The Fringe: Tiger Woods Wants to Play, Tom Watson Still Considering

By Matthew Castonguay
Tuesday August 12th, 2014 11:04 am EDT

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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. 

Tiger Woods Wants Tom Watson to Pick Him for Ryder Cup

With the nine automatic spots already locked up for the United States Ryder Cup team this year at Gleneagles, all that’s left to decide are the captains picks. No problem, right? Not so much.

With precious little time remaining for captain Tom Watson to decide on the final three players he’s going to take to to Scotland with him, he has plenty of options and opinions in his ear. 

Watson, who captained the Americans to victory in 1993, has made no bones about his desire to have Tiger Woods on his squad. Now, it’s been revealed that Woods told Watson, “I want you to pick me.” 

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“I don’t make this comment loosely,” Watson reiterated on Monday. “He is Tiger Woods and he brings a lot to the team, if he has the ability to play and he’s healthy. He brings a lot to the team. And I’d be a fool not to consider him.”

Along with Woods, there are plenty of other questions for the Americans. Matt Kuchar, who earned a spot on points, withdrew from the PGA Championship with a back injury. Jason Dufner, who also withdrew at Valhalla, fell out of the top 10 in points. With all the injuries and questions, Steve Stricker may turn into a playing assistant captain. 

“Well, I told Steve [Stricker] to bring his golf clubs over with him, if that’s any indication of what I might do,” Watson said. 

The Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 26-28 in Gleneagles, Scotland. 

Related Link: Tom Watson Holding Out Hope Tiger Can Play Ryder Cup


Rory McIlroy Says He Can “Win Ugly”  

Rory McIlroy wins a lot. Now he can say he’s won almost every way. 

Coming into the PGA Championship at Valhalla, McIlroy had already collected three major titles and 14 wins worldwide. He’s won wire-to-wire (2011 U.S. Open and 2014 Open Championship), come-from-behind with a blistering Sunday round (62, 2010 Wells Fargo Championship) and now, in his own words, he’s won “ugly.” 

“I’ve learned that I can win a major ugly,” McIlroy told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after his win. “I didn’t play my best golf this week, I didn’t. I got the job done. There was stretches of my golf that were good that I hit good shots and made good putts, but there were patches where I wasn’t so good and I just had to hang in there. Mentally, these last few weeks I’ve been really strong and that’s what’s been the difference for me.” 

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As if the golf he’s been playing lately isn’t scary enough, McIlroy believes he can get better. 

“Whenever I get my head right, whenever I have clear thoughts and I’m able to make good decisions on the golf course, I’m able to think clearly on the golf course and not get ahead of myself, not rush myself — that’s when I play my best golf. It’s not really anything physical, it’s more mental for me,” he said.

McIlroy has joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to amass four major titles before the age of 26. McIlroy’s next chance at major glory comes in 229 days at Augusta National. Oddly enough, he’s already been installed as the favorite. 

Related Link: Major Mulligan: What If Rory & Caroline Didn’t Break Up?


Adam Scott Earns Invite to PGA Grand Slam of Golf

Winning a major championship has plenty of perks. One of those is a trip to Bermuda in October to square off in a high-paying exhibition of golf. 

Adam Scott knows what it’s all about after winning the PGA Grand Slam of Golf over Justin Rose, Jason Dufner and Padraig Harrington in 2013. This year — thanks to Rory McIlroy’s two major victories this season — Scott will have the chance to defend his title. 

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The event, which began way back in 1979 as an 18-hole charity event, has blossomed into a 36-hole tournament showcasing the best of the best in golf. Because all major winners from each year can’t always make it, or because someone wins multiple major championships in a calendar year, there is a system in place to name an alternate player with one stipulation — they must’ve won a major. 

Scott’s win last year ensured he’d get that invitation. You know, because Adam Scott needs a trip to Bermuda in October.

Related Link: 9 Reasons We Love Adam Scott


In Case You Missed It

Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy Promise Each Other More Battles

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Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are both 25 years old. They both live in “Golfer’s Paradise” near Jupiter, Fla. They both turned in massively impressive years at the majors in 2014.

They’re going to see a lot of each other over the next decade or two. And they’re looking forward to the battles. Read More

11 Best GIFs from the 2014 PGA Championship

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The 2014 PGA Championship provided us with some indelible images that the game of golf will remember for years to come. After routs at the U.S. Open and Open Championship, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and more gave us the incredibly exciting finish we’ve been waiting for. 

The week also provided us with a number of moments that just had to be immortalized in the form of a GIF. Here’s a look at the best moments from last week that you’re just dying to see over and over and over again, thanks to Adam Sarson andAdamSarson.com. Read More


Out Of Bounds

Minnesotans are just way too nice. There are few stereotypes about people and places that are more fitting than that one. Think about the way Cleveland fans reacted when LeBron James left town? That was their native son. Their All-Star. His leaving seemed like a slap in the face. 

Minnesota Timberwolves fans, however, seemingly have a little more perspective. They’re probably going to lose their star player, Kevin Love, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they just can’t seem to hate the guy the way Cleveland did LeBron — you know, until a couple weeks ago. 

Related Link: Michelle Wie to Miss 3-5 Weeks Due to Finger Injury

Other Hot Links: 
- Most Likely To Make You Laugh: Jimmy Fallon’s Golf Superlatives
- Golf World Mourns the Loss of Comedian Robin Williams
Phil Mickelson, 8 Others Earn Way Onto U.S. Ryder Cup Team
Major Mulligan: What If Rory & Caroline Didn’t Break Up?
Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy Promise Each Other More Battles
Tweek in Review: The Week’s Best Tweets
PGA Championship Ratings Highest Since 2009
11 Best GIFs from the 2014 PGA Championship

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