Sunday, August 31, 2008

How NOT to Shoot a 59

I know this happened yesterday, but I'm on vacation and trying to keep away from the 'ol computer.

Tim Clark, tearing apart TPC Boston like confetti, fired a nine-under 62 yesterday. That is the good news.

The bad news? Clark was 11-under with two holes to play, needing only a birdie and a par to join an elite group as the new Mr. 59. A bogey-bogey finish isn't exactly what David Duval would have hoped for.

A two-over 73 today brought the South American back to reality, but it sure was nice to see someone approach that pesky sub-par 60 for the first time in a while.

Canadian and beardless Mike Weir is a shot ahead of OhHe'sSoFine Camilo Villegas heading into the final round tomorrow (?).

A par-73 on the European Tour and a tournament ending on a Monday? Are these pre-Ryder Cup measures or something?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Really Skins Game, K.J. Choi?

The Skins Game announced their competitors for Thanksgiving weekend and it appears Stephen Ames, Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate weren't enough. They added K.J. Choi after supposedly going after Anthony Kim.

I mean, Choi seems like a really nice guy and all, but this competitions is known for the personalities as much as it is the golf. I love his golf game and all, but how many jokes is this guy going to crack?

However, if Choi goes all "pink skirt" on us out there, all will be forgiven.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Puma Golf Looks Fun

I've always been a fan of Puma Golf, probably because Erica Blasberg rocks it and she's awesome. They have something now called the "Puma Open" that is all nontraditional golf event going on around the nation. It's like golf, but more fun and a better chance you could get hit by a stray range ball. BONUS! Here is the video below. I really want to try to "hit one ball while hitting 150 others" like the guy did in this video, but I'm not sure my local range hacks would appreciate it.

More on the LPGA Language Thing

It's been a day since Golfweek broke the story of the LPGA implementing an "English only" policy and it's allowed me some time to reflect.

Even though I still find it unnecessary, I can partially understand their reasoning. The LPGA is a business that isn't exactly killing it, so anything that could help boost their image to sponsors, businesses, pro-am partners would be great.

I talked to a good friend of mine that is a member of the LPGA and she said she loved the idea and was excited for the change. Granted she is an American golfer on the LPGA so it doesn't really affect her, but if the members are happy, it's probably going to be good for everyone.

My buddy and extremely exceptional journalist Ryan Wilson takes the other side of this argument. He does a great job with it and I thought I'd pass that along.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you have any opinion on why the LPGA would do this? Drop a line and I'll post some of the responses.

A Good Way to Speed Up Play

Always funny, never dull (or young) Ryan Wilson from FanHouse sent me this video of the proper way to stay on pace at your local golf course. Sure, it might be the safest thing you'll ever do, but it sure is nice to avoid that break pedal.

How many times do you think these guys did this and forgot the golf cart they were in had a roof? Via Break...

Ninth Hole Ninth Beer - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nice Shot Moron

The great people over at Failblog have a fantastic video of a moron being a really huge moron.

It looks as though he hit that shot a little fat.

Tiger Woods Drains a Rubik's Cube

EA Sports continues to pimp these Tiger Woods commercials, and the latest one doesn't disappoint.

The celebration by Tiger when the putt goes in almost makes me think it's real. Interesting. Via You Been Blinded...

The LPGA Has Finally Lost It, Forcing Foreign Players to Learn the English

In maybe the craziest story you'll read all week, the Ladies Professional Golf Tour, focused almost entirely in these here United States, will be forcing all women to pass an oral evaluation starting in 2009.

If you fail the English test, your membership will be suspended until you can properly use "Shit, that was a horrible shot" in a sentence. Golfweek has the scoop...

At a mandatory South Korean player meeting Aug. 20 at the Safeway Classic, the tour informed its largest international contingent that beginning in 2009, all players who have been on tour for two years must pass an oral evaluation of their English skills. Failure would result in a suspended membership.

“Hopefully what we’re talking about is something that will not happen,” said Libba Galloway, the tour’s deputy commissioner, of possible suspensions. “If it does, we wouldn’t just say, ‘Come back next year.’ What we would do is work with them on where they fell short, provide them the resources they need, the tutoring . . . and when we feel like they need to be evaluated again, we would evaluate.”

Galloway said the policy takes effect immediately, but the “measurement time will be at the end of 2009.” There are 121 international players from 26 countries on tour; 45 are South Koreans.

The point of this, they say, is to allow all the golfers to communicate better with everyone. The LPGA is "losing sponsors" and they want everyone to be able to communicate with the media, their pro-am partners and even fans. Also, it's absolutely fuck crazy.

Making someone learn English? Our country is compiled of people that couldn't muster a single Japanese phrase besides "Sake Bomb" and now we're forcing people to learn our jacked up language? "Well, their is more of an ownership thing, while they're is short for "they are." How can you not get that?"

I hope this policy is tossed out. The United States does enough stupid stuff, no reason to further that trend with this idea.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Andy Roddick and the Under...Wait, WHAT?

This is a commercial with Andy Roddick and the Undertaker. That is pretty much all I have to type.


Like, Seriously Mike Weir?

If you didn't catch any of the golf this weekend, you missed out on the hilarious fact that Mike Weir is really sporting a beard. For the FedEx Cup, Wayne Gretzky and Weir filmed a commercial where the Great One told the Pretty Good One to sport a full beard in anticipation of the playoffs.

Now, the Lefty is growing one in.

Hey, whatever blows your skirt up. Weir finished in a t-7, his fourth top-10 of the season.

Getty Images

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vijay Outlasts Sergio at the Barclays

The up and down year continues for Vijay Singh, who birdied both playoff holes to take down Sergio Garcia and Kevin Sutherland at the first even of the FedEx Cup playoffs today.

This is Singh's second victory in August, coming after two consecutive missed cuts at the PGA Championship and Wyndham Championship. Also, Vijay is now atop the FedEx Point list, nearly 5,000 points above Sergio after week one of the playoffs.

After covering Sergio's bananas 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole with a 25-footer of his own, Singh played the par-5 17th hole next about as textbook as you could, with a solid drive down the middle of the fairway and a second shot that appeared, from his expression, to be terrible but ended up 15-feet away for eagle. It was almost as if he was trying to trick us into believing he messed up.

Garcia snapped his drive into the trees, pushed his second shot behind the trunk of the tree and then after getting relief from what appeared to be a hole the devil comes in and out of, Sergio couldn't find the putting surface and just missed a chip-in for birdie.

Singh, who at 116th on tour this year in putting has had obvious problems with the flat-stick, rolled the eagle putt to the lip and tapped in for a nice, tidy birdie and the trophy.

When the parents are away the kids will play and it appears Singh likes Tiger not being in the picture. Stay tuned, this FedEx Cup might be worth it after all.

Sam Greenwood, Getty Images

The Two Worst Putters in the World Just Made Two Great Putts

Anyone that follows golf knows how bad Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia can be at putting.

I mean, they ain't great at it.

Sergio, right as I mentioned to my friend "I wonder if he has ever made a putt to win a golf tournament," cashed a 30-footer over a hill for birdie on the first playoff hole, forcing Vijay to make a putt from the other side of the hole.

Singh, who wiggled in a three-footer just three weeks ago to win the Bridgestone, cashed it on top of Garcia to move to the second playoff hole.

Unimaginable, if you ask me.

