Monday, October 24, 2011

A Great Week for Europe!

Sergio Garcia, one of my favorites, won the Castello Masters by 11 shots this weekend! What a great display of golf. I wish I could have watched more of it. It was great to see him smiling, happy, and relaxed on the course. Hopefully, he will take all of these feelings with him into future tournaments and continue to do well.

Luke Donald won the Children's Miracle Network Tournament on the US PGA tour and captured the money title. Apparently, this was a full on burst of winning determination on the back nine on Sunday. Again, I wish I could have seen some of this tournament too, but I figured the announcers were talking about how great Tiger Woods is so I didn't bother watching. I do keep up on Twitter though and that's more important - I actually read the thoughts of the golfers themselves. At least those thoughts they would like to share with their fans. I would now like to see Luke Donald win the European Money title, the Race to Dubai. I want Luke, an all-around nice guy, to be a Number 1 who won both money titles. I don't care if he hasn't won a major. If majors were all that important, then those would be the only tournaments on the schedule and the golfers would spend the rest of the time practicing.  Or vacationing.  Wait, there's a player out there now who only plays a couple of times a year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I've Been Neglectful

Yes, I've been neglectful of the blog lately. So, let's catch up.

Bill Haas won the Fed Ex Cup and the Tour Championship. I was very pleased with this result as I've been a fan of his for a while. And he received the other Presidents Cup pick. At least there will be one selection deserving of the honor.

Greg Norman picked a couple of excellent players for his team. I think the Internationals will have a very good chance of winning the Presidents Cup. They should have more experience with that course and I think they will team up better than the US players.

The Solheim Cup was very exciting this year. I was happy to see Europe win.

Brad Faxon won his first Champions Tour event this weekend. A popular win, I'm sure.

Although Jose Maria Olazabal missed the cut this past weekend, his presence was definitely felt at the tournament as he apparently has been giving some assistance to some players. Olazabal's name was mentioned a lot during the weekend coverage. I hope I get to see him play again soon.  I couldn't watch it Thursday and Friday because of that inhumane punishment called 'work'.

The golfing media went wild with the news that Tiger Woods set a course record at his home course while he's been off working on his game instead of competing. I don't see why this is so special. It would be like me being able to maneuver through my house (I've lived here 30 years) in the dark. I ought to know how to get through my house, and he ought to know where to hit the ball in his own backyard. This statistic doesn't mean anything to anyone other than those who are still trying to cash in on Woods.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Long and Short of It

So, I haven't blogged since Bridgestone. What's happened since? Keegan Bradley won the PGA which kicked off a debate over long putters that's lasted way, way too long.  My opinion on the long putters is this: Check out the putting stats on Short putters lead the stats.  Therefore, long putters do no give the player an unfair advantage. The only way a putter has that kind of impact on the game is if the game is Putt Putt Golf.

Presidents Cup also made the news in the last month with Fred Couples announcing that Tiger Woods is on the team even though qualifying isn't even over yet. Nice way to disrespect all of the other golfers competing for places on the team. I don't usually get too excited about the Presidents Cup and this decision by Couples didn't do anything to change that for me. I just hope the Captains refrain from pitting Woods and Scott against each other. Since I can't rely on Couples to make a good decision there, then I shall have to appeal to the good sense that Greg Norman might have. There's been a huge debate as to whether or not Tiger should be on the team. Some say yes because of what he used to be in Golf (meaning someone who would play 15 times a year as opposed to someone who doesn't play at all now). Some say no because his game isn't competitive and can't possibly help the team win. I think the answer to this debate is to define what the Presidents Cup's purpose is.  If the purpose of the match-up is to compete and have winners and losers then Woods certainly shouldn't be on the team. If the purpose, however, is to sell tickets and produce a sham of a 'competition' which insults the intelligence of the fans, then yes, put Woods on the team. I was under the impression from past Presidents Cup contests that the purpose was to identify winners and losers. I must have missed a memo.

