Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tim Clark Defends The Wimpiest Move of All Time

You play to win or you play not to lose. Those are the two options you've got as an athlete. (As an Arizona Wildcat fan during the Lute Olson era, trust me, I know what it's like rooting for a team that is playing not to lose.)

On Monday at the Bob Hope Classic, Tim Clark, who has painted himself with the choker brush a few too many times, was sitting in the fairway of a par-5 that, and trust me on this, is a green light special. I've played the Nicklaus course at PGA West. I've played it from the backs. You hit a driver on that hole (the 18th this week for the Hope) and you go for it in two. It isn't that tough of a golf hole if you find the fairway.

Clark, who doesn't exactly fire the golf ball off his driver head (269.2 average this week), found the fairway like he normally does, but decided to lay up. Here is his explanation.

There’s a chance I could have gotten there, but great shot still would have left me probably over the ridge with a tough 30-footer down the slope.

My wedge game is my strength, so I knew laying it up, I hopefully wouldn’t have more than 10 feet. And I left myself a perfect 7 to 8-footer, not much to it.

So at the end of the day, I think I did what I needed to, to give myself a best look an at birdie there. I certainly didn’t want to throw away the tournament. If I hit my 3-wood there, it’s probably going to come up short in the water. A great shot is probably going to either leave me a long 2-putt or a chip from the back of the green, which I didn’t want either.

So I tried to play it the way I played the whole round and the whole week. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and try and do anything silly.

Now fellow golf fan, riddle me this ... the best wedge player in the world hits 20 shots from 90 yards and 20 putts from 30-feet ... which ones end up closer? The putts, of course. He's a professional golfer and 30-feet isn't even that much land to cover.

And, on top of all this, he wasn't even leading the tournament! He was tied for the lead, with a guy in the fairway behind him with plenty of stick to get home in two, and another guy behind him that was leading the field in driving distance, and needed an eagle to join the group at 29-under, where Clark sat.

The Bob Hope isn't some grind-it-out type event. It is birdies, birdies and more birdies. No matter the situation, you need to be thinking green light, pedal down hard, and go. Clark forgot this, and after wedging it up to eight feet, he missed a putt eerily similar to one he had to win the Colonial in '09.

Clark's decision was one that, at some events might have been sound. At the Hope, it was the wrong call, and it cost him, yet again, a chance at a trophy. Tim is three tournaments away from his 200th PGA Tour event without a win, and unless he figures out a way to close, I don't see him coming down the stretch and pulling one out anytime soon.

Stephen Dunn, Getty


Roody said...

"Gutless Wonder", David Simms?

Shane B. said...

Roody, I actually quoted that exact scenario to my roommate when they said he was laying up.

"230 to the stick and the tour pros .... layyyyiiiinnn up."

Roody said...

Maybe his caddy said "you don't need to be thinkin' immortality, you need to be thinkin' hit the 7-iron".

diane said...

That's the kind of insightful writing I come here for.

If Kuchar had made the putt, Clark would have gone for it.

Dexter(QuoteGuy) said...

Bubba did the same a little earlier in the round. He could have gotten there easily everyone was saying. If it's on the line and you have a chance to win. I say, go for it.

ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.08
michael kors outlet, coach outlet, louboutin, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, nike air max, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, replica watches, burberry, jordan shoes, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, louboutin outlet, kate spade handbags, coach factory outlet, coach outlet, tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, prada outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, michael kors

ninest123 Ninest said...

louboutin pas cher, michael kors, sac guess, michael kors, nike air max, air jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, hollister pas cher, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, nike blazer, nike air max, timberland, lacoste pas cher, north face, nike free, vanessa bruno, hollister, nike air max, burberry, true religion jeans, lululemon, longchamp pas cher, nike free run uk, tn pas cher, nike roshe run, air max, ralph lauren uk, mulberry, hogan, abercrombie and fitch, north face, air force, new balance pas cher, hermes, sac longchamp, ralph lauren pas cher, ray ban pas cher

ninest123 Ninest said...

herve leger, ferragamo shoes, new balance, giuseppe zanotti, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, nike roshe, asics running shoes, oakley, vans shoes, north face outlet, baseball bats, reebok shoes, insanity workout, birkin bag, babyliss, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, beats by dre, nike trainers, mont blanc, p90x workout, nike huarache, ghd, instyler, timberland boots, celine handbags, jimmy choo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, iphone 6 cases, nike roshe, soccer shoes, nike air max, longchamp, chi flat iron, hollister, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, bottega veneta, lululemon, wedding dresses

ninest123 Ninest said...

thomas sabo, karen millen, gucci, toms shoes, links of london, ugg boots uk, ralph lauren, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, swarovski, montre pas cher, uggs on sale, ugg boots, hollister, juicy couture outlet, pandora charms, ray ban, bottes ugg, ugg boots, lancel, supra shoes, ugg boots, ugg pas cher, wedding dresses, coach outlet, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, louboutin, vans, converse outlet, converse, swarovski crystal, ugg boots, pandora jewelry, replica watches, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, nike air max
ninest123 08.08