Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Memorial, Round 1

I watched a bit of this tonight. Sean O'Hair is either at the top or near it. I tuned out while Nick O'Hern was still on the course. I don't know how he finished. Rod Pampling is up there too. I think both he and O'Hair shot 65s today. Sergio shot a 69. I hate to say it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really hope he's been working on his game and has improved. Maybe it's just his attitude that needs improving.

And where's the rain?


Mass Withdraws this week. At the Memorial, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Lucas Glover. At the LPGA event, Michelle Wie.

All the media hype surrounding Mickelson and Wie and it was for nothing since they both withdrew. That will teach the media for trying to manufacture news.

Monday, May 28, 2007

No Rose This Week

I just read that Justin Rose will be pulling out of the Memorial this week as a precautionary measure to ensure that his back will be as close to 100% in time for the US Open. According to the article, there's no new trouble with his back, he's just being careful. Considering it was cold and wet in England and that he would have to come all the way to Ohio for the tournament this week with no break, it's probably a good idea to get a little rest.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Exciting End to the Colonial

Rory Sabbatini won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in a one hole sudden death playoff against Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer. It was great to see Langer play so well. If I remember right, he played well before the Masters and I picked him as a darkhorse favorite for the Masters. Furyk finally found something in his game and nearly won. Where's he been in the last few months? And of course, Sabbatini had some good stats this week. They said 19 putts total for one of his rounds.


Click Here for the Article

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- The European Tour plans to strengthen ties with the rest of the world in order to rival the PGA Tour in the United States.

The European Tour currently includes tournaments in Australasia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But many events have weakened fields because of conflicting tournaments in the United States.

"The idea of amalgamating with other tours to put on a really attractive schedule, by whatever name we call it, is one that we are in the final stages of refining," European Tour executive director George O'Grady said Sunday.

"Certainly it won't be a World Tour -- that's far too grand for me to come up with -- but there might be a name change."

One factor hurting the European Tour is that three of the four majors and all three World Golf Championship tournaments are held in the United States.

Last week's Irish Open attracted only two of the world's top-50 players, mainly because it was moved from March to May this year, just after the Players Championship on the PGA Tour.

"We're the European Tour and we're working with all our partners to make, I would say, a hugely strong alternative to the PGA Tour," O'Grady said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

Sabbatini's Challenge

I didn't blog about this when I first heard it, but since they keep bringing it up on tv, I think I should say something about Rory Sabbatini's comments about wanting to be in the final group with Tiger again and how he thinks Tiger is beatable.

I'm not much of a Rory Sabbatini fan, but I don't see anything wrong with his comments. Everyone is whining that there's no one out there challenging Tiger Woods. Now that there is someone who has the attitude and the belief that it's possible out there, everyone is criticizing Sabbatini - "How dare he challenge the great blah, blah, blah Woods". Proving that, one, the media only cares about stirring up a fight and the players can't trust a one of them, and, two, the fans are just a bunch of wishy washy flipfloppers who are too scared to pick a stance and stick with it.

As for the notion that Tiger isn't beatable? I believe Jim Nantz said that Tiger's response was something like "I've won 9 out of 12, so yeah, that's beatable". Talk to Henrik Stenson and Zach Johnson. A WGC event and the Masters and Tiger couldn't get it done. The past 9 don't mean a whole lot in that context. And where was Tiger on Sunday at the Players?

Sabbatini's right. Tiger is beatable and while I'm not much of a fan of Rory Sabbatini, it will be very enjoyable to watch him do it.

BMW PGA Championship

I figured I should use the name of the tournament at least once this week. LOL. Anders Hansen won today in a playoff with Justin Rose. It's good to see both men doing well, but as you know I'm a loyal Justin Rose fan and I would have liked to see him win.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Golf Roundup

I've been watching golf, just haven't been blogging. The puppies have been keeping me a little busy. At the Colonial, there are some good stories. Tim Clark hit every fairway and every green in his second round I think. Arron Oberholser's playing well. And of course all the scenes of the water from the rain they've been having. Over in England, Justin Rose faltered a little bit in the third round, but is still doing well. Miguel Angel Jimenez is also doing well. As for the LPGA, the Golf Channel keeps throwing out Paula Creamer's name in commercials and the other day they kept showing Natalie Gulbis. From a practical standpoint, I guess announcers like a name they can pronounce every once in a while. There are a lot of Asian players on the LPGA tour this year. Makes you wonder why there aren't that many on the PGA tour.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Go Justin Rose!