Congrats to the USA Basketball Team

Honestly, not much can keep me up at 2:30 AM (that is a lie), but watching the USA basketball team, live, was about as good as it gets. A tough game, a favorable opponent and the only struggle of the tournament, Kobe Bryant, D-Wade and company did what they crossed the pond to do.

Kobe was absolutely insane, and it was one of the better clutch performances you will see in sports.

If you didn't get to see it live, hopefully you'll catch it on the replay, but it was truly amazing.

USA basketball, back on the gold medal stand where they surely belong. Congrats guys, we're proud of you.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Streelman Has a Rare Shot in Rookie Season

Last season Kevin Streelman was hacking it out on the Gateway Tour, trying to make a living on the mini tours as he prepared for PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Like thousands of other great players looking for a break, Streelman put in his dough and headed to Q-School with one thing on his mind -- making it to the big show. The Duke grad was the only Gateway Tour player to make it to the dance and after a slow start, has secured his card for 2009 and is starting to make a name for himself.

Streelman is in the lead at the Barclays, an event with the biggest names in golf and a chance to take a lead in the FedEx Cup, something that would make the whole playoff thing worth it's hype. Could you imagine a rookie winning something that paid $10 million? Could there be a better story?

His three-under 68 on Sunday has Streelman sitting at eight-under and one shot ahead of a large group that includes Vijay Singh, a hairy Mike Weir, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia.

Sure, he might falter like he did when paired with Tiger Woods in the final group at the Buick Invitational, but Streelman can lean on a lot of experience he has gained in 2008, including a t-6 last week at the Wyndham Championship.

A huge hurdle to overcome with those big names, the good thing is one of the hotter young stars on tour right now will be on the first tee tomorrow spotted a shot before he ever hits a ball.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Funny Headline of the Week

This award goes to, for this gem -- "Van Pelt puts fun back in game, others struggle."

Only one person put the fun back in golf. Everyone else tried to put fun back into golf, but fell short. Sorry everyone else, Van Pelt is way better at fun putting than you.

Steve Stricker Enjoys the Barclays

With a bogey-free 64 today, Steve Stricker is in the lead at the only tournament he's won in the last seven season. His first victory since 2001 came here last year when Stricker made a name for himself by giving Mr. Tiger Woods a run for his money in the FedEx Cup.

Having a decent year by all accounts this season (21st on the FedEx list heading in to the playoffs), Stricker has hit 78 percent of his greens this week at Ridgewood to put himself atop Hunter Mahan (who still hasn't teed off yet) by a shot.

Sometimes the course just fits your eye, and Stricker is doing that in New York. More updates to come, including both an Anthony Kim and Sergio Garcia sighting.

Australian Golfer Fires a 59, Birdies Every Par-4 On the Course

For a minute yesterday I thought Hunter Mahan would make a run at that herald number, but it turned out an Aussie playing in the Queensland Sunshine Tour grabbed 59 instead.

Craig Jones' 13-under 59
was the lowest round ever carded in an professional event in Australia and matches the lowest ever on the PGA Tour with Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and Mr. David Duval, who have all posted sub-60.

Jones made two eagles, 10 birdies and a bogey on his round, making for an extremely colorful scorecard. As mentioned in the beautiful headline, Jones made a birdie on EVERY SINGLE par-4 he played, a feat that is almost as hard to swallow as someone firing a 59.

A 20-footer on his final hole had to drop and did, with Jones saying it felt like all his birthdays combined.

"When I hit the putt on the last I knew it had a chance and I can't describe the feeling when it went in," said Jones, who will join the Japanese Tour on Sunday.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day One of the Barclays In the Books

If the first day of the FedEx Cup was any indication of the next four weeks, expect to see a lot of young guys in the mix. A lot. You think all my buddies buy Powerball tickets for nothing? It's because young guys love thinking about winning $10 million.

Hunter Mahan scorched Ridgewood Country Club on Thursday, firing a 9-under 62 with consecutive 31s. Mahan's eagle to start wasn't bad either.

Other young guns in the hunt include Paul Casey (2nd), Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman (t-3) and Adam Scott (t-8).

A rather entertaining first day of golf showed that this FedEx thing might be interesting after all. Can we get a Schmickelson sighting tomorrow?

Taylor Made's New Driver Looks Kinda Strange, $500

Taylor Made, the new king of drivers, is coming out with a new baby this September 15 and though I haven't hit one (hint, hint Taylor Made), it looks pretty spacey. Also, $500, really?

I've never been a huge Taylor Made guy (though I loved the bubble shafts) I'm wondering the thoughts on 'em.

Do you love them? Do you hate them? Let me know.

Hunter Mahan is Having a Decent Day

There is nothing like making a birdie on the first hole of the day. Tight par-4, a little nervous as you head out, a couple of good swings and you just carded your first red number. I guess an eagle works too.

Hunter Mahan, after an eagle on his first hole, is absolutely obliterating Ridgewood Country Club, moving to eight-under through 15 holes. The Oklahoma State freak of a golfer turned in four-under 31, then went on to birdie four of his first five holes on the back with a par-5 left to play.

Although highly unlikely, a birdie-eagle-birdie finish is that number you're not supposed to talk about. Not a bad way to kick off your FedEx Cup.

A Fair Point on Player of the Year

I've been reading Jeff Rude since I was in high school, mostly because I got Golfweek every week and because he's the back page guy and Rick Reilly had all of us in a Pavlovian condition with the "back page first" maneuver.

Anyway, his recent column on the Player of the Year debate was extremely well done, even if I'm swaying the complete opposite direction of his vote.

Though majors carry extra weight, Woods gets my GWAA vote not only because of his broken-leg mind-blower but because he has three more victories than Harrington. What’s more, Woods’ dramatic victories at Dubai, WGC Match Play, Bay Hill and the Open, not to mention his blowout at the Buick Invitational, were stuff of fairy tales.

It's hard to argue that Tiger's wins this year were anything short of spectacular, but the bottom line is Padraig Harrington has won two majors and that takes precedent.

There are four tournaments a year that count more than anything else, and even with Woods carding one (and not playing in two) it was Harrington who stepped up from the field and it was Harrington who put together such fantastic back nines.

One of my points that has been lost in arguments is there was more pressure on these golfers after Tiger went down than when he's in the field. Most of the time, you have the top golfers trying to battle Woods, but if they lose it's alright because they were supposed to. When he went out with the knee surgery, everyone turned to the top dogs to show what they were made of. Harrington was the only one that did anything.

As much as I'd like to say Padraig is a shoe-in to win this award, I'm not so certain anymore. People can't get the Tiger taste out of their mouth, and after that performance at Torrey Pines, the taste was sweeter than ever.

If you get a chance, read the rest of Rude's column, because the picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team are different but very interesting. I think I'm on board.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sergio Garcia's Game is Like Tom Watsons, Kinda?

Like most American golf fans, I don't sit around cheering for Sergio Garcia. It isn't like he's done anything wrong besides spitting in a cup, complaining about a guy that raked the bunkers, complained about not getting breaks, was annoying at the Ryder Cup, drinks Michelob Ultra in his career, we just tend not to relate to the guy.

That is why the recent comments by Mr. 1986, Jack Nicklaus, are very true and very, very American.