Hurricane Irene shortened one of the FedEx Cup playoff events. That was a wise decision made by someone. And it looks like the PGA Tour will dodge the rain from former Tropical Storm Lee with this week's tournament wrapping up today. Some folks were complaining that if the playoff events were played out west, they wouldn't have had the weather problems they experienced last week. I bet there would have been a tornado, landslide, forest fire or some other natural disaster to get in the way of the events if they had been staged out west. Weather is everywhere. You just have to accept what you get. Plus, get some sponsors to make events out west possible and maybe you'll have a point.  Shall I mention the fall of the International? A good tournament on a great course with a unique scoring system, no longer being contested because of various factors, such has sponsorship and the Kiss Tiger's Butt and pray he gives you an interview element - remember Tiger's event took the place of the International on the schedule. Haha, until the Greenbrier next year. That's funny.

Solheim Cup is coming up. I don't watch much of this either but it was nice to see Ryann O'Toole was named to the team. She's had a strong year and should shake things up during the competition. I want to see Paula Creamer's new little puppy dressed up in Solheim Cup outfits.

The Vivendi Trophy is coming up in a couple weeks. GB & I versus the rest of Europe. Paul McGinley and Jean Van de Velde are the captains and Jose Maria Olazabal is keeping a close eye on the event as it was so closely tied to Seve Ballesteros and is an early indicator for the Ryder Cup. I hope I can check out some of this competition because it looks like it would be very good.

Thomas Bjorn has won twice in a row on the European PGA Tour. A popular double win on tour judging from all of the tweets I've seen on Twitter.

And finally, in the latest issue of Golf Magazine you have articles on Luke Donald and Erik Compton. This issue is worth buying.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Bridgestone Invitational Trip Diary 2011

This year I could only manage a day trip to Akron for the golf tournament instead of staying there at a hotel for a few days. So, I was on the road by 5:30am and drove into some rain. The Weather Channel had said the rain was on the move, but apparently it moved slower than they thought. When I got to Akron, I stopped at a Walmart and bought an umbrella, thereby ensuring that the rain was going to end. And by the time I got to the course at about 9:25am, the rain had indeed stopped. For the rest of the day, it misted and there was one light shower but that was about it.   By the way, by 9:25am, people were already drinking beer. Seriously. 9:25am.  There should be laws prohibiting sales that early. If you're drinking that early, then you have a problem.

I decided to attend the practice round day knowing there would be a risk of not seeing all the players I wanted to see. But at least I could take pictures during the practice round. Unfortunately, I didn’t see Sergio Garcia, one of my favorites who I always want to see every year. He had played with McIlroy earlier and I didn’t see them.

I started out at the practice green and saw quite a few players. There were a couple of funny anecdotes from the crowd around me. One, an older gentleman couldn’t quite say Bubba and called him Bubble Watson. I guess they don’t see too many Bubbas that far north. Another featured Graeme McDowell. Again, an older gentleman tried to tell his wife that McDowell was the guy who won the Masters this year. The wife asked, “Schwartzel?” The husband went on as if he didn’t hear her and said, “I think his name is Mac something… McAfee. He’s from England or Scotland. Or Wales. Not from Ireland.” Also, it looked as though Adam Scott and Ian Poulter were performing the same putting drill, using tees to mark off distances around the hole. A local reporter was interviewing some of the crowd around me (I dodged the camera) and apparently everyone around me was wanting to see Phil Mickelson. The reporter even asked about Tiger, and they said, “No, we’re here to see Phil.” Later in the afternoon, I heard a guy say “I don’t like him (Tiger) much no more.” Grammar aside, the sentiment was apparently shared by a lot of people, from the group of women waiting for the bus at the parking area, to people there at the course. The group of women at the parking area had some less than polite words regarding Tiger. I won’t print them here.

Anyway, eventually, I decided to eat lunch and then head out onto the course to find some players to watch. I ended up hopping between 8 tee and 13 tee with some glimpses at 7 and 12 greens. It’s a good spot at Firestone because there are real restrooms very close by as well as a concession stand. At the 13th tee, I saw Ryo Ishikawa, who people thought was Rickie Fowler just because he was wearing orange. They couldn’t be bothered to read the name on the golf bag or to see that Ryo had the new short haircut going for him. I was nearly trampled by autograph seekers trying to get to Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. The Tiger and Phil followers weren’t that aggressive.

