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Jeff Babineau

Stories by Jeff

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Commentary: McIlroy shows off Irish grit

Toughness doesn't begin to describe the gutsy effort by Rory McIlroy on Thursday at Atlanta Athletic Club. It was something that he can tell his grandkids about some day.

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PGA: ‘There's a pimple on Miss America’

Two greens are on the mend at the PGA, and the superintendent says 'We felt like our hearts had been ripped out.'

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Woodland's length might be a big PGA advantage

Long-bomber Gary Woodland has enough length to ponder decisions that no one else will consider.

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As McIlroy dominates, a major force looks on

Dave Stockton, winner of the 1976 PGA Championship at Congressional, is a good man for Rory McIlroy's corner.

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Mickelson worth price of admission at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson saw no shortage of Congressional real estate on a less-than-stellar day at the U.S. Open, but he never failed to entertain with his gutsy playing style. Jeff Babineau explains.

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Illinois proves its grit as cold-weather team

Oklahoma State may be the favorite in Stillwater, but Illinois has proved it can't be overlooked.

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At Shadow Creek, seeing is believing

There’s little doubt that esteemed Shadow Creek boasts a higher class of golf clientele than most, Exhibit A being one of its visitors last week, a certain former Washington executive now residing in Crawford, Texas.

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Mickelson gunning for first Wells Fargo win

Phil Mickelson has played the Wells Fargo Championship seven times, has five top 7s, and only once finished worse than 12th.

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In a field of kids, Wood qualifies for Wells Fargo

In a young field, Willie Wood showed some of his old grit by Monday qualifying for the Wells Fargo.

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Win or not, McIlroy to honor Malaysian commitment

Win or lose on Sunday, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has a busy week ahead. He is set to play in the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, and his agent, Chubby Chandler, says his 21-year-old prodigy will be there.

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Commentary: A Couples victory would be one for the ages

Fred Couples knows every corner of Augusta National, so it comes as no surprise that even at 51 and with an ailing back, Boom Boom is near the top of the leaderboard. Jeff Babineau explains.

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Lefty scrambles to opening 70 at Augusta

Phil Mickelson shot 70 Thursday on a day when his ballstriking left him scrambling for par. But as Jeff Babineau writes, Lefty is still right in the mix at Augusta.

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Fleck, 89, returns to Augusta for Par 3 Contest

Jack Fleck, the 1955 U.S. Open champion who will turn 90 later this year, was on the grounds at the Masters for the first time in 45 years.

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25 years later, Nicklaus' victory still magical

Twenty-five years after Jack Nicklaus, then 46, pulled off an improbable victory for his sixth green jacket, the memory still stirs in us.

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1986 Masters: Tiger thought Nicklaus had a ‘pretty cool’ pose

Tiger doesn't remember much about the 1986 Masters, but he thought Jack Nicklaus' pose after draining a putt on No. 17 was "pretty cool."

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1986 Masters: ‘Nobody that old wins the Masters’

Tom McCollister, longtime golf writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote off Jack Nicklaus at the 1986 Masters. Oops.

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1986 Masters: Jackie Nicklaus was cool and calm – until the 15th

Making victory extra sweet for Jack Nicklaus was the fact he was able to share it with his oldest son, Jackie, who was on the bag.

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1986 Masters: Ernie Els' late-night treat

As a teen growing up in South Africa, Ernie Els had strict rules for bedtime: It was lights out by 10 p.m., with few exceptions. Watching the 1986 Masters and Jack Nicklaus' victory was a "special treat."

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Hey, Gary, this is a wrong number

Ian Baker-Finch, one of golf’s nice guys, makes his Champions Tour debut this week in California at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. The winner of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale (1991) basically walked away from competitive golf in his mid-30s when his game left him, but he’s enthused to have a little fun on the Champions Tour while taking a little break from his “day” job as a television analyst with CBS.

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Tebow, Nicklaus pair up at Honda Classic

This year’s Honda Classic is going to need a pretty big Sunday to match the frenzy Tim Tebow brought to Wednesday’s pro-am festivities.

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Compton earns qualifier spot at Riviera

Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient, won his own version of the lottery by qualifying at Riviera, says Jeff Babineau.

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Who can contend at soggy Riviera?

The PGA Tour is in Los Angeles this week for the Northern Trust Open. Here are five things you need to know before the first tee shot is struck:

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5 Things: Who can contend at soggy Riviera?

Jeff Babineau is on the scene at soggy Riviera. Here are five things to watch for in the Northern Trust Open.

The sweet song of Branford

One thing that never amazes me is how golf touches so many people in so many different professions across this life. Visitors to the PGA Show were greeted by some sweet notes played by world-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who is a self-proclaimed golf nut.

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Kuchar enjoys opening of PGA Show week

When he was a high school golfer living just outside Orlando, Matt Kuchar used to join his dad, Peter, borrow some badges from the pro at his club, and visit the PGA Merchandise Show, just a kid walking through hallways filled with golf toys.

