Saturday, September 29, 2007

Notta Chance Man

I hate to break it with all the International players that religiously read my blog (Hey Adam!), but you might as well change your plane tickets.

Things that don't happen in golf - John Daly hosts the weekly devotional service, Tiger Woods folds in a major and Americans, whether it be Ryder or Presidents, don't go down in singles matches.

Maybe the American's DNA was made to just play individually, coming from back in the U.S. Junior Amateur days through all the WGC match-play tournaments, but the guys just rock and roll like USC football on Sundays in Cups.

It is pretty crazy how our team of Tiger, Phil and the rest can dominate the likes of Vijay, Ernie, My Queer, Adam, the Australians and all the household names making up Gary Players lineup but get smoked by guys like Robert Karlsson and Phillip Price in the Ryder Cup.

Maybe it's the pressure, maybe it has something to do with the Europeans "comradery" or maybe they just outplay us once a week, but I'd love to see this fire come out of the American players next year, at say, the Valhalla.

Paul Chiasson/AP

(Also, I just moved Woody Austin up to my "favorite player I'd never want to be a rules official against" list)

Friday, September 28, 2007

President Cup Roller Coaster Tickets on Sale

After being in Japan for nearly two weeks free of sports, watching all the President Cup action was the perfect sports appetizer for the upcoming college football/NFL weekend.

For some reason, the International team got confused with the Ryder Cup format, thinking the matches actually start on Friday, forgetting to show up yesterday. The IT team got wrecked on Thursday, but came back pretty strong today, winning all but the obscure team of Steve Stricker and Scott Verplank.

The biggest IT tech statement came when team juggernaut Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk got plane delayed (these days, more likely than a train wreck) 5-and-4 by Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby. El Tigre continued his President Cup four-ball woes, making only three birdies in 14 holes on a Royal Montreal course that was torn apart by the field today.

The biggest counter punch of Friday came by charismatic and crazy Woody Austin, who feel head-first into a pond after trying to extract his fully-submerged ball from a pond on 14 and then birdied 16, 17 and 18 to halve his match while having his caddy carry both his bag and the walking corpse that was David Toms.

I have a good feeling that Tiger and Jimmy won't be paired together come Saturday afternoon.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tiger's Deal with Gatorade?

Maybe it was just me, but I never understood how Tiger Woods didn't have a deal with a big drink company.

Well, according to I Want to be a Sports Agent, Tiger is snuggling in the bed with Gatorade, continuing his follow-up of all that Jordan has put down in front of him.

The story says the deal could be five-years, $100 million and might include a Tiger Woods Gatorade Signature drink. I'd sure love to see his tax return form.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

If I Wrote About Every Tiger Victory, This Would be My 60th Post

I hate to say this, but being a golf or tennis beat writer for a major magazine must be a pretty "Groundhog Day" type job. You wake up in the morning, check out Tiger Woods or Roger Federer and write a whole bunch of "amazing performance" and "never seen such dominance in the history of the sport."

Woods carded his 60th win at the BMW Championships today, making a bogey-free 63 look almost boring, painting the scoreboard a little more red than his opponents.

El Tigre had two bogeys and a double-bogey this week, meaning that he succeeded on 69 of the 72 holes of the tournament. Since complimenting Tiger's golf ability makes as much sense as sending Oprah your tax-return check, I've put together a few more stats that make his year a little more impressive.

41 - Number of rounds Tiger shot under par in 15 tournaments this season, 51.25% of his rounds.

29 - Number of rounds Tiger shot in the 60s this year.

10 - Number of times Tiger has shot over 72 in 2007.

1 - Number of times Tiger finished out of the top-25.

15 for 15 - Cuts made, imagine that.

What a Tiger Win Will Mean

So, imagine you're Tiger Woods. The PGA Tour comes up with this complicated and confusing crazy playoff system to help lull you and some of the other big names into some of the post-PGA Championship tournaments.

Well, you're upset about the money ($10,000,000 , blah-scmillion) and the amount of golf in a row and, errr - you stop complaining when the Joker to your Batman takes home Fedex tourney number two and finds himself in the lead of this crazy thing.

If Tiger can find a way to pull out the BMW Championship today, it will mean that the Tour Championship will be between Woods, Mickelson and a strangely consistent Steve Stricker that just won't go away from the leader board.

With a Woods victory today, he would have won (six times) or finished second (three times) in more than half of the tournaments he played in. I know that this year can't compare to something like 2001 because of the major count, but his consistency has been absolutely sickening.

(On a lighter note - if you're planning on going to see "Good Luck Chuck" and the top three reasons don't include the following, then I don't know what to say to you.
1.) Jessica Alba
2.) Any shot of Alba in her undies
3.)Because hopefully seeing Alba almost naked will make up for the fact that Dane Cook gets to make out with her )

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Best Thing For Golf

Personally, it is hard for me to root for Phil Mickelson to take out Tiger Woods in any golf event.

Mickelson just has never seemed real to me, always sporting a cheesy smile and plodding around faker than a playmates bust size. I used to think Lefty's story of never winning a major was endearing, but like the Red Sox, once the tape is finally broken you lose that pixie dust that made you interesting.

No matter my thoughts, Mickelson taking out Tiger was probably the best thing possible for a sport that is seeing it's huge investment, the Fedex Cup, feverishly treading water.

With Tiger missing the first event and guys like Steve Stricker and K.J. Choi battling for the inaugural playoff crown, top stories like the fall of Michigan and the race for baseball's post-season trumped golf.

With Mickelson's victory this past weekend, paired with Tiger nonetheless, 2008 will have some interesting themes to talk up during the cold months of goofy-golf events. Nobody has really had the opportunity to play with Tiger and beat him outright, something Phil did in an even that everyone was coining Tiger's tourney. I am never going to say that Tiger choked or that this means something, but it is interesting and somewhat refreshing to see Woods, well, lose. The guy doesn't lose. He's a golf machine, producing shot after shot exactly when he needs it.

Maybe with Mickelson's victory, people will see that Tiger can be taken down at times, even when it looks as though he'll run away with it. With this week being the third of the playoffs and Tiger in the field, look for him to try and show everyone again that he is always the one you should be afraid of.

Maybe these playoffs aren't so bad after all.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Tiger vs. Phil, and Some Other Guys Are Playing Too

it is Labor Day, which means nobody really does anything for some reason I'm still not familiar with. You have endless options, from eating some July 4th foods in September to pre-downloading the new Kenny Chesney CD (he's talented), to playing in the hometown golf scramble where you are sure to be paired with the 80-year-old lady that insists she hits her drive even after you've bombed one 315.

If none of those seem appealing, you can plop in front of the discolored flat-screen and enjoy what is sure to be a lot of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and hardly any Brett Wetterich and Arron Oberholser (just wait until they string together bogeys). Honestly, I've never seen the sexy appeal of Tiger and Phil playing together, probably because Schmickey can't hold El Tigre's jock in his ever-growing Callaway golf bag, and Tiger just doesn't really care that much about Phil.

The good thing is that if Tiger takes the title (which almost seems inevitable even if he's three shots back), he'll notch his 60th win in 12 years. Again, I studied journalism in college (journalism major = lazy, Keystone Light degree), but I believe that equates to five wins a year. That is almost even more amazing if you look at his 1996 and 1998 seasons where he combined for just two wins.

Happy Labor Day to all - I hope you feel better than that guy that Andy Roddick just beat.