A New U.S. Am Champ, Lou Holtz Is Back, And Other Hump Day Musings

DeChambeau Is De Champ

Outside of the four major championships of men’s professional golf, there is no event I’d rather watch pre-final-round coverage of than the U.S. Amateur. The USGA takes this championship to classic venues we rarely get to see. As a course geek, that’s a big lure that hooks me in. Because of the USGA’s past deals with NBC and now Fox, we get to see the championship all week on television. We also get introduced to the up and coming talent about to depart from collegiate golf. This is how many of us first were introduced to Tiger Woods in 1994. In 2015, Bryson DeChambeau is the ‘it’ kid who’s star is burning brightest from the Am.

I talked about Bryson a bit last week while he was obliterating his match play opponents in his early round contests. He was no worse than 4 under par in any of the first 5 matches he played on his way to the final. The North Course at Olympia Fields was playing soft from the wet weather hitting the metro Chicago area, but the course is no push over no matter the conditions. DeChambeau also gained a bit of a cult following thanks to his unorthodox set up (equipment) and swing. As I previously noted, his irons are all the same length. Fox also told us about his strange grip and how he tinkers constantly with swing aids, training aids, etc. All that aside, when BD makes a shoulder turn and takes the club away from the ball, his move is more conventional than one would expect.

The picture above tells the rest of the story. DeChambeau, the reigning NCAA champ from SMU, won the U.S. Am on Sunday with his 7 & 6 victory over Virginia’s Derek Bard. Bryson wasn’t perfect in the match, but his ability to make birdies in bunches ended up being a big time equalizer for any error he made. DeChambeau is the 5th player in golf history to win the NCAA title and U.S. Am in the same year. The others are Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Ryan Moore.

While joining elite company like that doesn’t guarantee professional success at the next level, I’d bet a fair amount of units that Bryson succeeds on the Tour whenever he declares his amateur days are done. He’s long. Brooks Koepka long. He’s fiery. We’ve all watched Tiger get mad and cure his ills on the course. DeChambeau has that in him too. He argued with his looper a few times in the morning part of the championship match on Sunday. When the afternoon 18 began he had a new caddie on the bag. Like Mickelson, he also has the ability to hit any shot, from anywhere, and make a bunch of red numbers in a hurry. Add all that up and he’s the closest thing there is to a sure fire star on tour in the next few years. But before that can happen he’ll be representing the U.S. in the Walker Cup in a few weeks.

Tim Finchem’s Infirmary

In Fed Ex Cup Playoff news, players were dropping (out) like flies at the Barclay’s Pro-Am on Wednesday in New Jersey. The 2015 Barclays is back at the venerable Plainfield Country Club were Dustin Johnson won a rain shortened event a few years ago. Jason Day’s team announced early on Wednesday that his back was sore and he’d be WD’ing from the Pro-Am to rest of for Thursday’s first round.

Dustin Johnson did pretty much the same thing a few hours later (I presume for the afternoon Pro-Am time) noting that he’s had chest congestion and he needed to opt out of the Wednesday festivities to rest. Day has had a few different injuries this year and has a rep that makes me give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his back. DJ? I somehow doubt his chest congestion is really the issue here. He probably saw Paulina’s latest Insty and opted out of golf to go plant some more seed in her. Have you seen this one yet?

Paulina Gretsky's ass...I'm on a boat

That is the ass of a woman that had a kid in the last year? PG seems to be getting more active in the social media world again. She either has her bikini body back (I’d say yes), or she’s having a Twitter/Instagram battle with her mother. Either way, we all win.

Sssssslou Hathz A Nu Sssshow On Sssssatilite Radio

You probably know who Lou Holtz is, but just in case, let me remind you or inform some of my non-American readers who may not be aware of him. Lou is an ex-college football coach who became famous due to leading Notre Dame to a National Championship in 1988. After retiring from coaching, Lou became an on-air personality at ESPN. He’s become a bit of a joke on the network because he sounds like this all too often.

ESPN let Lou go over the off season. So of course the blubbering idiot just got his own radio show on satellite with Fred Albers. The show will feature Lou and Fred talking all things golf for its duration. Lou does know golf. He’s a member at Augusta. And he’s also a member at Lake Nona in Orlando where several Tour pros play and practice. He knows the game, BUT HE CAN’T FUCKING TALK!!!!! How can he have a show that we have to LISTEN to when we can’t understand him?

Lou also isn’t incredibly likable. From what I understand, at Nona he often whelshs on bets he doesn’t win and he fluffs his lie in competition. Lou played in some very gray areas while the coach at Notre Dame so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. After he pisses off the members there, at some point nearly every year, Lou takes a large group of them to Augusta to play to make amends for his faults. Does this sound like a guy you want to listen to for an hour or two? My guess is the show doesn’t last long unless Lou starts giving away Augusta National secrets on the air or he invites a listener to come play ANGC with him.

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Carolina Love – Final Thoughts On Wyndham

I’m Loving It

To think that a hall of fame player would come out of nowhere to win the Wyndham Championship and vault into the Fed Ex Cup playoffs wasn’t too far fetched on Friday night when Tiger Woods was the 36 hole co-leader. In fact, any other tournament in his life in which Tiger had opened up in 130 shots or fewer he’d won. Davis Love had other ideas in his head this week thanks to Tiger. Love and Woods played practice rounds together earlier in the week and stroked each other’s ego the entire way around the golf course (apparently).

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What I mean by that is, the Ryder Cup captain and former world number 1 gave each other pep talks about how they’re close to winning again. For Woods, he couldn’t escape his short game demons that jump up and bite him from time to time. For Love, he made sure he got in the clubhouse while the guys behind him were stuck in neutral. The next thing you know, he’s holding a big silver trophy at the ripe old age of 51. As CBS told us 1000 times, Love is now the 3rd oldest winner in PGA Tour history.

No one saw this coming. I figured Davis was playing the regular tour still just to get up close looks at his Ryder Cup team for next year. I guess he had other ideas. Everyone knows he went to school at North Carolina and has a affinity for events in the state. He’s won the old Greater Greensboro Open before (1992 and 2006). As far as Love can still knock it out there, we should have known he was a threat to win. There was no sign of it coming because he’s been injured for most of 2015.