"Sergio is a good player, but how do you continue to do what he does? Watson did it, but Watson did it at a young age—two U.S. Opens and a PGA, or two PGAs and a U.S. Open." (He was referring to tournaments Watson could have won but didn't.) Nicklaus continued:

"But Watson learned from that. I should put this in a positive way. Watson was an awfully good putter, and Sergio, it seems to be his nemesis. When you’re a really good putter like Harrington is, you can make up for some errant shots. Gary Player used to have a terrible time finishing off tournaments, but his short game was so great, and he was such a good putter, it didn’t look like he was having trouble finishing it off, because he didn’t give it away. He was always able to find a way to get the ball in the hole and get it done, and that’s what a lot of guys do, what Harrington does, and I did it on a lot of occasions. A lot of places I one-putted five of the last six or seven greens to make sure I stayed in the tournament and got there, and won.

"You know, Watson did it; Sergio has not been able to do it. He is very, very talented. When he learns to do that—if and when he learns that, and I don’t know whether he will or not--he will get to that level."

As much as this should be a jab, it really is just fact. Sergio can't putt, he can't finish tournaments and he has yet to show either will turn around. He has had the opportunity to win a ton of major championships, and has as many as you, me and my ipod at this point.

This could be a big deal, but it's really just Jack saying what everyone else thinks. Sergio will need to do some Serious growing up before he can ever consider closing a tournament of that nature on the 72nd hole.


Lets Talk About Sex FedEx Cup Baby!

If you didn't know, because you probably don't really care, the FedEx Cup starts tomorrow at the Barclays and the winner is truly up for grabs.

If you're bored at work and want to actually chat about this crazy thing, head on over to the FanHouse chat myself and Ryan Wilson are putting on.

It probably won't be as fun as walking on water, but it sure will blow your skirt up a touch.

Tiger Woods Birdies 18 to Beat Jesus

We all knew Tiger Woods was great, but comparing him to the rather impressive Jesus Christ is a fairly high praise.

That didn't stop the EA Sports guys to take his dominance to a new level. I love the commercial but I wish they had put another person trying to do it and falling it. It just kinda looks like he's walking in short water (well, until he puts his club down a foot or so).

[You Been Blinded]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The "Golf Without Tiger" Song

I love the Ryan Parker songs. He's got a great voice, he's creative as a kaleidoscope and never has a subject that isn't off limits.

This one, published on July 20 about Tiger's absence from the game is absolutely spot on and pretty hilarious. Check it out and run over to his website for a couple more little ditties.

Michelle Wie Has Exactly Zero Friends on Facebook

Honestly, I'm starting to feel bad for 18-year-old Michelle Wie.

Not only does she have to take shots from "media" members like myself and others, but now she's landing it from her own swing coach, David Ledbetter.

"It's a shock to me and to her agents that this is happening. I don't think the family is making the right choice. There's definitely more to lose than to gain. I've put too much time and effort into Michelle to be able to sit by and watch this happening without saying something. If she doesn't stick to doing what's sensible, we could see one of the greatest potential talents the game has ever known going to waste."

I mean, honestly, this thing is never going to get any better until one of these people (coach, agent, boyfriend, God) finally put their foot down and take managerial decision-making away from her Looney Toon of a father.

I really believe that Wie's parents should write a book called, "65 Things You Can Do To Make Even a Millionaire Teenager Hate Life."

If Michelle was cast in the new season of "Real World," at this point would it surprise you at all?

Here is the entry form for Q-School Michelle. Do the right thing.

Photo courtesy of David Cannon, Getty Images

Monday, August 18, 2008

Michelle Wie Has a Great Grasp on What is Really Happening

I'm not convinced that people even care about Michelle Wie anymore, but her t-12 at the Women's Canadian Open was Wie's best finish on American soil since 2006.

Always one to say things that make sense, Wie pointed out she had a great season in 2008.

"I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in myself again this year," Wie said. "Being pain-free in the later part of the year, I started feeling confident. From May on, it's getting better and better and now in the offseason, I know what to work on for next year."

Still avoiding the "will you be going to Q-School" question like Kobe Bryant does the Rockies, Wie will have some decisions to make in the coming months. I'm almost positive she will have to try and earn her card seeing as though this Stanford thing isn't really getting her anywhere and her golf has suffered since that decision.

If she's going to be serious about this playing professional golf thing, it might be time for the nearly 19-year-old Wie to give up on the college fling and try making birdies.

Maybe she could be good again.

Reviewing a Golf Course - Wolf Creek Golf Course, Mesquite, Nevada

I play a lot of golf. I also have a golf blog (welcome!), so I figured it would be beneficial to both you and I to begin reviewing golf courses. We'll talk about the course, the conditions, the price, the beverage cart and if it's worth the visit. If you've played, leave some comments. Here we are, golf course reviewing.

The website of Wolf Creek Golf Course has a simple message attached to it -- "Think you're up to it?" After two solid days of Vegas, it was extremely questionable when myself and a best buddy of mine made the 90 minute trip from the strip up Interstate-15 to what looks like a golf course on Mars. (I feel that I need to preface my review of Wolf Creek. For some extremely unimaginable reason, it rained two inches in an hour the day before we hit our tee shots on the Wolf, and being erected through walls of dirt and mud, a downfall like that will lead to some extreme runoff. The course was struggling because of the conditions, but I will keep that in mind during the entire review. Also, the greens were really slow because I'm not sure they could have mowed them.)

When you're out two nights in a row at places like Bellagio, Wynn, Mandalay Bay, and Luxor, it's hard to step to the first tee with complete peace of mind. (Honestly, with the way I was feeling, it might have been hard to successful drink from a bottle of water with any confidence at all.) Nonetheless, when first arriving at Wolf Creek you notice a few things. Nobody was out to greet us when we unloaded our bags and we were the ones that put them on the cart. However, Once entering the clubhouse the crew was polite and helpful. We learned that Wolf Creek is almost always in the top-100 of course to play by Golf Digest and others (No. 25 last year). The pro shop attendee also let us know that a group from Pebble Beach and Spyglass came and said they enjoyed Wolf Creek as much, if not more, than those two gems. "Umm, ok cool, lets get this thing going."

The driving range is pitiful. An irons only slab of grass that might be able to contain a shot 210 yards or more. From there we hit some putts and were off.

Now, here is what I'll tell you about Wolf Creek. A slope rating of 154 from the tips (only 6,939), the nickname "Challenger" graces the back tees for more than just the difficulty (ranked 31 by Golf Digest in '07 as Toughest Courses to Play). Just finding some of the back tees makes for a challenging day in and of itself. The first hole, a par-5 that should make for a confidence building par, has back tees that are so far from the cart path you might want to carry two balls and a fruit bar just for the hike. The second hole has the back tees so far up a mountain that overweight golfers literally couldn't play it.

The course is in one of those unique "the bite is worse than the bark" lists because of the par-3s. Sure, it's pretty impossible to get around the front nine without having to buy golf balls at the snack shack (they literally sell sleeves after the fifth and 14th holes), but it's the par-3s that make the hangover really come on strong. The first is the third hole, a 227-yard par-3 straight up a hill that makes the yardage a true 240+. If you miss the green, you better just stay in the cart, because the designer of this course hate bailouts.

