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.
Jason Dufner May Not Play Golf Until 2016
Jason Dufner's title defense at the PGA Championship didn't last very long -- 10 holes to be exact.
Dufner, who has been struggling with a neck injury since the Masters this past April, shot 40 on the front nine at Valhalla on Thursday before withdrawing on the 10th green.
"I've been feeling pretty bad all week," he said. "I felt bad last week. I haven't made a birdie in 45 holes and I'm just not able to play golf right now. I don't need to be out here. I tried to do what I could to be able to compete some and give it a go, but it is just pointless."
Dufner said he's tried everything to get healthy except to "take significant time off."
"I'll play golf again when I'm healthy," Dufner said. "That could be at The Barclays, that could be next year, that could be 2016. I refuse to be out here and not be healthy and not give myself a chance to be competitive."
Dufner wasn't the only one withdrawing due to pain on Thursday. Matt Kuchar, currently No. 5 in Ryder Cup standings, didn't even make the first tee thanks to back trouble.
Lexi Thompson, Rickie Fowler Star in New PUMA Spot
Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson are two of golf's most talented young stars and, thanks to their gear from PUMA, two of the brightest.
Recently, the two made cameos alongside some of the brand's most recognizable and successful athletes in a new spot for PUMA's "Forever Faster" campaign. Record-setting sprinter Usain Bolt and soccer sensation Mario Balotelli also appear in the spot, which is only a minute long, but so well done it leaves you wanting more:
PUMA has always had a knack for providing innovative ideas and performance in sport, and when the aesthetic that goes with it is so pleasing, you're guaranteed to have a hit on your hands. Most importantly for you, me, Back9Network and the golf industry is that it's making golf cool by seamlessly including two of the game's brightest young stars into their brand-encompassing spot.
Well played, PUMA. Well played.
Related Link: Red Bull Gives Rickie Fowler Wings... Like Literally
Golf Resorts Make Play to Attract Millennial Golfers
With golf trying to grow during the age of instant gratification, the target audience is the millennial. Through no fault of it's own, the game of golf has had trouble bringing the "me first" and the "gimme-gimme" generation into the sport.
Millennial travelers -- aged 35 and under -- have not been flocking to the golf course the way the generation before them did. Many believe it's due to their need to stay connected to the Internet, activeness on social media, and their desire to stick with what they know and who they know, rather than interact with strangers.
Martha White wrote in her New York Times article that resorts are "making changes that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago." Among those changes are things like, "adding speakers to golf carts and Wi-Fi access on the course, building high-tech training centers and miniature golf putting courses, and peppering corporate golf events with tangentially related activities."
Marquee locations like Pinehurst, Sea Island, the Rosewood CodreValle and the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla., have all made changes aimed at bringing in younger golfers. Time will tell if the changes pay off, but if they do, the game of golf will certainly be better off for it.
Related Link: Nextgengolf, GolfMatch Look to Create Youth Movement
In Case You Missed It
The Breakdown: Who are the Hottest Players in the Majors?
Another week in the golfing world in the books and another win for Rory McIlroy.
Three weeks ago, whilst Rory swaggered down the fairways at Royal Liverpool on Sunday, a host of top players made a charge for the claret jug. Typical major-Sunday names likes Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Charl Schwartzel and Jim Furyk had their moments, but left the third major weekend of the season empty handed. Read More
Rory-mania: Jack Nicklaus Believes McIlroy Can Win '15 or 20 Majors'
Ever since Rory McIlroy claimed the third leg of the career grand slam at the Open Championship last month, it seems like everyone is weighing in on the young man's future. This group includes nearly every TV analyst, sports writer, hack, duffer and sandbagger, and even the man all these people think he'll catch -- Jack Nicklaus and his record of 18 majors. Read More
Out Of Bounds
Everyone remembers "Lin-sanity", right? That two-week stretch in February 2012 that pretty much created NBA superstar Jeremy Lin? Well, Lin, the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers, is back doing ridiculous things with a basketball. Among them, dunking on his mom:
As you may know, this is the latest craze known as the "dunk cam." It's creative, harmless and really funny. Well, unless you're Jeremy Lin's mom. I don't think she was too amused.
Related Link: Fowler, Garcia on the Bag & Photobombing at the PGA
More PGA Championship Links:
- Complete PGA Championship Coverage
- Round 1 Recap: From Glory's Last Shot to Rory's Latest Shot
- 2014 PGA Championship: Best Day 1 Style
- Photos: PGA Championship - Round 1
- Woods, Mickelson Start With Mixed Results at PGA Championship
- 9 Best Golfers Yet to Win a Major
- 2014 PGA Championship's Hole of the Day: Valhalla's 7th
- The Fringe: Fowler, Garcia on the Bag & Photobombing at the PGA
- The Breakdown: Who are the Hottest Players in the Majors?
- 9 Best Groups To Watch at 2014 PGA Championship
- Flashback: Y.E. Yang Tames Tiger in 2009 PGA Championship
- Go Time: Tiger Woods Shows Up at Valhalla, Expects to Win
- Golfstradamaus: 96th PGA Championship
- Oh, the Places Golf's Majors Trophies Have Been
- Photos: PGA Championship Preview
- The Fringe: Rory McIlroy the Next Bond & Horschel's Latest Pants
- Dufner Serves 'Butt-Rubbed' Filet Mignon at PGA Champions Dinner
- Tiger Arrives at Valhalla for PGA Championship
- 5 Things You Need to Know: 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla
- Chuck Irons, Golf P.I. - Valhalla Victory
- Now More Than Ever, Tiger’s Race to Catch Jack Looking Dim
- Flashback: Sergio Challenges Tiger at 1999 PGA Championship
- 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
- The Fringe: Bubba Watson Won't Drive for Show
- The Fringe: Tiger's Caddie Carries On & Fowler Turns Some Laps
- 2014 PGA Championship: Rounds 1 & 2 Tee Times and Pairings
- 2014 PGA Championship: adidas & Ashworth Scripting
- PGA Championship 2014: PUMA Golf Scripting
- 2014 PGA Championship: Nike Golf Scripting
- 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
- 'Stay Tuned': Keegan Bradley Teases Fans With Jordan Shoes
- 2014 PGA Championship: Valhalla Hole-By-Hole
- 2014 PGA Championship Scripting for Jason Dufner
- Greg Norman Collection Featured at PGA Championship, Ryder Cup
- Last Shot: Colin Montgomerie Gets Final Major Chance at Valhalla
- 9 Greatest Moments in PGA Championship History
- The Breakdown: Rickie Fowler's Majorly Impressive Year
- PGA Championship To Welcome Back Long-Drive Competition
- You Can Influence the PGA Championship's Outcome
- Players & PGA Championships To Offer $10 Million Purses