Friday, August 28, 2009

Well, Here's An Interesting Opinion

I found this article from the that features an interview with Peter Thomson whose characterization of Tiger Woods' recent behavior as 'morose and petulant' is pretty brave I think. And he also talks about Tiger's slow play and general demeanor on the course.

The article obviously branches out to Ryder Cup territory and also features some quotes by Colin Montgomerie. As I have a self-imposed Montgomerie ban here on the blog, I can't voice my opinion on that part of the article.


Jose Maria Olazabal is tied for 5th going into the third round of the Johnnie Walker Championships at Gleneagles! I'm so excited. Hopefully I'll get to watch some of this tournament this weekend. I may have to record it on Sunday since I'll be at my parents' house for my puppies' weekly visit with their grandparents. It may be a short visit. My niece and nephew are living there now and the puppies don't like kids.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Missed A Lot Yesterday

I had chores to do yesterday so I didn't see a lot of golf. I had to bath Winnie and PJ, mow some grass, wash some dishes, do some laundry. I always leave the work for the last minute. Especially dish washing. I hate washing dishes.

But I did see Michelle Wie win her match. And I saw a glimpse of Sergio losing his tournament. Does anyone think Michelle Wie is going to be the next Sergio? Doing really well in Solheim Cup competition but not winning the big tournaments when she's on her own? Time will tell on that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wow - You Might Have to Cheer for Sam Torrance

Check out this article about Sam Torrance at the Scottish Senior Open. Hope he feels better and can contend for the win.

Quiet Day

I watched the Solheim Cup with the sound turned down today. Can't stand Rich Lerner. Hopefully, Judy Rankin will 'accidentally' dump some coffee on his head or something this weekend.

I also watched the KLM Open with the sound on and the Wyndham Championship with the sound turned down to start with because I figured they would spend the first few minutes talking about Tiger. Then I turned the sound up. Got to see Feherty's interviews with Sergio, Fred Couples and Brandt Snedeker.

I think David Feherty should captain the European Ryder Cup team after Olazabal has his turn. Feherty is in a good position to know all about the competition considering that he follows them around the golf course for several weeks a year. Feherty would provide some lightheartedness. And for the killer instinct to win, win, win, what else but a triumphant return of Seve? LOL.

More on Solheim Sexism

Yesterday during the discussion regarding the damaged ground issue, Rich Lerner actually suggested that the US Assistant Captain should just give in and make the US player play the ball where it was. "In the interest of good sportsmanship" he said. What? Would he dare suggest Paul Azinger do that? Or Tom Lehman? Or Colin Montgomerie? Or Ian Woosnam? Why should women have to give in and not pursue the correct ruling? Apparently when the women discuss a ruling, it's poor sportsmanship, but when the men do it, it's perfectly acceptable.

Gotta love those double standards here in 2009. Boy have we come a long way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's up

Well, the KLM Open is going on over in Europe. Some great players are competing there this week - Darren Clarke especially is doing well. Jose Maria Olazabal was there for two rounds but missed the cut. I really hope he gets back to full time competition. I miss him.

The Solheim Cup is going on. And on. And on. Apparently the morning matches were very long. It looked like most of them went the full 18 or near it. Good for people who bought tickets. They don't have to go home early. Probably not so good for TV. Rich Lerner on the Golf Channel is just waiting to pounce on the expected "cat fight". It's disgusting. There was a discussion today between the European team captain and the rules officials regarding some damaged ground and Rich just couldn't wait for the women to start fighting. After it was over (no fight ensued), Rich asked if this would have a lasting impact on this year's matches. Huh? He's trying to create some news apparently. If it's that boring to him, he should quit his job. Maybe a job as a Walmart greeter would stimulate him a little more. He can wait in anticipation for that annoying shoplifting bell to ding and then force some women prone to catfights to empty their purses. Women everywhere should write into the Golf Channel complaining about the negative stereotype he's promoting.

The Wyndham Championship - Chris Riley shot a 63 today and currently leads. Sergio is only 2 back and Fred Couples is only 3 back. Brad Faxon is currently T43. He might make a cut. Yay! Steve Elkington went shot 65-75. He's probably not a happy camper considering he went from 5th to T101st.

