My Extreme Speculation On Why DJ Is Taking A Mysterious Leave From The Tour

‘Tis A Helluva Drug

As always, I’m going to say what no one else can or wants to. That’s what this site is for, and I’m not going to stop now because of the sensitivity of the subject. In case you’ve been under a rock for most of Thursday afternoon, Dustin Johnson announced that he’s taking a leave of absence from the tour to essentially get his shit together. He withdrew from Firestone on Monday and today says he won’t play in the PGA Championship next week or the Ryder Cup. Wow.

This really is quite shocking news. Just yesterday I opined that his WD this week had something to do with Paulina. After hearing the news I even offered a similar thought via Twitter. Then my mind raced to PEDs and the tour catching up with him to suspend him. There is speculation everywhere on why he’s really taking time off because the tour makes no statements about suspensions (which is what this could actually be). Plenty of golf journos are hinting that this is an official suspension by saying he’ll be back in exactly 6 months, meaning that is how long he’s been suspended for.

The evidence we have doesn’t exactly support that, at least not a suspension for PEDs. Why announce one day that you’re taking the week off, then come back 4 days later and say you’re out indefinitely? Then, Paulina posts that pic of the two of them on the green that I showed you yesterday…..and deletes is from her Instagram account today? He did have a drink in his hand in the pic. What does it all mean? Who fucking knows, but I’ll take a stab.

If you Google “coke whore” you get 67 pages of Paulina ‘Dustin Johnson cocaine’ you get a good 85,000 hits back. He’s got his own rumors that aren’t too hard to find about his use of the powder while in college at Cocaine errrr…….Coastal Carolina. And Paulina, she was born with a silver coke spoon under her nose. That’s what money and fame can do to a little girl with daddy issues. The two probably met at a nose candy party. And when you tell the world that you’re taking time off to work on yourself, getting healthy, “personal challenges” etc., that might as well be code for rehab. He can thank his so called better half for aiding his habit.

This picture from his future mother-in-law almost looks like she’s taking the kids off to rehab, doesn’t it?

Golf fans can only hope DJ gets off the white horse and back in action for 2015 when the tour lets him come back and play. That’s the best case scenario. The worst? See Kim, Anthony. The only remaining question in my mind is whether or not his sponsors stick with him. I wouldn’t count on it.

 

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Bald Tiger & DJ Pulls Out: Hump Day Musings

Get It Over With

Millions of men in our country are bald, or going bald. Some from the front, some from the rear, some from both. Fortunately for most anyone with this issue, they’re likely not a huge superstar that is a spokesman for several companies and in the public image constantly like Tiger Woods is. We’ve all seen Tiger’s baldness creeping in over the last decade. How could you miss it? I suppose if you’ve never watching him complete a round and take off his hat you could have missed it. My wife comments on it all the time and she’s usually asleep while golf is on.

Tiger Woods returned to golf at the Masters Tournament this week with a swing unaffected by his off season scandal. His hairline is a different story though (katchop)

I’ve thought for a while that TW would finally give in to his one genetic failure and start trimming his hair without a guard on the razor for tighter look, but in a recent interview he did with Fox Sports he claims he’s going to go even lower and just shave it……eventually.

Unfortunately for all of us, the clip cuts off before Colleen can get to the shaved head talk. Instead you only get to hear Tiger give more fluff bullshit about how he loves his life and doesn’t actually read posts on Twitter. No shit. There’s no truth to the rumor that Tiger face fucked Ms. Dominguez either before or after said interview.

In other TW news, he’s back in action this week in Akron, Ohio playing in the WGC at Firestone. He’s won there 8 times? Nine times? I’ve lost count, but he better get serious about doing it again if he wants to keep playing golf into September. The PGA Tour season is wrapping up and he’s woefully short on Fed Ex points. Lucky for Woods, there’s no cut this week.

DJ Pulls Out

No, that’s not how he and Paulina go about birth control……. or is it? On Monday Dustin Johnson informed the PGA Tour that he was withdrawing from the WGC at Firestone for ‘personal reasons’. Methinks he’d been on the road too long and just wanted to get his fuck on. Shortly after he WD’d his fiance posted on social media that he was the best caddie and showed a pic of the two on a golf course that was anywhere but the state of Ohio.

