Flashback By Unpopular Demand: Charlie Beljan's Brief Life On Twitter

I really didn't want to bring up Charlie Beljan's brief time on Twitter, considering the poor lad was breaking down Friday and suffered the indignity of a carting off the Disney property by government health care workers, but Twitterers have been passing the link around.

So here goes, Children's Miracle Network Classic winner Beljan's infamous comments about the President and even worse in my view, vitriol directed toward an innocent PGA Tour fan of his who works in Penn State athletics.

Eventually--well in about two hours time--Ponte Vedra SWAT (or more likely his agent) moved in to convince Beljan to delete his Twitter account.

Flashback: HSBC Dude Was For Appearance Fees Before He Was Against Them

What's funny about HSBC's Giles Morgan lamenting Tiger and Rory's absence from his WGC event this week in China?

That Rory and Tiger committed (extremely) early to HSBC's January event in Abu Dhabi where they are undoubtedly receiving huge appearance fees? No.

That the Morgan has 13 of the top 20 in the world at the HSBC, and is unhappy, even though a field like that will make it one of the strongest fields of the year?

No, downright LOL funny: speaking on behalf of sponsors who are concerned about star players not teeing up every single week, Morgan apparently forgot that back in January he praised the very thing that is undermining his event this week.

Speaking to Bob Harig in his look at the role of appearance fees, Morgan was defensive about the notion of appearance fees "commercial arrangements" with some players:

"The commercial arrangements we have with some of the players is long seated,'' said Giles Morgan, group head of sponsorship for HSBC, which is in the second year of a five-year contract to sponsor this tournament. It also sponsors the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, as well as several other tournaments.

"Golf is a product and golf is a product particularly in new markets. And you have to ensure that the players are able to showcase what the sport is to the broader public. We are trying to take this sport to a new audience, which means that commercial arrangements are much more likely.''

Of course, such "commercial arrangements" are not allowed at a PGA Tour sanctioned event like the HSBC Champions.

HSBC Suit Slams Tiger And Rory For No-Show, Claims To Speak On Behalf Of "The Industry"

James Corrigan with a nice unleashing of misery by Giles Morgan, "group head of sponsorship" at HSBC, who sponsors the soulless $7 million WGC event this week in China.

“On one hand we are delighted to have 13 of the world’s top 20 here, but of course we’re disappointed not to have the two top players in the world,” said Morgan. “Both have sent me apologies but this is an event which should be regarded by all players as it is by the tours and the media as one of the top events in the world.

Well that was thoughtful of them!

This next part was interesting. Especially if you set it to some particularly depressing Schubert's Ave Maria.

“Therefore I feel strongly that the top players should be here. I believe that golfers have a responsibility to their sponsors. Without the sponsors there isn’t professional golf. I speak on behalf of the industry.”

Speaking of thoughtful...

Morgan has been contacted by other sponsors who share his concerns that they will not be able to justify the huge outlays without the top names. “I feel very strongly, as I know a number of sponsors do particularly, in a downturn, particularly when there are financial difficulties around the world, that golf cannot be immune either,” he said.

I hate to break it to the sponsors, but with Commissioner Growth Is My Mantra's "calendar year" schedule, no downtime, and plenty of folks willing to pay appearance fees, the stars will not play more less and will gear their schedule around who pays. I think they call this market forces, no?

Golf Channel Pausing Big Break Greenbrier Reruns To Re-Air The Best Of Tommy Gainey On Big Break IV & VII

Not to worry, the infomercials for Tommie Copper (hosted by Montel Williams!) and Total Gym Challenge (with Chuck and Christie!) will air in their traditional Tuesday time slots. Your DVR season passes or well-planned afternoon siestas remain intact.

However, Big Break Greenbrier reruns will be tabled to bring back PGA Tour winner Tommy Gainey's appearances on the fourth and seventh editions.

