Friday, April 24, 2015

These Trick-Shot Pros Must Really Hate Brussels Sprouts

Yes, those are Brussels sprouts you see flying in the screengrab above - poor, innocent Brussels sprouts. Oh, sure, they are among the most-hated vegetables by people who, well, hate vegetables. But is that any reason to destroy a bag of them with a golf ball and a driver?

It is if you are PGA professionals Peter Finch and Rick Shiels. These two are YouTube pros in addition to being golf teaching pros, and a compilation of their trick shots is in the video below. It also includes the destruction of a bottle of champagne. Proving just how dangerous drinking and driving really is.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Erica Stoll is Rory McIlroy's New Girlfriend

Who is Rory McIlroy dating these days? A PGA of America employee named Erica Stoll.

Rumors of a McIlroy-Stoll romance first cropped up in early 2015, but something that just happened is pretty much the confirmation that they are dating. And what was that? McIlroy ventured to Rochester, New York, for a date with Stoll, who is from the area.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper reported:

The top-ranked golfer in the world was seen Saturday night having dinner at 2Vine in downtown Rochester and then stopped in at Magpie Pub in the trendy Park Avenue neighborhood. ...

"As they were leaving, everybody in the restaurant was shouting, 'Oh my God, that's Rory McIlroy! That's Rory McIlroy!' " 2Vine hostess Jordan Cannan said.

The dinner reservation for four was in Stoll's name, said another hostess, Dakotah Schickling.

Stoll is 29 years old, three years older than McIlroy, and is the manager of championship volunteer operations for the PGA of America. In addition to graduating high school in Rochester, she also graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She first worked for the PGA when the Senior PGA Championship was played at Oak Hill Country Club in 2008. Stoll was hired as an office manager for the tournament office.

McIlroy and Stoll were first spotted together publicly when she was seen with McIlroy in his native Ireland over the New Year's time period in early 2015. They have kept a very low profile - no photos of them together have yet emerged - and Stoll has tightened up the privacy settings on her social media accounts (when she still uses them at all, which is rarely).

If Stoll and McIlroy have a future together, then they also have something that a lot of couples wish they had: a great story about how they met. That was at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah in Chicago, where, misunderstanding which time zone he was in, Rory was a no-show for the longest time on the day of the singles matches. Stoll is the PGA of America employee who finally noticed that nobody had seen McIlroy and alerted officials higher up the chain of command. A sleepy McIlroy was finally roused and given a police escort to the course, arriving just in the nick of time.

McIlroy wound up winning that match, helping lead the amazing Team Europe comeback to win. (Thanks Erica!) Rory was with Caroline Wozniacki at the time, but when that relationship split up McIlroy and Stoll became reacquainted.

Just a couple crazy kids in love. Or at least lust. Best wishes to them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

LPGA Rookie Chips In to Force Playoff, Holes Out to Win

Now this is how you git-r-done in golf:

LPGA rookie Sei Young Kim - already a winner once in 2015 - trailed Inbee Park by one shot on the last green at the 2015 LOTTE Championship. Kim was off the green chipping, and had to hole it to force a playoff.

So she holed it.

And, on the first playoff hole, she holed it again - only the second time from over 150 yards for a tournament winning eagle. If this had happened at a major, it would live forever in golf history and legend. As it is, Kim deserves a standing ovation for that incredible finish.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Lyrics to the Masters Theme Song You Never Knew Existed

You know the Masters theme song, right? That's the instrumental music that plays at the start of every Masters TV broadcast on CBS. That song has a name - Augusta (surprise, surprise) - and it was composed by Dave Loggins. But the TV version every golf fan knows doesn't have any words:

The opening strains of that music send a tingle through many a golfer. Lots of golfers have even used the music in their weddings. But, c'mon now, let's be honest: If this music wasn't so closely associated with The Masters, would you ever listen to it? Of course not! It's awful! It's what you'd hear in an elevator. An elevator whose music was programmed by somebody with very bad taste.

There's only one way to make the song worse. And that's add some overwrought lyrics about golf, lyrics that sing of Augusta National as a holy shrine and include callouts to great golfers. Silly, silly lyrics.

It turns out that Loggins has just such lyrics ready. Yes, the Masters theme song (Augusta) does have lyrics, and Loggins himself has performed the song singing those lyrics. Here, in all it's cringe-worthy glory, it is:

Wow. That's bad. (If you disagree, we are no longer friends.)

Here are the Augusta lyrics spelled out:

Well, it’s springtime in the valley
On Magnolia Lane
It’s the Augusta National
And the master of the game

Who’ll wear that green coat
On Sunday afternoon
Who’ll walk that 18th fairway
Singin’ this tune

Oh, Augusta
Your dogwoods and pines
They play on my mind like a song
Oh, Augusta
It’s you that I love
It’s you that I miss when I’m gone

Well, it’s Watson and Byron Nelson
And Demaret, and Player, and Snead
And it’s Amen Corner
It’s Hogan’s perfect swing
It’s Sarazen’s double eagle
At the fifteenth In '35
And the spirit of Clifford Roberts
That keeps it alive

Oh, Augusta
Your dogwoods and pines
They play on my mind like a song
Oh, Augusta
It’s you that I love
It’s you that I miss when I’m gone

It’s the legions of Arnie’s Army
And the Golden Bear’s throne
The wooden-shafted legend of Bobby Jones