Friday, July 31, 2009

No Idea

I have no idea what's going on in golf this week. I know the Buick Open is taking place. Go Buick, but the 2010 LaCrosse is still ugly (says the owner of a 2008 LaCrosse).

I think the Women's British Open is going on this week - there sure is a lot of tweeting going on over there so I'm guessing it's because of the Women's Open.

A Major on the Champions Tour? I think so.

And I think the European Tour has an event this week. As does the Nationwide Tour.

I've been watching the first season of the tv show Leverage on DVD this week and have been completely out of touch with golf. I think Seve is making news too. Something about coming back to play in the British Open next year. Hope he does well.

Speaking of no idea, I have no idea why Lee Westwood popped up in the dream I had last night. It was a strange dream and I don't really remember it. I do remember windy, cloudy weather. Gee, clouds and wind and a European Tour golfer, now that isn't a bit strange. I guess this means I'll be looking to watch Lee Westwood play a little golf next week when I'm at the Bridgestone Invitational. He might be high on the list of players to watch. He's having a good year.

Two Weeks in a Row

There are news stories on the web suggesting that next year, the tournament that is being held this week on the PGA Tour schedule could possibly be held at West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort. This is very exciting to me, a West Virginian. This means I could possibly take a week off from work to go to the Greenbrier tournament and then take the very next week off to go to the Bridgestone Invitational. A two week vacation.

I told my boss about it today and said, "Just imagine, I could also go to the Memorial tournament too and have three weeks off a year."

He laughed and said I could plan my whole schedule around golf.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

SAS Masters

The course is a par 73. I'd like to see someone shoot a 59 there.

Marcus Fraser is leading at -8 after the third round.

Adam Barr keeps calling Ricardo Gonzalez 'Gonzo'. Which would be fine if they didn't already call Gonzalo Fernandez Castano that. Two people can't have the same nickname. In sports, it's only acceptable if the two Gonzos are in different sports, such as: Fernando Gonzalez in Tennis and Gonzalo Fernandez Castano in golf. They won't ever been on the same coverage at the same event so no one can mix them up.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Canadian Open


That's all I know about this tournament. I was listening to the PGA Tour network on the way home from work tonight and play was suspended due to lightning in the area.

SAS Masters

The European Tour event this week is the SAS Masters in Sweden. Ricardo Gonzalez is leading at -10. It will take a few weeks for the European Tour to regain its strength since the Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA is coming up. But, there is still some good golf to watch and if it's even on tv, you should make an effort to watch. I've been at work these last two days and have no idea what kind of golf is on. I think the Canadian Open and some LPGA event are on the golf channel. I'm guessing the Canadian Open will be on a network this weekend.

Senior British Open

Fred Funk still leads after round two. Sam Torrance and Loren Roberts are his closest competitors, with Roberts being a whole 5 shots back.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Senior British Open

Fred Funk is leading after the first round of the Senior British Open, played this year at Sunningdale. This article provides a bit of a synopsis of the leaderboard. It's good to see Loren Roberts doing well.

World Cup Already

Folks are already talking about November's World Cup in China. In this article, we find out that Sergio Garcia will be competing as well as Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.

The World Cup is one of my favorite events to watch. Too bad it's no longer a WGC event.

Monday, July 20, 2009

4th in Ryder Cup Standings

According to this article, Tom Watson has moved into 4th in the Ryder Cup standings and he's up to 105 in the world rankings. Maybe he can set a goal to make the Ryder Cup next year.

I'd Be Concerned....

I got my Bridgestone Invitational tickets today. You'd think that since Fed Ex is pouring a lot of money into the Fed Ex Cup and stuff that the tickets would have been shipped by Fed Ex. The last two times I got tickets, they arrived via Fed Ex.

How did my tickets arrive today?

US Mail.

Everyone talks about how the LPGA is in bad shape. Well, I'd be concerned that the PGA Tour is taking money from Fed Ex but is apparently not putting money into Fed Ex by using them to ship things.

On the one hand, the PGA Tour is apparently using a cheaper method to ship the tickets (I hope). But on the other hand, if Fed Ex isn't making money, then how can they fund part of the tour?

On a personal note, at least the mail carrier didn't just drop the tickets off somewhere in the vicinity of the house and call them delivered like the Fed Ex guy did a few years ago.

I Feel Bad for Stewart Cink

I've been reading some blogs about Cink's win and Watson's loss and I'm feeling bad for Stewart Cink. One blog said that Cink wasn't going to be very popular because he beat Watson. Another blog said that the British Open would be remembered more for Watson's loss than Cink's win. Who knows what else is being said.

