Sunday, December 05, 2010

Weekend of Golf

My weekend of golf was a quiet one. Literally. That Jim Kelly who was announcing during the Nedbank Challenge was so annoying I had to mute the tv. Lee Westwood nearly lapped the field on his way to a win in South Africa. It was sunny and warm there, which made it nice to watch given the snow on the ground outside my house. But it was a bit too warm for the players and caddies I hear.

As for the US option, the Chevron World Challenge, Graeme McDowell won in a playoff against Tiger Woods. Heeheehee. I'm usually tickled by anyone who beats Tiger, but McDowell is one of my favorites and that makes me even more thrilled.

I've seen some comments about how Tiger's dominance is good for golf and should lead to rivalries etc in 2011. I'd like to know when a monopoly on anything has ever been good for anyone. It's a fundamental law that competition leads to success in any industry. Monopolies don't. Otherwise, we would have one phone company, one type of cereal to eat, one brand of soda to drink. Golf is so great right now not because Tiger actually put together a few rounds of decent golf, but because there were so many great rounds played by so many great players this year. The only way golf is going to continue to grow as a sport is if it continues to see a variety of winners.

Put it a different way - how many of you read only one book and read it over and over and over again? Eventually, you get bored and reach for something different to read. The dominance of one player in any sport can only be a positive element for so long before it starts turning away fans, just like that tired old book you've read a hundred times until you just can't stomach reading it one more time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

End of the Season

I just finished watching the final round of the Dubai World Championship and it was an exciting one to say the least. Fans of the European Tour got a real treat this week with all of the great players doing so well. Ian Poulter had the championship in his grasp but just missed out at the end to Robert Karlsson.

Lee Westwood is still #1 in the world. Yay! I am a real big fan of the Tiger-less era of golf. Golf itself is so much better with his absence from the #1 spot.

Three Major Champions this year are from the European Tour - Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer. Whoever it was a few years ago that said the Nationwide Tour was better should probably never utter another word in his life.

And finally, a few words on Martin Kaymer. My pick at the beginning of the year for the Player to Watch, he gave us something to watch throughout the year. Several tour wins, a Major Championship, Ryder Cup success, and the Race to Dubai winner for 2010.

So, now we turn our thoughts to 2011. Who will win the Race to Dubai? Who will captain the next Ryder Cup team? Who will have the best showing at the majors? Which Spaniard will have the best season? What will happen with the World Number 1 Ranking? So many questions that we fans can't wait to have answered.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Needle in the Haystack

Once every few months I check out my gmail account to see how many useless facebook and twitter emails I've received. Interspersed among them are newsletters and spam. And then, among those, I will sometimes find email from real people, website owners, bloggers, those who want to exchange links or get a little publicity here on this not so regularly updated blog. Today, I read an email from hharrison1 who asked me to check out the blog Discovering the Game of Golf. I did and found it pretty entertaining. I like the humor. So, you should also check out the blog.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Great Day on the European Tour

This latest tournament, the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, was spectacular. Great golf, great players, and top 10 successes for two great competitors. Graeme McDowell won the hard-fought event. Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal each earned a top 10 finish in their second event of their comebacks. For Olazabal, this was only his third golf tournament of the year and he scored a top 10. Proof that he is one of the all-time best golfers with some of the greatest inherent talent of any player ever.

And, the biggest news for the Tour is that Lee Westwood is claiming the World #1 ranking this week. It's about time we have a #1 player whose game actually reflects that ranking. I've said often enough the rankings system needs revamped and this time I have to question whether or not Martin Kaymer should actually be the World's #1 player, given that he's won four times this year, including a major and he's participated in the Ryder Cup. Graeme McDowell should also be considered in the discussion of World's #1.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


According to this article, Matteo Manassero has actually told the whole world that he doesn't have a girlfriend. He doesn't realize what he's just done to himself. Here's some advice he should take:
1. Don't date tennis players.
2. Don't date celebrities or the daughters of celebrities.
3. Don't buy presents for the girlfriend. Pick wildflowers for her or write a poem.
4. Don't get married until you're 30.

An Exciting Castello Masters

Matteo Manassero won the Castello Masters today in convincing fashion. He was great to watch and the golf was very good. There will be plenty of folks who will write volumes about what his win will mean for Italian golf, for the European Tour and for him, as he's the youngest winner on the European Tour. So, I won't go there. Instead, I'll just say it was a great tournament to watch and it leaves me with great anticipation for next week's event at Valderrama.

A so-so event for Jose Maria Olazabal this week. He met his goal of playing four rounds. But, he signed an incorrect score card and was disqualified. I haven't seen any quotes from him regarding his health today, but hopefully, he's well. The announcers said he would be playing next week. Another great reason to watch the tournament.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

They're Back!!!

Yiippeee!!! Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal are back in competition this week at the Castello Masters. I really hope they both do well as I want to see both of them a lot this weekend during the tv coverage. From what I've read on various news websites, it sounds like Sergio has a new vision for himself and hopefully it will all work out for him. As for Olazabal, it sounds like he's downplaying his potential and exercising caution regarding the prospect of a successful return to golf.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Second Verse the Same as the First

Once again, congratulations to Martin Kaymer who won the Dunhill Links today. This is his third consecutive stroke pay tournament win this year, four wins in a row if you count the Ryder Cup. This has been a stellar year for European Tour golf. Simply fantastic. I can't imagine what the rest of the year will be like.

Friday, October 08, 2010


I was listening to the PGA Tour Network this afternoon and they were complaining that Lee Westwood could become the #1 player in the world by not playing a tournament. They just didn't think that was fair to Tiger that he could lose his #1 ranking that way.

How about looking at the other side of that coin - exactly how fair is it to have a #1 player who has played as poorly as Tiger Woods this year? How fair is it to other players who've won two and three times this year and are higher up on the money list?

Bottom line, you people love the world rankings system when Tiger's at the top, you all need to suck it up and love it just as much when someone else is.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Interesting Comparison

I'm watching Mythbusters and I just realized that Tory reminds me of Bubba Watson.

Westwood Says No to Fed Ex Cup

Out today is this article which reports that Lee Westwood is not going to join the US PGA tour in 2011. Saying that he's happier to play in Europe, he cites another reason to avoid the Fed Ex Cup is wanting to spend time with his family.

Good for Lee. I think the European Tour needs its star players to play more in Europe.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I'm Not Always This Slow

I thought of something earlier this morning...... If Jose Maria Olazabal was a last minute add to the European Team because of the weather's effect on the schedule, then how was it that they had a closing ceremony suit that fit him???

I'm thinking Colin Montgomerie is even more sneaky than anyone has given him credit for and there's more to this story....

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Great Win for Europe

I didn't get to watch much of the singles matches today since I had to go to work, but I snuck a peek at the BBC news website and kept up on the results. I can't believe this turned into such a nailbiter with Europe winning by the skin of their teeth.

So, here are a few things that thrilled me this week:
Sergio, Miguel and Jose Maria together on the team. I am a big Spanish golf fan and I don't think I could have gotten over the absence of Jose Maria Olazabal if he hadn't agreed to help out this weekend. I'm thrilled that Miguel Angel Jimenez won his match today. He may not get very many more chances to play for the Ryder Cup and I know the win was a special one for him. And I hope being a part of the team helps Sergio Garcia regain his passion for golf and sets him back on the path to great competitive golf in the future. He's a top ten player and should always be there competing with the best in the sport.

Ross Fisher, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. The pairing of McDowell and McIlroy was spectacular and Fisher and Poulter have the competitive fire that stirs up the crowds. It was great watching them.

Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. How much do I love this pair who brought down the Woods-Stricker pairing? It's unquantifiable. That's how much.

The Molinaris were a great story this week and the half point they earned on Sunday made all the difference. As Colin Montgomerie said, it's that much more difficult to win that extra half a point.

The image of that huge crowd all focused on McDowell and Mahan was just stupendous. I can't imagine the pressure they were feeling. Mahan's of course wasn't as great as McDowell's, after all, McDowell was on home soil. His critics were a lot closer than Mahan's so a failure for him would be much more painful.