Golfers are independent contractors so of course DJ has the right to do whatever the fuck he wants, but if he ends up on the outside looking in at the automatic qualifiers for the Ryder Cup he’ll deserve it. And I don’t think Watson will pick him with all the other options he has available for the U.S. team that won’t qualify on points. Dustin Johnson probably leads the tour in the WD department (only because John Daly isn’t a tour member). This is what he does. We should be used to it.

What Would You Do? 

In my never ending quest to make it into a USGA Championship I annually sign up for and compete in the U.S. Mid-Am. That involves a qualifying tournament somewhere in my local region in which 90 players compete and the top 5 move on. My site played this week and it did not go well.

I won’t make any excuses. I played like shit. But I found myself in a bit of a quandary on my 16th hole. My fellow competitors in my group were playing well. I had just made double from 200 yards out in the middle of the fairway on the par 5 previous hole. The green was drive-able so being way over par I figured why not take a lash at it. The face was shut (you’re shocked!) and a big hook ensued sending my ball into a decorative flower bed on a previous hole’s tee box. Not knowing the flowerbed was there I didn’t hit a provisional. Because the short par 4 was reachable, there was a sizable back up on the tee. We never found my ball. What would you do?

I’ve never taken the DJ route and WD’d from anything under any circumstance that I can think of. However, I didn’t want to walk 280 yards back to two groups waiting on the tee and further delay and kill the rhythm of my playing partners that were on the cusp of qualifying for the championship. I didn’t re-tee. The decision seemed to sensible. Was I wrong? Let’s be clear, I didn’t walk off the course. I played out the round, but I withdrew in the middle of the 16th hole for all intents and purposes.  Right, wrong? What would you have done.

 

 

 

 

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Clark Captures Canadian Open: Final Thoughts On RBC

Often A Bridesmaid, Now Twice A Bride

I say that because there was a time before Tim Clark won the 2010 Players Championship that he had the most 2nd place finishes in the history of the tour without a victory. Maybe I don’t have that exact, but it was some all-timer of a stat like that. Since that Players victory 4 years ago Timmy has battled injuries, surgeries, and more injuries….not to mention the governing bodies decision to ban anchored putters. Tim’s play has picked up of late with a top 20 at St. Jude and a T5 finish on the John Deere two weeks ago. Today the diminutive South African cashed in on his hard work when Jim Furyk gave him the opportunity to catch and pass him on the leaderboard at the Canadian Open at the Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Soggy South African Clark takes Canadian Open

Thanks to some truly shitty weather in the 48 hour forecast, the folks that run Canada’s most prestigious golf tourney moved up the Sunday tee times and CBS eventually showed the action on a delay at its normally scheduled time. If you missed it, you missed Clark’s back nine 30 that included one putts on the first 8 holes (10 putts total for the nine). He ran down Furyk by the 14th hole and the two dueled down to the 72nd green. On the final hole Clark was left with a tricky 6 footer for par. Furyk had a 17 foot birdie putt that could have tied Clark, or won the RBC if Clark had missed. Instead, Jimmy missed and Timmy made. Ball game.

As Peter Kostis pointed out immediately after the tournament was decided, the win today for Clark completely changes his schedule for the next two weeks. He’s now in the fields at the both WGC event at Firestone and the PGA Championship at Valhalla. In other words, he’s living the high life again.

Mrs. Clark

As I’m sure you noticed above, Mrs. Clark is no slouch in the WAG department. Who knew? And she looks like that after popping out two kids. Good for her, and even better for Tim. The nanny didn’t look too bad either, but I didn’t want to go there. Plus I don’t have a tag for nannies……yet. I probably should because they’re becoming a bit of a thing on tour.

The photo above isn’t recent, but she doesn’t look that different here as the shot above above with the family.

And this one is from four years ago when Tim won the Players.

I have no fucking clue where/when this one is from, but I couldn’t not provide it for your viewing. We know she’s Canadian and the couple met when Tim was playing the Canadian tour in the late 90s right after he turned pro. And that’s really all the Google machine has on Candice Clark. Twitter tells us that she and Mrs. Luke Donald are besties while out on tour. That sounds completely annoying but I won’t hold it against her. With Tim’s win she’s also a prime candidate for the ShutFaceGolf.com WAG of the Month. We’ll have a new one on Friday in case you forgot.

Jim Can’t Close

I’m not going to come right out and say that big Jim choked this one away. A 3 shot lead through 54 holes is no sure thing. Furyk shot an under par round, but it wasn’t good enough to hold up against Clark’s scorching hot back nine. Jim not closing a 54 hole lead is quickly becoming the norm. I’d bet it was one of the first things anyone reading this thought when they saw Furyk leading the Canadian Open on Saturday evening.

