one ranking, and readies for the first major of the season, let's take a look at his journey back from 58th in the world rankings.

Five Players with New Equipment

Mar. 6, 2013     By     Comments (7)

Trap Five LogoThough the golf season is in the midst of the Florida Swing, there hasn't been much going on with golf early on. The biggest story, in fact, was one about equipment. Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked player in the world and former Titleist staffer, signed with Nike for a sum of money that has been reported to be anywhere from $150 to $250 million over the next ten years.

There are a number of other players who will be sporting new logos, including Nicolas Colsaerts, Stewart Cink, Kyle Stanley, and Nick Watney. We also take a look into Steve Stricker's move of sorts into a semi-retirement as well as Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth, both of whom will be sporting new duds in 2013.

Let's jump in.

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Five Reasons to Be Excited for 2013

Feb. 6, 2013     By     Comments (6)

Trap Five LogoNow that the 2013 has started, it's time to look a little bit back, and a little bit forward.

And sure, there are some reasons to be a bit turned off by golf. It's as expensive as ever, it can be painfully slow, and gone are the days when use your gut as a third hand while putting (if you're into that sort of thing), but there are even more reasons to be optimistic. We've got two players who tower over the rest of the field (plus a select group of more-than-competant runners-up), the majors are all entertaining, and the Playoffs won't take a plead from the President to work (unlike the BCS).

It's fun to follow sports on a week-by-week basis, but it's also valuable to take a step back once in a while. Let's dive in.

Reacting to the Pro-Anchoring Crowd

Dec. 6, 2012     By     Comments (16)

Trap Five LogoIn 2016, anchoring putters will be outlawed, and the joint USGA/R&A ruling caused quite a stir when the proposed ban was announced. The ruling bodies contend that anchoring a golf club to the body is not a swinging motion, and thus not allowable under the Rules of Golf. Supporters of belly and long putters rely on arguments like "the game is evolving," "long putters will grow the game," and "they don't provide an advantage."

Because it's a decision that involves $300 putters, three of the last five major winners, and putting guru Dave Pelz, it made noise in the sports world despite the basketball and football seasons being in full swing.

Reactions to the decision have been interesting, to say the least. Several forum threads (here and here) revealed that golfers were against a ban in 2007, but times have changed, and another poll has a majority of responders supporting the ban. Golf writers, on the other hand, seem staunchly against the ban, and many have been quick to criticize the ruling. Professional golfers seem similarly split, so let's take a bit of time to respond to what people have had to say.

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