Justin Rose is tied for the lead over at the European Tour event. Good for him! I hope he does really well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Michelle Wie and the John Deere Classic

According to some other websites, Michelle Wie will be playing at the John Deere Classic again this year. There seems to be a lot of negative feedback about that. True, there are golf fans out there frustrated that she hasn't made a cut on the US PGA tour yet, but give all the anger and hatred a rest people. Think about the tournament, the community and all the people who attend the event. Last night on Golf Central, they said that a lot of people there think of Michelle Wie as an icon and love her and want to see her. So, if the people who buy tickets to the event want to see her, then who can criticize tournament organizers for offering her an exemption. How many of these critics will buy a ticket to the John Deere Classic and support the community?

I admire Michelle Wie. She could have quit in the face of all the naysayers and complainers who can't even play half as well as she does, but she's hung in there. She's not giving up her dreams and that's what kids, boy or girl, need to learn from her.

And another thing - everyone said she shouldn't turn pro, she should stay a kid and go on dates and go to prom etc. Well, she's had a chance to do that while she's recovered from her injury and what do these critics say now? That she hasn't played and is too rusty to play well in any event, be it LPGA or PGA. So, which is it critics? Do you flip a coin each morning to decide which side you'll argue that day?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kentucky Bound

I have a feeling I may be taking the trip of a lifetime to go see the Ryder Cup next year after hearing today that Nick Faldo had named Jose Maria Olazabal an assistant captain. Paul McGinley is the other assistant captain.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No Seve

They announced on Golf Central tonight that Seve Ballesteros has withdrawn from the Senior PGA Championship :( That's heartbreaking for me because I really thought he was getting back into the swing of things (no pun intended). I was looking forward to seeing him play again because I never got to see much of his play when he was competitive on the PGA tour and European Tour.

On the positive side, I can record the European Tour event now on Thursday and Friday and hopefully see Jose Maria play. They probably won't show him though.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lorena Ochoa Wins

Lorena Ochoa won the Sybase Classic, defending the title she earned last year and solidifying her spot at the top of the rankings. Here's a good article that includes quotes:

AT&T Classic - Final

Zach Johnson won in a playoff over Ryuji Imada. He's now 4th in fed ex cup points. Too bad for Imada, he could have gone to the Masters next year. Zach didn't need the exemption.

This Kid Won Before Michelle Wie

TOKYO (AP) - High school student Ryo Ishikawa won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup on Sunday, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the Japanese men's professional tour.
Ishikawa, a 15-year-old former national junior high school champion, shot a 6-under-par 66 in the final round for a one-stroke win over veteran Katsumasa Miyamoto in his first tour appearance.

"It was a dream round," said Ishikawa, who finished at 12-under 276. "I just kept trying to make birdies."

The previous record was set by Spain's Seve Ballesteros, who won the 1977 Japan Open when he was 20.
Click here to read the whole article

Seve's First Champions Tour Event

Seve Ballesteros finished his first Champions Tour event on what I believe is a positive note. He shot 78 the first round, 81 the second round, and 73 the final round. From 81 to 73. That's pretty good. I hope that final round encourages him and sends him into his next event with some good motivation. I would love to see more of him on tv. It looks like he will play next week at the Senior PGA.

I will have to figure out a way to watch both that and the European Tour event on Thursday and Friday. I can only record one or the other since they are on different networks. Maybe the Golf channel will do a re-air of something.

I Love Faldo, but....

Ian Baker Finch offers a lot more as a comentator. He's always got trivia or golfing insight to share.