The Jeld-Wen Tradition - A Major on the Champions Tour. That's all I know about it. I would love to check out the scores on the Golf Channel website, but the website won't load for me. Why is it when a webpage doesn't load properly, the ads on that page always do?

Nationwide Tour - Christmas in October but it's August and Labor Day's coming up in a couple of weeks. The Christmas in October organization helps restores/repairs homes for the elderly, handicapped and financially challenged people in Kansas City. I haven't kept up with the Nationwide Tour this year so I don't know who's competing. But I'm sure everyone now will be humming Jingle Bells or Oh Christmas Tree thanks to this event.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Buying into Media Hype

According to this article, some gambling folks went ahead and paid out about 1.25 million pounds on a Tiger Woods victory at the PGA even before Tiger had teed off today.

How much could the media have contributed to this with their constant adoration of Tiger and their endless one-sided reporting of statistics?

Sure Tiger had some kind of statistic about leading going into the final round of a major. But every tournament is different. That's why they are played to their conclusion. Otherwise, they wouldn't even play the tournament. They would just give the trophy to whoever the stats suggest would win. Sort of like paying out the money on the bets before the final round starts.

YE Yang Wins The PGA!!

This is the second time Yang has beaten Tiger. He beat him once over in Asia and now he's beaten him in a Major. I love it. The media likes to say that all of the players are just intimidated by Tiger and that's why they don't win. Well, Yang sure isn't intimidated. He doesn't need to be with his results.

And gee, Tiger was shut out in majors this year. Hahaha.

Other notes, there were a lot of European players in the top ten of the PGA this week. Good for them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amateurs Only

According to this article from the Golf Channel, one proposed format for Golf in the Olympics is a field of the top 60 in the World Rankings playing a 72 hole stroke play event.

That would make it like any old tournament I could see on TV. These professionals already have tons of money. Should we use the Olympics as a vehicle to just give them more?

The spirit of the Olympics is to go farther, be stronger, and overcome all obstacles to achieve a miracle goal. Kind of hard to see a Tiger Woods battling and overcoming anything when he can hire top trainers, coaches, and travel folks to make him the best and can take about 35 weeks a year to train specifically for the 15 to 17 events a year he plays. Not like those Home Depot employees who have to work a shift at the Home Depot and train too.

It's bad enough that Olympic Tennis is open to pros as is basketball and who knows what else. Now golf may be going down that same path. The Olympics should be for amateurs. I can tell you this, if golf does make it into the Olympics in 2016 with a pros only format, I won't be watching it.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Greenbrier Classic

While I was away at the Bridgestone Inv. it was announced that the Greenbrier (in my home state of WV) is going to be hosting a tournament on the PGA Tour for the next few years. I had joked with my boss that I could quite possibly be gone for two weeks in a row to attend this one and the Bridgestone. But I don't think I'll be doing that. If I'm going to spend money and stay in a hotel, it's going to be for a tournament where I can see all of the players I'm a fan of. I doubt if guys like Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer, or Lee Westwood will be making the trip to the Greenbrier. They might go for one year to see the place where the 1979 Ryder Cup was held, but I don't think they'll make the event a regular stop on their schedule. And they probably won't play it next year since it's a Ryder Cup year and they won't want the added travel to tire them out.

2009 Bridgestone Invitational Pictures

Ross Fisher and Rory McIlroy.

2009 Bridgestone Invitational Pictures

Sergio Garcia, Angel Cabrera and Dennis Walters with his little dog. He just loves that dog. He would hold him up and cuddle him. It was so adorable I just had to take a picture.

2009 Bridgestone Invitational Pictures

Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy

2009 Bridgestone Invitational Pictures

Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Gonzalo Fernandez Castano.

Alvaro Quiros at 2009 Bridgestone Invitational

Picture from Bridgestone

Ian Poulter looking very dapper in his attire.

My 2009 Bridgestone Invitational Diary


It was partly cloudy today and windy. Nice weather to watch the golf. I had some feet and knee trouble this week. By the end of the week, the knee was fine though. The feet - they still hurt some. But it didn’t stop me from following the golfers.

