The first was on the Friday of the 2007 U.S. Open. The phone rang at 7:30 a.m. and his wife answered. Someone had alerted the USGA about an interview Watson had given the night before after his round, and officials wanted a word.
"They said, 'Bubba, you said you double hit it, on camera.' I said, 'No, I did not double hit it. I didn't say that, I said I could have double hit it.' "
The tape was reviewed. Watson was cleared. With a 3 p.m. tee time, he went back to sleep.
"The situation made it look like I did something wrong, but I didn't," he said Saturday. "So people calling in are making us look bad."
Next was in 2011, after he won the Farmers Insurance Open. A viewer called the next day and said Watson had improved his lie on No. 17. Officials checked. Nothing.
"Probably somebody who hates Bubba Watson," he said Saturday.
So put Watson down with those who have grown weary of golfers accused of rule violations via calls from television viewers and is in favor of leniency when it happens.
"I don't even know how these people get a number to call," he said. "Obviously they've got more time on their hands than I do. I don't know the number and I'm playing in the golf tournament.
"Nobody calls in during a basketball game or a football game. ... They're definitely not calling balls and strikes during a baseball game.
"Maybe it's because our sport is so slow, they have time to call in."
And one other thing, Watson noted:
"A high-profile player has the camera on him all the time. Like me today, there were no cameras on me today. Everybody could care less what I was doing. They were worried about what Tiger was doing."
Not that he has ever been in quite the situation as Woods, "because I don't know the rulebook, so I always call on the rules officials."
While the camera wasn't watching Saturday, Watson started with three consecutive birdies to try to ignite a charge but later hit into the water and double-bogeyed No. 11 for the second day in a row. He ended with a 70 to stand 2-over for the tournament. As the first player to tee off, he played with marker Jeff Knox, but that wasn't so bad. Knox is a University of Georgia man, too.
And they didn't take long. After complaining about Friday's slow pace of play that neared six hours, Watson was done in 3 hours, 25 minutes.
There will be no green jacket this year for Watson, but he said he has had a good week -- when he wasn't annoyed with the speed of the Augusta greens. He has a pleasant Sunday planned.
Some Tax Day promos are freebies — others are deals. Some are limited to April 15, while others stretch through the whole month of April. (Please check brand Facebook pages or websites for details). Among this year's goodies:
• Snacks. Great American Cookies will hand out thousands of its new birthday cookies to lure consumers to stores "on a day they might not have planned to go," says Jenn Johnston, marketing chief.
Bruegger's Bagels will sell a box of 13 bagels for $10.40 (a "deduction" of nearly $3.50 per box). Last year, it sold more than 10,000 of the Big Bagel Bundles, says Judy Kadylak, director of marketing.
Arby's will hand out free Value Curly Fries or free Potato Cakes. It expects to redeem 34,000 coupons, says Bob Kraut, senior vice president of brand marketing.
Boston Market will sell a two-fer of its new rib meals for $10.40. (Essentially, one meal is free.) The name for it: We Love the IRS (Incredible Rib Special) program.
Cinnabon will hand out two free, bite-size Cinnabon Bites per customer. Last year more than 60,000 were given out. "We want to get the word out on our lesser-known treats," says President Kat Cole.
• Printing. Consumers can print up to 25 black-and-white pages and do up to 5 pounds of shredding for free at Office Depot. When folks stop by, it also hopes to sell them file folders, storage boxes and shredders, notes Randy Wick, vice president of merchandising.
• Massages. HydroMassage is offering freebie 10- to 15-minute massages at hundreds of fitness centers. "People need the stress relief" at tax season, says Paul Lunter, president.
• Sexual aids. No one has a wackier Tax Day stunt than Trojan, which will hand out Trojan vibrators (worth up to $39.99) at "Pleasure Carts" in San Francisco and Los Angeles, says Bruce Weiss, vice president of marketing. "It's a stimulus package they will never forget."
Apple is expected to sign its first internet radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge. Universal Music Group, the largest of the major record companies, has reached the final stages of the negotiations and Warner Music is close behind, the sources said.
Despite prior claims, the United States Postal Service will not be ending Saturday delivery.
The decision was initially made to curb massive financial losses, but “Congress has prohibited” it, according to a statement on the USPS website.
Now, the USPS is left scrambling to find ways to interrupt losses that amounted to $15.9 billion last year, the Washington Post reports. Possible solutions include raising postage rates and asking Congress for legislative support.
Guan is 14, the youngest player in Masters history, a symbol of Augusta National’s desire to tap into the money and population in his native China and spread the game. As he made that swing, he was looking to make the cut and play through the weekend in, arguably, the world’s most prestigious golf tournament.
But after Guan’s ball landed softly on the green, a man in a blue blazer approached him in the fairway. He showed Guan a book. “The Rules of Golf” is the Bible of the sport, and sinners are subject to punishment, regardless of the stage. In contemplating the breeze that befuddled many of the world’s best golfers in Friday’s second round, Guan had taken too much time, after having been warned repeatedly to pick up his pace.
“I know the rules pretty good,” Guan said later, in an interview with ESPN. “But I think my routine is pretty good too, but just the wind switching, so the weather is not good today, so I feel I had to make that decision.”
For the first two days of a tournament in which the game’s most recognizable figure, Tiger Woods, shot to the lead, Guan may have become the most compelling story. His age, his heritage, his potential — and the aplomb with which he handled a dicey situation Friday — all left galleries buzzing. His response to the rare one-shot penalty for playing too slowly: “I respect their decision. This is what they can do.”
