Hate to be Rude: Making a splash

If Tiger Woods saves his marriage, and more signs seem to be hinting at that, the feat might be more remarkable than getting up and down from the pond surrounding the island 17th at TPC Sawgrass (see above).

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Actor Don Cheadle hits a shot at the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

• Latest example that many people don’t seem to know the right mode of communication sometimes: Jim Thorpe was suspended by e-mail.

  To carry out the trend, if I ever get married again I will propose by text, Twitter, carrier pigeon, Morse code or just by hollering across a crowded room.

• Eco-friendly actor Don Cheadle is going green on green, using a recyclable Dixon Earth ball made from reprocessed materials this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

  That is commendable. My less lofty goal is to have a more eco-friendly golf swing and recycle the one decent swing I make a month, thereby lessening turf excavation.

   Another eco-friendly option would be to take two weeks off and then quit.

• The Monterey Peninsula CC Shore Course, redone by Mike Strantz a few years ago, returns to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am this week for the first time since 1977.

  It replaces Poppy Hills in the three-course rotation and offers a treat to PGA Tour players. I had the privilege to play it four years ago and came away thinking it was the third-best course on the peninsula.

  On many tees I looked out and said, “Wow.” On some other tees I looked out and said, “Am I at Cypress Point?”

Spent an hour with Paul Goydos the other day, always an entertaining and thought-provoking experience. A few of his gems:

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Paul Goydos

...On Tiger Woods and himself: “My go-to shot is a cut off the tee; Tiger’s go-to shot is the one in front of him. That’s the difference.”

...On needing to get to know U.S. Ryder Cup team members in his new role as assistant captain: “Tiger doesn’t play at 8:42 a.m. on Sunday very often like I do. Neither does anyone else on the team.”

...On his mixed emotions as a liberal of telling Rush Limbaugh a couple of years ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am event that a bucket cap he tried on was too big: “I told him, ‘I think it’s too big’ and ‘I didn’t think that was possible.’ But when you’re deaf like he is, you don’t get the inflection. So he missed the joke.”

...On his liking of European captain Colin Montgomerie: “I was in a van with him coming in after a fog delay at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He was nothing but cordial. I asked him if he was thinking about playing the AT&T.” Monty expressed interest in playing with fellow Scot Sean Connery. “He told me, ‘You know, James Bond,’ ” Goydos said. “He didn’t think I knew who Sean Connery was.”

...On the Ping Eye2 controversy: “I can’t believe there’s such an uproar over the Ping club. They (weren’t) talking about the 13 Callaway clubs in Phil Mickelson’s bag but the one club he’s not paid to play.” 

  • ’Tis the season for testing patience. Just when I got done getting tired of the Woods scandal, I started getting tired of the grooves dustup.

  Sign me: All Worn Out But Prepared for the Next Controversy.

  • Ended up at a party table the other night with, among others, longtime Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub and Riviera CC president Michael Yamaki. The entertaining Weintraub mentioned to Yamaki that all the tabloid reports of marital strife between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are off-base.

  “It’s made out that they hate each other,” Weintraub said. “They don’t hate each other; they love each other. They were at my house two days ago, and I’m telling you, they love each other.”

   The golf link in this, of couse, is that Weintraub is a longtime member at Royal Dornoch in Scotland, among other clubs, and is one of Tommy Armour III’s few mentors.

   Hey, stretch it when there’s story value.

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Alex Prugh

• Rickie who?

   Tour rookie Alex Prugh enters this week with three consecutive top-10 finishes. He’s 47 under par in those events.

   He comes from a family of college golfers and has this interesting entry in his bio: His hero is Andres Gonzales, a former Nationwide Tour player who was a high school rival in Washington state.

  • My golf hero might be a different Andres. I still can’t believe Andres Romero birdied 10 of 14 holes on a major championship Sunday (2007 British Open) at perhaps the hardest course in the world (Carnoustie).

   Don’t believe that was done before or will ever be done again.

   That’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in golf. But, like everything else, not as incredible as the Cristie Kerr makeover.

  Still think someone’s pulling our leg on that.


  Jeff Rude’s  “I Hate To Be Rude” column appears on Golfweek.com every Wednesday.

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