Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Magic 8 Ball or Real Insight???

Thanks to my pick of Angel Cabrera to win the US Open in 2007, I have acquired a reputation as some kind of prognosticator. How easily one correct pick just wipes out all of those wrong ones - hahaha. Anyway, I thought I would follow up the Cabrera thing with this little bit of trivia:

I bought a Buick LaCrosse this year. People have been commenting, not so positively, about Buick, Buick's connection to the PGA Tour, and, my personal pet peeve, how Buicks are for grandmas. Well, I found this little article that says Buick is going to concentrate their efforts on the mid-size market (that's the LaCrosse, not the Lucerne) for 2010.

So, apparently I predicted the future of Buick when I picked the LaCrosse.

I did read some news article about the Bailout that claimed the Lucerne was on the chopping block, but this article only says the Lucerne is approaching "the end of its life cycle".

New Year's Traditions Around the World

Have you ever wondered what kind of New Year's traditions people follow in Spain, Scotland, Brazil, or other countries? Well, here's a link to a website that features some New Year's Traditions from around the world. Odd, Italy isn't on the list and I know from reading romance novels that in Italy they wear red undies to bring in the New Year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

ADT Skills Challenge, Day 2

This was exciting right down to the last shot. The very last one by Rocco almost went in, which would have stolen the last skill from the Normans and let Rocco and his caddie win the whole event. But, Rocco's shot hit the cup and just went by the hole a few feet.

The guys who played the best seemed to be Gregory Norman and Matt Achatz, the caddies (Norman's and Rocco's).

I really loved the interviews with the players and caddies. They were very cool and gave us a look into the relationship between player and caddie. We don't get to hear those stories or see them interact like this during the regular season.

A lot of people complain about these "silly season" events and how they just aren't interesting or fun to watch, or there's no money in them. Well, this was a very, very exciting event and if anyone had a problem with this one, then they just don't like golf and should switch to curling or something.

I would much rather watch this event 15 times a year than any tournament Tiger's playing in.

Global Warming At Work

Yesterday it was in the 70s here in West Virginia. It was sunny and beautiful for the 27th day of DECEMBER.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

ADT Skills Challenge, Day 1

The Skills challenge is on NBC this weekend. This time, the players are teaming up with their caddies. It was very, very nice watching Fred Couples in High Definition (courtesy of my new tv I bought in September). The highlight was the hole out that Rocco Mediate's caddie made to win one of the challenges. The only criticism I have is that we couldn't hear the players and caddies very well. NBC needed to turn up the volume on their mics.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Royal Trophy

The full list of participants has been compiled for the Royal Trophy competition set to take place in a couple of weeks. This event pits the European Team against Asia.

Here's the list:

For Europe: Captain Jose Maria Olazabal (Subbing for Seve Ballesteros), Niclas Fasth, Nick Dougherty, Paul Lawrie, Oliver Wilson, Pablo Larrazabal, Soren Hansen, Johan Edfors, and Paul McGinley.

For Asia: Captain Joe Ozaki, Prayad Marksaeng, Charlie Wi, Hideto Tanihara, S. K. Ho, Thongchai Jaidee, Ryo Ishikawa, Liang Wenchong, and Toru Taniguchi.

I'm sure the Golf Channel would be airing this competition if not for the demand of its millions of viewers for more reruns of Caddyshack and Tiger Woods highlights.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Since I Have Some Free Time.....

Lady Golfer has been posting some comments on the blog lately so I thought I would feature her website since I have some time off from work. If you are in the market for women's golf apparel, equipment and accessories, check out EastCoastGolfSales.Com.

The Secret

A couple weeks ago, I read in Womans World Magazine their Diet of the Week - this one based on The Secret, a book featured on Oprah's show which basically says that the Physics Law of Attraction is in effect in all areas of a person's life. The idea behind the diet is that if you think of yourself as thin and healthy then you will attract those characteristics to you and you will become thin and healthy. One of the 'rules' of this whole theory is that if you say something like "I don't want to be fat" then the Law of Attraction will send you more of being fat because you're not thinking about being thin, you're thinking about being fat. The Universe doesn't recognize the negatives.