Injuries and all, while his contemporaries are chasing Champions Tour money on the west coast, Love winning the Wyndham is one of the most shocking victories of the season. Now he’s in the playoffs and headed to Augusta next spring for the first time in 8 years. I doubt he’ll win again in the next 12 months, but if he did….could he pick himself for his Ryder Cup team? Could he possibly play well enough from here forward to make the team on points? Probably not, but I’ll be rooting for him.

The Field 

If Tiger or Love couldn’t win this week, Jason Gore would have been alright with me as a winner. How can you not like Gore? I bet he’s been in more Tour pro’s weddings than he can count. The big teddy bear of a 54 hole leader eagled the 15th hole to get within one of Love but couldn’t muster a birdie on the final 3 holes to tie. The solo 2nd finish did get him into the the Fed Ex playoffs.

Paul Casey and Charl Schwartzel both finished a shot behind Gore. Casey has had a solid year and seems to keep popping up every month at a off event. Charl has been MIA but I’ll go out on a limb and say he found something this week in Greensboro. He could be dangerous in the playoffs. And then there’s Tiger Fucking Woods. He has us all hard and ready to squirt on Friday with his late afternoon charge to the top of the leaderboard. We’ve seen some of Friday Tiger having success at times this year. It is weekend Tiger that has me at a loss. I predicted a 70 or worse round on Saturday when he shot 68. On Sunday the bottom pretty much fell out. While DL3 is making a hero’s eagle at the 15th, Tiger needing to start a birdie run, chipped it about the 11th green like a 15 handicapper en route to a triple bogey. Game over.

To TW’s credit, he did birdie 4 of his final 6 holes to salvage his round, but too little too late. That’s been the Tiger saga of 2015. He’s not ready for prime time and it is all between the ears. His season is now over. If he really wants to get better we’ll see him play fall events in October/November. If we don’t see him until his World Challenge event in December….he just doesn’t give a fuck. Whenever we seem him, let’s hope he’s not wearing that hat (above). That. Is. Awful.

Shot Of The Day

Scott Brown is rarely in contention on the PGA Tour. You could walk right past him at the grocery store and not know who he is. On Sunday in Greensboro, Brown was paired with Tiger. Brown wore red (or maybe pink?) like TW, then he let the world get a good look at him with his early round ace.

Do you think he bought Tiger a beverage after that?

What The Fuck Was He Thinking? 

Andreas Harto is a Danish golfer who plays on the European Tour. Harto is far from a household name. On Friday at the Made In Denmark Open, Harto walked up 18 knowing he was not going to make the cut, but he was more nervous than he’d ever been on any green in his life. That is because he was about to do this:

Geez, good thing she said yes. That has to be the worst proposal I’ve ever seen. First, pace of play. Dude just fucked the group behind him for about 5 minutes. Thanks, dick. Second, you missed the cut, bro! Hey, this is a low point for me. I didn’t play well. I’ll make no money this week….oh, want to marry me? Yes, most of that is tongue in cheek, soft of. Congrats to the happy couple anyway.

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US Am Thoughts, PGA Hangover, And Other Hump Day Musings

It Is US Am Week!

I love August golf. Fed Ex Cup playoffs start, the PGA rounds out the major season, and the U.S. Am is contested to give us a look at some of the up and comers from the (mostly) collegiate ranks. This year the Am is being played on the South side of Chicago (queue Leroy Brown) at Olympia Fields.

The first two rounds of stroke play were completed on Monday and Tuesday on both the North and South courses at Olympia Fields. Personally, I like Tom Bendelow’s South routing (renovated by Steve Smyers in 2007) better than Willie Park Jr.’s North. I think it has more character, but the North is the big brother here and now that the stroke play portion of the event is over, all play is on the North. Oh, and if you think because I’ve played Olympia I should be providing you with a course review, think again. I don’t review private clubs. I am their guest. I’d like to keep it that way.

Wednesday at the Am started with an 18 for 10 playoff for the last 10 spots in the 64 man match play bracket. I would have thought the USGA would have been savvy enough to periscope that, but that is apparently asking too much. Fox did show some of it later so it is entirely possible the USGA was protecting their broadcast partner’s rights. Whatever.

Highly ranked Beau Hossler and John Rahm were in that playoff and advanced. Rahm won his first match in 21 holes. Hossler is on his way home after losing. NCAA Champ Bryson DeChambeau is the number 7 ranked amateur in the world. If you’re not aware of him, find the Fox 1 and Fox broadcasts of the Am over the next few days. You’ll love him.

First, he absolutely fucking pounds his driver. He’s hyper aggressive with his approach shots, and he has quite a unique outlook on his equipment. As Fox told us today, each of Bryson’s irons and wedges is the length of a 7 iron. This means his wedges are very upright. They look strange when he swings him, but his move looks flawless. He also uses thick Super Stroke grips on each of his wrenches. What a savant.

Yes, he is the guy that wears a Kangol style lid. I believe this is some type of tribute to Payne Stewart as both guys attended SMU for their collegiate golf. DeChambeau had an interesting Tuesday to complete stroke play. The Chicago area received nearly 3 inches of rain from Sunday through late Tuesday. Tuesday’s tee times were bumped 90 minutes because of it. Bryson got a bad pairings sheet from a USGA official with the wrong times.

Somehow the error was noticed, but not until Bryson was nearly 5 minutes late for his actual time. According to Fox’s Shane Bacon, Bryson was notified and ran to his tee to check in, ran back to his caddie to get a ball, then ran back to the 1st tee and whacked it 320 yards straight down the fairway. The USGA had intended on giving him a 2 stroke penalty for his tardiness but rescinded the penalty (this is unprecedented). The 2 shot swing changed DeChambeau’s match play seed by 20 spots. Bryson won his first round match 8 and 6, by the way.

Paul Dunne, yeah…..the kid that played in the final group of the final round of the Open Championship, was given an exemption from the USGA and qualified for match play. He won his first round match and is on to the round of 32. Defending champion Gunn Yang also made match play but is headed home. He gave his opponent a very dick-ish hand shake after his loss. It was bush league.

