Tiger's Comeback Might Be All Wet: When Tiger Woods dumped three consecutive shots into the water on a par 3 that is barely over 100 yards, it appeared that any serious talk about him returning to competitive golf was premature at best. There are probably some good reasons for his inability to get over a water hazard at Congressional Country Club, but the best one is most likely that he just isn't ready to come back to the tour. There was hope and speculation that he might play a tune up event prior to teeing it up at the U.S. Open at Oakmont in June. I'll be attending the tournament, and I have absolutely no expectation of seeing Woods anywhere close to northwestern Pennsylvania that weekend, unless he decides to visit Arnold Palmer in Latrobe. It's interesting that Tiger gets more coverage in recovering from injury than Jason Day gets by winning one of the biggest tournaments on the planet. That just substantiates how difficult it is to supplant the legends of the game. Jack Nicklaus shot a 72 at Augusta National this week, and you would think he won his 19th major. Don't get me wrong, there's not a bigger Tiger Woods fan than me. But let's face it, he's 40 years old, injured and worn out, with a lot less years ahead than he has behind him. Can he win again? That's not even the question right now. Will he ever play again? That still remains to be seen.
Phil Mickelson Out Over $1 Million: After vehemently denying for the last couple of years having any involvement in an insider trading scheme, Phil Mickelson ended up making restitution in the amount $931,000. That's a pretty big check to stroke if you're not guilty of something. It turns out that Mickelson, while benefiting from the transaction, wasn't charged with insider trading because he received the stock tip second hand, rather than directly from the insider, in this case the CEO of Dean foods at the time. Phil's information came instead from a guy to whom he owed gambling debts, probably a bigger hit to Mickelson's reputation than the stock transaction itself. Of course, Mickelson has never trie to hide his gambling, a perfectly legal activity if it's done in Las Vegas or other casino locations. But if he was placing bets through Billy Waters, the guy who gave him the stock tip that allowed Mickelson to pay him back, then that's illegal, no matter how widespread the practice. I'm not sure that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem will be too happy with Phil's connection to not only sports gambling, but the type that isn't technically allowed under the law. According to Yahoo! Sports, there is a clause in the PGA Tour bylaws that mentions "behavior unbecoming" to the Tour. I'm thinking that having to pay back a million bucks that you got by taking an illegal stock tip from your bookie to repay gambling debts might just fall into that category. My guess is that Phil will have a rather interesting phone conversation, if not a face-to-face appearance with Finchem to discuss the matter. Mickelson makes around $40 million a year from endorsement deals, which haven't been affected to this point, but public backlash could change all of that. If anything, I would think the entire episode might just dampen the five time major winner's enthusiasm for placing a few debts, unless of course he has a much bigger problem with gambling than is healthy. That would be something his sponsors probably would have to take notice of.