Jordan Spieth is no different!

Most people know Jordan Spieth as golf’s golden boy, but let’s not forget one fact. He is a twenty-two year old just like you and me. That means he does twenty-two year old things. People see him as one of the PGA Tour’s greatest players and sometimes we forget that he’s a kid. That’s why this week was so awesome.

After the unfortunate final round mishap at the Masters, this vacation to the Bahamas couldn’t have come at a better time. Ricky Fowler, Justin Thomas, and Smylie Kaufman accompanied the young phenom on this bender in the Bahamas.

For those who don’t follow Ricky Fowler on snapchat, go ahead and put that at the top of your “to do” list. Ricky’s iPhone is a portal into the shenanigans. My personal favorite was the David Feherty impersonation where they said “Jordan’s more hammered than his drive”.  Nothing but golf tans, sliced tee shots, booz, and Jordan sporting the dad bod. What a treat for young fans everywhere.

This just makes me love Spieth even more. Is there anything that the kid doesn’t do? He is great at golf, humble, kind to fans, charitable, and when he is with his friends he’s just like the rest of us.  Even the best of the best need to relax.

Check out some of Fowler’s video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOIdQGUInuM

 

-R. Ilardi

Jason Day – ­More than Golf

(Photo via theguardian.com)

This isn’t the first time Jason Day was told to withdraw from a tournament to not risk further injury. But Day knew he could stick it out enough to do something big. And big it was, with Day taking the World no. 1 ranking away from Jordan Speith, then winning the WGC Dell Match Play for the 2nd time in three years.

It’s amazing how tragedies make good stories.

Day’s father got him into the sport of golf as a boy in Queensland, Australia, and didn’t look back. Until Jason’s father passed away when he was 12. The sport that was there for him slowly vanished from his eye, and the train started getting derailed. As a confused and frustrated 12 year old, Jason started drinking. He started getting into fights and getting into more trouble. His sister would run away from home for weeks at a time. Golf is still invisible.

Jason’s mother takes a second mortgage on their house and sends Jason to a boarding school in Brisbane. Many people get several lifelines in a time like this. Jason got one: Col Swatton. “The first time I sat down with Jason, I saw a boy who was genuinely hungry. He wanted it, and more importantly needed it. He didn’t want to let his sister and mother down, and primarily his father,” said Col upon meeting Jason.

Day always said, “I enjoy the chase of getting better,” and he proved it. As a 12 year old, he knew he was going to be something great, but worked for it. Waking up at 5 a.m. every morning and working harder than any other student at that golf academy put him on the track, the right track.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything. If you have the dream and you learn to overcome all the hurdles, you can reach it. And Jason Day did, with hard work.

Sports teach the best lessons. Golf especially does.

Day has openly said he’s never worked harder in his life than after he became the best in the world. The chase was hard, but maintaining it is another beast. He’s had the best two years of his life in 2015 and now 2016, in terms of the sport. He has his wife Ellie, his son Dash. He still has his mentor and coach Col by his side everyday.

This sport teaches you who you are, down to your core. Day has learned that. Now he’s the World no. 1.

No greater respect. The everyday battle.

– M. Fritz

What Can’t Yo Do? MLB or PGA

(Photo via wsj.com)

Last time I said I’ve seen it all, but I’ve just been proved wrong again. From prize winning pig, to horses, to hundred thousand dollar cars. To say Yoenis Cespedes is having fun at spring training would be saying the least. In his latest stunt, he turned the practice field into a makeshift driving range. Lets hope La Potencia isn’t hitting more than an easy sand wedge or someone in a retirement community up the road is going to need new dentures. The man hits a baseball 150 yds, I don’t want to even imagine how far he can pipe a tee shot.

According to CBS, Cespedes has the golf bug, and bad. He played Medinah, host of the last US Ryder Cup, on the morning of game four of the NLCS. Now as a lifelong Mets fan that’s slightly sketchy, but as a future PGA Professional it makes me smile.

