Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strange week in golf

One of the more bizarre news weeks in golf history

From event coverage to commentary to fantasy tips, Golfweek.com provides all you'll ever need to be up to speed on the world of golf.

"Pro golfer Tripp Isenhour took aim with his golf club and shot a birdie ... " read an article that ran on the Orlando Sentinel's Web site early March 6.

"Tripp Isenhour has never gotten this much attention for a single golf shot," the Associated Press wrote later.

"Golfer should be punished for killing bird, but not be a jailbird," read a headline in the Naples Daily News.

Long story short: Isenhour, who is spending most of his time this year on the Nationwide Tour, killed a noisy red-shouldered hawk with a golf shot Dec. 12 while filming an instructional video in Orlando, Fla.

The story broke this week when local prosecutors charged Isenhour with two misdemeanor charges (cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird), which could lead to up to a $10,000 fine. The Humane Society urged the PGA Tour to assign further punishment.

Isenhour responded: "As soon as this happened, I was mortified and extremely upset and continue to be upset. I want to let everyone know there was neither any malice nor deliberate intent whatsoever to hit or harm the hawk. I was trying to simply scare it into flying away. As evidenced by our family having adopted three cats from a local shelter, I am an animal lover. We ask that everyone accept my sincerest apology, and please be respectful of my family's privacy."

The story flew as high as the front page of Yahoo.com. The blogosphere was both enthralled and enraged, drawing even ridiculous comparisons to Michael Vick. One message board comment on Golfweek.com read, "I hope Tripp has to pay really big and like others, needs to do a little jail time..."

Mark Calcavecchia, on the other hand, thinks all of this is a little cuckoo: "I really don't know the story enough to comment on it," he said. "I heard he killed an endangered bird with a golf ball, saying he was trying to scare it away. It's a bad break for the bird. It seems like there is a lot of other things that people should be worrying about other than that."

We here at the Scramble ask: If Isenhour called it a "one-in-a-million shot" and he hit the bird on his 10th try, does that mean he's 999,990 under par?

  • Coming in second-place are the exploits of John Daly and Co. in the Hooters Owl's Nest, a popular hospitality tent at last weekend's PODS Championship.

    According to a March 9 article in the Tampa Tribune, Daly, who missed the PODS cut after rounds of 78-80, spent much of Saturday sitting on a barstool, drinking beers, smoking cigarettes and signing autographs.

    The article also said:

    Daly chugged a beer with one spectator who walked away while shouting, "I just drank with John Daly."

    Long John gave the middle finger to a news photographer. (Another member of his group mooned the photographer.)

    Daly autographed the backside of a woman's jeans. According to that woman, they also had an interesting conversation: "I go, 'Here I am again. I'm your worst nightmare.' He goes, 'Oh no you're not, honey. As a matter of fact, I like it when you walk away.'

    "He goes, 'I like your butt. I'm a butt man.' He goes, 'And you have a nice butt.' Yeah baby, he likes my butt."

    We here at the Scramble ask: They're talking about cigarettes, right?

  • Earning the bronze medal is Fred Funk's wife, Sharon, who this week hopped into the ring with a 400-pound Sumo wrestler, according to the Orange County Register.

    Toshiba Classic tournament director Jeff Purser organized a Sumo wrestling exhibition as entertainment for the event's Tuesday pairings party.

    After the Sumo show finished, spectators were invited into the ring to participate. Sharon Funk stepped up.

    She grabbed onto the belt of one Sumo, who spun her around twice before flinging her to the mat.

  • "I don't know why I did it," she told the Register.

    We here at the Scramble ask: When will this hit YouTube?

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