Tag:Shane Bacon
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:12 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 7:48 pm

Video: Dustin Johnson nearly hits camera crane

By Shane Bacon

Dustin Johnson is known for a lot of things, but his length is number one. He can absolutely mash a golf ball off the tee, and the above video might be the best example of that ever. 

Granted, he wasn’t exactly trying to hit his drive near the camera crane on the par-4 18th at Doral on Thursday, but he did, and it turned out to be a pretty sweet view of a errant drive passing by. 

This isn't the first time Dustin has had issues with crazy drives at Doral. Just one year ago, Johnson hit a drive that struck his own grandfather on the fly, and talked about it after his round in 2011. 

Johnson made a bogey on the hole, shot 75 for the day, and is one of the many that has some clawing back to do for the rest of the Cadillac Championship. 

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Category: Golf
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:33 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 7:01 pm

Sergio Garcia has roller-coaster of a round

Sergio Garcia's scorecard for the first round of the Cadillac Championship. (CBS.com)

By Shane Bacon

Oh, Sergio. Sergio, Sergio, Sergio. He is one of the most famous golfers in the world, some because of his early success as a teenage sensation, and some because he always seems to be the guy that does the wrong thing at the wrong time. 

But as he’s grown older, the luster has gone, and Sergio Garcia has become another pro golfer that has a ton of fans, an incredible golf swing, and a putting stroke that, when on, gets him into contention. He could still win a major or two, and when Thursday kicked off at Doral, looked like he had found the form that had won him two late European Tour events in 2011.

But sadly for Sergio, golf is not nine holes. Five-under on his outward nine, Garcia looked superb. He was hitting the ball great, rolling in putts, and taking it to playing companion Tiger Woods. And then the back nine happened. 

Garcia made exactly one par (As you can see by this scorecard) on his final nine holes, one birdie, and a host of bogeys before a final triple-bogey dropped him all the way down to a tie for 54th. 

You can’t help but enjoy the comments Sergio made after his round. He was honest, saying he lost trust in his golf swing on the back nine, something any golfer can attest to. And also, this is golf. It’s a frustrating sport for amateurs, but at times, can be just as frustrating for superduperstars like Sergio Garcia. 

The best thing for Sergio? There is always manana

Check out the Eye on Golf Facebook page and follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter.   

Category: Golf
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:08 pm

Video: Tiger Woods eagles first hole at Doral

By Shane Bacon

There are a few interesting things about the above video showing Tiger Woods making eagle on his first hole of the Cadillac Championship. Not only was it a great start, but look at some of the other fun facts about it.

-- With his birdie-eagle finish last week at the Honda Classic and his eagle here, it means that Tiger had a three hole stretch where he was 5-under. 

-- With eagles on both the par-5s on Sunday at the Honda and the eagle to start his Thursday round at Doral, it was the third straight eagle on a par-5 for Woods. 

-- It means that the last 19 holes Tiger played, he was 10-under. 

And hey, eagle time is always fun! 

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Category: Golf
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:08 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 12:03 pm

What would a win mean for each of these players?

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood pose in China. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

The WGC-Cadillac Championship kicks off this Thursday, and all top-50 players are in the field for the stacked event. And while all of the guys in the field have a chance, we decided to give you an idea of what a win would mean for some of the bigger names in the field. 

Rory McIlroy (World Ranking: 1) -- A win would really cement all those “next Tiger” stories, and show that while he’s happy to win events like Honda Classic, he isn’t exactly content with one win early in his season. Rory probably has the most pressure this week because he has to back up a big performance at the Honda, and if he can pull a victory out at Doral, it would really show his internal fortitude. 

Luke Donald (WR: 2) -- Lost in all this McIlroy-Woods chatter, we must remember that Donald was the No. 1 player in the world before Rory took it from him, and still has tons of game. A win by Donald would show that he’s tougher than we think, and is really ready to fight against the best for big wins. 

Lee Westwood (WR: 3) -- Talk about lost in the shuffle, Westwood closed with a final round 63 at the Honda Classic, but barely anybody remembered it because of Tiger’s 62. He has barely won anything on American soil, but his game is sharp, and if he won it would mean that he is finally ready to claim victory at events with all the big names in them.

Phil Mickelson (WR: 12) -- You never know what you’re going to get from Lefty these days, but his win at Pebble Beach showed he is still hungry to win, and a victory at Doral this week would show that 2012 might be another year that Mickelson goes wild. He’s the type of player that can still win four or five events a season, and if he won at the Blue Monster, we’d all have to put him first on our Masters prediction lists.