I'm watching the final round of the AT&T Classic and this tournament is a good opportunity for some of the guys who get overshadowed by the big names to get their day in the sun. Some of these guys, like Stephen Marino and Ryuji Imada miss cuts and you don't see them on the weekend. And here Imada is in contention for the win. There is talk about the Tour changing the cutline from top 70 and ties to something less in an effort to reduce playing time. Well, if they do that, then these guys like Imada won't have the chance to play enough rounds in a row to get their game into shape to finally win when a chance like this comes along. Reducing the cutline is just an attempt by the Tour to make the top guys even richer since the purse wouldn't be split between so many players. And of course they could then increase the number of precious fed ex cup points awarded to the winner of a tournament. I predict a "Tiger Woods has amassed more points than anyone in history" moment if this happens. The Tour will do anything to give Tiger Woods a trophy or award.

When You Definitely Need Video

Heard while listening, but not watching, the Nationwide Tour event:

"... getting a ruling to see what he can do with that hose."

FYI: It was a landscaping, garden hose.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

In Honor of Seve's Debut on the Champions Tour

Check out Seve's Official Website.

AT&T Classic

Hmmm...... the announce crew was talking about how the tournament needed Zach Johnson there this week since all the big names are taking the week off. It's a shame the announcers like Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo aren't supporting the tournament by working this week. CBS really needs to examine that aspect of their broadcasts. What kind of message is CBS sending to viewers if its own employees don't show up for the tournament? Thank goodness for David Feherty and Ian Baker Finch. One's funny and the other one's an encyclopedia. They could do the whole show themselves.

Irish Open, Round 3

Padraig Harrington has a three shot lead going into the final round, giving hope to Irish folks everywhere that there might actually be an Irish winner of the tournament this year. Apparently, that hasn't happened in something like 25 years?

I watched a little of this today. The course is beautiful. Why the European players would prefer American courses is beyond me. Ours aren't that pretty.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Great News Story from The Birmingham News

News staff writer

The Gunter family of Guntersville completed a sort of cosmic circle on Wednesday when young Seve Gunter met a golfing legend at Ross Bridge.

Seve, 18, is the son of Keith and Sallie Gunter and the brother of Taylor, 28.

When Mrs. Gunter was expecting her second child, she told big-brother-to-be that he could pick the name - fully expecting to be able to sway his choice to hers, which was Dalton, her father's name.

Not so fast, Mom.

Taylor was a golf fan in 1988 and one of the hottest names on the circuit was Spaniard Seve Ballesteros. His mind was made up. He insisted that his new brother would be named Seve.

"Mom gave me the choice of Dalton and two other names and Seve, but there was never any choice, really," said Taylor. "Seve stuck out to me. It's always been a unique name.

"I knew he wouldn't like it until he got older. He had to deal with it when he was younger, but he's all right now."

Seve, from Guntersville, not Pedrena, said his unusual name hasn't been a burden.

"Sometimes people would call me Steve or `Seeve,' but besides that it's been great," said the junior at Guntersville High, who is a member of the school's golf team and an academic scholarship winner from the University of Alabama.

The Bruno's Event Team set up a meeting of the two Seves on Wednesday after Mrs. Gunter wrote to executive director Gene Hallman explaining all the family's "ties" to Ballesteros.

Taylor Gunter shares Ballesteros' birthday of April 9 and Ballesteros won the Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic in September 1988 - on the day Guntersville's Seve was born.


Just by watching a couple of holes of the Champions Tour coverage, I have to say that Seve looks very good, physique-wise. Or it could just be that all the other players out there don't and it makes him look better. But seriously, did you check out the biceps on Seve? Impressive. You don't see those on Hale Irwin or Jay Haas.

Irish Open, Round 2

Padraig Harrington has the lead going into the weekend, with Andres Romero, Joakim Backstrom and Simon Wakefield one shot back.

Didn't get to watch any of this today. There were spaniards in all four quarterfinal matches of the tennis tournament going on in Germany. I just had to watch that instead.