Stewart Cink deserves to be praised for his win. He not only beat all of the other golfers in the field, but he had to beat practically the whole gallery who wanted to see Tom Watson set a record and win his 6th Open.

So, while everyone else is talking about the pressure Watson was under trying to win, spare a moment to consider the pressure Cink was under. Cink didn't 'not lose' this major. He went out and won it by making birdies in the playoff and finishing what, four shots ahead of Watson in that playoff?

As for him not being popular because he beat Watson? That's absurd. Watson would be the first to support Cink, and it's shame if fans don't embrace the same spirit of sportsmanship, because that's what the game of golf is all about - shaking hands with and congratulating your competitor when the day is done.

It's a good thing Cink and his family are going on vacation. They don't need to be swamped by news reports and opinion pieces.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cink Wins the British Open

I was hoping Lee Westwood would have held on for the win, but that wasn't meant to be. I watched all of the coverage today, even the part on TNT. Up until about 10:30am est I had the sound on, but after the announcers completely botched the Ross Fisher episode, I decided to mute them for the rest of the day. Which incident am I talking about? The one on the fifth hole where he made a double bogey. Let me set the scene: Ross Fisher and his caddie were on camera discussing his options. We could hear their voices. Viewers would have found that conversation hugely fascinating. But, what did the announcers do? Did they shut up and let us get the facts straight from the player and caddie? No. Tom Wieskopf kept repeating over and over again that all you want to do is advance the ball. Paul Azinger kept repeating over and over again that in a major championship there aren't many birdie holes. Maybe not for Azinger, but Stewart Cink, Lee Westwood, Chris Wood - these guys found a few.

The announcers gave us no new insight. No wisdom. They should institute a new sliding pay scale for the announcers - you only get paid for original, non repetitive, insightful comments. If you repeat yourself, you have to pay a penalty.

As for the golf, when it got down to Cink and Watson, I was hoping for Watson to win it. Stewart Cink is okay, but he seems to always beat Sergio when they play together and that's a little frustrating. However, it became apparent early on in the playoff that Cink was going to secure the win. Watson played great for 72 holes but I guess he didn't factor a playoff into his game plan. Yesterday he did say that the game plan was for 36 holes.

Matteo Manassero, the 16 year old amateur from Italy, played spectacular golf this week. When he accepted his medal for low amateur, he was practically giddy. Sometimes you just wish they would do cartwheels or jump up and down.

I have this habit of checking out the scores of the players who finished highest in the tournaments. I'm curious to see if anyone actually shoots a low round on Sunday even though they aren't going to win and are practically at the bottom of the leaderboard. Most usually, I don't see any rounds under par from that part of the leaderboard but today I did. And it's interesting that it was at a hard course like Turnberry. The player? Ryuji Imada. He was in 64th place after shooting one under par in the final round.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Other Part of the Open - Announcers

Time for an assessment of the ABC/ESPN announce crew:

Tom Wieskopf: "You just have to avoid those bunkers."

Gee, I'm glad they hired him to point that out. Here I've been watching golf since 1992 and thought the goal was to aim for the bunkers and hit every one.

Curtis Strange: "He (Tom Watson) was one of the best..."

I think Curtis was working on a eulogy. Last time I checked Wikipedia, it said Tom Watson was still alive. So, I would think he would still be one of the best at whatever (in this case - bunker play). To be fair, all of the player/announcers used past tense when talking about Watson.

Rick Reilly - should be working for TMZ.

Terry Gannon - How many times is he going to bring up John Daly's suspension? It's over now. If ABC wanted to get in on that story, then they should have been televising some events during the suspension. I didn't hear Gannon mention for the same number of times Daly's weightloss or his efforts in Europe when he played well. You'd think Reilly would have covered Daly and Gannon would have been talking about other things.

Generally, all of the announcers got on every player who made more than one bogey in a row, suggesting that the wheels were coming off and they were just going to fall off the radar and never recover and wouldn't be a factor. Looking back at Watson's Friday scorecard, you can see that a few bogeys in a row didn't hurt him any. This was just another case of the announcers trying to create a story instead of reporting the story that was in front of them.

Azinger: "Lawrie came from 10 shots back..."

I think Azinger keeps using this as an excuse to avoid picking a winner and then being wrong. He sure said this enough times. More than enough. I can't really see Johan Edfors coming from 10 shots back to win tomorrow.