He wins only about 35% on tournaments he’s lead through 3 days. Tiger closes at nearly a 90% clip for comparison. Phil and Ernie are about 70%. That says something about Jim’s mentality in final rounds. He hasn’t won since the Tour Championship of 2010. And I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t some sort of Fed Ex Champion hex going around. Snedeker, Haas, Tiger, Vijay….there is a pattern.

The good news for Jim is he did hit the shots he needed to once Clark became a threat down the stretch. He hit darts on 17 and 18. He also had some pretty sporty up and downs to save pars. That part of today was vastly different from recent failures at Firestone and Olympic Club. I don’t think he’ll have a hard time getting back up from this defeat. He’s playing well and he’ll contend again and win sooner rather than later. In the meantime Jim has locked up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team for this year. I’m still trying to figure out if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

The Field

Seeing Kyle Stanley’s name on the leaderboard this weekend was a bit of a shock. He’s fallen completely off the radar over the last 18 months and the Golf Channel made no bones about why this is the case. He putts like a toddler and the stats that back that opinion up are mind boggling. Hopefully he’s figured something out and we start seeing more of him.  GMac was on the scene in Montreal this week and snaked a top 10 out of his appearance. He’s making this a regular thing as he has played in the U.S. Open, French Open, Scottish Open, and British Open in his last 4 starts prior to the Canadian Open. His cold putter kept him from keeping up with Clark and Furyk for four rounds, but he did have the shot of the tournament on Thursday.

Ball striking machine Graham DeLaet’s 2nd round 63 had his home country thinking a Canadian was going to bring home their Open for the first time since dinosaurs walked the earth, but like McDowell his putter went cold and he finished well behind the leaders. For his efforts DeLaet did still capture the honor of Low Canadian. They actually do give out a trophy for such a thing.

TV Time

If you’re a regular reader here you know I’ve stopped critiquing the weekly golf broadcasts and the networks that air them. I don’t think you want to read the same grumpy complaints week after week. This week Feherty was MIA because he was at memorial services for Sam Torrance. McCord and Faldo were gone too, at least I didn’t hear them, and I have no idea why. In their absence CBS added 2002 PGA Championship winner Rich Beem to the team. I didn’t hear enough from him to form an educated opinion, so I’ll rely on what you guys have to say.

Speak freely, was he any good or did he suck balls? And why not just wing it with Finchy and Kostis in the absence of their horses? To me this seems like they were giving Beemer an audition and want to make him part of the regular squad. I guess we’ll see.

Holly’s Weekend

I’ve already discussed Holly Sonder’s announcement that she’s left TGC for Fox to do NFL games and whatever golf they put on. Old news. What’s new is what she did this weekend and who Golf Channel tried to replace her with. First up they tried Cara Robinson. I’m not exactly sure who she is other than some sports chick from Europe. She doesn’t cut it. Think of this move as sending out the junior varsity squad after the varsity game. Who’s staying to watch less talent? While she’s fair on the eyes she lacks the sex appeal that Holly brought. I’m thinking Cara gets about a 2 week tryout and they move on to one of their Big Break chicks. Lauren Sullivan, Meghan Hardin, come on down!

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Then there’s that. How the fuck are you going to replace that? And why is she still ‘engaged’ to that former ESPN boner. Poor girl. Holly tweeted that she was in Vegas this weekend getting rested up for the NFL season on Fox. My only question is, when will the sex tape come out?

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Your Grandpa’s Ryder Cup And The Return Of The Long Drive: Hump Day Musings

Grumpiest Old Men? 

If there was a 3rd Grumpy Old Men movie that would have been the title, right? There is a rumor going around that the PGA of America along with the PGA Tour and the European PGA Tour will soon be announcing that a Senior version of the Ryder Cup will take place in the fall of 2015. The venue has yet to be determined, but a date and a sponsor are nearly set in stone. The date will be the off week of next September’s Fed Ex Cup playoffs. At least that part of it makes sense.

The format will be slightly different than what we’re used to in the Ryder Cup. Instead of 12 players per team, each team will only have 10. There will be 10 matches per day for a total of 30 points, instead of the standard 28 points. Discussions about such an event have been ongoing for a few months now and all parties involved are eager to announce this once the sponsor and venue are agreed to. Additional meetings were to resolve these outstanding issues were scheduled to take place at the British Open. An announcement regarding these matches seems immanent.

