The Fringe: McDowell's Newest Struggle & PGA's Shot in the Dark

By Matthew Castonguay
Thursday August 14th, 2014 11:08 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. 

Graeme McDowell Proves Being a First-Time Dad is Hard

Graeme McDowell is a major champion. He’s won 11 times on the European and PGA Tours and is, hands-down, one of the best players in the world today. But none of that means he knows anything about diapers. 

McDowell and his wife, Kristin, are expecting their first child in the next couple weeks. The McDowells are trying to stock up for when their little bundle of joy arrives, but G-Mac has no idea about diapers: 

Don’t feel bad, Graeme. There aren’t too many people who are prepared to be a dad for the first time, no matter how much they try to be. I don’t have kids, but I have friends who do, and their advice was to save the receipts and don’t open anything until you’re 100% sure it’s right. 

Not that a man who has earned more than $2 million this year would have an issue not being able to return diapers, but I’m sure he’d like to. 

Related Link: Top 9 Irish Golfers

So … It Really Was Insanely Dark at the PGA Championship

During the final round of this year’s PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy, Bernd Wiesberger, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson had to run to finish their rounds. Literally, ran up the 18th fairway. Broadcasters repeatedly told us that it was darker outside than it looked on TV. Maybe we believed them, maybe we didn’t — I honestly don’t think any one cared as long as the golf got finished. 

That being said, these conditions were a joke: 

OK … now I’m impressed. I watched Sunday’s coverage from start to finish, and despite the commentators telling me how dark it was, I figured it was still playable. Now, I totally believe Jim Nantz and Co. This is insane. I mean, I’ve tried to scramble and finish a round and played the last three holes where I was squinting to see the ball land — but I wasn’t trying to win a major. 

To be fair, it’s easier to play in the dark when you can hit what you’re aiming for 80% of the time, but these conditions were close to pitch-black. This wasn’t fair to anyone. Luckily, the guy who (probably) was supposed to win did, thus avoiding a massive backlash of how the event was handled. 

Related Link: Rory McIlroy’s Northern Ireland Mansion Up for Rent

PGA Tour Releases 2014-15 Schedule 

The PGA Tour released its 2014-15 schedule on Wednesday and it made some noise. With multiple tournaments moving places, next season will have a very different look to it than the one that’s wrapping up right now. Many tournaments moved up or down a week, but two found entirely different months.

Tiger’s tournament, the Quicken Loans National, moves from in between the Travelers Championship and the Greenbrier Classic in late June to a spot between the RBC Canadian Open the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the end of July and beginning of August. The often weather-interrupted WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship not only moves from its traditional February spot on the schedule, it also changes locations. In 2015, it will be contested at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco during the first week of May — immediately before the Players Championship. 


The Waste Management Phoenix Open and Farmers Insurance Open also swapped dates following the Humana Challenge so that the Phoenix event could keep its traditional Super Bowl Sunday slot.

The 2014-15 PGA Tour season begins with the Open, Oct. 9 in Napa, Calif.

Related Link: 80th Connecticut Open Championship

In Case You Missed It

Tiger Woods To Miss Ryder Cup To Rest Ailing Back


In a move that may be shocking to some golf fans, Tiger Woods has officially informed the PGA and U.S. captain Tom Watson that he does not want to be picked for this year’s Ryder Cup team.

The news broke suddenly on Wednesday evening on the PGA of America’s Twitter account. Read More

UpperDeck Releases ‘Exquisite’ Golf Card Collection


In 2001, while Tiger Woods was busy finishing up the “Tiger Slam,” UpperDeck — the trading card company famous for its industry innovations like cards featuring game-used materials in 1997 — was busy changing the card-collecting game again. Now, the company has released another must-have collection: 2014 UpperDeck Exquisite Golf. 

The set was made available to the public on July 29, with packs fetching an average of $600. Each pack contains five autographed cards, including ones from the game’s greatest players — including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Read More

Out Of Bounds

Want to see something really crazy? Today’s video comes from Major League Baseball’s Instagram account and features two phenomenal catches, separated by 13 years, that are nearly identical. Seriously, you’ll have to watch it 10 times to see everything that matches up: 

Isn’t that ridiculous? Crazy how things work sometimes. 

Related Link: PGA Tour Responds to Fallon & Rory McIlroy Parties On

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