Sunday, August 31, 2008

Faldo's Picks for the Ryder Cup

Well, Faldo picked Ian Poulter and Paul Casey to round out his team. I haven't been following the stats and rankings all year like he has, but I probably would have gone with Darren Clarke and Martin Kaymer. Clarke for obvious reasons: he loves the Ryder Cup, the Ryder Cup team loves him and he won last week. Kaymer, because I looked at both lists they pick the team from this morning and he was ranked 10th on both of them. But Poulter and Casey bring their own positive qualities to the team. They have both participated in the Ryder Cup before. Poulter made that great charge at the British Open earlier in the year, showing that he has an aggressive attitude that will be a plus for the Ryder Cup. Casey, while having an OK record in the Ryder Cup, also brings to the table a view colored by living and playing in America, which will be an asset since this year's competition is in Kentucky.

There were some points brought up during Faldo's press conference which were worth noting. One was about Faldo only having the one assistant captain, Jose Maria Olazabal. Faldo said that he preferred to be the one gathering all of the information and making the decisions based on what he knows and that he thought that having just one assistant will be enough. My view is: if people wanted a captain who would have 10 assistants then they should have picked someone else. Faldo is going to do things his way and that's the essence of having a single captain of any sport. The reporters asked about this conspiracy theory that Ian Poulter was 'on the team' when he decided to play in America. Again, I haven't followed this closely in the news, but Poulter has put forth the explanation that he needed 15 events to keep his card on the PGA Tour and to me, that sounds reasonable. I'm guessing that the extra tournaments that are played after the Tour Championship are still options for Poulter to use to keep his card or whatever, but the European Tour year starts before the calendar does so it isn't like Poulter has a lot of wriggle room there. And if you're going to play US events, then they might as well be the Fed Ex Cup playoffs in America for two reasons: more money and they are in America, the same place that's hosting the Ryder Cup. It really doesn't do Poulter much good to play in America after the Ryder Cup.

There were some questions about Montgomerie and Clarke, as you might expect. Faldo did a good job of answering each one with the same 'there were tough decisions to be made and I had to make them'. He didn't give any details of conversations or thought processes which is good. That would have only led to devisiveness among the team once the media reported it and then sought responses from Montgomerie and Clarke. If Montgomerie and Clarke truly love the Ryder Cup, then they will provide vague responses to the media's questions and finish every response with "I wish this year's team the best of luck at Valhalla." The way I look at it, all the European Tour players are on the team, it's just a matter of who's called up to play.

For me, the best part of the conference was the Jose Maria part :) Of course. He reported that he stopped taking the medication he was on a couple of weeks ago and so far felt pretty good, but that it was a wait and see situation. He also said that while he and Faldo talk and he gives Faldo his opinion, that Faldo was still captain, Faldo makes the decisions and Jose Maria supports them. That's a team attitude for you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ryder Cup in August

I'm thinking the Ryder Cup has come early to Sergio Garcia, at least in the attitude department. I saw a statistic today on the final round coverage that said that he was 1st in putting this week. And during the final round and the playoff Sergio had the biggest grin and seemed to be having the most fun of anyone who ever played the game of golf. If anyone wanted to copy any aspect of a professional golfer's game, it should be Sergio's fun-loving one that we saw today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Glimpse of Sergio

For a second, I left the vollyball game at the Olympics to see what was going on with the Barclays and apparently Sergio's having a pretty good week so far. He's tied for second going into the last round. I saw him make a decent sized putt, then I switched back to the Olympics. It looks like the players at the Barclays are having the same kind of crazy day I'm having. First walmart charged me for one extra pack of puppy pads that I didn't have, then the dogs believed they were in a circus and I was the audience. Fritz would only eat supper after Steffi, my very old dog, actually got out of her chair and threatened to take his food. Steffi wouldn't eat her bologna so I had to get her some chicken. After Steffi finished eating, I let Winnie and PJ into the room for their supper and PJ threw up. But she ate her supper afterward. Once everyone ate, Winnie and PJ took off into the house somewhere and PJ came back and wanted me to follow her. So I did and found Winnie tearing the stuffing out of a dog bed. And now Fritz is going to start his nightly, every ten minutes he has to go out habit. There must be a full moon. If not here then somewhere in the world. According to my calendar it's Last Quarter Moon. Jim Nantz gave the impression that the players at the Barclays are having crazy rounds today - Stricker coming back to the field and falling behind and Kevin Streelman surging ahead. There's a bunch of players at and near the top of the leaderboard so Sunday should be very competitive.

As for me, I'll be watching the Olympics unless they show basketball or more Barack Obama coverage. Brian Williams actually interrupted the Olympics today to report on Bara-Joe or whatever the media will do to merge the names together in the time honored tradition set forth by "Bennifer" and "Brangelina". I thought it was pretty stupid to interrupt the Olympics seeing as how MSNBC had coverage of Obama all day long. And not to mention that three hours or so from the interruption NBC Nightly News would be on and giving a full report. I was pretty ticked as the interruption came in the middle of rhythmic gymnastics. I only get to see that sport once every four years. I have two solid months or more of seeing Obama every single day, whether I want to or not - Free Country my foot. Hopefully, there won't be any interruptions during the US Open tennis tournament coming up.