I know you've all seen these, but just in case you forgot, the recap:

Tuesday
4-5 p.m. ET – Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe (Episode six)– The fourth installment of Golf Channel’s reality competition series pitted teams of six golfers representing the United States and Europe.  In this episode, the contestants take a surprise field trip to the home of golf – St. Andrews – with challenges including hitting out of the infamous “Road Hole Bunker” on the 17th hole and putting out of the “Valley of Sin” on the 18th hole.  The episode also includes one of the more dramatic elimination challenges in series history on the 18th hole, when Tommy Gainey executed an unconventional bogey that featured a ricochet off of a van and a complete miss from the rough to stay alive on the series before ultimately being eliminated in a sudden-death playoff.  Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe was filmed at Carnoustie Golf Links and aired on Golf Channel in 2005.
 
5-6 p.m. ET – Big Break VII: Reunion (Finale) – The seventh installment of Golf Channel’s reality competition series featured the first-ever reunion show, bringing back 16 competitors from the series’ first six seasons.  The finale of Big Break VII: Reunion featured Tommy Gainey defeating Ashley Gomes in a nine-hole match to be crowned series champion and the recipient of a tournament exemption to the 2007 Cox Classic, $70,000 in cash and prizes and a new Chrysler Aspen.  Big Break VII: Reunion was filmed at Reunion Resort near Orlando, Fla., and aired on Golf Channel in 2007.

"Tommy is such a good boy and for somebody to come from a small town like Bishopville, be a little unorthodox, never went to college and win on the PGA Tour? How hard do you think that is?"

From Doug Ferguson's game story on the course-record-60-shooting Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey breathing life into the McGladrey Classic, which feels like a fall version of the Tavistock Cup only with much smaller galleries.

"Oh, man," Gainey said. "I tell you, you're out here on the PGA Tour. You're playing with the best players in the world. Ninety-nine percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, big tournaments. The only show I can say I've won is the `Big Break.' Now I can sit here and say I've won the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, and I'm very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win. And wow, it's been a whirlwind day.

Tim Rosaforte does a nice job capturing the Gainey backstory beyond the Dexter Morgan two black glove look, including this from Tommy Sr.:

During the two-and-a-half-hour wait between when Gainey posted his 60 and Furyk, Tommy Sr. and Tommy Jr. talked on the phone. When Toms hit a drive, Tommy Jr. could hear Tommy Sr. rooting it into a fairway bunker.

"He said, 'Dad, you can't pull against these guys," Gainey Sr. said. "I said, 'Tommy, those three guys they have everything, they're Hall of Famers."

When it was over, Tommy Sr. headed back to his house in Bishopville so his wife, Judy, could punch the clock for the graveyard shift at the wood plant. He took early retirement when he was 57 but now, at 65, he does consulting work for A.O. Smith, the factory where Tommy Jr. worked as a teenager wrapping insulation around water heaters for $8.25 an hour.

The miniscule PGA Tour highlight package that would look so much better on YouTube:

Golf's Unsolved Mysteries Files: Why Does John Daly Keep Getting Sponsor Invites?

After his 63-86 in Las Vegas, the inevitable questions arose in the local papers that John Daly had given up during his round, prompting John Strege to solve a golf riddle right up there with why does anyone watch The Big Break?

Daly was nine shots better on Sunday, though a 77 is more fodder for the argument that he doesn't warrant the sponsor exemptions that continue unabated. The attraction is what, bad golf or bad behavior? He has finished in the top 10 only twice in the last seven years and has withdrawn from tournaments 12 times in the same period, while playing almost exclusively on the benevolence of sponsors.

Shriners Cut Ties With Timberlake In Less Than Classy Fashion

Steve Carp on an unseamly ending to the relationship between Shriners Hospital and Justin Timberlake on the eve of this year's PGA Tour stop in Las Vegas.

The event chairman, tournament chairman Raoul Frevel, who probably a few chilly calls from Ponte Vedra over these remarks. And deservedly so.

"We're a world-class organization," Frevel said. "At the time we got involved with golf, we were told by the Tour we needed a big name, and that's how our relationship with Justin came about.

"Justin's a wonderful person. But we tried everything we could to get him more involved with our kids and the hospitals. But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren't on, he disappeared."

