The Fringe: McIlroy Blasts Off & Bradley Gets Big Surprise

By Matthew Castonguay
Thursday September 4th, 2014 8:00 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.

Rory McIlroy Proves Again That He Can’t be Stopped

By now you know that Rory McIlroy is flat-out ridiculous. Not only is he capable of making clutch putts and nifty shots around the green, he can also absolutely bomb his driver. Lately, it has been commonplace for the 25-year-old to be booming drives close to and sometimes eclipsing 350 yards. 

This week, the PGA Tour is in Denver where the thin air at Cherry Hills is only going to make the ball travel farther. McIlroy, who has said he was looking forward to seeing how far the ball would go in the thin air, finally got his first taste. During a test on the range, McIlroy hit a drive out of the park — literally

Granted, the nets at the far end of the facility were only about 280 yards away, but they’re still 90 feet high. McIlroy cleared them with ease, cringing as he saw the ball clear the back of the range and land on the busy University Boulevard: 

That wasn’t the only prodigious blast McIlroy hit this week. He also drove the 346-yard par-4 first hole with a 3-wood and Erik Compton, who played with McIlroy on Tuesday, said he hit a couple of drives 400 yards. 

Though the course doesn’t necessarily set up for bombers, you can’t underestimate the advantage McIlroy will have if he’s hitting wedges 180 yards. Yikes. 

Related Link: Rory McIlroy on Keegan Bradley & Ian Poulter: ‘They’re Both Nuts’

Like Everyone Else, Keegan Bradley is Shocked at How He Looks on TV

On Tuesday night, Tom Watson unveiled his three captain’s picks for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley were announced as the final members of the team. When he was revealed, Bradley was shocked — not that he’d been selected, but at the way he looked on TV. 

His girlfriend, Jillian Stacey, posted a photo of her man on the big screen during the ceremonies: 

Bradley immediately commented on her post, “Is that what I look like?!?!” Of course, Stacey and Bradley’s good friend, Luke Donald, each had retorts for his comment: 


You’d think Bradley would be used to seeing himself on TV by now. Then again, you’d also think they could make the guy look a little better when they’re announcing him as a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Other than the news of his selection, the only nice thing to come out of this is the knowledge that even professional athletes can look bad on TV. 

Related Link: Bradley, Mahan, Simpson Named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Players Treated to Awesome Rides at BMW Championship

If I were a PGA Tour pro, I would make sure I played in every single tournament that was sponsored by an auto manufacturer. Why? Obviously for the use of a sick courtesy car like these guys all get to use. 

This week’s FedExCup playoff event is hosted by BMW. Because of that, some of the remaining playoff contenders get to cruise around the Denver area in the new BMW i8. You know, because the life of a tour pro isn’t awesome enough already. Take a look at some of these pics from Rory McIlroy, Chesson Hadley and Justin Rose:

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A sweet ride, indeed. You always want to show up in style and with these rides this week, that’ll be exceptionally hard not to do. 

Related Link: James Heath Makes an Ace, Wins 2015 BMW i8

In Case You Missed It

Tom Brady Takes Timeout For Golf In New UGG Ad


Perhaps it’s the New Englander in me, but any chance I get to relate to Tom Brady, I’ll take it.

That’s why UGG Australia’s latest commercial featuring the quarterback is a must-watch for any Patriots — or golf — fan. Read More

Sergio Garcia Disappointed Luke Donald Not on Ryder Cup Team


Whenever Sergio Garcia played well at the Ryder Cup, it was usually alongside partner Luke Donald. Following Tuesday’s captain picks, however, Garcia will need to find that connection with someone else this year.

According to a report, Garcia is less-than-pleased that Donald was not chosen as one of European Team Captain Paul McGinley’s captain picks. That honor went instead to Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher. Read More

Out Of Bounds

Jimmy Kimmel was at it again this week, getting unwitting pedestrians to talk out of their rear ends about products that don’t exist or they know nothing about. This time, with all the iPad and iPhone speculation going around the Internet since Apple’s invitation to purchase its latest gadget on Sept. 9, Kimmel decided to target Apple fans. While many speculate that this will be the iPhone 6, there are also rumors it could be the biggest iPad ever. Playing on this, Kimmel’s crew hit the streets, asking people about the new “iPad Maxi” — which is really just a 27-inch Mac monitor. Enjoy:

Related Link: Horschel, McIlroy Remind Us Tour Pros Are Human, Too

Other Hot Links: 
Harrington, Jimenez, Olazabal Named Ryder Cup Vice Captains
11 Most Memorable Denver Sports Moments
Tom Brady Takes Timeout For Golf In New UGG Ad
PGA Tour Wanted Denver Broncos To Win Super Bowl
5 Things You Need To Know: BMW Championship at Cherry Hills
Fans Now Encouraged To Use Social Media At Ryder Cup
Sergio Garcia Disappointed Luke Donald Not on Ryder Cup Team
Ralph Lauren Unveils U.S. Ryder Cup Team Uniforms
Does It Drive: Mountain Dew Cheetos

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