Friday, October 31, 2008

Quick Notes

I've been out shopping all day and didn't see any golf or read any news until about 5pm. So, here's what I've got:

1. Justin Rose withdrew from the Volvo Masters due to the death of his grandfather. He was last in the tournament anyway so he's not missing anything by leaving.

2. The tournament officials at the Volvo Masters couldn't check yahoo weather like I did to see that it was going to rain and started the second round only to have to stop with only I think 4 people finishing the round. And they didn't play lift clean and place to start with so that means everyone else has to play a soggy course tomorrow playing the ball down. At least for the finish of the second round. I think I read on the European PGA Tour website that Miguel Angel Jimenez dropped 7 shots in the first four holes. He had an outside chance of winning the order of merit which is probably all but gone now.

3. David Duval is having the tournament of his year so far at the Ginn Sur Mer. I think they said he was only 2 off the lead.

4. No news on Jeff Overton despite him being the big news yesterday for playing so soon after his apendectomy. They did show his placement after the second round and I think he's tied for 36th or thereabouts. Projections put him at 126 if he finishes there. But I'm not a big fan of the projections thing. They show that during the first round - when it's absolutely meaningless.

5. Seve is still in ICU but doctors apparently report that he's doing well.

6. Looks like Jay Haas may be the winner of the Charles Schwab Cup again this year. Fred Funk was the closest man chasing him and he's not having a good tournament. Haas is currently in the top ten. Funk is well back. And I think they said you had to finish in the top ten to earn points. You know, every year, the Charles Schwab Cup is exciting. The Fed Ex Cup - not even close. What will the Race to Dubai bring? Hopefully a bunch of European players and no Americans challenging for the top spot there. I don't want to see the Americans go over and take over the whole thing after snubbing the European Tour for all of these years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

News From Spain

Doctors report that Seve is doing better, but remains in ICU.

Volvo Masters: Apparently there's an uproar over the tournament organizers sending out Justin Rose first and by himself on Thursday. Some people think this is insulting to Justin as he is the defending Champion and it doesn't show him the respect a defending champion deserves. But, according to an interview I read, Justin appears to be okay with the order of play. He says there may be an advantage to going out first with regards to the condition of the course, particularly the greens. And he explained that the tournament organizers always send out the players in reverse order of their Order of Merit rankings, with the lowest ranked players going first. And Justin hasn't done well on the European Tour this year.

And according to Yahoo weather, it is not cold enough to snow at Valderrama. So, maybe my retirement plans haven't been ruined after all. Bad news for the golfers though, it looks like there's three days of rain in their future.

I haven't decided whether or not I'll be taping the Volvo Masters. So, I guess that means I won't be. I haven't yet watched the first two rounds of the Castello Masters from last week. I have Friday off but I'm going shopping again and won't be home to watch it. I have 5 days in a row off starting Friday. I took Friday and Monday off, but I get Election Day off and the weekend, of course. It will be nice to have all of that time off. I know the dogs will be happy to have me home. They miss my lap and the treats my hands give them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There Goes My Retirement Plan

I just read on BBC News that it's SNOWING, yes, I typed SNOWING, in Spain. My retirement plan centered on marrying a Spaniard and moving to SUNNY Spain! This weather development is just unacceptable. It hasn't even snowed in West Virginia yet.

I wonder what's going on at Valderrama. The Volvo Masters is this week. Maybe they should play with Paula Creamer's pink golf ball so they don't lose them in the SNOW.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sergio Wins!!!

Sergio won the Castello Masters today and now has his name on the most unique trophy I've ever seen. You all should google it. It was designed by a famous Spanish sculptor. Jose Maria finished tied for 15th which is really great. I can't wait until the 2009 season begins in a week or two to see how he fares. The internet news claims Sergio has climbed to #3 in the world, but when I checked out the official world golf rankings website, it hadn't been updated yet. So, we'll see where he ends up. He started the year at 12th with a points average of 4.785. Whether he finishes 3rd or 4th or even 5th, which is where he started the week), it's been a really good year for him.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Moving Day

It was moving day on the European PGA Tour over in Spain. Sergio now has a 4 shot lead going into the final round. He did try to be a good host on a couple of holes with a few wayward shots and a couple of bogeys. Interestingly, that coincided with when I started watching the coverage. Jose Maria Olazabal also had a good round of -4. From what I've read, he isn't thrilled with parts of his game. I would think the rest of the world would be happy to be 8 under par after three rounds in a Professional event. Shows you how much of a competitor Jose Maria really is if he's wanting to improve an already great game. I read he starts his 2009 season I want to say the week of Nov. 20th. I'm not sure on that date but it's a couple of weeks into the new season at a tournament he won a few years ago.

