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Mar 20, 2013 | 09:33 AM

Ryder Cup: Let Them “Earn” It

Tom Watson, who will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team at the 2014 matches at Gleneagles, Scotland, wants his team to be hungry. So to get America’s best ready to wrest the cup back from the Euros, he’s turning up the pressure on those hoping to make the team by reducing the number of captain’s picks. Watson will make only three picks for the ’14 team, down from four the last three matches, and take the top nine on the points list. “Giving our players one more opportunity to earn a spot on merit, I believe, is the right thing to do,” he said through the PGA of America. Players begin amassing Ryder Cup points at this year's Masters, and receive double points for the four major championships in 2014.

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Mar 19, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Orange Crush

Somewhere, Jerry Pate is smiling. The orange golf ball is back. Last week at the LPGA’s RR Donnelly Founders Cup, 10 players teed up the four-piece Volvik Vista iV, with Jee Young Lee finishing T4 and Lindsey Wright T8. Volvik has been around since 1989 (if you’ve ever come across one of those shimmery Crystal balls, you've seen a Volvik) and last year the company became a marketing partner of the LPGA and official ball of the ladies’ development circuit, the Symetra Tour. Volvik, despite its Eastern European-sounding name, is a Korean company, but don’t expect to see K.J. Choi hitting one as all four models are aimed at golfers with swing speeds under 100 mph. That doesn't mean they might not catch on with mere-mortal males—remember the Precept Laddie? If Ricky-Fowler-orange isn’t your color, there’s also pink, yellow, and, if you insist, white. 

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Mar 18, 2013 | 01:29 PM

Slippery Slope

Woods and Vonn

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn just confirmed on her Facebook page that she and Tiger Woods are indeed an item. In addition to being the best in their respective sports, Vonn and Woods have other things in common, too, such as knee surgery and recent divorces. Vonn, who was married to her coach, Thomas Vonn, for four years before divorcing last year, is recovering from season-ending knee surgery. (She reportedly flew home from Austria in a private jet provided by Woods after the injury last month, and spent the week before last aboard his yacht, "Privacy," recouping while he was winning at Doral.) "I guess it wasn't a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods," she writes. "Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy." Most of the comments on her Facebook page were a little, er, catty, however. "Wish you luck," wrote one female follower, "but you can do soo much better." Meow!

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Mar 15, 2013 | 07:49 AM

Resort Court

Used to be that building a golf course was dependent on two key people: a developer with money and an architect with a vision. Nowadays, it often needs a judge with a gavel, as well. In Northern Ireland, a judge recently ruled that construction can begin at Bushmills Dunes, a golf resort and spa to be built near two famous sites: Royal Portrush Golf Course and the Giant’s Causeway. The resort was in court battling Britain’s National Trust, which wanted to stop or move the project away from the Causeway, a fabled series of basalt columns that look like stepping stones into the Irish Sea. Meanwhile, on the west coast of Scotland, plans have been filed for The Ayrshire, a development featuring a links course, hotel, and homes, next door to Western Gailes Golf Club on the Firth of Clyde. No idea when either resort will open, but if British society is as litigious as ours, don’t make any reservations just yet.

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