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Patrick Mayo Staff Writer January 22, 2013 9:00PM EDT
With Manti Te’o and Lance Armstrong trading front-page headlines on every sport rag in existence, two golf stories slipped through the cracks involving the game’s biggest brands.

Golf either employs the world’s best or worst PR guy. The answer is contingent on which media-relations doctrine you subscribe to: “Any News is Good News” or “No News is Good News”. And I think the past seven days have reaffirmed the public’s collective compulsion for an obloquial sports narrative. So it’s puzzling the revelations that Tiger Woods proposed to his Ex-wife Elin surfaced in the same week he shacked up with freshly divorced Olympic champ Lindsay Vonn didn’t generate more heat.

Look Phil, my accountant's over there. You guys should have a chat. Photo Credit: Ross Kinnaird

Now, it’s hard to imagine either story is true, considering the most credible source on either is the National Enquirer. But still, we’ll be there if Armstrong decides to lie to Oprah for another hour and a half, and Tiger is bigger than Livestrong and Notre Dame combined. Plus, it’s said there’s a $350 million anti-cheating clause in Tiger’s prenup offer. Sounds juicy enough to me.

While Tiger can afford to pay hundreds of millions to not have sex, Phil Mickelson is plotting a zip code change because the tax man has superglued his oily mitts inside his pockets.

Following his 37 th place showing at the Humana Challenge, Phil unleashed a diatribe about “drastic changes” upcoming in his life. Then complained about his tax situation. As a Phil-hater, I was gleeful that he may be broke. Maybe he’s so penniless, serving hard (minimum-security) time for his financial evasion is possible. This is the same man that once had a cheater wedge in his bag, why wouldn’t he apply the same flimsy morals to his income? Phil’s basically the golf version of Eddy Guerrero. It even led to a hilarious stream of Twitter jokes at Lefty’s expense. The winner, this gem addressing his crippling addiction to cosmetic surgery:

Doesn’t hurt it’s followed by response so esoteric it makes The Venture Bros seem like it has the cultural resonance of The Avengers in comparison. Poor Jude Law. From Closer and The Aviator to glorified B-movies. How many executives’ wives has he bed in the last six years? Back to Phil. Turns out he’s not broke, but will be if Prez. Obama has his way.

Those upper class tax hikes he promised actually started, immediately. Since November, Phil has watched his taxes balloon. His federal and self-employment income tax rates have increased, and the State raided his funds with the passing of Prop. 30. The Golden State now takes 30% from its residents making over $1m a year. Making California that friend who borrows $50 and never pays it back.

Phil whines that he’s paying about 60% of his earnings back to the government. Which is ludicrous, but can’t be true. He lives in San Diego, not Soviet Union. You’d think sponsorship by a giant accounting firm would include a capable bean counter. Apparently not. Phil’s talking about changing residence, and even mentioned a Steve Stricker-like semi retirement. Why work for free, I suppose?

He’s since backed off his comments, but booking a moving company still is likely. Tiger was privy to California’s money-grubbing methods back in the 90s. There’s a reason he willingly lives in America’s cesspool – Florida. Or maybe this retirement talk is just Phil angling a run at congress. He’d be a huge get for the GOP; no one in America embodies the Republican Party more than Mickelson. Nationally recognized crazy person, and Texas Governor Rick Perry is already getting trying to get Phil on board:

I love that Gov. Perry only retweets links from FoxNews.

Sure, Phil’s getting jacked by the IRS, but he’ll get no sympathy from me, a Canadian. A country where making over $75,000 a year puts you in the plus-50% tax bracket. Also, it’s really cold.

In on-course news, both are lacing up their cleats at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger for the first time this season, and Phil for the first time since running his mouth without talking to his agent in advance.


Nicolas Colsaerts – Despite quality showings at last year’s Majors and currently resting as the world’s 35th ranked player, the Belgian is teeing off for the first time a PGA Tour member. Colsaerts is coming in hot, earning a Top 10 in a tough field at the Volvo Golf Championship, and nothing screams America like earning an ungodly amount of money for a weekend of work.

Rickie Fowler – In three career starts at the Farmers, Fowler hasn’t finished any worse than 20th. That’s the type of consistency you want from a “C” player.  

Dustin Johnson – Johnson pulled out of the Sony Open with flu-like symptoms, devastating Fantasy owners that figured plugged him in after his opening week win. But DJ’s back now, healthy, and with super hot, professional Instagrammer/daughter of the ‘Great One’, Paulina Gretzky on his arm. Now that’s real momentum!

Bubba Watson – Watson followed up his 2011 victory here with a respectable tie for 13th last year. He already posted a Top 5 in his lone tournament this season; so expect Bubba to the mix on Sunday.

Nick Watney – Watney appeared primed to join golf’s elite heading into 2012, but he disappointed most of the year. He turned it around during the FedEx playoffs and contained posting solid showings into autumn. Oh, he’s a previous winner at Torrey Pines too.

Bud Cauley – The 22-year-old has been inconsistent in 2013. One bad round sunk him at both events, but a final round 66 at the Humana hopefully straightened him out. Cauley’s Sunday 67 was the lowest score of the day at this tournament last year, and the former Wunderkind is eventually bust into the winner’s circle, this could be the week.

Hunter Mahan – Mahan stunk at the season opener, but his recent history is too good to ignore at Torrey Pines: He has tied for sixth the past two years.

John Rollins – Two tournaments, two Top 20s for the journeyman. Rollins definitely isn’t a flashy selection, but he’ll find a way to linger around the leaderboard through Sunday.

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