Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:07 pm
 

Two Gloves a perfect leader for Wyndham weekend

Posted by Will Brinson



GREENSBORO, NC -- Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey (pictured above, obviously) might strike the average golf fan as a pretty unlikely leader for Wyndham Championship heading into the weekend, but given how nicely the weekend's shaping up in terms of leaderboard cache, having a guy on top with the personality that Gainey brings to Greensboro is a good thing.

Besides the oddity of wearing two gloves -- at all times, even while putting -- Gainey's a little bit country and unafraid of speaking his mind. Or looking down on the 65 he shot Friday at Sedgefield, even if it managed to put him on top of the leaderboard.

Weekend at Wyndham

"Well, first of all, let's say I had an early wake up call," Gainey said following his round Friday. "You know, it's -- man, I hit that ball -- I hit it so bad today. Kind of tired right now."

Maybe that's because Gainey didn't hit the ball off the tee well. Or maybe it's because he's dealing with elbow and wrist injuries he sustained in the Canadian Open nearly a month ago. That's led to some odd post-round medical procedures.

"I'm just -- I just got iced up yesterday and that was it," Gainey said. "I didn't hit any balls or nothing. I just got iced and then I left the course, got ready to get something to eat."

OK, maybe it's only "odd" if you can picture Two Gloves sauntering around Sedgefield with a bunch of ice bags stacked on his glove-covered hands. And even in that sort of state, he'd still draw the attention of a Carolina crowd that treats him like a local.

Hailing from Darlington, South Carolina, Gainey's pretty close to being "native" to the area. And as such, he's been pretty thrilled with the love he's received on the course so far.

"Oh no doubt about it, it's awesome," Gainey said of the support from the crowd. "Whenever I'm walking on this golf course, I'm hearing it from a lot of people. It's a great feeling."

Not as good a feeling as winning his first PGA Tour event, something Gainey will be in position to do as he tops the leaderboard going into Saturday. To do so, he'll need to keep scoring low on a course that's begging to be carved up, even if it gets tougher over the weekend.

Fortunately for Gainey, winning is as simple a solution as ball bearings: just make birdies.

"You know, my mindset [going into the weekend] is, when I tee it up I try to win no matter if it's the first day, last day," Gainey said Friday. "I try to make as many birdies as I possibly can.

"That's what this game is all about."

Indeed it is.

But "making a big old pile of birdies" is easier said than done, especially when you're not hitting fairways at Sedgfield, where the Donald Ross designed course features a thick cropping of nasty rough that gets more grip on the ball than even the gloveliest fella out there.

And Gainey knows that too.

"It's just hard to make birdies when you keep putting yourself or putting myself in the rough," he said. "I mean it's not high but it's thick. Just settles straight down and you just got to go after it and the harder you swing at it to get it out, the more shock that goes into the wrist."

That shock on the wrist is particularly painful for someone dealing with injury like Gainey, and it means that if he can't hit more fairways going forward, it's pretty unlikely he'll be able to sustain the success he's had for the first two days here at Greensboro.

He knows how fast leaderboard success can disappear too.

"It doesn't matter," Gainey said when asked if he'd look at the leaderboard once Friday's action ended. "I'll look but it doesn't matter."

Maybe not Friday. But you can bet if Gainey makes it to Sunday in the same spot, he'll be singing a different tune.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:29 pm
 

VIDEO: Lamely hole-out earns lifetime of vacation

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Derek Lamely isn't going to the make the cut at the Wyndham Championship. Which means he's going home.

Or, perhaps, on vacation. You see, Lamely holed out the par-three 16th hole on Friday, and that earned him a lifetime of vacations* from Wyndham. No, really -- since taking over as the sponsor in Greensboro, Wyndham's been offering up the 16th as a hole-in-one opportunity to get hooked up on a vaca spot for life.

Watch it below -- just a casual one-hopper on a 199-yard par three over a lot of water. No big deal.



*There's some sort of fine print about this that involves Lamely getting a bunch of "vacation ownership" and a bunch of points to use. It's complex, but the point remains the same: free vacations for life. It's a sweet deal.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:29 pm
 

Golf, social media and charity meet in Greensboro

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Of all the sports in America, golf's been a little behind the curve when it comes to social media. That's not because the PGA Tour is stodgy or anything, it's just that "fan interaction" and "using phones on a golf course" are problematic.

Last year, the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro became the first-ever PGA event to allow patrons to use phones on the course, and this year, the Wyndham's taking things a step further by promoting charitable donations and prizes for patrons through social media "check-ins."

Patrons who download the Foursquare and Facebook mobile phone applications and "check-in" to various locations at the Sedgefield Country Club will be given opportunities to win prizes throughout the weekend, which -- I believe -- is a first in PGA history.