I read a transcript of a Sergio interview by the PGA Tour and he said he would be doing a few different things, practicing and staying with friends during the week off they have in between playoff events. Well, if Sergio ever needs to be in West Virginia for anything, he can consider me a friend and he'll have a place to stay here. He might not get much sleep since the dogs will be bunking with him in the spare bedroom, but he'll have a roof over his head. And of course, at 5am, we all get up and start the day. He might not like getting up that early - LOL

And one last little tidbit - I had a very nice dream last night about Jose Maria Olazabal. So, it seems like I'm really happy to hear that he might be returning to competitive golf soon since he's showing up in my dreams.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The New Buzz

The new buzz on the web is that Jose Maria Olazabal may tee it up again before the Ryder Cup!!! I'm so excited. I'm going to have to watch the entry lists and find out where he's going to be and record it. Although I love my screensaver that contains pictures of him, I would really love to see him back in action and competing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Found This Headline on the AP Website

"Tiger captured after escape from Fla. sanctuary"

If you have your golf mind turned on, you'll read this in a different light than the actual story depicts. The actual story is about a Bengal tiger.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Golf Digest Magazine

I got the latest issue this morning because it had Nick Faldo on it with the Ryder Cup Preview. Well, I take exception to something in the magazine. Hard to believe, I know. Here's what I object to:

Jack Nicklaus says "Europe has a lot of good players and a host of very promising young guys. But who among them has a great record?"

It sounds like he's saying the European Team doesn't have any players with winning records.

Sergio has a 14-4-2 record in the Ryder Cup. He's 8-0-0 in foursomes.

The Americans are just jealous of Sergio.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Temporary Fix For the Screensaver

I created a screensaver of Sergio and Jose Maria pictures for my laptop. This may just be temporary until I can find the Valderrama screensaver on the web again. Not that I don't like my pictures of Sergio and Jose Maria, but I am really resistant to change and I would like to have my old screensaver back.

How Cool Is This???

Olympics: During the Beach Volleball match between the US and Spain, the people in attendance were singing West Virginia's State Song: Country Roads!!!

I'm Still Here

Just too lazy to go get my password to log in to Google so I can post. But I did it this time. Here's an update on what's been going on: My desktop pc is probably dead. I turned it on this morning and pushed buttons until I got a message that said the computer couldn't find a hard drive. If it can't find a hard drive, then that goes beyond my pc abilities to fix it. Luckily, my laptop hasn't crashed all week, knock on wood.

I've been skipping most if not all the golf talk this week in deference to the Olympics. Currently, they are playing the Bulgarian National Anthem. It's really depressing, starts out like a funeral march. Interestingly, they keep comparing tennis and golf, saying that the crowds wouldn't be carrying on during Tiger's backswing like they are during the play of the tennis players. Considering there are several tennis players who seem to think that golf isn't a sport, it sure does get brought up a lot during the tennis coverage. Jealousy?

I saw Roger Federer win the gold medal in doubles this morning. He showed a lot of emotion today and it was great to see him celebrating and jumping around after he won. The Gold medal and the Olympics apparently mean a lot to him. I'm leaving out his partner only because I'm not sure how to spell his last name. His first name is Stanislas. And he was excited to win too. I wish I could have seen the medal ceremony. If they aired it, then I missed it. I was hoping Federer would win doubles. The commentators seem to be starting to write him off just because he's had a bad year so far.

I'm thinking of getting a Capital One credit card so I can put a picture of Jose Maria or Sergio on it.

Monday, August 11, 2008


My desktop pc crashed last night. Usually, you can unplug it from the power source, wait a bit, and then plug it back in and it's fine. But this time, that didn't work. I am either going to have to buy a new desktop or spend the money I would have spent on a desktop for a new laptop. I'm using my current, Toshiba, laptop tonight. It crashes too, but so far tonight hasn't and it's been on for 3 and a half hours.

The sad part is that I've seemed to have lost my Valderrama screen saver. I can't find it on the Valderrama website to download again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Too Much Time Together

That's what Sergio and Padraig are probably thinking. I didn't watch much of the golf today. I switched from golf, to tennis, to the olympics, to qvc when I wasn't doing other things around the house. Every time I had the tv on golf, Sergio hit a bad shot, so I stopped watching it and just kept up with the scores on ESPN2. The few times I did see Sergio, I was impressed with his attitude. His head wasn't down and he smiled quite a few times out there. Even though he didn't win, and he probably should have, I think Sergio took a big step forward today. He had the lead for a while in a major that wasn't a British Open, that's pretty new for him and his attitude appeared to be 180 degrees different from last year's British. Some people will try to say that the step he took wasn't big enough and that he blew another chance and blah, blah, blah, but what's important is how Sergio feels about this week. He's the one playing the game. We are only spectators.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympics and Amateurs

I remember when they first let pros play basketball in the Olympics. I thought then that it was a bad idea and a desperate attempt by the US to win a medal. I still think that way every time the Olympics come round and I see the NBA players participating. The Olympics should be for amateurs. With all the talk about golf trying to join the Olympics, I think it needs to be emphasized that the Olympics should be for those who aren't already paid millions of dollars a year to play the sport of their choice. Is it really in keeping with the spirit of the Olympics to have a Tiger Woods win the gold medal? Tiger can afford the best clubs, the best training facilities, the best doctors, coaches, gurus, travel accomodations. Life is pretty comfy for him or any PGA Tour player compared to any guy participating in the US Amateur this year. And how often and how much heart would a Tiger put into the Olympics? Would he play the first one's he's eligible for and then bow out of it the next time? Andy Roddick of tennis fame is not participating this year by his own choice. In a sport where there is a backlash if anyone suggests changing the line up or adding a fifth major, would the pro players really want an Olympics to interrupt their finely tuned schedules once every four years? If people truly see the Olympics as a chance to grow the game world wide, then instead of opening it up to professionals, there should be an organized effort to pick the best amateurs from different age groups to partcipate. It would grow the game in the US and the world if only amateurs were allowed as there are only so many professionals out there, but many times more amateurs. If the pros want to participate, then they can coach the amateurs.

