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Feb 11, 2013 | 08:28 AM

USGA: Plus Two, Minus Two

Add two events and subtract two from the USGA's list of national championships. U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships, one for men and one for women, begin in 2015, sites to be named later. Both tournaments are for amateurs with handicaps—not to exceed 5.4 for men and 14.4 for women—without age restrictions; partners need not be from the same club, state, or even country. These are the first national championships added to the USGA’s roster since the Women’s Mid-Am in 1987. Dropping off are the Amateur Public Links, which debuted in 1922, and the women’s PubLinks, dating back to 1977. For more details, check the USGA’s website.

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Feb 08, 2013 | 12:30 PM

Tiger No Longer “Most Disliked” Athlete. Awww….

Are you surprised to learn that Forbes magazine keeps a list of the 10 most disliked athletes in America”? We’re not either. Not that Tiger Woods cares, but he’s actually dropped down the list: He is no longer the most hated jock, having relinquished that title to Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o. Tiger is now in third place, appealing to just 19% of the public, followed by Jay Cutler, Metta World Peace, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Vick, Kurt Busch, Kobe Bryant, and Tony Romo. On Forbes’ website, about Tiger it reads, “His image hasn’t improved that much since his highly publicized infidelity problems of a few years ago, in part because he hasn’t won much.” He’s actually won four times in just the last 13 months, which for many PGA Tour pros would be a pretty good career. Still, we know what they mean. And they are mean.

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Feb 08, 2013 | 06:49 AM

Is The Golf Recession Finally Over?

Year-end numbers for 2012 are rolling in and—cross your fingers, knock on wood, spit three times—golf may be coming out of its economic doldrums. The PGA of America, in cooperation with the National Golf Course Owners Association, says rounds played were up 6.4% over 2011, the largest single-year percentage increase since 2000. Along with that jump—which represents 30 million additional rounds—revenues were up in golf fees by 6.6%, in merchandise by 8.9%, in food and beverage by 5.9%. Golf companies and those with golf divisions are also reporting 2012 numbers, which are a mixed bag of growth and decline. It’s up to America’s golfers to roll up our sleeves and play more: Do it for your country!

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Feb 07, 2013 | 02:37 PM

AT&T Fun Couple To Watch

Forget Bill Murray and D.A. Points. Ray Romano and Erik Compton. Charles Schwab and Rod Pampling. Even Jim Harbaugh and Jason Day. The celeb-pro combo to watch at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, teeing off today, is hockey great Wayne Gretzky and power hitter Dustin Johnson, who share more than just a love of golf. Johnson, 28, is dating Gretzky’s daughter Paulina, 24, in a tabloid-hot romance featuring photos splashed across the internet. This could be a first: A Pebble pairing in which the pro is more nervous than the am.

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