Why am I writing about this here? Because Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller have been saying this very thing when they commentate on golf coverage. What do they always say? "When a golfer doesn't want to hit the ball to the left because there's trouble there, the golfer will think 'don't hit it left' and the ball will invariably go left." Faldo is apparently a big believer in visualization and positive thinking. And this book, The Secret, is all about positive thinking and visualization.

There's a certain amount of truth to this that I can see and I haven't even begun trying any of the techniques. There's a guy at work who is Mr. Gloom and you know what? Gloom follows him everywhere. He's not happy and it's because he doesn't try to be. He expects bad things to happen and they do. There's a girl at work who fights with co-workers and then she wonders why her life is so stressful. She's feeding the fire, so to speak. She sends out these negative thoughts and that's what she gets back in return - others being negative with her.

Apparently, this book and a movie about it have been some kind of world wide phenomenon. I missed that since I don't watch Oprah. But the book is worth reading. It's hard to read because it's broken up with quotes from various experts intermixed with the author's own words. You kind of forget what the theme of each chapter is. It's the kind of book that you need to read a few times.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Around the World

Since golf is a world-wide sport, I thought I would find a website that describes how different countries celebrate Christmas. So, here's one at Do you want to know how Angel Cabrera's homeland celebrates? Or Sergio's? How about Bernhard Langer's Germany or Lorena Ochoa's Mexico? Check out the website to find out more.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New "Spotlight On" Player

I have finally decided on a player to spotlight in the upcoming year. Rory McIlroy. He's been playing steady for the last couple of years, and has just qualified for the Masters with his T3 at the South African Open. You can check out his website by clicking on his name over in the sidebar. Here's hoping he finally comes through with a win this year. He's been close too many times and needs to take that next step into the winner's circle.

Enough is Enough

As someone who can watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights over and over again, even I have to say enough already with the Caddyshack reruns on the Golf Channel. The Golf Channel has an opportunity to actually report on golf and air golf stuff - there is golf being played around the world and they could do all kinds of highlights shows for the 2008 seasons on the PGA, LPGA, Champions, Nationwide, European PGA Tours etc, but instead they keep showing this really old, and probably not quite as funny as it used to be movie. Lazy. Just plain lazy.

I guess they think the average viewer is dumb enough to think that the whole of golf is either a Tiger Woods highlight show or Caddyshack (and with Tiger being out most of the year, they are left with Caddyshack). And if they want to say that the economic crisis is hindering their operations - well, if they produce a good product, people will spend the money. Back to that laziness thing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Why is the subject of this post "QVC"? Because once NBC started lavishing oh so much praise on Anthony Kim and talking repeatedly about the possibility of interviewing Tiger and reliving the 'incredible' US Open, I turned the tv over to QVC. So much for trying to watch some golf this weekend. Oh well, there's still the South African Open going on. Lee Westwood is in the lead, I think, going in to the final round.

The Huggy Awards 2008

John Huggan, some guy who apparently writes for something called Scotland on Sunday has published his list of the best and worst of the golfing year. Some things I don't agree with, and some I do. Some, I find very funny. His Alive and Kicking Award for Self Importance is pretty funny (and quite possibly accurate). You all should check out the list by clicking HERE.

This Should Have Been On the Golf Channel

Over in Spain, at Sergio's home course, there was a golf competition that included members of the four main tours over there - the European PGA Tour, the European Seniors Tour, the Challenge Tour and Peugot-Loewe National Tour. Some of the participants were: Sergio, Jose Maria Olazabal, Alvaro Quiros, Jose Manuel Lara, Pablo Larrazabal, Alejandro Canizares, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Ignacio Garrido, Sergio's father, Jose Maria Canizares, Jose Rivero, Antonio Garrido, Carlos Rodiles, Santiago Luna among other great players.