“I don’t know how I would have been able to handle the enormity of the situation as a 14-year-old, mentally,” said Australian Adam Scott, who has been in the international golfing eye since his early 20s. “Obviously, he can play very, very good golf at 14, better than most. But I just don’t know how you handle the pressure and the nerves at that age.”
Guan, rules official John Paramor explained, had repeatedly violated the slow-play policy and had been warned two separate times. According to Rule 6-7, the first player in a group has 60 seconds to take his swing, the second player 40 seconds. Guan, Paramor said, took 50 seconds to take his swing at 17. And at that moment, Paramor issued Guan a one-shot penalty.
Disgraced former cycling champion Lance Armstrong has sold his sprawling home in the hills of Austin, Texas, his spokesman said on Thursday.
Spokesman Mark Higgins, who spoke to Reuters, said Armstrong would continue to call the city his home, but did not elaborate on where Armstrong would live in Austin or offer any details of the sale.
The sale of the 1.5-acre property, which includes a 7,800-square-foot home and a 1,600-square-foot guesthouse, caps a year of turmoil for the seven-time Tour de France winner.
Last year, Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while he was racing. He was stripped of all his wins, forced to end his involvement with his cancer foundation, lost his endorsements, and has been hit with lawsuits to the tune of tens of millions. He has been banned for life from professionally competing in sports by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong bought the property in 2004 as it was undergoing renovations, according to a 2008 profile of his Spanish-style home in Architectural Digest.
With its arches, pool, outdoor fireplace and upstairs media room that held his yellow jerseys, Armstrong's home was often the site of fundraisers for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and a place he considered a sanctuary.
"When I walk into that house, I heave a sigh of relief: I am home," he told Architectural Digest at the time. "I take off my shoes, walk around barefoot, just feeling the rugs, floors. Home is very private; here, nobody's going to mess with me. It's a very comforting feeling."
It was a strange day at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. An unidentified man driving a white van pulled up to a security entrance, parked, got out and wordlessly dropped off a package addressed to Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts before leaving.
Security personnel opened the box and discovered a goat's severed head.
Cubs personnel called the police, who are seeking the man who left the package.
"Obviously, it's just an unfortunate fan doing something pretty stupid," Cubs Manager said.
Why a goat's head? Well, there is actually a bizarre sort of logic to the package.
In 1945, a Chicago bar owner named William "Billy Goat" Sianis tried to bring a goat to Game 4 of the World Series between the Tigers and Cubs, but was denied entrance because, as then-Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley said, "The goat stinks."
Sianis, who brought the goat figuring it would bring good luck, said he would put a curse on the team because they refused to let the goat in. The Cubs have never been to the World Series since then.
The Cubs and police believe the fan on Wednesday was trying to lift the curse with the goat's head.
After he was plunked on the left shoulder in the sixth inning, Quentin started walking toward the mound. Greinke appeared to say something and Quentin then charged the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner.
They dropped their shoulders and collided, and Quentin tackled the pitcher to the grass. Both ended up on the bottom of a huge scrum as players from both sides ran onto the field and jumped in. Greinke lowered his left (non-throwing) shoulder into Quentin and took the brunt of the blow as they collided.
"I never hit him on purpose," said Greinke, who had his left arm in a sling and appeared shaken after the game. "I never thought about hitting him on purpose. He always seems to think that I'm hitting him on purpose, but that's not the case. That's all I can really say about it."
Asked if there was bad blood between the teams, Greinke, who twice hit Quentin with pitches when they were in the American League, said: "Now there probably is. I don't know if there was beforehand."
He said the injury was "awful. It's silly that something could happen like that. I'm disappointed."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was livid, saying it shouldn't have happened because Quentin was hit on a 3-2 pitch in a one-run game.
"That's just stupid is what it is," Mattingly said. "He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something's wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base."
Quentin said his history with Greinke has been "well-documented. That situation could have been avoided. You'd have to ask Zack about that."
Phil Mickelson said he could not believe how well the 14-year-old Guan putted. Tiger Woods praised his pinpoint accuracy with his hybrid club. Jack Nicklaus commented on his poise and politeness. A patron who watched Guan play in the par-3 contest turned to a friend and said, “Can you imagine a 14-year-old wearing a green jacket?”
With the air heavy with humidity and hype, Guan stepped up to the first tee Thursday afternoon, doffed his cap to shake hands with the Augusta National members gathered on the tee box, wiped his hands repeatedly on his golf towel in his only show of anxiety and then smacked a shot with his driver that split the fairway.
Nerves, what nerves? Guan, the youngest competitor in Masters history, was paired with Ben Crenshaw, 61, and Matteo Manassero, who had been the youngest participant when he played in the 2010 tournament at age 16. “We’re baby-sitting today,” Carl Jackson, Crenshaw’s longtime caddie, joked on the practice green a few minutes before they teed off.
By dusk, the kid had grown into a man before Crenshaw’s eyes. On his way to a one-over-par 73, Guan displayed an unflappability that was frankly unnerving to Crenshaw, a two-time Masters champion.
“It must help to have 14-year-old nerves,” said Crenshaw, who carded an 81. “I’m telling you, he played like a veteran today. He played like a journeyman, a 28-year-old journeyman who has been around the block and made a ton of cuts.”
Your Daily BS. © 2011