I really liked how the teams had to play everyone on Saturday/Sunday. It's a shame the Ryder Cup format isn't like that each time but I guess it would take away from some of the strategic element of the Cup competition.

Not as thrilling but just as interesting:

Corey Pavin didn't seem to have a problem playing all of his players. In 2006 I had a problem with how Lehman didn't play his players, including his picks. But Pavin either didn't have an issue with it or couldn't afford one due to the weather. At least he didn't project a lack of interest or confidence in any of his players and that was great.

I'm a little tired of the US captains always saying "these guys know what they need to do. I don't need to give speeches." They've lost 6 of the last 8 Ryder Cups, I suspect the players might not know what to do. But keep on believing that US captains, I would like to see Europe continue to be successful.

Johnny Miller is fantastic. I don't care what the players think about him. He makes golf watching fun and he says what other people are too afraid to say. I think Phil Mickelson would have been a very successful car salesman. He has the gift of gab and that million dollar smile that would send you away in a way too expensive SUV that you can't possibly afford. And bless Johnny's heart, he said that Lee Westwood is probably the #1 player in the world right now, never mind what the rankings say.

I always question why the Ryder Cup golfers don't play the same way when they aren't playing for the Ryder Cup. These guys this week made huge putts and hit great approach shots. You don't see that any other time on Tour (Bubba Watson might be the exception. He goes for broke every round). I wish they would take a little bit of the Ryder Cup with them back to their respective tours.

.......... So now it's on to the next European Tour event and my patient waiting for the next event that Sergio and Jose Maria play.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Another Great Day at the Ryder Cup

Today's matches were exciting and tense. The fans who bought tickets got their money's worth and those of us watching on TV were thoroughly entertained. The European team whooped up on the USA team and only need 5 points to win the Cup tomorrow. I'm having to record the coverage tomorrow since I'll be at work but hopefully it will be a total European team highlight film. I may have to go out to my car a couple of times tomorrow to listen to Sirius/XM and get updates.

I love Johnny Miller's analysis and commentary. So many times when I'm watching golf on tv I ask the people on tv what tournament they are watching because what they are saying is completely contradictory to what I'm seeing (most usually it's a Tiger Love-fest). But with Johnny Miller, I don't have to ask that question.

I got to see Jose Maria Olazabal again today on tv which thrilled me to no end. And Sergio was having a lot of fun, especially following Westwood and Donald in their win over Stricker and Woods. Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson won a point for the team and the Molinari brothers refused to be beaten, eaking out a half point for the team.

Someone in the last few days referred to Westwood as "Westy". Please don't. When you do that, I think of the little dogs.

As for the pairings for tomorrow's singles, I think Colin Montgomerie has done a great job. He's steered away from the 'sucker matches' (those that fans may want to see but strategically would be a huge negative for the team) and it looks like the line-up should hopefully earn the 5 points needed for a European team win.

I hope they do win and I hope my dvd will run long enough to record the celebration. I want to see how much a win means to Monty.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

An Interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez

Here's a pre-Ryder Cup interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez.

An Interview with Jose Maria Olazabal

Here's an interview conducted with Jose Maria Olazabal this week before the Ryder Cup began. It's an interesting read.

I'm in heaven with Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia serving as vice captains for Monty and Miguel Angel Jimenez playing on the team.

A Few Ryder Cup Thoughts

Colin Montgomerie must feel like he's gone to Disneyland. His team is leading in all 6 uncompleted matches overnight. He now has Jose Maria Olazabal as a vice captain along with Sergio Garcia. He had Seve Ballesteros call in to talk to the team before the matches began. Montgomerie has done everything possible to realize his dream of captaining a winning Ryder Cup team, including uniting all of the European team heroes in this one endeavor this week. Now all the players have to do is win. I hope they do.

Steve Stricker must be a tired fellow after having to lug around a 200+ pound albatross for these first couple of days of matches.

Tom Lehman is an assistant captain? Yeah, I'd want someone who lost when he was captain to work for me. You'd think he could have at least helped out on the raingear debacle.

I'm glad they had the 6 match catch-up session today with all 24 golfers playing. It was a great gift to the fans who've had to deal with all of the bad weather. And of course, I think every team member should play before Sunday singles.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kaymer Wins Again!!!!

My player to watch (see the sidebar for the link), Martin Kaymer, has won again. That's three wins, including one major, and a spot on the Ryder Cup team. This has been a thrilling year for the European Tour, so many great winners and hopefully a great win at the Ryder Cup.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Hilarious Must Read

You've got to read this oh so funny offering from David Feherty. I think it's some of his best work.

A Thrilling Win

I was lucky enough to watch the final round of the Omega European Masters today and was thrilled to see Miguel Angel Jimenez win. Eduardo Molinari came in second and gave all of the Ryder Cup fans something to look forward to.

As for the Ryder Cup, pick Padraig Harrington missed the cut and is now out of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. Justin Rose missed the cut but is still in a great position to win the Cup. I hope he does. I really, really, really hope he does. A win would say so much more than any well chosen phrases could.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ryder Cup Role for Sergio

According to NBC Sports, Sergio Garcia has been named as an assistant captain of the European Ryder Cup Team. So, I have another reason to watch it this year.

2010 European Ryder Cup Team

According to this article, this is the list of the full European Team:

Lee Westwood
Rory McIlroy
Martin Kaymer
Graeme McDowell
Ian Poulter
Ross Fisher
Francesco Molinari
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Peter Hanson
Eduardo Molinari
Luke Donald
Padraig Harrington

My thoughts: Harrington should be out and Justin Rose should be in. The article says it all, Harrington apparently didn't win squat in the 2006 and 2008 editions of the Ryder Cup and Rose won 3 points, two with Poulter and 1 by beating Phil Mickelson.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Have to Post This

I was reading the newspaper at work the other day while in the attorney's office. The headline was "Tiger Can Help the US Ryder Cup Team". I said, "Well, he could pass out bottles of water."

The attorney laughed and called me cold. Insert your lawyer jokes here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kaymer Wins!!!!!!

I am so excited that Martin Kaymer has won the PGA Championship. I have been a big fan of his ever since he first joined the European PGA Tour. If you search this blog, you'll find countless supportive posts. And if you look over in the side bar, you'll see that I chose him for this year's player to watch. And everyone watched him win today. At least he should finally get on the Ryder Cup team this time.

Bubba Watson played well today and he has a great attitude. As for Dustin Johnson, all I'm going to say is why did anyone bother with gallery ropes if they are going to let the gallery traipse all over the playing course and tear up bunkers? Why not let them trample all over the greens too while they're at it? Seems like the people in charge of the course and set-up took the lazy way out and someone got penalized for it. Didn't the announce crew say some guy was hired to count the bunkers and he quit because it couldn't be done?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Does Is Become Was?

I saw in the USA Today newspaper today that Corey Pavin said he would give Tiger a spot on the Ryder Cup team because 'he's the best player in the world'.


Right now, today, could he really beat every other player in the world?

I don't think so. He hasn't been able to beat several players all year long. Even before what the Golf Channel refers to diplomatically as his 'accident' in November, he couldn't beat YE Yang at the PGA.

I say he's in the 'was' category currently. When or if he does beat every other player in the world again, maybe he can return to the present tense.

As for the Ryder Cup. Go ahead and pick him. I'm a European Team fan and having Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup can only be the best thing to happen to the European Team.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sergio to Take a 2 Month Break

According to this article, Sergio Garcia will be taking a two month break after the PGA Championship and will skip both the Fed Ex Cup and the Ryder Cup. The article quotes Sergio as saying he has never had a break that long in his career and he needs to be able to miss the game.

When you think about golf and all of the players, it's rare that you'll find a player with a 12 year career who hasn't had a long break. Most of the time the players will suffer some kind of injury that would force them to sit out for a while, or they will hover around the edge of retaining their tour cards or going back to Q School. But Sergio has been pretty healthy so far and dedicated to being a full time member on both the European and US PGA Tours, which requires quite a few more tournaments to play than some of the other big names' schedules in the sport.