Friday, October 24, 2008

After Round 2

After the second round of the Castello Masters, Sergio is in a tie for the lead at -11 and Jose Maria is at -4. He was one over par for his second round.

Seve Update: Reports claim he came through today's surgery well. The doctors report that their objectives had been reached - they reduced the additional swelling and removed more of the tumor. He will be carefully monitored for the next 48 hours.

On the US Tour it's the Frys.Com tournament. Everytime they say '" I think of french fries.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

After Round 1

After round 1 of the CASTELLÓ MASTERS Costa Azahar, Club de Campo del Mediterráneo,
Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal are just two off the lead. Yay!!! I'm very happy to see Jose Maria playing well. Actually, I haven't seen him play yet. I recorded it. But I read about it and hopefully he's feeling good and will make a really good showing this week. I would love for him to win even though it is Sergio's home course. And yes, I copied the name of the tournament from the European PGA Tour website. There's no way I could remember that whole thing on my own.

Now for some bad news: Reports indicate that Seve Ballesteros will undergo a third operation tomorrow to relieve more pressure on the brain and to remove more of the tumor which was determined to be cancerous. One report claims the tumor is in an area of the brain that will make treatment very difficult. Things aren't looking good for the 5 time Major winner. I read a comment by Padraig Harrington which said that the European Tour should have made Ballesteros an Ambassador for the game last year when he announced his retirement and that he hoped Seve recovered and would be able to continue to be the inspirational force for golf that he's been for all of these years. I have to agree with Harrington that it's a shame that any organization waits until something bad happens before recognizing the greatness of whatever individual is involved. The running joke at the country music awards shows is that when someone gets a lifetime achievement award they say "most of the time, you have to be dead to get this award." There's a lot of truth to that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sergio's Big Week

This week on the European PGA Tour, Sergio Garcia and his father host the tournament whose name I don't remember at this moment. It's on the Golf Channel starting tomorrow morning at 9am eastern. I plan to record the whole thing since not only is Sergio playing, but Jose Maria Olazabal as well.

On a related note, I read that Seve Ballesteros is holding his own after two operations related to the removal of his brain tumor. Reportedly, he was awakened briefly by his doctors and then sedated again. Isn't that just like a hospital-waking you up just to tell you to go back to sleep?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Object!!!

Rich Lerner just said that Justin Timberlake was 'bringing sexy back to golf'. I 100% object to that statement!!! With guys like Adam Scott, Camilo Villegas, and Sergio Garcia, sexy never left golf!!!

Good Day for Spain

Alvaro Quiros of Spain won the Portugal Masters today. He defeated Ross Fisher and Robert Karlsson among others. I was kind of hoping Ross Fisher would win since he has a habit of not finishing well in tournaments. Hopefully, he will work on that.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Golf Channel Hyperbole

Inga Hammond said today that Justin Timberlake has done as much for golf as Tiger Woods.

I don't think so.

A Revision

You know how I always say I pay $70 a month for the Golf Channel with Dish Network? Well, I have to revise that to say that I pay $70 a month for the Tennis Channel. I checked the packages offered by Dish Network and they are now offering the Golf Channel in their 200 channel package - that's about $10.00 less than the package I have. But the Tennis Channel is still in the 250 channel package so I'm not downgrading my service. The Tennis Channel is going to be covering all four grand slams next year so I have to have that channel.

And as for the HD programming - I'm not paying extra for them. The picture quality just isn't enough to make me pay extra for channels that I already pay for in standard definition. If I want to see Sergio in HD, I'll go see him in person or watch him on my local stations with my house antenna.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sad News (off topic)

I found out today that Archway Cookies is going out of business. This is really sad. When I was growing up, these cookies were one of those expensive treats that we might get once in a great while. And as an adult, that kind of spending habit continued - I might have bought a couple of packages of these cookies in the last 5 years. Archway began as a mom and pop operation back in the 1930s and produced their soft-baked cookies mostly after orders were received so that the product would remain fresh and soft for the consumers.

I think it's objectionable that the Presidential candidates who have been making promises about job creation, energy policy, and economic stimulus have allowed this American company to go under. The candidates could have been doing something about the rising food and energy prices all along as both do hold seats in Congress, but chose to wait and promise to do something IF they become president. Gives a new meaning to the "do nothing congress", doesn't it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

World Cup

The teams that will be participating in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup have been announced. You can find the list by clicking here. Natually, I'm interested in this because Jose Maria designed the course. And there are some good teams to watch this year. England, Spain, Sweden, and Italy has the two Molinari brothers. It would be neat to see the brothers win.

