Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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Golf's obsession with making the simplest things ridiculously difficult was underscored again yesterday -- and it nearly cost the No. 1 golfer in the world a chance to compete in perhaps the most prestigious tournament in the world.
What happened? Per ESPN.com:
Luke Donald avoided disqualification from the Masters on Thursday when it was determined his first-round score was improperly entered in the tournament's scoring system because a fax machine produced a smudged number.
Donald, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, shot 75 in the opening round at Augusta National, but tournament scoreboards had him for a 73 because his score was improperly read after it had been faxed to those recording the scores.
Had Donald really signed for a 73 when shooting a 75, he would have been disqualified. The error occurred at the par-4 fifth hole, where Donald three-putted for a bogey 5 and acknowledged as much after the round. But the score went down as a 3 in the scoring system because officials read it as a 3 -- not the 5 that Donald told them was written on the card.
Could there possibly be a dumber way to record scores in a sport?
Per golf's long-standing tradition, players are required to essentially keep score for themselves. They are beholden to know what score they had on each hole, and their round is not official until they sign their scorecard. Failure to do so -- or signing, accidentally or not, for a score lower than what a golfer actually achieved, has resulted in disqualification in countless tournaments over the years.
While we understand the noble ideas of accountability, fair play and sportsmanship which go into this concept, we've still always found the scorecard rule in golf to be insane. Can you imagine a football game result being overturned because a head coach forgot to put his signature on the final score? Can you imagine NBA players having to keep track of their own point totals? At a tournament like The Masters, it should be the job of an official -- not a player -- to keep track of the score.
But even if we can at least see the principle at play with golf's tradition, how on earth does it make sense to then send the score via FAX MACHINE to someone else, who then records the scores? A fax machine? Seriously? Was it too inconvenient to make a photocopy, seal it up in an envelope and mail it? Did Augusta run out of tin cans connected by strings? This is 2012. Data travels faster than a downhill putt. Even if using such an antiquated type of technology fits the overall philosophy at Augusta National, there absolutely should not be faxing -- thus eliminating the chance that there would be smudges on said faxes.
Seriously, stories like the Donald situation make golf look silly. Until we read something even more ridiculous -- "Carrier pigeon error reverses result of NHL playoff game; Flyers advance" -- golf will be alone in its shame.
But now he has a connection to our great state -- allegedly -- that truly is bizarre.
Per an ESPN.com story on Tiger's former swing coach Hank Haney and his new book coming out (our bold)
The book goes on sale March 27 -- one week before the Masters -- and it already has been getting plenty of attention because of a few sections that raise questions about how Woods injured his leg.
Haney cites Corey Carroll, one of Woods' closest friends at Isleworth, as saying Woods injured his right Achilles tendon doing Olympic-style weightlifting as he returned from reconstructive knee surgery in December 2008.
Haney also tells of a woman who approached him during an outing in Minnesota last year. Her husband was a Navy SEAL in California and told her Woods came in for training in 2007 at a Kill House -- an urban-warfare simulator -- and "got kicked pretty hard in the leg, and I think he hurt his knee pretty bad."
Haney said that matched a story from Carroll, who said Woods revealed to him the complete tear of his left knee ligaments really happened in a Kill House when he had lost his balance and been kicked in the knee.
"My immediate thought upon hearing Corey's account, which so closely paralleled that of the woman in Minneapolis, was that it was true," Haney writes. "And if so, it meant that if Tiger never catches Jack Nicklaus, it will very likely have as much to do with the time and physical capacity he lost as a result of his bizarre Navy SEALs adventure as anything else."
So a woman in Minneapolis corroborated a story about Woods being injured during Navy SEAL training in California? Yeah, that sounds about right.
*Outstate Golf Course of the Week: Typically, the Clearance Clarence Outstate Golf Course of the Week features an offbeat golf course located somewhere in rural Minnesota. Unfortunately, it is winter in Minnesota and all of our golf courses are closed. Last week I traveled to Ixtapa, Mexico for vacation and played their beautiful Campo de Golf course. There really are no rules to this whole Clearance Clarence thing, so even though it’s located approximately 2,000 miles south of Minnesota, let’s make Campo de Golf our official Outstate Golf Course of the Week:
PGA Tour winner Ben Crane, 35, has made more than $15 million in his golf career, but the thing a lot of you know him for is his propensity to make strange and hilarious videos. The first one -- his workout video -- came out a little more than a year ago and has more than 800,000 views. Perhaps his most famous was the "Golf Boys" video with fellow golfers Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler. It has nearly 3 million views. Yesterday, a publicist e-mailed us to let us know his latest video -- featuring Crane doing gymnastics, embedded below -- had just been released. It's another hit -- and it's for a good cause, as Farmers will donate money to charity based on the number of page views. In any event, we asked asked the publicist if we might talk to Crane. Later that day, he gave us a call. Here we go:
RandBall: I’ve been a fan of those videos you do since you started putting them out. First off, the one you just put out – the gymnastics one: Where did that specific idea come from?