His Old Kentucky Home

JB Holmes' old Kentucky home might be vacant come mid-September if he can manage to win the PGA Championship. He'd quite possibly book a spot on the Ryder Cup team and everyone back in his hometown might have to attend to see him play. When I last checked the leaderboard, Holmes was leading at -1.

Sergio was doing quite well today, except for one hole, the 17th. He's still in it and hopefully will do well this weekend. His cute quote today (loosely quoted), "They aren't like greens. They're like purples."

Daniel Chopra hit a cool shot today. He stood with his back to the hole and turned his club upside down and hit his ball out of the rough. He followed that up by making the putt. That was TNT's shot of the day and will probably be on the highlight show tonight and probably on the Golf Channel. I'm watching a bit of the Olympics Opening Ceremony so I figure I'll miss the golf replays.

Update on the missing package: The post office is sorry. They apparently aren't going to do anything. I have to call the post office tomorrow and try to catch the mail carrier who mis-delivered the package before she goes out on her run. If I don't catch her before she starts, I'll put a note in the mailbox for her. I think I can email the Post Office website and complain or report the package as lost or something. It's amazing though, that if we tamper with someone's mail, it's a federal offense and we can go to prison, but the mail carrier can give our mail away to other people and that's acceptable. You'd think they would be more careful after the whole anthrax scare. But I guess after the first nervous few months of glove wearing, they got lax in their procedures.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bad Day Here

Something must be in retrograde in my zodiac sign or something. I have had really bad luck today. First was some bad luck at work (which technically happened while I was on vacation but I didn't find out about it until today). Then, I get my mail tonight out of my mailbox, there's a slip from the mailcarrier that said that my package was left on the front door of my house. Well, there's no package anywhere at my house. I walked to the neighbors and they didn't see any package either. So, the idiot mail carrier lost my package. I have to go to the post office tomorrow after work and complain. Third, I opened the brand new half gallon of milk I bought yesterday and it poured out like cottage cheese. The date on the jug was 8/15/08. So, that was a waste of about $2.50. The seller of the bad milk is Broughton's, just in case anyone was wondering. You should buy someone else's milk.

The good points: Sergio had a one under par round today at the PGA Championship. I think that's about it for the good points.

If you're looking for happier, more pleasant news, check out Golfblogger's website. He is attending the PGA Championship this week and has taken some pictures. It will be a nice contrast to my Bridgestone reports. I reported from the point of view of someone who doesn't play golf, but likes to watch it. Golfblogger plays golf so he will have a different point of view when he reports from the PGA.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

David Feherty At It Again

Again, David Feherty was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle near his hotel this week, the Golf Channel is reporting. He has to be the most unobservant person. Not a good trait for someone who has to watch golfers and call golf action. But, then again, that might explain some of his commentary. I look for his wife to be the next one to hit him - a smack upside the head telling him to either pay attention or sell the bike. She Who Must Be Obeyed might also soon be known as She Who Sold His Bike on Ebay.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dumb Question

On the cover of the September 2008 issue of Golf magazine is the question: Ryder Cup: Can the US win without Tiger?

The US has lost 5 of the last 6 Ryder Cups. How many of those teams has Tiger been on? Since the US can't seem to win WITH Tiger on the team, I don't think there needs to be any special speculation about their ability to win without him.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Picture Series 4: 2008 Bridgestone Invitational

The guy in the shorts is Mickelson's Caddie.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Friday

