So many strange stories this year. Of course, nothing is as weird as this one involving David Letterman, but in the world of golf, this stuff was just plain strange:
There was Retief Goosen's Nissan Open DQ for missing his pro-am tee time (turns out, he got out of town just in time, because it pretty much never stopped raining after that. Thomas Bonk did a nice job covering the Goosen situation.
Goosen had been host of a party for Grey Goose vodka at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday evening. During the party, he told reporters, "I have never really drunk vodka, but I've had a few tonight. Somebody is going to have to drive me home."
The drinks being served at the party were Cosmopolitans and Lemon Drops, both made with vodka.
In a press release passed out at the party, Goosen was quoted as saying, "I have long enjoyed the smooth taste of Grey Goose vodka and am pleased to have the brand join my team of supporters as I play on tour. This will be a lot of fun."
Then we had the USGA clarifying its stance on gender reassignment. "The movement in this direction is inexorable," said David Fay. Oh yeah!
For us architecture junkies, we learned from Tony Cashmore that Cypress Point really is a Seth Raynor design.
Also in the design world, there was the Tour's weird handling of the TPC Avenel redesign, which was delayed and now is reported to be a $24 million job, even though an architect has not been selected. Joe Ogilvie later let it slip in Sports Illustrated that Davis Love has the job, and Joe thinks it is a conflict of interest since Love is on the policy board. Stay tuned...
In February we had Jakartagate, where video pretty conclusively showed Colin Montgomerie bending the rules en route to a key world rankings points boost.
Then we had those slow play antics at Congressional featuring Rory Sabbatini playing half a hole ahead of Ben Crane, and later stories looking at Crane's lethargic pace. Vijay had some fun lines about slow play at the President's Cup:
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, just damned slow, just too slow. It took me it took us 5 1/2 hours to play. Getting up in the morning and playing with them, you know, it's okay when they are hitting the ball, but around the greens it just took forever to play. Towards the end, it took its toll.At the British Open, we were introduced to movable OB, which John Huggan noted was "the first time So it is that this will be the first Open in history to be played on four courses at once — the Old, the New, the Eden and the Himalayas putting course."
Then there were our stars. Phil Mickelson skipping the Tour Championship and now the Mercedes. But he takes the prize with these comments reported here just recently on how he would handle the next Tour TV contract.
But for me, the #1 weirdest story of 2005 remains Tiger's decision to leave after completing play Sunday night at the PGA Championship, with a chance to make a playoff the next day (he missed by two shots). For someone so meticulous in his planning, so intelligent when it comes to how he plays, and quite subtle in the gamesmanship department, it continues to boggle the mind that Tiger passed on the opportunity to be warming up Monday morning, sending a not-so-subtle hint to Phil Mickelson and friends: "I think you are such dogs, I'm just waiting here for the playoff to begin."