I'm not sure if Las Vegas is just spoiled by all of the celebrities or the parties involved just don't like Timberlake, but I noted last year after visiting the event how impressed I was with Timberlake's energy during the Wednesday pro-am, but that didn't stop some pretty tough criticism in the Las Vegas press. Apparently these events never saw how tour stops went with Andy Williams and Glen Campbell who couldn't put on the kind of fundraising concert that Timberlake did in Vegas.

They also have the tour's best tournament logo.

Tour Championship Sunday Overnight: 2.2, Up 57%

Overnight Nielsen ratings for the Tour Championship: 2.2 Saturday (up 100%!) and 2.2. Sunday. It was the best Sunday for the TC since 2009 (3.3), and stands as the 3rd best TC final round overnight in ResetCup history (since 2007/3.3).

NBC drew a strong 4.0 for Notre Dame-Michigan (maybe thanks in part to golf's improved lead-in?) and a second-best ever 14.3 for Sunday night's New England-Baltimore NFL game.

Snedeker: “That’s all I needed.”

The AJC's Steve Hummer with Brandt Snedeker's emotional Saturday winning $11 million in the Tour Championship/ResetCup but starting the day with a trip 11 miles away to the Shepherd Rehabilitation Center to visit the badly injured Tucker Anderson, son of his instructor Todd.

Only natural the subject of the Tour Championship would arise.

So, Tucker, you think I can beat Rory today?

Tucker Anderson had been involved in a near fatal car accident in Florida two weeks ago and was transferred to the Shepherd Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury. The teen can’t speak yet. But as Snedeker relayed later, Tucker answered him with a wink.

“That’s all I needed,” Snedeker said.

C’mon, how you gonna beat that?

Bob Harig feels Snedeker's clean victory in the Tour Championship made his ResetCup win better too because the algorithms stayed out of the affair. Those poor calculability codes and rolled up Oxfords in PVB that couldn't bring the attention off the golfers and onto the suits!

The fact that Snedeker won the Tour Championship by 3 shots over Justin Rose and kept the typically contrived and confusing points scenarios to a minimum makes for a nice bow on that FedEx package.
Even Rory McIlroy, who finished second to Snedeker in the final FedEx standings despite two playoff victories, a major championship and a total of four wins this year (to Snedeker's two), was left to give a golf clap to Snedeker while having to "settle'' for his $3 million bonus.

"I'm a little disappointed, but at the same time, Brandt really deserves to win," McIlroy said. "If you look at his stats the whole way [throughout] the week, he played the best golf out of anyone. He knew what he needed to do. He needed to come in here and win. He controlled his own destiny, just like I did, and he was able to come and do that. Because of that, he really deserves it."

Rob Matre posts a lovely album of final day shots and also this awesome shot of Snedeker making a key putt.

Snedeker's entire post round interview transcript.

For those of you counting at home, the aggregate scoring concept for the Playoffs would have finished this way:

Rory McIlroy, 41 under (-1) -42   
Dustin Johnson, 36 under (-1) -37  
   

Tiger Woods, 34 under (-2) -36
Brandt Snedeker, 25 under (-10) -35
Ryan Moore, 24 under (-6) -30
Phil Mickelson, 31 under (+1) -30
Louis Oosthuizen, 34 under (+7) -27

And for those of you favoring the "Plus One" concept endorsed by Brandel Chamblee and Johnny Miller last week, that means the final foursome after the Tour Championship play would have been McIlroy, Woods, Johnson and Snedeker, playing either one round or 36 for the $10 million prize.

Now that's one reset I'd love to see!

ESPN's Sportscenter highlight package:

Tour Championship Final Round Open Comment Thread

It's the day we've all been waiting for, the last PGA Tour round before the Ryder Cup!

I'm sure the algorithms will work themselves out and at some point there will be a chance for a statistical tie, forcing NBC's Steve Sands to hit the white board. Goosebumps just thinking about those permutations and data matrixes.

Your tee times here. The leaders go at 1:50 ET.

Snedeker's 64 Is His Best Ryder Cup Practice Round Yet!