Today is my last day here at the tournament. I got up a little earlier this morning to make sure I packed up everything because I had to check out of the hotel.
The plan today still wasn’t finalized when I got to the course. And I still had some tough decisions to make as to who to follow. I started out by sitting at the 10th tee and watching groups tee off. If the golf channel showed Phil Mickelson teeing off then you might have seen me. I was wearing a green t-shirt with white trim, blue jean shorts, sunglasses, and my hair was in a ponytail.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going anywhere near the clubhouse. I had speculated the night before that maybe my burning eyes were allergies, so I hoped that by staying away from all of the flowers, I might be able to avoid the eye trouble.
So, here are some stray thoughts as the groups teed off on 10:
Henrik Stenson wore some nice white striped pants. As mentioned before, the tv cameras filmed Phil’s tee shot.
Next Group: Trahan sported ugly hot mustard colored shoes. But at least the belt matched. Jimenez and Dougherty were wearing pink.
Along came Graeme McDowell who looked nice in a crisp blue shirt and gray pants with blue pinstripes. He also had “GMAC” on the back of his cap. I wonder if he’s sponsored by the folks who financed my car or if that’s just his nickname.
Fredrik Jacobson looks like anything but a golfer. Scruffy hair and that shirt that’s only tucked in at the belt buckle area. You’d think he just rolled out of bed or something.
The group of Weekley, Immelman and Casey joked around some while waiting to tee off. And yet another supporter of the color pink: Zach Johnson.
Martin Kaymer was in Zach’s group and he has the cutest head covers next to Tim Clark’s penguin. Kaymer’s were a gopher and a white/gray tiger. And as for Lee Westwood, when his name was announced, he smiled and looked all around the gallery.
After Westwood’s group teed off, I went out to walk with the groups. I wanted to catch up to Jimenez’ group but I kept getting stopped when the other groups were hitting their shots, so I gave up and followed the Casey-Immelman-Weekley group and then the Cabrera-Wilson-Johnson group.
Sticking to my decision to avoid the flowers around the clubhouse, I grabbed lunch from one of the concession stands out on the course. Then I made my way over to the first fairway so I could check out what Ian Poulter was wearing. Even though it was a white ensemble, he still looked very stylish. Poulter’s group teed off at 12:15 pm and while I’m talking about this group, I need to mention Crazy Guy #2. I noticed this guy yesterday, he would sit down on a little foldable stool right under the rope and seemed very intense in his observations of Poulter. Today, he was back again. At least when I followed the groups this time, I sometimes gave up the chance to see them hit every shot and went in search of a shady spot.
Now for some other observations of the afternoon groups: Retief Goosen looks bigger in person than he does on TV. And Chez Reavie has the smallest feet, well shoes, that I think I’ve ever seen. Justin Rose wore a very pretty green shirt today. I’d call it jewel-toned.
You know how the media disparages Sergio’s claims of bad luck? Well, here’s a story that might make you stop and listen the next time he’s participating in a press conference or giving an interview. At some point during his round, Sergio’s ball landed in the rough. I was lucky enough to be standing right next to the spot, so I had a great view. Sergio comes up and hit his next shot and then immediately looks down at the ground. He calls over his caddie and then chops away at the ground with his club. Springing up from the ground is yet another golf ball. Apparently Sergio’s ball landed right on top of this buried ball. You can’t tell me that this kind of thing happens all the time. I’d say this was an example of luck - good or bad depending on your point of view. I think Sergio’s ball might have landed in a good spot on the green. All the golf tends to run together after four days of following different golfers.
Now for a few comments on Rocco’s group. It included the previously mentioned Justin Rose and Scott Strange. Some idiot thought it was Curtis Strange playing in the group. I’d like to know how this guy thought Curtis had qualified for the tournament. As for Rocco, the people who hang out in the corporate/hospitality areas, generously partaking in the hospitality so to speak, cheered loudly for him. But one curious instance makes you wonder just how much of Rocco’s fan support might just be manufactured. On the long par5 16th hole, one of the marshals instructed the crowd to cheer for Rocco. The conspiracy theorist in me compels me to question all of the cheers I now hear on tv when watching golf. Do these people really like the players or are they just responding to a new version of the ‘applause’ sign. One last comment on Rocco, I was in the area of his wayward shot that landed next to the hospitality tent on 17. I don’t think I would have made it on tv though. I was pretty far away from him. I was only wanting to see Justin’s next shot and had to wait for Rocco.
According to my poorly scribbled notes, I’m to mention Srixon Man. This was a very rude man who kept cutting in front of people, like me, in order to keep a close eye on Hoshino, who was in Sergio’s group. Interestingly, Hoshino’s caddie left the golf bag next to Srixon Man and just a few yards away from the tee on some hole on the back nine. I don’t know if he just watched over the bag or if he might have done something to it. The tee wasn’t so far away from where the players cross from the last green to the tee that Hoshino’s caddie couldn’t have carried it to the tee box so it seemed curious to me that the bag was left there next to Srixon Man. That being said, I didn’t see him do anything to the bag but then I was trying to make my way on down along the fairway to see the next shots.
There were two other items to note on my experience of the day’s events. Both happened while I was trying to get off the course to leave. The first was on the 11th hole. I was there for Harrington’s shot from next to the tree and cart path. I was watching the replay on the Golf Channel and you might have actually been able to see me in that one shot they took from on down the hole looking back at Harrington. I taped it so I’m going to play it back and see if I’m on there. The Golf Channel anchors didn’t know what Harrington’s problem was and speculated that it might have been a buried part of the cart path. Well from where I was, it looked to me like the concern was for tree roots. I had heard earlier from other people in the gallery that this group had kept rules officials busy, seeing if rules could be interpreted one way or another. I’m sure it was perfectly legal as it never hurts to ask a question and the rules officials should have no problem saying no. But according to one fan, Clarke had offered a few joking words to Verplank and the fan wondered if Verplank had appreciated Clarke’s good nature.
The other item worth noting involved Ian Poulter. One of his shots landed in the rough outside the ropes. I came up on the crowd surrounding him on my way off the course and I watched as his caddie and a marshal had to take down the crosswalk sign and some rope stakes.
So that was the last golfing moment of my trip. I got off the course, went back to my car, stopped for supper and headed for home. I didn’t suffer from any burning or watering eyes today so maybe it was all of the plantings around the clubhouse that did it.
I had a lot of fun this week and I can’t wait to get all of my pictures printed out. And I will need to watch the last two rounds on tv this weekend.

The final tally of players I saw this week shows that of the 80 players in the field, the only ones I didn’t see were:
Sean O’Hair, Steve Stricker, Steve Webster, Steve Flesch, JJ Henry, Brendan Jones, and Robert Karlsson, and Hunter Mahan..

