Sunday, July 22, 2007

British Open 2007

Well, it was disappointing to see Sergio lose. When he started making bogeys I decided I couldn't watch any longer so I turned the channel over to the golf channel. The infomercials were annoying so I turned the volume down. This turned out to be a good thing because I had to write a synopsis and query letter to send to publishers to submit my golf-themed romance novel to them - the silence allowed me to concentrate and get that done.

Results and Observations:

At least a European finally won so now they can all stop harping on the "when will a European win a major" topic.

Even with the belly putter, Sergio had two rounds with over 30 putts according to the Open leaderboard/statspage.

Andres Romero almost won the tournament. Good for him. Might have been nice to see back to back Argentinian major winners.

Miguel Angel Jimenez finished T12th.

I won't be able to watch the golf channel for a few days because everyone's going to be tearing Sergio apart over this final round performance. Hope there's something good on the Tennis Channel.

Speaking of the golf channel, they started advertising the PGA Championship this past week and said "watch Tiger go for his 13th major", so even the Golf Channel didn't think Tiger was going to win this week.

My other Picks:
Cabrera finished in 34th place at +3

Carl Petterson finished T45th at +6

A Letter To Sergio Garcia

Well Sergio, here we are again. Another British Open and another non-win. This year was a different situation than last year. You had it in your grasp this year whereas last year, you would have had to play a phenomenal round to catch Tiger. So, what can you take away as positives this year? You finished second and in a playoff instead of T5 like last year. You led three of the four days. And you did what I asked last year - you separated yourself from Tiger Woods so I wouldn't have to watch him on tv, I could just watch you. And let's not forget the last time you played Carnoustie. This time has to make you feel really great compared to that.

I'm sure you have a laundry list of things you've learned from this final round so I'm not going to list any observations I may have made. Just know that when you get into contention again, I'll be there to cheer you on. Good luck next time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Can He Count?

They just had a clip of Ernie Els on the Golf Channel and Els said "Sergio's going for his first major." Huh??? What was Sergio doing last year at the British Open in the final round with Tiger? What was he doing last fall at the PGA Championship? What was he doing in 1999 at the PGA Championship? I'd say Sergio's been going for his first major for the last 8 years. Els was trying to suggest that Sergio would be nervous because he's somehow inexperienced. But that's highly doubtful. If Els was confident in his game, he wouldn't be deflecting attention off himself and toward his competitors.

British Open 2007 Round 3

Started the day with an early trip to town for grocery shopping (and I read the last few pages of the Harry Potter book to see how it ends. I haven't read any of the others and I haven't seen the movies but since everyone's been talking about this last book, I just had to find out how it ends.)

After the third round:

Sergio is still in the lead at -9. Steve Stricker is three shots back at -6 and the next closest competitors are at -3. Before the round started I thought that -3 would be a good round today for Sergio. It would be low enough for him to stay in contention but not low enough to constitute one of those rounds where your next round would be hugely over par. I hope he had that one bad round of the tournament on Friday. People are talking about Stricker and thinking he has a good chance to win tomorrow. He has the best chance of anyone except Sergio, but Stricker shot a 64 today (a new British Open Record at that course). I wouldn't be surprised if he had a bad round tomorrow since golfers usually follow a good round with a bad one.

Let's talk for a minute about hitting people with golf balls. Yes, Sergio hit a man with his golf ball today. But Tiger did too. And that is pretty much an every tournament happening for Tiger. It seems like he hits someone at least once every tournament. Something really needs to be done to stop him. Everyone fussed over Sergio spitting in the cup a while back, but Tiger's out there potentially causing concussions with his bad drives and bad approaches to the green. Let me tell you, Gary Player really has his work cut out for him getting the PGA Tour to do something about drug use if they won't even stop Tiger from injuring spectators.

Other Players:

Miguel Angel Jimenez - saw a lot of him today. Unfortunately, he didn't play his best. He is currently tied for 10th at -2

Angel Cabrera - one of my picks to win. Currently at even par for the tournament.

Carl Petterson - my other pick is +5 and tied for 50th.

Justin Rose - is currently -1.

