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Tag:Shane Bacon
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 9:34 am
 

Trump company completes purchase of Doral

The famous Blue Monster at the Doral Golf and Spa Resort. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon


Good news if you’re one of the many golf fans that love seeing the Doral Golf and Spa Resort at its absolute best, because the Trump Organization, run by that wacky man with the crazy hair, completed a purchase of four of the five courses on Monday.

Trump bought the resort for a reported $150 million, and plans to spend the next two years renovating the resort to make it, as he says, “the finest resort and golf club in the country.”

Why the purchase? Because Doral was struggling, filing for bankruptcy in February of 2011, and Trump swooped in to help get it back to the great resort it once was.

What does this mean for golf fans? Just that another great staple on our golfing map will once again be in as incredible shape as possible, and continue to attract some of the best golfers in the world for their annual hosting of the CA Championship. 

And honestly, who doesn’t love a little Trump with their golf?

Check out the new Eye on Golf Facebook page!  

Category: Golf
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:18 pm
 

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

By Shane Bacon

The ratings for the Accenture Match Play finals between Hunter Mahan and Rory McIlroy were the highest non-Tiger final since the tournament started in 1999. The numbers could have been for a few reasons (no real sports competitor with the rainout at Daytona and the NBA being on All-Star weekend), but what if it was simply because we've found the next Tiger Woods? 

Now I'm not one of those guys that sits here and searches for that person. Rory McIlroy will never be 100 percent of Tiger Woods. Tiger changed the game of golf forever, and his ability to transcend sports was exactly why he was such a big deal. But eventually someone was going to come along to be the successor of Woods. A talent that wins early, wins by a lot, and does so in the big events. 

Sure, McIlroy has fallen on his face as many times on the big stage as he has won (see 2011 Masters and the Accenture), but that many people coming to watch Rory play means that something is up, and it's a great thing for the game of golf.

If Rory can bring that many views to something like the Accenture, playing against Mahan, imagine what would happen if he found himself going head-to-head with a HUGE name in golf on the biggest stage? If Rory was to face Tiger, or Phil, or Lee or Luke in the final round of the Masters, we'd really see what the McIlroy movement would do. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 

Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:29 am
Edited on: February 27, 2012 6:10 pm
 

MMSC: Mahan, McIlroy and The Question Mark

Hunter Mahan showcases his newest hardware. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

Golf is probably the hardest sport in the world to play, and play well, so it makes total sense that everyone is a critic, and that’s what we’re going to do here at Monday Morning Swing Coach. Cover just the PGA Tour? Nope. We're going to try to expand this Monday feature to anything and everything that happened the past weekend. 

A Mahan masterpiece or a McIlroy mulligan? 

The crazy thing about match play format is the fact that a lot of the times you don’t get the best “TV matchup” when you get down to the final four players. We hardly ever get the two best players in the world going against each other, and a lot of the times one of the people in the finals isn’t exactly warranting views, but it was a nice surprise when Rory McIlroy and Hunter Mahan ended up being the final two men standing in Marana. 

Mahan is a talented American who has always been a golfer to watch, and has had marginal success on the PGA Tour. McIlroy, of course, is Tiger 2.0, a kid with curly hair, a desirable golf swing and the swagger to become the best at a very young age. 

And while we didn’t really pick this as one of our hopeful matches to begin the week, it was definitely satisfying. Mahan had played some of the best golf heading into the finals and McIlroy was searching for something that would have made all the headlines if it happened. But did it turn out to be Mahan’s victory of Rory’s defeat? 

McIlroy admitted after his finals loss that grinding out a win against Lee Westwood in the semifinals might have taken more out of him than he initially thought possible, but I’m not so much into buying that as I am to think that he simply got beat by a guy playing better golf.

Mahan seemed to keep hitting the shot he needed at the right time, rolled in some clutch putts and would have beat McIlroy even worse if not for a nasty lip-out on the 16th green. Rory is the type of player that could go on Tiger-like runs with his game, but it sure doesn’t seem like he’s there quite yet.

For now, we can all enjoy the fact that an American with an equally impressive golf swing and flat-brimmed custom caps took down an incredible field and did it on his own terms. 

McIlroy will have his chance to win this tournament when he’s ready. For now, Mahan notched his third PGA Tour win in as many years, and second World Golf Championships trophy. 

The Question Mark rookie

There is something incredibly brilliant about a good nickname in sports, and a rookie that outlasted a tour vet in an eight-hole playoff at the Mayakoba Classic might have the best nickname of them all.