And no, there wasn’t a ‘Steve’ boycott going on. It just worked out that way.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Thursday

Unlike two years ago when tee times began pretty late in the mornings, they began at 8:30am today. So, I didn’t have long to stand around or sit around and wait. I like this much better.
The pairing sheet they handed out had a mistake on it and it confused some people. The morning groups starting on the 10th tee were listed under the heading “Afternoon 1st tee” and then the afternoon groups going off the first tee were listed under the heading “Morning 10th tee”. But only the headings were wrong. There was still enough information on the sheet to figure out what was going on.
I got the sheet and eagerly studied the groups, trying to decide who to follow. Sergio was grouped with Hoshino and Johnson Wagner. Unfortunately, I wasn’t all that interested in seeing Wagner or Hoshino, so I opted to follow Ian Poulter, Tim Clark and Steve Lowery in the morning. I stuck with them for 11 holes and then went to get lunch.
I know all of you are waiting for it, so here it is: The Ian Poulter Fashion Review. He wore a very pretty and vibrant blue shirt, with black pants and a sparkly black belt. The pants had the Ian Poulter logo on them in blue and a very cool checkerboard patter on the front. That probably doesn’t show up that well on camera. Steve Lowery looked exhausted even before he teed off. And Tim Clark still sported the scruffy look that I like so much. Ian’s caddie is not afraid to direct the gallery. He seems to like telling people to stop moving and probably wishes he didn’t have to. One instance that sticks out: (loosely quoted) “You, kid. Stop.” He did single that boy out but don’t worry, that boy had to have been between 15 and 18 years old. Plenty old enough to know better than to be moving around.”
There was a lady and young boy walking in the gallery and they seemed to end up next to me often. Well, on the 17th hole, the lady called out to Lowery and gave him something. Deductive reasoning would suggest that this was Lowery’s wife and son. Before this exchange, I noticed three things about her:
1. Her designer purse was larger than 6 X 6 X 6.
2. She was wearing pants in 85 degree weather.
3. Her wedding ring set must have weighed more than one of my Chihuahuas.
After the exchange, I noticed a couple more things:
1. As with all PGA Tour wives, she is a knockout.
2. Her watch was big and encrusted with diamond-like jewels. I wouldn’t be able to identify them as diamonds but I bet they were.

I spent all morning strategically positioning myself in the shade as much as possible. I woke up with a sunburn but at least my face didn’t get it too badly. It was mainly on my arms. I kept reapplying sunscreen today and I feel miserable - not in the ouch that hurts kind of way, but in the yuck I need a bath way.
I took a break for lunch and decided to follow one of the afternoon groups: Jimenez, Dougherty and Trahan. While waiting for them to tee off, I had to see the Els, Mickelson, Stenson group tee off. So, I finally got to see Phil play golf. Last time I went to this tournament, I didn’t see him once. You would have thought their gallery would be huge and it was. But I think Tiger’s was bigger last time I was there - the year of the ball over the clubhouse incident. I thought it was telling that even putting Els and Mickelson together didn’t result in a gallery bigger than Tiger’s. Vijay had a pretty big gallery too and he was playing with Richard Green and Steve Flesch.
As for Jimenez, Trahan and Dougherty, it was a fun grouping. Trahan sought shade under the same tree as me. Granted, his caddie, a marshal, and about 6 other spectators were there, but mentioning them kind of detracts from the story J Dougherty had a shot from the gallery which was cool. I like it when the players have to go outside the ropes to play their shots, though I’m sure they don’t like it. During the nine holes I walked with this group, they were spontaneously joined by a fourth player: Boo Weekley. He completely missed his own fairway and his ball ended up landing just behind the Jimenez group. The ball whizzed over our heads and landed in the fairway with Jimenez, Trahan and Dougherty looking around wondering whose ball that was.
After Jimenez, Dougherty, and Trahan finished up on Nine, I watched them tee off on 10, mostly because I could sit down and rest my feet. Then I went back down 9 to a shady spot short of the green. From there I watched Jacobson, Snedecker and McDowell finish up that hole. While standing there, I saw this skinny, young girl drive up in a golf cart and park alongside the ropes. A little later, I heard some man joking with her. I turned around and looked and saw that it was Bobby Clampett. Then I heard him apparently talking to Kelly Whatsername - he was speaking into a Golf Channel microphone.
By this time, it was getting on to about 3pm and I had been following along since 8:30am. So, I was ready to look at some merchandise, decide that I’m too miserly to spend that much on a shirt, and head back to my car and hotel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. My eye started burning and watering again! When I finally got to my car, I put some eye drops in, but they didn’t really do that much good. I drove back to the hotel basically with just one good eye to see. Then I flushed out my eye with some eye wash and laid down on the bed with my eyes closed for a while. Eventually, my eye cleared up. I think I have it narrowed down to either an allergy to some kind of plants they have near the clubhouse. The only times I’ve had this eye trouble have been at the zoo where they have incredible gardens and around the clubhouse area where they also have lush plantings. I’ll just have to stay away from the clubhouse tomorrow. Of course the wind doesn’t help and neither do these new glasses of mine which provide very little in the way of protection from dust and particles flying around.
Looking at the list of players and counting up those I’ve seen, it looks like there’s only 10 or 15 I haven’t seen yet. I don’t know who I’m going to follow tomorrow. I’d like to see Justin Rose, but he’s paired with Rocco and I bet that gallery will be big. I might just spend part of the day in one shady spot and watch the players pass by me. There aren’t really any groupings that make me want to follow them. It might be a good way to check off more names on the list. My shady spot would have to be away from the clubhouse and near the real restrooms.

This one elderly fan is apparently a great supporter of Stuart Appleby. He wears a t-shirt that says things like “Appleby’s Accolyte”. Well, that’s on the back. On the front, it says something like “Stewart’s Supporter”. And yes, it was spelled that way. So, apparently he’s a fan of Stewart Cink and Appleby or he misspelled Appleby’s name.
Apparently everyone is allowed to smoke at this tournament because there were a lot of people who were. Let me tell you, gas prices are not too high as long as people can still buy cigarettes and cigars.

Obligatory Jerk Story: One of the players in the Jimenez group had a chip that didn’t end up all that well. Some kid said, “Give me three tries and I could do better.”
1. The whole point of golf is that you only get one try
2. Give a PGA Tour player 3 tries and he’ll hole his chip.

