Roundup: Gay Birdie Parade, Death and Taxes



The older guys showed some of the kids how to score and Brian Gay came out ahead at the Hope in a three-way playoff with Charles Howell III and Swedish rookie David Lingmerth.


It wasn't exactly US Open conditions on the Palmer Course at PGA West. Gay, Howell and Lingmerth shot 63, 64 and 62 respectively to get into the playoff.


It was a birdie parade for these guys with the low three and James Hahn's and 3rd-round leader Scott Stallings'  Sunday cards looking like this:



Even with a 64 to get into the playoff, it was no fun for Howell who was quoted as saying:


"Anybody that says that that golf is fun or whatever, has really not done it for a living. I would never characterize this as fun. It's different than that. It's awfully challenging mentally."


Not much sympathy from those in the snowy north.


Speaking of little sympathy.




There seems to be lots of chatter about Phil being upset about the amount of taxes he pays for living in California. There is a reason so many golfers live in Florida: no state income tax.


This may be a real test for Phil's popularity. Now, 62 percent is too high a tax rate by anyone's standards (although I tend to doubt it applies to funds coming from a tax free retirement vehicle - but that's not really the point). Multi-millionaires flying in private jets tend not to get much sympathy whether they are right or wrong on tax rates - never mind holding press conferences about it. Let's hear what he has to say this coming week as he promises - but pro-athletes are not typically the best resource for tax analysis. 


With Phil's personality and PR mindset, I suspect he may soften his approach a bit by next week ... or run for governor.




A reflective day for baseball and sports this weekend with the passing of greats Stan Musial and Earl Weaver: two Hall of Famers that were opposites in temperament.


With Tiger Woods missing the cut in Abu Dhabi because of a two-stroke penalty, it does bring the contrast of golf's semi-self-enforced rules versus other sports - especially compared to Weaver. Maybe it would be fun to see Tiger argue a ruling or see Dustin Johnson go nuts after that ruling at the 2010 PGA. In contrast to the passive-aggressive approach of pro-golfers, here is one of Weaver's classics (that looks like it was taken by a cell phone before there were cell phones).


There is something compelling about bringing this kind of passion to golf rulings. It could make things more interesting for Slugger White. When it comes to baseball, there are enumerable Managers with famous flip-outs. Of course, I tend to think of George Brett after they tried to take away his home run for having a little pine tar on the barrel. Not this is how you react when a call goes against you [skip to 1:15 for reaction].



Of course hockey has its own brand of coaches flipping out and throwing things on the ice from the equipment to entire benches. Threatening to decapitate a referee might be going a bit far even for hockey (and even if the ref was a Russian Soviet - at most this warranted taking out the knees).



When it comes to basketball, there is only one appropriate reaction to a call against you.




Martin Luther King day down here in the U.S. A time for reflection to think about his inspiring and famous speech ... or that Chris Rock bit. Either way, have a good one.

Douglas Han