Sunday, August 27, 2006

CBS Coverage of the Bridgestone Invitational

One absurd quote from David Feherty that I have to comment on: "That's a great shot, I don't care where it ends up." Talking about Tiger Woods of course.

The very definition of a great shot involves success. If the shot ends up in a bad spot, then it can't be great. David has completely crossed over to the dark side. He is no longer an objective reporter of the golf action. He's now a full-fledged corporate suck up. That is so sad.

Who I Saw and Didn't See at the Bridgestone Invitational

Who did I see:

Kevin Stadler, Ben Curtis, Carl Petterson, Padraig Harrington, Chris DiMarco, Mike Weir, Robert Karlsson, Sergio, Kenny Perry, Peter Lonard, Scott Verplank, Ben Crane, Gonzalo, Shiv Kapur, Robert Allenby, Chad Campbell, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, Brett Wetterich, Vijay, Chris Couch, K.J. Choi, Stuart Appleby, Trevor Immelman, Olin Browne, Angel Cabrera, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Arron Oberholser, Tom Lehman, Zach Johnson, Luke Donald, Michael Campbell, Paul Casey, Geoff Ogilvy, Justin Leonard, Lee Westwood, Lucas Glover, Vaughn Taylor, Mark Calcavecchia, Thomas Levey, John Bickerton, Charl Schwartzel, Jeff Maggert, Stewart Cink, Stephen Dodd, Ernie Els, Fred Funk, Bart Bryant, Tim Clark, Thomas Bjorn, Paul McGinley, Tiger, Jason Gore, Jose Maria, Brad Faxon, Rod Pampling, Robert Gamez, Ian Poulter, Corey Pavin, J.B. Holmes, Henrik Stenson, Davis Love III, Johan Edfors, Jim Furyk, Tim Herron, Aaron Baddeley, Nick O’Hern, David Toms.

Who I didn’t see:

David Howell, Stephen Ames, Mark Hensby, Phil Mickelson, Dean Wilson, Tatsuhiko Takahashi, Wes Short Jr, Rory Sabbatini, J. J. Henry, Retief Goosen.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Friday

It’s 9:30am on Friday and people are already drinking beer. Yesterday I saw one of the marshals drinking. Again I saw Stephen Dodd on the range. I chose to sit there for a while when I first got to the course. Looking at the pairings, I realized if I’m going to see Brad Faxon and Jose Maria tee off, then I’m going to have to see Tiger tee off too, since he was going to be in the group ahead of Brad. So, I went to the 10th tee to make sure I got a seat.

At 10:45am Ben Crane came over to the practice putting green. His tee time was 12:10pm.

A stranger behind me offered to buy an old man food and drink. The old man was on portable oxygen. It’s nice to see this kind of generosity. Two men sitting next to me are on their second beers that I know of and it’s only 11am. This can’t be good.

Lee Westwood made his way to the practice green. He looks larger in person than he does on tv.

Since when does handicapped mean fat? There are fat people taking up space reserved for handicapped people. If anyone needs to walk, it’s the fat people. As a former fat person, I can tell you I have never stolen a space reserved for a handicapped person.

It’s 11:30am and the guys are on beer #3. First up on the tee is Lucas Glover, Vaughn Taylor and Lee Westwood. They were ready 5 minutes early and stood there waiting around.

John Bickerton and Thomas Levet have really cute head covers. Something that looks like a gopher and a Dalmatian respectively.

Jeff Maggert didn’t acknowledge the crowds at all when he teed off. I don’t think he even touched the brim of his hat. In contrast, Thomas Bjorn looked at the gallery for a long time before he teed off. Stewart Cink looks even taller in person and Tim Clark was smiling and happy.

Tiger, Jason Gore and Paul McGinley are up next. They all seem to be in a good mood, talking too each other. Jason has a weird looking head cover and Paul McGinley looks a lot shorter in person. I’m 5’2” so I know short.

Faxon, Olazabal, and Pampling tee off next. Olazabal’s shoes aren’t that cool looking today. Ian Poulter walked over to the practice green wearing blue striped pants - very nice. Brad Faxon looked into the gallery for a bit before teeing off.

Following Faxon’s group, I witnessed some pretty cool things. There was a hold up on the 14th green when Rod Pampling needed a ruling. The rules official was nowhere to be found. I think this caused the group to be out of position. I’d like to know why if the rules official isn’t where he’s supposed to be, it’s the players who get penalized if they fall out of position and end up on the clock. Personally, I was glad that this group was a bit behind considering the size of Tiger’s gallery in the group ahead.

Leaving 16 and going to 17 tee, Brad saw someone in the crowd that he knew and talked to him a bit. Then on the 4th hole, these two guys waited for Brad to come out of the port-a-potty and talked to him. I really don’t think people should approach the players when they come out of the port-a-potty.

The coolest thing about following this group is that I had the opportunity to watch all three players up close. All three had shots out of the rough on the wrong side of the gallery ropes. While I’m a big Sergio fan, I have to say I had more fun following Faxon, Olazabal and Pampling.

One more little note about this group - I think Olazabal spoke maybe three words the whole time I followed the them. Good thing Pampling was there considering how much of a talker Brad Faxon is.

I had to leave the group when they were at the 5th hole. It was going on 4pm and I wanted to check out the merchandise, then eat supper and head for home, planning extra time for rush hour traffic.

I would like to take an opportunity now to suggest mental acuity tests for the marshals. I was trying to get back to the clubhouse area when I got stopped at the 8th green. Ernie Els, Fred Funk and Stephen Dodd (yes, I saw him again) were there. I had to wait for them to cross from the green to the 9th tee, then the marshal was supposed to open the ropes to let us go on down the cart path. Well, Ernie tricked the marshal and went back up the 8th a few yards and crossed over there. The marshal was waiting for Ernie so he didn’t open up the path for us to pass. I decided to walk around the 9th tee and go down the other side since the next group was already hitting into the 8th green which meant I would have had to stay there even longer waiting on the marshal to do his job. Finally I got off the premises and left for home.

I missed the whole Tiger overshooting the clubhouse incident. That was good. If I had been there when that happened, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the crowds for a long time and it would have put me really late in getting home.

A note about the merchandise tent and American Express. I got ripped off the other day when the merchandise tent people charged my AMEX gift card twice for my one purchase. Then, today the supervisory staff said “American Express gives us fits.” AMEX is a major sponsor of the PGA tour and the WGC events. I think they need to make sure their credit cards, gift cards etc work correctly at these golf events. Otherwise, the PGA tour is benefiting financially and not giving AMEX what it expects in return, a growing customer base. I’m certainly not going to apply for an AMEX credit card if I’m going to get ripped off when I use it at PGA events.

