Oct 02, 2013 | 12:58 PM

Wedding Drama

Eyebrows raised and tongues wagged this week when Rory McIlroy didn’t attend fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell’s wedding in the Bahamas this past weekend to interior designer Kristin Stape. The official reason is that the talented but struggling lad had to do a Nike photo shoot, but no doubt the real reason had to do with the fact that there were agents from Horizon Sports Management in attendance and it would have been just too uncomfortable for all concerned given the intimate size of the wedding (just about 30 people). After just two years of a five-year contract, McIlroy spilt with Horizon recently to set up his own company to handle his affairs and has begun a legal battle so he doesn’t have to pay Horizon any more than the $6.6 million they have already earned in commission off him. It was McDowell who brought McIlroy into the Horizon fold in October 2011 from Chubby Chandler’s International Sports Management, which had its own share of melodrama. McIlroy and McDowell had a brief falling out in May when McDowell spoke publicly about McIlroy’s issues with Horizon. Chances are McDowell isn’t too concerned with it all as he enjoys his honeymoon before returning to tournament play at the end of the month in Shanghai. “Kristin and I had an amazing weekend,” he wrote on Facebook. “She made me a very happy man.”

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Oct 01, 2013 | 09:49 AM

Bear Balls

Jack Nicklaus has jumped into the golf ball business. Production begins this month on a line of three different models—Nicklaus Black, Blue, and White—geared to the skill levels of golfers (the colors refer to the tees from which better, average, and weaker players traditionally play). The balls, three years in development according to Jack’s specifications, will be produced by Bridgestone. They’ll be available in November but initially only online from Jack's website and through pro shops at Nicklaus-designed courses. A percentage of sales will go to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. And despite Jack’s longtime belief that the golf ball should be “throttled back,” rest assured, these will be full-octane models.

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Sep 30, 2013 | 11:12 AM

Think Pink

Get ready to see a lot of pros in pink starting tomorrow. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means players in the NFL, baseball playoffs, and other sports will be sporting pink gloves, shoes, socks, and more. Same on the golf tours, where pink bags, hats, and umbrellas will be everywhere. You can join in, and help support the cause, by buying pink golf shirts, balls, and bracelets from online retailers like The Ladies Pro Shop and Café Press; golf bags from a number of manufacturers and retailers; and towels (like the ones above) and umbrellas from Devant, which gives a portion of sales to the Virginia Commonwealth Massey Cancer Center in Richmond.

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Sep 27, 2013 | 08:01 AM

Old And Easy?

A few months ago, when the R&A and St. Andrews Links Trust announced they’d be making changes to the Old Course, their hope was to make the course more challenging for the game’s best players. Well, based on the initial returns, not much has happened. In round one of the Dunhill Cup yesterday, three players shot 64 at St. Andrews to share the lead. Collectively, the great triumvirate of Richard McEvoy, Alexandre Kaleka, and Mark Tullo (average World Golf Ranking of 517) posted 24 birdies and an eagle. Kaleka and Tullo each hit all 18 greens, and on the four holes changed most markedly—numbers 2, 9, 11, and 17—the three players were collectively four under par. Yes, the conditions were benign, and yes, time will tell, but at this point it seems time will not be telling the changemakers what they were hoping to hear.

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