Friday, July 30, 2010

3+4=7 but 4+3=Disqualification

Most of us dream of shooting a 65 in a professional golf tournament. Hell, we'd take 65 on 16 holes.

The problem with some of the rules of golf (which are incredibly ridiculous, btw) are if you do one little thing wrong, you will not be asked to come back the next day, even if it didn't really change anything about what the final score was in the first place.

Robert Rock, who you might remember had a great showing at the British Open earlier this month, finished tied for seventh, kept the momentum rolling at this week's Irish Open. His opening 65 was a shot back from the leaders, but he incorrectly scored the 14th and 15th holes. He made a 3 on 13 and a 4 on 14, but wrote 4-3, which still added up to 65 but not the way it was supposed to.

That's it. You're out. Don't come back, you dirty rascal.

I think there are some super stupid rules in golf, but getting disqualified because you accidentally messed up your scorecard is one of my least favorites. These guys are golfers, not math majors, and while it may seem easy to add up 18 holes of a bunch of 3s and 4s, just imagine doing it four times a week for 10 years, and I'm sure you'll mess up a time or two. Give them a penalty, slap them on the wrist, but don't give them the boot for such an error.

When baseball players make an error, they don't get shot by their owners (well, unless it's the movie "Hook").

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Everything You Need to Know About This Sarah Brown Disqualification

This season was the first to go under the microscope about grooves. Before the season kicked off, it was all (besides a certain golfer with an Escalade) we were talking about. "Would the changes make that much of a difference?" "How would the players spin the ball out of the rough?" "What the heck is the deal with these Ping Eye-2 wedges?"

Nobody really thought something like this would happen. Sarah Brown, an 18-year-old, who had made four of seven cuts on the Duramed Futures Tour, ran into a problem with grooves that is getting extremely ugly, and rightfully so. See, Brown was playing in The International last week, and had shot solid rounds of 69-70 before the final round. She was making the turn when her grooves, the same thin lines that were hitting all our headlines in January, got her tossed off the golf course. Well, it appears the grooves aren't the only thin lines in this story. So are the rules, apparently.

See, Brown's grooves were legal as it turns out, because her Ping Tour-W wedges are on the approved list, yet Brown being pulled off the course because they were deemed illegal has caused an uproar. While The Groove Police are still figuring out the way to handle certain situations, the protocol for handling a player on the course that is playing with unapproved wedges is to let them finish the round before you disqualify them. Brown, who got yanked off after nine holes, didn't have a chance to finish her final round, and is now seeking some serious coin by the Futures Tour standards to make up for the gaffe by the people in charge.

Here is what the Browns are asking for after the Futures Tour offered them $2,000 for their mistake.

-- $5,638, the amount Sarah Brown would’ve earned had she finished The International at Concord at 8-under 208. She was 3 under par for the event when she was removed from the golf course with nine holes remaining.

-- A waiver of the entry fee to 2010 LPGA Q-School, a $5,000 value. Brown advanced to the finals last year, finishing 84th.

-- An annual seminar for Duramed Futures Tour rules official outlining how to handle difficult situations. “I’d like it to be called the Sarah Brown Seminar,” Keith Brown said.

While it may seem hefty for all these things, it isn't ludicrous. This was a serious mistake, and one made to a younger golfer who most likely is struggling for confidence in the minor leagues of professional golf. Any little hiccup like this could change her entire mindset, and a disqualification for a rule that accuses her of basically cheating, more or less, might rattle her for the rest of the season.

The bottom line is, if you're going to make such a snap judgement, you best know that it is the right call. Here, it wasn't, and the Futures Tour is going to pay.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Make an Ace, Win a Million

If you're in the crowd at most PGA Tour events, the closest you'll come to some free gear is getting hit by an errant tee shot and land a glove from the player that conked you. This week, at the Greenbrier Classic, being in the stands means you could be part of a million dollar giveaway.

Oh, and then there is the golfer. Any ace on the par-3 18th this week means that the tournament will give out $1 million, with $250,000 going to the player that cards it and $750,000 going to their respective charity. If you are in the stands watching the great tee shot on the 160-yard hole, you get $100, and could get even more.

Here are the details ....

Should there be a second or third ace on the 162-yard par 3 that day, each would result in the same $1 million payout and distribution. But the fans will receive $500 and $1,000, respectively, for the second and third hole-in-one.

The promotion starts over each day so there is a potential maximum payout of $12 million for the actual aces and about half that much for the fans.