My questions is, why? In my opinion the Seniors (Champions) Tour was created 35 years ago because Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus got old and their popularity created enough demand that people still wanted to see them play. People also want to see winners, so to make the old guys competitive they created a tour just for them. That makes total sense, but hasn’t the old man tour outlived its usefulness? Perhaps, but a closer look shows that Fred Couples (ever the most popular guy in the room) has helped bring some attention back to the silver-hair tournaments. And lookie here….if this Senior Ryder Cup thing lasts long enough, the 6th or 7th version of it could very well have a Mr. Eldrick Tiger Woods playing in it.

Hmmmm…….so maybe the PGA and these tours are forward thinking enough to know that they’re leaving money on the table if they don’t have a Senior Ryder Cup. Or maybe they’re just hoping and praying that Tiger still plays (or is healthy enough to) golf when he’s 50. As for the guys that could play in the 1st version of the matches next year, they’re all in, excited, and ready to get another crack at their opponents from across the Atlantic. Hey, if we get Zinger v. Faldo in singles I might watch.

Chicks Dig The Long Ball

Years ago the PGA Championship included a long drive contest among its participants. That died sometime in the 1980s for reasons that aren’t very clear to someone that was still shitting his pants at this time (I’ve probably shit my pants since the 80s too, but who’s keeping track of such things). Today the PGA of America announced that a long drive contest was coming back, at least in some form, at the 2014 PGA Championship.

This won’t be a traditional long drive contest. There won’t be a guy on an platform or tee hitting multiple balls with only the best one counting. Instead, during the Wednesday practice round of the championship, players will hit one drive on the 10th hole at Valhalla. That’s it. One shot, that is what counts. Longest ball in the fairway wins. What do these guys win? Mostly money for their respective charities, but they’ll also get commemorative money clips like the one shown here.

View image on Twitter

That one is what Jack Nicklaus won when he hit a 341 yard blast to win the 1963 version of the PGA Long Drive Contest. Jack still uses his today. It will be interesting to see how the players respond to this event. They should be all in. What’s the harm? Money for charity is never a bad thing. I bet it helps the gate on Wednesday in Louisville too. So what how will Tiger Woods handle this one? Does he go all in and belt away at a driver on the 10th tee that day? I doubt it. Something tells me he opts out in someway, hits a 3 wood, or simply doesn’t even play the 10th hole that day. He’ll have every excuse in the world for it too thanks to coming back recently from back surgery. Everybody else will do it, there isn’t a reason not to. Maybe that’s all the reason Tiger will need. Peer pressure can be a good thing.

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Open Championship: The Finale

A Prophecy Fulfilled

Being declared Europe’s great hope at about 14 years of age is a lot for any kid to take on. Having your father bet a few hundred pounds on you at 16 to win the Open Championship in the next decade only adds to that pressure. But none of that has ever appeared to bother Rory McIlroy as he’s gone about his business on the golf course. In fact, the only thing that ever did seem to bother him was that pesky wedding thing he had hanging over him about two months ago. Problem solved. No more wedding, no more stress, no more girl you don’t want to marry. Back on the path to major championship victories.

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Rory’s Open Championship coronation at Hoylake was only briefly halted on Sunday when Sergio made an eagle on the 10th hole and cut into the lead. But once Sergio left his bunker shot on the 15th hole in the trap this thing was pretty much over. It didn’t help that Sergio also left birdie and eagle putts short while trying to chase down McIlroy on the closing holes. After that the engraver was put to work so that Rory’s name could be on the trophy before he putted out on his 72nd hole.

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McIlroy was so confident going into the day that he had a list in his pocket of people he should thank while giving his speech and accepting the Claret Jug from the R&A.  Why shouldn’t he have been? Today was his day and no challenger was going to catch him. Now he’s 3/4 of the way to a career grand slam. If he can win the Masters next spring he’ll be the 2nd youngest player ever to have the slam (Tiger was a year younger). Of course the events of today have lead to people saying Rory is more likely to break Jack’s major record than Tiger is.

Give me a break. Rory can be completely dominant when he’s on, but how easily do we forget his lack of consistency? He is a great player. He’ll be in the hall of fame someday, but all too often we just hand the recent winner a few extra majors before he’s earned them. It isn’t that easy.