I don’t know if I like being away from the internet and my 250 plus tv channels. I find myself wondering what’s going on with Michelle Wie and stunned with the news on ESPN regarding all of the trades going on in baseball. What will the Reds do without Griffey Jr.? I’ll be happy to get home and avoid the regular news. I have to watch it here to get the weather forecast and unfortunately, I also have to hear stories about men being murdered by being decapitated on a public bus while asleep and being thrown on a fire and burned alive. So, Cleveland is just way too gruesome for me.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Wednesday

Ready for another day of golfer watching. I saw the MetLife Blimp today tethered in a field next to the Lockheed Martin place where we all park to catch the bus. It looks really small compared to the building next to it. I would take a picture but since Lockheed Martin deals in government contracts I thought it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to take a picture of the place and put it on the web.
I ate breakfast at McDonalds this morning and there was a group of older people complaining about gas prices. They would really complain if they had to pay $0.40 more a gallon like I do when I’m home.
I got to the practice range this morning and sat down to see Aaron Baddeley, Sergio, and Nick O’Hern. This guy, hereafter referred to as Crazy Guy, sat down next to me and you could tell he was excited to be there. He took in how each player was hitting their shots and talked to himself. Then he said to me, “He (meaning Sergio) should be on the practice green.” I resisted the urge to respond, “It wouldn’t be golf without those other 13 clubs in the bag.” And the thing is, Crazy Guy is a Sergio fan and was planning to follow him today. Which meant I was destined to be around him. Lucky me.
Sergio and Pablo Larrazabal paired up today for a practice round and Sergio was planning to play all 18 holes. Crazy Guy asked him and found out that bit of info. They reached the first green when the horn sounded and we had to get off the course. I followed everyone else and ended up in the Pro Shop. So, that’s where you go when it rains. On the way there, I snapped a picture of Phil Mickelson signing autographs for people underneath a scoreboard that said “seek shelter immediately.” I thought that was worth a picture.
When we were able to get back out on the course, like maybe 20 minutes later, Sergio and Pablo were late. Crazy Guy kept talking about Sergio and wondering where he could be. I decided to make use of my wait time and watched Kenny Perry, DB Holmes and DJ Trahan. Got some good pictures of them and eventually, Sergio and Pablo caught up.
I followed them thought the first nine holes, spotting Crazy Guy often. And I took a quick break to go to a real restroom when I came to one around the 7th or 8th hole. I had fun watching Sergio and Pablo, except for the headache I had. I liked hearing them converse in Spanish like yesterday’s Cabrera-Jimenez-Romero group. And Sergio and Pablo seemed to have fun, plenty of smiles in the group. Both of them had a couple of really good shots that came very close to the pin. That pleased the crowd.
Sergio and Pablo were going to play the full 18 but after 9, Sergio asked a marshal about the weather forecast and found out another storm was on the way, so they decided to wait it out. I went to get lunch and had just started eating it when the rain began. I got pretty wet but not soaked, drenched, or drowned like a rat. After it eased up, I hung out in the area where the caddies are until the sprinkles got too big to ignore. So, I went back into the pro-shop to wait out another storm. This one seemed to last a long while. The people in the pro-shop speculated that no one would be able to complete their practice rounds after all that rain. Well, finally the rain stopped and when I saw players and caddies heading back to the range, I went back to the fence bordering the practice green. At the practice green, I got plenty of pictures and a bit of a sunburn once the sun came back out. I heard Chris Dimarco comment on the practice green that the speed was like 3 feet slower after the rain.

Obligatory Jerks story: A guy who has spent three years collecting autographs called out to Zach Johnson for an autograph. Zach said he couldn’t right then. I think he said he would sign when he was done with practice. The jerk said “Okay. Thank you. I like your pants.” Zach was wearing some very stylish pink pants. I really did like them. Not missing a beat, Zach replied, “I like your shirt.”
As my headache was getting worse, I decided to call it a day after Sergio came off the practice range. I stopped by the merchandise tent/trailer and tried out my prepaid Mastercard. I’ve only ever used it online and until today it had never been swiped in a machine. I’m always a little apprehensive about the new cards, wondering if I’ll have trouble with them. But this one worked so now I’m going to do more shopping. Maybe in the pro-shop now that I’ve been there.
Today I bought another ball cap that looks just like the one I bought in 2006, only this one says 2008 on it. And I got one of those collectible golf balls with the WGC logo on it and stamped 2008.
On my way out, I walked by the big player board and saw some players seemed to be going back out on the course. The player board gets updated with the times of the players practice rounds and when the tournament begins, with the scores. I don’t know if they really did go back out because I left. Unlike later reports I heard on the PGA Tour network, it didn’t rain All Day. Only about 20 minutes the first time and probably maybe an hour or two the second time. I didn’t look at my watch. But they were all back out on the practice range around 2 or 2:30pm.

Some observations: Pablo had a lady friend with him. I listened to the crowds around me to see if anyone would try to link the lady with Sergio but fortunately I didn’t hear any of that. I did hear some people linking Sergio to the wrong female tennis player. You could tell they didn’t follow tennis because they just named the most famous young women of the game. As for Pablo’s lady friend, she’s thin, tanned, very pretty and has gorgeous hair. And she carried a huge purse with her.
The purse thing is a big issue with me, since we commoners are told purses larger than 6” X 6” X 6” are not allowed. I can only conclude that this rule doesn’t apply to players and their people. So, the following is for any single player or caddie between the ages of 30 and 45ish who usually ends up at the Bridgestone Invitational each year:
If you are looking for a woman who doesn’t care about how much money you have, who doesn’t care if you spend the majority of your time working away from your home, and who only wants to be able to carry a purse during the tournament week, then send me an email. A girl needs her hairbrush, especially when it rains like today.
Another observation: Plenty of people today confused Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby.