Phil, Jeff Overton, Keegan Bradley and Brenden Steele were playing their practice round together and it looked to me like they were getting along famously. They seemed to have fun and were kidding around with each other. It was great to see and I could tell just how genuine Phil was with them. One thing I noticed was that Phil and Jeff have huge feet. I swear you could take one of their shoes and canoe across Lake Erie in it.

I was surprised to see such a huge gallery following Nick Watney, Bo Van Pelt and Bill Haas until I realized Butch Harmon was also there. I guess they could have been following Bill Haas. I certainly had him on my list of players to see this year. I was also very excited to see Dustin Johnson, who was playing with Furyk and Stricker, and Gary Woodland who I think was on his own. 

One of the more curious practice round groups was Lee Westwood, Matteo Manassero and DA Points. I could see how Westwood and Manassero would know each other and might end up playing with each other, but I want to know how DA Points ended up in that group.

Lucas Glover is the most fan friendly player I think I’ve seen. On his way to the 13th tee, he stopped for pictures with the fans and for autographs and then after he hit his tee shot, he took even more pictures with fans. Usually the golfers only stop once on the way to the tee. Glover’s caddie is also one of the most fan friendly. He wasn’t shy at all and talked to the fans around the tee while waiting on Glover.

While waiting around at 13, I met a nice lady from Canada who is Jim Nantz’s biggest fan. She lives on the East coast and had to fly into Chicago and then from there to Akron. That seemed like a long trip to me but she was excited to be there. It was her first time at a tournament, she was staying with a friend and the trip was very economical for her.

We were very happy to have survived the Tiger Woods group as they went by. The rumor had spread over the course that Tiger was only going to play the back nine so we were curious to see if he would come our way. He finally did and even though I don’t like him, I did take a couple of pictures of him on the tee, for retirement funding purposes when I get older of course. He was playing with Hunter Mahan and Arjun Atwal and it took them an awfully long time to get off the 12th green. Tiger’s golf bag that day was a silver one with the word “fourteen” printed all over it. Probably not the best idea but then he hasn’t been blessed with many good ones. Seriously, you’d think he’d want 19 on the golf bag- you know, his goal, instead of his achievement. If I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to want to be reminded constantly of my goal, not of how fat I currently am.

After Tiger’s group went through, it looked like we weren’t going to see very many other golfers out our way so I headed back to the practice green, stopping briefly to watch Ryan Moore and Jason Day. They weren’t playing together. Back at the putting green and driving range I continued to watch the golfers and listen to the crowds. Then the skies started looking seriously gloomy and I figured I’d better head back to the parking area before it rained again. I got held up between the 10th hole and the clubhouse for what seemed like an eternity. Players come off the course there and the marshals rope off the path so the players can get through. Well, Mickelson’s group was there signing autographs. He finally had to stop and told the crowd he would sign again after the round the next day and he got a round of applause. When did you ever hear of a player being applauded for not signing autographs? That’s how much they love Phil Mickelson. The marshals weren’t endearing themselves to me however. They actually thought about continuing to hold us where we were until the next group of golfers came through. There were some very vocal objections to that idea and they let us through, but as it was so disorganized and disorderly, I had serious concerns that someone was going to get stepped on. The tournament should really find a better solution for that problem.

Luck was with me at the parking area as I figured that morning that I would never be able to find my car, but it was all by itself when I got back to it and very easy to see. That was the last good luck I had for about 80 miles or so. I was leaving Akron during rush hour and traffic was horrible. I first thought I would stop and eat but then the traffic was a nightmare so I got back on the interstate and decided to just drive as far as I could before stopping again.

