Thursday, April 30, 2009

Luckiest 4 year old

Here's a cute little story about Sergio during a practice round at Quail Hollow. He apparently has a big fan in a little girl. They don't tell enough stories like this in golf. Probably because the players don't reach out to the fans that often.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jerry Kelly Wins the Zurich Classic

He made it interesting in the final round, allowing Charles Howell III to take the lead, but managed to win in the end for his first win in seven years. I watched this off and on for the last two days. With the sun out and warm temperatures here, I spent some time outside.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hall of Fame Hogwash

I've been seeing some comments on the internet from some folks who think Jose Maria Olazabal is just too young to be inducted into the hall of fame.

That's stupid. More than stupid. According to Wikipedia, there is a minimum age requirement of 40 years for the International ballot (how Olazabal was selected). I know in some cases reaching a certain age is indeed an achievement (and in some cases it's pure luck), but it shouldn't be a limiting factor for induction into the Hall of Fame, and the one comment I saw which said there should be an age limit was obviously uninformed since there already is one.

Why make Olazabal wait? Is there a chance he might 'un-win' his two Masters tournaments and therefore become ineligible?

Granted, we don't want to see 25 year olds inducted just because they rush out and win a couple of majors. But Olazabal has had a long and stellar career so far with his majors and Ryder Cup experiences. He is looked upon by many players and event organizers alike with immeasurable respect, particularly considering his battle with health issues and how he came back from illness to win the Masters.

Olazabal deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Sure he's only 43. But Vijay Singh was 43 when he was inducted in 2006. So, it isn't like Olazabal is the youngest ever inductee.

In the world I live in (the same world these critics also inhabit), people retire and get their proverbial gold watch after 20 years of service. Olazabal has already been a professional golfer for more than 20 years. He didn't just come along recently.

I wonder how many of these critics actually follow golf and know about Olazabal's incredible career. The fact that he's getting inducted means that there are a lot of players and voters who do.

One Step Closer

Today, I reserved a hotel room for the week of the Bridgestone Invitational. So, I'm one step closer to going back to the event this year. It isn't a definite decision until I order the tickets. I can still back out and cancel the room if it turns out I can't go. But I am looking forward to going this year and seeing Rory McIlroy and Alvaro Quiros. I'm sure they will both be in the field.

And I'm thinking the Monday vacation event that week will be a visit to The Wilds, a safari experience in the heart of Ohio. I've been there before, but it looks like they've added some new things so it will be cool to go back. The last time I was there, we were in tour buses. But the website shows visitors in open air vehicles. That would be much better to see the wild animals.

Cheesy Promotion

I was flipping through the channels sometime in the last week and I landed on the Golf Channel. They had a commercial for Quail Hollow and the theme of the commercial was "Who will stop AK (Anthony Kim)?"

My comment: Don't they think maybe he should do something to show that he's actually started something before asking who's going to stop him? He hasn't done anything this year.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shopping Anyone?

There's a new women's golf apparel website on the web called Pinks and Greens that everyone should check out. I just briefly scanned all of the accessories and they are very nice. I can only imagine that the apparel is just as cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brian Gay Wins Verizon Heritage

Brian Gay won by a large margin. He finished 20 under and I believe the next closest competitors, Briny Baird and Luke Donald were -10. Jose Maria Olazabal finished T6 and Lee Janzen finished T4.

This was a nice tournament to watch. Very minimal Tiger mentions and a very pretty course to look at. There was no aggression, no violence, just wonderfully talented golfers putting on a great show.

And just think, next year, Brian Gay can call the Masters his warm up event for his title defence. That has to be nice.

CBS waiting until around 5pm eastern to talk about the Masters and show Tiger and Phil, instead of showing them in the 3pm hour like they said they would yesterday. I would like to believe they waited until Jose Maria Olazabal finished just to make me happy, but I think they just waited to see if Brian was going to have a large lead so the viewers wouldn't be missing very much of the fourth round.

I'm very happy that Jose Maria had a top 10 this week. Hopefully, he will continue this great play.

I've Done a Bad Thing

I joined Facebook. I have been deliberately avoiding Facebook and My Space since I think they are pretty superfluous. But, in order to get new information about Ramsey and Pablo, I had to join Facebook. I don't know much about how Facebook works. But I did manage to put a cute picture of Winnie and PJ on there to represent me.