Also, one more anecdote about security. On Wednesday, an older woman had a big purse with her. She was determined to carry it with her even though anything larger than 6” X 6” X 6” was not allowed. When she approached the checkpoint, all the security people were focused on one young black man wearing very baggy clothing and carrying a cell phone. Because they were all focused on this man, the older woman walked right through the checkpoint without being screened, got her ticket punched and then when she got to the course, showed her punched ticket to the security people there who let her pass. This woman ever did get checked by security.

And one more interesting observation about the players and caddies. Generally, they all had cell phones. In their golf bags.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Thursday

Not news - I made a wrong turn again trying to get to the parking area.

At the security checkpoint, their little magic wand finally detected my car keys. Tuesday and Wednesday they weren’t detected by the metal detector. I guess the players lives are worth more on Thursdays. No terrorist activities would happen on practice round days. One man had a pedometer that emitted a loud sound when it fell off its cord. The security woman told him it wasn’t allowed in. I don’t know what possessed the old man to think it would be allowed in. It would have been worth it to see what Steve Williams would have done to the man if it had gone off at the wrong time. LOL.

On the inside, I saw Stephen Dodd come in from the range. That was around 9:30am. The round wasn’t supposed to start until 11:30am. The local news said it was supposed to rain and I hoped it wouldn’t be severe. I had no idea where to go if I was out on the course in bad weather. The advisories pretty much ban everything on the course and there’s no seating around the clubhouse that would be acceptable.

Standing at the practice green, I overhead an older woman say to the man she was with, “Here comes someone now. Get right up there and tell me who that is. Oh, it’s a caddie,“ she added as if to say he was nobody. To be precise, he was KJ Choi’s caddie and undoubtedly very important to KJ.

Sergio was supposed to tee off on the 10th at 12:50pm. I didn’t know at the time how smart it was, but I decided to sit in the bleachers until Sergio teed off, then I would follow him.

Now for the groups teeing off:

1st group was Brett Wetterich, Vijay and Adam Scott. There’s a practice putting green next to the 10th tee and a lot of golfers took advantage of that. People whispered while this first group teed off. Brett backed off and looked into the bleachers. I noticed there was a guy checking the golf bags for every golfer to make sure their clubs were regulation and they had the right number of clubs.

When Olin Browne, Trevor Immelman, and Angel Cabrera got to the tee, Cabrera shook hands with the boy carrying their sign. Some mouthy guy in the bleachers said, “This hole ain’t even hard.” About this time, I concluded that men yak more than women. One couple of guys was talking about some guy cheating on his wife, then there were these braggarts who wouldn’t shut up. If they could play golf they wouldn’t be sitting on their rears watching it.

The next group was Tom Lehman, Arron Oberholser and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Oberholser looks skinnier in person but was very well dressed. Jimenez was also well dressed in something of a fuscia colored shirt and really nice shoes. The whole group was colorful: pink, green and blue. Before they teed off, Oberholser’s caddie gave a ball to a man in the crowd.

The group of Paul Casey, Geoff Ogilvy and Justin Leonard approached the tee. Justin Leonard looks really short in person and doesn’t seen to have a very well defined neck. Paul Casey looks taller than Leonard. Casey was happy and smiling at the crowds.

The next group is Ben Curtis, Kevin Stadler, and Carl Petterson. There’s a lot of fan support for Ben Curtis since he’s from Ohio. An old man sitting beside me told his wife, “That is the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen. And I can say that because I’m old.” He was referring to someone in the gallery. I didn’t see anyone especially ugly so he must have some issues. I hoped a lot of the people would follow Ben Curtis so it wouldn’t be so crowded at the tee, but no such luck.

Mike Weir, Chris DiMarco and Padraig Harrington were next. Weir looks smaller on tv.

Finally it was time for Sergio, Robert Karlsson and Kenny Perry to tee off. There were Swedish people in the gallery holding a small flag of Sweden. I heard them talking earlier at the practice green and thought it had to be Swedish. Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever heard real Swedish being spoken before so I thought it was a good guess on my part.

I followed Sergio, Karlsson, and Kenny. For one thing, since it’s likely I won’t go to another tournament, I figured I would see as much of Sergio as I could. When I get back and watch tv, it’s going to be all Tiger and Phil all the time and I won’t get to see much of Sergio. And for another thing, since I lost all that weight, I also lost my padding on my rear. It was very uncomfortable sitting on those bleachers. Even the old man beside me stood up a couple of times.

There was a security guy tagging along with Sergio’s group. I made sure I behaved. I made sure my ticket didn’t flap around and that my umbrella and notebook were not in anyone’s line of sight so that they could be a distraction. I stood a few feet away from the ropes, unlike others who leaned into the ropes. And I was very respectful and did not call attention to the fact that Kenny Perry used the port-a-potty on the 4th hole. I’m sure he appreciated the respect. I followed Sergio’s group through 16 holes, but after seeing on the big scoreboard that Adam Scott was 7 under, I briefly wondered if I should have been following him instead. I stopped following Sergio because it was going on 5 pm. I hadn’t had lunch and I had to pee so I decided he could finish the round without me. He probably did better too, I haven’t checked his scorecard for the first round- no internet access here in Akron. Anyway, looking at the pairings, I think I might have to follow Brad Faxon, Jose Maria and Rod Pampling tomorrow. Brad is a favorite of mine and I haven’t seen him at all yet.

Watching Sergio play, I got the impression that he was having a bad round, but then I realized he was 1 under par with a couple of chip ins. I think I like tv watching better than in person watching.

On the way back to the parking area, I saw that people were parking cars on their lawns for $10 each. Yesterday it was only $5.00 per car.


If they can put a roof on the Wimbledon tennis stadium, then they can put roofs on the bleachers.

Just because you are attending a golf event, doesn’t mean you need to bring a golf umbrella. They are dangerous weapons especially when you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing with the umbrella.

Out of the 78 players, I haven’t seen 19 of them. I’m not going to be able to see them all, but I’ve seen a good share of them this week. I will be happy to get to watch Saturday and Sunday’s rounds on tv though. I saw some of it on the local news and it doesn’t even look like the same course. Weird.

The players fidget and waggle a lot more than what the camera shows.

Objectives for Tomorrow:

Not to get lost.

Buy another souvenir.

Not leave anything of mine behind in the hotel room when I check out.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Wednesday

Day 2 started out with me learning something new. I learned that I could get to the lobby of the hotel without going outside and walking around the building. The desk clerk who checked me in yesterday didn’t say anything about that and made me go around the building to go to my room.