I got a ton of pictures today. My SD card had something like 1500 unused ones at the start of the week and I’m down about 200 so far. Some of the pictures ended up being of nothing. For some reason, my digital camera, though allegedly technologically better than a 35 mm point and click camera, takes much longer to actually take a picture and by the time the picture gets taken, the golfer has moved. One of the best pictures I got today was of Stenson and Fannie in the same frame.
Well, after a 20 ounce Coke, two Tylenol, one sinus pill, and some chocolate, my headache is finally easing up. Yay for me. I need to go through the list of golfers I saw today. I can’t wait to see the pairings tomorrow and find out who I’m going to follow. The sun’s supposed to be out so I might bring my sunglasses - Another reason I could use a purse.

Who I saw today:
Robert Allenby, Tim Clark, Hidemasa Hoshino, Woody Austin, Darren Clarke, Charles Howell 3, Aaron Baddeley, Chris DiMarco, David Howell, Angel Cabrera, Nick Dougherty, Trevor Immelman, Chad Campbell, Jim Furyk, Fredrik Jacobson, Paul Casey, Sergio, Jimenez, JK Choi, Harrington, Zach Johnson, Daniel Chopra, JB Holmes, Anthony Kim, Pablo Larrazabal, Paul McGinley, Ian Poulter, Brandt Snedecker, Justin Leonard, Rocco Mediate, Romero, Stenson, Lonard, Mickelson, Rose, Vaughn Taylor, Marksaeng, O’Hern, Rumford, Trahan, Graeme McDowell, Perry, Sabbatini, Weekley, Westwood.

I walked right by Nick Dougherty in the Pro-Shop during one of the rain delays. I didn’t see what he was buying but he seemed very polite as he moved through the crowd. Ian Poulter wore some really nice green pants today. Put him and Zach Johnson together and you could be reminded of an ice cream shop or something. Some people in the crowd said Rocco wouldn’t sign anything today, but as they probably weren’t with him every minute of his day, they might have missed him signing something. Tim Clark is looking kind of scruffy today, a look I like. He should keep it.
Out of the 80 players listed, I’ve seen 55 of them for sure and a few others that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen: Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Richard Finch, Richard Green, Soren Hansen. I’ve seen the golf bags of all of these except Finch so much that I’ve had to have seen the players too. Finch, I think I saw him going to and from the caddie area today during the rain delay.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Tuesday

It wasn’t until my hair was all soapy and wet that I realized that there was no hair dryer in the hotel room. So, my hair had to dry naturally. Not so bad for the health of my hair, but very bad for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that no one here knows me, I probably wouldn’t have left the room.
I got to the course and went to the practice range. There I noticed that the Australians lined up next to each other and Spanish speaking golfers lined up next to each other. Colin Montgomerie didn’t greet anyone as he walked across the range. I didn’t see Sergio at all today, but that doesn’t mean the day was a bust. (Yes, there is a pun in there but you have to wait for it.) I got to follow a very exciting group the first thing: Angel Cabrera, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Andres Romero. A dream for me, as you might expect. It was neat to hear them all converse in Spanish. I followed them for about three or four holes and then moved up to catch up to a plainly, but neatly, dressed Ian Poulter. He was playing by himself with just his caddie and a couple of other people along. He’s a talker and has a good sense of humor. On one hole, he missed the fairway three or four times in roughly the same spot. His response (loosely quoted): “Well, it’s fairly consistent.” Then on another hole, a larger lady wearing a tank top asked him to sign her breast. (No, it wasn’t me. I’m skinny now, sufficiently clothed and a good girl). He said “Sorry” and kept walking. And in case you didn’t catch it, that was the pun I referred to earlier. I would have followed Ian for the rest of his practice round, but had to look for a real restroom, not the port-a-potties.
I did actually eat at the course today. If you remember my diary from two years ago, I didn’t eat at all during the days I spent at the course. Today’s lunch was a turkey club wrap, priced at $7.50 and a bottle of water for a mere $3.00. I think the cashier gave me back too much money. I think she was trying to add my change back up to $10.00 but instead she gave me a $10.00 bill plus extra. Don’t worry though, I heard them say that they couldn’t give ice away to people, they had to sell it for $0.50 a cup. I’m sure they will make up any shortfalls due to cashier screw-ups.
Twice today, I put sunscreen on. Unfortunately, I think that led to a big problem. For the last two hours I was there, my eyes burned and watered constantly, just like yesterday. I was miserable and not even splashing cold water in them completely solved the problem. I ended up leaving early, which means I might have missed Sergio. But I saw him plenty two years ago. I think it was a great day just for seeing Cabrera, Jimenez and Romero.
I did walk right by Scott Strange and Brett Rumford while my eyes were giving me fits and lucky for them, I didn’t collide into them. But if they noticed the girl with the eye trouble, then they noticed me!
My eyes actually felt better in the really cold AC of the building you walk through to leave the course. So, that was a double edged sword thing. Feeling better by leaving. I got back to the hotel and walked to Walmart and bought some eye drops, eye wash, and a hair dryer.
Two local stations are calling for rainstorms Wednesday and Thursday and one is just saying Wednesday. I hope it goes around us. The tournament is quick to tell you where not to go if there’s bad weather, but they don’t tell you where you should go. I’m just going to follow everyone else or go back to the hotel. The storms are supposed to happen after 2pm so I can get a lot of practice watched by then.