Ben Crane: We were just in Palm Springs a while ago, and we saw a gymnastics studio. We thought, ‘Oh my gosh, there are so many great stunts you can do there.’ It just seemed like a really good place to start.
RB: How do the other tour players react to the videos?
BC: The players like them. The caddies seem to have a good laugh about it. It’s been fun. Guys are always asking when the next one is coming out.
RB: Do you shoot a bunch of them at once?
BC: We try to shoot about three or four at a time. This one, we actually shot almost a year ago. So we have a few more in the hopper, and we’re launching them slowly. This is one we just came back to. I’ll have friends look at it on my computer. And if they start laughing, you go, ‘Hey, maybe it’s pretty good.’
RB: I’m a little bit of a jumpsuit enthusiast myself. Would you describe that red suit you always wear in the videos as a jumpsuit with shorts, or how would you characterize it?
BC: It’s almost like a wetsuit … it was all bought at Goodwill for the price of $5 or 10.
RB: You bought that red suit at Goodwill? That’s a serious find, right there.
BC: Yeah, no doubt. That’s what we said – look at this beautiful wetsuit. It immediately made the lineup.
RB: For some reason, the helmet always cracks me up. Why the helmet?
BC: Well, safety first, kids. Keep it safe.
RB: Who did the choreography on the Golf Boys video?
BC: My friend Ty Andre was one of the creators. We were picking up the guys together, and we started collaborating. Ty made up some of the moves, and they just kind of went with it. It took us a long time to learn a few simple moves, but we hung in there because we’re such great athletes, and we got it done.
RB: Do you have a favorite in all of these you put out?
BC: My favorite still is the workout video. It was the very first, and it just came off in a way that really struck me funny. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard trying to put those lines together. I don’t even know what they mean to this day, but that’s the one that’s dearest to my heart. … We just kind of make it up as we go.
RB: How much time do you spend on these videos vs. working on your golf game?
BC: I probably spend less than a week a year making videos. Everyone can rest assured that I’m spending 51 weeks on my golf game and 1 on my videos.
RB: Your third child was born in October, a day after your most recent tour win. Will three kids put a damper on any future video production?
BC: Actually, the kids have been somewhat of the driving force behind making sure the videos keep going. They have them on their little iPads, and they’re pulling them up and watching them. Their friends like watching them, too. They don’t totally get the humor, so they like the visual things like the gymnastics and falling over on roller skates.
RB: Last thing – you’re from Portland. Could the hit show “Portlandia” ever get you on the show? It’s a funny show, and you’re a funny guy.
BC: You know, I’ve seen a couple of clips from that show. It’s pretty cool. I think it’s fun. The one thing I won’t do is that I won’t rule anything out. You never know. Sometimes you think, "That’s not a good idea," and then you think, "Wait, that’s a REALLY GOOD idea."
A male spectator ran onto a green shouting Tiger Woods' name and then threw a hot dog at him Sunday during the final round of the Frys.com Open in Northern California.
The unidentified person was quickly subdued and Woods was not in any danger. In fact, within a minute, he had settled back over the putt he was attempting.
"I looked up and the hot dog was in the air," Woods said of the incident that occurred on the seventh hole, his 16th of the day. "(The fan) wanted to be in the news. I guess he is now."
The tournament's director of security, Dan Diggins, would not disclose the person's name. "He's just an idiot," Diggins said. He added the 31-year-old man didn't get within 40 feet of Woods, who was finishing up the Frys.com Open with a final-round 68.
Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County police department said the 31-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor. He was escorted from the property.
Cardoza said only that the man was from Santa Rosa.
"He was very cooperative," Cardoza said. "They said, 'Why did you do this?' He just shook his head in guilt or remorse. He didn't give a reason why he did it."
THIS IS A CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT.
Cardoza said the man was 31 and from Santa Rosa, only to cover for the fact that he was really a little bit older and from Dakota County. Fess up, Clarence. It will just be our little secret.