And I was right yesterday when I said luck was involved in finding the parking area. I made a wrong turn this morning and had to turn around.

Got to the course before or about 8am. I checked out the tee times board and when I heard this man suggest to his kids that they catch up to Fred Couples, who teed off on the 10th hole earlier, I decided to follow them. This was my first foray into the guts of the course. I was excited. I followed Fred, who was out with a couple of equipment reps I think through the 16th hole. One interesting thing, Fred pulled out a golf ball, said “there’s a spot on here,” and licked the ball. I would have thought the caddie would be doing that. I wonder what the spot was. There was a lot of golf talk between Fred and the equipment guys. Since I don’t pretend to know anything about golf, I’m not going to quote it, but it had something to do with one type of ball doing certain things as opposed to a different type of ball. I think Fred was playing both kinds?

Observations and questions during Fred’s practice round:

1. Why do people applaud during the tournament but not during practice rounds?

2. It’s pretty noisy during practice rounds with lawn mowers, vehicles towing lawn mowers. It makes you wonder why cameras and cell phones bother the golfers so much during the tournament.

3. There was a really cute little girl who ‘tried’ to get Fred’s autograph. Personally, I think she had a better chance of identifying Elmo than Fred. I couldn’t see her watching golf enough to know who the players are, she had to be around 4 years old. Come to think of it, maybe this is why Tiger wears red? The Elmo effect.

4. Some old man followed Fred up to the tee box to get an autograph. He was either completely oblivious to the fact that he was where he shouldn’t have been, or he was so selfish, he didn’t care. I’m leaning toward the "drive with the turn signal on” oblivious.

5. There was a photographer following Fred around with a camera bigger than his head. The camera was huge.

6. It looked like Fred’s head was sunburned. Just a spot on top. He should maybe switch to ball caps.

7. Coming away from the 16th I saw a sign that said “Gray Bar”. I had to take a second look because I completely misread that.

I left Fred after the 16th hole and returned to the tee times board. I was sad to learn that Sergio had begun his practice round while I was out with Fred. He started at 10am on the 1st, so I went out all by myself to find him. (A scary prospect considering how lost I get when I’m driving - see prev. post). I hadn’t been on the front side of the course, but I got around pretty well and finally caught up to Sergio and Luke Donald on the 4th green. Sergio’s approach to the pin landed pretty close to the hole. The people camped out on the green were impressed.

Sergio’s gallery was a little more aggressive than Fred’s. It’s interesting to connect the easy going gallery to easy going Fred and the more active gallery to a more active Sergio. Now just because I said Sergio’s gallery was more aggressive, that doesn’t mean they were ill-behaved. They were well behaved from what I could see. On the 5th green, Luke crouched down behind Sergio’s ball and watched Sergio putt. I don’t know if that was to try to help Sergio or to just see how the putt went for his own benefit later on. They would stick tees in the green in spots where they believed pins could be placed during the tournament and practiced putting to the tees. Fred didn’t do that.

On the way to the 6th, Sergio posed for a couple of pictures. On the tee, Luke hit first. I can see why the announcers like his swing. It doesn’t come across that well on tv, but it really is something to see. If I had to use a simile or metaphor to describe it, I would say it’s like a sigh, natural and soft, but with a lot of substance or meaning to it. As for Sergio’s swing, I would love to describe it, but I wasn’t really paying attention to golf swing mechanics when I looked at him.

While on the 6th, Sergio had peeled an apple and threw the peeling toward a marshal, I guess so the marshal could get rid of it. The crowd said something and Sergio said jokingly “Do you want to eat it?”. On the green, Sergio finished his apple and the caddie threw it out onto another part of the course. I don’t think I’d like to be Sergio’s caddie and have to hold his saliva covered apple. Especially on a course like Firestone with the enormous amount of yellow jackets (bees) that are present. I have yellow jackets here and they swarm the peach trees and fallen peaches that are right next to my door. It’s like running a gauntlet to get past them.

A special fan moment with Sergio - a little boy wanted an autograph but couldn’t get close enough to Sergio to get it. Sergio noticed the little boy and found him again in the crowd and signed something for him. He also signed the back of this woman’s shirt. I think she may have embarrassed him a bit when she said, “that feels good.” LOL.

On the 8th hole, Sergio ate another apple. It was about this time that I started thinking I liked all this course walking. It’s good exercise and a lot more enjoyable than the treadmill.

Then approaching the 9th green, there was a photographer with a big camera kneeling next to me. Sergio saw this guy and posed and smiled for the picture. If Sergio noticed me at all, he probably thought “she has a notebook, writes a lot in it and hasn’t asked for an autograph. She’s a strange girl.” LOL.

Then the practice round came to an end. I actually saw Jose Maria Olazabal smile as he greeted Sergio in passing. Sergio went to the practice range and Jose Maria was headed out for his practice round I think. I saw Luke Donald sign some autographs and then head for the clubhouse. I think his brother lost him because he came along a little later, stopped and looked around. After having watched those two for more than half of their practice round, I think I’m going to have to say that Luke’s brother is the more handsome Donald.

I decided to watch the practice putting green for a while. I saw Ian Poulter in green and black, much better than yesterday’s clothing choice, Stephen Dodd, Geoff Ogilvy, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Nick O’Hern, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Fluff, Jose Maria, Rod Pampling, Vaughn Taylor, and Scott Verplank.

Twice I was in position to see Tiger Woods and wasn’t even trying to. The first sighting happened because I was looking for shade. I knew my face was getting redder all the time so I wanted to get out of the sun. I found some shade at the 9th green. I knew Tiger was somewhere on the 8th hole, not only was that what people were saying but that’s where the big crowd was. I figured Tiger would be turning up soon at the 9th green, but it was shady there so I decided to stay and see just how frenzied it got when he showed up. First though, I got to see Jose Maria again. He finished his practice round right before Tiger played the 9th. I think Michael Campbell might have been with Jose Maria. Then Tiger showed up. He was playing with Corey Pavin. The crowds weren’t so bad while Tiger was on the green. The people in the bleachers even applauded when Tiger finished. But I heard that the mob of people chasing after Tiger on his way to the range almost tripped him.

For my part, not knowing what else to do, I decided to head back to the practice green. On my way there I saw a caddie with a bag on the 1st tee. It was Chris DiMarco’s caddie. So I waited there and got a couple of pictures of him (caddie and Chris). Chris said to the crowd, “You guys know Tiger’s on the range, right?” One adult male tried to get Chris’ caddie to ask Chris to autograph something for his kid. Tip: If you want the caddie to do something, at least use his name when you ask him. Saying “hey mr. caddie” isn’t going to cut it.