Maverick McNealy is the 2nd ranked amateur in the world. He made the match play field as the 39th seed. Maverick won 5 times last season at Stanford. He also bombs the ball. And his opponent in round 1 was 120 lb., 5 foot 7 inch Austin Connelly of Canada. Their match felt like David V. Goliath. Connelly took McNealy to the final hole where Maverick prevailed 1 up.

If you’re not watching the Am you either have a life or don’t love golf. Personally, I can’t get enough of it even if it does mean suffering through Joe Buck and Brad Faxon. Fuckson is constantly gushing about how he loves much play, blah blah blah…..we get it Brad. The format is different, but 90% of your audience knows this already. You don’t have to over explain it.

Just When I Thought My PGA Hangover Was Gone…

This image came across my Twitter field earlier in the week. I found it quite disturbing. How did I miss this during the PGA telecast on Sunday? Thanks to @BustedCoverage for the great visual. There’s no truth to the rumor that it was John Daly looking for his wedge.

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In the wake of the PGA a great debate has started on Twitter from anyone and everyone about who had a better year, Tiger Woods in 2000 or Jordan Spieth in 2015. This really isn’t debatable. Tiger is the pick 100 of 100 times. He killed the field if you compare aggregate scores in all majors. He won 3 to Spieth’s 2. And the score in relation to par that Jordan wins by 1 fucking shot is meaningless thanks to playing different courses under VERY different conditions. End of argument. If you want to compare Jordan’s year, compare it to Rory’s 2014. That’s a fair fight.

In other PGA hangover/Twitter golf stuff, Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson both threw out first pitches for MLB clubs on Tuesday. Zach challenged Jordan to see who could do it better and a bet for charity was put on the line.

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The Cubs said Zach hit 95 mph on the gun. I call bullshit. Does he even hit that with his driver? The Rangers said Jordan threw a hard strike. I guess nobody wins. That image isn’t a photo shop hoax. Spieth is left handed except for when he golf and writes.

Two Lost Fathers

By now you’ve likely heard about Billy Hurley’s dad. The former policeman from Virginia went missing a few weeks ago and was found in Texas. He essentially lost his marbles, ran away from home, and then took his own life. Very sad stuff. Today another Tour player’s dad’s life ended tragically in Texas. Ryan Palmer’s dad was killed in an auto accident when his vehicle was struck and rolled over. Send your thoughts and prayers to both players and their families. Life is short. Now go call your dad.

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PGA Championship: The Finale

Jason’s Day

I’ve rooted for Jason Day since the first time I saw him hit a golf ball. He’s very talented, that goes without saying, but he has a likability factor about him that makes him more human and endears him to you. Day didn’t grow up some snobby country club fuck like many of his peers (what other tour player would sleep in and drive their RV to their events?). He came from a much less well off family in Australia. He lost his father early. And he’s risen to the upper echelon of the Tour on his work ethic and sweat. How could you not root for him?

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Today at Whistling Straits Jason Day realized his dream with a major win that was a long time coming. Day’s first taste of major success came in 2011 at the Masters. He didn’t win that April day, but he left Georgia knowing for the first time that he could have. Self believe is more than half the battle in tournament golf. In June of that year he had a front row seat watching Rory win at Congressional. I’m sure a seed was planted. He saw how much better he had to get.

We’ve seen what 2015 has been for Jason. Close calls at the U.S. and British Opens sandwiched in between wins at Torrey Pines and the Canadian Open shows how good is form is. Day told the media after his PGA victory that a calm came over him after losing the British, as if knowing his time will come soon enough.

I’m correct as often as a broken clock. Day’s major victory was inevitable. He was the best player in the field all week long in Wisconsin. That’s saying something with Jordan Spieth playing well on your heels. Day’s touch around the greens, ability to score, grind, and absolutely smash drives 20 yards past Spieth are what gave him the Wanamaker. They also lead to him setting a PGA and major record with a 20 under winning score.

What happens next in Day’s career might be just as predictable as his win today was. Look what happened once Rory won one, or this spring when Jordan got his taste…..a 2nd major wasn’t too far off for either. Look out Oakmont.

Winners & Losers

Winners

Jason Day – At SFG the winner is always the big winner on my lists, but you know that. First major victory. New baby on the way. Wife that blows you every morning (scroll down).…yeah, JDay is the man, and the big winner. Congrats to his whole team for their victory today.

Jordan Spieth – The kid shot 71-67-65 and then closed with a pretty spiffy 68….and it wasn’t good enough to win his 3rd major of 2015! He did set a record for most under par in majors for a year edging out Tiger’s 2000 season. He also took the official world number 1 spot from Rory. That’s not a bad consolation prize.

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Spieth was also all class with Day on his day. It was as if Jason was playing with a major championship ambassador as the twosome walked the grounds. He even encouraged Day’s great shots as he watched himself getting beat. Besides balding, does he have any flaws?

Whistling Straits and Herb Kohler – Years ago Herb Kohler hired Pete Dye to build the golf course you saw today on TV. He was a mad scientist in doing so. Then he used some political contacts to get heavy with the PGA and USGA to draw championships to his facility. It all worked. While I don’t think the Straits course is a great experience for the average player, nor do I think it is a great golf course, it is fun to watch a major on and makes for good TV, good drama, and a great major experience for fans of the PGA Tour.

Three PGAs are in the books and a Ryder Cup is on the horizon. Herb has clearly pulled off what he set out to do. His dream is nearly complete. Yet I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this championship at Kohler’s course.

The Wyndham – Tiger missed the cut at the PGA Championship. He knew this was probably going to be the outcome of his week when the weather delay came Friday afternoon and therefore entered next week’s Wyndham Championship.

While it is still 50/50 that Woods plays, the fact that he’s entered has helped an otherwise non-event grab some attention and sell some tickets. If he’s going to WD he’ll do so early in the week, meaning we should know of his true plans by late Monday. If something changes the Wyndham is close to meaningless again unless you’re on the Fed Ex Cup playoffs cut line. Tiger would have to win the event to make the playoffs, FYI.