I think it's a good idea for Sergio to take a break. To me, it doesn't sound like two months would be long enough. I don't think I'd start to miss my job if I was gone for two months. It might take six. Or six years. But I guess that's why golf is a passion and a job is a job.

As for the Ryder Cup, Team Europe will be the strongest it's been in recent years, even without Sergio. There are so many really good players to choose from. Sergio might be missed, but he knows he's leaving the Ryder Cup in the very capable hands of his fellow European competitors and he is being very generous in giving someone a chance to play in his absence, proving that Sergio is a solid, committed team player, even when he isn't there.

Bridgestone Invitational Pics

The new WGC Statue, Mike Weir and JB Holmes.

Bridgestone Pics

Boo Weekley, Sergio Garcia, Rhys Davies and Martin Laird.

Bridgestone Pics

Graeme McDowell, Robert Karlsson, Oliver Wilson and Angel Cabrera.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bridgestone Invitational Trip: Friday

I didn't take very many notes today. So, I'll have to rely on my memory.

On the bus on the way to the course, a little kid said, "Tiger's the best player in the world. But yesterday he sucked." Haha. The kid got half of it right, Tiger did suck on Thursday. And Friday, and now Saturday.

I was sitting in the unreserved section on the first tee and a marshal brought four kids up to stand right in front of me and lean on the rail. First, they aren't supposed to lean against the rail. Second, they aren't supposed to stand. Third, they aren't supposed to block anyone else's view. And these weren't the only people to do this. There was another marshal standing right next to me and he did absolutely nothing to stop this. I hope the marshal with the kids gets the boot and isn't allowed to participate next year. He obviously only signed up so he could get some free perks.

The groups I followed today were Martin Kaymer and Tim Clark and Justin Rose and Paul Casey. But I managed to see all of the players in this section of the draw.

Looking over the pairings sheet, it looks like there were only 4 players this week that I didn't see or haven't seen in the past: David Horsey, Charl Schwartzel, Ryo Ishikawa, and Dustin Johnson. But I think I might have seen Schwartzel before and don't remember it.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with some cute little games I've thought of to amuse you if you ever go to a golf tournament and there's a lull in the action:

1. Guess the Age: No, this isn't guess the age of the trophy wife on the arm of the male spectator in front of you. This is guess the age of the really old woman drinking beer at 9am. Extra points if the woman's got an oxygen bottle or a hoverround. (My mom's on oxygen and has a power chair (although she doesn't drink) so don't think I'm being derogatory. And oddly enough, I saw two people with her chair on the grounds this week. It was neat seeing that little chair just go across the grass and tree roots.)

2. Who's Your Daddy: Using your powers of deductive reasoning, determine if the kid with the grown-up is in fact that adult's child, or a child he's rented for the day in order to get autographs to sell on ebay.

3. Hoof It: Identify the spectator's motives and objectives from their choice of footwear. Seriously, I saw women walking all over the course with stiletto heels.

The trip home was kind of tough for the first hour. I was falling asleep at the wheel thanks to the otc allergy medication I was taking. So, I pulled off the interstate and stopped at a McDonalds. I figured I would go to the restroom and get some soda to try to keep me awake. Well, the restroom only had one stall and I think a family had taken up residence in there. The woman had two mobile kids and a baby. I'm guessing she was changing the baby's diaper but she may have been breastfeeding for as long as it took her. If it was a diaper thing, you'd think she would know how those worked after the first two kids. But after that brief stop I got back on the interstate and was wide awake enough to start yelling at the traffic. I could tell the vacation was over the more irritated I got.

And then I come home to find that Terry Gannon has joined the Golf Channel? While I am very pleased to be able to hear his wonderful voice covering golf, I certainly hope he doesn't become a Tiger worshipper just because everyone else is. I hope he remains neutral and just reports the facts.

Bridgestone Invitational Trip: Thursday

Looking at the notes I took, it looks like this is going to be a short post. First, it was cold this morning. The weather forecasters had the nerve to say this was a hot, humid, muggy day. Hah! Not even close.

I followed Sergio and Bill Haas for several holes today. They talked non-stop it seemed. I like seeing the pairings get along and apparently these two had some good conversations going on. Sergio's dad followed them as well and he ended up next to me a couple of times. He smiled at me once and probably would have spoken to me if I wasn't so fearfully shy. I know it's hard to believe that I would be shy given my outspokenness on the blog, but it's a lot different when the people are right in front of you. Another interesting thing about this pairing is the number of times they hit the ball the same distance. They were really well matched.

The most memorable moment following this group had to be what I like to call "Running Man". As we were all moving up to the green, I think on the 6th hole, I saw a very skinny man who was wearing only shoes and very short red silk "running" shorts. Seriously, he was darn near naked. I tried not to laugh at him but when I saw Bill Haas's caddie look over at the guy, I just had to smile. I hope someone escorted that guy off the grounds.

Later on, I followed Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. On the 16th, Fisher hit his tee shot into the rough outside the ropes (that was #4 hit in my direction this week). I was lucky enough to stand close enough behind him to see the embroidery on the back of his pants. Did you know he's got a little fish (trout I think in honor of the manufacturer) on his pocket? So cute. And he smelled quite nice too with whatever cologne he was wearing. It was a very nice moment until his caddie tried to check the wind and threw grass on me. He didn't do it on purpose of course. It was the wind. Fate again was trying to get me to acknowledge bad luck. But I refused.

Bridgestone Invitational Trip: Wednesday

Wednesday for me began at the practice range. I saw Simon Dyson, Camilo Villegas, Sean O'Hair, and Hunter Mahan. Rickie Fowler came out in pink. He looks like a 12 year old Shaun Cassidy-type. Where's his zany tv sit-com? I have figured out why the girls like him though. He decided to do a little stretching on the practice tee and bent over and wiggled his butt. Some other golfers on the practice tee: Gregory Bourdy, Jason Day, Hennie Otto, Stuart Appleby, K.J. Choi, Justin Rose, James Kingston, Alvaro Quiros, Henrik Stenson, and Ross Fisher.

On the first tee, right behind the tee box, there are a set of bleachers. What you all don't know is that there are two signs on those bleachers that say "reserved for Bridgestone until 2:00pm". So, don't think if you buy a ticket and come to the course that you'll be able to sit where you want on those bleachers. The 'special' people (sponsors) get preferential treatment. So, it isn't all about the fans.

I saw Ian Poulter today and he wasn't sporting his traditional spiky hair. He looked very traditional, if you can believe it. I can only hope it was just a case of running out of hair gel.

I also saw Jim Furyk and Peter Hanson as they walked by and followed Jason Day, Stuart Appleby and Justin Rose for a couple holes of their practice round.

Padraig Harrington hit the ball into the rough outside the ropes on 16 during his practice round, and after he played from there, he signed some autographs. That's the right kind of spirit to have out there.

In the Rose-Day-Appleby group, there was one player who it in the rough on 16 but no one claimed it. The marshal picked up the ball and gave it to the only kid around. Rhys Davies also it in the rough but he didn't play it. The marshal tossed it back onto the fairway.

That's three times a ball flew in my direction on the course. Of course, it was on the 16th hole, the most likely to have wild drives. And I figured Rhys Davies would be one of the guys to do it since he's new to the course so I stuck around to see. It happens one more time this week so stay tuned.

Bridgestone Invitational Trip: Tuesday

Players I saw today: Angel Cabrera, Bubba Watson (Who ESPN referred to as Bo Watson. And they are supposed to be the leader in sports? Please boycott ESPN until they learn their jobs.), Heath Slocum, Robert Karlsson, Graeme McDowell, Oliver Wilson, Martin Laird, Rhys Davies, Sergio Garcia, Marcus Fraser, Boo Weekley, Martin Kaymer, Chad Campbell, Mike Weir, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh, JB Holmes and Henrik Stenson.