If you would like to find me on Facebook, I think you can click here. If it doesn't work, then you can either give up and just stick to reading the blog, or search for me on Facebook. I think I might be the only Miranda Allen on there with chihuahuas as my picture.

Maybe I'll learn more about how this Facebook thing works. But if you know anything about me, then you know I don't like computers. So much so that I deliberately keep dial up access so I don't get spoiled and surf the web 24 hours a day with highspeed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Verizon Heritage 3rd Round

I actually watched this today on CBS. It took 2 hours and 45 minutes for them to mention Tiger Woods. But, luckily, the round had been completed and they were killing time so they didn't take any time away from this week's players. Unfortunately, they said they would air a Masters Flashback package during the 3pm eastern hour - which is during the final round of the tournament. So, tomorrow they will be taking time away from this week's players. You all had better just find a scoreboard on the web to watch instead. At least until 4pm eastern.

About the round, a lot of good players are in contention. It's really good to see Lee Janzen doing well this week. And Davis Love always does well at the Heritage. Jose Maria Olazabal finished his round with a 1 under par score, 4 under for the tournament so far. A positive move but he did have his total score to 5 or 6 under there for a while today.

Stupid question time: Peter Kostis was interviewing Tim Wilkinson. Wilkinson had a third round of 65 today. The stupid question? Kostis asked Wilkinson what his game plan for tomorrow was. Gee, like Wilkinson was going to say, "Well Peter, I think I'm going to change up everything and try playing right handed tomorrow." Anyone would think his game plan today would suit him just fine tomorrow.

Follow up to the last post about the Golf Channel's obsession with Tiger. They used Tiger's video game to describe the holes of this course. Davis Love won this tournament 5 times. Wouldn't he be a better source for information on the course? When did Tiger win this one? He didn't. Gee, let's get a non-expert's, and a non-winner's, opinion of how to play the course instead of a 5 time winner.

A comment about Verizon Phone Service: Last Sunday during the final round of the Masters, I, a Verizon customer, lost phone service. Which meant I couldn't blog or get online to check the leaderboard. I used my cell phone to call my mom and ask her to call Verizon to complain. She did and the customer service people kept telling us to unplug the phone and plug it back in. That would be a good idea if my internet wasn't lost too. Duh. Anyway, the lady ran a check and said she did detect stress on the line (that would be the big tree that's been leaning across my driveway for about a year and resting on the phone line). She arranged for a technician to check it out on Thursday. That would be 4 days without phone service.

During all of this, my dad drove to my house to fiddle with the outside boxes. As he drove to my house, he saw a backhoe and two Verizon trucks all sitting together. We had suspected that they either cut into a phone line and disrupted service or they deliberately turned off phone service to do some work. Later, when it got dark outside, I thought I would just try to see if I had a dial tone and guess what.... I did. At that point I decided that the backhoe operator and the occupants of the Verizon trucks had fixed whatever problem there was and went home for supper.

Did Verizon at any time decide to call us and tell us that the problem had been fixed? No. Did they tell my mom when my mom was on the phone with them that there was a problem in the area? No. In fact they called the next day to confirm the Thursday appointment and then my mom rec'd two more computer generated calls regarding the appointment. When Thursday came, the technician was supposed to check the stress on the line (aka the tree). What did he do? He drove up to my house and put a note on my door saying that the phone line had been cut on Sunday but was fixed now. No attention paid to the tree. I still have to drive under it whenever I leave the house or come home.

We didn't expect them to do anything about the tree, but he didn't even mention it in his note. Someday the tree will bring the line down and they will have to do something then.

By the way, the technician's supervisor called my mom on Thursday and checked up on the technician to make sure he was doing his job. You'd think the company was government owed-operated with the way they waste money checking up on people and calling people over and over again to confirm appointments and stuff.

I'm glad I only have my phone service through Verizon. I would hate giving Verizon money for high speed internet and satellite tv too considering this experience with customer service.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Olazabal Tied for 6th

Jose Maria Olazabal shot 3 under par in the opening round of the Heritage. Yay for him!

Not that I got to see any of it. The Golf Channel alienated me almost immediately. How, you ask? Well, even when Tiger isn't there at the tournament, he's still there. They have his computer game alter ego describing the holes of the course. Pretty soon, they will have 'tournaments' with only Tiger in the field, guaranteeing the media enough Tiger to make money hand over fist. In fact, I can see the Golf Channel now airing Tiger's EA sports game competitions between the on-air talent.