I tried to watch some of the Tour Championship today but with playoff chases in baseball, some decent college football games and those Web.com Tour-sized galleries splattered amidst that distance-diffusing East Lake setup (a 16-yard wide landing area?), the ResetCup was relegated to a distant third on my priority viewing list.

Even then, I tended to land on a commercial break whenever I flipped over.

The Ryder Cup can't come soon enough.

Because as Mark Lamport-Stokes reports, Captain Davis Love's selection Brandt Snedeker is playing super heading into the Ryder Cup and even has a chance to win $10 million Sunday.

Snedeker described his third-round 64 in breezy conditions on a fast-running layout as one of his best displays this year and he has targeted something similar for Sunday.

"I actually won't look at the leaderboard all day," he said with a smile.

Don't worry Brandt, all you'd miss are a lot of ads and recognitions of the host pro, The First Tee and high fructose-laden corn syrup soda pop.

"My goal tomorrow is to shoot as low as I possibly can. If that's 63, it's 63. If it's 72, it's 72.

"Whatever it is, it's going to be everything I've got on that golf course tomorrow. The biggest thing tomorrow is going to be how patient you can stay because this golf course eats guys up that don't stay patient."

Or find those under-20 yard wide strips called fairways!

The PGA Tour's highlights:

For fans of Gary Van Sickle's proposed aggregate stroke play for the playoffs, I've updated the scores of the only remaining contenders based on Jim McCabe's item from after the BMW Championship. So here are the scores heading in, with this week's scores in parentheses and the overall total. As it should be, Rory McIlroy has opened a commanding lead. It wouldn't make for exciting viewing but it would also be a win free of resets and based on a playoff consistency.

Rory McIlroy, 41 under (-5) -46    

Tiger Woods, 34 under (-4) -38

Dustin Johnson, 36 under (-1) -37 
  
Louis Oosthuizen, 34 under (E) -34 

Brandt Snedeker, 25 under (-8) -33

Ryan Moore, 24 under (-6) -30

Phil Mickelson, 31 under (+2) -29

Oh and Luke Donald hit a super second shot at 14 Saturday, thankfully posted on YouTube so we can see it:

Tour Championship Third Round Open Comment Thread

What is there to say? Oh I know...over/under on first Steve Sands session with the RussertBoard to tell us of a scenario that might happen, only to have that scenario wiped out by a birdie by the 10th place player?

Golf Channel has early coverage until 2 p.m. ET, then NBC picks up the coverage.

I'll go with 2:17 ET as the over/under. Place your bets!

Tee times.

Live online coverage here.

Jack To Shark: “Quiet Greg, quiet. Down boy."

Thanks to reader Lloyd who saw GolfChannel.com's post on Jack Nicklaus' radio interview with Washington D.C.'s ESPN 980 that covered a variety of topics, including Greg Norman's assertion that Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory McIlroy.

The full transcript is here:

“Quiet Greg, quiet. Down boy. I think Tiger had a pretty darn good year this year. It’s the first time he has gotten himself back into contention in the majors, he didn’t finish them and I think by his own admission he said he had a hard time finishing them. That’s like anything else. He had a pretty big event in his life that changed a lot of things and he has to learn how to go back and play again. I think he’s learned how to play again, now he has to learn how to finish again. I think Tiger has a lot of wins left in him. He does have a lot more competition. During the couple of years when Tiger wasn’t really there all of the sudden you have Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and I could probably name a half dozen other guys that have all won and learned how to win in Tiger’s absence. They’re not scared of him anymore. Before Tiger just showed up coming down the stretch and everybody said ‘oh there’s Tiger and I wilt.’ They don’t do that anymore. Tiger’s got his work cut out for him but I don’t think Tiger is by any means finished. I just think Tiger is too good of an athlete and too good of a player.”

John Strege reminds us that Norman's jab may be a result of an ego clash dating back to the early years of Bill Clinton's second term.

Whatever Norman's reasons for his latest analysis of Woods, it is an extension of a clash of egos that dates to 1996 and effectively ended a relationship that had begun five years earlier, when Woods was 15. Tiger was in Florida for a junior tournament, when an arrangement was made for the two to play golf together at Bay Hill Club in Orlando.