Everyone knows David Feherty likes to entertain, in his own unusual way, but the CBS reporter (and Golf Magazine writer) reached a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it) in a visit to J. Erik Jonsson Community School in Dallas on Wednesday. Feherty met with students to talk about life and golf in hopes of teaching them lessons he learned through his, ahem, varied experiences. After the talk, Feherty donned a protective suit and helmet and let some of the kids hit golf balls at him. Unfortunately one of the kids decided to hit a knock-down shot: Tiger Woods the Tour's new Devil Ball? Recently John Cook was raving about how incredibly well Tiger was striking the ball on the range at Isleworth. According to Cook, Tiger's swing just "clicked." Of course we've been hearing this sort of thing a lot from people around the Tour, including the world's former No. 1 himself. But Tiger's performance in tournaments, most notably his ousting from the WGC event in Tucson Wednesday, might have earned him a new nickname: "Devil Ball."
The genesis of this nickname was a 1970's-era Tour player who killed the ball on the range and often looked great early on in tournaments. The original Devil Ball would routinely look like Ben Hogan in practice, go low on the front nine, and then suddenly hit what caddies called "The Devil Ball"—a shot that came out of nowhere and inexplicably went way right or way left. One veteran Tour caddie explained the shot best: "Only the Devil knew where it would end up."
Tiger's tee shot on the 19th hole yesterday, which went way right and ended up in a thorny desert bush looked a lot like the shot that spawned the original Devil Ball nickname. If Tiger doesn't get the latest iteration of his swing and his confidence up and running quickly, he just might find himself with the most undesirable handle on Tour. Ian Poulter challenges Tiger to consolation match Known as much for his sartorial splendor and tweeting as his golf game, cheeky Englishman Ian Poulter posted one of his greatest tweets yet after losing his first round match yesterday to Stewart Cink:
“Maybe I should give @Tigerwoods a call and see if we can have game this weekend,” “We could have our own Matchplay. #Nothingbettertodo.”
As far as we know, Tiger hasn't responded to Poulter's challenge, but you can bet more than a few golf fans would be interested in seeing the two tabloid titans battle it out on the golf course.
Random fact: With his first round loss at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Tiger Woods could become the eighth-ranked player in the world.