They'll also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite charity, with the charity that accrues the most votes by 3 p.m. EST on Sunday receiving a check at the championship presentation.

"This campaign is a way for us to give back to our customers, as well as the community," said Alyson Johnson, vice president of marketing and communications at Wyndham Worldwide.  "This is yet another example of how Wyndham Worldwide brings innovation to the golf course. Last year we introduced the Key to Wyn tent, our onsite hotel lobby, and this year we are excited to bring another social experience."

That social experience can actually provide some pretty solid swag for patrons attending Greensboro's tournament this year -- a check-in to the Bridgestone Performance Park at the Wyndham Championship on Facebook will net you a "Freebie" of some sorts. (As soon as I claim mine, I'll update and let you know.)

And a deal on Foursquare gives anyone who checks into the Wyndham Pro Shop a 10-percent discount on all Wyndham and golf gear in the store.

Perhaps the best deal I've found thus far? A check-in to the Wyndham "Key to Wyn Tent" is letting the first five people to "identify what all four tee markers" are on the course a day at the Wyndham Beach. Confused? Here's a hint:



In case you don't know, the Wyndham Beach looks out on a three-hole stretch near the end of Sedgefield (14th green, par-3 15th and the 16th tee box) and is, literally, a beach.

Well, a fake beach, but it's a beach. And as our friends at the Golf Channel pointed out Thursday, it's where the beautiful people go to hang out. And simply by breaking all normal decorum and firing up your phone on the golf course, you could find yourself there as well.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:49 am
 

2 Guys & a Podcast: Tebow/religion, NCAA/Twitter

Posted by Will Brinson

Two Guys and a Podcast returns for it's least controversial episode yet, as we talk about everyone's favorite blend of topics: Tim Tebow and religion!

Also, since my man Gregg Doyel already broke down Twitter and the NCAA in written form, we figured we'd chat about that too.

Plus, since our last episode, Carolina fans decided to sue their university, so we wonder aloud about what the heck they're thinking.

All that and much, much more just by hitting play below. Also, Subscribe via iTunes!



Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Are today's young guns the best the PGA has seen?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

The 93rd PGA Championship begins Thursday at the Atlanta Athletic Club. It's been 10 years since the final major of the season was held at the AAC, 10 years since David Toms got up and down on the 72nd hole to beat Phil Mickelson for his first (and only) major victory.

At the time, Tiger Woods was 25, the top-ranked player in the world, and just months removed from one of the most spectacular runs in golf history. From the 1999 PGA Championship to the 2001 Masters, Woods won five major titles (including holding all four majors at the same time -- '00 US Open, '00 British Open, '00 PGA, '01 Masters).

For the 1999-2001 seasons, Woods won 22 PGA events (including the five majors), and not only was the competition nowhere close to challenging him, they were decidedly older. Ernie Els, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Davis Love III, Hal Sutton, Vijay Singh, and Tom Lehman made up positions 2-9 in the 2000 World Golf Ranking, and only Duval (28) and Westwood (27) were under 30. In fact, the average age for these players was 33. (Hall Sutton, 42, and Tom Lehman, 41, were the oldest.)

 

More videos:
Adam Scott on caddie Steve Williams
Luke Donald | Tiger Woods | Rory McIlroy | Rickie Fowler


 

Almost every year for the last decade the media would identify young, talented upstarts who would test Woods' supremacy. At one time or another, Sergio Garcia, Charles Howell III, Aaron Baddeley, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Anthony Kim were all names mentioned as possible challengers. To date, they've combined for zero majors. (Though Scott did win the '04 Players Championship, the '06 Tour Championship and last week's WGC event at Firestone. You may have heard something about that.)

Now the names atop the World Golf Ranking include the likes of Martin Kaymer (26), Rory McIlroy (22), Jason Day (23), and Dustin Johnson (27). Kaymer is the defending PGA Champion, McIlroy won the 2011 British Open last month, and the 11th ranked player in the world, Charl Schwartzel (who is 26), is the 2011 Masters champ.

So here's the question: Are today's younger players that much better than their youthful predecessors, or is their emergence in recent years more a function of Woods' off-course problems and lingering knee issues?

"The quality of these youngsters now, you definitely have to say is a significant percentage better than the last era of youngsters," CBS golf analyst and six-time major winner Nick Faldo said during a Thursday conference call.

But Faldo recognizes that it's more complicated than that.

"Before it was almost a foregone conclusion (that Tiger would win)," he said. "Now Tiger, as we've seen on a few occasions, hadn't been able to finish it off. No. 1, he's got to get himself into contention Sunday afternoon. He's still got to find out whether his game is good enough to finish it off.

