Do hot WAGs make golfers go cold?
Lindsey Vonn. Paulina Gretzky. Caroline Wozniacki. The Big Three of golf WAGs. Good thing for Adam Scott that Big Three’s not a Mount Rushmore.
Adam and Ana, in happier times.
Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images
You see, Scott on Sunday won his first career major , alleviating a nation’s pain in the process and giving Australia — finally — the Grand Slam. But while the world analyzes putts, drives, sand saves and short games to figure out why Scott held off the world’s best at Augusta, the real answer can be found in one stat — WAGs.
Last season, Scott was sporting his own high-profile arm candy, tennis pro Ana Ivanovic. Also last season, Scott opened the British Open by tying the course record at famed Royal Lytham and St. Annes, but failed to seal the deal when he bogeyed each of the last four holes to lose the tournament by one stroke in one of the most infamous collapses in golf history.
Fast forward to 2013. In January, Scott and Ivanovic broke up, reportedly their world-hopping careers making it too impossible to stay connected at a WAG-worthy level. So Scott headed to Augusta a bachelor — and left a champion.
Hey, this guy drew the connection:
Adam Scott is 1 for 1 in majors since breaking up with Ana Ivanovic - news.com.au/entertainment/…— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) April 15, 2013
But if Scott has second thoughts, or wants to see if finally getting the major can break the curse, can't say we blame him:
Adam Scott broke up with Ana Ivanovic (tennis player) in January twitter.com/tonymanfred/st…— Tony Manfred (@tonymanfred) April 14, 2013
Coincidence, you say? Without further evidence, certainly that argument could be made. But that’s where the Big Three come in, and seal the deal on the WAG now the defining stat in golf.
Exhibit A: Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn
Tiger came to Augusta on a roll, winning the previous two tournaments he entered and carrying three wins already in his bag in 2013. He also came to Augusta with company — the world’s most famous female skier. The result? Well, things certainly started off well, Tiger shooting one of the best first rounds of his Masters career (sound familiar)?
He was rolling along in Round 2, as well, until a near-perfect approach on 15 was too near-perfect: The ball hit the stick and caromed into the water, Tiger took a drop, and Dropgate was born.
To the chagrin of some, Tiger was not DQ’d, but rather allowed to play on but with a two-stroke penalty. While Old Tiger may have laughed in the face of such circumstance, world-famous-WAG-toting Tiger never recovered. Lindsey remained by her man’s side, but Old Mo’ had clearly moved out, and took up residence Down Under.
Exhibit B: Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky
Paulina looked good in the Augusta sun, but her presence didn't exactly work wonders for Johnson.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
In Thursday’s opening round, Johnson, golf’s latest pro to hook up with a high-profile WAG, was on fire, shooting a 5-under 67 with Gretzky following him on the course.
But by the time the lights went out in Georgia on Sunday, Johnson was an afterthought, shooting a final-round 70 after disastrous middle rounds to finish the tournament tied for 13th at 1-under par — with Gretzky by his side.
You would think that perhaps Gretzky would be immune to bad WAG karma, what with a Hall of Fame dad, and all. But Paulina is also a second-generation WAG, and perhaps her mom, Janet Jones Gretzky, being both an actress and Playboy model overpowers The Great One’s neutralizing powers.
Exhibit C: Wozilroy
Alas, the golfer-WAG couple so powerful, it gets its own cutesy singular combo name, straight out of Hollywood. But there has been nothing cute about Rory’s game in 2013.
Rory thought this was cute on Wednesday. Probably not so much come Sunday.
David J. Phillip/AP Images
The newest Nike star has had his struggles this year, finishing out of the top 25 more often (three times) than in it (two), withdrawing from the Honda Classic and enduring a firestorm of criticism for the move, losing his World No. 1 ranking to Tiger Woods, and at Augusta, finishing tied for 25th despite a closing 69, thanks in large part to a whopping 79 on Saturday.
But he was doomed from the start. Unlike the other golfers on this list, who had their WAGs in the gallery, RORY LET WOZ BE HIS CADDIE IN THE PAR-3 CONTEST!
Now, we know what you’re saying. Rory was a world-beater in 2012, and he has been dating Wozniacki since 2011. This is true — to a degree. Heck, Rory even won the PGA Championship last season, we’ll give you that. But was the win a sign of work-life balance, or more blind squirrel-nut luck?
McIlroy confirmed he was dating Wozniacki in August 2011. Here’s a look at his performance in majors since then:
• 2011 PGA Championship: T-64
• 2012 Masters: T-40
• 2012 British Open: T-60
• 2013 Masters: T-25
Gotta imagine that resume doesn’t exactly leave Jack Nicklaus shaking in his boots when it comes to retaining his record of 18 majors.
So while we make it no secret — WE ARE NOT A DATING SERVICE AND WE OFFER NO DATING ADVICE — if Johnson finds himself standing over a gimme to take down his first major and gazes over at Paulina, gets a wink, and then yips away the tournament, well, Adam Scott made his big putts at Augusta on Sunday.