Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mickelson is Pooped

For all Arizona State/left-handed/In-N-Out burger fans out there, it is a sad day in Ohio. Your hero, Phil Mickelson, has withdrawn from the Memorial after citing a bad left-wrist.

The 2005 Masters champion has only left a tournament early one other time, at the 2004 Las Vegas Invitational, because his stomach couldn’t handle the sushi at Shibuya in the MGM Grand of food poisoning.

With his exit being the top story, Sean O’Hair will have to take another back seat to Lefty. O’Hair posted a 7-under 65 even with a bogey on the par-3 17th (man, that was a lot of numbers in one sentence). I am starting to believe that Phil actually has a thing out for O’Hair, not allowing him to every fully enjoy a good week of golf. Selfish Phil – pick on someone your own weight.

In other Memorial news, Ernie Els has been found and is alive – you can take down the MISSING posters that cover your telephone poles. The South African is tied for second with only two holes to play.

Also, Tiger is two-under through five holes as is Zach Johnson. I bet he shoots 68, a pretty typical first round for the Golfing Jesus.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorable Memorial or Joke on Jack?

Golf is such a weird sport, especially PGA Tour golf. One week you have none of the big heads teeing it up at Colonial so everyone’s favorite player to hate, Rory Sabbatini, birdies in a playoff to beat Bernhard “Bore me With the long Putter” Langer and the only big name in the tournament, Jim Furyk (it is a good point to note that two of the three golfers in the playoff were Arizona Wildcats).

Now, not even four days later, all the big guys show and the Memorial feels like a major. PGA Tour golf has gotten to the point that any tournament with Tiger, Phil, Sergio, Retief and Ernie has as much at stake as a major. Sure, you don’t get to count the win as a major, but think about it this way – Tiger has played in five events if you don’t count the Masters and Players (two no-duh appearances). Of those five, Tiger had one sponsors obligation (Buick Invitational), Arnie’s tournament (which he will show up to until five minutes after Palmer dies when he will decline his next years invitation) and two WGC events (purse is too big to pass up). So, that leaves the Wachovia Championship to which Tiger picked to play and now the Memorial, Jack’s tournament. What does all that information mean? Well, Tiger is going to play in less and less “meaningless” tournaments as his whiskers grow older so when he and the gang do show, it will make it major-esque. This week, especially with Ol’ Jack peering in on the 18th green, will have a feel like a PGA Championship, only with a well-known track that a certain group of snobbers haven’t tricked up.

With that, I can’t pick Tiger because of the argument everyone is making FOR him. He has won this tournament three times, but his last was in 2001. Tiger continues to make “golf experts” millions of dollars because he makes their job of predicting victors as easy as one of the Google guys must find the USA today crossword. I think that Vijah is going to win. Why? Because nobody can even figure out these things – welcome to the world of Golf Journalism.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What to Expect When You're Expecting (to win Sawgrass)

Nothing in golf journalism drives me more crazy then when people write things like the following on – “…Woods is healthy and at the top of his game heading into TPC Sawgrass.” Not to sound too much like Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, but REALLY? Tiger is at the top of his game? Tiger is healthy? Tiger wants to win this week? Couldn’t a homeless guy with an IQ of Uncertain, Texas’ senior class tell me these things? You’re honestly going to tell me that a golf “expert” is going to devote an entire column to the idea that Tiger Woods, THE Tiger Woods, is heading to the fifth biggest tournament of the season with the hopes of winning?

Enough with the paragraph of questions, the Players Championship is upon the golf world and the best player in the world is probably going to win. I also understand that at Sawgrass, anyone can hoist the trophy if they don’t let 17 or 18 ruin their week. Don’t believe that, look at the past five champions – Stephen Ames (an extremely poor man’s Mike Weir), Fred Funk (must have been an off week for the Champions Tour), Adam Scott (remembered to bring his putter to the tournament), Davis Love III (I had to check two sites to make sure that was correct), and Craig Perks (five sites to make sure that was legit).

No matter the opportunity of the week, Sawgrass if fun if not just because 16 and 17 are two of the most exciting holes on tour. Nobody ever finishes watching the Players wishing they had tuned to ESPN’s bowling telecast (unlike most non-majors of the season).

I think K.J. Choi Tiger is winning. I don’t understand why he won’t win. I’m not going to elaborate on my prediction because it isn’t a prediction it is common sense. Anyone picking anybody else is trying to go out on a limb that just got struck by lightening.