I got home around 8pm and boy were my Winnie and PJ happy to see me. As were the outside cats who were missing their supper. Hopefully, next year, I'll get to spend a couple of days at the tournament. It's nice there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: The Swinger

The Swinger is a work of fiction, written by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck of Sports Illustrated. Generally, it is about the downfall of the world's number one golfer, Tree Tremont as seen through the eyes of sports writer Josh Dutra who is hired by Tremont to be his communications guy. Women and drugs are the life-wrecking hobbies of Tremont, but in my opinion his downfall is really brought about by his own refusal to limit himself to just doing what is right in favor of doing everything wrong. Entitlement is a strong theme in this book.  Tremont's father helped along the way with some very unfamily-like opinions about how one's life should be lived and even the death of Tremont's mother, while apparently affecting Tremont in a sensitive way, didn't have a lasting effect on his behavior.

Yes, there is the bikini-model wife, the two kids, the spectacular golfing career, that you think of when you make comparisons between Tremont and real life representatives of the sport. However, Bamberger and Shipnuck do an excellent job of preventing the reader from seeing this book as a biography. Their greatest tool in this effort is the character of Josh Dutra. Gradually, The Swinger becomes more about Dutra's life and how the Tremont scandals affect him rather than about Tremont himself.

As I read the book, I found myself thinking things like, "You're kidding me," "Seriously?!" and "Isn't it typical that the sports writer still finds the star athlete a hero after all of these scandals."  I suppose the underlying message in The Swinger would be that no one is all good or all bad, that there's good and bad in everyone. Unfortunately, I just didn't feel that the bad part of Tree was treated with the censure that I felt it deserved. There were excuses and forgiveness all around by everyone, even the bikini model wife who whacks Tree in the head after his cell phone reveals some of his betrayals. This part didn't seem all that fictional as we've seen repeatedly in real life that sports stars are given more than one chance, more than two chances, and mostly, too many chances to screw up.

This doesn't mean I was disappointed with the book. Just that I would prefer a different kind of book. (I'm usually reading romance novels and looking forward to the happy endings.)  The Swinger left me with a lot of questions about men and women and how the two sexes think about and view the same events. The book may not answer those questions, but it will have a lasting impact as I may find myself watching golf through a different set of eyes in the future.

Some aspects of the book I should mention:  Martinsen and his adoptions - reminded me of Brangelina. Boy do I want to see a Brad Pitt on the golf course.  The tabloid headlines playing with the name Tree. Hilarious. Salty Morton. I'll never season my food the same way again.

In conclusion, I think you should read the book. I don't know if you'll find it better or worse than Nancy Grace's coverage of certain historical events, but I hope it will make you think about the same things I did - how men and women think about things like fidelity, honesty and doing the right thing.  Or you could watch the movie When Harry Met Sally. But really, why would you?

(Full disclosure: while I was offered an advance copy of the book, I bought my own copy.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Spectacular Open

This was one of the greatest Opens I think I've seen. Darren Clarke deserved to win and played like it. He was jovial at times, patient with the fans, and his game was spot on. I wanted to see a first time winner and was rewarded by the golfing gods with a great one in Clarke.

Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson both had issues with their games that limited them to a T2 position. For a brief moment I actually thought Phil might do it, but he stayed true to his past. As for Johnson, for all of his close calls in majors, he still just isn't ready to keep his mind on track for four complete rounds of golf.

It was great to see Sergio Garcia finish with a top ten this week. And he was having some fun out there which is the most important part of the game, no matter what the media says about winning majors. Since Darren Clarke is over 40, I hope the media will ease off the whole "best player to have never won a major" debate and give Sergio a rest. Sergio has quite a few more years ahead of him and Clarke's win only punctuates that statement.

I would like to change the category from "the best player to have never won" to "the best player who has yet to win" a major. Let's stay positive and reserve the word 'never' for those who aren't playing the game any longer.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back on the Blog

It's been a while since I've posted here. That darn Twitter. But I have a few things to write about that can't be summarized in 140 characters.  So, here we go....

I was listening to PGA Tour Radio this morning and some guy called in about Rory McIlroy. The subject was an interview McIlroy did in which he talked about his girlfriend. The host of the show didn't understand why McIlroy would talk about his personal relationship because back in the old days when this host was playing, the 'boys' didn't talk about family or personal life on Tour. The caller's opinion was that Rory was trying to do 'damage control'.  Now, I don't know what kind of damage was thought to have been done. McIlroy went to Haiti and held babies for the cameras.  No one can hate someone holding a baby from a poor country. All of America cheered when McIlroy won the US Open.  And he has dogs.  Pets, babies, healthy relationship, and charmed everyone in a whole country as he took their Championship back to Ireland. I don't see any damage to control.  My take on the Rory interview is this, in the UK the newspapers write as much about the wives and girlfriends as they do about the athletes, so it's probably not that big of a deal for McIlroy to have given this interview.  Also, he probably wanted to get some information out there to keep the media from hacking his phone.

