Friday, March 27, 2009

Bay Hill tourney brings gossip galore...

It’s been a great week for gossip and rumors here in Central Florida as the Arnold Palmer Invitational has been held at Bay Hill. With the tournament brought some of the all-time gossip mongers, namely the American and European golf literati. This year, they were accompanied by every Japanese journalist and photographer who knew the difference between the club head and grip.

Here are a few of the better rumors that made the rounds. Some have credence while others need a Credence Clearwater Revival.

It was pretty much agreed that the Skins Game, that Thanksgiving weekend staple is about to bite the dust. It’s about time. This show has been on life support for an inhumane amount of time. It’s become dull at best.

Who is to blame? This time it’s the players. When this show actually captured the imagination, the thought of a golfer actually winning a million dollars for playing 36 holes was incredible. Today, it’s ho hum stuff. Moreover, somewhere along the way, the players forgot that the main thrust of the Skins Game was to entertain the viewers.

To this end, the producers of the show made sure that Chi Chi Rodriguez, Lee Trevino and Fuzzy Zoeller were in the mix. The golf seemed secondary as the golfers heckled each other and even took shots at themselves.

As the players aged, the one-time kickoff to the Silly Season became somber as the quest for the dollar heightened. The closest this program approached charisma was the inclusion of Fred Couples, the King of the Silly Season.

Fred’s a nice enough guy, but charismatic? Sorry, you lose me there. Current producers say it might be saved by a change in format. Try Robin Williams, George Lopez and Bill Murray, but keep the camera on the latter because he can turn quite dour in a heartbeat.

People were wondering if Vijay Singh might have come back too soon after arthroscopic knee surgery. On Wednesday, it was announced that Singh would be a “Game Time” decision at Bay Hill as he’s trying to come back after a couple of weeks recovery.

Of course the media has been traumatized by the length of Tiger Woods’ recovery. Let’s get one thing straight. In no way do the media rely on Singh as they do Woods. Although, it’s a case of choosing your poison.

With Singh, you’ll get an overdose of surliness. While Woods has mastered the art of speaking a lot of words and not saying anything that could be construed in any way as being a) insightful, or b) interesting. However, having said this, if Tiger burps it will be discussed for days.

The truth is, through sheer stubbornness alone, Singh will be out there. BTW, he was a starter and was hovering around the cut line early Friday afternoon.

Guess who didn’t just leave the William Morris Agency? That’s right, Michelle Wie and her parents from hell (PFH)

Word has it; the Morris Agency fired Wie when the family decided not to sign a series of one-year contracts, standard operating procedure.

The Family Wie chose the Morris Agency when Michelle turned pro at age 16. Evidently, the envisioned her as movie/TV star as well as a golfer. The next three years were a living hell. Three advisors from the Morrison Agency couldn’t take it for more than a year and begged off the account.

What will be interesting is the future relationship between the PFH and the dictatorial IMG. Trust me. IMG doesn’t fool around. In the end it’s their way or the highway. Stay tuned for this ongoing saga.


If you’re touring Australia in the next few months, don’t mention that you’re a Tiger fan. In order to fulfill his $3 million appearance fee for the Australian Masters, taxes had to be raised.

That should be a lucrative trip for Tiger later this year. He’ll get his three mill for the HSBC Championship appearance money, plus Australia. You can bet the odds are pretty good that he’ll get a golf course design contract for the usual $20 million on this trip as well.

Bartender, please give everyone a refill and give the tab to Tiger. I think he can afford it.

See you on the first tee,


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