As you know Tuesday is practice round day when you can take pictures, video and get autographs. I didn’t get any autographs since you can’t read them anyway. And I didn’t take my camcorder. I can get video of the golfers any time I want just by watching TV. I wanted still photos for my album so I took my camera along. Plus, I had to carry an umbrella today in case it rained and I didn’t want a bunch of things to carry.

Here are some notes and observations from today:

Pat Perez left his golf bag out in the open unattended. Seriously, it was outside the clubhouse where all of the fans were walking. He must have a lot of faith in humanity to leave it there and expect no one to touch it.

Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood played a practice round together. They were a jolly group, talking and laughing together.

I saw Carl Petterson coming out of the clubhouse carrying his own golf bag. I don’t think anyone stopped him for an autograph. Poor guy. And he had to play with Tiger and Sergio on Thursday and Friday too. He should get the Trooper of the Week award.

Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez Castano played a practice round together. That was fun to watch.

Rory Sabbatini - say what you will about the media’s characterization of his personality, but he went out of his way today to sign autographs for everyone.

Paul Casey, Nick Dougherty, and Justin Rose played a practice round together. It had to be one of the longest ever since it seemed to take forever. They started around 8 or 9am and it was still going on at like 1pm? On Tuesday I thought Casey might have gotten tired since by the 17th hole, he had disappeared, but later on I found out about his injury and WD. Maybe it got its start with this practice round. Don’t know.

Miguel Angel Jimenez practiced by himself and he seemed to be in a very good mood. He took pictures with fans and signed a lot of autographs.

Once again, the merchandise tent is poorly staffed. I bought two shirts, a hat, a lanyard and a teddy bear. The cashiers think that as long as they ring up the total number of items you are purchasing then they’ve done their jobs. So, instead of ringing up a $5.00 lanyard, they rang up a $25.00 hat. But hey, they rang up 5 items and I was wanting to buy 5 items, so all is right. Not really.

There was also a very grumpy woman working in the Welcome Pavilion selling programs. Don’t they know we don’t want grumpiness when we are on vacation? I tried to treat everyone like they were on vacation while I was in Akron, from the Walmart employees to the waiters and waitresses at the restaurants to the other fans at the tournament. Who wants their vacation ruined by mean people? Not me.

I did sit for a bit at the practice range. There was a woman sitting next to me who was talking to some other people. She said her son parks cars there at the tournament for the golfers and according to her son, Phil Mickelson tipped $100 but Tiger only tipped $5.00.

Cleveland/Akron residents are made of tough stuff. On the news tonight was a story about a woman who received a little trinket box as a gift. She opened it up to find someone’s ashes inside. The reporter ended the story by saying “It’s a good day to be alive and not in a baggy.” In WV, the reporter would be all compassionate and emphasize the human element - that someone is missing the ashes of a loved one. But in Cleveland, they didn’t go there.

Improvements the Tournament could make: They need to sell milkshakes. They need more competent people working the merchandise tent, and the employees/volunteers need more pleasant attitudes.


My feet still hurt, as did my knee, but I wore two pairs of socks to minimize the feet trouble. The knee - I thought I would be sitting down a lot today, but when I got to the course at around 8:30am, I found out that Sergio was already out playing a practice round with Rory McIlroy so I went out to follow them. I caught up with them on #4 and followed them through the 14th hole then decided it was time for lunch. After lunch I walked out to one of the real restrooms on the course and then came back to the 18th green to wait for Sergio and Rory to finish up. I went back to the practice green after that and sat in some shade for a while to rest my feet and knee.

Sergio and Rory were a happy group. They talked and joked around and I think they were playing music - mp3 player, not a musical instrument. They signed a lot of autographs. With Sergio, it’s a walk and sign kind of thing so he’ll only get one out of every four people or so. He did make a special effort for the kids, even letting them follow him up to the tees to get their stuff. There were some very cute moments with the kids. But one moment was a dud. This one dad sent his toddler out to get an autograph from Sergio. The little boy gave some white card to him to sign and I heard the father say, not all that loudly, “No, don’t sign that one.” Of course he wouldn’t say it loud enough for Sergio to hear. I’m guessing the little white cards are now on Ebay. Parents should be ashamed of using their little kids to get autographs to sell.