"I hope that will generate some real live excitement," said Jim Justice, who owns the Greenbrier. "There will be a lot of cheering going on for the pros and everything, and I hope they make a beaucoup of hole in ones, and I hope we have a lot of fun with it."

Honestly, is there a better idea for a lesser known golf tournament than something like this? Sure, it might not bring a ton of fans out from the railroad tracks, but it will generate buzz from fans anytime a ball comes close to the hole. Just think, this is the Par-3 Tournament at the Masters with actual cash prizes at stake.

Good call, Greenbrier Classic.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ray Halbritter is the Latest Case of Stealing Pro Spots

You might not know a ton about Ray Halbritter, the man in the photograph above. He's 60, and is the CEO of Nation Enterprises, which umbrellas the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, the title sponsor of a PGA Tour event in August.

When the Turning Stone Resort Championship kicks off on August 2, you'll know a ton about Halbritter, because he will be in the field. Yep, a 60-year-old rich guy is the latest in a long line of people stealing spots from, you know, actual golfers that do this for a living.

Only in golf, right?

You see, Halbritter passed something called the PGA's player aptitude test, which sounds really special, but is just 36 holes, and takes two rounds of 77 or better. Anyone that has ever considered themselves a decent golfer can pass this thing. That is his resume. Player aptitude graduate.

As a guy that tried to do this for a living a while back, hearing stories like this are a hefty kick to the groin. Golf is the only sport in the entire world where someone would have the chutzpah to try this, and actually could get away with it. Could you imagine Steve Jobs doling out $40,000 to play a quarter with the Knicks, or Donald Trump asking Jerry Jones to let him quarterback for a half at Texas Stadium? Of course they wouldn't, because they aren't good enough, but this Halbritter guy has shot a couple of rounds of 71 with his buddies in their Saturday money game, and thinks he has the game to play with the big boys.

He doesn't. At all. Zero. He has as much business out on the golf course with professionals as O.J. Simpson does moonlighting as a marriage counselor.

While it might not seem like a huge deal to most, you have to understand that these exemptions are reserved for people that might have a shot at doing well in this tournament. Since we all know the name, take a guy like John Daly for example. This is a man that needs to play well in events for his livelihood. He depends on money from events to pay whatever bills he has to pay. This week is one where he won't get in, because some CEO that thinks he deserves to be out there is in the field.

Just once I'd love to see some big-headed CEO show up at work, and head up to his office, only to see the door closed, and Dustin Johnson chatting on his phone with his spikes roughing up the man's desk. I'd love to see the face of this Halbritter guy when he finds out Johnson made some multi-million dollar deal with his companies money because he felt like being a CEO for a day.

I'm sure at that point, maybe these guys could keep their golfing dreams to themselves.

Oh, and if you're wondering how he will do, just listen to the man himself -- "I shoot about 78 to 80 (at Atunyote),” said Halbritter, who confesses he will be among the shortest hitters in the field with a 265-yard driving average. “Sometimes when the pressure’s on you can shoot better, sometimes not so good, so you just never know.”

This is going to be a disaster.

Paula Creamer is Cute

We all know the LPGA stars that could make a huge impact. Michelle Wie. Alexis Thompson. Paula Creamer.

The last on the list was part of a fairly comical commercial for something called Ricoh (Ed. Note: No idea), where she hits some flop shot from a busy street in New York in some tip jar.

I was impressed, and it is proven - Paula Creamer is cute after all. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Favorite Story of the Week

I was visiting the always entertaining Armchair Golf Blog on Wednesday to catch up on some of my random golf news (Neil is one of the best at that), and came across this story about Doug Sanders in Golf Digest.

Now, I've always enjoyed Sanders, mostly because he has seemed to live a pretty good life despite some troubles he's had, but this story tops nearly all the ones I've ever heard on the golf course. Tin Cup, watch out, because Dallas Weaver is the new king of the crazy bank shot.

In a money game at Cedartown one day, a guy named Dallas Weaver found his ball behind a tree. A lot of money was riding. We thought he was dead. There were train tracks running by our course, and just then a freight train came through. Dallas Weaver turned sideways, took some kind of low iron and banked a ball off the side of a freight car and almost onto the green. That was 50 years ago, and I've never seen anyone top that shot.

So many things go into this, it is hard to totally grasp. First, you need someone (read: Dallas) that is crazy enough to try and hit this shot. Second, you've got to get the timing/luck down to hit the flat part of a boxcar, because if you hit a part that wasn't flat, the ball could go anywhere. Third, you've got to commit enough to the shot that if you actually pull it off, it'll get to where you want it to go. Fourth, holy hell this is awesome.