Here’s a list of players I saw today (whether through healthy or watery eyes)
Anthony Kim
Peter Lonard
Colin Montgomerie
Rod Pampling
Craig Parry
Ian Poulter
Andres Romero
Justin Rose
Brett Rumford
Rory Sabbatini - no fancy belt buckle for the practice round
Vijay Singh
Brandt Snedecker
Scott Strange
David Toms
DJ Trajan
Boo Weekley
Oliver Wilson
Woody Austin
Mark Brown
Angel Cabrera
Chad Campbell
Chris Dimarco - on the 1st tee wearing a blue shirt-odd, that’s where he was and what he was wearing when I saw him two years ago.
Nick Dougherty
Niclas Fasth
Ross Fisher
Jim Furyk
Richard Green
David Howell
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Zach Johnson
Martin Kayer
Henrik Stenson

Obligatory jerk story: While I was sitting on some bleachers unable to see through the burning and watering eyes, some 18-20 year old boys thought it was smart to start calling the white golfers “Tiger”. In my 99% white home town, if someone called one golfer by another’s name, it would merely be a comment on the skill level (in this case, gee you’re not Tiger). But up here, I would think this might take on a racial tone if some sensitive people were to overhear. So, even though I couldn’t see, I thought I’d better get up and leave before I ended up getting lumped in with these jerks just because I was in the vicinity.
I counted 80 players in the Tuesday flier they handed out. And of those, I saw 32 for sure and possibly two others: Hidemasa Hoshino and Prayad Marksaeng. I think I saw them but wasn’t completely sure of who they were until I looked at the sheet.
Hopefully I will feel a lot better tomorrow and hopefully we won’t have any weather problems. I want to see more players and I want to see more Justin Rose. And I haven’t seen Pablo Larrazabal yet. He was out on a practice round while I was blind.
Well, I’m off to take some Tylenol and put more drops in my eyes.

News from home: The Fed-Ex package came back to my house. Mom called the Fed-Ex people and had them retrieve it last week, but they delivered it to my house again. They must have a huge gas budget since they don’t seem to mind delivering packages to the wrong addresses twice.

Bridgestone Trip Diary: Monday

Started out around 7:30am and ate at McDonalds before I began my trip. About 40 minutes in, I contacted Onstar and asked for directions to the zoo. I had a nice drive, except that Ohioans are a bunch of lead foots. And I didn’t screw up on the driving until the evening. More on that later.
The directions from Onstar were pretty good. When it says “Bear left” or “Bear right” it means “don’t take the exit”. Hyper drivers, like my dad, might have issues with that.
The zoo was cool. Plenty of animals and play areas for the kids. I walked and walked and almost got a sunburn. I did put some sunscreen on this morning and again after I got into the car to leave the zoo. Unfortunately, that must have done something because my eyes started burning and watering and just wouldn’t stop. I spent about 10 to 15 minutes trying to make them stop. Eventually, I was able to go to the mall. The Summit Mall isn’t much bigger than a mal near my town. That was surprising. But the real surprise was that there was no bookstore in the mall. I did learn something very important: women should have at least a Coach handbag or a Vera Bradley bag. It seemed like all of the women there had them. And if you go to the Coach handbag store, there are no prices listed. You know that old saying, “If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.” There was a man who worked for CBS in the luggage shop. He apparently was a camera man and he was talking about his experience at the Canadian Open. He prefers American currency and it seems the course superintendents there apparently had some issue with the CBS crew filming on the driving range or something. I left the store before hearing the rest of the story. You can only fake an interest in luggage for so long before you have to move on.
I walked and walked in that mall for about 2 hours and the only thing I bought was dinner. Maybe if there had been a bookstore……
So, I left the mall, and using Onstar, I drove to my hotel. There’s a Walmart close by so I shopped a little in Walmart before checking in. Once I had checked in, I rested my tired feet, called mom to let her know I made it there okay, then sorted through some of my stuff. At the zoo, I bought a T-shirt, mood ring in the shape of an elephant, and a necklace with a giraffe pendant.
Deciding I was a bit hungry, I went back out and drove around a bit before going to Walmart for some donuts and milk. This is where the screw-up happened. I was driving up and down the main street looking at all the restaurants and drove the wrong way on a one way street. That was a downer. But the good thing is that I’m a stranger here and no one knows me. They just know it was some kind of crazy West Virginian.
As for my hotel room, it has a fridge and a microwave and was really cold with the AC on just a little bit. I had to turn the heat on. And I can’t figure out how to use my prepaid calling card to call Mom. So, I used my cell phone instead. I would have preferred a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor but mine ended up being on the ground floor.
Bad news: It looks like they are calling for thunderstorms on Wednesday. I’d better get all the pictures I want on Tuesday so I can leave the camera in the car. I don’t need my hands full of stuff if it’s going to rain.

Picture Series 3: 2008 Bridgestone Invitational

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Picture Series 2: 2008 Bridgestone Invitational

Picture Series 1: 2008 Bridgestone Invitational

Just a Quick Post

Yes, I'm back from the Bridgestone Invitational - my diary and pictures will be posted soon. But, for now, I just had to post this comment:

The US Senior Open had wild bears. The Bridgestone Invitational has wild squirrels. I think I got cheated. I can see squirrels here at home. I did, however, see a wild bear at the zoo in Akron. I guess that might count but it isn't really the same as a wild bear running loose. The bear I saw was asleep.