Death, Taxes, And Tiger with a 54 Hole Lead
The WGC event at Firestone was over the second Tiger finished his 2nd round with his course record tying 61 and a 7 shot lead. The only thing left to do was put his name on the trophy, figure out who would greet him at the green, and decide which millionaire tour pro would come in 2nd. The answer to the first question was Tiger’s son, Charlie. Why was this significant? Because we’ve rarely seen Tiger’s kids or any family of his in public since the hydrant incident in 2009. Tiger said this was special because Charlie had never seen his dad win before other than on TV.
Cute little fucker, isn’t he? I give TW a lot of credit for sheltering his kids from the limelight like he has. I think that’s the only chance they have in life of growing up with some kind of normalcy, whatever that may mean for them. There’s no truth to the rumor that Tiger’s girlfriend was being milked for dairy products when he putted out on the 72nd hole.
As for Tiger’s golf……..he played a beautiful brand of absolutely boring golf over the weekend after he went to bed Friday with the big lead. That wasn’t by mistake. He was trying to make the field catch him knowing they couldn’t, and he also started prepping for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Does this mean he’ll have any success at the PGA? That’s anybody’s guess. He sure looked good in Akron, but Firestone is one of the courses on tour that he treats like a late night booty call/fuck buddy, he does and gets whatever he wants there, whenever he wants it, and he doesn’t even have to meet her parents.
The Hottest Player On The Planet
You’re thinking Tiger, right? He just won by a gazillion, he’s got 5 wins on the year and he’s the number one player in the rankings. Nope, not him. Phil???? Won the last major, tied for 2nd in two of his three starts leading up to it……..nah. Not Phil either. I’m talking about Henrik Stenson. This mother fucker has placed 2nd at the Scottish, the British, and now Firestone. I have no clue what he did the week in between there, but I’d bet he finished 2nd in a back yard corn hole contest or whatever its equivalent is in Sweden. Henrik is playing well and will be a popular dark horse pick at the PGA this week. How can he not be?
He’s driving it well, led the WGC in scrambling, and was 2nd in the field in proximity to the hole. If his putter shows any signs of life he could sneak up and take the Wannamaker trophy. Yeah, that’s him above in his britches. You remember that? Those are the two things people remember most about him. One, that he went down to his skibbies to hit a shot at Doral years ago. Two, that Fanny Sunesson, the only female caddie that isn’t married to her boss, worked for him after Sir Nick Faldo retired from competitive golf. Stenson and Fanny have since parted ways too.
In many ways Stenson was Martin Kaymer before Martin Kaymer even popped on to the professional golf scene. Their games are similarly robotic and little was known about them in the states until they won big tournaments and grabbed our attention (you forgot Stenson won the Players, didn’t you?). I also assumed both were Clay-Aiken-gay as well. Not quite flaming, but not exactly chasing poon every waking moment like most of the single tour players. I thought I was wrong about Martin, but that’s still in question as the woman I assumed he married did everything but say he was only interested in men. Turns out Stenson is also married, take a look at the Mrs.
That’s Emma Stenson. Go ahead and judge. That’s what we do here. She’s…….well……..cute in some pictures, far from ugly, but she’s not making any WAG top ten lists. And no, I don’t think she’s a beard. They have two kids together. Nice looking family those Swedes have.
Is it just me or did it feel like no one wanted to even try to scare Tiger into having to make a birdie. We didn’t get much from Phil, but enough to update the Tax Meter ($81k). Webb Simpson fell off the face of the earth after leading on Thursday. Keegan couldn’t stop making bogies and unforced errors. Luke, Adam Scott, DJ…..nothing…. they were all stuck in neutral. The only player that showed any life to me at all was the Duf-man.
After a blistering hot stretch in May of 2012 you had to figure that 2013 wouldn’t be as favorable to golf’s version of Winnie The Pooh. A stretch of sloppy play behind him and Mr. Dufner is all of a sudden starting to put his name into contention again. He’ll be another name to watch for next week.