It reminds me of a story my dad told me from some years ago in his money playing days. At my home course in Texas, there is a short par-4 on the back that is drivable. In those days, my dad and his buddies had a really, really great money game (one that brought people in from all over the state), and him and his partner were playing all the twosomes. My dad hooked his tee shot left, near a fence that was marked as out of bounds because of a highway that ran along the barrier of the golf course. One of his playing partners came over and deemed his ball playable, because more of it was in bounds than out under the wire. My dad, standing out of bounds, hit a 4-iron from about 80 yards, let it run up around the green, and it hit the pin and went in for a deuce. Supposedly, the other guy in the group had a fit about it, but the playing partner that said it was playable calmed him down and carded the eagle.

Golf. It's a crazy ass game.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This Just In: Tiger is Still Rich

When news broke that Tiger Woods had cheated on his wife with countless females, some very, very dirty, the number on question in everyone's mind was, "Will Tiger still be the richest athlete in the world?!?"

Don't you worry, folks. The new Fortune 50 came out from Sports Illustrated and it appears that yes, Tiger is still really, really, really, holy f-ing hell rich.

Tiger tops the list of athletes with a nice sum of $90,508,163, even with his loss of sponsors like Gatorade, Accenture and AT&T. He makes all this money because, as we've seen in this world, no matter what you've done to your personal life, people will still buy the shit you're honking.

Also, if you were a little concerned on how Phil Mickelson is doing financial, (and trust me, aren't we all?) don't fret, because Lefty is the second richest athlete in the world, bringing in about $61,660,757.

So, rest easy friends. Tiger and Phil are still able to pay their rent month-to-month, and will most likely enjoy the occasional private jet ride.

It's part of the job, ya know.

Doug Sanders Owns Best Suit ... Ever

Most remember Doug Sanders for what he didn't do at St. Andrews a number of years ago. Needing a three-footer on the 18th hole at the Old Course to beat Jack Nicklaus, Sanders shove-pushed-fanned-sliced his putt right, pulling a Scott Hoch before Scott Hoch was Scott Hoch (Online sportsbooks didn't have Sanders too high to win this week, trust me).

He went on to lose to Nicklaus in the 18-hole playoff in 1970, but was back at the Old Course this past week to be a part of the tournament. Sanders was asked about that tough defeat to Nicklaus, including the missed putt that would have snagged him a Claret jug, but was surprisingly optimistic about what happened to him so long ago.

"People say, 'Mr. Sanders, we're so sorry you missed that putt,' and a lot of them have forgotten that the guy that won was the greatest player in history," he said during a brief conversation before the leaders teed off Sunday. "It's almost like for them, I was the winner."

Who in the world is that confident, really? He got beat by missing a short putt, and looks at with a "glass half full" mentality? I have to say, I'm pretty impressed.

Oh, and to wear that suit. Honestly, is there a better thing in the history of golf? HE IS EVEN WEARING PINK SHOES!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What the Open Ratings Tell Us About Sports Fans

There is an interesting scene in "Tin Cup" towards the end of the movie when Roy McAvoy is making a charge in the U.S. Open. As he's playing, the action switches to that of a production van, with some sad men sitting in there making the action come to life on television screens around the nation. While the story is unfolding, a great story at that, the director says something I never quite got when I was younger -- "Another driving range pro, it's all we needed. It's heroes that I need. Not obscure driving range pros!"

When I was younger, I thought it was odd. "Why wouldn't people want to see this story," I thought. The problem is, I love everything about golf, no matter the name. While Sunday's final round of the Open Championship wasn't the most exciting, it still was major golf at the home of this sport, with a guy putting on a performance we haven't seen since Tiger Woods went around these links in similar fashion back in 2000.

But, what the "Tin Cup" director is saying is true now, and I understand that. Most people aren't going to tune in when the big boys aren't in contention. As you've heard by now, the ratings for the 2010 British Open were the lowest in 28 years, which is absolutely incredible if you think about all the added ways we have to watch golf, especially in our homes. The number, like salary for other sports, should probably be skewed, because every household now has a television in their homes that they could find golf on.

It's disappointing because it shows that golf might be the only sport where the underdog gets little love. At the World Cup, the Americans were loved because they didn't have much of a chance to get through too far, and that's why people embraced them. In the Cavs-Celtics series, people were pulling for Boston because everyone had already penciled Cleveland into the Finals. But, for some reason, when Tiger or Phil isn't a factor on Sunday, people don't seem to care.

