Welcome to The Fringe, Back9Network’s daily feature created to keep you up to date on the best stories happening in golf, social media and pop culture.
Bubba Watson Won’t Take Part in Long-Drive Contest
On Saturday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Bubba Watson unleashed a monstrous 424-yard drive on the 667-yard par-5 16th at Firestone Country Club. It was the longest drive on tour this year:
That drive — and so many others like it — is why the news that Watson won’t be taking part in the long drive contest this week at the PGA Championship is so disappointing.
“I’m not going to do it,” Watson told Golf Channel’s Jason Sobel, adding, “I’m there to play golf, not to hit it far. I’ve got to practice. I’ve never been to the course. I don’t need to worry about a long drive on the 10th hole.”
Watson currently leads the PGA Tour in driving distance at 314.8:
Of the top 10 in driving distance this year on tour, only Watson, McIlroy, Holmes, Koepka and Howell III are currently in the field for the PGA Championship. Should anyone else decide to back out, the long-drive contest will look more like an NBA All-Star dunk contest of recent years — a whole lot of guys we never thought we wanted to see dunk a basketball dunking a basketball.
Here’s to hoping Bubba has a change of heart before we see (no offense meant here) Tim Clark win a long-drive contest.
Photo of the Week
Tiger Woods withdrew after hitting his tee shot on the ninth hole Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational citing back spasms. The 14-time major champion was making just his third start since returning from back surgery. Woods hasn’t been much of a force to reckoned with, missing the cut at the Quicken Loans National, finishing 69th at the Open Championship and withdrawing at Firestone. Woods re-injured his back hitting from an awkward lie on the second hole Sunday. There’s no word yet about his status for next week’s PGA Championship.
For more of the week’s best photos, click here.
Tweet of the Week
PGA Tour star and apparent amateur photographer Ben Crane snapped this breathtaking pic of Chicago out of the window of his plane earlier this week. Crane was headed to Akron, Ohio, for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Unfortunately, Crane had to withdraw due to a back issue. While it doesn’t seem like the injury was anything too serious, if Crane has to miss some time now or in the future, it looks like he could fall back on a career in photography.
Cool shot of CHI last night en route to the WGC Bridgestone. pic.twitter.com/g2z8l7btGN
— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) July 28, 2014
For more of the week’s best tweets, click here.
In Case You Missed It
John Daly: ‘I Would Love To Help’ Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson announced in a statement on Thursday that he will be taking a leave of absence from professional golf due to “personal challenges” he has faced. As a result of Johnson’s revelation, fellow PGA Tour player John Daly has offered to help. Read More
‘Stay Tuned’: Keegan Bradley Teases Fans With Jordan Shoes
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Keegan Bradley has some of the best shoes on tour. And he’s about to add to the collection … at least we think so.
Bradley teased fans Thursday night with a surprise Instagram post with the caption “Stay tuned……….. #newj’s #pga.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty appetizing to me. Read More
Out of Bounds
Everyone who has ever attempted some type of competition has lost. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky — every single one of them has lost. You and I have lost. Sometimes, those losses are brutal, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking losses that take a good, long while to recover from.
Perhaps no one on the planet has ever suffered a worse loss than Conor Drinan did at the World Series of Poker:
Dude, I almost cried for you. That’s tough. I mean, there’s “The Drive” to a Cleveland Browns fan, “Bucky Freakin’ Dent” to a Red Sox fan, and the 2008 U.S. Open to Rocco Mediate — but everyone has to feel for Conor Drinan. You could tell the guy who beat him felt bad.
In related news, it’s things like this that keep me from gambling on anything but golf.
Related Link: ‘Ph-ill’ Mickelson Will Leave You Hanging
More PGA Championship Links:
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- 9 Greatest Moments in Valhalla Golf Club History
- Live Updates: 2014 PGA Championship Long-Drive Contest
- ‘Walk-In Putt’ at Valhalla Just One Of Tiger’s Famous 16th-Hole Shots
- 2014 PGA Championship: Rounds 1 & 2 Tee Times and Pairings
- 2014 PGA Championship: adidas & Ashworth Scripting
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- 2014 PGA Championship Scripting for Oakley’s Bubba Watson
- Why the PGA Championship Is Not a Minor Major
- Return to Valhalla: Tiger Woods vs. Bob May 14 Years Later
- The Odds: Rory Remains Huge Favorite at PGA Championship
- Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Get Custom Louisville Sluggers
- 2014 PGA Championship: Valhalla Hole-By-Hole
- 2014 PGA Championship Scripting for Jason Dufner
- Last Shot: Colin Montgomerie Gets Final Major Chance at Valhalla
- 9 Greatest Moments in PGA Championship History
- PGA Championship To Welcome Back Long-Drive Competition
- You Can Influence the PGA Championship’s Outcome
- Players & PGA Championships To Offer $10 Million Purses
- The Fringe: Bubba Watson Won’t Drive for Show
- The Fringe: Tiger’s Caddie Carries On & Fowler Turns Some Laps
- ‘Stay Tuned’: Keegan Bradley Teases Fans With Jordan Shoes
- Greg Norman Collection Featured at PGA Championship, Ryder Cup
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- Oh, the Places Golf’s Majors Trophies Have Been