The weather forecasters got it all wrong today. It rained off and on all day, and as I thought all three news stations couldn't be wrong, I didn't bring an umbrella. As a result, I spent a lot of time in the pro-shop looking at outrageously expensive t-shirts.

Some men must bathe in aftershave. Several minutes after one zipped by me on a golf cart, the smell still lingered. Maybe he should have just taken a real bath with soap.

Sergio and Rhys Davies actually practiced out of the rough today. Usually if players hit the ball into the rough, they will just pick it up during their practice rounds and not play it, as if there was some kind of superstition about it, tempting fate and all that. But I think they should practice more out of the rough. I mean, they should know how to play from the fairway by now.

There is a barnyard type smell here on the course. It took me a while, but I finally figured out what it reminds me of - it smells like the part of my parents' flower bed where all the neighborhood cats do their business. I'm sure that wasn't what the groundskeepers were going for, but there you have it. (It's the mulch around the trees.)

In keeping with my personal belief that rules are just suggestions, I saw a woman today with a huge purse, much larger than the 6 inch by 6 inch by 6 inch regulation that is supposed to be enforced during the event. (Actually I saw several women with huge purses during the week.) And I saw one man (a spectator) with a cell phone. I took his picture for proof, but won't post it here. There are all kinds of crazy people who would love to sue if their picture made it on to the web so the picture will stay with me. But it does make me wonder just how secure the tournament is if the rules aren't being stringently enforced. It's no wonder Sergio has security go around with him during his rounds.

On Facebook, I asked the Bridgestone Invitational folks where you go if there's inclement weather. Their answer was to leave the course altogether and get a handstamp to be able to re-enter the event when the all clear sounds. The problem with this is that there's no where to go once you get that handstamp and walk out on the other side of the gate. There are no permanent structures to take shelter in and if you arrive on a bus from the public parking area, then you're stuck waiting 10-15 minutes outside for a bus to show up. I'm sure their lawyers told them to say that to limit their liability in case of lightning strikes, but common sense will tell you that lightning doesn't recognize a boundary such as an admissions gate. The Bridgestone people have been great all week answering fans' questions, but I think with this one, they dropped the ball.

Crazy fan story: A fan yelled at Sergio, "You've got a lot of fans here this week Sergio!" To which, Sergio replied "Thank you." Then the fan said, "Hey Caddie, you want a day off?" He'll be yelling "Get in the hole!" by the end of the week.

I applaud the golfers for their patience with autograph seekers. Today the same guy got Sergio's autograph like three times as Sergio moved from one green to the next tee. The guy just kept getting back in line (and getting in front of other autograph seekers). You know this guy was just looking to sell stuff on ebay.

Other Trip Thoughts: The Red Roof Inn has the firmest beds in the world. People who sleep on slabs of rocks in the jungle are probably more comfortable than I've been. And poor Lebron James. After watching the Cleveland news, I really feel for him and wish him the best of luck in Miami. By the end of the week, you start thinking, "No wonder he left."

Bridgestone Invitational Trip: Monday

Monday was a travelling day. I was happy to see that there was less road construction going on in Ohio this year. That helped with my cruise control and I averaged about 31.9 mpg. My car is rated at 18-28 mpg. Every state should lower its speed limits.

I was also fighting bad luck on this day, a theme that continued through the rest of the week. Friday I hit my cat with my car (she's hobbling around but is otherwise alert and active so hopefully she will be ok). Monday I was dropping everything.

Another theme that continued through the rest of the week was the cold. I got into my hotel room and had to turn the heat on. It was 85 degrees outside and I was freezing. I froze the whole week. It is so nice to be back in WV today and out in the sun.

Magic word of the day: Inflamed Cumulonimbus. The weather forecaster used this and the news guys were having great fun with it. Too bad they couldn't accurately forecast the weather. While they claimed it wasn't going to rain, it did end up raining some just about every day I was there. For all of you who might want to travel around the Great Lakes area - just assume it's going to rain or snow (depending on your season). Don't even bother to listen to the forecast. It did eventually become laughable when the forecasters throughout the week would say "It's going to be hot and humid folks. Really miserable." and I would be freezing and thinking, "Is this what you think hot is?"

Oh, and just a curious bit of trivia: This weekend in the Akron area you have the final two rounds of the Bridgestone Invitational, the Football Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and the Twins convention in Twinsburg.


I was watching Golf Central this morning and Craig Kann and Frank Nobilo actually made a distinction between being the #1 ranked player in the world and being the world's best player. I am so disgusted by the media's seemingly blind ignorance of Tiger's bargain basement, worst player in the field play that we're seeing lately. The whole reason the World Rankings system was created was to identify the world's best player. For the media to blantantly ignore that system and just proclaim whoever they want to be the world's best player is so irresponsible that they should not be considered "news media" and should be renamed "agenda-promoting fan club". It's obvious that the more they talk up Tiger, the more advertising dollars they receive, some from the same companies Tiger has deals with. This is a blatant conflict of interest and could be seen as the media being on the payroll of companies like Nike.

As for the rankings system, I have been critical of it in the past. It seems like the rankings tell us more about who was #1 a year ago rather than who's #1 now and the system should be revamped to be more responsive to the current year's results. Tiger can coast with sucky play for a year before he loses his #1 ranking? That isn't a legitimate reflection of what's going on in the world of golf.

So now, thanks to the media, we are going to have the new label "best #1 ranked player to never have been the world's best player". Ridiculous.

Phil Mickelson, should he attain the #1 ranking, deserves all of the accolades that come with it. I guess I'll have to do the job the media won't and give him his due here. I urge all other bloggers to do the same.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Greenbrier Classic

I'm sure you've all been wondering why this West Virginian hasn't weighed in on the Greenbrier Classic yet. Truthfully, I haven't been watching the Golf Channel leading up to the tournament, and the newspapers I've read all say the same things. It seems the articles are just copied from one paper to the other (and one website to another on the web). But I guess I can offer some opinions:

1. People were saying the course was too easy. It looked to me like the golfers were working pretty hard today. DA Points and Jeff Overton were fighting for every drive, every iron shot, every bunker shot, every putt. If the course was so easy, why then didn't Stuart Appleby shoot a 58? Or a 57? Or that hypothetical 54 that Annika Sorenstam always thought was achievable? Yes the scores were low, but the golfers played their butts off too.

2. Where were the clowns and face painting booths? With all of the attractions and concerts, you would expect clowns, balloons, face painting etc. I'm not sure I like all of the extra stuff. Although I do support a fun hole in one prize. We need more fun on the PGA Tour. And I love the 18th hole being a par 3. After stretching things out for 17 holes and all of those shots, it's cool to have it all come down to one swing and one putt.

3. They should have done a special about how the course had been reconstructed from decades old pictures. Nick Faldo was downright giddy over the process and it sounds like it would be fascinating to learn about.

4. I'm reserving judgment on Jim Justice. As a West Virginian, I have to be suspicious of coal barons. Time will tell what he's like.

5. West Virginia papers need to try a little harder in the accuracy department. They misidentified Davis Love in a picture earlier this week. And for some reason, one of the papers thinks it's supposed to put the author's name as the jump head when putting the rest of the golf article on a different page. The article was about Paul Goydos, the jump head was the writer's name. Obviously, since I didn't know who the writer was, I missed the second half of the article on Paul Goydos. Lucky for me, I saw the whole Paul Goydos 59 thing a few weeks ago on the Golf Channel. I'm sure the local paper hadn't added any new information.

6. It's good that Sergio Garcia joined Kenny Perry in donating money to the miners' fund. I don't care what people say about Sergio's commitment to the sport, or his attitude, or his technique. His heart is in the right place and you really can't argue with that.

I'll be attending the Bridgestone Invitational this coming week. I'm taking my iPod Touch so hopefully I can check in and post a few little things on the blog, twitter, and Facebook. Not too much, though, because it's very difficult typing on those little buttons. And of course, the iPod stays away from the course. Not only is that a rule, but I'd probably lose it in the rough on 16 as well.