Maybe it's because we follow an individual sport, where the personality of the player means more than the talent. If the golfer that is leading the Open is boring, it means a lot to the fan watching at home. We want fist pumps and high fives. We don't want wraparound sunglasses that hide the person that will eventually be our champion golfer.

It's the little things like that in golf that make it different from everything else. Louis Oosthuizen won the British by a million, yet most sports fans had something better to do on Sunday morning. Like the director said, golf still needs its heroes, even if they aren't really heroes in the first place.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Naturally, Tiger Woods Drops F-Bomb at the British

On Saturday, Tiger Woods was still kinda, sorta, maybe, a little bit in the hunt at the British Open, until he started to fall apart, mostly with his putter.

On the par-4 13th, one of the toughest holes on the course, Tiger had a short par putt to stay at 4-under. He missed it, and then started to flip out at the Old Course. He swashed his arm (I made that word up), and screamed at the hole, and then dropped a nice little F-bomb to boot.

Video below, via The Big Lead.

Mark Calcavecchia and Rickie Fowler: A Tale of Two Opens

A lot of things can go into a score. Everyone remembers Nick Faldo in the 1987 British Open, when he made 18 straight pars in the final round to win. That is rare, but you can make a ton of birdies and a ton of bogeys, and still end up with the same score. We've all done it a thousand times in our lives.

The same can be said about a tournament. It is basically just one long round, and the goal is to finish the four days as low as possible. That's where we introduce Mark Calcavecchia and Rickie Fowler. Both couldn't be more opposite. Calc is 50, with a belly and a wife and 13 PGA Tour titles. Fowler is 21, with a waist in the low 30s, a ton of female fans that swoon over his looks, and no wins yet in his rookie season.

At St. Andrews this week, they were equally different. Fowler opened his first British ever with a nasty 79, so gross that I wrote this over at Devil Ball Golf basically telling Fowler to enjoy the flight back to the States on Friday evening. Calcavecchia had already put the finishing touches on his first round 70, a good score but nothing great. It was his second round 67 that got people talking, because it seemed everyone else on the course short of Oosthuizen was blowing up. Those two scores would put Calc in the final round on Saturday with the eventual champion, while Fowler was praying that his 67 in round two would be good enough to make the cut.

Thanks to bad weather it did, and Fowler made it on the number. He wouldn't be flying home early, but the expectations were still low, right?

Wrong. Calc went on to blow up on Saturday, making a 9 on the par-5 5th hole, and luckily was able to play the back nine well enough to shoot 77, a number that could have been miles worse if he hadn't made those late birdies. Fowler was plowing along nicely at the Old Course, and ended Saturday with a 71. Nothing great, but nothing terrible. He was slowly moving up the leaderboard.

Then came Sunday. Calc was done, posting 80 on Sunday, and finishing two shots short of last place for those that made the cut. Fowler added another incredible round, with his bogey-free 67 on Sunday to finish tied for 14th, his best finish ever at a major championship. Just think, if Fowler had been able to shoot even par on Thursday, nothing that impressive given how everyone played the first day, he would have been alone in second place behind Oos.

One tournament. Two guys. Two completely different ways to do it.

Images From the Final Round of the Open Championship

Some final images from the home of golf, hosting another great Open Championship. Thanks to Getty Images for the beautiful pictures.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Louis Oothusizen Wins Open Championship By a Million

We all kept waiting for it, but it didn't come. Louis Oothuzien could have collapsed on Sunday at St. Andrews, but he didn't. Not even close. Actually, he did whatever the opposite of collapsing is (Rebuilding? Extending?).

Standing on the 18th tee, with the Open Championship locked up like Tiger Woods did in 2000 and Nick Faldo did in 1990, I joked that I loved Oosthuizen's chances, because honestly, there wasn't anything else to say.

He makes bogey on the 8th only to make an eagle on No. 9. He plays the entire golf course like he'd grown up in St. Andrews, and let everyone around him fall apart. They called it a clinic, but it was more than that. He just played the sport miles better than anyone else this week, and never made any big mistakes.

It might have been boring, but it wasn't bad golf. Oosthuizen is our British champion. Congrats to that guy.

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John Daly's Pants Salute You

Ian Poulter was the first to do it. He wore Union Jack pants once, and a pair of American flag pants another. So, it isn't that original for John Daly. Still, it doesn't take away from the ridiculousness of his trousers on Sunday.

