Mak­ing rounds with weird tales

Golfer finds his game as oth­ers are miss­ing a bag and sun­glasses.

Austin American-Statesman - - NFL - By Doug Fer­gu­son

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.”

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