Now for the crazy people segment:

This one guy was talking to two of his friends and after Sergio had hit a second ball to the green, the guy said to his friends, “The second shot’s always better. At least it is for me.” He and his friends laughed at this little joke. It could have ended there and would have been just a funny little quip. But, no. The guy repeated the first part of that quote to Rory McIlroy. I don’t think Rory found it that funny. What sounds like a funny little joke amongst amateurs/weekend golfers, probably sounds a bit like an insult to the pros. At least I would have taken it that way if I’d been a pro.

Second crazy guy: This man and his woman came up to stand next to me at the 14th tee while we were waiting for Sergio and Rory. The woman sat down on the ground to tie her shoes and the man turned his head to me and just stared at me. No blinking, no wandering eyes to check out the rest of the course. He just stared at me. He stopped when his woman stood back up.

Third crazy guy: Some guy on the second floor of the hotel stood on the balcony and watched me leave for dinner and he was still there in the same spot when I came back a half an hour later. He was also there the next day too.

Fourth crazy guy: There was an old guy who had to have been carrying $5.00 worth of jingling change in his pockets while we were following Sergio and Rory. What part of quiet please do these people not understand?

I left the course an hour early so I could rest my knee. Went to Golden Corral for dinner. The manager rang up my order but she only rang up a drink. Not the meal. I told the server about it and he got a big kick out of the fact that the manager screwed up. So, he told the manager and both of them were astounded that I was honest enough to let them know. They both said that anyone else would have kept his/her mouth shut and gotten a free meal. But I had to be honest. Unless I’m in the merchandise tent at Bridgestone. If they make a mistake in my favor, I’m keeping my mouth shut. They deserve it.


The day began with one of the rules officials waving at me. I don’t think it was Slugger White though. If he was there, then I saw him between 16 and 17 sitting there giving people the creeps. The phrase ‘waiting for the axe to fall’ comes to mind.

I didn’t think there were any stellar groups to follow. I guess the Tiger, Sergio, Carl group would have been good if you could actually see them play. The gallery following them was so huge. And of course, I’m not a Tiger fan so I wouldn’t follow him anyway. And on the opposite side, there were two groups that could be considered stellar: the Perry, Vijay and McIlroy group and the Phil, Ernie and Camilo group. I didn’t follow any of them. Today, I followed Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Davis Love III in the morning and then Quiros, Holmes and Anders Hansen in the afternoon.

Today’s observations:

Brian Gay’s caddie gave a ball to a kid in the stands before the group teed off. The kid played around with the ball and eventually dropped it. It rolled under the stands and was lost forever. It reminded me of the cell phone commercial where the kid keeps giving away the rollover minutes.

The Scott-Weir-Mahan group - Mike’s caddie slapped Adam on the butt as some form of “Hi, how are you doing” greeting. I thought that was a bit strange since they aren’t football players. Mahan’s caddie gave the same group of kids a ball but this one kid was smart enough to put it in his pocket.

Mike Weir, Davis Love and Steve Stricker seemed to get the loudest applause on the tee.

Out in the rough: Rory Sabbatini and Alvaro Quiros were both outside the ropes today for a couple of shots. It’s so cool to have the player just inches away from you like that. If you all want to have a good time at a tournament, follow the guys who have the worst driving accuracy stats. You’ll get really close up to them then.

In addition to the Love-McDowell-Donald group, I followed Stricker, Fisher, and Sabbatini. Stricker and Fisher talked a lot during the round, but Rory didn’t join in.

Davis Love really needs to lighten up when he plays. When you watch him, you don’t think he even knows how to smile. And he doesn’t look like he’s having any fun.