Another 59

Every year I've attended the Bridgestone Invitational I've seen this man in the gallery sporting a shirt that says "Stuart's Stalwarts" and "Appleby's Accolytes". Saturday, I read through the list of eligible players for this year's Bridgestone Invitational and noted that Appleby's name was absent from the list. I wondered what Stuart's Stalwart would do if his player wasn't there in Akron competing this coming week. Would he still show his support and wear the shirts? Maybe Stuart wondered about him as well. It seemed like Stuart went out today with the sole goal of winning the tournament. He was methodical, automatic, and could only see through the very narrow window that allowed the ball to get from the tee to the hole with as little effort as possible. Appleby shot a 59 and still had to wait to see if he had won. If he had guaranteed his spot at Bridgestone. If his Stalwart and Accolyte would again be able to show his unwavering support. I hope Stuart's Stalwarts are out in force in Akron. I for one will be looking for them.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

British Open Backlash

I've been seeing some comments on the web about how this Open was boring, ho-hum, far from great. That makes me a little angry. Substitute Woods' name for Oosthuizen's and you'd be seeing comments like "the greatest exhibition of golf in the modern era". But because it's Louis Oosthuizen, for some reason, people feel justified in diminishing the greatness of his accomplishment. Shame on you nay-sayers. This final round was every bit as exciting as a playoff victory. There was just as much suspense in wondering if Oosthuizen would collapse, if Casey would surge, if the weather would beat them both. I can only hope given time for reflection, the nay-sayers will recognize the great golf that was played today. There are no asterisks, no buts, no except fors, Oosthuizen beat everyone today. He is the Champion Golfer of the Year.

A Great Open

I watched most of the final round of the British Open today and was thrilled to see Louis Oosthuizen win. The announcers kept saying that he'd come from nowhere and no one knew who he was. Well, if you watch the European Tour coverage, you know who Louis Oosthuizen is. The US announcers just need to do their homework a little better. They get a little lazy, only studying up on Woods and Mickelson.

It was a sad day for Paul Casey. I was really hoping he would take it to Oosthuizen since I doubted the others could make up that many shots to be in contention. But even though that didn't happen, the final round was a good one to watch.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

All's Right in Golf, Sergio is Feeling Better Now

Thank goodness this moment of uncertainty has been resolved. According to this article, Sergio has thought about things and found a new attitude on Saturday. His played reflected that as he went eagle, birdie on the front nine with some nice, positive play. The article quoted Sergio as saying he still thought he needed a rest. I think that too. He's been playing year after year since he was 18-19 years old without a real break. A lot of golfers get that break by not securing their tour cards or not playing well enough to get into majors or now the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. But Sergio has been playing a full schedule for all these years now, complete with international travel which has to be grueling.

I just hope he doesn't start his break until after the Bridgestone Invitational. I'm planning to go to that tournament and I'd really like to see him.

Olazabal Has a New Gig

It's been announced that Jose Maria Olazabal will be representing Nespresso coffee this year in conjunction with Ryder Cup activities. I'm happy to see Olazabal do anything these days. So happy, that I would probably buy some of this coffee if it was for sale here in my little WV town. And I don't drink coffee.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Say It Ain't So, Sergio!

I just read this article that says Sergio Garcia is contemplating quitting golf! Now, I'm the first one to say do what makes you happy, but I really wish Sergio would stick with golf and just change how he feels about it. I think he's turned golf into a chore, like cleaning my cat's litter box, when he should probably try to get back to a time when golf was a fun game.

In those immortal words by the Partridge Family, "Come on get happy!"

British Open so far

Early this morning I turned the tv on to watch a little bit of the British Open. Louis Oosthuizen (spelled that right without looking) was leading at -12 and I said to Winnie, PJ and Parker (my dogs and cat) that I thought -12 could be leading after round two. And it looks like I might be right on that. I didn't expect Rory McIlroy to shoot an 80 though. I figured he might be a couple under par at best and maybe a couple over par at worst. Yesterday the announcers said the golfers who had good weather on Thursday would have good weather on Friday. But from what I could tell, no one had good weather today. Some other good stories to follow this year are Mark Calcavecchia, John Daly and Steven Tiley. I'm really thrilled that John Daly is doing so well. He's worked really hard to turn his golf game and his life around and it's about time he sees some positive results.

I thought it was interesting that at the start of the day today, it only took Mark Calcavecchia's group just under four hours to play a round of golf, but on the PGA Tour network this evening, they said it was taking Tiger Woods' group over 6 hours (7 if you add in some kind of delay). I like Calcavecchia's get 'er done attitude.

Some scores so far:

Miguel Angel Jimenez -5 and T6
Graeme McDowell -5 and T6
Martin Kaymer -4 T15
John Daly -2 T28
Sergio Garcia -2 T28

I had to look up Sergio's score. I haven't heard anyone talk about him these last two days. It got to a point where I wondered if he was even playing this year, but then I remembered a picture of him in the USA Today paper on Thursday.

I might watch some this weekend. It depends on how much coverage they devote to Tiger. I liked hearing Mike Tirico, Andy North and Judy Rankin again. They really are great announcers/analysts.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just How Good is Steve Stricker?

I've had no phone service since Wednesday which also means no internet access. So, I actually spent some time watching golf this weekend. Steve Stricker is playing phenomenal golf at the John Deere Classic. He has to be one of the best all around players on tour and hopefully he will now get some of the attention he deserves.

Instead of figuring the #1 ranking on money, they should instead factor in those qualities that make a person a well-rounded, respected individual. Good values mean a lot more at the end of the day, or the end of a career, than a long number with a dollar sign in front. And I'm betting guys like Steve Stricker already know that.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

4th of July

Justin Rose, of Great Britain, won the AT&T National today, a rebound of sorts from last week's final round troubles. Could it be that this year we might have a Player of the Year based on heart and intestinal fortitude rather than bank accounts and political clout? I hope so. There've been a lot of good players over the last decade who haven't had the recognition they deserve. Maybe this year will be Justin's.

Over in France, Miguel Angel Jimenez won that tournament in a playoff against Canizares and Molinari. Way to go for Jimenez who hasn't been lighting up the tour lately. Jose Maria Olazabal had rounds of 82, 70 the first two days. That second round proves just what kind of spectacular player he is. He will play in the Pro-Am this week in Ireland.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Round Up

Bubba Watson won his first tournament ever as a pro today at the Travelers Championship. Good for him. He's a good guy who plays golf with a "hold my drink and watch this" attitude which is way more fun for the spectators than the "ooh, better play it safe and protect my fed ex cup points" approach.

The European Tour saw a first time winner today too in David Horsey. Congratulations to him too.

Interestingly, both tournaments had third round leaders who fell back in the final round.

And according to this article, Jose Maria Olazabal plans to play in the French Open. I really hope he can put his ailments behind him and play well. Golf misses the two time Masters winner and Ryder Cup legend. So do I.

Monday, June 21, 2010

US Open

Congratulations to Graeme McDowell on his US Open win. I didn't watch any of the tournament but did check out the scores periodically last night. It was great seeing two European Tour guys at the top of the board in McDowell and Havret.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good Luck With That...

I just read this little blurb that said Colin Montgomerie is planning on giving Sergio Garcia a Ryder Cup Pep Talk. This on the heels of Sergio 'reportedly' stating that if he didn't feel his form was good enough for the Ryder Cup would consider not accepting a wild card if offered one.

Is Colin Montgomerie the right guy to give anyone a pep talk? I don't think I've ever seen him happy. Well, he probably was the day they gave him the Ryder Cup Captaincy. But Pollyanna he isn't.

