These are desperate times in the newspaper business. How desperate? USA Today, after scraping the bottom of its ideas barrel, was forced to quote one of my recent GOLF.com columns at length. Check it out on page 3 of the sports section (it not online).
The paper excerpted lines from my what-if story about the Players becoming the fifth major. Of course, they didn't quite get that the story was actually Tim Finchem dreaming. You'd have to read the last paragraph for that punchline, and who wants to read that far in one of my wretched stories?
They also slightly misquoted Phil Mickelson at the start of their story. They wrote that Phil said the Players should count as a major. In my story, Phil was answering a question about his schedule and was discussing how difficult it was because there are the five majors, counting the Players, and the three World Golf Championships -- that's eight events, and so on. He didn't say it should be a major. He simply counted it as one. A slight difference, but a difference.
In all, USA Today was able to run five paragraphs of my story, focusing on how history and the record books would have to be rewritten if the Players now counts as a major. The paper ended with my line about how Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are now the only players who have won all five majors. "Record book takes a mulligan" reads the headline next to the Best of the Web tab.