I made it to the practice green and stood around there for a long time. And I mean a long time. I saw a lot of players and I saw Sergio finish up his practice. He spent extra time signing things today and also took a couple of pictures. I decided to stay until Jose Maria finished. This put me in line for the second Tiger experience. Tiger came to the practice green. He practiced a little but talked to Jim Furyk a lot. Got a couple of pictures of Tiger and Steve just because they were there right in front of me, then watched as the crowds became a bit dangerous when Tiger left the practice area. The crowds were squashing all the people lined up against the security fence. I watched Jose Maria for a while longer, until my camera battery got low. Then, I decided he would have to finish without me. I’m sure he was crushed - not. I left the course, came back to the hotel, washed off the sticky sunscreen that is doing nothing for my face by the way, then went to dinner.

Extra Notes:

1. I bought a couple of souvenirs today - the pga tour beanie baby, a golf ball with the WGC logo on it, and a plastic id holder to put my ticket in - it’s supposed to rain on Thursday.

2. If Phil Mickelson has been here, virtually no one has seen him. Everyone I’ve been around says he hasn’t been seen.

3. There’s apparently some kind of meet and greet with Sergio Thursday night somewhere in the area. I heard a guy tell some of his friends that he had VIP passes to get in. Sounds like a corporate sponsor thing (Update: I found out from Google News it was a Michelob Ultra thing - Akron Beacon Journal)

4. How well did I do with my objectives?
A. I could fit my id in my pocket so I had all the essentials today.
B. Found the bathrooms. They scare me. Haven’t found the courage to use them yet.
C. Didn’t eat lunch. But I did drink a bottle of water. It’s a step in the right direction.

5. I want to work for the manufacturers. I want to be the guy who walked with Fred Couples and tossed him golf balls. That’s a job I could handle.

6. Cynical Fan Story: Man lectured his little boy for getting an accidental mark on his autograph hat. Apparently, to be worth something other than cherished memories, the hat can’t have anything other than signatures on it.

7. The Tiger crowds wouldn’t be so rude, demanding or dangerous, if he would just set up a booth at every event and sign stuff for an hour a day for three or four days. But if he did that, then he wouldn’t be so valuable because everyone would have his autograph. It’s a supply and demand issue. Like they said in the 60’s if you aren’t part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. If Tiger thinks the crowds are a problem, then he shares some of the responsibility for that.

8. On the local news and in the local papers, it was reported that Tiger arrived at Firestone in a white Ford Taurus. Is this the car Buick will give away if he wins the tournament????

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Tuesday

I got up at 4:50am. 15 minutes earlier than usual. It didn’t really help any as I still managed to leave the house the same time I normally do - 7:30am. I stopped to get gas, but the pump was broken, so I had to go all the way up town to fill up, which meant I finally got on the road at about 7:45 am. The trip was foggy until I got on the other side of the Ohio river. Two observations about Ohio driving: the cops seem to just pull over the tractor trailers, and despite the huge amount of road work being done, there is virtually no new paving. In WV, the interstate gets paved about every year or so, whether it needs it or not.

It took about three hours to get to Akron and I thought I was doing well as it was a cinch to find my hotel. My next objective was to find the parking area I was supposed to use. This was when God decided to remind me of His sense of humor. I tried to use the map that was sent with my tickets. That was a mistake. Every road I tried to take led to a detour. After about an hour of driving around and ending up in towns I shouldn’t have been in, I read and re-read the directions next to that map. Finally, I got on the right track and guessed my way to the parking area. I say guessed because I think I still took a wrong turn but ended up in the right place anyway.

I tried to get through the security check with the smallest purse I own, but it didn’t pass. I would like to take this moment to criticize an apparent double standard at the Bridgestone Invitational - I couldn’t bring a purse in, but once I got onto the grounds I saw hundreds of large purses being carried about. I’m sure some lawyer won’t be allowed to bring her purse in one day and a law suit will be filed - rightfully so.

I ended up just taking my wallet with me. No notepad, pen or camera for Tuesday. That was probably a good idea since I would have been so focused on getting pictures and autographs that I would have missed everything else. Although, watching Sergio for over an hour on the range and practice green made me wish I had my camera.

Once I got to the course, I followed the other people from the shuttle bus since it looked like they knew where they were going. It wasn’t long before I saw a golfer - Aaron Baddeley. He was just finishing up his practice round and the volunteers blocked off part of the path so he could go from the course to the clubhouse. He looked just like he does on tv and he was kind enough to sign some autographs for some people. One pre-teen girl was especially excited to get his autograph. That was cute to see.

Then we moved on and by following some of the men, I got to see Vijay. That was an accident I think. A blink and you’ll miss it moment. I just saw the back of him and his shirt was soaked. He must have put in a whole day’s worth of work even though it was only around 1pm by that time.

I then found myself at the range and putting green where I saw David Toms, Zach Johnson, Chris Couch, Angel Cabrera and his cute caddie, Vaughn Taylor, Chad Campbell. And I saw Robert Gamez and I think Rod Pampling on the first tee.

I decided the best thing for me to do since I had never been to a PGA event or even to a golf course before, was to eavesdrop on the conversations around me. Doing so, I learned that Sergio was finishing up his practice round and that these four guys were going to catch up to him and try for autographs. So, I followed them. At first I wasn’t going to try for autographs because I didn’t have a pen and I probably couldn’t’ read the signatures anyway. But the longer I stood there with all the other people who wanted autographs, the more interest I became in getting them too. And as luck would have it, I was able to take care of the Spaniard Watch in one fell swoop as they say. Sergio, Jose Maria, Gonzalo, and Miguel Angel Jimenez were playing together. As they passed by, Jose Maria didn’t stop to sign anything, but I did hear that he had signed stuff earlier that day. I got Jimenez’s and Gonzalo’s autographs, and yes I was right, you can’t read them. It was really something to be that close to them and actually look into their eyes and say thank you. I would rather have that experience than a hastily scribbled name on something that is tossed over a shoulder back to the crowd. Sergio was besieged with autograph requests. He didn’t have time to do that eye contact thing. He signed about every fourth object presented to him. I was happy to hear a lot of thank yous from the crowd. But I also heard a few “Can I have your glove? Can I have a ball?” I personally couldn’t ask a golfer for stuff like that, even if they do get them free. But then, I’m an adult and most of these requests were coming from pre-teen boys. One of the girls in the crowd said “I don’t know who that guy is, (Gonzalo) but he’s hot.” LOL.

After that, I wandered over to the ninth green and saw Corey Pavin, Brett Wetterich and Kevin Stadler. Corey looks even tinier in person. Kevin looks slimmer in person. I was very pleased to be able to identify Brett Wetterich without needing to look at the name on the golf bag. Later I heard a man say that Brett was surprised to be asked for an autograph-guess he didn’t think he would be recognized.

