Tip of the visor to Golfweek’s Jeff Rude who nabbed the first in-depth interview with Jim Thorpe since the Champions Tour stalwart was released from prison; you can watch the video here. Thorpe spent one year in the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Ala., a minimum-security facility, for failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in income taxes.
Thorpe said his fellow inmates dubbed him “Ice Man” and “Old School” and that life in the camp, where the inmates have access to a movie theater, two basketball courts, two swimming pools and a pair of golf courses, was more tolerable than he had expected.
“I never thought I’d get old in life and have to go to a prison camp, but when you make mistakes in life, you pay for it,” Thorpe said.
The food was pretty decent, too. Thorpe says he gained 20 pounds.
The golfer accepts full responsibility for his crime, but he still feels singled out.
Tiger RSVPs for the Honda. It’s a ‘no’ The last time we saw Tiger Woods, he was not happy. His eye bulged and proverbial steam poured out his ears as he tried to explain to reporters how he lost to Thomas Bjorn in the first round of the Match Play. The next time we’ll see Tiger? It won’t be at next week’s Honda Classic, as some had predicted.
“The funny thing is,” he says, “they never talk about the [taxes] you pay, it’s the ones you miss.”
Tour rookie ripe for Gillette sponsorship In the last 24 hours much ink has been spilled over Rickie Fowler (heretofore the Pink Pant-er) and his 6-and-5 thumping of Phil Mickelson at the Match Play. But at the Tour’s other stop this week, in Mexico, another pro with inimitable style is making some noise of his own—Andres Gonzales. A Tour rookie, Gonzo hung up a 65 yesterday at the Mayakoba Golf Classic for a share of the first-round lead, wowing fans with both his game and his 'stache—a bold fu manchu that is more befitting of a fireball-hurling relief pitcher than a PGA Tour golfer. Brian Hurlburt at GolfLasVegasNow.com has more:
There was some speculation that Woods, who has built a mansion on Jupiter Island and is expected to move in soon, would add the Honda Classic to his schedule after his first-round loss Wednesday in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
Woods has played only one round of PGA Tour golf - the match-play loss to Thomas Bjorn - since finishing in a tie for 44th place at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. Woods also finished tied for 20th at the non-Tour Dubai Desert Classic event in February.
Woods, according to a spokesman's e-mail, will not play at Honda due to "existing commitments." The Honda Classic is March 3-6. Woods is expected to play next in the Cadillac Championship at Doral, which is an event he routinely includes on his schedule. That tournament is March 10-13.
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While his look will turn heads—those in Mexico believe he is Mexican and are speaking Spanish to him this week (he says he does “un poquito")—it will be his talent that earns the loyalty. Gonzales qualified for the PGA Tour with a 22nd-place finish at Q School in 2010. He has also earned his playing stripes with stints on several mini tours, claiming wins on at least four: Butch Harmon Vegas Tour, Canadian Tour, Gateway Tour, and A.G. Spanos Tour. Four wins on any professional tour is no fluke.
While he missed his first two cuts on the PGA Tour in 2011, he rallied back from very disappointing first rounds of 77 with rounds of 68 in both events he played prior to Mexico. Again, showing talent and determination when others might have faded.
@PaulAzinger: The SPACE SHUTTLE TAKING OFF! Video from my iphone.. http://yfrog.us/6ztbaz
@stewartcink I don't know how to speak Korean so I told Yang "Thanks for the butt kicking" in English. I think he understood just fine.