Second Surgery for Seve

Internet reports claim doctors in Spain had to perform a second procedure on Seve Ballesteros after he suffered some swelling in the brain following the removal of the tumor discovered last week. Said reports state Seve is in stable condition following the operation to address the swelling. This complication is not uncommon in these situations. In fact, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman performed a similar procedure - yes, that's fiction, but if it makes it on to a tv show set in the 1860s/1870s then it has to be pretty common.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seve Has Surgery

It's been reported that Seve Ballesteros underwent a surgery lasting several hours (anywhere from 7 to 12 depending on which report you read) to remove as much of the brain tumor as possible. Reports have not indicated if cancer is present and have only speculated on what further treatment may be needed. Some reports indicated that Seve was conscious and responding well after the surgery. I hope for the best for Seve and I think of him many times throughout the day.

Here is a good article from Sporting Life that includes some insight that you might not have previously had about Seve and his affection for golf and the up and coming players.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jose Makes it Through

Jose Maria Olazabal finished the Madrid Masters with a final round 73 to tie for 65th. But the real success of the week was in his own assessment of his physical condition. He seems satisfied with this first tournament in several months. Hopefully, he'll be back to playing regularly and giving golf fans everywhere some great golf to watch.

News on Seve

Seve Ballesteros has announced that tests have detected a brain tumor. Click here to read a news article that gives a few more details. I hope for the best for the 5 time Major Winner.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jose Maria Pleased With His First Three Rounds

I found this article in which Jose Maria says he's overall pretty pleased with how his first three rounds have gone. I'm glad I found the article since I don't think he's going to be on the tv coverage today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Today's News That I Know Of

Jose Maria Olazabal made the cut at the Madrid Masters. I haven't yet found a news article that describes how he's doing other than that he made the cut on the number and I think shot a 72. I think I read that he made three bogeys today? I hope he's still doing okay health wise.

Seve Ballesteros is out of intensive care but still in the hospital. I don't believe there's been an announcement of any kind of diagnosis and I'm not going to report on any speculations that I've seen on Google News.

The Golf Channel kept talking about Mark O'Meara today during the commercial break updates. Since O'Meara isn't leading the tournament and Ben Crenshaw is the bigger story, I'm guessing the Golf Channel is talking about O'Meara because he's friends with Tiger and Kim - more media suck-up-i-ness.

Yesterday's leader at the Valero Texas Open, Nathan Green, shot a 75 today in response to Thursday's 62. I had to look it up because I didn't see him on the leaderboard when I was watching round 2 today. Of course anyone who watches golf regularly should have expected this. Players usually follow up a really low round with a significantly higher round.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ballesteros In the Hospital

Seve Ballesteros was admitted to a hospital after experiencing a dizzy spell earlier in the week. He's been undergoing tests and according to his website, he feels well. I wish him all the best.

Jose Maria is on Track

Jose Maria Olazabal is just three off the lead at the Madrid Masters after shooting a -1 today in the first round. I'm very happy to see that :) I found this article from Sky Sports that includes some comments from Olazabal. I really hope he's back for good and healthy again. He still has a back issue, but really, what pro-golfer doesn't?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tune In Tomorrow

to the Golf Channel to watch the return of Jose Maria Olazabal. He's playing in Spain on the European Tour. I'm going to record it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Another Media Issue

I was watching some Golf Channel today and I heard Frank Nobilo say something about not heaping bold expectations on young Jason Day because it might negatively affect him. But then he goes on to say that Day has the talent and skill to be one of the top golfers of all time. Gee, no pressure there.

Bad Weather Makes for Bad TV

I really wish that this bad weather in the UK would go away so the players can come out of hiding and I can see who is who when I'm watching the tournament. As it is, they all wear the same black knit hat and they all look alike. You'd think they could have their names put on the hats and the rain suits so we could tell them apart.

And I can't imagine how miserable the golfers must feel after the rain has poured down on them and their black knit hats. Those hats must weigh 20 pounds (I don't know how many stone) from absorbing all of that rain.

Funny Quote

This quote showed up on my laptop's homepage today. I thought it was pretty funny.

Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe. - Jackie Mason

Friday, October 03, 2008

Book Review: Undercover Wife

WARNING: This book is not golf related.

I read the romance novel Undercover Wife today while I reveled (or wallowed - lol) in my day off from work. I'm reviewing it here because the last novel in this series was golf related and I reviewed it here. I figured if anyone found the review for the last book, then they might come back to read the review of this one. So, here goes...