Steve Stricker – The Savage finished 16 shots behind Jason Day this week at Kohler. That’s usually not going to make the winner list on SFG after a major. But Steve is in the twilight of his career and he made the cut as his home state and gave the fans something to cheer for. Good for him. Steve even had his wife on the bag just as he did 20+ years ago when he first tried to make a living playing golf. CBS noted the Ryder Cup coming to Whistling Straits in 2020 and that Steve might just be the U.S. captain. That might be the worst kept secret in golf these days. This also may have been Steve’s last major. While that is a sad thought, the mans knows about doing things on his own terms. We shouldn’t be surprised.

Losers

Dustin Johnson – The threesome of Johnson/Westwood/Garcia is now known as the best players to have not won a major thanks to Day’s win today. Lee and Sergio haven’t really even contended in a major in sometime. They’re washed up. Dustin had a lead in a few majors in 2015. He has enough talent to win majors in spades. His issue is between the ears. Exhibit A was the 8 he took at the first hole today. He is a mental midget. And that talent….it all shined through today too. Once he made the 8 on the first he had no pressure and went nuts. Two eagles. A back nine 31. He shot 69 with an 8!!!!! God he’s frustrating. I’ve stopped caring what he does. He’s an enigma.

Tiger Woods – Do I even need to say anything? 7 years without a major. No Fed Ex playoffs. No Presidents Cup team. He’s still searching. And he’s going to play in the Wyndham to try to find “it”. Good luck with that. I think I’m starting to feel bad for him.

Rory McIlroy – Sunday at a major and Rory made exactly one par on the front nine. He did end up finishing 17th at 9 under par after a 7 week layoff, but his time off was self inflicted. A friendly soccer game might have cost him two majors. It did cost him his world number 1 ranking. Maybe I should just be glad he’s back and playing.

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Word on the street is that Rors will take off more time until the Fed Ex event in Boston. I’m sure his ankle could use it. He seems to be an every-other-year-player. What I mean by that is his big years are big, his bad years are pedestrian, and he does’t seem to follow up a great year with anything in the same ball park. He needs to find that level of consistency. Staying healthy will be the first step to doing so.

Justin Rose – It isn’t often you can tag the guy that placed solo 4th place a loser, so let me clear this up right away. I’m not putting him on this list for any thing having to do with his golf game. He played great. He’s a major champion that will win another one soon. But I hope to god he does so without those faggy sunglasses.

I don’t think he had cataract surgery, so why wear those? They’re awful. This Gumby looking mother fucker has a hard enough time looking cool.

Pace Of Play – Six plus hour rounds before the cut was made. That’s actually close to the norm at the Straits course. But those averages are with 4 guys who aren’t tour pros hacking it around. The PGA tries to grow the game just like the USGA. They need to promote pace of play just like the blue coats. Not penalizing players for rounds that slow is chicken shit.

Shot Of The Day

Day’s 2nd shot to 16, a par 5 that he hit driver-4 iron to when most of the field needed a wood, was the shot that locked up his first major. He knew that too as you could see the look on his face as he interacted with his caddie. Yet I can’t ignore a 400 yard drive that nearly stayed on the green it was hit to. That delightful shot came from Mr. Gerry Watson today at the 13th.

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He got all of that one!

Majors El Fin

The 2015 majors are complete. It was quite a year. I can’t imagine 2016 topping what we saw from Spieth, Johnson, and Day. The good news is the championships that rotate in the U.S. will go back to more traditional venues. While I’m fine with either the PGA or U.S. Open being played at the Straits or Chambers Bay, I’d rather not see it done in the same year. In 2016 we get a U.S. Open at Oakmont and the PGA at Baltusrol.

I haven’t played Oakmont (yet), but hope to. I hear it could happen. I’m intimately familiar with both courses at Baltusrol. That’ll be fun. And the PGA will be moved up a few weeks due to the Olympics. Roughly 240 days until the Masters. Hang in there.

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2015 PGA Championship: Round 2

Not Quite In The Books

The weathermen told us that Friday afternoon was the only day of the week in which we’d have to worry about a storm, or any rain for that matter. In the middle of the day a small cell popped up and passed by the Straits course like a boat on Lake Michigan. Around 6 pm local time, a much bigger cell pulled no punches as it attacked the PGA Championship. Golf journos on the scene tweeted about a biblical event. I’ll take that with a grain of salt. While I’m sure it was windy and a bit scary in many of the temporary structures, there were no injuries, deaths, or other accidents. A scoreboard fell down and the Golf Channel’s set was smashed up. That is all.

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Well, that and play was suspended for the day. We have no Friday night cut for the 2nd straight major. Hey, Tiger plays the weekend again! About a third of the field will come back Saturday morning at 7 am. Some have only a hole to play while others have as many as 7. If you’re a leader, your Saturday will be a long one with an early wake up call but then a late tee time for round 3. If you’re on the cut line you have a golden opportunity to come back on a soft golf course with smooth greens to get on the correct side of the number. Once again, the draw at a major comes in to play.

Jordan Spieth Again Contending In A Major

This is getting a little old….no, its not. The fucking kid is too good to deny. He plods around the course. He minimizes mistakes. Then he capitalizes on birdie opportunities as they’re handed to him. Oh, he also has one of the best short games to ever be seen on the professional stage. Do you need proof? Exhibit A. Jordan and Rory both missed the green at 18 (their 9th) and had difficult 3rd shots. I figured both would wedge on to about 10 or 15 feet and make bogey. There’s no shame in that on the 18th at Whistling Straits. Rory caught a bad lie in the long rough and made a sloppy 6. Jordan did this:

And the Twitter world went ape shit. As they should. Out in 33, another couple under on his back nine, and a rock solid 67 has him -6 through 36 holes. He’s not the leader, but he’ll have a late time on Saturday and he’ll be rested having not had to come back early to finish. Remember that.

So how did 1 v. 2 work out after two days? It really wasn’t that close as the graphic from Golf Central tells the tale of the tape.

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Bomber v. Plodder. Spieth’s putter is such an advantage that he doesn’t need to rip it and keep up with Rory. Just keep it playable and give yourself chances. He does that better than everyone else in the field.

I Love It When Matt Jones Is Near The Top Of A Leaderboard

Not because I like to watch him play. Sure, he’s good, but he’s not the uber talent that makes me DVR a golf telecast. No, I like Jones because it means we might see his wife. TNT showed her briefly today. You can’t miss her. Yeah, the model with the huge tits. That’s her.

