Monday Scramble: Fan-atics

Welcome to the Monday Scramble, where we’re keeping Amy Mickelson in our thoughts in prayers, just like everybody else. The outpouring of love and support from players, fans and media for the Mickelson family over the last week has been extraordinary.

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We’d also like to give 1,000 bonus FedEx points to D.A. Points for his class act on the 18th green Sunday at the Byron Nelson. After picking his ball out of the cup, Points – who finished alone in third place, his best PGA Tour finish – waved to the crowd while saying “Hey everybody, thank you! Thanks for coming!”

(If Tiger Woods ever did this, we believe Tim Finchem would give him 10,000 FedEx points and then pass out.)

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OLD YELLERS: Good to see fans finally getting creative behind the ropes on the 18th tees at PGA Tour events.

At the Players Championship, a fan on the 18th tee yelled “Gotta be the pants!” as Ian Poulter’s drive sailed down the fairway.

Yesterday at the Byron Nelson, a fan screamed “You’re on my fantasy team!” as champion Rory Sabbatini’s drive flew away.

Earlier in the year, a fan at Doral yelled “Get in the water!” as Phil Mickelson’s drive left the clubface – and though it was certainly ill-mannered and anti-golf, it was at least not “You-da-man!” or “Get in the hole!” – both chants as tired as Chris Riley at a Ryder Cup.

Accordingly, we here at the Scramble have put together a list of 18th-tee hallelujahs you might be able to use at your next tournament:

• “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

• “Land on the right side of the fairway and leave yourself about 140 to the hole for the best approach!”

• “My underwear is uncomfortable!”

• “I drive better blindfolded!”

• “I’m yelling so my friends can hear me on TV!”

• “[Your social security number]!”

• “Sufferin’ succotash!!”

• “I’ve spent the last three days thinking about what I should be saying right now and couldn’t come up with anything!”

• “Peanut butter!”

• “I’m a jackass!”

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HARDLY A COLLEGE TRY: Toledo, Ohio, should be the center of the golf universe this week; one of the best golf tournaments in the world, the NCAA Men’s Championship, will be played there Tuesday through Saturday at Inverness Club.

The fact at least 99.8 percent of golf fans who watched Tiger Woods win last year’s U.S. Open won’t even notice it is bewildering.

Professional golf takes up hours and hours and hours of national television coverage every week and not one hour of this week’s NCAA Championship will be shown on any television.

Holy Toledo.

Of course, we here at the Scramble are biased: Golfweek.com’s college golf coverage is unparalleled.

But CBS announcer Jim Nantz backed us up this week during his speech at the Ben Hogan Award presentation, which was live streamed Friday on Golfweek.com.

“College golf to me is the most undervalued thing that we have in the NCAA today – and I’m very aligned with college basketball and everything,” Nantz said.

It’s funny – when a collegiate or amateur makes noise at a PGA Tour event or major championship, he becomes a big story.

But only if that happens.

Jamie Lovemark shot consecutive 64s to win the NCAA Championship as a freshman two years ago, but he’s much more widely known among golf fans for making a bunch of cuts on Tour. That he broke a rib recently and won’t be playing in this year’s championship will go unnoticed.

We understand that college golf doesn’t generate revenue, and golf tournaments in general cost a lot to cover on television. We know you can’t tailgate a college golf tournament.

But we’re still trying to figure out exactly how it got to the point where regular-season Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour events can find television screens every week, yet the biggest tournament in college golf isn’t good enough for one weekend.

Sure we love watching our NBA Development League games every so often, but c’mon. There has to be at least a few golf nuts in that mass of college football and basketball fans – right?

This week, the NCAA team champion will be decided by match play for the first time in history; the changes were made to stir up some excitement and hopefully, possibly land the tournament on television again someday.

Unfortunately, we know it’s very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks (See: Americans and soccer) and someday is very, very far way.

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CREATE-A-CAPTION: Last week...

photo

Real caption: Colin Montgomerie of Scotland during the final round of The 3 Irish Open at County Louth Golf Club. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Our caption: In stores this Tuesday: “Monty-tation 101” DVD.

Your captions:

“Monty attempts to hide his final round score at the 3 Irish Open!”

– Mark M.

“Damn, I wish these ankle biters would quit winning tournaments!”

– Jeanne S.

“Colin Montgomery is seen here pondering if he has enough energy for the other 2 Irish Opens.”

– Brad M.

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CREATE-A-CAPTION: This week...

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Real caption: James Nitties of Australia yells ‘fore’ on the 1st tee during the fourth and final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. (Photo by Marc Feldman/Getty Images)

Our caption: “My underwear is uncomfortable!”

SEND YOUR CAPTIONS – OR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CONCERNS – TO: mondayscramble@gmail.com.

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