Luke Donald continues to be the most underrated World Number 1 as he wins again this week in Scotland. Finally someone on the Golf Channel said he was playing like a #1 player, with a dominance.  With the way the rankings work, it takes more than being dominant for a few months, it takes two years of consistency and Donald has that. The Scottish Open was exceptional this week, unfortunately, it was mostly due to the weather. But the players had to deal with those challenges and that alone makes a tournament a tough one. The landslide on the first fairway was something to see, as was the European Tour announce crew, players and volunteers dancing to and singing "Singing in the Rain". You should go to the European Tour website to check out the video.

The LPGA is in the news this week as they finally hit a network everyone has access to (NBC) for the US Open. The conversation once again turns to the lack of star power on the Tour. I had a brief discussion with a passionate LPGA Fan on twitter about this issue. I think the Tour needs to do more to promote the tour and the media needs to do more to cover the tour.  The LPGA is on Golf Channel nearly exclusively (thanks NBC and ABC/ESPN for covering the US and British Opens). And when the LPGA is on the Golf Channel, it's usually at odd times when people can't watch. Who's going to watch after 9pm or even midnight?  Also, I thumbed through the July 2011 issue of Golf Magazine yesterday and I saw no mention of the LPGA at all. If you're going to call yourself Golf Magazine, then maybe you shouldn't exclude the women. After all, your title isn't Men's Golf Magazine. That isn't to say that a large portion of the magazine should cover the ladies, but a mention or two might be nice. And please, don't let that mention be the Big Break bikini squad. I still don't understand why the ladies on the Big Break have to prance around in bikinis but the men of the Big Break don't. It isn't like anyone can where bikinis on tour. There are dress codes.

I'm planning to read and hopefully review the new fiction novel, The Swinger, when I get it this week. I was offered an advance copy, but since I was planning to buy it anyway, I declined. It's written by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck and is about the world's number 1 player and the pressures and trials he experiences. I caution everyone who wants to read this novel to remember that it is fiction. It's easy with today's media leaning so much toward salaciousness rather than boring old facts to forget that a work of fiction is just that. I'm sure I'll have a hard time doing it. But it does look like a good read so I'll give it a go and see what happens.  I've found several golf fiction novels on Barnes & Noble and have them downloaded to my eReader.  The problem is getting the time to read them.  Once again,  That Darn Twitter.

As for the whole Tiger thing.  My opinion is this:  sit out until the leg is 100% and change the swing to keep from injuring it in the future. From what I've seen since he got with this Foley guy, the swing thing isn't happening for him. Everyone is speculating about Tiger breaking Jack's record. He only has to win what is it, 5 more to do that, but look at how hard it's been for Roger Federer to win this last year and a half. Federer's healthy and there's no reason why he shouldn't be dominating, except for the competition. I imagine it will be like that for Tiger when he's back on tour.  Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there comes a time when the world passes you by.  Is this time now for Tiger?  Don't know. I can only say that golf has been much more exciting and personable since he's been out of the loop. I know more of the players and have seen much more emotional and exciting wins and that endears the sport to me much more than the Tiger Woods effect has ever done.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A New Number 1

Luke Donald finally captured the world's Number 1 ranking today with a win at the BMW PGA Championship in England. I'm loving this era of golf in which we get treated to not just one number one player in the world but a few.  Westwood, Kaymer, Donald. It's exciting to see this volatility in the rankings. I think it makes the sport healthier and bodes well for its future. And I would just like to point out that not only is Luke Donald the world #1, he's also leading the Race to Dubai rankings on the European Tour and is #2 on the Fed Ex Cup points list. That's darn near a tri-fecta and as close to perfect as we've seen in a long, long time.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Glover Wins the Wells Fargo Championship