British Open Day 3

It was a very exciting day of golf today at Turnberry. True, only five players were under par on their rounds which might suggest that it was a depressing day. But, it wasn't. Tom Watson played a steady round and didn't let anything derail him. He ended up only +1 on the day's round. Steve Marino had a bad round, but he ended on a positive note with a birdie on 18. Miguel Angel Jimenez also had a bad round and is currently at +3. And Mark Calcavecchia also had a bad day - apparently a sore wrist might have contributed to that. The top of the leaderboard looks like this:

Watson -4
Matthew Goggin and Ross Fisher -3
Lee Westwood and Retief Goosen -2
Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink -1
Molder and Jaidee at Even par.

So, what does it look like for tomorrow? Will someone come from behind and swoop in and take the Championship? I will say I doubt it. If tomorrow is another today, then there won't be anyone going low and the winner will be the one who manages his game the best. It's very likely that Tom Watson can win tomorrow. Friday and Saturday's rounds have been pretty steady and unless he develops a health issue or the weather suddenly turns really bad, I don't see him scoring high tomorrow. Maybe emotions will get to him, but they were there today and he still pulled out a good score.

Of the people who I think have a chance tomorrow, I will be rooting for Ross Fisher. I've liked him for a while now and it would be really great if he would win. My second choice would be Lee Westwood. Why not Tom Watson? Because he has some of those Championships already. Fisher and Westwood don't. If I had to root for an American, though, it would be Watson.

2009 Announcer Invitational

That's what we should be calling The British Open if you're watching the ABC coverage. Let's see if I leave anyone out: Mike Tirico, Paul Azinger, Terry Gannon, Curtis Strange, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Rinaldi, Rick Reilly, Judy Rankin, Andy North, Peter Allis (I think he's shared with the BBC so he may not count as much as the others). The first hour of today's coverage had more features and analysis than golf. In fact, I doubt if there was any real coverage of live golf during the first half hour despite the fact that there were plenty of players on the course we could have been watching.

If ABC wanted to do features and analysis, they should have begun a half an hour earlier with a preview show. But I'm sure ABC felt the need to justify hiring all of the extra people and paying for all of these announcers to travel to Scotland and stay there for several days (I think they also cover the Senior British and the LPGA British as well) so they had to give them a lot of face time.

But, the fact is, this event isn't called the Announcer Open or the Announcer Invitational. It's The Open (If you're European) and it's all about golf. So, they should be showing golf. Not each other.

In an earlier issue of Golf Magazine, they briefly interviewed Ken Venturi who said these days when he watches golf, he has to turn the sound down. There's too much talking, he says. I bet he took a nap this morning.

Update: Billy Kratzert needs added to the list of announcers

Good Sportsmanship

I found this article about Tom Watson that highlights the good sportsmanship that is present in golf. According to the article, Tom claims it was a little pep talk from Sergio Garcia that kept him going and spurred him on to his 36 hole tie for the lead.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ross Fisher's Big Dilemma

Ross Fisher's wearing a beeper. You know what that means for a golfer. Yep, a baby's on the way. According to This Article, he plans to head home for the birth even if he's going to win.

It's easy to debate what he should or shouldn't do, and it's just as easy for everyone to say 'this is what I would do..." I don't know what I would do since I have never had an interest in children. But, if my beloved Winnie and PJ were going to have puppies, I might just have to stay home from work to be with them.

But if I would be missing say, winning the lottery, and Winnie and PJ had competent people around them to help with their puppies, I think that decision might just be a little more difficult to make.

British Open Day 2

I couldn't watch much of this since I was at work today, but I got a pleasant surprise when I got in the car tonight to come home and found out from the PGA Tour network that Tom Watson was tied for the lead at the end of day 2. With him is Steve Marino.

Mark Calcavecchia is right behind them at -4 and a whole host of people are tied at -3 including: Ross Fisher, Retief Goosen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Kenichi Kuboya and Vijay Singh.

I think the biggest surprise though has to be JB Holmes at -2. You wouldn't think a bomber of the golf ball would be doing so well on a windy links course, but apparently JB is playing some very smart golf this week.

Also at -2 is Lee Westwood. Some European guy being interviewed on the PGA Tour network this evening said that Westwood was Europe's best chance for a winner this week. Well, Ross Fisher and Miguel Angel Jimenez appear to be pretty good hopes as well - nice how that guy just pushed them aside.

At -1 are Martin Kaymer, Angel Cabrera and Sergio Garcia. Rory McIlroy is at +3 and Soren Kjeldsen and Paul Casey are at +4 and just made the cut.

Missing the cut were Ben Curtis who was right up there at the top of the leaderboard yesterday and David Duval.