In other news, Rory McIlroy played this week. Were you aware? As I predicted, he finally broke 70 over the weekend for the first time in competition since May. That’s amazing. And it shocks me that I’m 800 words in to a Sunday golf post and am just now mentioning him.
It’s tough for the CBS crew to do their job to the best of their abilities when Tiger blows out the field. I thought they held it together fine and filled the time adequately, but I always want more. Fuck, at this point I guess I should just be happy that they’re all back working together after staggering their summer vacations for the last month. Feherty, Faldo, Nantz, McCord, and IBF were all back together for the first time since probably Memorial, but that’s just a guess. Still no Verne or Kostis and who knows when either of them will work again. If we don’t hear Verne at the PGA, we won’t hear him until SEC football time.
Did you catch CBS’s intro this week? Way too much building of drama for a tourney that isn’t a major. Jimmy Nantz’ pre-recording melodramatic ramblings were enough to make me puke. Why even go through the motions of this when TW has such a huge lead?
DirecTV’s bonus channels were back this week, including the ShotLink channel, Launch Pad, and the featured group channel. I finally got to hunker down in my recliner and use them and I must say they’re a treat. I’ve discussed the LaunchPad channel before, but I’ve never used the ShotLink counterpart. It shows you the network feed in the upper left, then the rest of the screen is spitting data and stats at you at a rate that barely allows you to process it. For instance, Tiger steps over a putt, ShotLink tells you that it’s 23 feet 8 inches and that there is an 8% chance he’ll make it, 90% chance he’ll two putt, and 1.9% chance he’ll 3 putt……and so on. It provides similar data for approaches, scrambling, and more. If you’re a numbers junkie, you should check it out if it is available to you.
The good news for CBS was that even though this thing was over before they came on the air Saturday to broadcast the WGC, their rating were up some 136% from 2012. Numbers don’t lie. Tiger has and always will move the needle. Why people don’t understand this is beyond me. Even if he’s 10 shots out, he must be shown, people want to see him and are fascinated by whatever he does.
Speaking Of Ratings
I was too busy working on my own game this weekend to watch women’s golf. Honest to god, I wanted to, I really really really wanted to see them hit some shots at St. Andrews in the women’s British Open. When I was at home during broadcast times I flat out forgot it was on. That’s a problem, isn’t it? If they can’t pull me in while playing St. Andrews and having a star player going for the grand slam, when will they? Answer: When it’s cold where I live and there’s no regular tour action on.
Word on the street is that Stacy Lewis won by making birdie on the last two holes. That’s clutch. Congrats to her and it’s great t see an American step up and grab a major for the first time in a long time (whenever it was Lewis last won one).
The Western Amateur is likely the highest rated amateur field in golf every year. This is because it has become invite only and the Western Golf Association only allows top ranked players to enter unlike the U.S. Am that is open to all with a low enough handicap. The WGA killed the public qualifiers that allowed anyone a chance to make the field a decade ago. In many ways, it’s the Masters of amateur golf. Because of the selection process now used to fill the field the tournament is largely college players and a few career amateurs that have good enough resumes to get them in.
The Western has past champions of Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, and Tiger Woods. For roughly 30 years it was hosted by the Point O’Woods Country Club in southwest Michigan but moved back to the WGA’s roots of Chicago in recent years. Since moving back to Chicago the field each year has been strong and featured amateur stars like Peter Ulhein, Jordan Spieth, and Patrick Cantlay. For some reason this year the Western Am was played in Arkansas and it went largely unnoticed by the golf world.
In the final, U.S. Public Links champion Jordan Niebrugge beat Sean Dale (3 &2) for his third win in three weeks. Niebrugge won the U.S. Pubic Links Championship in July to earn a 2014 Masters invite. The last nine holes of the final were delayed until Monday due to threatening weather in Arkansas, which also didn’t help it get noticed.
It’s a shame no one saw this and they don’t televise it anywhere that I’m aware of. The Alotian Club that hosted it is supposed to be of the the finest private clubs built in the last 20 years and would have been fun to see quality players battling on it for such a prestigious title. I couldn’t find time to watch professionals of the opposite sex play the Old Course with a major on the line this week, but I would have DVR’d the Western final.