If only I could learn to puke every time they put Tiger on the air, I could get down to 110 pounds in no time. What a great diet aid that would be.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tired of Winter?

Looking for a nice warm place to hang your hat? Well, I got an email from someone connected with Piper's Landing Yacht and Country Club asking what my advertising rates were here on the blog. I don't do any advertising stuff because then I would have to pay taxes on the income, so I thought I would just provide a link for you all to click on to check out the website for this gated community in Florida.

On a related note, I am so out of touch with the economy. I've been watching House Hunters on HGTV and everyone on there plans to spend $300,000 or more on a house. The homes at Piper's Landing are all over $200,000. Here in West Virginia, if you are single and making $30,000, then you think you're doing pretty well (unless you are a teacher and then you think you deserved $100,000 a year despite the fact that the tax base can't support it). $30,000 in WV can pay your rent/house payment and a car payment with a little left over if you are a frugal shopper and have learned the difference between your needs and your wants.

It's no wonder the politicians think the middle class make a lot more than what I do. They must be watching House Hunters too.

Believing His Own Press

I've complained often about how the media tends to be Pro-Tiger way too often, sometimes (a lot of the time) engaging in hyperbole (aka sucking up) in order to make money off of him. Well this time, I think Tiger himself is taking lessons from the media's behavior.

Case in point: this quote from Tiger found in a New York Daily News article: "I fought my swing all day and just kind of Band-Aided-it around and almost won the tournament with a Band-Aid swing."

I would like to contradict the #1 player in the world: Kenny Perry almost won. Chad Campbell almost won. Tiger finished four shots out of the playoff. That isn't 'almost winning'. That's a good paycheck.

Funny enough, if Sergio had come out with a statement like that, he'd be ripped to shreds in the press. If Phil had made that statement, he'd be suffering the same fate as Sergio.

What is Undignified?

Gary McCord got thrown out of the Masters for saying bikini-wax on air.

According to Golfblogger's account of the final round yesterday, Tiger was saying 'bad words' clearly enough to be understood just by reading his lips while the camera was on him.

Is cursing really more acceptable by the 'old guard' at the Masters? What are we teaching the kids these days?

One of my favorite romance authors, Diana Palmer, created a character who cusses using the following colorful phrases: 'fish and chips!' and 'crackers and milk!' The character is a sheriff who has to give talks to kids at the local elementary schools. Perhaps it's time for the Tour or at least the 'old guard' at the Masters to look into promoting alternative frustration management techniques.

David Feherty Interview

I found this David Feherty interview on the web. It looks like it was conducted in advance of the Heritage event. Check it out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cabrera Wins the Masters!

Angel Cabrera outlasted Kenny Perry to win the Masters on the second playoff hole. I didn't start watching the last round until after Tiger and Phil had finished their rounds so I missed a few good plays by Cabrera but that first playoff hole was classic Cabrera. He is a masterful scrambler and usually tends to find a way to win from wherever his ball ends up. I love watching him play and I love how he can smile and have fun when he plays. You didn't see Chad Campbell smiling all that much out there today.

I do have a link to Cabrera's website over in the sidebar. Check it out in a few days and see if he has any comments about his very special win today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Masters Update

Now that round 2 is complete:

Norman did miss the cut. My prediction was accurate. Although I will be the first to admit that this was a very safe prediction. I'm still not picking winning lottery numbers.

Michael Campbell isn't last after all. He improved a few spots. Danny Lee finished up at +11

Couples, Olazabal, Els and Scott all apparently missed the cut by 1, finishing at +2.

Those who made the cut:
McIlroy at +1
Ross Fisher at +1
Andres Romero E
Sean O'Hair E
Miguel Angel Jimenez -1
Sergio Garcia -4 (tied for 6th)
Tim Clark -5 (would be a very good choice for a winner this week)
Angel Cabrera -8 (one off the lead and would be a cool winner after his US Open win)
Todd Hamilton -6 (where's he been since his British Open win?)
Shingo Katayama -4
Rory Sabbatini -4 (another where's he been)

Masters Notes

I haven't been watching this and have barely seen the leaderboards, but I think that the pressure may be off me on the making predictions front. A while back I made some predictions for the year and one of them was that Greg Norman would miss the cut at the Masters. That may not happen. If he obliges, he will take me off the prediction pedestal people have placed me on and I'll once again be just an average golf blogger. At least until the rest of my predictions come true. I'm still looking good on my Lorena Ochoa prediction.