Friday, July 20, 2007

R & A: Reprehensible and Amoral

Well, the holier than thou, sainted Royal and Ancient Golf Club rules people have apparently shown blatant favoritism to Tiger and Phil this week with questionable rulings. The Golf Channel has mentioned the questionable rulings and brought the word "favoritism" into it. Naturally, the R & A should know all the rules and make the right calls, but you'd at least think they would be favoring the Europeans and not the evil Americans. Show some Ryder Cup Blue Loyalty for Pete's Sake!

So, is this a case of inept rules officials working for THE Premier Rules Body in Golf, or favoritism?

And which one would the R & A prefer to be known for? Corruption or Ineptness?

More on the British Open

Now that I've had supper, fed the dogs and cat and played with the puppies, I have more time to comment on the tournament.

Miguel Angel Jimenez is tied for 3rd after the second round. Spaniard watch should be pretty easy tomorrow since Sergio will be in the last group and Miguel in the second to last. Last year after the British Open, I posted a letter to Sergio in which I urged him to either play well when paired with Tiger or separate himself from Tiger so I could watch Sergio and not have to suffer with Tiger Suck Up time. Well, Sergio's doing his part to keep the coverage focused on him.

Rory McIlroy didn't have a good second round, but he's still in the tournament. He's the 18 year old Irishman who's turning pro. He said yesterday that he plans to play the European Tour for a couple of years before thinking about the American PGA Tour. I swear he looks 15. And if you had a chance to check out his swing, then you'll agree with me that it's pretty awesome.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Boo Weekley's designer camo/hunter look. Be honest, how many of you were looking for a big extended cab, red Ford 4WD pick-up with the gun rack in the back window? The Golf Channel missed a great opportunity to follow Boo around Scotland and get his impressions of the food and customs there. Boo's doing great at the British Open this year. I think he's the big surprise of the tournament. It might be worth it to hear Boo give an acceptance speech in Scotland after winning the Open. Just something to think about...

And related news, Jean Van de Velde apparently has Mono. That's really good news - it isn't anything more serious than that. A lady I work with missed two or three weeks with Mono and when she came back, she was still exhausted. So, I hope people out there aren't going to be taking this diagnosis lightly and start making fun of him or criticize him.

British Open Round 2

My three picks are still doing well. Sergio is still in the lead at -6. Cabrera is T7 at -1. And Carl Petterson made the cut and is currently T42.

Hooked on Golf Blog (link in the sidebar under blogs of note) is reporting that Tiger Woods said the F-Word very loudly today and it was picked up very clearly by the network. It's good to know that little Sam is going to pick up these great habits from the world's #1. I can just imagine how many times her pre-school teachers will ask the Woods Parents for conferences over her language skills.

Some who missed the cut:

Henrik Stenson
Colin Montgomerie
David Toms
Phil Mickelson
Brett Quigley
Matt Kuchar
Davis Love III

Yep, some people's picks to win missed the cut. And what exactly has Davis Love been doing this year?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Player Fallout

Tonight on the Golf Channel they showed some comments by Reteif Goosen and Ernie Els regarding Player's claims that he knows of a player on tour who's taking performance enhancing substances. While both Goosen and Els both said that testing was fine with them, Els took some effort to dismiss the notion that performance enhancing drugs could aid a golfer. Els and Goosen seemed very upset that Player had made his statements on the eve of a major championship.

My say: When you have top players saying 'oh, drugs can't help a golfer play better' then no one else is going to support drug testing. At least Tiger Woods has spoken out in favor of drug testing. Player probably figured that as long as you have the Ernie Els' of the world discounting the effects of drug use in player performance, then he would have to be even more dramatic to get his point out there so that people will listen.

I'm disappointed in Retief Goosen especially. He seemed angry about Player's comments. I dare Retief Goosen to look at a picture of 7 year old Daniel Benoit and then say Player was out of line.


Sergio's leading after round 1 of the British Open!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angel Cabrera is T3 at -3

Carl Petterson is T13 at -1

My picks are doing pretty well so far.