This book is written by Merline Lovelace and is one of the Codename Danger series. I've collected all of the books and I have to say this book was much less techie, much less spygame-ish, than the other more recent offerings. I'm happy about this. The last book of the series, Match Play, was very techie, very spygame-ish, and didn't leave me with the impression of romance at all. Undercover Wife, however, is much different. Low tech solutions to problems (using hotel room furnishings as weapons for one) is just one of the ways that the author tries to connect with the reader. In my mind, I'm thinking that any reader would also grab for a candlestick to fight the bad guy. While readers like to escape from reality when they read a work of fiction, I'm pretty sure they want to find a piece of themselves in that book as well. As for the romance part - there are more 'oh that's so sweet' moments in this book than were in Match Play, for instance, Callahan telling the tech department to design a ring for Gillian that would match her eyes. There is one thing about this story that's bothering me. Granted, I read the book pretty fast, as I usually do, and I might have missed this, but I'm wondering what the resolution was to the highly contageous mutant virus. The bad guy used it to get the attention of Callahan's employer, but I didn't see in the book if the virus had been contained or destroyed. Is it still out there for someone else to use later on? Maybe in a future Codename Danger book? And there was one thing that bugged me, and believe it or not, it was a spygame-ish thing - Gillian, while undercover as Callahan's wife, kept calling him "Hawk" while in public. That's his secret agent call sign. I guess she kept doing it as a way to remind the reader that this was her first mission in the field? That sounds like a good answer :)

If you want to learn more about Merline Lovelace, you can check out her website by clicking HERE.

November issue of Golf Magazine

I got the November issue a few days ago and just haven't felt like posting until now (since I have a few extra days at home). Sergio is on the cover :) Inside there are features on JB Holmes, Andres Romero and yuck, Anthony Kim. Have I mentioned how sick I am of seeing the media suck up to him? I want the media to swarm Camilo that much and not let an hour go by without mentioning Camilo's name. After all, he won two, count them two, Fed Ex Cup playoff events back to back.

Anyway, about the Kim story in the magazine. They did this chart comparing Kim's first two years on tour with those of Tiger, Sergio, Charles Howell III and Adam Scott. According to this chart, Adam Scott played in fewer events in his first two years on tour, won one more tournament than Kim, and had a higher world ranking at the end of the two year period. So, Hah! Even Sergio had a higher world ranking after his first two years than Kim. According to the chart, Kim was at 15, Sergio was at 6 and Adam Scott was at 11 in the world. I'm not even mentioning Tiger's stats, but I will say that when you see them spelled out like they are in this chart, there's no way in the world the media has any justification in suggesting Kim is the next Tiger Woods. Talk about irresponsible journalism.

David Feherty's column is titled "Putting the Fun Back in 'Funeral' ". Draw your own conclusions on that one.

Pleasant Golf Viewing

There has been some pleasant golf viewing today. The European Tour - polite as always. The PGA Tour - I didn't hear Anthony Kim's name once. It's been nice.

As for news and such, Jason Day made a hole in one today. Bigger news is the weather. It's cold, windy and rainy in the UK where the European Tour is playing (when is it not windy, cold and rainy there). It's windy, cold and rainy in New York where the PGA tour is playing - they even had hail. Who was the genius who told the PGA Tour that the weather in New York would be great in October? It even looks cold wherever the LPGA is playing this week. I bet those people wearing shorts and skirts are wishing they weren't.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lucky Me

Lucky me, I took tomorrow and Friday off so I have four days in a row of non-work life. Yay!! I'm going shopping tomorrow so I won't be watching the European Tour, but hopefully I'll be home Friday to watch it.

Unlucky me: I found something quite disturbing on the program guide of my Dish Network service. It's apparently a channel devoted to the Barack Obama campaign. I'm not a fan of Obama and won't be supporting him for President, but just because I subscribe to Dish Network (as previously established on this blog only for the Golf Channel), I'm being subjected to this political crap. You know some spin doctor is going to say that everyone who has Dish Network supports Obama, when in reality, we simply purchase a product from Dish Network and Dish Network is giving us the Obama crap for free because no one in their right minds would actually pay to hear him spout off a bunch of rhetoric. That's what CNN is for should we so wish to follow the Presidential race. And FYI - I don't want an all McCain channel either. If they want to give me something for free, they can cut my bill by as little as $2.00 a month. That would be something their customers would really appreciate. Of course they would cut the bill and then say "brought to you buy Obama", thereby subtly suggesting that we should thank Obama with a vote.