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.