One of my favorite golfers, Lucas Glover, won yesterday. Yay for him! It's good to see him doing so well. I hope he continues on this path. I don't know what to think about the beard, but if it makes him happy, then who am I to question it. I will say that the guy at work who wears a beard always has food crumbs (and who knows what little creatures) in it. But he's somewhat of a slovenly man. Lucas looks to be very clean and well groomed. At least from a distance.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Seve Ballesteros

I'm shedding many tears today, not only over the passing of one of golf's greatest players, but for those who loved him most and are feeling his loss the strongest today. My heart goes out to Seve's family and his friends, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez and others who treasured Seve's presence in and contribution to their own lives.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Twitter Twama (in other words, Drama)

I was on Twitter this morning and read a tweet by Nick Faldo that I just couldn't agree with. It irritated me so much that I decided to Unfollow the golfing legend. What was he tweeting on about?  The World Rankings System. He believed, as is his right, that Majors should carry more ranking points than non-major events. I disagree. Weighting the majors makes it appear as though world golf only cares about four tournaments, three of which are in ego-centric America. If world golf is truly wanting to expand globally and truly believes all of the propaganda it issued during its bid to be included in the Olympics in the future, then the World Rankings system cannot be too heavily reliant on the majors - ultra-exclusive tournaments that only a select few, the same select few, get to participate in. 

Another factor to consider is that the golfers engage in intense preparations for the majors each year, going so far as to play the courses several times in the weeks leading up to the events. Giving these tournaments extra points when the golfers are already taking advantage of the system by playing the courses repeatedly beforehand is like a teacher giving the students the answers to a test and then when the students score 100%, the teacher gives them bonus points. It's pointless, and in my view, regressive, if the ultimate goal of world golf is to grow the game globally.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Manassero Wins Again

One of the two players I've turned the spotlight on this year, Matteo Manassero, has won his second tournament before the age of 18 today at the Maybank Malaysian Open.  A remarkable achievement and a great moment for golf. The final round was exciting with several players in contention, including Rory McIlroy, who kept up his level of play from last week despite the tiring travel from Augusta, Georgia to Malaysia. Manassero jumps up to about 35th in the World Golf Rankings with his win today.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Masters Thoughts

What an exciting finish to the Masters. Charl Schwartzel wins with four straight birdies on the closing four holes. We're used to seeing him in contention early in the year evey time he tees it up. So, it was very exciting to see him reach out and grab the Masters win. Jason Day, Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera were also fantastic contenders. Too bad about Rory McIlroy, but those days are going to happen. And how about Fred Couples with a top 15 finish? I love the fact that so many players were in contention. I think this makes golf more exciting than the scenario we've been living with the last several years with just a couple of guys who were billed as the only contenders. Shame on you, media. See what you've been missing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Catching Up

I haven't been keeping up the blog lately so I thought I would hit some recent highlights in golf. Jose Maria Olazabal has been the subject of a few really good articles. This one talks briefly about his golf game and his plans for the rest of the year. This article goes more indepth with Olazabal and discusses his friendship with Seve Ballesteros. And Olazabal plans to play this week at the Houston Open and then the Masters. Can't wait for that. Sergio Garcia finished in the top ten of the Arnold Palmer Invitational today. Glad to see he's working his way back into good form. Martin Laird won today at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Paul Lawrie won in Malaga, Spain. Gary Woodland and Raphael Jacquelin won last week.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Great End to the WGC Accenture Match Play

I watched the Championship and Consolation matches today and was thrilled to have a few hours of pure golf to watch. Luke Donald won for the first time in the US since 2006 and it was a very meaningful win on different levels. It was meaningful to him personally, to Europe, and to the world. Luke will go to #3 in the world rankings and in doing so made it possible for there to be four European players in the top 4 spots of the world rankings since 1992. Martin Kaymer will claim the #1 spot when the rankings come out tomorrow. Lee Westwood and (I'm assuming) Graeme McDowell will join Kaymer and Donald.