I found my way back to the practice green and range where I saw Peter Lonard and John Bickerton. Then I saw Sergio come up to the green. Fans asked for autographs then, but the caddie said he would sign after he was finished with his practice. So, I followed Sergio and took a seat on the bleachers behind the range. From my vantage point, I got to see: Jose Maria, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Fred Funk, Stuart Appleby, Johan Edfors, Lucas Glover, Gonzalo, Tim Herron, Justin Leonard, Fred Couples, Stephen Dodd, Shiv Kapur, Thomas Levet, Scott Verplank and Sergio of course. What did I see? Jose Maria and Sergio talked a little bit. Henrik was between them. Sergio and Henrik talked some. Sergio held court with about 5 guys. He went through a bucket of balls but it took a long, long time because he was talking and joking with his people. I really can’t tell you how any of the practice went for any of the players because I lose the ball once it gets airborne. I don’t know how they can see them. So, I sat in the full sun and watched the players interact with each other for a long time. Long enough for my poor nose to begin to impersonate Rudolph the reindeer, even though I did have sunscreen on.

When I saw Sergio take the cover off his putter, I headed for the practice green. I was glad to be moving. For one thing, there were a lot of bees at those bleachers and for another, the guys around me kept yapping on and on and on. And they say women talk too much.

Back at the putting green, I watched Sergio make quite a few putts. He putted from different distances and toyed with different putters and talked more with ‘the boys’. By this time Luke Donald had shown up and he and Sergio talked quite a bit. I heard Donald ask Sergio about his upcoming schedule, but didn’t hear the answer. Ben Crane also came out to the practice green. Then I saw Carl Petterson’s golf bag walk by and Ian Poulter, who was dressed rather boringly for that practice. A little bit of a letdown.

Standing there at the green, I once again eavesdropped on this guy talking to someone on the inside of the fence about Sergio’s putting. A tip or suggestion or something. Well, the guy on the inside actually went up to Sergio and his caddie and brought up the guy’s comment. This guy on the outside must have had something to do with the golf industry. Not just an average spectator.

John Bickerton was asked for some autographs. A nice gesture from the American crowd who might not be familiar with him. He was a nice guy. He asked the crowd for directions to a nearby shopping mall. One not so nice ‘fan’ complained about the legibility of Bickerton’s autograph. The way I see it, Bickerton could have not signed anything at all. He was being nice. It isn’t like crowds line up in an orderly fashion and wait patiently as the golfer signs things slowly. The golfers don’t have a lot of time so they do what they can.

Sergio finally got finished with his practice/chit chat session and once again a big flock of fans swarmed him for autographs. He signed as many as he could, told someone they had his wallet, made plans for Friday night I think with some people on the inside. Sergio moved up the fence signing things and when he ran out of fence, he continued to sign even though the fans were right up next to him. Luckily, there was a police officer there to keep an eye on things. Not that the fans got out of hand. They were pretty well behaved. But I was concerned for Sergio that there wasn’t a barrier between him and the crowds. The most memorable part of this autographing was this one little boy who was counting all the autographs on his hat. He said, “thirteen, fourteen, twenty, twenty one.” His dad said the boy always counted that way. LOL.

So, after Sergio escaped to the clubhouse, I decided to call it a day and headed for the entrance and the shuttle. Got back to my car and promptly ended up going North on the interstate when I wanted to go South. Turned around and got off at the right exit, missed the entrance to my hotel, had to turn around and go back.

The hotel I was staying at was allegedly renovated a few years ago, but the carpet was worn, paint old, and the ceiling of my room had half cottage cheese look and half not. There were only about 20 channels on the tv. You’d think a hotel could get a discount on the cable and get more channels. But that’s okay. If I could watch tv, then I wouldn’t have had time to write down the day’s events.

General Observations about Day One:

1. First time I’ve ever been to a golf course at all. Reminded me of the local county fair. Maybe once I follow the players for a round, I will lose that feeling.

2. I’ve never seen that much grass in one place. Here at home, my lawn is made of weeds and hay. We’ve never seeded a lawn.

3. The sound of the club hitting the ball is different from what you hear on tv. Sounds like some kiddie toy in person.

4. I don’t think I’ll be able to learn the map of the course at all. All day I was moving from green to tee to green and not knowing where I was. And you know I only had a few choices, one, nine, ten, eighteen, etc.

5. You learn much more about the players by watching them interact with each other. Sergio is a toucher. Every person he talked to, he either shook their hand, patted them on the back, smacked them in a conversational manner. Jose Maria, on the other hand, seems to be the opposite. I don’t think I saw him touch anyone, or speak to anyone for more than a few seconds. Stephen Dodd appeared to me to be the hardest working golfer there. Every time I looked at the range or the practice green, there he was.

All in all, today was pretty good. So, I got lost a lot. Believe it or not, I didn’t get upset, angry, or cry or anything like that. My parents get upset when they get lost, mostly dad gets combative and mom gets emotional. But I just went with the flow. I was getting a bit frustrated with all the detours but I always knew I would end up where I was supposed to be. And if you were paying attention to the account, you’ll notice there was no mention of potty breaks or lunch. That’s because I didn’t eat lunch, my hands were full carrying the program guide and my wallet = no purse. And I haven’t found the bathrooms yet. I’m sure I walked right by them and just didn’t see them.

Objectives for Wednesday:

1. Bring camera, not pad, pen and money. Leave useless things like ID and proof of medical insurance behind. Since the tournament won’t let you carry anything into the event. You would think they would make it easier for people to carry things like ID. If someone gets hurt or arrested, having the ID on them might make things easier.

2. Find the bathrooms.

3. Eat lunch.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Final Thoughts on the PGA Championship

On the 10th hole, Sergio got trashed by the announcers for hitting a wayward tee shot. When Mike Weir got there and missed his tee shot, the announcers said that no one has had a good tee shot from there. They make excuses for Mike Weir.

It seems like Tiger's driver is a lot like Sergio's putting. But no one dares to criticize Tiger's driving. He brings in advertising dollars. So what if a few people get hit.

They threw up a statistic graphic today that said that Tiger wins most of his tournaments on par 72 courses. So, instead of making the courses longer to Tiger proof them - they should just reduce all of the courses to par 70. And reduce the width of the fairways and grow longer, tougher rough.

Finally, at the British Open, the announcers made a point to say that Sergio's final round stats show that he's usually 2 over par in final rounds. Well, today he was 2 UNDER par. So, for everyone who says he's let another one get away or that he hasn't improved or isn't working on his game, I say HAH!