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That’s a retweet image from @NoLayingUp. I wasn’t quick enough to snap an image myself. Mrs. Jones has been the subject of my perverted posts many times before. Just put her name in the search function over there on the right if you want more of her. Oh yeah…her husband….he was ok today. He’s 5 under though 12 and tied for the lead at -9. He should be able to come out and go low as previously discussed. Having to sleep with a share of the lead in major might make his morning more interesting than most anticipate.

G’Day

Jason Day was my pick to win. He’s done nothing to change that as he too is at -9 and 5 under on his round. I watched most of the 14 holes he’s played and he’s been rock solid. His good shots are stunning. His bad shots are playable. And his one bogey at the 9th was just a tugged 9 iron to the wrong spot. Watching Day play makes you realize that he’s both a bomber and a plodder. He certainly takes his time. I think his extra discussion with his caddie/confidant talking through his shots has driven Dustin Johnson nuts. Homie just wants to step up and hit it while Day wants counsel before he pulls the trigger. This was very apparent at the par five 5th when Johnson played out of turn and knocked his 2nd shot in the hazard.

FYI, Johnson fell back after not getting anything going earlier. He’s 1 over for his round and has been all over the map with birdies and bogies after his 6 pars to start. I think he’s trending in the wrong direction, but he’s only 4 behind with plenty of time to get back into the hunt.

Tiger’s Season Is…..?????

Over? No, not yet, but that’s anybody’s guess. Tiger is +1 through 13 and +4 for the championship. He needs an up and down from over the 14th green, then at least 2 birdies coming home to make the cut. I don’t see it happening. And if a missed cut is the result for TW this week that means he’s likely done for the year with no Fed Ex playoffs, no Prez Cup, and no more golf…..unless……

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he enters next week’s event in Greensboro. No, he wouldn’t……well, he did. Tiger Woods let the Tour know that he’s entering the Wyndham Championship next week. He did so because the deadline for it would have been Friday had the 2nd round been completed. Tiger’s agent clarified that Woods entered it to beat the deadline, but will take the weekend to consider his options. In other words, if he can make a miracle happen and make the cut and rise up the leaderboard he won’t be in Greensboro. Whatever happens, he should play the Wyndham. Not because he made a commitment, but because he needs the rounds. If he’s serious about getting better he has to start somewhere. If he does play, he’ll have to win to have any chance of advancing to the playoffs.

Round 2 Footnotes

FIGJAM shot 73 and is +1 for the championship. He should be playing the weekend unless this little stunt hurt his coccyx.

I don’t have a clue what he was doing there. My first thought was that the GIF was fake, but it isn’t. And somehow he also pulled it off without a grass stain. Only Phil.

Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata probably packed his suitcases to go home after his 1st round 77. On Thursday he had no birdies, a double, and 3 bogies. On Friday he had 8 birdies, an eagle, and 1 bogey on his way to a course record 63. Iwata had a chip on 18 that scared 62 for a moment as it approached the cup. He became the 27th man to shoot 63 in a major, the last being Jason Dufner in 2013. The untouchable 62 will remain just that for at least another day.

John Daly makes the PGA field every year as a past champion (1991). He rarely makes the cut, but he typically provides some entertainment on his way out of town. He often does so with a big number. Today he made a 10 on a par 3 largely thanks to rinsing 3 balls in Lake Michigan. It must have been the club’s fault.

I’m okay with a good club toss as long as no one gets hurt. Daly’s known for these types of shenanigans and the only thing he could have done that would have been “more John Daly-ish” would have been to pull a cold beer from his bag and drink it on his way to the green after that toss.

On/Off The Air

Because of the 3rd round being suspended golf fans lost out on a lot of live Friday Happy Hour Golf. With the restart at 7 am, will TNT broadcast it? Will coverage be available online? I should hope so, but we have no indication that this is happening yet. Also, when play was suspended the Day/Fowler/Johnson group had been on the course nearly 5 hours and still had 4 holes to play. That is horrific. Why wasn’t there a slow play penalty applied to anyone? If they’d played at a normal pace they would have been in before the delay. I’m not blaming them. The whole field plays at this place. It is mind blowing.

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2015 PGA Championship: Round 1

So I Was Wrong About DJ

Shoot me. I thought he’d have some PTSD shit going on from 2010. I thought his recent rounds were a trend. I was wrong, so far. It won’t be the last time. DJ was anything but off on Thursday at Whistling Straits and the result was a field leading 66. Five birdies, an eagle, and one bogey. That’s pretty classy. DJ did have the advantage of being in the morning waive where they clearly had the better conditions before the wind came up. Imagine if he can keep it up. Imagine the pressure he’ll face on Sunday. Imagine the train wreck that we’ll get to see. It could be glorious.

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If DJ is going to win the PGA Championship he’s going to need about a 7 shot lead when he tees off on Sunday, and even that might not be enough. He’ll have Rory, Spieth, and Jason Day likely chasing him. That means the odds of him having a large lead are about 1.5%. Remember when journos were giving him the British a month ago after 36 holes and he finished T50 something? Ok, good. Keep that in mind if this cat keeps this up for a few more days.

Versus Goliath

In contrast of the giant that is Dustin Johnson we find tiny David Lingmerth sitting in solo 2nd. Lingmerth shot 67 and did so in the meat of the afternoon winds. He looked solid and now gets to come back in what we assume will be calmer conditions on Friday morning and try to post a score. He could get to -10 and be 3 shots clear of the field before DJ even tees off. In a 14 month span that saw Rory and Jordan Spieth win 4 consecutive majors, it’d be a shame to close the year’s majors with wins by Zach Johnson and Lingmerth, no offense, Dave.

They Still Have Bullets In The Chamber

That has nothing to do with the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. It means that several big guns positioned themselves nicely with their round 1 scores. My picks of Jason Day and Matt Kuchar are two of the several 68s that were carded. Both were out early like DJ. Both will likely battle tougher conditions on Friday. Anything under par on Friday should keep them in the hunt. My other pick, Bubba Watson, shot even in the calm morning waive. He’s probably fucked unless something fluky happens.