John Huh is a big-time player, and in his fifth career PGA Tour event, won after Robert Allenby did just about everything in his power to give Johnny Question Mark the event before a playoff even ensued. 

Allenby had a two-shot lead standing on the 18th tee, but knowing that it’s 2012 and no lead is safe, hit driver into the trees and carded a double-bogey.

Ten holes later, Huh was the champion and Allenby was left wondering how the heck he didn’t get his first PGA Tour win since 2001. 

Note to just about everyone with a big lead on the final hole; it’s okay to hit an iron off the tee. Nobody is going to make fun of the way you win if you win. Anything goes if it means you leave with the trophy. 

One Last Tiger Note

I got a lot of messages from people that mentioned something about Tiger Woods not really looking into his matches this week at the Accenture. A few people mentioned that it almost seemed like he was just working on some stuff and getting ready for this week’s Honda Classic. 

But in our Tiger Vernacular Handbook, wouldn’t that go against everything he has ever said when he talks about playing? He stays true to certain phrases, and “coming here to win” is one of his favorites. If he has some things to work on, that’s fine, but I don’t think Tiger is heading to a big event like the Accenture in hopes of practicing and “finding” something for the next week’s event.


That isn’t Tiger, and I’d be surprised if he believed that is the way to go about things. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 

Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:19 pm
 

Winners and losers from a great match play week

Hunter Mahan leads our list of winners from the Accenture Match Play. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

The Accenture Match Play is our first really big tournament of the season, and with so many talented people involved, it brings us our first winners/losers of 2012. So who killed, and who tanked? Read on and see ...

Winners

Hunter Mahan -- Obviously. Mahan played some incredibly inspired golf, beating some big names in the game and stepping up to Rory McIlory, who was playing for something much bigger than just the Marana trophy. Also, with his recent Presidents Cup success, Mahan has shown he’s a match play titan, and is music to Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III’s ears. 

Ping Golf -- They had three of the top four finishers rocking their new equipment, and the talk of the week was Mahan’s new Nome putter that seemed to help Hunter knock in just about any big putt he needed to make. 

Mark Wilson -- This guy needs to be known more than he is, and this week showed that no matter how short he hits it off the tee, his iron play and short game are second to none. Wilson has won three PGA Tour events in just over 13 months. People need to start acknowledging him as an A-class player in golf. 

Sang-Moon Bae -- Look at the list of players Bae knocked off before losing to Rory Mcilroy; Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, and John Senden. Sure, the last wasn’t the biggest name possible, but Bae made McIlroy sweat, and showed that he’s a name we must remember when major championship week rolls around. 

Losers

Rory McIlroy -- Yes, he made it to the finals, and yes, he nearly became the top dog in golf, but if McIlroy wants to be The Man, he must close these types of tournaments out. He has played some incredible golf over the last few months, but winning is everything, and his game in the finals seemed shaky at best. 

Tiger Woods -- Anytime Tiger isn’t in the hunt he’s considered a loser, but boy did he look lost this week with his golf swing. When the season started I thought Woods was close with his game. Now? I’m not so sure even he could be convinced he’s ready to win a PGA Tour tournament. 

Luke Donald -- You’re the number one ranked golfer in the world, and no matter who you’re playing, you can’t lose in the first round of a tournament you’re defending. Donald showed that while the rankings say he’s the best, his game might not agree. 

Rickie Fowler -- Another week, another disappointment. I think Fowler is a good player, but it seems his name rings louder than his game. Fowler lost in the first round to a veteran that admitted after his match that he’d spent the last week away from golf. Not the best endorsement for Fowler’s time to win PGA Tour events. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Lee Westwood's drive ends up in fan's sweater

Lee Westwood's drive ends up in a tough spot. (Twitter)
By Shane Bacon

A lot of the game of golf revolves around where your ball ends up. It could be in a bunker, a cactus, a divot or in the hole. 

For Lee Westwood in his semifinals match against Rory McIlroy, one of his drives was very, very unplayable. On the 13th hole, Westwood missed his tee shot left, only to find it in the sweater of a fan watching the action. 

The photo to your right, taken by the AP’s Doug Ferguson, shows just what kind of shot Westwood faced when he walked up to his ball. 

Westwood’s caddied joked to the lady, “Would you mind walking 250 yards further” before getting a drop and making a par which lost him to the hole to McIlroy, but one fan will always have the memory of how the heck a golf ball ended up in her sweater. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.   

Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:41 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Even PGA Tour players have passport problems

Mike Weir didn't have a great week in Mexico. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

If you’ve ever traveled out of the country, you know the checklist; passport, wallet, passport, passport. It’s the only thing you are continuously stressed out about. But what if you didn’t have a passport to begin with?

That’s the problem that doomed Mike Weir’s chances this week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Weir was waiting on a passport to be sent to his house, but UPS lost it, and he didn’t get it until 2 P.M. on Wednesday. 

The tournament started on Thursday, so the former Masters champion rushed to Cancun, but without a practice round or basically any preparation (or most of all, peace of mind) he shot an opening round 79 and is very much going to the miss the cut as he currently struggles through his Friday round.

Sure, only some of the blame could be put on UPS since it hasn’t seemed Weir has had much of a golf game the last couple of years, but talk about a stressful few days just waiting for something that allowed you access to a practice round. 

The good news for Weir? No PGA Tour tournaments out of the states until the British. 

h/t Ballengee

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.  

 

Category: Golf
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:09 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 12:21 pm
 

Lee Westwood provides quote of the week

Lee Westwood smiles on his way to a second round win. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

One of the best things Twitter has shown us over the last two or three years is just how much fun a lot of the European PGA Tour players have. They poke fun at just about anyone (themselves included), and will jump on people way earlier than even critics would. 

One of the best at this? Lee Westwood, who has played some of the best golf of his career the last two years but is still haunted by an inability to claim that first major championship. Westwood is playing at the Accenture this week, an event he has never found himself out of the first round until his win on Wednesday, and while still alive heading into Friday, gave the world the golf quote of 2012 so far. 

Westwood had a horse racing in Dubai, and when asked how it finished, dropped this gem.

Via the AP ...

“I had a horse running in Dubai about an hour before I teed off," Westwood said. "Rerouted. It's a good horse, just doesn't win. At least it came in second, which I can sympathize with to a certain extent."

That’s good stuff, Lee. Westwood takes on Nick Watney this Friday at the match play. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.  


Category: Golf
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:12 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 8:36 pm
 

Tiger Woods out in second round of match play

Tiger reacts after a second shot at the Accenture Match Play. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

There was a stunned silence in the golf world when Tiger Woods, standing over a six-footer on the 18th hole to extend his match to extra holes against Nick Watney slide past the right lip, but it wasn’t as much a shocked silence as it was understandable disappointment. 

A man that used to drop just about every meaningful putt you put in front of him had once again missed a fairly simple putt in a match that was just begging for him to snag it the way Woods used to always do. Watney, for as well as he played on Thursday, was mediocre at best at the Accenture Match Play, allowing Tiger a chance to get back in the match time and time again. 

And when Woods stuffed his 9-iron just below the hole on the final green, sudden death almost seemed inevitable. But a strange thing happened. I actually thought Watney had a better chance of holing his birdie chip from just on the fringe than Tiger did of his short birdie putt on greens that he’s never seemed kosher with. 

Tiger is out at the match play, a result most experts probably guessed would happen when they saw him matched up against the steady Watney on Thursday. Woods hit the ball loose for much of the two days he played in Marana. He powered putt after putt through the break, never seeming comfortable with either his stroke or lines. 

But it goes back to the silence that fell right after his putt slide by, not even catching a lip to give the Tiger fans hope. It seemed ... likely. 

Woods is obviously not the same golfer he once was, and we all need to understand that. He was great at one point and now he’s another guy on tour with a staff bag and great golf swing. He plays well some days and bad others. He hits magnificent golf shots at times and follows it up with a poor putt. These are only shocking because he once was so great and now is so average. 

It was just that this match seemed strange because it was so predictable. Tiger playing a guy that he should lose to, losing to him, and doing it in a fashion that never seemed to be the Woods way. 

Woods has had some great moments this year, both at the start of Abu Dhabi and Pebble Beach. He has failed to close either of those events out for one reason or the other, much like any other professional golfer does at times when the trophy doesn’t end up in their outgoing luggage. And when the putt slipped by the hole at a match play event in the early part of the 2012 PGA Tour season, things seemed eerily normal. For the first time in the history of the Tiger era, a missed putt on his behalf seemed like the only logical conclusion. 

This game is a testy witch at times. Tiger feels that now as much as ever. 

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com