The Fringe: Horschel, McIlroy Remind Us Tour Pros Are Human, Too

By Matthew Castonguay
Wednesday September 3rd, 2014 8:14 am EDT

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.

Horschel, McIlroy Remind Us They’re Human at Deutsche Bank

At the Deutsche Bank Championship, we were all reminded that –despite all of their incredible ability – tour pros are human, too. All you have to do is watch Billy Horschel and Rory McIlroy from last Sunday. 

McIlroy has been on a roll as of late, winning three consecutive starts — and two majors — between the Open and PGA championships. At the Deutsche Bank, he played his way into contention but stumbled big time on Sunday. Like you and me when things go to down the drain, McIlroy decided his ball was to blame.

Following quite the adventure from a pesky fairway bunker …

… McIlroy decided it was time for his ball to take a swim: 

Clearly, this wasn’t the end of the world for McIlroy. I’m sure we can all expect him to bounce back nicely with a win and a supermodel (probably) sometime in the very near future. 

Billy Horschel has had a difficult 2014 to see the least. Sadly, he added insult to injury on 18 on Sunday at TPC Boston. Needing a birdie to win, Horschel came up short. Like, wayyyy short. Like, are-you-sure-you-didn’t-hist-a-9-iron-instead-of-a-6-iron-bro?- short:

I apologize for showing you that with no warning. I know for me it brought back some bad feelings about shots I’ve hit under pressure and I’m sure it did for you, too. 

Like McIlroy, I’m certain Horschel will be back to doing super-human things in no time. 

Hunter Mahan Tries (And Fails) to Recreate Arnie’s Famous Shot

There’s a lot to be said for the equipment that players these days are blessed with. Certainly, they’re all fantastically talented, but sometimes you have to wonder, could Hunter Mahan really hit a persimmon wood driver? How about Rory McIlroy? 

Well, if you were wondering exactly that, you now have your answer — no. 

On Tuesday at the BMW Championship, Hunter Mahan took aim at duplicating a feat accomplished by Arnold Palmer in 1960 during the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. Arnie drove the first green using a persimmon wood driver. Mahan tried — twice — but ended up wide left both times: 

Rory McIlroy also gave it a shot. Again, no dice:

It has to make you wonder, how good would Arnie, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and others be if they had access to, say, the Big Bertha driver in their prime? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. 

Related Link: Hunter Mahan’s House is a Steal at $9.5 Million

Phil Mickelson Has Played All of His Bucket List Courses

The life of a PGA Tour pro is a charmed one. While the rest of us are busy playing once a week — if we’re lucky — these guys are playing all week and getting paid to do it. To be fair, no one wants to pay to see me or you play golf.  Surprisingly, pros are like us in at least one sense: They’ve got their bucket list courses to play, too

Well … except Phil Mickelson. He’s already played all the ones on his list. 

“I’ve played them all. All the ones I’ve wanted to, anyway,” Mickelson said in an interview with the Boston Globe. 


In that, he was alone. Most players had answers chambered and were more than happy to expound. Not surprisingly, players who’ve never played in the Masters chose Augusta National. Other popular responses included the Old Course at St. Andrews and private courses like The Country Club at Brookline and Pine Valley. 

While these guys get to play great courses week in and week out, it’s kind of comforting to think that I’m not the only one who can’t snag a tee time at some of these places. You really can’t feel too bad when a PGA Tour card won’t even get you on. 

In Case You Missed It

Ryder Cup Officials To Enforce Social Media Ban


The 250,000 spectators expected at the Ryder Cup later this month will more than likely enjoy their experience. 

They just can’t share it with social media — thanks to the utterly ridiculous rule Ryder Cup officials will force on the patrons that prohibits any non-private photo, audio or video. Read More

One American’s Tribute to Ryder Cup Legend/Nightmare Ian Poulter


He’s the European Team player all Americans love to hate.

For more than a decade Ian Poulter, 38, has been a European Ryder Cup team staple, wreaking havoc on the minds and hearts of his red, white and blue opponents. He has amassed a legendary 12-3 career record (.800 winning percentage) at the biennial event, making him the most successful Ryder Cupper in history. In 2012, Poulter all but single-handedly catapulted his team to victory from the jaws of what seemed like a certain defeat at the Meltdown at Medinah. Read More

Out Of Bounds

 Here at The Fringe, we’re big sports fans, which leads us to today’s awesome video. As Team USA prepared to take on New Zealand at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, they were caught a bit off guard by their opponents, who engaged in a Haka dance. While the end result — the U.S. won 98-71 — wasn’t what the Kiwis were hoping for, they can sure take pride in their pregame victory:

Related Link: Spieth Looks to McIlroy For Storage Space

Other Hot Links: 
- Bradley, Mahan, Simpson Named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks
- Gallacher, Poulter, Westwood Complete European Ryder Cup Team
‘Hot Shots Golf’ Making Return, Coming to PS4

Golf Rube Goldberg Machine Produces Must-See Ice Bucket Challenge
The Fringe: Spieth Looks to McIlroy For Storage Space
Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson to Join Rory McIlroy at Broncos’ Game
Weekend Recap: Chris Kirk Bests McIlroy for FedExCup Lead
Dominant PGA Tour Season Continues For Georgia Alumni

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