Jose Maria shot +3 today. I hope it was just a bad round of golf and not a health issue. It's not looking good for him to make the cut. Maybe fate will be kind and a bunch of people will shoot high enough for him to make it to the weekend. I know there's a 10 shot rule but I also read that they also go by the low 44 and ties. I don't know if that's the current rule or if it's been changed. The internet isn't the most reliable place for info and I'm not watching the coverage on TV to find out. I have no desire to hear "Tiger this and Tiger that" for three hours a day.

Only those with Irish accents should refer to the man as "Paddy". Everyone else sounds like their are saying "potty" or "patty" and neither one is respectable or acceptable.

Michael Campbell finally has some company at the bottom of the leaderboard. Yesterday he was all alone down there, but I just saw that a couple of guys had joined him. Unfortunately for Campbell, they are all 60+ years old or something. I don't think he's going to take much comfort from that.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

More Jose Maria News

Jose Maria Olazabal was guest of honor at a media dinner held this week at the Augusta National Country Club. You can read more about it by clicking Here.

He also read a letter from Seve Ballesteros during the Masters' Champions Dinner.

And, big news, Jose Maria has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

And he came in tied for second place at the Masters' Par 3 contest.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New Caddie for Olazabal

Here's a refreshing news story about Jose Maria Olazabal - his caddie for the next couple of weeks is Emanuele Canonica, European Tour player. It's very cool that Canonica will get to see Augusta National. How many players get an opportunity like this? Check out the article.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Estoril Open de Portugal

Irishman Michael Hoey won his first European title in a playoff over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. I watched this final round and it was pretty exciting. I was hoping Fernandez-Castano would win, but it's nice to see a first time winner too.

An interesting note: On the European PGA Tour website they have the Race to Dubai rankings. Geoff Ogilvy is first and Paul Casey is second. After the WGC event earlier in the year and this week's Houston Open where they were paired together, it's interesting that they are tied together by these rankings as well. Sort of like how Sergio and Vijay Singh kept getting paired together last year and even some this year.

Casey Wins in the US

Paul Casey won the Shell Houston Open in a playoff with JB Holmes. Fred Couples was leading most of the way but had three bogeys to finish his final round. Fred finished tied for third.

I had a hard time picking someone to cheer for in the playoff. I would have liked to have seen Holmes win to get into the Masters and to have a win outside of the FBR Open. But I would have liked to have seen Casey win because he's such a strong player and deserves his first win in the United States.

Next up is the Masters and I haven't given it much thought. Except for my prediction I made before the year started that Norman would miss the cut. And I also said earlier in the week that Sergio wouldn't win. But other than that, I haven't thought about it. I did, however, take Friday off from work so I might end up checking in or at least looking up some scores on the web. On Friday, I plan to be shopping and maybe bathing the dogs.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

New Blog For You to Check Out

I got an email asking me to check out GolfGymBlog. It's a blog by Joey Diovisalvi who's worked with a bunch of different PGA Tour players such as Pat Perez and Vijay Singh. Obviously, you'll get fitness tips and inspiration there, but it also looks like you'll get some insight into the Tour and some of the players. Hopefully, we'll get some insight into the players' workout routines.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Shell Houston Open

I actually watched some of this today. Surprisingly, there wasn't much Tiger talk to suffer. I guess because the NBC crew was working with the Golf Channel folks this time.

Rory McIlroy was doing pretty well when I was watching. Geoff Ogilvy was doing really well. As was Paul Casey and Briny Baird. Sergio was also under par.

Announce Crew Criticism: I don't know if they meant it as a joke or what but Inga said that some guy in charge of the event claimed they were going to play 'from sundown to sun up' to get back on track after yesterday's suspension of play. I hope the course has some floodlights. It's pretty dark between sundown and sun up.

And to weigh in on the Golf Channel's talk of Sergio at the Masters and their poll question the other day on their site: As much as I love Sergio, I have to say he won't win. I'm pretty safe in making that prediction.

New Issue of Golf Magazine

I got May's issue in the mail yesterday. If you don't subscribe, then you need to go out and buy this issue. Why? Because there's an interview with Fred Couples in there. I love Fred Couples, but I think I would rather worship him from afar. He's not the luckiest guy with respect to relationships. Hope his latest one works out well for him. Other highlights: Sean O'Hair, JB Holmes, and Feherty's column is about Charles Barkley and his show on the Golf Channel.