The Today Show

This morning on the Today Show, the newsreader said "Tiger is still tied for the lead". What is this STILL business? The guy made it sound like Tiger had been leading all three rounds. Tiger just moved into the lead yesterday. Did the newsreader think they played another round overnight? I swear the media is completely distorting things. I'm beginning to wonder if the President isn't actually telling the truth and the media is the one lying about the war in Iraq and the war on terror. After hearing such a misleading statement like the one said this morning about Tiger, I think I need to start dissecting everything everyone in the media says, not just poor Lanny Wadkins.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Third Round Thoughts on the PGA Championship

When they introduced Chris DiMarco on the first tee, I couldn't help but think of the Footjoy "Spanky" commercial.

When there are several players tied for the lead like there was for much of today's round, the announcers should just stop talking about the lead. It's really irrelevant at that point.

Sergio on the 6th hole - he missed a birdie putt and Bobby Clampett said 'again another missed opportunity'. Sergio was three under through 6 holes but Clampett made it sound like he hadn't done anything all day. People criticize the way Sergio talks about his game (i.e. his ego). Well, someone needs to be out there counteracting all this negativity that these announcers cast on his good play.

A look at the leaderboard: Mike Weir and Tiger were 7 under today. Luke was 6 under. Geoff was 4 under and Sergio was 5 under. I really don't think anyone 10 under or worse will have a chance to win tomorrow (sorry Sergio). Of the four who might have a chance: Tiger, Luke, Geoff and Mike, I think Geoff and Luke have the best chance to go low tomorrow, they had the higher scores today. I don't think Mike Weir can put together another low round after his 65 today.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Trip to the Bridgestone Invitational

While I don't even expect to meet the waiter who serves Sergio his meals during next week's tournament, if I do actually get an opportunity to meet Sergio or any of the golfers, I might need some questions to ask. Especially since my mind will no doubt be a complete blank. So, if you have any DECENT, intelligent questions to ask, email them to me (the email button is in the sidebar). If I get a chance to ask them, I'll post the answers here when I get the chance. If I don't get a chance to ask them, I will post some of the questions I like best here and give credit to the folks who supplied them. If I don't get any questions in my inbox, then I will just make some up, post them here, and credit them to ficticious people :)

I promise to check my email before going to the tournament. Some of you know I don't check that account for weeks at a time :)

PGA Championship Thoughts

So far:

While I would love to see Sergio win, I am very excited to see Billy Andrade in contention. I actually watched some of the coverage today (which I wasn't planning to watch since I was convinced it would be all Tiger and Phil) because Billy was doing so well.

Billy Andrade is proof that long hitters aren't necessarily the smartest golfers. He's tied for the lead and has had to think his way around the course to get there. The long hitters could have been leading if they thought a little more and fed their egos a little less.

I heard the announcers say that Tiger has hit two people in the gallery today with wayward shots? Not that I was planning to anyway, but I am definitely NOT going anywhere near him next week when I go to the tournament. He's way too dangerous and borderline irresponsible with the way he's playing. He knows his driving is off, but apparently he doesn't care and continues to put the gallery at risk.

I'm glad Geoff Ogilvy is doing so well. If he wins this he should definitely win player of the year honors.

Where's Luke Donald been? All of a sudden he's up there in contention in a major.

What IS the length of a tap in? They called Mickelson's putt on the 15th a tap in and it looked like two or three feet at least. Before my five year break from golf watching, they would only call it a tap in, if it was a few inches from the hole, not a few feet. I'm beginning to think Sergio's putting isn't as bad as everyone thinks. The announcers are just making it seem that way.

Law and Order Commercial - has anyone seen this commercial where it sounds like the guy is saying "I killed Justin Leonard"? I hope the guy isn't saying that, but it is way too freaky and a little crass of TNT to air that commercial during the golf coverage.

Announcer comments:

Lanny Wadkins mentioned everyone BUT Billy Andrade when he first came on the air tonight. Billy was tied for the lead at that time and Lanny completely skipped over him. Have you all heard the song by Neal McCoy called "Billy's got his beer goggles on"? Well, I think some of these announcers have "Tiger" and "Phil" goggles on and they just don't see anyone else.

Speaking of seeing only Tiger and Phil, a Lanny Wadkins quote: "Between Mickelson and Woods one of them's been in the trees on every hole." When speculating on the amount of conversation in the grouping of Mickelson, Woods and Ogilvy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why Should Tiger Expect Special Treatment?

Everyone else gets asked for autographs, why shouldn't he?

Few early hunters get Tiger's autograph; one gets scolding

Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The sun's first rays and Tiger Woods' first drive simultaneously light up Medinah Country Club about 6 a.m. Monday.

At the same time across the suburbs, hordes of happy "Tiger Hunters" load into shuttle buses that will deliver them into the heart of Woods' jungle.

A handful of fans catch a glimpse of Woods on the second hole. The crowd swells to 300 by the eighth hole. Four hours after his practice begins, Woods walks off the 18th green in front of 5,000 fans.

"We got here at 8:30 to see Tiger, and we saw him," says Ray Borucki of Mundelein as he and his 12-year-old son, Ryan, their mission accomplished, take the shuttle back to their car in Arlington Heights.

As a bonus, Ryan, a first-baseman/pitcher whose baseball team just lost a shot to go to the Little League World Series, captures a handful of autographs of golfers who aren't Tiger. One of them is from that clean-cut, nondescript white guy who seems boring but is a pretty good golfer.

Burt Constable/
Thousands of fans shoot photographs of Tiger Woods during Monday’s practice session at Medinah Country Club. But the owner of this cap Woods signs after leaving the 18th green is one of the rare “Tiger Hunters” who snagged the golfer’s autograph.
Bob Chwedyk/
Kurt Wundsam of Palatine and his 13-year-old son, Andrew, took an early shuttle from Arlington Heights to Medinah to catch a glimpse of Tiger Woods and other pros.
A few holes behind Woods, under the watchful eyes of three or four fans, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal proves a far less elusive prey than Tiger.

"I got it," yells 13-year-old Andrew Wundsam of Palatine as he sprints toward his dad, Kurt, clutching a pennant autographed by Olazabal.

"This is the third time I've gone to a practice event. I just love it," Kurt Wundsam says.

Aspiring golfer Samuele Masini, 12, of Mount Prospect, misses out on a Tiger autograph, but he fills his camera's memory with shots of Woods. With a best score of 41 over nine holes, Samuele hopes to be a pro golfer some day.

"I'm trying to keep up with him," says his dad, Paul Masini, whose smile makes it clear that he doesn't mind getting beaten on a golf course by his son.