You can click HERE to read a review of the event.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From O'Hern's lips to Tournament Organizers Ears

Nick O'Hern spoke out after the Australian tournaments and stated that one of the biggest problems with gallery behavior is alcohol. I wholeheartedly agree. When I go to the Bridgestone Invitational and see all of those people drinking, it just makes me wonder at how much they usually drink if what they consume at the tournament doesn't make them falling down drunk. I'm glad someone is speaking out on this issue and I hope he doesn't suffer from any kind of backlash because of it. You can read an article about O'Hern's comments by clicking HERE.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


If anyone knows the story behind Brad Faxon's and Scott McCarron's chef hats at the Shootout today, please post it with a comment. I did a google search on it a few hours ago and didn't find anything.

It was good of Chris DiMarco to finish playing today even though his partner, Fred Funk, had to withdraw due to knee problems. Ian Baker-Finch stepped in for Funk. I'm sure DiMarco was trying to work on his game, but it was good for the fans to see him finish up and good for the charities involved. FYI - I made my prediction about Fred Funk before finding out that he has a bad knee. Even with a good knee, I don't think he'd be a factor on the Champions Tour in 2009. Shall I offer up a replacement for my prediction? How about Loren Roberts?

A scolding to the networks for airing both the Wendy's Three Tour Challenge and the Shootout at the same time. I'm looking forward to the ADT Skills Challenge coming up in a couple of weeks. I think the Golf Channel already announced the winners a while back - a scolding to them too. But it will be another chance for me to see Fred Couples so the spoiled ending won't matter much.

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Upcoming Anniversary

This weekend will mark an anniversary for me. It will be the 7th anniversary of my 29th year. In other words, I have a birthday coming up. I certainly don't feel as old as I'm going to be. In my mind I still think of myself as a 20-something. More than anything, it's time for the annual "Share Your Birthday with Jesus" dual purpose party and gift. I try to make sure I get a separate little celebration for the birthday and a separate gift. I really feel for all of the people born in December.

The Royal Trophy

The Royal Trophy - a team event pitting the European Tour against the best of Asia will be taking place in January. Joe Ozaki captains the Asian team and Jose Maria Olazabal will be subbing for Seve Ballesteros as the European Team captain. The latest news is that Olazabal has picked Oliver Wilson for his team. Wilson joins Paul McGinley who was selected the other day.

The official website can be found HERE. I checked and the team listings weren't posted yet. Hopefully they will be soon.

And Now for Something A Little Bit Different....

Lately, my blog has been mostly a Seve-Jose Maria update fest. So, I thought I would just do a google news search on 'golf' and see what pops up.

I found this article about a golf medal from a country club in Texas that surfaced in the UK. It is being auctioned off for charity. Why did I find it interesting? According to the article, there's a goat or gazelle stamped on one side of the medal. I'm thinking it's a goat. There aren't too many gazelles running around in Texas.

The Merrill Lynch Shootout is going on this weekend and after round 1, I think Jeff Sluman and Nick Price are in the lead. The folks I'm interested in watching are Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron, Ian Poulter and Graham McDowell, Zach Johnson and Scott Verplank, and Fred Couples. I can't get excited about Stewart Cink (Couples' partner). For those of you who care, Boo Weekley and JB Holmes are paired together and Greg Norman and Camilo Villegas are paired together.

Annika Sorenstam is leading after two rounds at the Dubai Ladies Masters.

At the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, Len Mattiace, Robert Rock and Oskar Henningsson are tied for the lead after two rounds.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2009 Predictions

The Armchair Golfer asked me in one of the previous posts if I had any predictions for the upcoming year. I haven't really taken the time to contemplate the next golfing year. But I did jot down a few things I can post here. If I end up right at least 50% of the time, I might have to start buying lottery tickets again.

1. Sergio will fade in 2009 and not do nearly as well as he did in 2008. That seems to be a pattern for him. He'll do well for a while and then it's like he starts thinking about it and putting a lot of emphasis on it and he starts playing poorly.

