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.