Past ramblings

Archive for

>Thanks a LOT GolfChannel

>Most golf fans are happy to have John Daly back on the tour in somewhat regular fashion. He’s played well for stretches here and there, and by all accounts he’s stayed on the straight and narrow.

He’s obviously wearing fabulous pants. I thought it funny a few months ago when he was playing in Europe and wore raingear over his pants. Big headlines: “JOHN DALY WEARS BLACK PANTS”.

So that’s all well and fine.

Why oh why does GolfChannel now have to shine an even brighter spotlight on this guy? He’s trying to play it straight, inside the ropes as well as outside. The last thing he needs is some bogus pseudo-reality show around all the time. Do you think they really want to see his boring life, or are they there because there could be a train-wreck at any given moment?

I think it’s asking for trouble, and the fallout could be disastrous. At best it’s irresponsible journalism, and at worst it’s manipulative and self-centered.

Meanwhile, nobody’s asked me to come up with names for his show, but here are a couple of options off the cuff:

  • Daly Show
  • Old No. 7 at 8 (Eastern, 7 Central)
  • Happy Hour with JD
  • JD and Diet
  • The Loudmouth Speaks
  • The John
  • The Round Mound of Career Rebound

I’m sure there are others …


>Try spinning THIS

>We all are very able to find faults with the PGA Tour and their players. The blogosphere is full of comments about who should play which tournament, why nobody cares if Tiger isn’t playing, or the length of Faherty’s shorts.

But put yourself in the NFL’s cleats this offseason. Below is a graphic of today’s headlines, with summarization of the basic facts related to some of the headline. This is not a summarization, it’s what’s going on right now. The only story that’s remotely positive is the report of the commissioner’s attempt at climbing Mt. Rainier.

It makes me very thankful to only have to worry about whether someone’s going to play in Milwaukee or Scotland in two weeks.

>Ramblings from the Rough (7/8)

>As if Kenny Perry didn’t have enough sympathy support for The Open after the way he carried himself at The Masters, now it’s revealed his mother has cancer. All the best to the family. At this time Kenny is still planning on playing in The Open.

Tiger took a dig at George Steinbrenner and the Yankees before the AT&T National, using Yankee Stadium as the worst case scenario of escalating ticket prices. Good move of Tiger to let all servicemen in free, and good for the PGA Tour that a majority of tournaments let kids under 12 in free. Great PR move.

(photo by AP)

A word about Hunter Mahan. This guy’s going to win soon, and once he does I think he’ll start winning a lot. He has an uncomplicated swing, and cool demeanor. Three straight in the Top 6, along with five Top 20s in the beginning of the year. He had eleven Top 20 finishes last year, so he’s definitely putting himself in position to win.

A couple of writers are throwing Mahan into the category of other golfers who were mowed over and left rolled up in the fetal position by another Tiger victory, but I feel like his situation was different last week. He came from so far back and posted a great number. It’s not like he should have been expected to shoot a 61 to tie Tiger. He truly did everything he could on Sunday.

Having said that, we CAN add AK to that list. He was clearly not up to the challenge on Sunday. Glad to see he’s healthy, but he still has a long ways to go before he’s a consistent threat week in and week out.

I’m re-reading “Zen Golf”. It’s so good I don’t even know that I’d be able to write a review of it. It’s going to be one of those book I always want to have around. The lessons apply very much to life as well as to golf.

More bad news for the Mickelson’s. Phil’s mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer, and will undergo surgery next week. Again, many good vibes to their family.

The USGA are openly discussing having a course where par varies from day to day on the same hole depending on where they put the tee boxes. Have they completely gone off the deep end? It’s not like players would play the hole any differently, and it wouldn’t impact the end result other than the winning score in relation to par. Bad BAD idea.

This week’s indication the economy may be getting better: A convoy of four trailers carrying Beemers to the local dealership.

Everytime The Open comes back to Turnberry I think back to Tom Watson’s victory over Jack in 1977. He shot 65-65 on the weekend to beat Jack’s 65-66 to win by one. Bowling balls!!!

The Waggle Room blog has a picture of a golf bag that got hit by lightning. A pretty convincing argument for not being anywhere near if that were to happen.