2. Michelle Wie won't win. I still think that she needs to make more of an effort to take golf seriously. I've said recently that she should give up school and focus on golf. I think she will only win if she does this. She can't play one tournament or two and then go back to school. At least Tiger separated his golf from his education.

3. Greg Norman misses the cut at the Masters. I think he's going to take it too seriously and his usual final round troubles will show up on Friday. Plus the course has changed quite a bit over the years.

4. The Race for the Charles Schwab Cup will be more exciting to watch than the newly-revamped Fed Ex Cup (Again).

5. Fred Funk will still be in a funk and not be a factor on the Champions Tour in 2009.

6. Padraig Harrington will disappoint in his performance at the Majors. 2008 was magical, but after the US PGA, he didn't do anything. I think this burnout will continue through 2009.

7. Americans won't play a major part in the Race to Dubai. Despite all of the talk a few weeks ago about who from the US PGA tour will be joining the European Tour in order to be eligible for the Race to Dubai, I don't think the American players will be a factor. That's too much travel and too much culture shock for them.

8. Adam Scott's biggest competition will be with David Feherty for the Most Accident Prone Award.

9. Camilo Villegas will break the hearts of millions of women when he brings his girlfriend out into the public. Probably the sister of some friend of his from back home in Colombia.

10. Lorena Ochoa won't win as often as she did in 2008. I think she's starting to get a little tired of the hard work it takes to get to #1 and stay there. She's been going at this pace for a couple of years now. It's time for her to slack a little.

Most of these are negative predictions. I think it's easier to say what won't happen as opposed to what will. And besides, if I'm wrong, then it's good for golf. Mostly. #9 comes from my hope that Camilo won't start dating some actress, model or other celebrated beauty. And I will reiterate my own personal philosophy on relationships: Don't get married until you're 30. People don't know who they are or what they want out of life when they are young.

Pavin Officially Announced as Ryder Cup Captain

Corey Pavin was officially named US Ryder Cup captain for 2010 today. Pavin is a good choice and I'm glad the PGA didn't just take the easy way out and pick Azinger again. I like to see everyone get a turn (as you might imagine since I always complain about how biased the golf coverage is on tv). I don't think Pavin will be telling crowds to boo the Europeans like Azinger reportedly/allegedly did at Valhalla. According to This Link, Pavin *joked* that he'd asked for 12 picks for the 2010 team but that his request had been rejected. While I like the idea of a points system picking most of the team, I have to say that if the US captain could get rid of the ones who are always the top 2 or 3, the US might manage to field a very attractive team, competition-wise.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seve Ballesteros Released

Seve was released from the hospital today after an extensive stay while getting treatment for a brain tumor. Click Here for a new article. You can also go to Seve's website for some comments from him.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A New Task for Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal will be captaining the European team for next month's Royal Trophy competition. Jose Maria will be stepping in for Seve while he recovers from his multiple medical procedures pertaining to his brain tumor. You can read the article from the European Tour website by clicking HERE.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wie Gets A Tour Card

Michelle Wie earned a 2009 LPGA Tour Card after completing Q School today. If she can treat it seriously and keep her mind on her game, maybe she can be sucessful out there. I still say she needs to drop out of school if she wants to play golf. It's been clear in her efforts this year that dividing her time isn't working for her. She could probably due with limiting the Team Wie crap. They seem to me to be a big distraction. At least the media focuses on them a lot.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Jose Maria's 2009

I read on that Jose Maria Olazabal has apparently been granted a major medical extension on the PGA Tour for 2009. Of course this news is listed under a heading of "Fantasy Golf Breaking News" so I don't know if this is fantasy news for the fantasy golf world or if it's a real news item. I haven't been watching the Golf Channel so I can't tell you if they've been reporting on it.

Whatever the news happens to be, I just hope I will get to see him play more in 2009, either on tv or in person.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another Surgery for Seve

Seve Ballesteros had to have more fluid drained from his brain, claim internet reports today. This is the fourth procedure performed since he entered the hospital back in October. He is in stable condition and hopefully, will improve.