Winners & Losers Of The Week

Winners

Rory McIlroy – The winner of the major I’m discussing is always the biggest winner on my list for these things. There’s no exception this time around with Rory. How could there be? He played splendidly all week and he’s now the Champion Golfer of the Year.

 

He’s also reportedly nailing Irish model Nadia Forde (above) after dumping the horse faced tennis pro he was engaged to. Nailing Forde alone makes him a winner, throw in the Claret Jug and, well….who’s topping that?

Rickie Fowler - Rickie played about as well as he could, but he doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with Rory when his game is firing on all cylinders. Still, Dick Fowler’s finishes in majors this year are T5, T2, and T2. That’s nothing to sneeze at. He’s been phenomenal. Rory said in his acceptance speech that Fowler’s time will come. That would seem to be true, but we all thought Jason Day would have a major by now too.

Sergio Garcia – Probably half of you thought I’d put Sergio on the Loser side of this list because of that heavy bunker shot he hit on the 15th hole today. If he would have lost by one, I sure fucking would have done just that. Aside from that shot he was pretty good and did enough in the final round to put at least a bit of a scare into Rory today. Final round 65s are impressive and even more so when you know you need a low number to catch the leader. The downside for Garcia is if he can play this well and still not snake a major, when will he? I don’t agree with what Rory said about Sergio’s time coming for a major. Its not coming. It is slipping away. But hey, at least he didn’t show up dressed like Tweety Bird today.

Rory McIlroy’s Dad - Mr. Mac and friends bet 400 pounds over 10 years ago that Rory would win the Open before age 26. The odds they were given were 500 to 1. That’s a pretty nice rate on return for dad and his pals. They’ll get 200,000 pounds and that comes out to a pay day of about $85,000 American per person.

Gerry and Rory McIroy at Pinehurst in June. Photo via Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I doubt his father needs the dough, but I’m sure his pals that were also in on the bet are happy to be cashing in that ticket. Word on the street is that the debt has already been paid. So who’s buying dinner tonight, Rors or Pops?

Darren Clarke – Darren Clarke has played like absolute shit since he won the 2011 Open Championship. Fuck, he’s probably still hungover from it. However, as a former Open champ Darren was in the field this week at Hoylake and played a practice round with Rors. At his presser he told golf journos that he didn’t see how anyone could win outside of McIlroy this week because of how well the curly haired kid was playing.

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If DC is telling the media that, you have to assume he also made a pretty decent sized bet with Ladbrokes for Rory to win. Winner, winner!

Losers

Caroline Wozniacki - Do you think I’m piling on? Fuck it. I don’t care. Caroline actually won her first tennis tourney of the year today. Wicked ironic, isn’t it? Still, Rors dumps her and then wins Wentworth and now the Open Championship. There’s no irony in that. There was something about her that didn’t mesh with his golf game. Now she’s damaged goods, unless of course you think some schlub will marry her just to spend her big paychecks.

I almost feel bad for her, but if she’s not a bitter bitch she probably sent Rors a text to say congrats after she found out he won. If not, then I’m tickled to have her on this list.

Tiger - The good news for Tiger is that he played four rounds at a major and isn’t injured (that we know of). That’s progress. However, he did say he was in it to win it this week and nearly finished dead fucking last and a whopping 23 shots behind Rory. 64 year old Tom Watson beat him soundly. Watson also has more Fed Ex points to date. That is embarrassing and as I wrote yesterday, it should disqualify him from being one of Watson’s Ryder Cup picks for Team USA. Oh, and let us not forget. TW is now 0 for 25 in his majors since winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Rory has 3 major in that time frame by comparison. Ouch.

Nike Golf Hats - While Nike Golf sure seems like a winner this week with all the coverage McIlroy received and exposure he provided, those fucking beanie style hats he was wearing were god damn awful. They’re only missing the helicopter blade on the top to complete the look.

$woosh also had a flat billed cap on Rors earlier in the week when he was playing practice rounds and taking care of media obligations. Clearly they’re using Rory to target a demo that isn’t in my wheel house. I probably sound like the cranky old man telling kids to get off his lawn regarding this, but I’m also not buying any $woosh swag anytime soon. They missed their mark.

Dustin Johnson – He was in the middle of the 16th fairway hitting an 8 iron for his 2nd shot on the par 5 with a chance to easily get to 14 under par or perhaps better to finish in the top 3. He whiffed that shot, bogied 17, and then hit his tee ball on the 18th way the fuck out of bounds. That’s spending cash faster than fiance Paulina can.

paulinaobama

His shitty finish also bounced him out of the top ten and cost him valuable Ryder Cup points. DJ did this in 2011 as well when he was chasing Darren Clarke. He was in contention and wiped a drive out of bounds on a par 5 to gift wrap the championship for Clarke. Sloppy golf isn’t winning golf.