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Kuchar looking to back up career year

Matt Kuchar was muddling along during the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, making back-to-back bogeys to slip back to 2 under for the week as the rest of the field ran away from him.

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Honeymoon resumes for Garrigus in Kapalua

Through the years, the huge, undulating greens at Kapalua’s Plantation Course have given first-timers at the PGA Tour’s season-opening event a fair share of fits, and prevented Tournament of Champion rookies from having a great deal of collective success.

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Villegas DQ’d in Hawaii for rules violation

Camilo Villegas has been disqualified at Kapalua after a television viewer notified PGA Tour officials of a rules violation Thursday night.

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Mediate opts for no club deals in 2011

Several players have arrived on the island of Maui this week sporting new equipment deals. Jim Furyk and Camilo Villegas have joined TaylorMade; Tim Clark has become a full-line Titleist ambassador; U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell is now a Srixon man. Others have made changes, too.

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Watson plays as virtual Bubba at Kapalua

Funny scene from Tuesday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Long-hitting Bubba Watson is standing inside a hospitality tent off the first fairway at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, there to help unveil a new game from EA Sports: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters.

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2010 in review: Another magical golf season

Golfweek's top editor, Jeff Babineau, traveled across the world in 2010 and took in plenty of special moments. He reflects on the year that was...

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Tour players give back in Mexico

With all the money thrown around in golf these days, it’s nice to know some players can say thanks and show appreciation that goes beyond the Herculean effort of hoisting one of those oversized cardboard winner’s checks.

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Commentary: McDowell, Mahan shoulder Ryder Cup fate

How intense are the final moments of the Ryder Cup? As Jeff Babineau writes, Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan found out.

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Electric atmosphere on first tee in Wales

There is nothing in golf quite like the scene surrounding the first tee at the Ryder Cup, especially for the singles session.

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Commentary: Cink explodes into Ryder Cup spotlight

Stewart Cink began the Ryder Cup as the man Corey Pavin forgot. Jeff Babineau says it isn’t likely to happen again.

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McIlroy redeems himself in Ryder Cup debut

Rory McIlroy’s long-anticipated Ryder Cup debut is in the books, and his opening match ended better than it started.

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Commentary: Team USA gets inspiration from true patriot

Golf is an individual game, but at the Ryder Cup it’s all about team. As Jeff Babineau writes, the U.S. was inspired by an American hero.

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Commentary: Ryder Cup captain Pavin brings tenacity

Fiery U.S. captain Corey Pavin wants his players to have fun. Oh, and they’d better win, too. Jeff Babineau reports.

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In Wales, the tweet sound of silence

Here at the 38th Ryder Cup, just two hours or so down the M4 from London, where the great Bard himself used to compose such eloquent prose – doing so in passages measuring more than 140 characters at a time – Ryder Cup participants already have been served a deep philosophical question befitting of our times:

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Autism awareness drives Kresge, family

Journeyman pro Cliff Kresge is on a mission to raise funds for something near to his heart: Treating autism. Jeff Babineau reports.

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Wild breaks, good fortune help Hoffman win

Amazing sometimes how little things, or a little break, can so heavily influence a round. Mabe an entire tournament. Who knows? In some cases, possibly an entire career.

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Commentary: Like old times for Woods, Els at TPC Boston

The golf wasn’t their greatest, but as Jeff Babineau writes, it was just like old times for Tiger Woods and Ernie Els on Sunday.

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Commentary: Pavin still searching for Ryder Cup wild cards

With at least 14 names in the mix for the final four Ryder Cup spots, Corey Pavin faces some tough decisions. Jeff Babineau explores some possible selection strategies.

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Streelman’s playoff punch paying off

Amazing how quickly one’s fortunes can change in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Consider Kevin Streelman, for instance.

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Woods gets game back on track at PGA

Tiger Woods didn’t hit it great at Whistling Straits for the 92nd PGA, but his game sure seemed a lot better than it was a week ago.

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Winning first major no easy task

Still think it’s not hard for a young player to sleep on the 54-hole lead at a major championship?

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Commentary: Another major shot for Johnson, McIlroy

Kudos to young Nick Watney for trying to apply a Louis Oosthuizen-style headlock and run away with the 92nd PGA Championship – he will begin Sunday with a nice three-shot cushion.

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Commentary: Woods gains confidence with opening 71

After hitting rock bottom last week, Tiger Woods appeared to turn a corner Thursday at Whistling Straits. As Jeff Babineau writes, it may be one round, but it’s a start.

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Lunde back on Tour, eager for PGA

After grinding it out for seven consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, Bill Lunde had big plans this week back home in Las Vegas.

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Woods still seeking 15th major

Think about when the 2010 schedule was finalized, and we all thought the same thing. Hmmm . . . Augusta, Pebble, St. Andrews . . . we might be going to Whistling Straits with Tiger Woods entertaining Grand Slam possibilities.