Armchair Golfer Branches Out

The Armchair Golfer has begun writing a column for MVN (Most Valuable Network). I've added a link to the blogs of note section and you can check out the column by clicking HERE.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Round One: Irish Open

Four players, including Andres Romero, are tied for the lead after shooting 68 in the first round. They are the aforementioned Romero, Simon Dyson, Peter Hanson, and Peter Gustafsson. I'm a big fan of Andres Romero so this is really great news. If I didn't have the Tennis Channel and I wasn't watching all those Spaniards play tennis, I'd be watching the Irish Open. I did flip over to it this morning, but they were all wearing coats and looked really cold, so I went back to tennis. Probably wasn't much warmer in Germany, but the players looked warm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


South African Ashleigh Simon, 18, who just turned professional, accepted a sponsor's exemption to the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, becoming the first golfer to enter the 64-player field.

The event features the world's top 30 ranked players, the top 30 on the LPGA money list, the No. 1 ranked player on the LET Order of Merit, the defending champion and two sponsor's exemptions.

"I can't wait to get out on the Tour," said Simon. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my amateur career and feel I am absolutely ready for the next stage of my golfing journey. I have been fortunate enough to have already experienced the professional environment so I know it is a place where I feel comfortable and I feel I have learned a lot from the tournaments I have played so far."

The tournament will begin on Thursday, July 19 and conclude on Sunday, July 22 with 18-hole semifinal, third-place and title matches.

Brittany Lincicome defeated Juli Inkster, 3&2, to win her first career LPGA title at last year's event.

Seve Makes Champions Tour Debut

Read this article from BBC Sport. It has some interesting quotes from Seve.

Irish Open

Since I have the week off, I'll actually be able to watch Thursday and Friday golf this week (unless I'm watching tennis). At the Irish Open, the following are set to compete: Marcel Siem, Nick Dougherty, Lee Westwood, Johan Edfors, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Anton Haig, Andres Romero and a bunch of other people.

I've read some comments on news websites that suggest that 'no one' is showing up for the Irish Open because of the Fed Ex Cup and how all the European Tour players are abandoning the European Tour to chase the $10 Million first place prize for winning the Cup. Well, I think there are a lot of good players at the Irish Open this week. And as I said in my previous post, I don't think it's the Fed Ex Cup that's motivating the European Tour players to play so much in America, I think it's the revamped schedule.

Golfing Gossip From BBC.COM

Found this on BBC's website:

Graeme McDowell is here and is another to voice concern. The Portrush player recognises that the US Tour is proving more and more attractive at the moment.

There’s a $10 million carrot being dangled in the form of the FedEx Cup which builds to a climax in September.

“They are going all out to steal all our top players off us and get them playing over there as often as they possibly can,” McDowell said.

“I guess you can’t really resent them for it. They do have money to offer; they do have TV; they do have the stars; they have Tiger Woods. It’s tough."

My Thoughts: I think what people need to focus on is that part where he says "They've got Tiger." If the European Tour players keep that in mind, then they shouldn't be trying to make an effort to win the Fed Ex Cup. Stay in Europe and win tournaments instead of coming over here and missing the cut and not making it through the playoffs. I think what's hurting the European Tour is the revamped US schedule. Now for something like 4 months in a row, the European Tour players who play the WGC events, the Majors and the special tournaments like the Memorial are possibly having to miss some European Tour events to play in America since there's a big tournament each month. Europe might get lucky in July with the British Open, some players will be over there warming up.

There's a lot of interesting points and quotes on that BBC page. Click the link and read the rest of it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Can't These People Use Hyphens?


Diagnosing and Correcting Mishits thin shot Mishits can be painful experiences on the golf course. You know what happens after you hit one, but you might not be sure what's happening to cause you to hit one.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Found a New Golf Blog

Check out The Principal's Nose.

What's Up on the Tours This Week?

If you want to read one article that lets you know what's going on this week in golf, then read this one. What do I think is the most anticipated event? Seve Ballesteros' debut on the Champions Tour, of course. Another opportunity for Spaniard Watch. I just hope he plays well.