Then there’s Rory McIlroy. He answered every doubt we could have had about his tender ankle. He had great balance and power, ok…don’t over analyze it, he looked like he hadn’t missed a single event. After almost 50 days away from golf Rory said he was nervous on the 1st tee, but after that settled in and played well. His 71 might look like he’s 5 shots behind, but in the windy afternoon waive Ror’s score is more like a 68. I think the 5th hole was the key to his round today. The pic you see here is from his 4th shot on that hole.

If you missed it, his drive found the bunkers between the fairway and the right hazard off the tee. I had the same shot last year when I played the hole. I laid up down the fairway, but what did I have to lose? Rory pitched out with more of the lip/bank of the bunker in front of him to get up and over. For his 3rd shot he hit a 5 iron at the par 5 green. It bounced off the bank short and into the hazard. With much of the ball above the water line, Rors elected to pitch it out and onto the green. As Michael Breed pointed out on the Featured Group channel, the waves going with direction of the shot helped McIlroy get the ball out. Breed is dead right. Rory was left with about 11 feet for par. You knew he was going to make it to complete the hero par save. And from there his round seemed to be righted.

Jordan Spieth is right there with Rory at -1 after carding a 71 on Thursday. I thought he played pretty awful (for him). He had the lefts off the tee. And yet he still managed his game and made few mistakes. The cliche’ is that you can’t win a major on Thursday, but you can lose it. Well guess what old Mr. 22 Going On 42 did…..correct, he didn’t lose the PGA today. Savvy stuff, but that’s all we ever expect from him now.

The Thursday Footnotes

This is what Tiger Woods is now. A fucking footnote. He shot 75. He sprayed it a bit. He scrambled okay. And he didn’t make many putts. He did all of that when the morning winds were mostly calm. He’s fucked for Friday. I’ll set the o/u for him at 73.5 and take the over. Lock it.

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Brooks Koepka’s round was fun to watch. The Florida State kid went out in 40, birdied his first 5 holes on the back, then bogied two of his final 4 holes to post a 73. Shit. I’d feel like I pissed away a good round if I made 5 birdies and shot 73.

Keegan Bradley made birdies on his first two holes and last two holes on his way to a 76. He was in the morning featured group with Tiger for all the world to see in the online coverage. He was tough to watch. I had to look away and I can’t imagine Tiger and Martin Kaymer didn’t have to do the same. The fucking whack job takes forever to hit the god damn ball right now. I think he’s getting worse and clearly it isn’t helping how he scores. He has 1 top 10 finish since April. None in the last 2 months.

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2015 PGA Championship: Day 3

All Quiet On The Western Shore (Of Lake Michigan)

Wednesday before the Masters is exciting. Wednesday before the PGA????? Not so much. And that’s fine for the competitors. The Tuesday Champion’s dinner is done. Long drive contest, finished. And a Wednesday pro-am….nope, not here, not at a major. It is all business and press conferences, and that is why we don’t have much to talk about today. One story that has been hammered to death is Dustin Johnson returning to the scene of the crime of losing the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straits. You know the story, you know the penalty, and you know DJ doesn’t want to talk about it. So what do you think the press asked him today?

Yup. And they have to ask him that. So what did DJ say? He said he only thinks about his fuck up when the press asks him. I call bullshit on that. If true, there just isn’t much going on upstairs in that guys head, not that I thought there was anyway. I think a month ago you could have asked 100 ‘experts’ who they were picking to win the PGA and 50 would have said Johnson. After his last few rounds and his close to the British Open, he’s far from THE favorite. I think he’ll make the cut and be a non-factor. As for his bunker, the PGA blocked it with a corporate suite.

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That is no accident. Sadly, it is five years too late for DJ.

Picks To Click

I’ve got three picks for Glory’s Last Shot. They’re not dark horses. They’re not long shots. The first may be a little sneaky, its Matt Kuchar. Kooch has had a quiet year and played well under expectations for a player of his caliber. He had a decent finish at the Straits in 2010 and is flying way under the radar right now. He’s not my top pick, but at 50/1 he’s a great value.

For my pick’em group I have to take Bubba. There’s only 6 weeks left of picks and I’ve used most of my big guns. Bubba has played too well over the last few months to ignore. Having lost in a playoff at the Straits 5 years ago he’s an obvious favorite. If this site paid me a dime maintain it I’d put a sheckle on Watson on 15/1.

Who’s actually going to win? My gut has said Jason day since the Monday finish at the British Open. He’s due, and his game fits the course perfectly. He’ll reach the four par 5s with ease. He hits his long irons so high that he’ll have an advantage on the par 3s. He’s got to make putts, and he’s got to play loose. That’s harder than it sounds of course. Day checks in at 12/1 if you’re wondering. I wish I still had him available in my pool.

So who is your champion? Day, Spieth, Rory, Bubba? Leave a comment and tell us why you like your pick. And try to do so before Spieth shoots 62 and you look like a schmuck for picking him.

Who Said What

Rory had his pre-tourney presser today. He was asked about Jordan Spieth and who’s the best player in the world. His answer was PC and he said something about asking him that at the end of the week. He did indicate that for 2015 to date you can’t deny what Jordan Spieth has accomplished. Rors also said he walked 72 holes last week in Portugal to test his ankle. He went for a 20 minute run this morning. And he wanted to play Firestone last week but his trainer advised him to rest one more week. How is walking 72 holes in Portugal any different than playing golf in Akron for four days?

Tiger’s presser was just plain different. The press asked him about his restaurant, the mosquitoes, Rory, and Jordan. They asked him things in the way Nicklaus and Palmer get asked things at majors, like their opinion on all things matter, but their games don’t. That doesn’t feel right when you’re at a major and Tiger Woods is holding court. This is a new world that I haven’t adjusted to yet. I need to get used to it.