A special mention of Matteo Manassero, age 16, from Italy. An amateur, he is at +1 and made the cut. He played his first two rounds with Tom Watson. That had to be a thrill of a lifetime for Manassero. In an interview on the PGA Tour network, Watson said he was very impressed with Manassero.

I have a theory about why Watson and Calcavecchia are doing so well and why maybe some of the young guns aren't. I think it all boils down to patience and money. When Watson and Calcavecchia started out, they got paid very little. So, to make a living at golf, they had to be patient because they couldn't earn a lot of money in just a few events. That patience, I believe, carried over into their golf and they learned not to force the issue and to just play. Contrast that to the young guns who are playing today - they can make a very good living very quickly on tour so maybe they are a bit impatient. And maybe they push when they play, trying to make something happen but ending up hitting bad shots instead. I also think some of these guys have a problem with accepting that par is a good score. I wonder how many of them try to shoot a low score and end up shooting themselves out of a tournament when all they needed to do was play smart and cautious golf. Something tells me that Tom Watson wasn't panicking about all those bogeys he had today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

British Open Day 1

I'm watching a little bit of the British Open this evening. I can't tell if they will have Tiger on or not. I think they are jumping around in the replay coverage.

Some observations:

The PGA Tour network is already predicting winners - after only one day of competition. Of course, you don't see any of the PGA Network guys retiring early due to using their remarkable insight to pick winning lottery numbers. So, make what you want of the media's 'analysis'.

Rundown of some scores:
Miguel Angel Jimenez -6 (round one leader)
Tom Watson, Ben Curtis and Kenichi Kuboya -5
Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Soren Kjeldsen -2
Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Angel Cabrera and Davis Love -1
Sergio Garcia Even Par
David Duval +1

As you know I'm on Twitter now and I've been following some pretty good tweeters - Ian Poulter is one of the best. Well, I was also following former tennis player Justin Gimelstob. I say was because I had to stop following him today. He had the nerve to suggest that golf wasn't a sport because 59 year old Tom Watson was doing better than Tiger Woods. Well, I would say John McEnroe could beat several tennis players currently active on the ATP tour.

I have so many other comments I could make, but will leave them out and get on with British Open comments.

So, TNT has Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger commenting on the play. How negative and surly is that coverage going to be? Unfortunately for Mike Tirico and Judy Rankin, I may have to mute the tv.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

British Open

I haven't been too interested in the Open yet. As with any tournament Tiger plays, I probably won't watch much of the Open. I have been reading tweets from Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, however. They are posting some pictures. You can find them on Twitter if you would like to see their pics or read about their practice rounds.

One thing I'm glad I'm missing is the 'who's the favorite to win' debate that is inevitable whenever the media has time to kill. They will always pick the top players in the world rankings. I have no idea who might win since I haven't been keeping up with it all. I'm guessing since there's a lot of hideously long grass there and it will probably rain, the winner would have to be someone strong enough to play out of the rough and someone who doesn't care about wet weather - sounds like a tournament made for El Pato (The Duck), Angel Cabrera.

Looking back over the last couple of weeks' results in Europe, I would look to Lee Westwood and Soren Kjeldsen to do well this week. Martin Kaymer will probably run out of steam after winning the last two events. But it would be spectacular if he were to pull off the win. Gonzalo Fernandez Castano has his putter going but he's still a streaky player so I don't know if he will do well. David Duval is in the field and it would be great if he would win again this week.

So, there are plenty of stories to follow if you want to look beneath the hoopla over the top media faves.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

John Deere Classic

Nice Guy Steve Stricker won today in a very long 36 hole Sunday. I like Stricker. He's another one of those guys like Kenny Perry who shows just how much every win means to him.

And I was so happy to see Brett Quigley earn a spot at the British Open with his good finish. I guess he has the option to turn that down, but I don't know why he would. I'm a big fan of his and really hope that someday he will win.

Lee Janzen didn't have a very productive final round, but he did do well on the whole this week. One more good tournament that will bring him closer to a Tour Card next year.

Scottish Open

Martin Kaymer won today for the second time in two weeks. I don't expect him to make it three in a row, but I would not mind at all being wrong about that. Gonzalo Fernandez Castano finished T2 with Raphael Jacquelin. Graeme Storm moved up 35 places today and Jose Maria Olazabal remained tied for 32nd place.