Tennis Overload

Since I'm off all week for puppy pad training, I had the tv on the Tennis Channel today. The tennis itself wasn't bad, it was the fans chanting "let's go (insert player's name), let's go". They chanted this all the time for something like 6 hours. It was driving me nuts by 3pm so I watched Ellen and then turned the tv over to the Martha Stewart show. Stayed away from the golf channel until 6pm when they had Brett Quigley on doing yoga. I wanted to hear what other people had to say about the whole Cliff Kresge-Sergio Garcia thing so I waited around for Golf Central. Unfortunately, all I've heard are announcers reporting that Sergio was within the rules, I heard parts of Sergio's press conference, and I heard Kresge's damage control statement released by his agent. What I wanted to hear was Frank Hannigan explaining the rule.

Where do I come down on the controversy? If you're a newbie (like Kresge), your best way to address something like that is "Hey Sergio, I'm not completely up on the rule. Would you mind if we call a rules official so he can explain it to me?" You're less likely to offend people that way. Plus, if there's one thing I've learned about the rules of golf, it's that no one really knows what they are.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Players Championship: Final Round, So Far

I have to post while the puppies are sleeping - there are two holes left to play.

Comments so far:

When NBC's coverage first started today, Dan Hicks showed Tiger highlights and said that his was the 'round of the championship, today so far, matching Oberholser'. Allow me to supply a hypothetical internal monologue going on while Dan was saying that: "Tiger's the greatest, our cash cow... wait, didn't Quinney shoot a 64 yesterday.... but today Tiger did great.... except he went out early which means there are dozens of other players to complete their rounds and Oberholser shot a 67 too..... If I use my stellar announcer voice and make it sound great, the viewers won't know I'm such a suck up to Tiger"

Sergio made a lot of good putts today. He made a 38 ft (NBC said 38, Brandel Chamblee said 48) putt on the 'gimmicky' 17th for birdie. Going to break, you heard Johnny Miller (I love that man) say, "That was better than most."

As for Sergio and Jose Maria, it has been a wonderful, spectacular, tournament for them. Jose Maria moved from 108 after the first round to maybe top 5 or so when the tournament ends. Sergio had two great rounds Saturday and Sunday.

Sean O'Hair is really suffering right now on the 17th. You have to feel really bad for him. But this is the first time he's ever been on this big of a stage so at least he can walk away with that in his mind. He made it this far. It's a stepping stone to build on for the future.

As a side note: I don't want to think that me getting the puppies this weekend, who are named after Sergio and Jose Maria, had anything to do with their good play. I would rather think that Sergio's and Jose Maria's good play is a good omen for how well things will go with me and the puppies. The puppies already have a good idea what puppy pads are for. I'm taking the whole week off to puppy pad train them, so hopefully, they will learn quickly and I will have well trained dogs who will live for about 15 years. I'd rather not have to puppy pad train any others for a while.

An update: Sergio is now in second place after Phil and Sean O'Hair completed the 17th.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Players Championship: Round 3

Sean O'Hair birdied 16, 17, and 18 to finish the third round with a one shot lead over Phil Mickelson. I guess that answers the question of whether or not the 17th hole is 'too gimmicky'.

Sergio and Jose Maria are at -3. Finally Sergio had a really good round of golf with -5 today. I got to see both him and Jose Maria today. Fitting since the puppies are named after them (see my previous post).

Other 3rd round scores: Jose Coceres -4, jeff Quinney -8, Luke Donald -7, Henrik Stenson -6.

It's nice to actually see other golfers actually play golf for a change. Bless NBC, they only mentioned several times that Tiger was way, way behind. They didn't show lowlights or anything. I have to think that Johnny Miller has something to do with that. I don't think he's too much into sucking up to 'stars'.

Meet the Puppies!

The one with the pointy ears is named Phoebe Josephine Maria Olazabal (PJ for short), and the one with the floppy ears is named Winnie Garcia.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Players Championship: Round 2

The best rounds of the day: a pair of -6s from Steve Lowery and Jose Maria Olazabal. They jumped from T108 to T16. Mickelson leads at -5, with Australian Nathan Green in second.

