Making rounds with weird tales
Golfer finds his game as others are missing a bag and sunglasses.
It was a wild year of golf.
Phil Mickelson lost his bid at the Masters by hitting two shots righthanded. Rory McIlroy was confused by the time zone and needed a police escort to get to the final day of the Ryder Cup on time. Tiger Woods never found his golf ball, was not penalized and still missed the cut.
Those have been welldocumented. What follows is the 2012 edition of “Tales from the Tour,” the obscure moments that keep golf so interesting and entertaining.
■ One week after he made triple bogey on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines and then lost in a playoff, Kyle Stanley rallied from eight shots behind on the final day with a 65 in the Phoenix Open to win his first PGA Tour event. It was a remarkable turnaround. One week he faced the media after his meltdown and fought back tears. The next week he was a winner.
At a Super Bowl party that night at the home of Jim Mackay, longtime caddie of Phil Mickelson, he placed his oversized winner’s trophy above the TV.
■ No other golfer spends more time with the media after every round than Ryo Ishikawa, who is treated like a rock star in Japan. When he signs his card, even when it’s late in the day, it’s not unusual for the 21-yearold to spend close to an hour fulfilling his media obligations.
That’s where “The Chair” comes in.
His handlers have a white folding chair for Ishikawa as he endures two interviews with different television stations.
He got up from the chair and walked around the clubhouse toward the parking lot. The Japanese reporters followed him.
One of them was asked where they were going.
“Now we wave goodbye,” the reporter explained.
■ You’ve seen the sign at the baggage claim to check your luggage because some bags may look alike. That goes for golf travel bags, too.
Nick Watney and Angel Cabrera arrived in San Francisco for the U.S. Open about the same time, on different flights. Cabrera kept waiting at oversized luggage for his bag to come out, and he began to think the airlines had lost it. There was only one golf bag there, and it belonged to Watney.
That’s when the light came on.
Cabrera’s agent called the person in charge of U.S. Open courtesy cars and asked them to stop Watney on his way out.
Sure enough, Cabrera’s golf bag was in his trunk.
■ The relationship Padraig Harrington has with reporters is unlike that of any other player, especially the Irish media.
He was giving an interview to Greg Allen of Irish radio station RTE, and after they finished, Harrington began making small talk. He asked Allen, “I heard you lost your sunglasses?” Allen’s shoulders slumped as he told Harrington he had misplaced his glasses and didn’t know where to look for them.
“They’re in my locker,” he said. “You left them behind the other day.”