Tiger Woods (WR: 16) --  A win for Tiger? It would mean everything. He could stop answering questions about how close he is. He could finally get a real tournament monkey off his back (unlike the small field at the Chevron). He would show that he can play well back-to-back weeks and would tell the rest of the golfing world that he isn’t exactly ready to hand over the game to the younger generation. 

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Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:10 am

Rory McIlroy, and the Oakley Experience

Rory McIlroy celebrates both his Honda Classic victory and becoming No. 1 in the world. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

Two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from someone with Oakley asking if I’d be interested in heading out to the Honda Classic to check out their new line of apparel, spend some time with a few of their athletes, and, well, hang out “Oakley style.” 

Little did I know that their new line of gear is incredible, the athletes included soon-to-be world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and “Oakley style” basically means “become one of the family,” so I accepted begrudgingly because I’d just spent three weeks traveling outside of the country, and frankly, I was tired.

But the trip was a success mainly because it allowed me to see a few things about the company and their newest star in Rory. 

First off, Rory. You know from his game that he’s a stud, but spending a little time with him, even from an observation deck, made it clear to me that he gets it, unlike a certain someone we media folks have dealt with for years and years. Rory spent time with media members, occasionally opening up his iPhone to show pictures, laughing along with a few of the guys and talking candidly. The few minutes I got to observe McIlroy in the flesh had me convinced that this was his week, and the tournament hadn’t even started yet. 

If you’re in the media in any context you get your chance to be around athletes. Some are quiet and scared of what celebrity-ism brings. Others are loud and fun and enjoy the life of the party, knowing that their life is better than yours and occasionally showing you that with no regret. Then there are people like Rory. The quiet, confident assassin that at just 22-years-old makes you think he’s 30, and with the demeanor and drive to not only be great, but to be historic. Winning in bunches this next decade is going to be tough, because the talent level is very even, but if you had to bet on one player to pull ahead of the rest, and claim four or five wins a year, Rory sure seems like that guy you should go all-in with. He carries that aura and doesn’t mind it. He knows he’s the star in a room full of players. He doesn’t mind holding the torch, no matter the heat. 

And the fact that Oakley signed him makes even more sense after you spend some time with their guys. A confident group by design, the sunglasses speak for themselves (one of the display had us shoot large BBs at the glasses at 140 MPH and they didn’t penetrate which makes you feel a lot more confident when you have friends with the golfing abilities of my bunch), but it is their push into apparel that has everyone excited. The lightest golf shoe in the world. Designs that can go from a calm blue to a rainbow splash on displays right next to each other (and, btw, a golf jacket that comes out soon that has solved that “zip off your sleeves when it’s raining but you’re too warm” annoyance we’ve all encountered on the course). 

Hanging with the boys over 18 holes of golf was, simply, comfortable. They want people to enjoy their products and feel like if McIlroy and others are sporting the stuff it must be the best, but these employees are just as much a part of the Oakley culture as the celebrities they pay seven figures to. 

How was the experience at PGA National? Incredible, but not in a corporate way. It was incredible because it was a group of people inviting you, accepting you, and having a good time with you, occasionally showing you why they are in the golf business to stay but mostly just showing you that the group understands a mantra most don’t; work should be fun, and fun it is. 

A meet-and-greet with McIlroy is a special thing, but standing back and watching how he can light up a room is exciting. 

The kid has “historic” written all over him, and there is a reason the letter “O” is in that word. 

Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:46 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 4:51 pm

More info comes out about Tiger and the SEALS

Tiger Woods spends time at Fort Bragg in 2004. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

Just when we thought the Navy SEALS story about Tiger Woods was dead, GolfDigest.com revealed even more from the upcoming Hank Haney book and it’s even more intense than you think.

"The Big Miss" is the upcoming Haney account of his time with Tiger, and while the book hasn’t hit the stores yet, pieces keep leaking and it just gets juicier and juicer. 

So we know that Tiger thought about becoming a Navy SEAL, but how intense was he? According to the book, incredibly. Tiger went on multiple training sessions with the SEALS, and even did a three-day parachute training session just 18 days before the 2006 U.S. Open, which prompted the following e-mail from Haney to Woods.