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2015 PGA Championship: Day 2

Money Games

Tuesday at a major typically involves Phil Mickelson, some young guns, and a lot of money changing hands on the 18th green. Bitch Tits doesn’t do practice rounds. He wants to feel competition on the course before he goes live on Thursdays. This week at Whistling Straits Phil partnered with Rickie Fowler to take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Why couldn’t we watch this? The trash talking was apparently pretty good with Spieth trolling Lefty about his U.S. Open trophy. Rory McIlroy was also around Phil and took some heat of his own while cutting across the course. Phil telling him to be careful on the stairs was the comment dujour that was overheard.  Rory fought back with a shot at Phil’s old, aging legs. Doesn’t sound tense enough to be a major, does it? I think that is the environment Phil is trying to create on Tuesdays.

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Oh, and Jordan had a few fans in attendance too. How cute. As for the money game, Spieth tweeted that he and Thomas prevailed. He did so with a 20 foot put on the final green. Of course he won. Jordan isn’t on the losing end of much in 2015.

Threesomes For Thursday (And Friday)

Unlike the USGA and the Masters, the PGA doesn’t fuck around in waiting to release their pairings. The PGA put these out last week but I’m just now getting around to discussing them.

That Finau, Grace, Lee group caught my eye. All three players have had a great few months, although Finau might have plateaued in July.

Obviously there are a few headliners here. Woods/Kaymer/Bradley is good, but Day/Johnson/Fowler will have just as many eyeballs. The Watson/Furyk/Casey group is interesting too.

Scott/Stenson/Koepka….shit, someone get @NoLayingUp a box of tissues and jar of lube. I like that the PGA puts so many past champs together. That’s how we get groups like Dufner, Phil, and Paddy. Oh…did you think I wasn’t going to say anything about the McIlroy/Spieth/Johnson pairing. Yeah, not too shabby. Give the people what they want and put all 3 players on the planet in possession of a major championship trophy in the same group…..yes please. Get logged on early for that 8:05 am group off ten on Friday.

The last sheet is a bit of a bore, but that happens in parts of the draw. Graham DeLaet had to WD which got Sean O’Hair into the field. Maybe he’ll pull a John Daly and win the thing as an alternate.

Bubba Plays Nice

In 2014 the PGA of America re-instituted the Long Drive Contest that was started back in the 60s at the PGA Championship. The contest is held during the Tuesday practice round. The winner sends $25K to a charity of their choosing and gets a throwback gold money clip saying they’re the champ. 2010 PGA Champ Martin Kaymer was all in:

Too bad the big gay German missed the fairway. Last year Bubba pulled iron on the 10th tee at Valhalla when it was his turn in the contest. He’s taken shit for a year for that cowardly act. Today he hit driver and missed the fairway, but at least he tried. That’s all we ask, Gerry. Don’t be a dick and play nice. Who won? That would be Anirban Lahiri of India with a drive of 327 yards. The course was playing soft today due to Monday’s rain.

Queer Or Quirky

One thousand bunkers, hundreds of mounds and moguls, and a huge water hazard that doesn’t (shouldn’t) come into play. That is the Straits course at Whistling Straits in a nut shell. It is full of quirks, including a man eating bunker surrounded by the putting surface at the 6th hole. I watched a guy take 6 shots in there 11 months ago. Troy Merritt had a much easier time of it.

I don’t really like that feature on a hole in most cases. Here, at the PGA, on this course….it just might work. The reason is the PGA will likely make the short par 4 drive-able at some point or two in the championship. If that is the case then a hazard like this 8 foot deep bunker is quite necessary to provide some defense to the hole. Watch for this and other Straits quirks as the championship rolls through the weekend.

While you can’t miss that cavernous bunker on the 6th, you certainly can miss others…just ask Dustin Johnson. And just as the PGA did 5 years ago, they’ve posted warnings all over the property for the players to see to know that all sand is considered a bunker. So DON’T GROUND YOUR FUCKING CLUB!!!!! They’ve even posted the note at the urinals. And @TwoInchesShort didn’t miss an opportunity to send the perfect tweet about that.

Nailed it. Well done sir. I read a lot of tweets today, none were better than that.

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2015 PGA Championship: Day 1

The Ankle Is A Go

Day 1 at the PGA came and went on Monday without much fanfare. There were some weather issues. There was obligatory gushing over a course on the water. And there was Rory McIlroy in the flesh to show us that his ankle is ready to go. He was Instagramming and Tweeting over the weekend hints and clues that he’d be in Badgerland this week. This one sold it for most of us.

Feels good to hit the driver again! 👍💪⛳️

A video posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on

He ‘looks’ good to go. Where is mind is, how rusty he is, and if his ankle can hold up for 72 holes at the Straits is a completely different animal. Walking the terrain there is no picnic anywhere off the fairway. I think he’ll make the cut near the number and never seriously contend. We might see the real Rory in a few weeks in the Fed Ex playoffs. If we see even a glimpse of him this week the hyperbole might get out of control.

Playing The Straits

This is your reminder that Pete Dye’s Straits course in Kohler, Wisconsin is a public track that you can play. It is ranked in every golf publication’s top 100 courses. I’ve played it, and I’ve reviewed it just for you. I liked the track but I think much of it is artificial, tricked up, and repetitive. You can read the full review here

Of course you can’t play it this week. You also can’t play the other courses at the resort because they’re closed through the championship. If you’re headed to the Dairy State for the PGA I highly recommend the Links of Lawsonia and a trip to Erin Hills to fill up your days that you won’t be at the Straits. Neither is too far of a drive for the serious golfer and both are worth the journey to check out. You’ll notice that for the overall experience I rated both courses higher than Whistling Straits. Neither will be as visually appealing as what you see this week at the PGA, but they are great courses that are decent values and great experiences for the die hard golf nut.

Who Is Wearing What

The PGA is a major, and that means scripted outfits are tweeted out like we’re supposed to give a shit about them. I won’t lie. I actually do find these kind of interesting. After all, golf companies pay big money for professionals to wear their garb. We in turn see the walking billboards on TV, decide what we like, and buy accordingly for our golf wardrobes. You can’t get on the course naked. I digress. Here’s who is wearing what:

Rory And Tiger

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Four shirts for both players looks a bit optimistic for the $woosh boys. Rory’s outfits look a bit too similar. Notice that Tiger’s shoes aren’t shown. That is probably because he’s still wearing an older model and not the 2015 TW shoe.