One of my knocks with Wolf Creek comes on the 7th and 8th holes. Sure, the course is tough and you know that before starting, but here it is downright goofy. The 7th is a 302-yard par-4 where you hit a shot around 200 yards and then have a wedge into an elevated green. Simple if you can find the fairway, the 7th is one of the only places on the front you might catch a birdie. The 8th is a 248-yard par-3 to an island green that you can barely even see. Stealing money from a casino and walking out pummeled-free might be easier than making a par here. The reason I'm not a fan of this is because realistically it's easier to make a 3 on the par-4 than the par-3.

The back nine lightens up a little, with some maneuverable holes and some solid views. Number 12 is one of the more fun par-5s you'll ever play, keeping the drive just right of the lake and trying to find a skinny, but lengthy (55 yards) green with a few tiers. Miss the green a yard right and you better be looking for a drop area. The 17th hole is also a great par-5, where you can get to in two with a solid drive, but you're risking a water ball to the peninsula green. I'm not exactly sure what the designers were doing with the 18th, a 307-yard par-4 that is just pretty blah, but I guess the aesthetic waterfall to the left of the fairway makes up for it.

The golf course is a solid track that is very challenging but relatively fair (besides 7 and 8). You're never going to park your rental car at Wolf Creek with a low number in mind, but it's interesting to test your game against a beast like this one.

The yardage book they give out for free is helpful but a little behind the times. A few more yardages to the cut off zones (especially on the second hole) would be helpful in envisioning a shot shape off some tees. Also, the snack shack is awesome (it even has a drive-thru!) but we didn't see a cart girl all day and played on a Sunday. Also, for a place that tips 110 during summer days, it was ironic that the obligatory mid-round hot dog was warm at best.

All in all, if you don't mind the 90 minute drive from Vegas, it's a great course to try and a nice break from the mayhem of the strip. I would recommend the course to anyone that asked and would love to tee it up there again when the conditions were a little more favorable. If you're looking for a course to truly test your game and can't get on Oakmont or Augusta, trying out Wolf Creek isn't a bad plan.

Friday, August 15, 2008

No, Golf Shouldn't be An Olympic Sport

I'm all for change. I love it. Sometimes, just to change things up, I'll wear a thong to work, just to feel the connectivity my boys have with each other. You know, the whole "being different thing."

That said, I'm not in love with this "golf in the Olympics" idea and think it's worth addressing.

The Olympic Committee have added various sports throughout the years, mainly because it gives athletes the ability to compete against the best in the world on an enormous stage. It's the Super Bowl, only much bigger and a more expanded audience.

The problem with golf is, we already have that. The Americans, our wonderful country that most want to beat like the dickens, have a competitions against the best in the world every year. Unlike the Davis Cup, which seems to never end (and I'm not tennis expert so I'm probably wrong), the Ryder Cup is a passionate event that has become something countries keep their eyes on. It's important, just like the President's Cup has started to become.

Golf has the opportunity to do this every single year. Unlike the days when it was just Europe vs. America, we have an event now that gives anyone a chance to play in. While I find it ridiculous that we as Americans can have our OWN team while others countries have to consolidate, it's how it is and probably is the best for competition. Adding golf to the Olympic rotation would just be another marquee team or individual event when we already have, at minimum, five a year (four majors and the Cup).

While I find it pointless, I think the only way to make it interesting at all is to do it gymnastic style, and have different skill events. That isn't really "golf" because you're harping on the "Skill Challenge" mentality and not the final scores, but you'd at least be given the opportunity to watch Sergio Garcia sweat an iron shot to win the "Closest to the Pin" portion.

Other than that, I find it a touch of a yawn and even more of an overkill to the sport.

Golf is doing fine with what its got. Leave it be until it needs a boost.

Michelle Wie Better Send Her Money in For Q-School

As I pointed out on Wednesday, Michelle Wie and her impeccable ability to make the right decision had to finish no worse than second at this week's Women's Canadian Open to avoid Q-School for the ladies.

After an opening round 75, it appears she is well on her way to sending in that check.

Lets be honest, nobody thought she'd do this. Wie has had a horrible 2008 and after shooting an 80 in the second round of the PGA Tour's Reno-Tahoe Open, her year was defined.

She said before the tournament started that concerning Q-school, "I'm not going to think about the future right now."

Right on the cut line right now in Canada, it's time for her to make a decision. We all know she isn't going to the Futures Tour, so Q-School seems her most logical and sensible decision. It will give her the opportunity to belong on the LPGA instead of being the cold soar she's become to most of her peers.

That or she could just say fuck it. You know, whatever.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Sometimes, when you write golf for two different websites, you have a tough time balancing what you're writing. This week, after the PGA Championship fiasco, I've been kinda neglecting my little baby here and wanted to say sorry.

Anyway, the last day I've posted about how much trouble you can get in killing birds, Michelle Wie's hope if winning to keep her LPGA card and the amazing, Amazing news that Charles Barkley will be starting a reality golf show to change his swing.

Check out the stories if you want and I promise, more "interesting" content to come on Dogs.

Continue with your Thursday. Hit it straight.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is The Tiger Era Nearly Over?

This is my column about the era of Tiger maybe facing elimination.

It's worth noting that I love Tiger and always want him to succeed, I just feel this injury could be the beginning of the end. If you don't agree, I'm open for criticism.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your Daily Racist Comment Brought To You by Dan O'Neill

Honestly, you can't really lead into this story. Dan O'Neill is either a racist prick or ignorant beyond belief and will probably be looking for a blogger domain name here in the next couple of days.

That's 41 down, one more to go for Sergio Garcia.

You remember the No. 42. That was the number of majors Phil Mickelson played in before he won the 2004 Masters. That's the amount of frustration, heartbreak and second-guessing “Lefty” endured before he got that Jackie Robinson off his back.


Did he really just say that?

See, here is what our boy O'Neill was going for. Jackie Robinson was number 42. The reason I know this (and probably why he knows it) is because his number is retired in every ballpark in America. The reason is because he was the first BLACK baseball player ever to cross the racial barrier of baseball. Do you get that -- Robinson was black.

So, maybe using the Jackie Robinson card works when replacing the number "42" but probably not the best move when replacing "monkey."

Here, I'll help you out Dan.

"Dude, how many beers did you have last?!?!?!"

"Bro, I must have like Jackie Robinson'd it."

See. Dude and Bro are talking about how many alcoholic beverages they drank the previous night and instead of saying "42" they used the famous baseball player.

That would have worked. Replacing "monkey off the back" probably isn't going to go over well over the next 24 hours. This should get interesting.

Sergio Garcia Living the G2 Life, Talks Crazy After PGA

It's one thing to lose, it's something completely different to never admit that you lost.

Sergio Garcia, Mr. No It Can't Be Me, finished two shots behind an insanely hot Padraig Harrington at the PGA Championship on Sunday and even when it appears he grew up, he still can drop some gems.

After the round he talked to the media, saying he hit a "great" putt on 17 (he straight pulled the birdie putt) and that his second shot on 18 was a "great shot from the rough."

Also, he went ahead and gave the media a little leg sweep, saying they'll turn around anything he says to make him look bad (the 1:23 mark). It's worth watching, especially if you're on the fence about Sergio. Did you know he's never hit a bad shot?

Final Round PGA Championship Highlights, Including Padraig's Putt

It's sad what golf viewing has became, as indicative of the television ratings from this weekend's PGA Championship. Could you imagine if Tiger Woods had made that putt on the last to win? People would have called in sick on Monday they would have been so drained. No matter, here are the highlights from the final round with Harrington's putt at the end to clinch his second consecutive major.