"And I think that has had a big knock-on effect for these youngsters over the last couple of years. They've recognized that Tiger's definitely lost his aura right now and they kind of are saying to themselves 'Tiger has an awful lot on his plate, I don't need to worry about it.'"

Faldo's colleague, CBS golf analyst David Feherty, isn't yet ready to write Woods off.

"Let me put it to you this way: if Tiger Woods' knee gets better and he starts to play well, good luck to everybody else," he said. "Because when he plays well nobody else can win. And I haven't seen anybody, whether it's Rory McIlroy or anybody else, who played golf to the level Tiger Woods was playing before the last couple of years. … So if he plays well again, he'll win again, and he'll win by big margins again. I really believe that."

There's no disputing that the younger players are consistently putting up better scores and winning more tournaments than they were at any other point in the last 10 years. But is that because of Woods? We don't mean that they're now more successful because of Tiger's absence. We mean that many of today's best young players were elementary and middle schoolers when Woods was in the midst of the Tiger Slam. They were no doubt inspired by what Woods could do and how he could do it. Perhaps it motivated them at impressionable ages to work even harder on their games.

In that sense, Tiger's unparalleled success -- coupled with a confluence of unfortunate off-course events -- has played a part in his golfing demise, even if temporarily.

"In the past … everybody watched every move of Tiger from the minute he got onto the range until the minute he got on the leaderboard," said Faldo. "Everybody was giving him energy, they were watching him. Now (his competitors) know, 'hey, he's got enough on his plate -- off-course and the swing.'

"And I think these kids are a little bit more talented as well. I mean, the quality of golf that Rory McIlroy is playing, Jason Day is playing, Manassero -- don't forget (Matteo) Manassero, my goodness, he's 18 and a winner in Europe."

Manassero is currently the 31st-ranked player in the world. Just ahead of him at No. 30? Tiger Woods.

Faldo might be onto something.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:12 pm
 

VIDEO: Stunning scissor-kick goal downs Barcelona

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No, there wasn't a whole lot at stake in Wednesday night's friendly match between Mexican club Chivas of Guadalajara and a weakened Barcelona side in Miami. But low stakes or not, the Goats walked away with all the pride that comes with defeating the Catalan giants 4-1 ... and then some.

That "then some" arrived in the form of this breathtaking scissor-kick goal from Chivas striker Marco Fabian, his second in the space of three minutes and the eventual game-winner:



Beating even Barcelona's B-team is something to be proud of. Beating them in that kind of style, though, is something to savor, whether the result counts for something or doesn't.
Category: Soccer
Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Two Guys and a Podcast: Moss retires, Butch fired

Posted by Will Brinson

"Two Guys and a Podcast" returns for it's second installment ... but this time we've got artwork, kids! (iTunes subscription coming soon -- you don't have to email us every day about it. Really, you don't.)

In this edition, Gregg Doyel and I talk about Randy Moss' retirement, whether or not he's a better fit for than Plaxico Burress, whether Moss should be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, why Twitter is so awesome, why it took so long for North Carolina to fire Butch Davis, where the university will go from here and who's the "most scummy" among UNC, USC, Ohio State and Tennessee.

All that -- and much, MUCH more -- simply by hitting the play button below -- iTunes availability coming soon! If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:25 am
 

Tiger Woods' new shoes at Firestone: Nike FREE

Posted by Will Brinson



Tiger Woods is back on the comeback trail. Again. This run will feature the former No. 1 golfer in the world playing at Firestone's Bridgestone Invitational as well as the PGA Championship in two weeks. (And, if he really needs the FedEx Cup points, a stint in Greensboro at the Wyndham Championship.)

It will also feature a new caddy, Byron Bell. And some new shoes! Tiger's heading back on the trail this time wearing a prototype golf shoe inspired by the FREE technology that Nike recently introduced.

You can see the shoe above and, frankly, it looks different than any golf shoe I've ever seen a professional golfer wear. That's primarily because they don't look as rigid as most golf shoes (though that rigid nature is usually what provides the stability needed for golfers who are standing still while swinging), and almost have a crosstrainer feel to them.

"This will help give Tiger greater stability as he addresses the ball," Tobie Hatfield, a design Director at Nike, said. "The freedom of movement that natural motion technology delivers will also allow more power to be released through the swing rather than through the body – which can happen when
your feet are too static."

Tiger mentioned that he uses the FREE technology -- 'a natural motion technology that is designed to mimic and conform tot he natural motion of the foot,' according to Nike -- in his training shoes and that led to him asking Hatfield to design a golf shoe that would work on the course.

Whether it works -- and whether Tiger is able to storm back onto the PGA Tour's leaderboard remains to be seen. But you can bet that if he does perform to Tiger-like standards in the next few weeks, there'll at least be some folks interested in his new shoes.

For more sports news, rumors and analysis, follow @CBSSports on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com