Royal Liverpool – Usually when major championship venues produces champions that are the stars of the game they’re immediately looked at as iconic and classic. Hoylake has don that by having Rory and Tiger win there twice. And the leaderboard was certainly up to snuff, but are winning scores of 17 under really the kind of golf we want at future Open Championships? Tiger also went low at this site in 2006.

The par 5s are a little chumpy if you ask me. Also, Royal Portrush has been identified as a future Open site. Does that mean a course like Hoylake could fall out of the rotation? I wouldn’t expect that to happen, but I do think players hitting 8 irons into 570 yard par 5s will make some of the R&A folks call for a few tweaks to the course before we see it host another Open.

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Meth Heading To Masters: Final USAPL In The Books

So Long Old Friend

About a year and a half ago I posted with outrage about the USGA bluecoats announcing that they will no longer be conducting an amateur public links championship. The United States Amateur Public Links Championship and its 90 year history have been wiped off the earth now that the 36 hole final between Byron Meth and Doug Ghim has been completed at the Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kansas. The championship at least went out with a bang.

That’s Meth above (great last name) and he’s your new and last USAPL champion. Meth, a senior from Pacific University, beat Ghim of the Texas Longhorns on the 37th hole of their championship match. Meth took an early lead on the 2nd eighteen to be up 3. Ghim fought back by driving a green and making eagle on the back nine. Ghim held a one hole lead on the 36th hole of the match but hit his tee shot out of bounds to give Meth a shot to win an invite to Augusta in extra holes. Both players hit the fairway on the 37th hole but Ghim’s 2nd shot found the hazard leading to a bogey. Meth hit the green in regulation and two putted for par and a victory.

If you ask me, the Publinks final is much more stressful for the players involved than at the U.S. Am. Both players in the final of a U.S. Am are getting to go to the Masters and the U.S. Open. That isn’t the case at the Publinks. The invitations are only for the champ. Meth will now play in both the 1st two majors of 2015. He also gets the prestigious Standish trophy and will be the final name engraved on it.

I can’t fathom the joy that Meth is experiencing tonight while he basks in victory thinking of magnolias and azaleas around him in April. Congrats on your victory young man, you earned it.

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Open Championship: Round 3

A Broken Clock Is Correct At Least Twice A Day

Yesterday I posted about Round 2 at the Open smack dab in the middle of play. I lamented that Rory was being handed a trophy before he had even truly separated himself from the field. I warned that the players chasing him were too good and the weather was the wildcard we couldn’t underestimate. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In Round 3 at Hoylake the R&A got wise to the weather and moved the tee times up and put groups on both the 10th and 1st tees so that play could be completed without delay. The R&A’s move paid off for all those involved with the Open as hail and lightning storms were avoided. However, the move also meant that no part of the field got the better end of today’s draw in hopes of having Rory and other leaders come back to them. Another 68 for Rory with two eagles coming home and we’re looking at another likely blowout in a major.

Who Can Catch Him? 

My gut says that Rory is going to post a 71 or 72 tomorrow. That means a player like Fowler, Garcia, Johnson, or perhaps Adam Scott will have to post 66 or better, and a 63 for someone like Scott. Is that number out there? It could be if the weather wasn’t going to be horrid, but that’s not the case. This thing is over, and I wouldn’t bet against Rory right now if you gave me the field and paid me 3 to 1. That being said, it is a tradition around here to speculate about who will eventually win when the dust settles on the final round of a major. I expect this to be 98% or higher for Rory, the outcome seems too obvious.

 

Back to Dustin Johnson for a second. He closed with a fury of birdies on Friday to shoot 65. Then Paulina jumps on a flight to get to the UK and his game is stuck in neutral with a 3rd round 71? I blame her.

That’s her Insty from last week that I forgot to show you. She’s obviously a distraction.

If You Can’t Beat’em, Don’t Pick Him

My high school golf coach was an absolute hack. If he played okay, he might break 90 a few times a year. His first comment at tryouts each year to the junior varsity kids was that if they can’t beat him they should probably just go home. And that resonates with me for some reason today when I think about Tiger Woods playing in the British Open against Tom Watson.

