And That Hat….
When you’ve played 360 PGA Tour events without a win it isn’t easy for me to harshly describe how you choked away a victory on the 72nd hole, but I push forward, because that’s what you expect of me. That’s why I’m here. But I digress. Relatives of Briny Baird, look away and read no further because this won’t be easy for you.
The tipping point of the round for both Baird and Chris Kirk came at the 15th hole, a 560 yard par 5. Both went for it in two and Baird got home. Kirk hit a quick hook in the hazard. Kirk got up and down for par after his drop. Baird 3 jacked for par. For Kirk, the door should have been slammed shut right there by Baird. It should have been over.
Instead Briny found himself standing on the final tee tied with Kirk. Baird (admittedly) got nervous over his tee shot and pulled it into the fairway bunker guarding the left side of the 470 yard par 4. Left with an awkward stance Baird attempted to advance his 2nd shot to the green from the bunker. The situation reminded me very much of a shot Steve Stricker hit two years ago at the John Deere. Stricker’s shot was probably harder and he put it on the back fringe of the green and rolled in a birdie to win the tournament. Could Baird do the same?
Not a snowball’s chance in hell. That was pathetic. Baird told the Golf Channel after the round that he didn’t have his swing today and was proud of the way he competed with ‘nothing’ to work with. He did get his next shot on the green and holed a putt for bogey that was worth $220k to him. Those earnings put him over the $13 million dollar mark for his career (most for a player with no wins) and allowed him to keep his card for the next 12 months. Kudos to him for doing the interview after his meltdown. Grinding out a bogey, taking media requests, that tells you what kind of character Baird has.
Baird is a world class player, his 2nd shot on 18 not withstanding. However, if he walked up to me on the 1st tee at my local muni and wanted to play $10 a side I wouldn’t even blink. In fact, I’d probably already be counting my $30 win. His appearance, his age, that nervy swing, a straw hat with a PF Chang logo, pleated khakis, and a beat up Taylormade putter would make me think he’s a CPA carrying about a 13 index. I understand that the hat is likely guarding his neck and ears from sun damage, but they do have bucket hats that would serve the same function and look a lot less 1994. Are you listening PF Chang’s? Get Briny a new lid, please.
I despise leading off a post talking about the guy that lost the tourney instead of the guy that won it, but sometimes that’s the story and you have to run with it. Kirk played well and deserved to win and get the headline. If Baird doesn’t choke the two are likely in a playoff where anything could have happened. Kirk’s short game and putting is where he won the tournament. He was great in these areas all week long.
He wasn’t without his own bad swings on Sunday and even lost his shit and tossed his club like a lawn dart into the turf after one of his foul balls. Eventually Kirk calmed down and his game steadied. His birdie on 17 got him even with Baird and as you now know, he did enough on 18 to not shit the bed and let Baird hand him the tourney.
This is Kirk’s 2nd win on the PGA Tour. His first was the Viking Classic that is played as an opposite field event during the week of the British Open. That means winning it doesn’t come with a special invitation to the Masters. Thanks to the tour’s new wrap around schedule, the 2013 version of the McGladrey Classic does come with a Masters invite. That’s right, CK is finally going to Augusta.
The McGladrey Classic is hosted by former major champion and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. Kirk idolized Love as a kid and even has a picture of himself with DL3 in a frame at his parents house. Today after his victory, Kirk’s idol turned peer presented him with the trophy.
I can’t show Kirk’s wife and not comment on her, right? That’s how my posts work. The pic above appears to feature a version of Mrs. Kirk that still shows a little bit of baby weight, right? Don’t let that fool you. She is 18 months removed from popping that little bugger out (son Andrew) and the picture above does her no justice. She’s a hottie and Chris knows it.
Some more samples for you:
Tour players have it so rough, don’t they? Kirk’s Twitter profile says “I’m a professional golfer, because I’m not very good at anything else”. Apparently that’s a lie. He’s obviously good a hunting down hot poon to be his bride. Well done Mr. Kirk. Congrats on your victory.