Other notables:

Miguel Angel Jimenez -2
Amateur Rory McIlroy -3
Boo Weekley -3
Brett Quigley +1
Paul Casey +1

Check out the Leaderboard. A lot of good stories coming from there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

U.S. Open 2009

A little while ago, the Golf Channel aired a commercial for Tiger Woods and the PGA Championship coming up in August. We haven't even watched the British Open and they are already plugging the PGA Championship and of course Tiger Woods. Of course, it isn't like they are going to be able to have much Tiger Time in the next few days with the British Open coverage airing on other networks. They have to get their Tiger Quota somehow so they are advertising the next major. What happens if Tiger doesn't win the British Open this week? We viewers will be treated to promos for every major coming up for the next two or three years in the next few weeks until the PGA Championship begins. Because as you know, the PGA Tour and the Golf Channel stand for All Tiger All the Time. Who cares about the rest of these guys who can play.


Enough with the Jean Van de Velde talk. The man has some scary mystery illness that is probably terrifying for him and all these people on the Golf Channel can do is talk about his collapse at Carnoustie and even show a clip of Curtis Strange calling it 'stupidity'. Gee, he obviously has no compassion for a fellow human being. You have to wonder at these people who instead of moving on and embracing the present and the future, would prefer to wallow in the past.

Another Visit to the Steroids Topic

After the release of the toxicology reports on wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and child, we get this news article featuring Gary Player who claims that steroids have indeed infiltrated the world of golf. Again, I urge people to support a drug testing policy for pro golfers. It isn't just a concern for fair play, it's a concern for the lives of the players, their loved ones, and innocent bystanders who might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So many things can happen when people take drugs they don't need - dangerous drug interactions, allergic reactions, harmful effects on possible undiagnoses health conditions, and all these can lead to the injury or deaths of innocent people - think of what would happen if one of these interactions/reactions happened when the drug user was driving a car on a busy highway. And really, if American high schools can test their high school athletes, then pro golfers shouldn't be so terrified of it. The biggest protest I hear is that it will make the PGA Tour look like they have a problem if they institute a testing policy. Gee, I don't automatically think the high school kids are all on steroids when I hear that they are tested.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Dark Side of the Open

Yes, there is an insidiousness that seeps out through the cracks of the famous stone bridges and castles every year when the Open comes along. It plagues the average golf fan and forces many a tv viewer to turn the channel in disgust. With the aid of stern drink, this evil takes hold and seeks to outshine the gleam of the well-polished Claret Jug. What is this sinister foe?

Woefully bad fake Scottish accents. Everyone has to try it. I'm surprised Boo Weekley hasn't attempted a Sean Connery imitation yet.

Monday, July 16, 2007

British Open Picks

Right at the outset, just know that I have no expectation that these picks will actually win or even finish well this year. I figure since I got lucky with my US Open dark horse pick, I have no luck left. Considering I got stuck on 4 months of jury duty right after that, I think it's safe to say that any luck I might have had was indeed used on Angel Cabrera. I hope he appreciates it.

Anyway, here are my picks for The Open:

Winner: Angel Cabrera. Why not go with what works? It's a tough course and he's a tough player.

Contender: Carl Petterson. I have this notion that Carnoustie might not care about someone's high-priced technical golf swing. It might love a player instead of a student, i.e. someone who just plays rather than someone who's worried about his alignment or swing plane. And he played well last year at The Open and last week at the John Deere.

Dark Horse: Ta-da!! Finally he makes an appearance in the picks - I'm picking Sergio Garcia for a dark horse winner. In the last 6 years, he's had 5 top ten finishes, with the last two years finishing T5. Not that I think he will win, I just don't have that feeling about him. His whole game's been off this year, not just the putting. But we'll see.

Seve Retires

A really good article about the retirement of Seve Ballesteros can be found here.

I think anyone should be allowed to choose their own path no matter what others think. A lot of people are sad or disappointed that Seve is retiring at such a young age, but it's his life and he knows best what he wants to do with it. I feel strongly about this kind of thing. When I graduated from high school people expected great things from me. But I just wanted enough money to meet my needs and give me just a few of my wants. And I didn't want to sell my youth to get it. So instead of passing the CPA exam and working for some high-powered accounting firm, I took a low paying accounting assistant job in which I would pretty much only work 40 hours a week. Sure, I may not have much money, but my quality of life I think is better for it.