Thursday was a floral pattern, Friday was pink, Saturday was tiger print and now American flag. Hey, it beats the baggy Reebok sweatshirt and mullet he sported when he won here.

Daly finished his 2010 British Open at 289, 1-over par. He has to be happy with that, no matter if it isn't what he hoped after his opening 66. Big John isn't going to win another major championship in his career, but if he can come out and give us a little something at the first of the week a few times a decade, we will be happy.

Until then, we can only hope he wears the hell out of these pants. You're looking good, John. Keep up the good stylin'.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holding It Together

18 more holes. That is it. 18 more holes and a guy named Louis Oosthuizen will walk away St. Andrews with the Claret Jug and a dominating performance the likes of Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo.

He isn't a name on the PGA Tour. Hell, he's hardly a name on the European Tour. One win, coming this year, and a handful of good finishes, but never a good finish in a major (only one cut prior to this) and a lot of question marks. Most of those were answered on Saturday, when Oosthuizen shook off a three-putt bogey on the first hole and made four birdies the next 17 holes, without a bogey, and posted his third straight round in the 60s.

None of that really matters, though. We've seen plenty of guys play well for 54 holes. They don't get their name etched in silver forever. That's reserved for the guys that can close, and no matter the sizable lead he's made for himself, he still has to close this thing out.

So the question remains this; can a guy that has never even sniffed this type of situation close it out? Can a guy that is nicknamed Shrek claim an Open Championship at the most famous piece of land in the world?

Tradition says no. Too many times we've seen guys like this go into the final round with a lead and falter. Just one month ago, an American just a year younger than Oosthuizen had a big lead at the U.S. Open, but couldn't keep it together at Pebble Beach. It has absolutely nothing to do with your golf swing or your putting stroke or your club selection. It has everything to do with the most important six inches in golf, and that's the area between your ears. The first tee shot won't tell us much, but the decision making throughout the front nine will. Is he going to play aggressive? Will he let the others come to him? Can he continue to make the two and three footers for par that he left himself all day Saturday?

Experience says yes. Oosthuizen seems to play well in final rounds of tournaments. His final round average this season on the European Tour is 69, and he's had only one round all year over 71 when he played the fourth round. He navigated his third round at St. Andrews like a veteran, even when his playing partner that already has a Claret Jug was putting together a round of hockey sticks.

The final 18 holes will decide this, as it always does, but I think he can do it. Oosthuizen has made a believer out of me. Hopefully he can say the same thing.

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Images From Round Three of the British Open

Here are more great images via Getty Images of the third round of the Open Championship. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Images From Round Two of the British Open

Thanks to AP and Getty Images for the great shots at St. Andrews.

Tom Watson Says Goodbye to St. Andrews

Back in 2005, Jack Nicklaus was walking up the 18th at St. Andrews, his last showing in the great Open Championship that gave him three Claret Jugs and us a million memories throughout the decades. On the first tee, a focused Tiger Woods was standing, waiting to hit his tee shot in the second round. One generation says goodbye, another is ready for the torch.

This year, at that same golf course on that same, majestic hole, Tom Watson was saying goodbye to St. Andrews, a course he could never quite conquer but one he still loved, and that loved him. Watson will probably forever remember the tournament where he could have taken down Seve Ballesteros on these famed links in 1984, but became yet another victim of the emotionless 17th, making bogey when he needed par.

All that doesn't matter now. Watson, a man that is such a gentleman he makes church goers seem rude by comparison, is 60 and said he won't be returning to St. Andrews. As he walked up the 18th late Friday evening, that same Woods character was standing on the 18th green, eying an eagle putt to give himself a chance at another Claret Jug. Watson was there. So was Woods. Somewhere I'm sure Jack Nicklaus had a television set on, keeping up with the legends he calls friends.

Sometimes the golf gods just don't do right. As Watson drove his ball up the 18th fairway like he always has, and for a moment became a golf fan just like the millions of others that have stopped on the Swilken Bridge for a picture and a memory, it was the end of an era in golf. First Arnie, then Jack and now Tom. Those there were the ones that moved golf in different ways. Palmer made it cool to hit the ball. Jack made it athletic. Tom made it exciting. For the rest of the time we are on this Earth, things like The Duel in the Sun will be as famous to the British Open as Guinness, and we can thank Watson and Nicklaus for that exhibition of perfection.