Ben Curtis makes the Ryder Cup team.

Jack Nicklaus Lives on Another Planet

It's always cute when people, especially famous people, say things that are absurd or off the wall because they "really believe them."

President Cup Captain and always Mr. Positive Jack Nicklaus did just that when discussing our Ryder Cup team, which has as good a shot to knock off the Europeans as a squirrel overturning a train.

Speaking Monday before a charity tournament hosted by Fuzzy Zoeller in southern Indiana, Nicklaus said he still thinks the U.S. can take back the Cup though he concedes the Americans are no longer heavy favorites now that Woods is out with a knee injury.

Well, to Jack's defense, that isn't really "picking Team USA to win" as the title indicates. I mean, he says he "thinks" they can take back the Cup, but I also "think" Kate Bosworth and I would really hit it off if she'd ever give me a chance. It isn't like he's tattooing "2008 Ryder Cup Champions, Team USA" on his calf or anything.

I wonder why he said anything at all about this.

Nicklaus also praised the revamped layout at Valhalla, a course he designed. He lengthened some holes and shortened others, hoping to put more emphasis on putting.

Oh, he just wanted to comment on that course of his. Gotcha. See, business is business even when it isn't dressed in business attire. It's like when you see your buddy Jimmy on Halloween and he's wearing a Scooby Doo costume. He isn't the dog, he's still Jimmy, he just looks like Scooby. Trust me, it'll take a minute to sink in.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Winners and Losers From the PGA Championship

Check out my extensive article over at FanHouse about the winners and losers from the last major of the year. It's funny and I think I quoted Fort Minor in it, if that helps.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Padraig Harrington, Your 2008 Player of the Year

There is a difference in every level of golfer. A high handicapper and a mid handicapper might just be a couple of shots here, a bad decision there. A scratch golfer and a professional usually are usually just a shot away on a certain hole, maybe go at an unreachable pin when you should play it safe.

The difference in a major champion and a strong PGA professional was shown today. When the putts needed to drop, Padraig Harrington, winner of two majors previously, made them. He didn't hit the lip, he didn't back away from the putt, he just stood over them, checked his line and did what he does. Dead center, thanks for playing, I'll take that please.

Like poker, Golf has a certain "tilt" about it. Golfers can force shots here and there when they shouldn't be at all. Harrington doesn't do this. A bad shot on 16 still ended in par, an amazing iron shot on 17 turned into a birdie and two bad shots in a row on the last never bothered the Irishman as he walked up, hit a shot from the nasty Oakland Hills rough to 15-feet and drained it.

You can makes jokes about Sergio Garcia all you want, and I promise, I probably will, but just like Greg Norman, this was a tournament that was won, not lost. A 66 in the morning and a 66 in the evening is just about the formula you need at Oakland Hills.

Congrats to Padraig. Three of six ain't bad.

Getty Images

If You Had 6:35 PM in Your "What Time Will Sergio Choke?" Office Pool You Won

Yep, it took 16 holes, but Sergio Garcia finally looked like Sergio Garcia. His second shot on 16 found the water and we're not totally sure yet, but it might have crossed the hazard by the green, which would be a HUGE bonus. If not, he's going to have a full shot AGAIN over water. Sad face time for Mr. Garcia.

Getty Images

Your Next Gillette Sponsor?

I've consoled with Ryan Wilson of AOL, and we've decided that Sergio Garcia is officially rocking the eight o'clock shadow because he wants to be Gillette's next pitch man.

First Tiger Woods
, now Sergio? Come on, who better to sell your stuff?

Getty Images

Can A Guy Wearing Detroit Lions Gear Really Win his Second Major?

Most people harp on the fact that guys that have won major championships can fall back on that "experience" when faced with similar situations.

This can't be said about Ben Curtis. In 2003, at the Open Championship, Curtis had one "moment" putt, on 18, and cashed it, but it was Thomas Bjorn who handed the Claret Jug to Curtis.

Now, the guy rocking the NFL gear is trying to do what Payne Stewart did while rocking NFL gear in 1989 - win the Wanamaker Trophy.

A buddy of mine made a great point though. As much as fitness is talked about, these are the moments it is a real factor on the links. A guy like Curtis, who doesn't look like he's going to be posing for the Swimsuit issue anytime soon, is having to play 36 holes in one day against a guy like Sergio Garcia, who looks as fit as he ever has. I guess all those Michelob Ultras are finally paying themselves back.

Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Everyone Loves Oakland Hills

Ever had that girl that you couldn't stand? You hated her smile, her laugh, the way she talked to people and even how she walked but you'd still call her on off nights when you KNEW you shouldn't?

Yeah, that is what Oakland Hills has become. Hosting it's first major since 1996, the touring pros aren't too high on the course, but golf will be played tomorrow, so what do you do? You call her.

I don't think it's fair," said Ken Duke, who shot 73 Friday. "I tell you what, the greens were firming up a lot. They have got to do something to get some water on them."

"The greens are a joke," Steve Flesch said after scrambling for an even-par 70, one of the best rounds of the day. "And the raking — the thing that bothers me the most, honestly, is that they're raking the rough toward us on the tee."

Yeah, it hasn't been solid feedback thus far at the PGA Championship and it isn't going to get any better with golfers most likely having to stay an extra day around the course.

With play suspended, it will be tough for everyone to get in their round tomorrow, making for one of those exciting Monday finishes, only without Rocco Mediate or Tiger Woods.

Oh, and Phil Mickelson? He hates Oakland Hills as well.

"I thought this year's U.S. Open setup was great," Mickelson said.

And what about this week's setup?

"Not so much, yeah, not so much," the world No. 2 replied before refusing to go into details. "I've got to play this thing two more times and I don't really want to go into whether or not it's fair or what have you. Everybody's got to play it."

That's like the story of Ernie Els, who won his first U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, a beast itself. After his win in 1994, Oakmont offered him a membership of sorts, telling him he had the option of playing it whenever he wanted. Asked last year if he ever took them up on the offer, he said once, with some buddies that wanted to play. Other than that, he decided to pass.

Tiger Woods vs. Bob May

Anyone think Tiger Woods is going to pull this one out against Bob May at Valhalla? I'm on the edge of my seat. What a shot! What a putt! What drama!!!!

Play Suspended at Oakland Hills

Just as Phil Mickelson hit arguably his best shot of the week, a drive on the par-4 6th to about ten feet for eagle, the horn went off and play was suspended at the PGA Championship.

They showed some rain clouds and such moving in, so I'm assuming it will be a little bit before they get back on the course.

Stay tuned, we'll keep you updated.

Just Haaaaanging Around

Anytime the golf course of a major championship (mostly the U.S. Open) is playing extremely difficult, it lets a ton of golfers into the mix.

A group of leaders around even-par can easily land a windy afternoon where the guy that was six-over posts a 68 or 69 and is right back in the mix. Today, at Oakland Hills, Graeme McDowell, Camilo Villegas and Andres Romero are all doing exactly that, making their way around the course in four-under par (and Villegas five-under with the possibility of moving to six with about an eight-footer on 12) on Saturday and finding themselves jumping golfers like Lebron does the Chinese.

If anyone can post a number in the red today, with weather moving in slowly around the course, anyone could find themselves in the top-10 later this evening. Well, anyone except the people that missed the cut. It would be hard for those people to improve their position.