Personally, I think it's just fine if Sergio does in fact opt out of the Ryder Cup if he feels his level of play is not the best. Maybe Martin Kaymer might actually get on the team this time after being a little snubbed last time (yes, I know he was invited to watch the event. That's like inviting Miss America's first runner up to come and watch Miss America participate in a photo shoot with Brad Pitt.) Frankly, it's a sign of just how much the Ryder Cup means to Sergio if he makes way for someone playing better to participate. The important thing is for the team to win, not so much for this player or that player to participate.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Olazabal Wins Again!

Here's a brief report on Jose Maria Olazabal's success at the Wentworth Pro-Am. I am so happy that he found some success this week while battling his ailments.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maybe It's About Job Satisfaction

I found out this morning that Hank Haney has 'resigned' as Tiger's coach. There's a lot of speculation floating around on the web, along with a lot of negative comments. Well, here's my take on it: How much satisfaction can Hank Haney actually get from working with Tiger Woods? The guy's the #1 player in the world. There isn't a lot of room for improvement there. I think Haney actually got some 'hey this feels great' emotions from working with Barkley and Romano and he's probably decided that he would rather work with really bad players so he can see that what he does is making a difference. Unfortunately, during his time with Tiger, Haney never did stop Tiger from hitting the gallery folks in the head with the golf balls. I may still need a helmet if I go to Bridgestone this year and Tiger shows up.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Very Popular Win

I got to watch both the third and fourth rounds of the Players Championship this week and I was fortunate to see Tim Clark finally get a US PGA Tour win. And what a win it is - the Players Championship. Tim played great all day, as did Robert Allenby who had a chance to win the tournament too. Lee Westwood had another tough final round and wasn't able to finish off the tournament the way he wanted to.

I had a lot of fun watching this event this year. There were a lot of good stories to keep an eye on. And I didn't hear very much about Tiger all weekend. Yes, he withdrew today with an alleged injury, but NBC didn't harp on it. They noted it and then moved on to cover the golf. NBC has the best golf coverage with the Golf Channel's European Tour announcers coming in second.

Checking out the Golf Channel's postgame coverage now. They are trying to cover the actual golf news but they did take some time to discuss Tiger's situation. It's funny how some of them are acting like Tiger betrayed them by not disclosing this injury sooner. LOL. They were very willing to do whatever Tiger wanted before the scandal. They never posed tough questions to him and never challenged him in any way. Now they think he somehow should have to answer to the media for everything. The media helped create the Tiger Woods persona they are now criticising. I think they should accept that and not act like victims whenever Tiger decides to keep some things private.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Masters Thoughts

There shouldn't be too many of these thoughts since I only watched the last 40 minutes or so. I checked the leaderboard and saw that Anthony Kim was already in the clubhouse at -12 so I knew Tiger wasn't going to win and could then watch the rest of the tournament.

Unfortunately, I tuned in just before they interviewed Tiger. So, I had to switch the channel and ended up watching a little bit of Judge Judy. Which is pretty funny when you think that maybe what Tiger needs is Judge Judy yelling at him.

Where did Phil Mickelson find all of those putts? He wasn't putting like that earlier in the year. I watched the highlights of his round and it seems like this tournament/round was just meant to be for him. No bogeys and some amazing recovery shots.

Wonder if Lee Westwood had a chance to talk to Phil about his choice of wedges since Westwood had plenty to say about it earlier in the year when the whole groovy groove thing was going on.

It is fitting that Phil should win since he has such a wholesome family and relationship with his wife. This is the statement that the PGA Tour needs to be making to the world, especially the mainstream media who would have never covered any golf if it hadn't been for scandal.

And I have to single out Fred Couples 6th place finish and Matteo's low amateur honor. How great are those accomplishments?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey, Me Too

I just read this article which reports Jose Maria Olazabal will miss the Masters this year due to his rheumatism problems. I'll be missing the Masters too but for a different reason. I have no plans to watch Tiger play. And Olazabal may actually be one of the lucky golfers by not being there to have to deal with the media circus that will undoubtedly converge on Augusta. The non-sports media may not be allowed on the grounds, but the Masters people can't control the whole town and surrounding areas. I'm sure the golfers competing this year will have to deal with a bunch of media nonsense.

And really, is the Masters really the best time for Tiger to return? Women go there to protest the unequal treatment of not being allowed to play the course. Tiger's not exactly Mr. Respect the Woman these days. I can't see this going well. Good thing I'll be missing it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great News!!!

No, not that news that was announced today on major tv networks.

I'm talking about the news I just read about Sergio Garcia. He's going to play the Greenbrier Classic this year! Yes indeed, Sergio's coming to WV!

Now, do I go to that tournament, somewhere I've never been and would undoubtedly get lost, or do I go to Bridgestone again?

I may not go anywhere if I can't get a dog sitter.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Out of Touch

I didn't watch any golf this weekend. I heard that it was raining in both PGA Tour events and I didn't want to be depressed by the rain. My mind is already on summer and warm, sunny weather.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

An Update on Seve

I found this article that contains an update on Seve Ballesteros. Apparently there is going to be a special 4 hole event on the eve of this year's British Open in which Seve plans to take part. I hope he continues to do well with his health and I hope he does well at this special event.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Wow, How Cranky

I was watching the Honda Classic on the Golf Channel earlier and was surprised at how bitter and cranky Brandel Chamblee has become. He used to be more personable. Graeme McDowell called a penalty on himself and Brandel still chastised him. I don't know what's wrong with him but he needs to find some happiness in his life.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Olazabal and McGinley Health Concerns

I just read a column from a British Online News website that discussed Jose Maria Olazabal's and Paul McGinley's health problems and how they could impact their chances at captaining future Ryder Cup teams. Olazabal is apparently still battling tendonitis brought on by his rheumatism and Paul McGinley is recovering from a knee surgery. The idea being that the captain would be chosen because he has a close relationship to the players and these two wouldn't be on tour playing due to their injuries. I hope both recover and get back out on the course. The column also suggests that Colin Montgomerie would have a problem with Ian Poulter being on his Ryder Cup team since some people think they don't get along. I really think this Ryder Cup is going to go America's way. And I'm a true European Team fan.

I would provide a link to the column but it goes on to speculate on Tiger Woods and I'm not going to promote that. You all can google it and find the column if you want to read more.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another NBC Criticism

Back in time, after 9-11, the media repeatedly showed the WTC attack video until finally they, or public backlash, decided that it was not in good taste to keep showing the video that recorded so many lives lost. This weekend, NBC brought the footage out and showed it repeatedly during a feature on Newfoundland.

I bring this up because NBC has been making a big effort to tell the viewers that they aren't going to show the luger death video whenever they talk about him (of course this was after several airings in the first day or so after the incident). I wonder just how long NBC's decorum will last this time. Probably until 2014.

They say time heals all wounds. Unfortunately, it also seems to nullify some promises too.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Darn the Stats

I heard on PGA Tour Radio Network today that if Rickie Fowler wins this week he will be the youngest winner on Tour, setting a new record and knocking Tiger off that particular podium. I didn't like Fowler much before, but I might have to cheer for him this week just to see a Tiger record fall.

A Criticism of NBC

I've been watching the Olympics these past couple of weeks and there's been plenty of opportunity to study the NBC coverage of sports and mainstream news. The biggest criticism I have is about the one story they didn't seem to cover at all. The death of actor Andrew Koenig in Vancouver. This happened right in NBC's current backyard and it seemed as though they completely ignored it. For days leading up to the announcement of the actor's death, his parents and friends were pleading with him to contact them. Perhaps if someone from, say a world-wide media powerhouse, would have focused on this story maybe it could have had a different ending. We will never have an answer to that.

Contrast the Koenig story with a story that broke a little over a week ago - that of Tiger Woods' announcement. For this story, NBC interrupted their Olympic coverage and continued rehashing the 'non-statement' for a couple of days afterward.

For centuries people have debated the question: How much is one man's life worth? According to NBC it seems to be not as much as one man's sex life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Accenture Matchplay

I watched the final today between Ian Poulter and Paul Casey. It was a good final and had some great moments. The consolation match offered little consolation for Sergio as Camilo Villegas won. Some of the things I could have done without - the cold weather this morning. I don't want to see golfers wearing cold weather gloves while on the course. I could do without the desert. One of the reasons I started watching golf was all of the beautiful green grass on the courses.

