The Golf Gods Pissed On Us
I don’t think any fan eating their Cheerios this morning was hoping for a Kevin Na/Hideki Matsuyama playoff to decide the prestigious Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus. That’s not what we signed up for, but that’s what we got. Over the years the Memorial has produced enough legendary moments and worthy champions that we expect the best when the tour gets to Jack’s house. No offense to Na or Matsuyama, but the best isn’t what we got today at Muirfield Village.
Before today Hideki Matsuyama was likely best known as the guy who pauses long enough to eat a sandwich at the top of his back swing. If not that, then the guy who Ian Poulter threw his purse at during Doral this year for slamming his putter into a green. Now the 22 year old former Asian Amateur champion with the smooth tempo is a winner on tour thanks to his colleagues stepping on their dicks all day long.
What Matsuyama did do was birdie 5 of his first 8 holes to put himself in position to capitalize on the other contenders mistakes. He also made a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole to get into the playoff with Na. He made birdie on 18 in every round of the tournament. The kid has a set of stones. However, before his final birdie he drove it crooked and hit sloppy shots and putts that nearly cost him. Even worse, he broke his driver in anger after hitting his final tee shot of regulation play. Usually the golf gods frown on that and karma leads to an undesirable outcome (which tells you how much they dislike Kevin Na).
When the playoff began, Na had been sitting around for nearly two hours and Matsuyama was without his driver. He could have replaced it because the extra holes were the same as starting a new round. If Matsuyama broke his driver on the 10th hole he’d have been without one for the whole back nine. Hideki’s caddie told CBS his man didn’t like the back up driver he had on site. Three wood was going to have to do until a winner was declared. Of course Na tried to give the Memorial to Matsuyama on his first shot when he rinsed his ball in the creek left of the 18th fairway. Na eventually had a 10 foot bogey putt that he would have been forced to make to extend the playoff had Matsuyama not canned his lengthy par putt.
Na was brilliant throughout his round on Sunday. He poured in putts and hit wedges and irons close to shoot 64 and post 13 under. In a twist of irony for one of the tour’s slow pokes, it was Na waiting hours for the leaders to finish to see if he’d either get a big check for a top 5 finish, be in a playoff, or win the thing outright.
And he did so while wearing that green outfit you see above. Unless you’re the Wizard of Oz, I’m not sure that works for anyone. He looked like a booger with weird thin side burns. And as Na waited, I began to wonder if he had a voo doo doll of each of the other contenders that he was poking pins in while watching the action in the club house. When Na finished it seemed certain 15 under would be the winning score, but somehow, someway, Kevin’s 13 under total held up. Voo doo!!!
Adam Scott and Bubba Watson are both recent major champions who are built to chew up a course like Muirfield Village. Instead, the number 1 and number 5 ranked players in the world collapsed like folding chairs. Scott’s downfall started on the front nine with a few errant shots. Nicklaus and the CBS boys pointed out that the sequencing of his swing was a hair off and that’s why he was blowing shots to the right. This cost him several shots over the last 12 holes and he eventually finished 3 shots out of the playoff. You have to wonder how things would have played out if his 3rd shot at 15 hadn’t clanked the pin and bounced off the green leading to a 6. That two shot swing was deflating.
And Bubba, he’s sitting in a Waffle House somewhere in Central Ohio wondering what the fuck just happened. The 2014 Memorial was his for the taking. Watson lead by 1 to start the day and had a 2 shot lead with 4 par fives left on his plate. He should have won in a walk. Watson hit shots everywhere on Sunday. After a bomb down the middle of the fairway, Bubba would miss the green by 30 yards. After a tee shot in the trees, he’d escape from jail to save par or even birdie on a few of the par 5s.
Finishing 1 shot out of the playoff, Watson’s undoing can be pinned to one shot on the back nine even with all the other chaos he caused. At the par five 15th Watson tried to hit a cut with his driver to find the fairway. In rounds 1 and 2 on the same hole he belted driver into the middle of the fairway and made eagles. On Sunday, looking to recover from his bogey at the 14th, Watson double crossed his tee ball and hit it so far out of bounds that Nicklaus even had to chuckle at the absurdity of the situation.
Before the ball reached the ground Watson had a provisional in hand and then swatted a fairway wood to put the ball in play. That big missed rattled him. His normally aggressive approach was missing on the last 3 and a half holes. He wasn’t thinking through his shots and his play resulted in a zero legit birdie attempts from there forward. Caddie Ted Scott should have stuck a fork in him.
Shot Of The Day
Youngster Scott Langley played in the final group at Jack’s house and earned his pairing with Bubba by finishing the 3rd round in solo 2nd place. The CBS crew noted that PGA Tour staff tried to dig through the archives to see if two lefties had ever been paired together in the final group of a final round at an event. They came up empty. Langley’s day didn’t go as planned, but on an otherwise dull day of highlights, Scott’s birdie putt at the 16th gets the Shot of the Day.
As McCord noted, that putt took 25 seconds to fall, which means it was well past the 10 seconds allowed for a shot to drop on the edge of the cup. Nantz and his CBS crew were all over this as soon as it happened noting that couch bound rule officials would be calling in to tattle on Langley for waiting too long. In the end the tour ruled that the ball never came to rest and moved ever-so-slightly the entire time, therefore, the 10 second ‘clock’ never started. I’m sure Langley and Bubba would agree as they had the best views of the sequence. Too bad CBS didn’t show it in slow motion.
What Happened To Rory?
I think most of us were ready to give the Memorial to Rory McIlroy on Thursday after his stunning and effortless 63. Then Rory came out Friday and missed fairways and greens, made 3 doubles on his first 9 holes to shoot 43, and never hit another shot in contention over the weekend. What the fuck happened? There are plenty of theories. The knee, fatigue, blah blah blah……..I think the 10 days or so he’d had finally wore him down. Some say otherwise.
Ex-fiance Caroline Wozniacki changed her Twitter avatar to the pic you see above and reputable publications like Golf Digest and USA Today ran with it insisting that this was some symbol that she’d put a spell on Rors so his life post-Caroline wouldn’t be so rose colored. Really, those two rags wrote that. Get the fuck out of here. He had a bad round. That’s all. I do think the pink color in the cauldron is significant. She’s obviously confirming that he did dump her for the pink hair. Otherwise, who the fuck cares? Not Rory.
In case you woke up too bent or hungover to realize the calendar had flipped, let me remind you that today is June 1 and that means it is time for a new ShutFaceGolf.com WAG of the Month. Melissa Weber-Jones had a nice run, but last night I decided on Miss June and as you can see by the upper right hand widget, she’s already been crowned.
Sky Sports Kirsty Gallacher, daughter of Bernhard Gallacher, gets the nod. Who’s she married to and/or dating? That doesn’t matter. So what she’s not exactly a golf WAG. She’s eligible because she’s hot and she’s involved with golf. Plus, there weren’t a lot of other true WAGS to choose from over the last 31 days. My site. My rules. She’s the pick. Enjoy her while we have her because June will go by fast.