Players You Didn't Know Were There: Colin Montgomerie, Niclas Fasth, Paul Casey, Bobby Wadkins - they missed the cut.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Players Championship: Round 1

A couple days ago I saw a headline that said Tiger Woods felt the 17th hole at the Players was too gimmicky. I think he was just trying to make premature excuses because he knew he wouldn't play well. He's +3 after round 1. Even Sergio had a better score (+1). As for gimmicky? Mickelson and Sabbatini didn't seem to have any trouble as they are tied for the lead at -5. And quite frankly, a round of golf consists of 18 holes, not 1. Just like a tournament consists of the top so many and ties, not just one player.

I got to see a little bit of Sergio and Jose Maria today. I was shocked.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Alternative Programming

As I was boycotting CBS' coverage of the final round of the Wachovia Championship (see yesterday's posts for reasons why), I found some other things to watch on tv: Deep Sea Detectives - I learned about the mass sinking of a German fleet of ships in 1919, LPGA Golf - I saw a playoff between Juli Inkster and Mi Hyun Kim, Kim won, and then I watched Horse Jumping on NBC - decided that they shouldn't have those kinds of events since that one horse had to be put down after getting injured. If it wasn't for that competition that horse could have lived a very long happy life as someone's pet, giving rides to little kids at birthday parties or helping to teach novices how to ride.

So, to sum up the effect of alternative programming: 1/3 happy, 2/3 depressing. Still better than Tiger-Fest.

A Happy Day for Spain

Not only did Sergio and Jose Maria make the cut at the Wachovia Championship and finish under par for the tournament, but in even bigger news, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano won the Italian Open after a final round 65 and a playoff.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

And Furthermore

To continue on the previous post's comments about the tour discussing changing the cutline because players would be waiting on tee boxes and 'no one wants to see that on tv'. Well, there was plenty of golf being played today at 3pm eastern, and at 3:15pm eastern etc but what did CBS show? Tiger Woods standing around on the driving range.

Note to the PGA Tour: Your problem isn't slow pace of play, you're problem is the media's devout committment to only show Tiger Woods no matter what he's doing. Soon they will have port-a-potty cam to catch him in the port-a-potty during his round. And they will sneak a hidden camera in his Tiger Head Cover too. Just you wait.

Note to the PGA Tour and CBS: I'm currently watching Cash in the Attic on BBC America instead of your lousy Tiger Love Fest called the Wachovia Championship. Good luck to Sabbatini and Oberholser.

20 minutes

20 minutes into the half hour pre-game show and no one on the golf channel has mentioned that Arron Oberholser is also in the lead at -6 after two rounds. They are only talking about Tiger and Vijay as if it's a two way tie for the lead instead of a three way tie. So, since the golf channel has ignored him, I'll make mention of Arron here:

Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser,
Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser, Arron Oberholser.

(And yes, I typed all those - no copy and paste involved. He deserves the special effort)

Way to Go Mark Russell of the PGA Tour

He was asked if having Tiger and Vijay in the final group affected the decision on how to play the third round given the weather delays and he said no. Good for him for not bowing down to the media and the sponsors.

And Steve Sands is talking on the pre-game show about discussions going on about what the cutline should be changed to and Steve said people at the players meetings were suggesting that no one wants to see the best players in the world on saturday and sunday sitting on tee boxes instead of playing golf. Seems to me that people tune in to watch golf and if there are people waiting on a tee box then that means there's golf being played somewhere on the course. Someone needs to slap some sense into the Tour and the media people and tell them that we want to see all the players on tv, not just three straight hours of Tiger (Yuck and Double Yuck).

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Finally, Sergio has a decent round to speak of. One under after the first round of the Wachovia Championship. Jose Maria Olazabal was 2 under on his round.

Some others doing well:
J. B Holmes
Trevor Immelman
Arron Oberholser
Bernhard Langer
Brett Quigley