It's all about golf for Art Schmalz, 71, of Arlington Heights, who doesn't care a whit about photos or autographs.

"I was up early, so I told the wife I was going," says Schmalz, an avid golfer who views the pros as possible teachers. "You try to watch them and see what they are doing - their hands and feet positions."

The Masinis, Wundsams and Boruckis are the norm in this overwhelmingly white, mostly male crowd. They seem happy just to have gotten so close to Woods, gotten a few "lesser" autographs and seen the best golfers on the planet.

Woods mows through the course with a single-minded obsession that carries over when he's not swinging a club. He seems oblivious to the screaming children straining to touch him as he strides past.

When he does sign a half-dozen or so autographs on his way to the clubhouse, a detached Woods plucks a hat from the crowd without looking, scribbles his name on the brim and, still without looking, pushes the hat in the direction it had come with less attention than if he were dropping an empty water bottle in the trash.

Fans note Woods is "working," and few fault him for not signing more.

But Brian Gabriel of Orland Park gets a Tiger Woods autograph and a reprimand.

Gabriel and his buddy Brian Farrell, both 21-year-old golfers, are among the first fans on the course. When they see Woods pose for a photograph with the young daughter of a course worker, the men decide to make their move.

"He (Woods) looked at us like, 'You're kidding me. I get out here at 6 a.m. and people are already here,'æ" recalls Farrell, of Tinley Park.

"I said, 'Hey, Tiger, would you mind signing this for me?' " says Gabriel, who offered a pennant from a Hawaiian tournament. "He signed it, turned away and says, 'No one ever says please anymore.' He said it not in the nicest way."

Nerves, not rudeness, led to the forgotten "please," says Gabriel, who adds, "I said, 'Thanks. I appreciate it.'æ"

An unmoved Woods ignored Gabriel's following apology and, according to the two young men, glared whenever he spotted them at future holes. Fans near Woods report that the golfer moans privately about all the distracting camera flashes, and a security officer confirms suspicions that Woods seems sincerely steamed about Gabriel's manners lapse.

Most fans leave with a photo of Tiger. A lucky few attain his autograph. One gets his goat.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Darren Clarke Mourns Death of His Wife

Associated Press
Posted: 2 hours ago

LONDON (AP) - Heather Clarke, the wife of golfer Darren Clarke, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. She was 39 Darren Clarke said he will continue his break from golf and Paul McGinley, a close friend of the Clarke family, said he also has withdrawn from this week's PGA Championship.

Throughout her illness, Heather Clarke insisted her husband continue playing, but he decided to stop after the British Open three weeks ago so he could be with her and their two children, 8-year-old Tyrone and 5-year-old Conor.

"Heather's courage and bravery throughout the last two years when she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer has been an inspiration," Clarke said in a statement. "Heather never complained once throughout her ordeal and we will all miss her greatly. She was a wonderful and enormously supportive wife, mother and friend."

Darren Clarke, who did not announce any funeral details, said he will return to the game "when he feels ready." He already had withdrawn from the PGA Championship.

McGinley said he withdrew so he could attend the funeral.

"Our two families are very much intertwined, obviously me and Darren out here, but Heather and (McGinley's wife) Ali were the best of friends and our kids are in the same class at school," said McGinley, who was playing at the KLM Open in the Netherlands.

"So it is a tough, tough time for us all. I don't know how I am going to concentrate today."

Saturday, August 12, 2006


One of the CBS announcers said today that he couldn't remember the last time Sergio had a run of 4 or 5 straight birdies. First, he must obviously have blocked out the third round of this year's British Open. Second, I just checked out Sergio's scorecard for today's round at the International - he finished with four straight birdies. Paul Azinger and or Mike Tirico at ABC Sports would have used the computer to look up the stats - not just relied on memory.

International Today

Bobby Clampett made note of the fact that Sergio had only 23 putts in round two. Thank you for that. Lanny Wadkins is still annoying. David Feherty was apparently MIA for about two hours today - the first time I heard him was after 5pm eastern. I still think Tom Lehman needs to eat more. Castle Pines is a very pretty golf course.

The International

I could write up something myself, but I haven't seen much of the first two rounds, except for the close up of Sergio's rear end on Thursday - Thanks Gary McCord for that :). So I thought I would just post this news artice:

Garcia closes in on leaders

Sergio tallies 10 points Friday to move into third

By Gary Baines, Camera Sports Editor
August 12, 2006

CASTLE ROCK — Sergio Garcia is set to return to the site that made him famous, but first he has a little business to conduct in Colorado.

The Spaniard literally jumped into the consciousness of many golf fans as a 19-year-old with his scissor-kick leap en route to a runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club. And he'll return to that course near Chicago next week for the PGA.

But all in good time. For now, he'd love to notch his first worldwide victory in 11 months by capturing the International trophy at Castle Pines Golf Club. Garcia scored 10 points in Friday's second round of the International to move into third place, two points behind leader Patrick Sheehan and one back of Canadian Ian Leggatt.

"I'm going to try to give myself a chance to win here," Garcia said after finishing two rounds with 16 points. "I just want to focus on this week."

For several hours Friday afternoon, the focus was on the sky above Castle Pines, where lightning and rain assured that the International kept intact its streak of having at least one weather delay every year it's been held, dating back to 1986.

A 3-hour, 34-minute stoppage, in which six-tenths of an inch of rain forced standing water to have to be pumped out of many bunkers, ended at 6:30 p.m. Competitors then got in another 1 hour, 19 minutes of play before darkness stopped the action.

For the 72 players who didn't complete their second rounds, they'll resume play at 7:30 a.m. today. A cut to the best 70 players and ties will be made after the second round is finished, pairings will be set, then round 3 will begin. Thirty-six players will advance to Sunday's final round.

There's a good chance players will need six points total to earn a spot in round 3, which leaves golfers at five points through 36 holes — such as Phil Mickelson, Jose Maria Olazabal and Mark O'Meara — in danger of being cut. When play was stopped because of darkness, 69 players stood at six points or better, meaning that if at least one more moves up past six, without anyone moving down, the cut will be at six.

Others in danger of exiting after two rounds are Chris DiMarco (minus-3 points through 29 holes) and David Duval (zero through 32 holes).

Big names who look to be in good shape to stick around for round 3 are defending champion Retief Goosen (12 points through 30 holes), Greg Norman (eight through 32 holes), Ernie Els (eight through 30 holes) and Davis Love (seven through 36).

Sheehan and Leggatt, ranked 158th and 211th, respectively, on this year's PGA Tour money list, were grouped together the first two rounds and fed off each other's good play.

