The Shag Bag
08 DEC 2017
The Tiger Effect
As was to be expected, Tiger-mania reached a fever pitch at the Hero World Challenge last week. According to The Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard, “Tiger Woods” was googled an astonishing 41 million times on Thursday. Woods was also trending worldwide on Twitter throughout the weekend, and dominated the headlines and airwaves of practically every sports section and radio talk show in North America. And if you thought that you were the only one playing hooky to watch Tiger’s first round back on Thursday, think again! Everyone seemed to be watching the tournament in real time, including sports icons Bo Jackson, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, and Jeremy Roenick, who all chimed in on Twitter with outpourings of support for the 41-year-old.
Tiger wasn’t only causing a stir on social media. Throughout the tournament, he was also affecting Las Vegas’ futures odds with nearly every swing of the golf club. Woods began the week as a 50/1 underdog to win the 2018 Masters, according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. However, after opening the tournament with a 3-under 69, the former World No. 1’s odds improved to 25/1! And when Woods caught fire on the front nine in his second round on Friday, those odds improved yet again — this time to 15/1! The Westgate Superbook adjusted the odds once again to 20/1 when Woods stumbled to a three-over 75 on Saturday and that’s where they remained at the end of play on Sunday, despite Tiger’s final round score of 68!
We will be seeing quite a bit more of the Mickelson brothers working together next year on the PGA Tour. It was announced last week that Tim Mickelson will now be caddying for his brother, Phil, on a full-time basis. Although he was already working full-time as Jon Rahm’s agent, Tim nonetheless started looping for his brother on an interim basis this past June after Phil unexpectedly ended his tenured relationship with Jim “Bones” MacKay. As a result of this more permanent arrangement, Tim has stepped down from his position as Rahm’s agent at Lagardere Sports. However, Rahm has announced that he has no plans to leave the agency. Instead, he will be working with super-agent Steve Loy, head of Lagardere’s golf division and former agent and coach of Phil Mickelson, beginning in 2018! After the announcement was made, Rahm released this statement praising his former agent and college golf coach: “Coach Mickelson will always be important to me and has done many good things to support my career, and I wish him and Phil well in their new partnership. I am really excited to continue working with the team at Lagardere Sports and [to] get the 2018 season underway.”
Trick Shots of the Week
Bubba Watson may not be winning nearly as much as this point in his career, but his social media accounts have become a joy to follow over the past couple of seasons. Last week, Bubba posted a video to his Instagram account, challenging fellow PGA Tour pro Wesley Bryan to a “flick of the wrist” challenge. “Hey Wesley! Wesley Bryan…[Scoff]…t, that is! Bubba Watson here and I’m going to challenge you. Watch this. A little flick, a little flick of the wrist here,” the two time green jacket winner said before sinking a one-handed putt from what appeared to be 50 feet.
Bryan responded later that day with a wrist flick of his own. “Hey Bubbles! Bubbles Watson!” Bryan said, before pulling off an unbelievably difficult trick shot of his own. “Here’s a flick of the wrist for you. You’re welcome!”
Video of the Week
Jeff Overton was one of 17,000 fans in attendance at Memorial Stadium last Wednesday to watch his beloved Indiana Hoosiers take on the No. 1-ranked Duke Blue Devils. And although the Hoosiers did not come away with the victory, Overton still managed to bring the crowd to its feet at halftime by draining this 94-foot putt to send four lucky fans on a golf trip to Myrtle Beach.
Shank of the Week