Jordan Spieth

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The kid likes his blue and gray. The Saturday pink will be a nice change for him. When UA first sent this out “innovations” was spelled wrong. I wonder who got fired for that fuck up.

Bubba Watson

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Remember when Bubba won his first Masters in 2012 and he wore the same white/pink outfit for all four rounds? I’m thinking Oakley wants to make sure that never happens under their watch (he wore Travis Mathews back then). Personally, the Oakley stuff isn’t appealing to me. Bubba Watson does nothing to help the brand’s image in my mind.

Justin Thomas

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That’s more like it. I don’t think I’d wear the green pants, but I’ll give a big thumbs up to the other 3 selections. Justin dresses pretty well for a rookie.

That’s all I’ve got the stomach for. As always, you can get all the thread talk you want at the Golf Threads Blog. We’ll talk pairings tomorrow.

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Lowry(ing) Standards: Final Thoughts On Firestone

No Longer Unknown

I know who Shane Lowry is, but did you before this week? If you did you likely knew him as the fellow Irishman that beat Rory McIlroy at the WGC Match Play event in 2013. If not for that, perhaps you knew him as the guy that was pissed off last year when the USGA put him with Brendon deJonge and Kevin Stadler at the U.S. Open and everyone called it the fat boy group. Either way, you know him now because he’s the newest first time winner on the PGA Tour.

Shane has been knocking on the door a bit now, albeit under the radar because he mostly plays in Europe. He did have a top 10 finish at Chambers Bay in June. On Sunday in Akron he took advantage of a choking Jim Furyk, the balky putter of Justin Rose, and half wit Bubba Watson to win the WGC event by 2. Well, all that and a VERY friendly kick off a tree at the 18th.

Leading by one on the final hole, Lowry’s 2nd shot from the rough clipped the big tree that guards the green and bound to 10 feet from the hole. His tee shot was so bad he was lucky to find an alley to play from with a shot at the green. Then the bounce off the tree..??? He’s living right. As you can see above, Shane thanked the tree properly. There’s no truth to the rumor that he bought the tree dinner before he fornicated with it.

With the win Lowry won enough cash to become a full PGA Tour member but for some reason I’m still not clear on why he isn’t eligible for the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. Can anyone explain that to me? Did I hear CBS wrong? I don’t think we’ll see Shane play in the states regularly, but I do think we could see him contend in and perhaps win a major in the next three years, just not this week.

The Mrs. 

Lowry is engaged to Wendy Honner. He apparently has pushed back the wedding date a few times after proposing about a year ago. Wendy doesn’t seem to mind, and why would she? Her future bank roll continues to grow. And as with most tour wives she’s far too good looking for her husband. She’s not a 10, shit….she’s not even a 7, but look at Shane. The USGA, while rude in doing so, was accurate in their 2014 fat guy grouping.

The girl in the middle pic might not even be her. It sure doesn’t look like her but Google tells me otherwise.

The Field

Jim Furyk might have ended his 5 year win drought earlier this year at the Heritage, but he did so with a come-from-behind final round 63. That means his streak of blowing 54 hole leads is still in tact. Jim did nothing to change that on Sunday at Firestone as he posted a +2 round of 72 and finished 4 shots behind Lowry. Once is tough luck, twice is close to becoming a pattern, Jim’s ability to choke away a 54 hole lead might as well be trademarked at this point.

Bubba Watson continued a solid 2015 with a runner-up finish at the Bridgestone. I’ve never thought of Firestone, which looks mostly straight from the blimp view, as a course that would fit the eccentric Mr. Watson. The course also doesn’t have an extra 2 par 5s for him to devour. But there he was a shot behind Lowry, in the clubhouse, with Lowry starring a bogey in the face that would have put the two players in a playoff. Watson is clearly playing well. He should be dangerous next week at the PGA.

Justin Rose joined Furyk as the Saturday night co-leader in Akron. He also joined him in shooting a shit-stained 72 on Sunday. Rose didn’t choke and there’s no pattern established of him doing that. He just lost the most important club in his bag at the wrong time. JR shot 63 on Saturday and was electric with his flat stick.

Then ppppppfffffffffffffffffffffttttttttttttttttttttttt. Nothing but a giant turd on the greens on Sunday. CBS caught it right away. After Rose looked good in chipping in at the 9th, Gary McCord and others picked up on Rose hitting putts on the heel of the putter face. He looked like a typical weekend hack with his blade. It was appalling. I’m not sure how fast he can fix that heading into Whistling Straits.

Oh yeah, that Spieth kid was in Ohio for the weekend too. He muddled around even par for 3 days, then got his shit together with a nice Sunday 66 and a back door top 10. Yup, right on schedule for a major next week.

Shot Of They Day

Lowry’s aforementioned shot at the 18th hole was nice, but it was mostly luck. Shots of the Day should involve skill, so I’ll take another one from earlier in the round that Shane pulled off. After hitting a foul ball at the 10th, Shane was given relief from a structure leaving him with a side angle approach to the green. He only had 100 yards to the hole, but his free drop left his ball in a bird nest. I guess he did okay from there.

Those are the kind of shots that seem to just work out for the guy that wins.

Ooooooooooooo Barracuda

Just play the fucking song while you read this. It helps the vibe. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the opposite field event played in Reno, Nevada concurrently with the WGC event in Firestone. The Stableford format tourney resulted in JJ Henry as the champion. He apparently beat Kyle Reiffers in a playoff for the big trophy. I didn’t see a second of it. Those two finished a point ahead of rookie phenom Patrick Rodgers. However, the more interesting story of the event involves Andres Romero.

Romero 3 whacked his 15th hole in round 3. On the next tee he punched a sign and hurt his hand so bad he couldn’t hit another full shot. Instead of WD’ing right there he decided to finish his round. How, you ask?

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Because of the format a player can at worst score a double bogey. They must subtract 3 points for double or worse. This allowed Romero to simply tee off on a hole and declare his score a double after doing so. Because he couldn’t swing he teed off with a putter. While that is hilarious and completely anecdotal, there is no rhyme or reason as to why Romero didn’t just walk off the course. This was the 3rd round. The only answer that I can think of is that he must have been awarded last place money for making the cut. I guess stupidity can payoff.

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