Sunday, September 28, 2008


This was a good week for Spanish speaking golfers. Eduardo Romero won. Gonzalo Fernandez Castano won. Sergio came in second. And Camilo Villegas won. And on the LPGA, Lorena Ochoa won.

Maybe the news people can talk about Camilo being the next Tiger Woods. Camilo's won his first and second tournaments back to back, which according to NBC hasn't been done in 11 years - last one to do it was David Duval.

And, a treat for me, the Tennis Channel aired the 2006 French Open final between Federer and Nadal (Nadal won of course) so I got to see that too.

The Forgotten Man

I was watching the Tour Championship scores scroll across the bottom of the tv screen and I saw the name of Billy Mayfair. Mayfair is 42, a cancer survivor, and is in the top 30 of the PGA Tour (or at least in the Top 30 of the Fed Ex Cup standings). Has anyone been talking about him? Probably not. But someone should. He's playing pretty well for an 'old' guy - old being defined by the media as anyone 40 or older because once you hit 40 the media thinks you're biding your time until you are eligible for the Champions Tour. Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh and now Billy Mayfair have shown them just how wrong they can be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What a Difference A Few Days Make

Sergio has a three shot lead heading into the final round of the Tour Championship. Anthony Kim is where he should be - coming up short behind Sergio. I'm not watching the tournament because I don't want to hear about Kim every second of the coverage. But I'm keeping up with the scores on the internet. One good thing to look forward to when Tiger returns, the networks won't be talking about Kim any longer.

Hopefully, Sergio can parlay his lead into a win. He isn't great when he has a lead going into the final round so maybe he will continue on his track of improvement and conquer that statistic like he's conquered the putting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My boss's brother came through with some Ryder Cup souvenirs. I was 'allowed' to have the Ryder Cup Official Journal (the book that tells about the history of the Ryder Cup and the current teams), the PGA Media Guide which details the history of the PGA and all of the PGA events (the PGA Championship, Senior PGA, Ryder Cup, etc) and my choice of either the divot tool or a ball marker. I chose the ball marker. My boss said his brother tried to get some autographs of the European team but they weren't signing. That's understandable, I'm sure they weren't in a happy mood. I don't know when they were asked, but after a week of the crowds reportedly yelling obscenities at them and their families and calling their rooms at all hours, the European team was probably happy to see Kentucky in their proverbial rear view mirror.

So, I got to gaze at really nice pictures of Sergio and Jose Maria today while I was at work. That was more than pleasant. It almost made the 8 hours I spent at work bearable.

Monday, September 22, 2008

If Only I Had A Passport

I got this email today from Ray Baker who told me about his website: Golf Vacations Spain Guide. I don't play golf, as you know, but I don't think that would stop me from going to Spain on a golf vacation. If any of you are contemplating a once in a lifetime vacation, check out the website and see if Spain catches your fancy. I know there are some Spaniards who have caught my fancy :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Closing Ceremonies?

ESPN said they were going to air the closing ceremonies. Well, what they aired was Scott VanPelt's and Andy North's opinions on how the Ryder Cup turned out. If their opinions were worth anything, they would have been on the NBC coverage today. If ESPN says they are going to air the Closing Ceremonies, then they had better be showing some boring speeches by men I've never seen before. And if ESPN wants to get in on the Ryder Cup action, then they can outbid NBC for all three days of coverage.

Final Thoughts

I have several thoughts swirling around in my mind right now.

1. NBC has apparently bought into that 'cash cow' advertising plan by talking up Anthony Kim every chance they can get. Once upon a time, NBC was pretty neutral, but not today. They did their best to make Kim's win over Sergio the absolutely greatest win ever despite the fact that Sergio's Ryder Cup record comes from the pairs matches and not the singles. Kim's win wasn't that big of a deal today since he wasn't really taking a point from the Europeans. It wasn't likely Sergio was going to get a point in the singles to begin with. Thanks to this, I watched much of the day's coverage with the mute button on. At least Sergio wasn't the only one to hit into the water on 7.

2. JB Holmes - two years ago, I wrote here that I wanted to see JB make the Ryder Cup team. He made the team as a pick and I heard nothing but negative comments from Johnny Miller about it for all three days. At least Dan Hicks had the guts to call him on it when JB won his singles match today. Don't get me wrong, I love Johnny Miller. But he was wrong about JB.