With the U.S. Open 18 days away, do you think it was a good idea to go on a Navy SEALs mission? You need to get that whole SEALs thing out of your system and stick to playing Navy SEAL on the video games. I can tell by the way you are talking and acting that you still want to become a Navy SEAL. Man, are you crazy? You have history to make in golf and people to influence and help. Focus on your destiny, and that isn't flushing bad guys out of buildings in Iraq. Just play the video games some more. That Navy SEAL stuff is serious business. They use real bullets.

The four page excerpt on GolfDigest.com has even more about his infatuation with the SEALS, saying Tiger went as far as to play SEALS-based video games for days on end and even told Haney they’d make an age-exception for him if he wanted to join, but your best bet is to head over to their site and read the whole thing for yourself. 

Tiger might have dismissed questions about this last week, but the more information that comes out, the more he’s going to get the random reporter wondering just how far he was willing to take this idea before he finally snubbed it. 

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Category: Golf
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:29 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:14 pm

MMSC: Rory, Tiger, and the art of closing

Rory McIlroy reacts after his final putt drops at the Honda Classic. (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. 

Rory and Tiger most impressive at closing

A lot of things will be made about what happened on Sunday at the Honda Classic. Tiger Woods’ charge up the leaderboard. Rory McIlroy winning and becoming No. 1 in the world. 

But the thing that impressed me the most? How both were able to finish their rounds. 

So many times pro golfers will play great until the end, see what they are doing, and lose focus. You saw that with Brian Harman on Friday, when a holed bunker shot would have landed him in the 59 club, but instead of making the shot, he hit it three feet and then missed the putt for a 60. Sure, 61 is great, but that focus was lost for a second and a shot was dropped that would have allowed him his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. 

Tiger has been struggling mightily in recent events he was in contention in with actually closing the round. The tournament that comes to mind first was the Masters a year ago, when Tiger made a run early in his round only to struggle on the holes he usually dominates. 

Not this Sunday. Tiger put together a fantastic round in swirling winds, and finished it with a birdie-eagle finish. 

McIlroy was no different. His scrambling and bunker play on Sunday reminded me of Retief Goosen back in 2001 at Southern Hills, but Rory kept missing his golf shots in the right spots, and kept hitting unbelievable chip shots in short range of the cup to give him chances at par, which he converted. 

The comparisons of Tiger and Rory are plentiful after Sunday, but the thing that Woods used to do that separated himself from the pack was play well with a lead, and Rory did just that on Sunday, closing his round out with solid pars when he knew that was all he needed. A less steady McIlroy might have let the Tiger charge ruin him. The new Rory didn’t, and his ability to make the important putts down the stretch allowed him to breeze up the 18th hole with a two-shot lead and an easy run at par and the win. 

A confidence boost week

There are so many names that will be looking back at the Honda Classic with positive thoughts. 

The easy ones are Rory and Tiger, both using this week as a springboard for the rest of the season, but look down the leaderboard and see all the big names that played well at the Champions Course. 

Tom Gillis almost quit golf at one point, but played steady all week, even in the final round, and made a clutch birdie on the last hole to tie for second with Tiger and earn some serious dough he can put towards his 2013 card. 

Lee Westwood was paired with Woods early in the week, and while Tiger always outshines the rest of the field, we shouldn’t forget that Lee fired a final round 63 before Tiger finished to jump 23 spots for a fourth place finish alone. 

And then comes Rickie Fowler. I had a discussion early in the week about the state of Fowler’s game and we decided the kid was regressing and maybe needed a swing change to get to more consistent. 

Maybe I was completely wrong. Rickie shot 66 on Sunday for his first top-10 finish of the season and showed he isn’t completely lost out there. 

The Nationwide Tour’s U.S. Open?

This past weekend, the Nationwide Tour headed to Panama City for an event at the Panama Golf Club, and I’m just going to toss this out there; you might want to avoid that golf course if you want to keep your pride in tact. 

The winning score was 4-under, courtesy of Edward Loar, but he shot a final round 74 to win the event and only six players all week finished in red figures. 

Check out the new Eye on Golf Facebook page and follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:45 am

Video: Tiger Woods' entire round of 62

By Shane Bacon

It was his best final round ever and maybe the best round Tiger Woods has ever played when he actually needed to go low, so why not enjoy it once more with the brilliance of Internet TV?

The video below is all the good shots Tiger hit on Sunday on his charge up the leaderboard in hopes of taking down Rory McIlroy. Enjoy the fist-pumps!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com