This is another reason why I support Tadd Fujikawa's decision to turn pro. Just because everyone else has an opinion, doesn't mean they are right. And I would like to point out that this article about Seve mentions that he turned pro at 16. Gee, anyone out there think he should have waited?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

John Deere Classic

I had hoped Tim Clark would win today. At one time he had a 4 shot lead, but Jonathan Byrd came up on him and Clark made a couple of bogeys coming in. Well, Byrd's never been to the British Open and now he gets to go, so that's good for him.

Scottish Open

Well, I had a difficult time this morning trying to decide who to root for. I'm not a fan of the French but I'm not a big fan of Phil Mickelson either. Frenchman Havret ended up winning in a playoff over Mickelson and that seems to set well with me. Havret wasn't already in the Open so it's good that he gets the exemption. And of course, I can't avoid mentioning that Mickelson could have won the tournament outright but for a bogey on 18. I'm sure that's going to get some attention thanks to his Winged Foot performance.

Sergio was doing well until he finished bogey, double bogey. I am tempted to consider him for one of my British Open picks but I don't know how this finish will play on his confidence.

Sergio Garcia Interview

I read this interview with Sergio Garcia just now. Apparently, he is slightly injured, but according to the article, it shouldn't bother him when he's playing golf.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jose Maria Still Injured

According to this article, Jose Maria's knee is still giving him trouble and the British Open is questionable at this point. I hope he gets better. I haven't seen anything that says what the exact problem is though. I would like to know what's wrong and what could be done to fix it.

Tadd Fujikawa Turns Pro

Well, aside from Tadd, I think I'm the only one who's enthusiastic about him turning pro. I think he should. Remember where Tadd comes from - when he was born, doctors didn't expect him to live. Why would he postpone his dream? Every minute of every day is precious to him and if he wants to pursue his dream then he should. Tadd undoubtedly has a sieze the day kind of spirit that reaches out to life and grabs it by the throat and shakes it likes a ragdoll. He wouldn't be happy going the boring, sensible route and graduating from high school, going to college, blah, blah. And he's young enough that if he doesn't have success of some kind in a couple of years, he can go to college if he wants to and not miss a beat. The way I see it, he has two obstacles to overcome: 1) negativity from everyone saying he's too young. 2) he will either end up never married, or married 8 times due to the fact he won't have the opportunity to find a nice wholesome girl like he would if he went to college.

I hope the media and the tour players and the fans will try to limit the negativity. If they are really worried about Tadd then they should do everything they can to support him in his decision. If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. If they aren't going to be supportive of him, then they have to take some of the responsibility if he suffers a disastrous blow.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Winnie Has Disgraced Her Honorary Daddy

Winnie, my long haired chihuahua, has disgraced her honorary daddy, Sergio Garcia. This evening Winnie, PJ and I were playing while the Golf Channel was playing on tv. Then, Tiger Woods Fed Ex Cup Playoffs commercial came on - the one where he's whistling the Eye of the Tiger song. Well, Winnie stops playing and watches the commercial. Every time it's shown. She's not supposed to like Tiger. Or his whistling. I will have to work on some training.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Baby News

Not getting the same amount of press as Tiger, Henrik Stenson and his wife brought a little bundle of joy into the world, a daughter named Lisa. I tried to find an article about just the Stensons and the baby, but all I could find were articles about all the people who are skipping the European Open this week. So, check out this article. A side note: the article committed a major sin - mentioned Sergio and marriage in the same sentence. Don't worry Sergio fans, they were talking about Luke Donald.

Celebrating July 4th

Today, in honor of July 4th and the celebration of America's independence from England, I declared my independence from bath tub soap scum. Yes, it was a hard fought war with toxic tub cleaner raining down on the enemy, but in the end, freedom prevailed. Clean at last, Clean at last.......... you get the idea.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another First Time Winner

Brian Bateman won the Buick Open today with a birdie on the 18th, beating out a couple of others who were tied and waiting in the clubhouse to see if there would be a playoff. Exciting ending to a really interesting tournament.