So, back to those golf gods. Watson is standing over his second shot. The 18th, while incredible in a historical sense, is not the toughest of golf holes. Back in 2005, Nicklaus ended his bid at St. Andrews with a birdie and one of the loudest cheers you'll ever hear that didn't come on the back nine of the Masters. So, Watson, a hero in these parts for what he's done for links golf, has a short pitch over the Valley of Sin to a tight pin. He struck it ... someone in the audience screamed "Get in the Hole" like they always do, only this time, it wasn't so crazy. The ball skipped, spun and was going dead center ... only, it stopped ... a roll short of disappearing for an eagle, reminiscent of Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial some years ago when, paired with Tiger, he needed to hole out for eagle on 18 to make the cut and nearly did.

Watson's ball wouldn't go down (Damn you golf gods!) and he had to settle for a birdie, and a goodbye to St. Andrews that we won't soon forget.

We thank you Tom for making rooting for a 60-year-old the cool thing to do, and for always smiling and waving and being a class act. You're what we all hope we can turn out to be when we're older, and to watch you do what you do is a privilege everyday. I'm sure Muirfield will be the final act in Tom's British play in 2013, as it should be. For now, St. Andrews says goodbye to a legend. The run has been as fun for us as it was for you, Mr. Watson.

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Tim Clark Loves the Wind

A ton of wind can make a player do crazy things, but most of these PGA Tour players are mentally tough enough to keep it together for 18 holes. That is, unless you're Tim Clark, who is going to miss the cut at the Open Championship, and looks to be having zero fun in the second round of this major championship.

Clark made a double-bogey on the 13th, and he decided to line up his putt a little different than usual. Get excited, Tim. Happy Gilmore approves.

Tom Watson's Wardrobe Hasn't Changed

Tom Watson has always dressed to the Scottish tradition. He likes the argyles and the mottled hues and they look good on him.

This week, however, has been a bit strange. Those pictures you see above are actually different days for Tom, who nearly won last year at Turnberry. The picture on the left is from Friday, and the one on the right is from Thursday, and it appears that either he didn't bring enough clothes for all four days, or he accidentally washed all his clothes with a can of brown paint.

No matter, we still love Tom. Sadly, it doesn't look like he'll be around over the weekend.

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Jean Van de Velde, 11 Years Later

Jean Van de Velde will forever be the first name that pops in our heads when we talk about choke jobs in major championships. In 1999, the Frenchman had a chance to take hom the Open Championship at Carnoustie, a course right across the waterway from the Old Course, but made an incredible 7 on the 72nd hole to get in a playoff, and eventually lose to Paul Lawrie.

If you take about what a difference winning and coming in second makes, Lawrie was in the field this week at the Old Course, while Van de Velde was what you're seeing him doing right above, commenting for the BBC.

Just think, if Van de Velde can just make 6 on the 18th at Carnoustie, how different his life would be right now? I know it's been talked about before, but it still is worth noting. Insane insane insane.

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Even the Workers Make Fun of the Wind Delay

It's a wind delay at the British Open. Luckily, the Scots have a good sense of humor, and someone posted this on one of the scoreboards. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

St. Andrews Is Getting Windy!

Wiiiiindy Update: So, yeah, they suspended play. I would have bet a lot of money against that. Like I said on Twitter, suspending the British at St. Andrews for wind is like suspending the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for indigestion.

Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Camilo Villegas just hit their tee shots in round two of the Open Championship. Two hit fairway woods, one hit an iron. During the telecast, ESPN let us know that the wind was blowing upwards of 40 miles per hour into their face.

Needless to say, the wind decided to show up on Friday. What does that mean?

Well, the initial seven holes will play directly into the teeth of this wind, meaning that a lot of the players that are teeing off now (read: leaders on Thursday) could play their initial nine holes over par, only to turn and play the rest of the golf course downwind.

The big question right now isn't how the wind will affect the full golf shots, it's how the wind will affect the putts. The wind is gusting so much right now that the Royal and Ancient has sent out officials to check different greens. While there is a better chance I learn how to fly in the next six hours than the Open being suspended because of wind (wouldn't that be like a porn star reporting sexual harassment at the work place), it is a huge factor for the golfers, more mentally than anything.

If you ground your putter behind the ball, and it moves, you are penalized, and if the wind gusts like it is, that is very, very much a possibility.

While it will be tough for the players, the locals at St. Andrews have to be licking their lips with this wind. It's what they've waited for since 1995, and no they're getting it.

More to come, but follow along with my Twitter if you aren't already.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Photos From Round One at St. Andrews

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the first day at the British Open. Enjoy, and thank Getty Images by sending them a $10,000 check.