Anyone who follows this blog knows I've been a great supporter of Martin Kaymer for the last few years. He has been my Player to Watch for a couple of years and it thrills me to no end to see him claim the #1 ranking. He is playing the best golf of anyone currently and deserves the ranking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WGC Accenture Match Play

It looks like it was a spectacular first day of the Accenture Match Play. I didn't watch it since I don't watch golf when Tiger plays, but I did get the highlights from Twitter. Thomas Bjorn won his match against Tiger. Matteo Manassero won his match against Steve Stricker. Other winners include Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell. I may check out some of the rest of the event now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dubai Desert Classic

Some excellent results this week at the Dubai Desert Classic. Alvaro Quiros won the event. Jose Maria Olazabal finished tied for 15th (a spectacular finish for him given his lack of play in the last couple of years), and Lee Westwood finished one shot better than Tiger. Sergio had a good first two days of the event, but struggled the last couple of days.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Qatar Masters

Here are the highlights of the Qatar Masters: Thomas Bjorn wins, three Spaniards finished in the top 10 (Cabrera-Bello, Alvaro Quiros, and Sergio Garcia), and John Daly and Jose Maria Olazabal made the cut. Iwatched a good bit of the third and fourth rounds this weekend but was disappointed in not seeing any of Olazabal's play.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Volvo Golf Champions-Round 4

Paul Casey emerged as the winner today with a score of -20. Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez came in tied for second. It was nice to be able to watch more than just a few hours of a tournament on the weekend for a change.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Volvo Golf Champions-Round 3

Today was pro-am day at the Volvo Golf Champions. One amateur joined each pro pairing and the lowest group would win the pro-am portion of the tournament, with the two pros winning cars. Paul Casey, Darren Clarke and their pro won the pro-am competition. Paul Casey is also tied for the lead with Peter Hanson. It looks to be a good final round.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Volvo Golf Champions-Round 2

As this was a day off for me, I was able to watch most of the second round. The highlight of the round was Miguel Angel Jimenez using his wedge as a putter after his putter met with a tragic end. Sergio Garcia also did well, though he did have a few wayward shots. In addition, the Molinaris played well too. One disappointment was that Jose Maria Olazabal missed the cut.

The leaders going into the weekend are Jimenez, E. Molinari, Raphael Jacquelin, and Peter Hanson, all at -11. This is setting up to be a great weekend of golf.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Volvo Golf Champions-Round 1

I was able to see some of this tournament, but for an upsetting reason. My dog PJ needed to make a semi-emergency trip to the vet. She's had a hernia since birth (she's almost 4 yrs old) and last night it became a serious condition. And this morning, she was in some pain over it. So, I left work early to get her to the vet. He decided she needed surgery so while she was having surgery, I was at home watching round 1 of the tournament. I caught the last hour of the coverage and got to see Jose Maria Olazabal. Looks like he's doing well at -2. Hopefully, he'll play the weekend. I understand the cut is top 60.

Hope I can watch some of round 2. I have to get out to the bank at some point tomorrow. Walking up and down my long driveway thanks to the snow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Volvo Golf Champions

This week's event on the European Tour is the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain. Sergio Garcia is making his return to golf in this event. And Jose Maria Olazabal is planning to play as well. I'm looking forward to watching this one and hopefully, I'll get to see Garcia and Olazabal play the weekend. Check out this brief article about Sergio's outlook for this year.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Great Interview with Jose Maria Olazabal

I found this really great interview with new Ryder Cup Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal. You should all read it. I plan to memorize it.

Wrap Up

So many good things happened yesterday. Lee Westwood is still #1. Martin Kaymer won the Abu Dhabi event for the third time. He not only got to keep the trophy, he replaced Tiger Woods as the #2 player in the world. I like saying that, he replaced Tiger Woods as the #2 player in the world. Graeme McDowell broke out of the 4th place tie with Mickelson and claimed the #4 world ranking for himself. Elsewhere in the world of golf, Jhonattan Vegas from Venezuela claimed the Bob Hope Classic title yesterday in a playoff. This is his first win in only five starts on the PGA Tour. And he is the first Venezuelan to earn a US PGA Tour card. I love it when the rookies win.

