January 11, 2005
Volume IV, Issue 1
And the beat goes on...
We're not sure if the effects of a New Year's hangover have finally subsided or it's simply the fact that there is no off-season in golf, but we're amazingly ready to say hello to all our Fringe brethren after seemingly just saying goodbye. Golf took a 15-minute break and here we are again. Another great year is ahead.
Old man river...
Nobody could expect Vijay Singh to keep up the same pace in 2005 that he maintained in 2004. Nine victories is too much to ask again. But don't be surprised to see Vijay start out fast at the season-opening Mercedes Championships. The event for winners-only from 2004 is played at Kapalua on the island of Maui, where the views of the Pacific are spectacular. Not that Singh would notice. The man is so driven, he's been known to practice on Christmas Day. That's why Singh is a good bet in Hawaii. While the other players may have let a little bit of rust accumulate on their clubs in the short off-season, Singh undoubtedly kept working.
I did it my way...
Phil Mickelson does some strange things. He switches equipment right before the Ryder Cup, knowing he'll get blasted if he plays poorly. So what happens? He plays poorly. Now he's skipping the season-opening Mercedes to extend his off-season for another couple of weeks. Huh? This is the second time Mickelson has elected to skip the Hawaii tournament when eligible. It is his right to do so, but it sure doesn't make sense. Mickelson has never won a PGA Tour money title, and this offers a great chance to get ahead of the field. And the stuff about how Mickelson doesn't like Bermuda greens won't wash here. He just shot 59 in Hawaii in November!
Who's crying now...
Colin Montgomerie admitted that his marital woes last year caused him to think about giving up golf or at least taking some time away. The Scottish star had a highly-publicized breakup with his wife, Eimear, and the British tabloids had a field day with the story, linking her to actor Hugh Grant. "I thought about taking a little bit of time off but I'm glad I didn't,'' he said. "I came out . . . and got on with my job. Half the population has this problem, but mine was publicized. You just get on with it.'' Monty went on to earn the clinching point for the European Ryder Cup team and has his sights set on making the 2006 squad. At one point, he was considered a front-runner for the European captaincy, but took his name out of consideration and said he wants to concentrate on making the team.
Ya think Tiger eats chips?
I am sure we are all going to try to stick to our new year's resolutions. Ahem.
So with that in mind I prepared some advice to take on the course with you that may actually help to keep that waist line in check and keep your mental... fo... cus... um... er... What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, food for the brain and body.
For those with Krispy Kreme stock the following may be tough to read.
You early tee time fanatics are first on the list. Mrs. Lipschitz back in the second grade was right, ya know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kick-starts your metabolism and sends a message to your body about how you will be fueling up for the day. Washing down the Big Grab, habañero-pepper roasted pork rinds with a Jolt cola is, as you might suspect, not the right message.
Try two eggs (cooked any way) and some oatmeal (bowl or bar). Have some all-natural fruit juice (natural sugars) to drink, and stick a banana or an apple in your bag to tide you over until the turn.
For those of you starting to play in the afternoon, avoid a big breakfast early and have a turkey sandwich or bowl of soup for lunch. If you must have a side with your lunch try to steer clear of the chips. Not only do they overload you with saturated fats, it's really tough to get that grease off your fingers and no one wants to accidentally fling their three iron into not so casual water.
Now because we have denied ourselves the big meal so far we are going to be having the tummy grumbles sometime during the round. Resist the Oscar Mayer urge and go for a bag of unsalted roasted peanuts, raisins or old faithful trail-mix. Yeah the nuts and trail-mix have fat, but fat processes slowly and your body will break it down slowly so you can maintain your energy.
Fruits, raw veggies, nuts, grains, etc. It's not like you've never heard this stuff before. Try to stick to it this year for once, and see if it makes a difference. As a matter of fact, why don't you tell me about it? I'll be the one smearing the barbecue sauce off my face with one hand and slurping down the "Heiney" with the other.
Seriously, we want to know about your golf resolutions for this year. Post yours now at www.OffTheFringe.com in the forum.
We love you Patty...
It was with great sadness we read the open letter from LPGA Hall of Famer Patty Berg last month to her fans. The winner of 60 LPGA titles including a record 15 major championships, Berg, 86, acknowledged that she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease and will be "curtailing'' her activities. "I'll hold onto my LPGA membership for as long as you'll have me,'' Berg wrote. One of golf's icons, Berg helped found the LPGA and has maintained an active role in the game even into her twilight years. There was nothing quite like a Berg golf clinic to show you exactly how proficient she was and how deficient you were.
AP female athlete of the year...
One of these days, Annika Sorenstam will run out of goals. She completed the 2004 season with 56 LPGA victories, which puts her just four behind Patty Berg. The ultimate number is 88. That is the career total of Kathy Whitworth, a figured long ago thought to be unreachable in this day and age. "I never thought 88 was possible, and I'm still so far away from it,'' Sorenstam said. " I don't know. It really sounds so impossible. I guess you should never say never.'' Especially when you consider Sorenstam has 33 wins over the past four years. Of course, it will be a while before she can get started again. The LPGA schedule does not resume until next month.
PGA Tour victory, priceless...
We all know how prize money in golf has skyrocketed. Just in the past 10 years, purses have jumped considerably. But this really puts it in perspective: Jack Nicklaus is no longer in the top 100 all-time money winners on the PGA Tour. Nicklaus earned $5,734,031, which ranks 103rd all-time, one spot behind Tom Byrum. Tom Byrum? Amazing. Vijay Singh won nearly double in 2004 what Nicklaus earned in an entire career which saw him win 18 majors and 63 PGA Tour events. Imagine what his victories would have been worth today.
Every one is so sensitive, Prima Donnas...
Who was at all the majors last year, did not qualify for any of them, but had earnings that would have put him in the top 70 on the PGA Tour money list? The answer, Vijay Singh's caddy, Dave Renwick. Vijay earned more than $11 million on tour last year, and Dave got the customary 10% of earnings. But alas, apparently the job is rougher than Joe Averageman would think. Vijay will not have Dave to "kick around" this year, at least not initially. Apparently their relationship got a little strained last year and Renwick is taking a little break from Vijay who has a reputation for being a little difficult. But heck, for that kind of money. Renwick has reportedly told Vijay that he would call him the first week in March. If he doesn't go back with Vijay, he said he will look for someone else.
Gentlemen, start your engines...
This promises to be an interesting year in men's professional golf. Who's No. 1 has been a relatively easy question to answer, but could get tougher now. For the better part of five seasons, Tiger Woods held the honor without any question. His grasp on the top spot loosened last year, and when Vijay Singh finally took the honor, it was already widely accepted that he was the best player in the game. But with a new season ready to kick off, there could be more volatility at the top of the World Ranking than at any time in a generation. Singh has solid hold on No. 1 now, but it would not take much for Woods to again ascend to that spot, or for Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson or Retief Goosen to make a move. Look for any — or all of them — to hold the top spot in 2005.