Some may criticize Sergio for his lackluster performance in the last two matches he played. But, Paul Casey didn't blow anyone off the course in his last two matches either. Only they will know what happened in their matches though. Those of us watching on tv can only guess, and I prefer not to guess at all. Of course it could be said that Ian Poulter is just having a really, really great week. Nothing wrong with giving him his due.

The best statement of all coming out of this tournament is the fact that the top four players at the end of the week were all Non-Americans. Hopefully this is a good omen for the next Ryder Cup and the next Presidents' cup.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Need More Receivers

I need more satellite dish receivers in the house so I can record the Olympics on one, Top Gear on one and watch the Accenture World Matchplay. 4-5pm is going to be tough today. Top Gear vs Sergio. Maybe the local channel will help out by interrupting the golf to air some stupid basketball game. I think I might have to just write down the description of the Top Gear episode and then keep an eye out for a re-run later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Checking In

I guess the biggest news of the golfing day is the Tiger Woods statement. I was watching the Olympics coverage today and they kept talking about how people felt Tiger was taking attention away from the Olympics and that he shouldn't have done that. Well, if the media wouldn't cover him, then the attention would be on the Olympics. It was so stupid how NBC people were complaining but still showing clips from Tiger's announcement. I'm reminded of the old saying from the '60s: "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

More golfing news: Sergio Garcia has made it to the 4th round in the Accenture Matchplay event. He defeated his friend Tim Clark today and when last I heard anything on the PGA Tour network, he was set to face either Oliver Wilson or Luke Donald in the next round. A Garcia-Donald match would be worth watching. Paul Casey is also still in the event.

Olympics: The current controversy is in men's figure skating. The Russian competitor feels strongly that the quad jump should be a requirement for a Gold medal. The guy who won the Gold medal, the US guy, says that if skating was about jumps, then the judges would give you ten seconds to do the best jump you could and there wouldn't be a program with all of the different elements included. I have to agree with the US guy. Not that it's a bad thing to have the quad jump. But there are spins, footwork, and spiral sequences also and those have to be executed well too. It would be like turning golf into a long drive contest and not an 18 hole round of golf.

I've been recording a lot of Olympic coverage this week. Since I go to bed at 9pm, I end up missing out on things like the skating competition. So, I've recorded Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights' coverage. I missed Wednesday because I had to record the TNT show Leverage. I don't know when I'll be able to watch all of this stuff. There's still so much to watch this weekend too.

Interesting timing - House Hunters International on HGTV tonight is showing either the Dominican Republic or Haiti. I missed out on which side of the island they are on. But it's interesting that this is on after the earthquake.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Good Week for Golf

I just read on Facebook that David Duval finished tied for second in his event and that Fred Couples won on the Champions Tour. Yay to both! I really hope Duval can play this well all year long.

Now, back to the Olympics..........

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Hope The News Will Be Good

I just read an article on Sky Sports about Jesper Parnevik and was disheartened to read that Parnevik possibly faces a surgery that might bring about his retirement. Well, I hope the news from his doctors is more positive and he can continue to play for as long as he wants.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

New World #2

I just read that with Steve Stricker's win today at the Northern Trust Open, he will move to #2 in the World. It couldn't happen to a nicer, more hard working guy. I missed the final round today. I was watching Mythbusters and Puppy Bowl.

Jimenez Wins

Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Dubai Desert Classic today in a three hole playoff against Lee Westwood. I knew the result ahead of time but I still watched the final round and the playoff. It was exciting. I'm very happy to see Jimenez win. Maybe he'll make the Ryder Cup team this year.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Today's Golf

The PGA Tour event on NBC was interrupted here in my neck of the woods by a college basketball game - I think Kentucky was playing. I hate it when they do that. As if golf isn't as important as any other sport.

As for the Dubai Desert Classic - Miguel Angel Jimenez hit so many flags today in his third round. He was incredible. Going into the final round, he and Alvaro Quiros are tied with Jaidee and Westwood for the lead. So, two chances for a Spaniard to win tomorrow. Can't wait for that.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Dubai Desert Classic

Erik Compton and Tom Watson of the United States have both made the cut this week. I think that's great. Especially for Erik Compton. 16 year old amateur Matteo Manassero has also made another cut. This guy is going to take the European Tour by storm once he turns pro.

What's with Lee Westwood these days? Last week, he had some not so positive comments about Mickelson and Groove-Gate and this week, he's criticising golfers who wear spikes on their shoes. If Westwood stays negative, he isn't going to do well this year.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Jose Maria Olazabal. Hope he's enjoying his day.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grammys (Off Topic)

For some strange reason, I have the tv on the Grammy Awards. The opening was Lady GaGa. She's scary. But the duet with Elton John was ok. The Geenday thing - is it me or do they sound like they aren't hitting some notes? Stephen Colbert was kind of funny and kind of hurtful. He shouldn't have said that Susan Boyle took the sexy away. But he is right that she should be there to be honored.

As for the music, I'm woefully out of touch. At work I hear the same Taylor Swift song 5 times a day because the local radio station plays either that or old Johnny Cash songs. At home I listen to Barry Manilow. In fact I just got his new cd, The Greatest Love Songs of All Time.

Golf Channel's Sour Grapes

After backing John Daly into a corner during an interview after his Friday round at the Farmers Insurance Open and trying to pin Daly down to the word "retirement" (which he never did say), the Golf Channel is now taking a sour grapes tone in a short story on the Shag Bag simply because Daly is tweeting to his fans about his life. The Golf Channel refers to Daly's tweets as "incessant", hinting in the tone they are using that he somehow shouldn't be allowed to voice his opinions on his own Twitter page. Odd, I've found several Golf Channel personalities to be incessantly bad at announcing golf but somehow they are still there every week to annoy me like nails on a chalkboard.


Robert Karlsson won the Qatar Masters today and Ben Crane won the Farmers Insurance Open. I didn't see the final round of the Qatar Masters, but I was happy to find out that Alvaro Quiros finished second.

I did watch the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Ben Crane kept it interesting until the very end. I really enjoyed the way he seemed to enjoy the final round. He would produce some sheepish grins when he missed short putts, fitting as he made some really, really long putts today too. Michael Sim was there with a chance to win as well. He will be criticized for his decision to lay up on 18. But you know what, I think it isn't about strategy, but execution. The lay up plan was a good one, he just didn't execute the shots the way he needed to.

But the big news is how that controversial Ping wedge gave Phil that unfair advantage. Gee whiz, I don't know if he could have managed to finish 19th without it. Yes, there's a lot of sarcasm there.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Groovy Googling

I googled this groove issue and found this article that names several golfers who are using the 'un-gentlemanly' Ping wedges. I guess no one would have paid attention if McCarron had spoken out against Dean Wilson. I'm beginning to suspect there's something in the McCarron-Mickelson thing that isn't about grooves.

A Gentlemen's Game

More commentary on the groove controversy. Nick Faldo says that in the spirit of the gentlemen's game of golf, the old Ping clubs probably shouldn't be used, stating instead that he wished there was a level playing field and everyone was playing with the same (meaning new) grooves.

Gee, was it a gentlemen's game that gave Tiger that twisted ruling at Bridgestone a few years ago when his ball went all the way over the clubhouse and it took them what 20 minutes to find it?

Bottom line on the groove thing - every player has the opportunity to play these Ping wedges. No one has an unfair advantage, and to me that says that the playing field is level. It wasn't like the USGA said only Phil could play them. In fact, there are other players who are playing these older clubs. Jim Nantz has gone that far in his comments, but I haven't heard which players yet. I may have to google that later.

Who was it who had that line "don't hate the player, hate the game"? I think it might have been a pro wrestler but I'm sure others have also said it. I think it fits in this circumstance. It isn't about Phil. It's about the rules.