3. Also two years ago, I wrote here that the top US ranked players were sucky in the Ryder Cup and that my Ryder Cup team wouldn't include them. Over in the side bar, you can see who I would have picked for a Ryder Cup team two years ago. Mickelson and Furyk, two guys I would have left off the team, did recover a bit this time around and actually won some points. Mickelson did still lose in the singles so I'm not sold on him yet. Azinger had a good idea for having 4 picks instead of two. And he used his picks for guys who aren't spoiled by their fame or riches like the top guys seem to be. All of this brings me to my one stunning comment that will no doubt be contentious in some circles: The US team loses because Tiger's on the team. He seems to be a wet blanket on the team and brings them down. When he can't win a session on Friday or Saturday, the others look around and say, "gee if the greatest player ever can't win, then we can't." And he doesn't seem to be much of a team player.

4. Why did Azinger have all of those assistant captains if they were all together and not spread out amongst the groups? Whenever I saw them today, they were all together. How much good did that really do? I think maybe Stockton, Floyd and Browne just wanted free tickets to the event.

5. More on NBC, they didn't seem to give equal time to the Europeans who won their matches. I didn't see an interview with Justin Rose after he beat Mickelson. Luckily, Rose is keeping a diary for some newspaper in England and I can read his thoughts later there and on his website.

6. Now for Faldo and the European team: I don't know why people aren't questioning Paul Casey's pick over Darren Clarke. Casey didn't do well this week and he hadn't been doing well on tour lately. Everyone focused on Ian Poulter instead which I think is a little unfair. And some will debate Sergio and Lee sitting out of the Saturday morning matches. They could have won a point that morning if they were healthy enough to go, but they could have won a point that afternoon had they been paired together instead of apart. Obviously they were split up in the afternoon in an attempt to get two points, and unfortunately ended up with I think maybe just a half. And now that we know that Lee and Sergio both lost their singles matches today, armchair quarterbacks will be questioning Faldo's decision on the Saturday pairings even more. It's easy to question the decisions after you know what the result is. I think Faldo did well with the team he had.

7. Robert Karlsson finally got his due today, winning his singles match. He didn't get any respect last time around because he drew Tiger in singles. This time, America saw what the folks in Europe knew all along - the man's one of the most formidable golfers in the world.

8. Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter emerged as stars for the European team this week. Wilson may not have done well today, but he extended his match further than many thought he would and he had to deal with the Kentucky crowd and Boo Weekley.

Final miscellaneous thoughts: The 13th man of the American Team wasn't the crowd as Azinger claimed during the opening ceremonies, it was the guy who gave Kenny Perry his putter earlier this year. And finally, Heaven help the world if Boo Weekley and Michelle Wie ever got together. Neither one of them are scholars.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Like Huge Leads

After watching 11 plus hours of golf today, I've decided I like it better when Europe has a big lead. It's much less stressful. I didn't go to the grocery store today like I normally do because of the Ryder Cup and I was up vacuuming the family room before 8am. I didn't do any other housework until after the golf was over. I didn't even go out to get my mail today until after 7:30pm. The most distracting thing I did was to work some Sudoku puzzles and play with the dogs. After the golf was over, I went out in the dark and hosed off my car. It really needs washed but I don't have time to do it this weekend, so hosing it off was a compromise solution.

My comments on the day's events: Ian Poulter - great. Sergio's excited reaction to making that putt on I think the 8th or some hole near there - very great (especially if you're a girl and have a crush on him), Graeme McDowell - wonderful, Robert Karlsson - NBC may be surprised by the number of birdies he makes, but the guys who call the European Tour action on the Golf Channel wouldn't be - they know he's a birdie machine because they know his stats, Paul Casey - thought he looked like he was sick - he didn't have much energy out there, but it was good to see him make that putt at the last, Jose Maria Olazabal - I got to see him today and he looked great. Oliver Wilson did very well this morning, as did Justin Rose who paired with Poulter in the morning session.

Europe has to win 7 of the twelve matches tomorrow. I don't know if they will do that. It will be another nailbiter, or in my case, eating everything in the house.

