Kyle Stanley grew up in Washington state and now bleeds orange after playing golf at Clemson.
So imagine the surprise when he revealed Tuesday at the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, that he went to his first Clemson game this year when the Tigers played rival South Carolina.
First game this year? No, first game ever.
“I just never wanted to take a day off,” Stanley said, who thus gave new meaning to the phrase “strong work ethic.”
That’s right – all those years at Clemson, and he was pounding golf balls on Saturday.
As for the game?
“We’re sitting up there in the stands and I started thinking, ‘Man, this is kind of fun,’ ” Stanley said.
Augusta National drops: Pine Valley is back to No. 1 in Golf Digest magazine’s biennial list of the top 100 courses in the world.
The private club in southern New Jersey, designed by George Crump and Harry Colt, had been replaced in the previous list by Augusta National, which this year is No. 2.
The top five remained the same, though there was some reshuffling. Cypress Point went from No. 5 to No. 3, Shinnecock Hills went from No. 3 to No. 4, and Oakmont dropped from No. 4 to No. 5.
Rounding out the top 10 were Merion (East), site of this year’s U.S. Open; Pebble Beach, Winged Foot (West), Sand Hills and Fishers Island Club, which was the only newcomer to the top 10 for the 2013 list. Fishers Island replaces National Golf Links, which slipped one spot to No. 11.
Oak Hill, which will play host to the PGA Championship this year, moved up four spots to No. 17.
McIlroy tops list: Rory McIlroy is atop the world money list published each year in the The World of Professional Golf, the comprehensive golf annual that was started by IMG founder Mark McCormack.
The list includes money earned from every golf tournament, even unofficial events such as the Father-Son Challenge and PGA Grand Slam.
McIlroy’s five wins included the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events. He finished with $11,301,228.
Justin Rose was No. 2 with $7,897,818, even though he won only once on the PGA Tour, at the Cadillac Championship at Doral. Rose also won the Turkish Airways World Golf Final, the medal-match exhibition that attracted a world-class field of eight players. Rose beat Lee Westwood in the final match to earn $1.5 million.
Tiger Woods, with three wins, was at No. 3 with $7,388,061.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Westwood, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley.
Watson (Masters) and Bradley (Bridgestone Invitational) were the only players in the top 10 who had only one win last year.
New clubs: Nike made it official Tuesday with separate announcements that it has signed Stanley and Nick Watney to equipment deals. Both had been with Titleist.
Stewart Cink, who in October said he had one year left on his Nike deal, is switching over to TaylorMade. Also going to TaylorMade is former Lucas Glover (formerly Nike).