Last year, I said on the blog that if I was making the Ryder Cup picks I would have chosen Martin Kaymer. Yes, I disagreed with Nick Faldo, although not as strongly as I did with Tom Lehman in 2006 about his picks. And in much the same way as Lucas Glover is now proving to the world that he had earned the opportunity and just wasn't afforded it, this year, Martin Kaymer is going about his business and is proving to everyone that he has earned his right to be considered for such an honor. Let's hope neither one is overlooked next time.

Positive Thoughts Sent Gonzalo's Way

I am sending all of my positive thoughts and prayers to Gonzalo Fernandez Castano in the hopes he finds his dog. I just found out that his little dog went missing and there's a reward being offered. You can click HERE to read more about the little one.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

John Deere Classic & Women's US Open

I'm putting both of these together because I had a similar experience while watching them today. I started off watching the John Deere Classic. But unfortunately, the local weathermen thought they were so important that they kept interrupting the coverage with weather bulletins for counties far, far away in another state. News flash for the weathermen: the people in those counties probably lost electricity and couldn't hear or see your warnings anyway. So, I switched over to the US Women's Open. There I was just annoyed by the beeping as the weather alerts scrolled across the bottom of the screen. I thought for a second I was watching Gordon Ramsey when I heard those beeps but remembered that no, it was Johnny Miller and he wouldn't say anything to get beeped over, although I have the impression that some players would like to apply such technology to his analysis.

As for the golf, it's great to see Lee Janzen doing well this week. On the women's side, it's too bad Alexis Thompson had a bad round today. But just about everyone else did too. They were talking about how tough the course is playing and it sure does sound like a US Open.

Scottish Open Third Round

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano is leading going into the final round. He shot a 64 today to end up at -14. He is being chased by Retief Goosen and last week's winner, Martin Kaymer, both at -13. Lee Westwood also shot a 64. American Brian Gay shot a 65 today and is currently tied for eighth. Jose Maria Olazabal and Ian Poulter are tied for 32 with a bunch of other people at -4. And the biggest move up the leaderboard today was by David Lynn who moved up 46 spots with his round of 65.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Barclay's Scottish Open

First round of the Scottish Open was today and Australian Richard Green is leading at -7. Adam Scott came out of nowhere with a good round of golf. He was 5 under par. There are ten Spaniards playing this week and Gonzalo Fernandez Castano is doing the best so far as he's tied for second at -6. Jose Maria Olazabal is at even par and needs a spectacular week to earn a spot at the British Open. As for Americans, there are 5 in the field and Nick Watney was the lowest among them at -4. And finally, Nick Faldo is in the field and if you look at the leaderboard, you will see him referred to as "Sir Nick Faldo". I guess when the tournament is in the UK they have to use the 'Sir'.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Open de France

The Open de France ended in a playoff between Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. Kaymer came out on top. Westwood's final round of -6 was impressive. Ian Poulter was 4 under on the day to finish 3rd. Jose Maria Olazabal moved up a few spots to finish T54 and Peter Hedblom made the biggest positive move today - he moved up 36 spots. I love how the European Tour website is now showing the change between rounds so I don't have to do the math.

Federer Wins 15th Slam

I know, this isn't golf related, but it is a world record for Roger Federer. He won Wimbledon today in a true marathon of a match against Andy Roddick. The final set went on and on and on. Federer also reclaims the #1 ranking with this win. I think it's good that he's 'come back' and won the French, Wimbledon and reclaimed the #1 ranking. Not that he truly ever went anywhere, but the media had a lot of fun in the last year writing him off. Now Roger can take some time off when the baby comes and just relax.

Jose Maria's Travel Plans

I found this little article that debates Jose Maria Olazabal's travel plans after the final round of the Open de France - either budget airline or private jet. It isn't your usual golf news article.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Slow Mo

This morning on the European Tour coverage, they showed a dragonfly in slow motion. It was very cool. Much cooler than the golf, unfortunately. But, Sunday should be more memorable as that's when someone wins.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Open de France

After round two, Rafa Echenique is in the lead and Martin Kaymer is close behind in second. Paul Waring is the lowest ranked player in the top ten (332 in the world and 130 on the Road to Dubai list) so he's doing really well so far this week. Kenneth Ferrie is finally doing well at T12 and Jose Maria Olazabal is tied for 62nd place. I don't know if that makes the cut. Ian Poulter is currently at -1.

I've been watching QVC lately and didn't get a chance to watch this round this morning on tv. Plus, I was listening to Excuses Begone - a 7 cd set of a seminar conducted by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It's a self help thing.

I'll probably be napping tomorrow when the third round is on. I plan on getting up in the middle of the night to watch the Fenton Art Glass show on QVC.