Sheehan, winless in four seasons on the PGA Tour, birdied his last three holes to finish with eight points for the day and 18 for the tournament. Leggatt, despite a double bogey on his first hole, chalked up 13 points Friday to finish at 17 overall. The third member of the threesome, Chris Riley, wasn't bad either, ending up with six points for the second straight day for 12 total.

"We had a great group," said Sheehan, who turned 37 years old on Wednesday. "Ian made two eagles. ... He had a huge day.

"It was a good group for me because everybody talks to each other and you're telling jokes. We all played pretty well (Thursday) and it just kind of continued today. Everybody's in a good mood. A guy makes a couple of birdies and you just follow him up."

Garcia has been a regular in contention at the International. Five times since 1999 he's qualified for the final round, but he's suffered through a major Sunday slump, losing a cumulative 12 shots in the final round. Of course, that's not an unusual trend for Garcia, who owns a 73.9 Sunday scoring average on Tour this year. Recently, paired with Tiger Woods in the final round of the British Open, Garcia posted a 73 to finish fifth, his best finish of the year on Tour.

But given his position this week, and that has game has taken an upturn in the last month, Garcia is much more upbeat these days.

"I'm definitely a lot happier than I was just before the U.S. Open," he said. "I'm feeling much better. Everything is coming together a little bit better. There is room for improvement, but I feel good about it."

And, looking ahead to the PGA at Medinah next week, Garcia said, "Medinah and Chicago is a special place for me. It's where everybody got to know me. I'm hoping I can go out there and put on a good show. I'd love to finish one better than last time. But if not, at least I'll be around there and get a nice feeling from the people."

On Friday, Garcia overcome a double bogey at the par-3 16th hole (his seventh) to rack up seven birdies. And he finished up with a par after hitting his drive into the water at No. 9.

Leggatt, winner of the 2002 Tucson Open, was limited in his play in both 2004 and 2005 due to carpal tunnel syndrome in his left wrist. He's playing on Tour this year thanks to a medical exemption.

"Everything is good; my hand is feeling fine," said Leggatt, who also has battled a major sinus infection and an elbow problem in recent years. "It's been a long, hard road back. This is sort of where I left off with all my injuries — I was getting myself into positions like this a lot in '02. So it's nice to have that feeling again."

Copyright 2006, DailyCamera. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Three Days With Phiger

This week on the Golf Channel was supposed to be three days with Phil Mickelson. But they are still talking about Tiger's 50th win. It's kind of funny that even Phil's week on the golf channel can't escape Tiger Woods. Sad for Phil, but funny.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


You'll notice I didn't have a lot of comments about the play in the final round of the Buick Open, mostly just what I heard people say. That's because the whole time I was watching the final round, I was focused on the gallery instead of the players. It was nice to phase Tiger into just a big red blob and study the gallery looking for women to see what they were wearing and if they carried purses. As you know in just a couple of weeks, I will be attending the Bridgestone Invitational (if I don't get lost or something on my way there). So, I decided today I would study the crowds to see what I could learn. I saw a couple of women with purses, one with a fanny pack, and a lot of people without their tickets prominently displayed (which is NOT what the ticket small print says you should do). And, I didn't need this lesson because I behave like an adult, I saw the apple incident and heard the subsequent report that the apple thrower was ejected from the tournament grounds. I'll be able to watch the crowds for a couple more weeks, so hopefully I'll be able to learn some other useful things.

Buick Open

Lanny Wadkins Quote: "Tiger's finally got someone chasing him (Furyk) who can get it done. All these youngsters only have a few wins."

Why are all the players under 30 ranked out of the top 50? Maybe it has something to do with lack of support from the US Pro Golf Contingent (i.e. everyone sucks up to Tiger and Phil). Gary McCord kept harping on the fact that the under 30 crowd isn't in the top 50. Well, maybe he can help the youngsters out by telling us how he made it to the top 50 before he turned 30 - oh wait, I don't think he did.. And the announcers said that the under 30 crowd needed a Hale Irwin type. As I recall, Hale was a pretty good golfer in his younger days, but didn't become a dominant force until after he turned 50 and joined the Champions Tour.

The "Winning Woods" Graphic that CBS posted during the final round - there was only one win on that list of his finishes at the Buick Open. Whoohoo. One win - let's celebrate with a graphic that suggests to the viewers that he's won every year. They won't look at the stats, just the title at the top of the graphic. How about re-naming the graphic "One More Win and He'll Tie Vijay"?

Finally, the best part of the final round - Jim Furyk paying homage to Camillo Villegas and his Spiderman putt reading :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Round up

Yesterday I actually remembered that there was golf on from 4pm to 6pm, but when I turned on the tv I saw last year's coverage of the Buick Open. That wasn't so bad because that amateur kid was playing and that was fun to watch. Tonight I completely missed it because I was out shopping. Got a really cute purple lamp. Anyway, I watched some of the senior tour event - confused as to why the celebrity players are playing this week. I missed that bit of news.

Saw on Golf Central that Michelle Wie suffered a two stroke penalty for brushing the sand in a bunker with her club during her backswing. They seem to be attacking her for her explanation of what happened, which is odd considering they are trying to make a ton of money off of her. It seems every time she suffers a penalty like this, the media attacks her. I hear that rule book itself is small but it's the explanations, clarifications, and exceptions that make it like a masters program in college to learn. Granted, the don't touch the sand in the bunker thing is a big one. I hope Julie Inkster wins the British Open since she's never won it before. Se Ri Pak withdrew with neck problems. No cool fashion to watch this week.

Speaking of the women's tour, I think the revamped Rolex rankings will reflect more accurately who's playing the best. And, if you were cynical enough, you could even suggest that this was how they planned it to be all along. They just manipulated it in the beginning to get the Michelle Wie media spotlight on it.

And I think the media (the golf channel since that's the only thing I've seen for the Buick Open) is getting out of control - talking a 59 on Tiger's first round. Even Tiger seemed to suggest that he never considered it, saying that you don't really start thinking about it until you only have a few holes left. Not the way the Golf channel was throwing the idea around as early as they did (after only the first few holes). I don't know why they have to manufacture these stories - you'd think after 10 years they would have enough faith in Tiger that they wouldn't have to create a story, he could provide them with one on his own.

And Three Days With turned into Four Days With when they had Tiger Highlights from some major championship on last night. I ended up watching Who Wants to Be a Superhero on the Sci Fi channel instead. This coming week, it will be Three Days with Phil Mickelson. Oh Joy. How about spending three days with a player we aren't sick of hearing about? But then, you wouldn't want to actually teach the viewers anything new about a golfer, would you? You'd just rather show re-runs of tournaments that we've already seen a hundred times.