The New York Times recently put out a story on Yo’s chronic golf obsession saying:

“He joined two country clubs in Boca Raton, Florida, and collected seven sets of clubs. Every time Van Wagenen saw Cespedes, it seemed he had a new driver. This off-season, he played with Wray almost every day, and sometimes twice a day. When Cespedes couldn’t sleep, he found himself watching golf on television at 2 a.m., studying how Jason Day used his driver and how Jordan Spieth worked his irons.”

 

Cespedes’ Dream Foursome:

Cespedes’ dream foursome, according to the Times, it Ricky Fowler, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy. Not a bad group to caddy for, right?

 

Future Career?

Last year Cespedes said he’s thought about playing golf professionally. He knows that he can’t play on the PGA Tour, but he want’s to take his competitiveness to the links in tournaments. And he wouldn’t be the first one to do so. Former MLB pitcher Rick Rhoden. Rhoden carded three top-10 finishes in senior tour events and even qualified for a U.S. Senior Open. Although he had some success he never managed to get his Champions Tour Card.

Now, Cespedes has not been playing long, but with his athleticism and some hard work, who knows what is possible. As someone getting ready to enter the golf industry, Cespedes represents a huge milestone for the game of golf. People used to think that golf was an old man’s game, then you saw the players on the PGA Tour getting younger and younger. Now we are seeing world class athletes in their own field getting the bug. I think it’s pretty fair to say, once you start it’s hard to stop!

 

-R. Ilardi

Where’d Ya Go Rory

(Photo via telegraph.co.uk)

Seriously, where has Rory McIlory gone since his tear as a strong Titleist rep and a young, aggressive PGA Tour stud that was winning majors at a Tiger Woods pace? Sure, he’s won a few majors in 2014 and 2012, but honestly has not gotten the job done enough for me to think he’s part of golf’s Big 3. Rory has one of the best golf swings in the world and has shown everyone he’s capable of playing better than anyone that tees it up with him. He has torn up the European Tour, winning the Race to Dubai within the past few years and has taken care of business against the weaker European field.  He’s even gone to the extent to switch his putter grip to a left-hand-low style, or reverse, putting grip. What needs to happen for him to get back to where he was with Titleist and practically dominating one of the most competitive fields to ever play in golf?

Rory is slowly becoming irrelevant in the grand scheme of things while Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler make their cases for the new Big 3 in golf. After those hot streaks when he was a young gun he really has not lived up to his expectations of winning at will. I’d love to see Rory make another run with Nike and chase Tiger’s records but personally he cant even hold Tigers shoes when it comes to his records and potential. Get Rory out of there. He’s all hype and no game.

– M. Gress

Sad Day For Arnold Palmer Fans

(Photo via redretweleki.blogspot.com)

(Above: 2011 Masters Ceremonial Tee Shots)

It is truly a sad day for golf fans young and old. Arnold Palmer will not be hitting an honorary opening tee shot at The Masters this year. The opening tee shots are a staple of the aura that is The Master. It is sad to see Palmer stop this tradition because it shed light on his mortality. To put it bluntly, he’s getting old; they all are. Arnold is 86, Gary player is 80, and Jack is 76.

Now, as a 21 year old golfer I clearly didn’t see Palmer play, but that doesn’t take away the significance this has to all fans. To older golf fans, he’s like our Tiger Woods. He’s the guy that generation saw achieve greatness by beating the other greats of his era. As for younger fans, he’s that humorous old grandpa. He is the guy whose always smiling and just having a good time. Arnold Palmer loves life and he literally finds joy in making the fans have as much fun as he is. During fun events like the first tee shot, Palmer always cracks jokes and makes the crowd laugh.

This is not an obituary, nor is it meant to be gloomy, but it is definitely a little sad to see Arnold, Jack and Player age. With their best playing days far behind them, they still find fun in golf, and that is what makes them all so great to fans of all ages.

Arnold Palmer is not that crotchety old man waving his fists at young players. Right now older NBA players are criticizing Steph Curry (out of stubbornness and jealousy). Palmer has never been like that; he always praises the young players. Rather than shred people, he inspires confidence and growth. That sports fans, is how you truly leave a legacy.

-Ryan Ilardi