“The general thinking is twofold,” Gould said. “First and foremost, we’re big fans of the PGA Tour in a general sense. Secondly, we think there is a great, smart crossover opportunity with a like-minded fan base for young and upcoming players. And a lot of these guys have friends who are baseball players.”
Prior to these limited endorsement deals, MLB.com had a strong golf presence that not many knew about - it powers Tiger Woods‘ website. In a deal that dates to 2006 and was expanded five years ago, MLB Advanced Media works with Woods‘ staff to produce the website, host it on their servers and update the content.
HIGH-TECH ANALYSIS: Ben Hogan looked for answers in the dirt. Humana Challenge winner Patrick Reed has turned to cyberspace.
Reed uses ShotsToHole.com, a computer program co-founded by Australian teaching pro Stuart Leong, to help identify weaknesses and ways to save strokes. It was hard to argue with the results last week in La Quinta after Reed shot 9-under 63 in each of the first three rounds and held on for his second victory in his last nine tournaments.
“It tells you really what you need to work on and what will help you save the most shots,” Reed said. “That’s key to us on being able to dial down our distances. Not only that, but also dial down what we need to work on to be successful.”
Reed takes notes during rounds and uses information from the PGA Tour’s ShotLink database.
“We’ll get home this afternoon and I’ll type in this round and see what it is I need to work on,” Reed said.
“You enter your stats and it kind of takes it to the next level. It’s, ‘OK, how far is the hole? What club did you hit?’ You might hit the fairway, but did you feel like you hit your target? Did you hit left of your target? Right of your target? How far are you hitting into the green and what’s your lie? Did you hit it past the hole, short of the hole, left of the hole, right? And putts, same thing. … It gets very detailed.”
DIVOTS: Zach Johnson is taking a four-week break before the Match Play Championship. “I know it’s a necessity, I know it’s good for me, it’s good for my family, but I’m also hesitant because I’m playing well,” Johnson said. … The Senior British Open will be played at Sunningdale in 2015 and Carnoustie the following year. … Maj. Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation and Patriot Golf Day, and majority owner of The Patriot Golf Club in Tulsa, Okla., has been selected by the American Society of Golf Course Architects as the 2014 Donald Ross Award recipient. … Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand has received an exemption into the Phoenix Open next week.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods is the only FedEx Cup champion whose season earnings were more than the $10 million bonus. He won the money title with $10.5 million in 2009 and with $10.8 million in 2007.
FINAL WORD: “I don’t like not playing in big tournaments.” - Jimmy Walker, on going 11 years without qualifying for the U.S. Open.