Pro golf turns ugly on Halloween week

Mike Ehrmann

You might not see many ghosts or goblins on golf courses this week, but here are a few storylines that made SB Nation contributor Adam Fonseca's skin crawl this Halloween.

Halloween is upon us ghouls and gals, and while I'm not much of one to dress up as a zombie golfer to go trick-or-treating, I still appreciate the occasional scary story. Thankfully -- or unfortunately, depending on your point-of-view -- there were a few storylines this week in professional golf that ranged from frightening to downright cringe worthy.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy criticized for not playing at HSBC -- Every so often I hear a story that just makes me cringe and hate golf sponsors. This is one of those times.

Despite having played in two exhibition events in the past month, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are being ridiculed for not playing in this week's HSBC Champions event in Asia. The World Golf Championship-event expects to showcase many of the best players on the planet, but McIlroy and Woods have decided to take a week off. You know, since they were just put on display in a one-on-one exhibition match that was nothing more than a cash grab for everyone involved HOURS after playing in four-round events the week prior.

I'm not saying Woods or McIlroy are living a rough life or anything (since they also received hefty appearance fees), but it might be time to step back and take a breath. Let's not make the two biggest names in our sport nothing more than a circus sideshow, shall we?

Phil Mickelson calls Ryder Cup loss "low" of his career -- I appreciate Phil Mickelson's contributions to the game of golf. I appreciate the risks he takes in major championships and the shots he can pull off in high-pressure situations. Heck, I don't even mind the "golly-gee" mentality he has when strolling around a golf course with that stupid grin on his face. The man is a Hall of Famer and rightfully so.

It isn't too often that we see the depressed side of Mickelson, who has consistently done everything he can to seem in good spirits most of the time. His admission that the disappointment stemming from his team's Ryder Cup loss will last "more than a month" injects a sense gloom into a persona that is normally very positive. But then again, Mickelson's willingness to seem vulnerable and painfully human is a quality that has won him many fans over the years.

Nick Faldo calls Rory's rumored Nike jump "dangerous" -- After the announcement that McIlroy and Acushnet are parting ways as of Dec. 31, rumor mills heated up on the possibility that Rory will soon jump to Nike. This apparently caught the attention of on Sir Nick Faldo, who believes the move would be "dangerous" for the young Northern Irish lad.

Changing clubs and other equipment is no laughing matter for professionals the caliber of McIlroy. There is an inherent level of confidence a player often feels when he or she can trust the tools of their trade. This trust my be lost in newer equipment at first, which prompted Faldo's remarks on cautioning Rory. Of course, one would suspect that Rory will have no problem adjusting to any equipment he chooses.

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