Getty Images

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sergio's Putter Is Really Awesome

A bad putter will be a bad putter at the worst possible times, and that is what you just saw with Sergio Garcia.

He just keeps striping golf shots left and right around Oakland Hills, but that flat-stick is continuing to be his least favorite fan (And that is saying a lot).

On the 17th hole, sitting at even-par for the tournament and a shot back of J.B. Holmes, El Nino four-putted for a double-bogey. Sure, it wasn't as bad as Mr. Yips, Vijay Singh, five-putting his last hole today to miss the cut, but it was ugly.

This is why I might be in the group that says Garcia could never win a major. Sure he has a lot of talent, and sure he hits the ball as good as anyone on tour, but that four-putt right there will be in his cabeza for the rest of the week. I guess only time will let us know how he bounces back.

J.B. Holmes Is Long

The thing about aggressive golfers, like J.B. Holmes or Phil Mickelson, is that when they hit the fairway it's a great birdie opportunity on almost any hole, no matter the distance. If they miss it, the miss is usually huge (a la Winged Foot), so this leads to a ton of birdies and a ton of bogeys.

Looking at Holmes scorecard, who is currently the clubhouse leader at one-under after an impressive two-under 68, you see exactly why this theory holds true. Also, throw in a testing course like Oakland Hills and you better just hope the bad shots lead to bogeys, and not those nasty "others."

Holmes, and his extremely classy black golf glove, is currently tied with Phil Mickelson (seriously), Aaron Baddeley and Sergio Garcia in a major that is shaping up to be the best leaderboard we've had all year on the weekend.

Could anything be better than a Garcia-Mickelson final pairing? I'd love to see them tied for the lead heading to 18 on Sunday. Which one makes the triple to the others double to lose by a shot?

Getty Images

Get Ready to Say The Line "Charle Wi Is Your Second Round Leader"

As Oakland Hills continues to look like that lady in your office that everyone hates and wants to secretly push off a ledge, South Korean Charlie Wi just wrapped up his second consecutive round of even-par 70 to take the clubhouse lead.

Sure, it will take a lot from the six golfers under par that haven't teed off yet, but as I've been following with's live stream coverage, bogeys are out there. They're everywhere. They are on holes you hit the fairway and holes you hit greens and holes you have four-footers for par. Oakland Hills does not like people have fun on her. She's not nice. If you poke Oakland Hills on Facebook, she'd block you as a friend.

Expect to see Charlie Wi in one, if not the last, group tomorrow morning.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Franklin, Getty Images

Kenny Perry Will Not Finish a Single Major This Season

Kenny Perry's major championship roller coaster has finally ended, doing so in equally bizarre fashion as it took off.

Currently the active leader on the FexEx Cup point standings (Tiger Woods is just ahead of him), Perry created an uproar this year by skipping the U.S. Open and the British Open for lesser known PGA Tour events that he already committed to. He did all of this because his main golf this season was to make the Ryder Cup in his home state of Kentucky.

Well, he isn't finishing the PGA Championship either. After a first round 9-over 79, Perry withdrew because of a scratch cornea he suffered Tuesday night.

Obviously it would be tough to play a round of golf in any situation with a problem with your eye, but I'd say he will be working to get this fixed up so he can participate in the Ryder Cup come September. Nothing would be worse than a guy trying as hard as Perry has to represent his country and having to miss out because of injury.

I'm sure he'll be fine, but here is some good will coming from us guys.

Angel Cabrera Hits 375 Drive on No. 2, Makes Birdie to Share the Lead

Angel Cabrera might not be exactly the type person you'd think could win a U.S. Open, but at one of the toughest courses in the world, EL Pato was the best.

Now, at the PGA Championship, sans cigarettes, Cabrera is tied for the lead.

On the par-5 second hole today, Cabrera hit a drive so long (they're estimated it 375 yards) that all the ShotLink software wasn't even in the right position to measure the distance.

Follow Argentinian Andres Romero is also playing well, just two shots back.

Getting To Know Your Two Obscure PGA Championship Leaders

After day one, Jeev Milkha Singh and Robert Karlsson were leading the last major of the season.

Maybe not the two most recognizably names in golf, I thought it would be fun to check out some things about the two.

Jeev Milkha Singh was born in Chandigarh, India, but attended Abilene Christian University, which I heard is the new hot spot for those crazy Indian Christians to head. His wife's name is Kudrat and says that "watching movies" is what he enjoys doing. Singh has won three times on the European Tour including the Bank Austria Golf Open earlier this season.

Robert Karlsson might not be the most well known golfer, but he is the only player this season to finish in the top-10 in the first three major championships. His nickname is Ivan Drago obviously because of his size (6'5") and the fact that most Americans think anyone not from American are all the same (Karlsson from Sweden, Drago was from the Soviet Union). His interests include family and sports (exxxciting dude, this Karlsson).

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Watch PGA Coverage Online Right Now

If you're stuck at work like some of us, check out the live stream on Nothing really makes your morning like seeing Angel Cabrera live on your computer screen at 8 AM.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ben Curtis Is Leadi....Oh, Nope, Nevermind, t-48

If you took a few minutes to watch tidbits of the PGA Championship today you had a good chance of seeing someone near the top of the leaderboard that is nowhere to be seen.

Nobody defines this better than Ben Curtis, who was 3-under and tied for the lead through ten holes, and then decided to start playing like the NFL football logo he was wearing, the Detroit Lions.

Curtis bogeyed six of his last eights holes to shoot a three-over 73 and drop 47 spots in the leaderboard.

Also, he has a big bellybutton, or so it seems.

Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood, Getty Images

John Daly Is, Gulp, Not Playing So Bad, UPDATE

We here in the blog world tend to take pokes at John Daly more than most. He's a tad overweight, just a little loony and has struggled (at times) on the golf course.

The thing most people don't understand, is most people, including myself, still root for Daly. I want him to do well, I hope he shoots under par and I couldn't ask for anything more than a solid week at a tournament that introduced him to our world.

He isn't going to win this week, that's almost a given, but making the cut and getting to see him happy again would be well worth it to the world of golf. He's two-over through 16 holes and it might be his best round, but it's good enough for a top-40 finish and a puncher's chance at making the cut tomorrow.

(There are just a lot of 8s and 9s out there waiting to grab Big John by his Texas-sized gut)

UPDATE: Yeah, just after I posted this Daly made a double-bogey on 17, so I guess you can forget all that I wrote (like you wouldn't anyway).

Photo courtesy of Hunter Martin, Getty Images

Is This Augusta? Play Suspended at the PGA

Mostly it's the Masters that we're dealing with weather all week, but today at the PGA bad weather rolled in and forced the tournament to suspend play.

Robert Karlsson and Jeev Milkha Singh are still tied as the clubhouse leaders at two-under while Retief Goosen and Jonathan Byrd were still playing when the weather hit.

Only six players have finished their first round under par but if the moistened conditions surrounding Oakland Hills stay until tomorrow, those left to finish their rounds will have an easier time finding the fairways and greens.

Tiger Woods hasn't played in the last two majors and the weather has been terrible. Coincidence?

Lee Westwood Shot 77, Took It Like A Man

There is nothing better in golf than those guys you have that have never made a bogey in their lives. Sure, they've carded a bogey, but it's because the wind or a bad bounce or the wrong club or a bird or sex from the night before. I hate these people.