After 54 holes Watson trails Tiger only by two shots. Watson is nearly 30 years older than Woods. Watson is the captain of the 2014 Ryder Cup team. He’s said emphatically many times that Tiger will be a pick on his team.

However, Watson’s comments in recent pressers have shifted to indicate that Tiger would need to be in the Fed Ex playoffs and playing well to be picked for the team. As of now TW isn’t ranked in the top 200 players in the Fed Ex standings. That can all change very quickly. He’ll be at Firestone in a WGC event that has plenty of points available. A week in Akron will help. He’ll also have double points on the table at Valhalla at the PGA in August. He has opportunities, but one missed cut at the PGA might just be enough to make sure he stays home for the Fed Ex playoffs. And that really would make Watson’s decision all the more interesting.

He already has to use a pick on Phil as things stand now. Can he afford to use another on a rusty Tiger that can’t hit his driver in the fairway? Not in my opinion. Keep a close eye on Tiger’s driver over the next month. That’ll be the key to if he makes the team. As Paul Azinger often says, the best players in the world drive it the best, wedge it the best, and putt it the best. See Adam Scott, see Rory this week, and see Tiger’s struggles with the driver to know where he stands right now. It isn’t pretty.

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Open Championship: Round 2

Premature Speculation

I’m on lock down later today, so I’m writing this Round 2 post a bit prematurely. As I sit and watch Rors play the back nine I see on my Twitter feed way too much speculation that Rory McIlroy is about to run away with this thing. I’m not buying. He’s playing great, but he’s also bit extremely fortunate with some of his misses and made the most of his opportunities. There is too much talent on the leaderboard, too much golf left, and too much shit weather coming for the weekend that could change everything in a heart beat.

I picked Sergio this week, so cross him off the list of threats to McIlroy. Tiger is done, and played almost exactly as I predicted he would through 36 holes. But Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel….there is a lot of fire power right there behind Rors that isn’t going anywhere. If Rory wins, it won’t be because he ran off and hit with a 5+ shot lead.

Looper Loses Boss’ Driver

In other Friday news from Hoylake, Justin Rose had an interesting start to his 2nd round of the Open Championship. Rose’s caddie, Mark Fulcher (who is a great follow on Twitter, BTW) attempted to send a few Taylormade drivers to friends of his in England. The problem, he included the wrench his boss wanted in his bag in the shipment. The mistake was noticed early enough to eventually get Rose his driver on the front nine of his round, but he played at least a few holes without the big stick.

Nothing can cool off a hot golfer like a huge distraction from his caddie. Rose didn’t play well on Thursday and he wasn’t likely to contend this weekend anyway, but I can’t imagine he was all too pleased about being without a driver he won with last week while playing in a major this week.

It Isn’t His Type

Phil Mickelson’s Open defense started off with a +2 round of 74 and a missed cut looked like a distinct possibility for the weekend. FIGJAM battled back on Friday with a solid -2 round of 70 to put himself currently at level par and tied for 30th. He also laid this gem on golf fans that is going viral as we read/speak/type.

FIGJAM being FIGJAM. We’ll always have the 2013 Open, won’t we Phil.

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Open Championship: Round 1

It Was Thursday, So Of Course Rory McIlroy Went Low

I don’t think anyone of us is surprised to see that Rory McIlroy leads the Open Championship after one round. Rory has gone low on Thursday at the Scottish Open, the Memorial, and several other tournaments this year. Round 1 isn’t his issue. Fridays are. What Rors does tomorrow will likely make or break his championship in 2014 and this is an issue that has to be weighing on him now. I don’t think he’ll back up his 66 with any thing under 70. He’s not going to run away and hide from the rest of the field like he did at Congressional and Kiawah. Personally, I’d set his over/under at 73 and feel good making a bet that one of his Friday 9s is a 40 or worse. That’s the trend he is on, and when you’re under pressure at a major and thinking about shitty Friday rounds, your trend is likely to continue.

The weather is supposed to start getting dodgy at Royal Liverpool over the next 3 days. I’m not sure how that will impact McIlroy. At Kiawah the shit weather blew in and he separated from the field. At St. Andrews in 2010 he opened with a low round and followed it up with an 80 in gale force winds on Friday. All eyes will be on Rors in round 2. Will he crack? It will be interesting viewing either way.

