Firestone Round 1, PGA Championship Player Threads, And Inside ShotLink

Star Studded Firestone Leaderboard

World Golf Championship events like Doral and Firestone were invented to get the best players in the world together to compete more often than just the four majors. The result is a treat for the viewers and a leaderboard built for TV filled with household names. Webb Simpson jumped out to the 1st round lead getting to 7 under through 15 holes before making bogey on his last to shoot 64. Tiger Woods and red hot Henrik Stenson are right there on his ass with plenty of other top ranked players in the mix too. Keegan Bradley, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler are lurking. Shit, even Rory shot even par 70 today, and there’s no cut so he’ll play the weekend unless he WD’s. Did you know Rory hasn’t broke 70 since May? I’d bet that streak ends in the next three days. He didn’t look lost or “braindead” today.

Phil looked a bit disinterested in his first competitive round as the “Champion Golfer of the Year”. Actually, he just looked like normal Phil hitting it all over the lot, scrambling, and making a mix of birdies and bogies. That Phil is more fun to watch than the hit-it-down-the-middle-make-every-putt-Phil we’ve seen the last 6 weeks.

Yes, I did throw Tiger’s name in the pile up there. He looked rock solid today leading the field in greens-in-regulation. Not only did he hit greens, he knocked down some flags hitting it close on a handful of occasions. Grumpy old Tiger even seemed pleased with his play during his post round interview. No matter what he does in Akron this week/weekend I don’t think we can put much stock in it. He’s played great the week before majors the last few years and shit the bed when it mattered the following week.

Speaking of Tiger…..

Cattle On The Course Again

Earlier this week Tiger Woods visited Oak Hill in Rochester, NY to sneak in some practice reps at the site of next week’s PGA Championship. Woody showed up with some baggage…..errrrr……his girlfriend, wore cargo shorts (AGAIN), and is rumored to have used a cart to get he and Ms. Vonn around the private club during his round. He also parked his sled a bit too close to the greens for the liking of the members and grounds crew.

What the fuck is wrong with this guy? His caddie isn’t available to hoof the bag around and get yardages? What’s with these shorts? Where is his professionalism? Then to top off his questionable behavior during his visit, Tiger ripped the greens by making comments about how slow and bumpy they are. The excuses are starting early for not winning major #15, aren’t they?

Maybe that’s why he brought Vonn along, so she could eat the grass on the greens to speed them up. Yes I’m calling her a fucking cow again. She’s a big girl.

Ralph……(audible puking noise)…….ok, that’s got to be purged from our minds. What’s Paulina up to? Seems as though she was hanging out with her brother at Lake Gretzky while Tiger and Vonn desecrated Oak Hill.

 

Ahhhh……that’s better. I have no clue where Dustin Johnson was, nor do I care.

Look Good Play Good……These Guys Are Fucked

In what has become the norm these days on tour, the apparel companies are releasing the scripted wardrobes their super star players will wear for each day of the upcoming major championship. Here’s a look with my commentary on a few of them:

Tiger Woods

Pretty boring, no? Tiger hasn’t been a style trend setter on tour in years. He was one of the last players to ditch pleats (besides the fat guys) and wear a white belt with white shoes. Most of the trends he’s tried to start just didn’t take. Remember the short sleeved mock necks and zipper plackets? Fugly and unpopular. Still, most of what Tiger wears these days is at worst a fairly classic look compared to……

Rickie Fowler

I hope he really is color blind like his Sportscenter ad tells us. That would explain so much, wouldn’t it? Rickie’s skater sheek look is growing old on me and if any adult male on a golf course dressed like this I’d laugh at him the whole round even if he shot 64. When is Rickie going to grow up and stop dressing like a clown and start winning golf tournaments? Don’t blame Puma for this. They dress other players decently.

Rory McIlroy

When Rory signed with the big $woosh in January he mentioned that part of the lure (besides a pile of money) to be with them was the clean look they provided to their athletes. I think you can see that in the shirts and slacks they’ve laid out above. Gone are the days of Rory looking like a Titleist/Oakley/Jumeirah billboard. The four shirts above are far better than the weird looking argyle thing he had on today at Firestone. Now if they could give him a decent shoe and a golf game to go with it he’d be all set.

Don’t Ask How The Hotdog Is Made

A few years ago the PGA Tour partnered with CDW to create a database filled with shot information, player stats and course stats that could be used by the television networks to tell viewers how far a shot traveled, how often the field is hitting a green in regulation, etc. Eventually this data was also made available to golf fans via ShotTracker on the tour’s website. In 2013 almost every round played in sanctioned tour events on North American soil is charted via Shotlink and ShotTracker. The exceptions are opposite field events like the one being played this week in Tahoe, the majors because they aren’t run by the tour, and rounds played on courses in events that use multiple courses (i.e. Torrey Pines North, the AT&T courses that aren’t Pebble, etc.).

Have you ever wondered how they do all this? Every Thursday-Friday I sit at my desk hard at work and have ShotTracker on to show me what’s happening at the current tour stop. I can’t help but wonder how the tour is getting this data and who/what is involved in capturing it. Well, here’s how:

I figured there was some high tech TrackMan shit the tour used to collect the yardages and data. You know, something that used sonar or whatever to track the shot from the time it left the players club face until it came to rest. Apparently that isn’t the case. If you didn’t watch the video, what it tells you is that volunteers are used each week to walk with groups, shoot lasers at the balls, and tell the hand held wifi enabled devices they’re holding where the player hit his shot and what number shot it was. That does help to explain why ShotTracker is often a clusterfuck and can be unreliable. Picture a retiree that doesn’t own a smartphone as the volunteer trying to log this data and shoot a laser…….ugh.

Site News

Two things. First, the site hit a mini-milestone this week that only I’m aware of. I don’t need or want to give it away, but it involved a total number of visitors that I never could have fathomed when I created this obnoxious place in January. Thanks to all of you again who keep coming back to read my mindless shit. It’s been a fun 7 months.

Second, consider yourself warned. You might recall the full week (and then some) of posts I churned out during Masters Week. I’d love to do that for every major, but work and family took priority during the last two. That’s not going to be the case next week. I’ll be going strong with PGA posts from Sunday to Sunday, like it or not. I’m also likely going to bring back the live chat for a weekend round of the PGA. Stay tuned.

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