Lee Westwood is now one of these people.

I was happy to break 80 after being seven over after 12 holes. Standing on the 17th tee I asked my caddie if he could hear the sea as well as I am sure I could hear my holiday calling. But I dug in there.

I didn't do a lot wrong. The fairways are narrow and unfortunately if you miss the semi by a foot you are worse off than if you miss by 20 yards, which you need to take different people's opinions as the whether that is fair. You have to reward the accurate players like they did at the US Open. If you miss by a shot you have half a shot. I had a shot on the fourth, hit a driver and cos the fairways are firming up, ran through the fairway a foot into the rough and I couldn't even get a lob wedge to the green and I only had a 95 yards to the front. That's the sort of thing you are battling against out there. It is a difficult course any way with the greens and the pin positions to protect it. I am not sure you need rough as long as it is and you certainly don't need to sweep it back towards the tee the night before the tournament when we have played it as it is in the practice rounds.

(The only way to make it fair is to) cut all the rough out. I think the US Open was set up perfectly. It rewards accuracy and penalizes you if you are off liner. I didn't see that today. I asked my partners if I was out of order and they said 'No, if you are slightly off line you are crucified'. In my opinion it is too thick around the greens as well. It takes the skill away from chipping. Yoy don't need it. The course is 7,500 yards long, the greens are firm, and the pins are tucked away. They are sucking the fun out of the Major Championships when you set it up like that.

Wow, sounds like a happy camper. Think he's going to be "in it" tomorrow?

Photo courtesy of STAN HONDA, AFP

A Decent Start

Here is Heath Slocum's first three holes. I'd say that is a little how you envision it happening. It's like when you buy a shirt at a department store and take it home and it fits just like you knew it would, only way cooler and less lame.

Slocum is leading by the way.

The Mornings Guys are Getting the Goods

With a lot of the morning crew finishing up at Oakland Hills, and the wind starting to pick up, it's looking like the AM group got the best on the first day of the PGA.

Robert Karlsson and Jeev Milkha Singh are tied with the clubhouse lead at two-under while (Areyoureadyforthis) Sergio Garcia is one back after firing a one-under 69.

Anthony Kim, who played with Garcia, made an eagle and two birdies to land in a share for the lead at two-under before making bogeys on his final two holes to post at even par. Phil Mickelson is one-under while Sean O'Hair is two-under with three holes to go.

Are those enough scores or are you in desperate need for some more? I got 'em. Don't you doubt me.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Talk of the Week Had a Lot to do with Ryder

It's a major championship and everyone is hoping to either claim their first big one or add to the resume, but it sure seems that a lot of talk has focused around the Ryder Cup this week.

"Any of those guys I'm happy with and there's none of those eight guys that know for sure they are going to be on this team," American captain Paul Azinger explained. "And there could be somebody all the way down to the 24th name that could get hot at the right time and just sidestep all those guys and go right to the top of my selection process. As you can see, there's a zillion choices. I think it's very compelling and it's going to be worth watching the next few weeks to see what happens."

With what is becoming, for better or worse, a much ballyhooed Ryder Cup this season, the American team is attempting to strengthen without the likes of El Tigre. Anthony Kim, Kenny Perry and Phil Mickelson will be (gulp) the rocks of this group and adding a couple of chemistry guys, like Woody Austin, might help get everyone fired up.

"Woody Austin is a pretty good player," Azinger said Wednesday. "He hasn't won, but I believe he's had chances to win and he's a pretty good match-play player. And he's kind of got that blue-collar mentality."

I hate to say that the "blue-collar mentality" might not be exactly what you want to steal the Ryder Cup, but anything helps.

One request if Austin gets picked -- please, please avoid any and all water hazards. We as Americans look dumb enough as it is (and yes, that appears to be a Mint Julep.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Featured Pairings For Thursday at the PGA

Here are a few groups to watch at the PGA Championship, with times all eastern because I'm too lazy to change them over.

8:15 - Jim Furyk, Colin Montgomerie, Aaron Baddeley (No swing has harmed in the making of this pairing)

8:25 - Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas (There will be so many popped collars and flashy clothes in this grouping SEC frats might video tape these guys for a training video)

8:35 - Zach Johnson, Lee Westwood, Geoff Ogilvy (Honest question - is Ogilvy's foot bigger than Zach Johnson?)

1:15 - Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera (Damn Padraig and his inability to not win the British again so I couldn't make some cheap "I wonder which one of these guys were luckier to win a major" joke.)

1:35 - John Daly, Vijay Singh, David Toms (How happy would you be if you were the guy that suggested this pairing and got to go home and laugh to your wife all night after they checked "ok" on it? Thank everyone for this.)

A Gatorade A Day Makes The Knee Pain Go Away

Like death and taxes, when I become a tad ill, I bypass the doctor, never am stumbling up and down aisles at Walgreens and absolutely will not swallow a pill. Nope, I'm on a strict Gatorade Diet, and will feel like George Clooney on a day that ends in "Y" by morning.

This is Tiger Woods, on the Scott Van Pelt show, explaining why sponsors really, really, really like having him on their team.

"(Gatorade is) helping me find things that will enable me to heal faster – soft tissue and different types of flavors and drinks that I should be drinking to help speed up recovery after my workouts and pre-workouts. ... Before it was just all on-course stuff with the three flavors I was playing, but now it’s different. Now we’re into recovery drinks, so I think it’s helped me a lot."

Roll your eyes all you want, but I think he's got something here. Like Nyquil to Lewis Black, this stuff will do it for you. My potion is a little of the blue mixed with a little of tha yella.

Lessons In Impressive Question Asking

If ever given the opportunity to question a star athlete or coach, here are some pointers.

-Anything concerning how they "feel" or what this "means" are golden.
-Attempting to get them to "explain what this moment is like" is sure to get you a promotion.
-Asking if anything "less than a win" will be good enough will make the interviewee very happy.

Cue Paul Azinger, who was asked at Oakland Hills this week if anything less than a win for this year's American Ryder Cup would be alright.

At his press conference at the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills on Wednesday, Azinger was asked if only a victory would suffice, and twice responded with a defiant, "What do you think?"

"Next question," Azinger said, thwarting the befuddled questioner.

Sadly we don't have the person's name that asked this, but here is a little piece from my tiny little brain for you, free of charge. When two people or teams are involved, normally finishing in second isn't what you're going for.

Again, maybe just my way of looking at it, but second place when there are just two teams isn't exactly front row on your trophy stand.

Glory's Last Shot, or Something Like That

They call it glory's last shot, but it's really kinda like Glory's fourth guy in two days. You win the PGA Championship, you're a major champion, but it isn't like your hometown's erecting signs in your honor. It's the ugly sister's step-sister with a cleft lip, and everyone on tour knows it.

In the bizarro Tiger-less PGA Tour, we've had our stars (everyone wave to Anthony Kim and Kenny Perry), we've had our one-hit story lines (That's Greg Norman to your left) and everyone has seen the golfers fall flat on their poor, helpless faces (here lies Phil Mickelson and poor Sergio Garcia). It isn't the same game as most golfers are used to with Tiger out, but it's still going to be interesting at Oakland Hills and we do have the potential for someone to win it that will matter in the coming years.