And what am I watching now? The Spain vs US Davis Cup tennis matches. They are being held in a converted Bull Ring in Madrid, Spain. How cool is that? Spain may have a chance here in the doubles since apparently one of the Bryan brothers isn't playing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Avast Me Hearties!

Sorry, but it is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Anyway, I had to work today and didn't get to watch much of the Ryder Cup. I recorded it in case the scores made me want to watch it, but so far they aren't that inspiring. I've got the competition on now, but the TV is muted. After I got home, the ESPN announcers were spending way too much time talking about Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson so I turned the sound off. I didn't want to ruin my dinner. It didn't take long to get the impression that ESPN is biased. And of course, I just had to mute Rick Reilly. He's way too annoying. In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, shall I refer to Reilly as a 'scurvy dog'? LOL

As for the scores, I've had a feeling for about a year now that this competition was going to be close. Not like the past few where the European Team has won by a large margin. I think I felt this way because the US Team finally has a captain who 1) likes matchplay and 2) loves the competition of the Ryder Cup. Azinger's record isn't that great in the Ryder Cup, but at least he cares about it. I vote for Davis Love to be the next Ryder Cup Captain. Freddie's got the Presidents Cup so he's going to be busy. Not that I would switch my support to the Americans if Davis Love was captain. I don't think there's an American player out there who could woo me away from Sergio, Jose Maria and any other Spaniard who makes the European Team.

Opening Ceremonies

I watched the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremonies on ESPN News today. Aside from technical glitches (like no sound when the Stenson pairing was announced) and what appeared to be more time spent on Azinger and his morning match players, it was an ok event. Faldo was either really nervous or really emotional during his speech. At times I thought he was actually going to cry. The players looked really nice in their suits (the Europeans, I didn't spend too much time watching the US team).

One thing I'm getting annoyed at is the Golf Channel assigning Kelly Whatshername to cover Faldo. The conspiracy theorist in me has all kinds of suspicions about that. Faldo had better be careful.

I do have to give some credit to Azinger during the Opening Ceremonies. Dan Hicks tried his best to get either Faldo or Azinger to mention Faldo's list of pairings that was the talk of the media yesterday and Azinger completely ignored the not so subtle hint by Hicks to bring it up.

And while I wasn't paying that close attention to the wives and girlfriends, I don't think they were all dressed alike in the same outfits. If that's right, then I'm very happy. I didn't like the matching outfits of two years ago. Too Stepford-like and I can't imagine the men were anything but scared when they saw that.

As for the ceremonies themselves, the 2006 version was much better for entertainment value, with various artsy performances. I guess the US organizers remembered that Hunter Mahan wasn't getting paid for being there and didn't want to take up too much of his valuable time.

One last observation: There's a reason why these guys wear hats.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sergio's Next Girlfriend??

I just read HERE that Carrie Underwood is going to perform at the Ryder Cup Gala Dinner. She's cute, blond, and in some ways looks like Greg Norman's daughter. Just kidding on that girlfriend thing :) But I do take exception to the article's classification of Underwood as a 'reality TV star'. She's a Grammy and CMA award winner. Don't put her in the same group as some of those cheesy reality shows like Celebrity Mole or whatever. And I don't know what Carrie Underwood has to do with horrible Ryder Cup fashion - I guess because she has some fashion sense and some former Ryder Cup captains don't :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does Anyone Else Think This Is Unusual?

I was visiting Lee Westwood's website and saw this diary entry which said that Lee still has his tonsils and he gets tonsilitis about 2 to 3 times a year. That seems unusual to me because virtually everyone I know had their tonsils taken out when they were kids, me included. I hope making people keep their tonsils and get sick 3 times a year isn't part of that universal health care that the UK is supposed to have. If it is, then all of the employers in the UK must have very liberal sick leave policies.

Oh Joy!!!!

I just read that Jose Maria Olazabal is hopeful to return to action in about three weeks at the event in Madrid. I can't wait! I hope his health has improved and he's feeling better.