Your Day Might Have Sucked, But This Guy’s Was Worse

When Tiger Woods is on the tee, you need to pay attention because the likelihood of a foul ball coming at you increases significantly. So what the fuck was this guy doing when Tiger got up and wailed away at his tee ball on the 17th hole today?

Pow! Right in the kisser. That was brutal, he has to me more alert to his location and surroundings. As for Tiger, I didn’t see a lick of the ESPN3 shit that was all him all the time. I was impressed with the 69 TW shot and think the Big Cat’s chances in this championship now seem to be more reliant on what kind of draw he has with relation to the weather. I also wonder how his back will react to cold and damp weather throughout the rest of the week.

On The Tee From U.S.A….

For me, part of the charm of the Open Championship comes from the host course, and the rest all comes from Ivor Robson. Who the fuck is Ivor Robson you ask? You know him and love him, you just don’t know his name. Ivor is the starter for the R&A that has worked over 30 Opens to date. Round 1 at the Open is a big day for Mr. Robson. Not only does he announce 156 golfers and their home country, but he does so without a single error in a tone and pitch that are very unique to him

Yeah, that’s the guy. Ivor has become slightly famous for his gig, famous enough in fact of have several tour players be able to imitate him on demand. You can check out the video that ESPN put together covering this here.

Els Rattled

The marshal that got tagged in the face by Tiger Woods had nothing on the spectator that Ernie Els drilled in the face off the first tee in round 1. Els hit a quick hook off the tee that drilled a 60 some year old man right in his face. There was blood everywhere and Els felt bad about it because he even considered asking the marshals to move people before he hit. The bloody scene rattle the Big Easy and then this happened when he went to tap in for bogey.

The big man lost his shit. That’s a triple bogey 7 to start your championship and the image of a bloodied fan that stuck with you all day. Clearly, a player with the pedigree of Els should be able to overcome that, but E2 never did snap out of it and posted a horrid 79 to kill his chances at winning another major.

 

 

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Open Championship: Day 3

This Is Starting To Feel Like Childbirth

Not that I actually know what that feels like, I’m talking more generally about the anticipation of such an event. The Masters is great, so is the U.S. Open, but because this is the first major of 2014 with Tiger, it sorta feels like New Years Day, or Christmas, or something else you wait a long time for in anticipation. I’m on vacation from the real world this week so time is at a bit of a standstill, in a good way, yet all I can do is think about when this godforsaken golf tournament is going to start. I’d like to be able to tell you I’ll be one of the ones that gets up at 4 am to watch Tiger play on ESPN3, but I’m more likely to go on a bender tonight and sleep right through his whole fucking round. That’s life, and that’s what DVRs are for.

But I’m curious as to what ESPN’s little TW360 experiment will look like, what it will produce, who will watch, etc. Sounds like a poll, doesn’t it?

 

Other News On Another Slow News Day

Usually when an old man farts in the wind I ignore it because it is meaningless and smells like shit. Today Gary Player told some golf journos something a little more interesting than a fart (and no, it had nothing to do with Arnold Palmer shitting on a green in Japan). Player emphatically stated that if Tiger Woods had never changed his swing from the one he won the Tiger Slam with in 2000-2001 he would have 24 major championship trophies right now. While I tend to agree with the spirit of that thought, Player’s statement heavily discounts something that has been the main obstacle stopping TW from winning majors in the last six years….injuries.

Injuries aside and I’m right with the old man. Tiger’s swing was perfect, and that’s why Adam Scott copied it to perfection and is now the number one player in the world. I know Tiger thinks he needed to change it to prevent injuries and all that bullshit, but that’s exactly what that thought is…..its bullshit. Tiger is a perfectionist, and he believed a different swing would make him better. It was a greedy and foolish decision. End of story.

The R&A also made news today at the Open by stating that they now require players to sign a waiver which states that they will not gamble on the Open Championship. The U.S. tour and the Euro tour already have rules against this, however, players have been known to bet on the Open Championship regardless of such rules. Gambling on sports is of course legal in England, which makes the whole waiver a bit fucking stupid if you ask me.

It’s not like these guys are betting on themselves to lose, that’s not a bet anyone would take. If they want to bet on a guy to win, or themselves, what is the harm? This goes on at member-guests invitationals across the world, it is part of the fabric of golf. One tour player told Golf.com that that 30 to 50 players will bet on the championship either way. I’m a little surprised said player thinks the number is that low.

Ok, enough of the bullshit and chit chat. Get this thing started. T-minus 8 hours to Tiger!

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