A personal note: I like that Phil used the word "slandered" in an interview after his round today on the CBS coverage.

I agree With Tom Watson

I found this article in which Tom Watson says Tiger's club throwing and swearing on the course is not what golf's about and it should end. I couldn't agree more. It's about time other golfers start bringing up Tiger's deplorable on course behavior.

Daly Taking a Break

I just saw on Twitter and Facebook that John Daly is considering taking a break from professional golf. He cited a few reasons, financial concerns, self described embarassment, his game and the residual effects of the 2007 rib injury. He also wanted to make it clear that he did not say 'retirement' in any post. Obviously he has not made any permanent decisions on his career at this time.

My personal opinion: It's never good to let anyone else define who you are. He may play golf but he doesn't have to be a golfer his whole life if he doesn't want to. Golf is different than other sports in that you can play golf well beyond the average retirement age. You can easily get caught in the trap of being identified by what you do. There are plenty of options out there for Daly to explore. I think this year was especially tough on Daly since the whole Tiger thing happened. The media pounced on Daly to try to make up for the absense of Tiger. Maybe Daly should have waited until Mickelson played before he played his first event. That way the media wouldn't have been so focused on him and he might not have felt so 'embarassed' (his word, not mine). Finally, Daly's been through a lot of changes in the last couple of years. His personal life is on track and he's lost all of that weight. I think his game needs some time to come around to the new body and the new lifestyle. Hopefully, he can put it altogether and come back when he's ready to. His fans will be there waiting for him.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Qatar Masters

How exciting it must have been for Erik Compton to compete in this tournament this week! He had a bad first round and shot an 81, however, he came back and shot a 69 on Friday. He did miss the cut, but for Compton this must have been a total blast to be there.

Brett Rumford, Bradley Dredge, Lee Westwood, Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia are all in the top ten with Rumford leading at -9. So, it looks like there will be some great golf to watch this weekend.

Grooves Rule Controversy

I don't know much about the controversy surrounding Scott McCarron and Phil Mickelson but it sounds to me like if Phil's clubs are approved, then that would be that.

I don't know why there's such an uproar about this apparent conflict in rules vs approval of clubs etc. In the real world where most of us have bosses, we have this kind of thing all of the time. The organization tells us what the rules are, but individual bosses interpret the rules however they want on any given minute of any given day. We mere working folks have to deal with the ever-changing 'interpretations' and still keep our jobs. If we call people cheaters and whine about the application of rules, then we risk our livelihoods.

And frankly, the bottom line is, McCarron should go get him some of Phil's clubs if he thinks they are so much better than the equipment he's using. He knows he won't get booted out of a tournament for having them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Good Win on the PGA Tour

Bill Haas won the Bob Hope Classic today. This was his first win on the PGA Tour and a noteworthy one as his dad also won this event over 20 years ago. I always like it when there's a first time winner, and I know a lot of golf fans have been wanting Bill Haas to come through on the PGA Tour.

I do feel bad for Tim Clark. Apparently the so-called experts are going to be questioning his decision to lay up on the 18th for a while. In my opinion it wasn't the lay-up that was the problem, it was the missed putt that followed. Or maybe it was some shot earlier in the day that made him need that birdie on 18 to get to -30? You can't really lay the blame on any one shot.

It was also nice to hear and see Judy Rankin on the Golf Channel's coverage. Nice to know they've hired a real pro to cover the golf. Yes, you can read between the lines there for some untyped comments about the quality of some of the Golf Channel's 'talent'.

I thought it was really touching to see Judy give Bill Haas a hug after she interviewed him. That was so sweet.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Martin Kaymer Wins

My player to watch was worth watching this week. He won Abu Dhabi. Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy (past player to watch) were right there with a chance to win as well. It was a good day of golf watching. I even watched during my nephew's birthday party.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fred Couples Debut

I've been watching a little bit of the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship tonight since it's Fred Couples' debut on the Champions Tour. Fred shot a 7 under par 65 today which is exciting for us Freddie fans.

I have to say the first golfer I ever saw was Fred Couples. It wasn't in person. It was on tv at the 1992 Skins game. He was the reason I decided to watch just a little more golf after that day. He made golf look peaceful and happy and that's what I've gotten out of golf watching for most of the 12 years I've spent watching golf since (I took a five year break in there somewhere). I can't believe he's 50. I hope his play in the next few years makes it even harder for me to believe it.

Abu Dhabi Round 2

After the second round, Rick Kulacz is leading at -12. I don't know who he is yet. I'll have to google him. Sergio is tied for second at -11 with Shane Lowry and Peter Hanson. Martin Kaymer is at -10 and probably the most interesting story so far would be Edoardo Molinari at -9 and his brother Francesco Molinari is one behind at -8. I look forward to watching some of this tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abu Dhabi

Sergio Garcia is apparently showing no signs of his wrist injury so far this week. He's 6 under par after the first round and only one shot behind the three guys leading the tournament. Richard Bland, Keith Horne and Ian Poulter are all at 7 under par. How about Keith Horne? He's having a great year so far. I hear his name a lot on the weekends when I have the European Tour coverage on tv. Of course he's from South Africa and that's where all of the tournaments have been these last couple of weeks. Martin Kaymer is two off the lead at -5. And amateur Matteo Manassero is -2 and currently tied for 36th with a bunch of other people.

Speaking of Sergio, he took part in some pre-tournament event where he hit a 675 yard drive down the straight of a racetrack in Abu Dhabi. The record is held by Henrik Stenson at 721 yards.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

This Year's Golfer to Watch

I've selected Martin Kaymer for the Spotlight On section in the sidebar this year. I really would like to see him make the Ryder Cup team and do well. We'll see what happens.

Happy Birthday!!

Happy birthday to Sergio Garcia who turns 30 today!

In honor of this special day, please check out his Official Website.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Current Discussion on the Golf Channel

They are talking about what the golfers can do to move the pga tour in a positive direction while Tiger is away. The focus of the discussion is golfers' personalities and what the golfers can do.

The big hole in this discussion is what can the media do. No one in this discussion is trying to accept any kind of responsibility for creating the Tiger-Focused golf coverage that is now hurting the PGA Tour. All they seem to be doing is blaming the golfers. Billy Ray just said that the players owe it to the Tour to let their personalities come out. What good would that do when all of the cameras are on Tiger? When all of the commentary is about Tiger? Henrik Stenson took off his pants for goodness' sake and now no one remembers that.

Some Things Never Change

It may be a new year in golf, but unfortunately the announcers are still as annoying as ever. Rich Lerner is channeling Captain Kirk and using a lot of pauses to try to make his not so insightful feature spots more profound. I'd rather hear William Shatner do the golf commentary. Kelly Whatshername said last night that YE Yang took down Tiger for the 'first time ever' (referencing the PGA Championship). Gee, Tiger didn't have 100% win streak up to that point. I'd say there were plenty of people to best him over his career. I don't know why they were even talking about Tiger. He never plays in this event and should be a non-story this week.

One bright spot that needs mentioning: Angel Cabrera traveled something like 39 hours to get to Hawaii for this event. Bless his heart for making the trip when others would rather just extend their 'off season'.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010

No predictions for this year. I haven't watched enough golf lately to offer any.

Some resolutions:

1. Stop buying stuff from QVC.
2. Be healthy (work out, eat better, stay positive).
3. Save money.

What I'm on the look out for in 2010 golf-wise:

1. Jose Maria Olazabal (always looking out for him)
2. Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup - that has the potential for so much drama. I hope the Ryder Cup survives it. It will need the well-respected Olazabal in 2012.
3. Fred Couples playing the Champions Tour

What I would like to see happen this year golf-wise:

1. Jose Maria Olazabal makes a strong and healthy comeback (preferably with a win).
2. Angel Cabrera wins one of the majors he doesn't have yet (which would mean the PGA - see #3).
3. Sergio wins the British Open.
4. YE Yang wins again this year.
5. John Daly has a complete year of success in all areas of his life.
6. Steve Stricker wins a major.