Really Great Ryder Cup Related Blog

For the next few days, if you want a European view on the Ryder Cup, then check out The PGA Tourist. There are some good team photos of the European Team.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole

Sure, to the untrained ear, Winnie and PJ may appear to be saying "arff, arff, arff" but I know what they are really doing is singing the "Ole, Ole, Ole" song in anticipation of the Ryder Cup. They can't wait to see their Honorary Daddies (Winnie's is Sergio, and PJ's is Jose Maria) defending the Cup and trouncing the Americans once again, this time on American soil. As you can see from the pictures, Winnie and PJ are 100% behind the European Team. Yes, I made those little outfits for them today. I only broke two sewing needles on my machine, stabbed myself three times handsewing and suffered one painful bite from Winnie when I tried to take her lovely Ryder Cup outfit off.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Boss's Brother

My boss's brother may just be able to make my boss's life a lot easier in a couple of weeks. The brother is going to the Ryder Cup. He's got a free ticket by working for some European company. So, my boss has asked him to try to get me Sergio's autograph. LOL . He told me about it this morning and, being me, I said "Can he get Jose Maria's too?" My boss figures if he can get me Sergio's autograph, then I will easier to get along with. Hah! I didn't put that in writing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fred Couples in Germany

This week, Fred will be playing in Germany. So, you'll want to check out the European Tour. I think there's an article on the European Tour Website.

Camilo in HD

I'm really liking my new HD TV. Camilo looked really good today. And he played well this week, winning the BMW event. This is his first win on tour and when he took his hat off after his last putt on the 18th, you just knew there would be more People magazine interviews and such. He just looks so handsome.

On the European Tour, Rory McIlroy almost won the European Masters. I don't have the winner's name right now to mention here, but you can go to the European Tour website and find out all about him. I know he's French and during the traditional french celebration, his poor baby got some champagne splashed on him/her.

As for Tennis, I'm guessing that Andy Murray beat Rafael Nadal today to get into the finals of the US Open. I mention tennis because Rafa and Roger Federer look really good in HD too. I guessed that Murray won because I turned the tv over to CBS and they were showing the Williams Sisters' match - as if the match between Rafa and Murray ended pretty quickly.

And of course I can't let this moment pass without mentioning Sergio's hole-in-one the other day. That was exciting and, fitting with the theme of this post, he also looks very, very good in HD.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The US Team

Well, here's a list of the full US Ryder Cup Team (* means they are Captain's Picks):


An observation: Azinger had to skip Woody Austin and DJ Trahan to get to some of the picks on the list.

I'm happy that JB Holmes is on the team. Hopefully, he will get to play. Ordinarily I wouldn't think about whether or not the players will actually play in the event, but after last time and Tom Lehman's sucky plan of sitting some of the players out for most of the whole event, I now can't trust the US Team to be fair and give everyone a chance to make some career/life-long memories. At least Azinger won't cave into the pressure of feeling the need to play Woods no matter how much he sucks - he won't be there. The US team might actually win a few points this time.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A New Observation

I'm watching the US Open tennis tournament on the USA network, on my new tv. Ted Robinson's (announcer) ears are really, really big on this TV. He probably would have preferred me keeping my old tv.

Big Day

Today was a big day. For me. For Walmart. And For my Discover Card. In West Virginia there is a sales tax holiday for the first week of September on EnergyStar products. This includes flat panel HD tvs. So, today I saved 6% of my purchase price of a 37 inch Sharp LCD tv. That was about $48.00. And by using my Discover Card, I will be able to apply my cash back bonus money to my balance and that means the purchase price of the tv was really about $40.00 less than what Walmart wanted to charge. Yay for me for saving about $86.00 today. The Discover card people were on the job - they called me to make sure I was the one who used my credit card today. I guess if I used it more often they wouldn't be so surprised.

As for the TV: Sergio and Rafael Nadal never looked better. I do have one small criticism: when the camera follows the putt, the surrounding grass is all blurry. I don't know if I can change any of the settings to fix this.

And what about Sergio today? Well, I think all the excitement over the Ryder Cup and his good play for the last few weeks has caught up with him and I think he's a little tired. One of the NBC guys said something about Sergio might be getting tired of playing with Vijay. Well, I think it's a good thing to get paired with Vijay since he's winning all the events. That means that on Sunday, you must be in pretty good shape if you're paired with him.

And if Mike Weir hadn't shaved off his "playoff beard" then he might have won this week. Hahaha. Those commercials of his are pretty funny.