I sat on the first tee to eat my lunch and watched Vijay-Perry-McIlroy and Mickelson-Villegas-Els tee off. After lunch I caught a glimpse of Tiger and Anthony Kim and I saw Sergio come out of the clubhouse to get ready for his afternoon tee time. Several of the players offered to sign autographs after their rounds today. I thought that was pretty nice of them since autographs are usually only on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the afternoon, I followed Anders Hansen, JB Holmes, and Alvaro Quiros. Apparently Holmes is bothered by a lot of things, movement and sound. His caddie had some work to do to keep things quiet and still. Right before I left for the day, I dropped back and followed Harrington, Verplank, and Soren Hansen.

The hotel got pretty rowdy today and stayed that way until I left. You’d think they could keep quiet considering all of the other people who are staying there.


I followed Ian Poulter, Stuart Appleby, Pat Perez in the morning. Poulter and Perez talked a lot but Appleby didn’t join in. I didn’t know at the time that he had gotten ripped off by that ruling issue overnight. I guess he was in a bad mood.

I think it was the 11th green and Ian was trying to putt but he kept backing off. Stewart Cink’s group was walking down 13 (?) and they actually stopped just in case they were distracting Ian. Ian was facing that fairway.

Stewart Cink spent quite a bit of time talking to Christian Cevaer of France. I thought that was nice since Cink is the British Open champion. He should make nice with all of those European players.

As much as I’m not a fan of Tiger, I did manage to get close enough to the 11th green to see him, Carl and Sergio all on the green. I wasn’t on the front line of the gallery, but I did sneak a peek in between a couple of tall guys who were on the front line. I didn’t see Tiger putt, but I did see Carl’s first putt. Poulter was heading down a fairway close by the 11th green and I didn’t want to get too far away from him so I took off before Tiger and Sergio putted. I did hear the collective “oh” which I interpreted to mean that Sergio missed a putt.

Pat Perez was in the rough outside the ropes on one of the holes and I was able to get close to watch him. That was exciting.

In the afternoon, I followed Kaymer, O’Hair and Furyk. I was very happy to be able to watch Kaymer since he’s been having such a good year.

And while waiting for this group to tee off, I sat in front of Tongchai Jaidee’s family on 10 tee. They were talking almost completely in Thai but once in a while they would throw in an English word or two - like basketball.

Toward the end of the day, I watched a bit of the Rose, Lowry, Turnesa group. Justin was coming down 17 and dropped a bit of food on the ground. He looked at those of us along the fairway and said something about the 5 second rule and picked up the food and ate it. Bless his heart. Of course, the first year I went to Bridgestone I saw Fred Couples lick his golf ball to get some dirt off of it. No one said these golfers weren’t eccentric. Finally, as I was waiting at the little rope gate on the 18th green to get off the course, one of the marshals talked to some guy in the gallery the whole time the players were on the green putting. He didn't shut up once. They shouldn't let that marshal come back next year.

Summing Up:

I think I actually managed to see all of the golfers this year. Usually I miss a few. I could always take the easy way out and just sit in one spot and watch them all go by, but I would much rather follow some of my favorites and then catch the others whenever I can.

The galleries are getting on my nerves. The so-called armchair quarterbacks of the golf world are all experts and know just how to play Firestone. They can call every shot. You have to admire the golfers for not getting disgruntled. The fans cheer a shot that ends up bad. They don’t shut up when the players are trying to play. I don’t know how much the players can hear, but if they hear the so called experts describing how the course should be played, I can’t see how the players could ignore it. It’s no wonder you have strong personalities in the world of Professional Golf - those like Ian Poulter and Rory Sabbatini.

I could easily make some generalizations based on what I saw of the gallery’s behavior. The very skinny blonde women who start drinking beer at 9am. The older men on the shuttle buses who all turn and look at the strip club as we drive by - newsflash people - the women aren’t working outside at 8am. The older men who wear sandals - they need pedicures desperately. The old man who has sat behind the 10th green for 25 years but yet didn’t know that you couldn’t bring beverages on the shuttle bus. Advice to him - coffee cannot, absolutely cannot, stir up enough outrage or passion to warrant the use of the ‘G.D.‘ cuss word. You, sir, are just an angry man who is in need of some antidepressants. Going to a tournament is as much an event in people watching as it is an event in golf watching. No one should miss an opportunity to attend one of the PGA Tour events.