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Jeff Rude

Stories by Jeff

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Rude: Fox's Buck says fans will be 'blown away'

Joe Buck says people will “totally be blown away” by Fox Sports' golf coverage as Greg Norman, Buck’s sidekick in the tower, gives the impression he will be provocative and a coordinating producer touts the network's tech thinking.

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Rude: Augusta National should Bubba-proof course

Senior writer Jeff Rude believes Augusta National should Bubba-proof the golf course, just as it did for Tiger Woods.

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Bubba falters, opens the gates to wild Masters Sunday

Bubba Watson failed to put his foot on the collective throats of his Masters competition, letting back in the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. We're in for a wild ride on Sunday at Augusta National.

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Watson mixes, matches way to Masters lead

Four of Masters leader Bubba Watson’s six birdies Friday at Augusta National came from 4 feet and in, a testament to his length and short-iron accuracy -- as well as a willingness to mix up his approach.

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Wobbly wedge play leads Phil Mickelson to 4-over 76

Phil Mickelson shot 76, one off his high in 21 previous Masters. He made a short-game triple bogey on a hole (No. 7) where he had never made worse than bogey. He made a double bogey at 15, where his third shot spun back into the pond.

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He's back? Injury-prone Oosthuizen fires 69

Only hours after tweaking his bad back, Louis Oosthuizen feared that he wouldn't be able to tee it up Thursday. But the South African woke up feeling fine and managed to post a 3-under 69 and sit one shot off the lead.

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What's weirder: No Tiger, or would-be mystery?

Phil Mickelson said it was “weird” without Tiger Woods on the Augusta National premises this week. One can only imagine what a long, strange trip it could have been if Woods had postponed back surgery and tried to play the Masters.

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Fowler opens Mickelson's eyes in Masters practice

Rickie Fowler has shined during practice at Augusta National for the 2014 Masters -- but he insists his T-6 in Houston is more telling.

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Mickelson says Augusta National "frees" him up

Phil Mickelson is scuffling a bit coming into the Masters, but there is something about the landscape here at Augusta National that makes him feel that he can accomplish anything.

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Masters defense, and bugs, on Scott's plate

Yes, Adam Scott is serving up bugs -- fancy that -- at the Champions' Dinner at Augusta National. But his important jobs this week are to chase the World No. 1 ranking and the title of back-to-back Masters winner.

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McIlroy finds a spark, fires 65 in Houston

Rory McIlroy said he needed a spark prior to the Masters and he found it on Sunday, firing a 7-under 65 to vault into the top 10 at the Shell Houston Open.

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5 Things: Kuchar smiles; Stefani stays course; more

Matt Kuchar was all smiles Saturday while opening a four-shot lead; Shawn Stefani stuck to his guns while seeking Tour status; plus more in 5 Things to know from Saturday's third round of the Shell Houston Open.

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Notes: Harrington's grip; Mickelson's feel; more

Padraig Harrington lets a group play through as he copes with an injured finger while Phil Mickelson finds his feel and Steve Stricker talks about his new equipment halfway through the Shell Houston Open.

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Rude: Experts like Woods' chances after surgery

The fact that Tiger Woods didn’t defer surgery until after the Masters probably means a couple of things: He’s more interested in long-term health than next week and he wasn’t ready for Augusta National.

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Like Arnie, Balicki always made time for people

You couldn’t find a college hotshot or coach over the past three decades who didn’t enjoy, trust and respect the understated Ron Balicki, who died Tuesday at age 65 -- and belonged in the Nice Person Hall of Fame.

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Now playing: The Hall Of Very Good

Our Jeff Rude recognizes that some of the World Golf HOF inductees of recent years have been criticized, most worthy of the "Hall of Very Good." Here's his initial class in his new HOF, complete with major winners and some of the best amateur players.

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Rude: Scott will try to 'put foot down early' Sunday

Optimists would view Adam Scott's three-shot advantage at Bay Hill as half full, not half empty, and so does Scott. “It’s a really good spot to be in,” the affable Australian said after three rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Fighting flu, Scott ties record with 62 at Bay Hill

Suffering from mild flu symptoms, Adam Scott tied the tournament record with a 10-under 62 Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Tiger has bulging disk in back, source says

Tiger Woods has been diagnosed with a bulging back disk and won’t need surgery, someone with knowledge of his condition said Thursday.

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Back specialist says Tiger can be ready for Masters

Tiger Woods can be ready for the Masters (April 10-13) with the proper treatment on his spasming back, Dr. Alfred O. Bonati, founder of the Bonati Spine Institute in Hudson, Fla., said Wednesday.

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Fatigued, Stenson keeps exotic sense of humor

Even when explaining how fatigue has contributed to his slow start this year, Henrik Stenson maintains a sense of humor from homebuilding delays to pesky critters to peskier cellphone ringtones.

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Tiger showing weakness with health, Sunday setbacks

Another Sunday setback for Tiger Woods at Doral, whose health – and road to Augusta – is in disarray.

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Rude: Reed thinking on his feet about Masters

Patrick Reed, with college and family ties to Augusta, Ga., can't avoid dreams of the Masters while playing this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. -- including a barefoot vision.

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Calcavecchia WDs at Valspar, citing illness

A pale-looking Mark Calcavecchia, 53, withdrew from the Valspar Championship after a front-nine 40 in the final round because of a virus.

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Rude: Slow-play controversy surrounds Na again

While Robert Garrigus' caddie insists the slow play of Kevin Na got his player out of rhythm, Garrigus aid Saturday that Na had gotten a lot better, even after both players were put on the clock at the Valspar Championship.