The LPGA seems to be in some kind of tailspin. They lost another sponsor, and there’s a rumor that a group of top players wrote a letter stating their lack of conficence in their Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. This is very unfortunate, because inside the ropes there has been some very good golf played, and they have some great new talents that are playing well. Hell, even Michelle Wie seems to be improving every week (T23, T10, and T3 the last three weeks). I don’t know about you, but I’m actually going to pay attention to the US Women’s open this weekend, which is a first in a long time.

Golf quote of the week: “Golf is assuredly a mystifying game. If would seem that if a person has hit a golf ball correctly a thousand times, he should be able to duplicate the performance at will. But such is certainly not the case.” (Bobby Jones).

The Devil Ball blog on Yahoo sports has been documenting a list of their top 18 golf holes in the game. It’s good reading.

The move to ban fans who yell “Get in the hole” at golf tournaments is gaining momentum. Couldn’t agree more.

That is all.

>Tiger Stats with Tiger Stripes

>As Hunter Mahan signed his scorecard Tiger had roughly six holes of golf left to play, with the score tied and nobody else realistically within reach (including would-be Tiger-killer Anthony Kim). All Tiger had to do was to avoid bogeys on some holes where trouble was within fairly easy reach, and somehow find a birdie along the way. Tiger’s play down the stretch was a showcase of control and concentration, in the end he was able to pick up the one stroke on par that he needed for the victory.

(photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images from Yahoo Sports)

Now, one shot over a 72 hole tournament is a very miniscule margin, to say the least. Mathematically it’s a fraction of a percent, and in golfing terms there were dozens of places where Tiger may have lost a stroke or Hunter could have gained one. In order to appreciate Tiger’s greatness we can’t just look at one tournament, but we need to take a step back and look at a larger body of work. When you do, you will realize that we’d better pay attention, because we’re watching a domination of titanic proportions.

It’s not that he won by one stroke this weekend, or at Memorial, or at Bay Hill. It’s that he just keeps finding ways to win much more frequently than anyone else in history. Over the past two years he’s won 7 times out of 14 stroke play events, an amazing win rate.

And when he doesn’t win, he’s usually close by, and he almost never crashes out and finds himself with time on his hands on the weekend.

Not counting the US Open shortly after his father died Tiger hasn’t missed a cut since 2005. As a point of comparison, Phil Mickelson has missed eight cuts in the past three years, and Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh have missed 11 cuts each in that time frame. While it’s true that most players play in more tournaments than Tiger does, you’re still comparing their numbers to a goose-egg.

Tiger is currently riding a 19 tournament streak of Top 10 finishes (again, looking at stroke-play tournaments) that goes back two calendar years. In the last five years, Phil’s longest streak like this is four tournaments, Paddy’s longest is three tournaments, and Vijay’s longest streak is also three tournaments. I feel like this number is the most impressive of all at this time. Given how deep the PGA Tour is right now, to consistently keep yourself in the Top 10 out of 200 of the worlds very best golfers is truly astonishing.

It’s unfair to compare Tiger’s performance now to his ridiculous domination in the beginning of the century. At that time he took the tour by shock and awe, raising the bar in ways reminiscent of when Babe Ruth took the home run record from 29 to 54 in one year in 1920. The rest of the tour has had some time to catch their collective breath and adjust their training, preparation, and focus to try to catch up, and a new generation of golfers is coming up who’s never known a tour without Tiger as the dominating force. The fact that Tiger’s still wins at the rate he does is truly remarkable.

I lived in Chicago during the 90s, and I consider myself lucky as a sports fan to have gotten to witness Michael Jordan’s domination of that decade, leading the Bulls to six championships. I feel like in watching Tiger play right now we’re watching a very similar performance.

I love Jack, and Bobby, and Ben and Arnie; but I can’t imagine anyone convincing me right now that Tiger isn’t the best ever.

>Golf in HD

>Could someone get a message to the Golfchannel makeup artists and inform them that as Nick Faldo turns sideways the back of his neck gets exposed? This means you may want to cover this rusty-looking red-neck area of space with the same magic stuff you used on his face.