Truth and Rumors: FBI grounds Tiger taunter

FBI helps Tiger save faceDid the Federal Bureau of Investigation divert the Tiger-taunting plane flying over Pebble Beach on Sunday? Alas it seems the rumors are true, according to some crack reporting by the Monterey Herald. When a pilot took to the skies during the fourth round of the U.S. Open toting a sign that read "TIGER: ARE YOU MY DADDY?", our nation's leading law enforcement agency wasn't amused.

Monterey County Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Richards said the request was made by an FBI representative to the FAA out of concern for public safety.
"It was a request, not an order," he said.
Such requests made to pilots through the FAA is "standard operating procedure" for large events, said FBI spokesman Special Agent Joseph Schadler.

Um, what about the Masters? Now a little something for all you conspiracy theorists:

But FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said, "The FBI doesn't typically get involved in stuff like that unless there is some type of criminal activity."
The FAA has at times received requests from golf tournament promoters for temporary flight restrictions, Lunsford said, which would prohibit planes or other aircraft from flying right overhead at their events. But those requests have been denied. "We have not to date put anything like that in over any of these golf tournaments," he said.

Which begs the question: did Tiger receive preferential treatment? If the pilot had been dragging a sign that screamed, say, "TWO-FOR-ONE MARGARITAS AT PEPES!!!" or "WE (STILL) LOVE YOU, DUSTIN!" would the FBI have thrown its weight around?

"I know everybody is worried about this banner, but we don't care about the banner. Our concern is a small plane flying over 40,000 spectators," the FBI's Schadler said. "It's irrelevant what was on the banner. It's irrelevant that there even was a banner.

Golf Channel spices up LPGA major with mid-round interviews If first-round leader Cristie Kerr goes on to win her second major this week at the LPGA Championship in upstate New York, viewers might well know what's on her mind before the media waiting in the interview room. Behold the "Walk-and-Talk" mid-round interview, reports the Rochester Democrat Chronicle:

The Golf Channel has done the Walk-and-Talk interview in the past during the Champions Tour, but the expanded up-close access is new this year to the LPGA Tour.
"This sport needs to catch up, in all honesty," said Jack Graham, executive producer for The Golf Channel. "This tour is very open to doing new things. We're miking players, we're doing the walk-and-talks. We're trying to make the experience on TV the only place you can get it."

It's a job Golf Channel talent doesn't take lightly.

"We have an innate sense about when the timing's right," said Kay Cockerill, an on-course reporter for the Golf Channel. "They trust we're not going to say, 'You've had three 3-putts in a row, why is your putting so bad.' Instead, we might ask, 'When things aren't going well, what do you do to change it."

If only the men's tour were as open-minded: "Hi, Dustin, thanks for talking with us. Triple at 2, double at 3. When things aren't going well, what do you to change it?"
"Hi, Kay, great to see you, and can I say, I just love those capris. Adorable. Let me guess, J.Crew? Yeah, the triple was unfortunate. Can you believe I tried that left-handed chip? Nutty, huh? [Chuckles.] I'm just going to keep plugging away. I can't get down on myself this early in the round."
"Great advice, Dustin. Thanks for your time."
"Sure, and sorry if I came off a little pouty. Look forward to catching up with you on the next tee box! Happy Father's Day, Dad!" U.S. Open trophy to locksmith: "Get me of here!" Graeme McDowell was the grittiest golfer at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Nobody said he was the smartest. According to the Belfast Telegraph:

U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell has revealed how he was hit by panic after the combination for his trophy case lock was lost. The Northern Ireland golfer's helpers tried six times to open the carrier after the combination — 9315 — went missing as he arrived back in the UK. Bolt cutters were eventually used to cut the lock in London …

Rookie mistake. That's what you get for making your trophy travel in cargo.

Quote of the day From John Daly, before shooting a 71 in the first round of the Travelers Championship yesterday: "I think [the fans] notice me by the pants now, not the four chins and the big ol' gut."