My pick will stick with Anthony Kim. He hasn't really had a bad tournament since his first win this season and even when he faltered in the final round in Canada, he hit his driver well, which will be imperative at the Hills. If Kim can break through, it will be a great thing for everyone, so here's one guy's completely ludicrous opinion. I never pick the winner correctly. I had IUPUI in the NCAA bracket this year, so see....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Some Golfers Might Have to Learn to Hit Those Precious Fairways

Distance has taken the finesse out of golf. The big hitters just bomb driver on every single hole, don't care if it goes in the rough because they can create three digit swing speed with a lob wedge and hack it out with a ton of spin.

This might be the case anymore.

The USGA just passed that starting in 2010, restrictions will be set to control the grooves (groovyness?) on golf clubs five-iron and higher. Wow, that was confusing, let real writers explain.

The rules control the cross sectional area of grooves on all clubs, with the exception of drivers and putters, and limit groove edge sharpness on clubs with lofts equal to or greater than 25 degrees (generally a standard 5-iron and above).

The research undertaken and published by the USGA and The R&A demonstrates that for shots from the rough with urethane-covered balls (the type of ball most used by highly skilled players), modern, sharp-edged U-grooves result in higher ball spin rates and steeper ball landing angles than the V-groove designs used predominantly in the past.

The combination of a higher spin rate and steeper landing angle results in better control when hitting to the green. Shots from the rough become more similar to shots from the fairway, creating less challenge for shots from the rough.

Yeah, so that will be a big change. If you don't think the groove debate is a big deal, swallow this -- notorious rough-ignorer Vijay Singh puts new wedges in his bag every single week.

Of all the things the USGA could do to deter the equipment from taking over the game, this is the best and most logical choice. If you don't think you can hit the fairway with the driver, start pulling out a long iron.

Who You Got?

Did you know the PGA Championship is this week?

Schmickey is the favorite, but only in Vegas and in a land called "I Love to Lose Money."

Who are you picking? Vijay? Sergio? Phil? Me?

Throw it in comments. See who people love.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reviewing a Golf Course - Arrowhead Golf Club, Littleton, Colorado

I play a lot of golf. I also have a golf blog (welcome!), so I figured it would be beneficial to both you and I to begin reviewing golf courses. We'll talk about the course, the conditions, the price, the beverage cart and if it's worth the visit. If you've played, leave some comments. Here we are, golf course reviewing.

When you call Arrowhead Golf Club, the pleasant recorded message lets you know you're headed to "a top-10 most picturesque golf course in the world." You might not totally believe them as you battle the front nine, but boy did they get it right on the back. Right up there with Kingsbarns in Scotland and our own Pebble Beach, Arrowhead is a beaut, and don't worry, they charge handily for your viewing pleasure. Teeing off at 3 PM, we were charged $79 a person, but got all 18 holes in with plenty of sunlight to spare.

The condition of the course is very, very mediocre. I don't know if you can blame Arrowhead as much as the mini-drought Colorado is in, but on numerous holes the fairways were splattered with manual sprinklers just to keep them from completely burning out. The greens were exactly what'd you expect from a top-tier public golf course, nothing extremely special but smooth and receptive to good shots.

A bonus to playing Arrowhead is the wildlife. During our 18 hole adventure, we caught two foxes, a handful of deer (that you can practically pull right up to) and some intense bullfrogs. With your camera obviously around at all times, it's pretty awesome to click some shots of the animals as you are admiring the great par-3s.

Oh, and have I mentioned, it's beautiful.

The cart girl was the best I'd ever had (probably 7-9 views), and always had the cart stocked with whatever you needed. The staff was solid, but they dropped the ball with the bar design. It's perched overlooking the majestic red rocks, but they only have one balcony and when we were there, it was reserved for a wedding. If they had planned for such a thing, two balconies would have been perfect and we would have had the option to enjoy a cold Guinness overlooking their signature rocks instead of having to stare at each other while the bartender was getting her cash in order.

Overall I'd say it was a solid B+. The course is fair, the condition were shoddy but the views were stunning and well worth the price, even if the range makes you hit off mats. You're not going to play Arrowhead three times a year, but if you're in the area, it's worth the trip. Also, forewarning, it's a long way from anything so plan accordingly.

Picture of the Infamous Bear at the Senior Open

I have no idea who to credit with this photo, so I'll just credit my buddy Andrew. He's a nice guy and even though he's not into picture taking, he is really good at texting.

Photo courtesy of Andrew.

Vijay Singh's Putting Stroke Sure is Pure

If you didn't catch the Bridgestone Invitational yesterday at Firestone, you actually missed watching some of the top professional golfers on the planet choking harder than an infant throwing back a 20-ounce porterhouse.

Phil Mickelson was right in the mix, driving that car to the winner's circle until he bogeyed three of his last four holes, all sloppy, all ill-timed, all Mickelson-y.

Everyone's favorite Fijian golfer, Vijay Singh, decided that what Mickelson was doing looked fun, and after making four birdies in his six holes, bogeyed three coming in with a putter that looked shakier than an extra on "Turbulence" with Tourettes (sorry, I'm honing in on my inner-Rick Reilly this morning for some reason).

You know when athletes have quotes that are so deep, so meaningful you realize why they're pros and you're not? Well, this isn't one of those times.

"I was wondering if I tried to hit it as close as possible so I didn't leave myself a putt," Singh said.

Does any of that sentence make sense to you? I'm fairly confused at the point he was making, but I think he is saying that he thought he might wonder if he hit it close to the hole the putt would be as long?

Here, I'll make it a formula.

(Hitting ball far from hole) ~ + (hitting it close to the hole) * (pin) - (wind direction at the time) / (hitting ball and not ground) = birdie

Got it? Anyway, it was Singh's first WGC title of his career but I still can't consider him a favorite this week at Oakland Hills with that putter. It wasn't pretty, and that's saying a lot when talking about Veej.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Franklin, Getty Images

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Phil Mickelson, Truly the Anti-Tiger Woods

My uncle made a great point on the phone a minute ago about Phil Mickelson -- the dude is completely the opposite of Tiger Woods in clutch situations.

Sure, he's won three majors and yes, he's immensely talented, but since Winged Foot he hasn't been the same guy.

Today, Lefty practically wrapped up the trophy for the Bridestone Invitational, tied a cute little bow on top and then handed it over to Vijay Singh, who was doing his best to hand it back.

Schmickey has never won a World Golf Championship and after bogeys on three of his last four holes Sunday, will be WGC-less once more. Always one to allow his game to sway with his confidence, Mickelson had a great shot to enter the PGA Championship next week as the favorite.

Now he's going to have this on his mind, and that ain't good.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Look at the Stars...

...look how they shine for you.....

Getty Images

Rory Sabbatini's Look Might be Dated

I couldn't find a picture of Rory Sabbatini today, but this is from the U.S. Open and it's the exact same thing he's wearing today, except the shirt is blue-ish.

This look used to be kinda cute. You know, Rory Sabbatini, dark side of golf, taking on everyone's precious Tiger on the golf course and with the microphone. The belt buckle pretty much defined his persona on tour.

I just don't think you can really wear that anymore when you're 52nd on the FedEx Cup standings and have made just three of your last seven cuts, and haven't had a top-10 since January. I don't know, maybe that's just me, but if you're going to wear that hideous of a belt buckle, you better have the game to sport it.

Photo courtesy of Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images