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John Daly cards 90 at Valspar Championship

John Daly fired an 81 in the second round of last year's Tampa Bay Championship. Friday, Daly's second-round misfortune at Innisbrook's Copperhead Course continued with a 90.

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Rude: Reed indeed headed toward top 5

Patrick Reed says he feels like he’s a top-five golfer in the world. He’ll likely get there, given his confidence, complete game and closer’s mentality.

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Rude: Putter lifts Tiger to 66 at Doral

During Saturday's 66 at Doral, Tiger Woods putted like it was 1999, or 2000 -- or pick a calendar year in which he seemed to consistently roll the ball in from hither and yon -- to climb into contention at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

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Having to 'grind it out,' Tiger in contention behind 73

In a wild and windy Day 2 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Tiger Woods’ performance had remarkable moments both good and bad – but enough of the former to keep him in contention at Doral.

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Woods 2 over at WGC-Cadillac; back 'a lot better'

While his back felt much better, Tiger Woods played 10 holes in 2 over par before play was halted due to darkness Thursday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

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Rude: Woods just needs to finish, build confidence

A more realistic goal for Tiger Woods this week than the WGC-Cadillac Championship trophy at Doral would seem to be health and confidence going into next month's Masters at Augusta.

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Elkington stumbles into another social-media mess

Our Jeff Rude comments on Steve Elkington's unfortunate Twitter posts on NFL prospect Michael Sam, while also reading between the lines on Sergio Garcia's claim on conceding a long putt at the Ryder Cup.

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Rude: Garcia should be applauded for concession

While some might say Sergio Garcia's shocking concession on the seventh hole showed a lack of competitive spirit, our Jeff Rude says it is a sign the Spaniard is maturing.

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Rude: Day, English show smarts at Match Play

The mental part of the game again was on conspicuous display in, among other WGC-Accenture Match Play second-round matches, a couple that went extra holes and were claimed by young stars Jason Day and Harris English.

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McDowell: 'Very fortunate to have escaped' at Match Play

Graeme McDowell went from a "somber situation" early in his round to a date with Hideki Matsuyama in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, proving that anything can happen in golf.

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Bubba Watson confident heading into Match Play

Bubba Golf is back in vogue. Bomb it, find it, wedge it, putt it. Bubba Watson finds himself high on the current Hot Golfer List, having won the Northern Trust Open on Sunday and finished second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in his last two PGA Tour starts.

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Hal Sutton suffers mild heart attack

Champions Tour player Hal Sutton suffered a mild heart attack and withdrew during the first round of the ACE Group Classic.

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Rude: Floyd tapped for focus to regain Ryder Cup

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson’s pick of four-time major champion Raymond Floyd as an assistant shows Watson means business and is serious about winning -- and likes likes tough guys.

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Bigger and (sometimes) better: Woods, golf holes, more

Tiger Woods is muscled up; an initiative to grow golf wants the hole sized up; Bernhard Langer's Champions Tour wins are piling up; that and more from senior writer Jeff Rude.

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Rude: Zach Johnson sticks to strengths

At 5-11, 160 pounds, Zach Johnson doesn’t look like much. Any NFL lineman could pick him up with one hand; he passes for an insurance salesman. But put him on a golf course and he’s a bully.

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Reed after Humana win: Goal is 'multi-win years'

Patrick Reed was in the middle of his post-victory news conference at the Humana Challenge when a woman handed him an old-style cellphone and said former President Bill Clinton was on the line. Call it a perk of success.

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Mickelson heading to Honda Classic

Phil Mickelson is skipping the last two PGA Tour events out west – the WGC Accenture Match Play and Northern Trust Open – because of his kids’ spring breaks -- to offset that, he’s adding the Honda Classic in Florida.

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Rude: Too early to critique Woods

if this were May and there was a trend of sloppiness, there would be reason for concern about Tiger Woods. But it isn’t, so we can all take a breath.

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From the Shark to a tank, Rude's thoughts on Show

From Greg Norman to Graeme McDowell to Callaway's tank on the floor, Jeff Rude's random thoughts after roaming the floor of the PGA Merchandise Show.

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Watson inspires American players as a leader

Davis Love III reflects on his first Ryder Cup, in 1993, and says his captain, eight-time major champion Tom Watson, was “intimidating to me.” Inspiration was another feeling. Love vividly recalls being with U.S. team members in the airport lounge, before they flew to England on the Concorde, when the captain said, “Guys, we’re getting ready to go on a big adventure.”

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Humana Challenge now Reed's tournament to lose

The Humana Challenge has been blessed by perfect weather and conditions. Then Patrick Reed came along and provided almost perfect scores.

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Reed leads Humana; 7 former Bulldogs in top 34

Patrick Reed's second straight 63 gave him a two-shot lead Friday at the Humana Challenge, and he's one of seven former University of Georgia players tied for 34th or better midway through what has been a birdie fest.

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5 Things: Reed leads Humana; Zach close; more

True to form, 19 players shot 66 or better in the first round of the Humana Challenge. As usual, it’s go low or go home. Patrick Reed led the way with a 9-under-par 63.

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Clinton getting back into swing of things at Humana

Bill Clinton hasn't picked up his sticks quite as often over the last few years, but says he intends on fixing that problem in 2014.

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Rude: Hope's era of celebs over at Humana Challenge

For better or for worse, this is not your grandfather’s Bob Hope tournament. That era is gone. Times change and so do tournaments, and perhaps no event has transformed as much as this one, now called the Humana Challenge.

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