This is one of those rare weeks of the golf year that I don’t pay as much attention to the big boy tour. While the PGA Tour stops in North Carolina to play the Wyndham, the top ranked amateurs are in New England playing in the U.S. Amateur while the ladies face off in the Solheim Cup in Colorado. Both events will feature golfers battling it out in the more intense and dramatic match play format.
The field at Brookline for the U.S. Am started on Monday of this week with some 250 players and has been narrowed down to 8 after today’s matches. Most of us haven’t seen The Country Club on television, or anywhere for that matter, since Justin Leonard’s miracle putt to help the U.S. win the Ryder Cup in 1999.
God those were some fucking awful shirts…..nice call Ben. Anyway, here’s a look at the four Friday matches to be played at TCC. Remember, each of these guys is just two more wins away from making the final, which means a trip to play in the Masters for both the champion and the runner-up.
11 a.m. – Neil Raymond, England vs. Corey Conners, Canada
11:20 a.m. – Adam Ball, Richmond, Va. vs. Matt Fitzpatrick, England
That’s not exactly a bunch of well known guys like we’ve seen in recent years. Peter Ullhein, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Morgan Hoffman have all left the amateur ranks to get paid to play. While there’s plenty of future tour pros in amateur golf, the guys in the quarter finals this year are not the future sure-fire stars we’re used to seeing. Perhaps I’m just not familiar with some of them because 5 of the 8 are foreign. The one guy we have seen is Scottie Scheffler, the wonder kid from Texas that won the U.S. Junior just a few short weeks ago.
Scottie keeps digging holes for himself and coming from behind to win his matches. The match he won today was his 9th straight victory in match play of a USGA Championship. There aren’t a lot of amateurs in history that can say they won that many matches in a row. Of course, Tiger Woods won 18 consecutive USGA matches while winning 3 straight U.S. Amateurs, so Scottie is in pretty good company.
As for the course, The Country Club looks cool as fuck, to put it bluntly. The images from the Ryder Cup in 1999 don’t look anything like what the course does now. Native grass has been grown out, bunkers have a more rugged look, and the rough that borders the fairways looks like a thick, green, rat’s nest. When a player’s ball snuggles into it, the ball looks like a piece of chewing gum discarded into a 1970s porn star’s bush.
No matter the conditions, these guys can handle it. These collegian (or future collegian) golfers are pros players in training. They can all it driver 7 iron to a 500 yard par 4 and make a sliding 4 footer with hardly a nerve fried. I recommend tuning to the Golf Channel Friday and Saturday afternoons to watch the drama unfold. You won’t regret it, but don’t wait until Sunday when the coverage moves to NBC and only has one match to follow. That coverage will only be enjoyable if you need a nap.
For more information on The Country Club and a course review, visit the Itinerant Golfer to read about his experience at Brookline and view his gallery of pictures from the course.
Sponsored By Title IX
In Colorado, the ladies of the United States will take on the ladies (and a few trans-gendered mutants) of Europe in the Ryder Cup for the fairer sex, the Solheim Cup. These matches started in 1990 when the world became concerned about being politically correct and figured the women should have their own team match play exhibition to make things fair. Most of the 12 iterations of it have been slightly entertaining in the past 23 years even though U.S. teams have won 8 of the 12 matches.
That’s the U.S. team above with Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressell, and Captain Meg Mallon in the middle. You can’t miss Captain Meg. I’m not going to show you a picture of the Euro team, it’s not worth seeing. All you have to know is that Beatriz Recari is on the team. We’ve talked about her before, did you somehow forget who she was? Let me remind you.
I’ll be tuning in plenty thanks to Bea. If only they could somehow add Russian pro Maria Verchenova to the Euro team, then I think they’d really be on to something. She’s already a Euro Tour member, who dropped the ball on this? What? You don’t know who she is either? Do I have to do all your dirty work for you?
I can only imagine playing alternate shot with Recari and the Russian broad…..ahhhhh. I’m suddenly thirsty for chocolate milk.
As for the golf, the U.S. Team is mysteriously favored to win this years exhibition. I suppose they’re a deeper team, but the Euro’s have just as much fire power and probably a stronger roster at the top. The last two versions of the Solheim Cup were split with each team winning on their home turf.
Who’s on the hot seat? Michelle Wie, and Meg Mallon for picking her. The idiot (Wie) that somehow got into and graduated from Stanford hasn’t played golf to her potential in nearly a decade. She’s practically become a side show at ladies tour events, but here she is on the U.S. Team for no reason other than she brings in viewers and the LPGA need all they can get.
Wie has two top ten in all of 2013. She’s missed almost as many cuts as she’s made. And the cherry on top of her shit sandwich….. she looks like she’s trying to blow her putter when she putts. You might want to tune in just to watch the train wreck.
Besides a couple hot chicks that get put on these teams, and those are few and far between, my favorite thing about the Solheim Cup is their attitude toward picking venues. They stray from the ways of the PGA and USGA and look for bold, new and exciting options to host this marque event. In 2009, the last time the matches were on U.S. soil, the cup was fought over at Rich Harvest Farms in the far suburbs of Chicago. This year, the Colorado Golf Club plays host.
If you’re a course nut or follow golf architecture you probably know that the Colorado Golf Club is a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design which opened in 2007. Crenshaw and Coore are arguably the best modern architects producing courses right now and I’ve yet to play one of their designs I didn’t like or read a bad review of them. If you tune into the Golf Channel to check out the ladies, make sure you check out the course too. Just consider yourself warned, you’re going to see so much red, white, and blue stickers on girls faces, painted nails, and hair ribbons that you’ll think you’re watching a powder puff game. It’s enough to make you queasy no matter how patriotic you are, but hey…..USA! USA! USA! USA!
Trolling For Twats….Errrrrr…..Tweets…….Whatever
Around 4 am on Monday, or approximately 9 hours after he completed his final round at Oak Hill in the PGA Championship, Lee Westwood finished off a night of pints and cocktails by taking to Twitter. Immediately he responded to a Twit that asked how he felt about his round which included a front nine 41 that slid him down the leaderboard as if he’d fallen through a trap door.
Lee didn’t hold back, and went trolling for trouble among those following him and reading the tweets he responded with.
At one point Westie tried to clarify that the comments were not aimed at “decent human beings” but “just the pussies that should be locked up by the Twitter police.” Oh boy. When you’re sponsors invest millions into you and they’re big time like UPS, Footjoy, and Ping, you’re probably better off not saying “pussy”, “fuck”, or “cunt” in a public forum. Who am I to judge? I’m not. I love each and every one of those words, but those companies don’t pay me to behave. Lee has to know better than to challenge #twitternerds in such fashion. I actually thought he was fine until he got vulgar, and at that point I still loved it, but knew he’d crossed a line his sponsors wouldn’t like.
Lee later apologized to the sponsors and is rumored to have been assessed a fine in the neighborhood of $30k for his Tweets.