Jose Maria Olazabal returned to playing golf at Abu Dhabi but didn't make the weekend. He's set to tee it up again in this week's event. Hopefully, he'll do better this week and I'll get to see him play this weekend. I do have Friday off. Maybe I'll see him on Friday's coverage.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's now official. Jose Maria Olazabal is the next European Ryder Cup Captain!! According to this article, the decision was the first unanimous one since 1987's Captain was chosen. Although I can't wait for the next Ryder Cup, I have a feeling part of me will be watching the event with my eyes covered, afraid the team might actually miss a shot. And I agree with Olazabal that the Top 10 should have special significance. I think I'm going to search Twitter to see what everyone's saying about the new Captain. Someone should talk Olazabal into joining Facebook and Twitter. He wants to stay in touch with his players and social networking is a popular way to do it.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Exciting Finish to the Africa Open

I just finished watching the Africa Open and was pleased by the exciting ending. Louis Oosthuizen, Manuel Quiros and Chris Wood all battled their way to a playoff with Oosthuizen bringing home the win. I hope Quiros and Wood find wins of their own this year as they were quite deserving today.

An observation - Oosthuizen was sweating during his round today while I'm sitting here in WV freezing and watching the snow on the ground. Is it any wonder I like golf. At least someone gets good weather.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

News on Olazabal

According to this article, Jose Maria Olazabal will be playing in the Volvo Golf Champions tournament the last week of January. I can't wait to see him back in action and hopefully he will do well not only that week, but all year long. If anyone deserves it, it's Olazabal.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I read this article regarding a rumor that Lucas GLover, 2009 US Open Champion and owner of the coolest voice in golf, may be quitting the game. I don't usually subscribe to rumors but I'm providing a link to this article for just two sentences. The ones about Glover's not so superstar status and his fondness for books. You'll have to click the link to see them, but trust me, they are worth it. As for the rumor, I would love to see him find success on the golf course again, but if he wants to go in a different direction, then good for him. There's no law that says you have to be what you are. There's always an opportunity for change.

Killing TV

I read this news this morning in a local paper. Apparently, the PGA Tour may pair golfers up and change up pairings during a tournament with the main focus being to appease ratings watchers. I guess this means that viewers could be tuning in on Thursday and Friday and seeing the same three or four players just because some ratings people think these three or four players draw the most viewers. Yuck, yuck, and more yuck. So, here's the flipside that people haven't thought of yet - what if you've seen enough on Thursday and decide you don't have to watch the same guys play on Friday?

Everyone who reads this blog knows I rarely watch any tournament that Tiger plays in. I can't imagine being subjected to him two days in a row and then on the weekends too. At least you'd have one day of coverage without him the way they used to set the pairings. Not to mention the obvious point - the first two days of the tournament, everyone plays. It's their chance for their family and friends to see them on tv. If the tour switches to this 'winners category' thing, then some of these guys playing in the first two rounds won't be seen on tv and that's insulting to those guys. They need to get on tv to sell their sponsors' crap too.

The Tour hasn't learned anything from the Tiger issues of 2009-10. They need to be promoting the lesser known guys, not putting all their eggs in the 'winners category' basket.

Guess I'll be watching even more European Tour golf now.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Best Time in Golf

This week marks the beginning of what I believe is the best time in golf - Hawaii in January. Considering it's winter here, cold and snowy, I always look forward to the Hawaii tournaments and the warm, beautiful scenic views captured by the cameras at the tournaments.. This week's event for 2010 Champions promises to be a good one with several European players making the trip to play.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 Players to Watch

After some consideration, I have selected two players to watch this year. Hopefully, they will experience some of the same success that Martin Kaymer, last year's player to watch, experienced. The players I've selected are: Matteo Manassero and Jose Maria Olazabal. I chose Manassero because I want to see if he experiences a sophomore slump or if he continues his good play. As for Jose Maria Olazabal, I desperately want to see him return to the game and have a complete recovery from the ailments that have had him sidelined for quite some time. So, spend a few minutes clicking on the links in the side bar and read what the European PGA Tour's official website has to say about these two exciting players.