Now We Can Stop Saying He’s The Guy That Looks Like Mark Wahlberg
Brian Harman was about the only active University of Georgia golf alum that hadn’t won on tour yet this year. That changed today when the diminutive left hander won the John Deere Classic. Holding off Zach Johnson for your first win anywhere is nothing to sneeze at. Holding off little Zach at the John Deere is something that he’ll look back on later in his career and take some pride in. Harman did so by making eagle at his 2nd hole of the day to jump start his round. Then a string a birdies at 14, 15, and 16 gave him a more comfortable cushion to play his last two holes with.
Harman has played well for most 2014 and if you keep putting yourself in a position to win, eventually something good is going to happen to you. Yahoo’s Shane Bacon summed it up best:
It can’t hurt that BH is seeing guys like Brendon Todd, Harris English, and Russ Henley winning on tour. Harman probably beat each of these players as often as they beat him in regular challenge matches back in Athens while in school. Knowing that he’s as good as any of them has to be a confidence builder for a young player trying to bust down the door into the winner’s club.
Brian wasn’t fucking around when he left for Silvis, Illinois this week. With the good people of John Deere offering a charter flight to the Open Championship, and with the Deere winner getting a late invite to the British, Harman had a hunch that he should pack some warm coats and his passport for his (perhaps) extended trip. As I write this he’s likely over the middle of the Atlantic with a decently high blood alcohol level still celebrating his victory with his peers. Congrats to Mr. Harman for his fine play and for his big win. I don’t think it will be his last.
Oh don’t act like you turned off the broadcast when Harman’s final putt dropped to clinch the tournament and you didn’t see the future Mrs. Harman run out to congratulate her guy. That’s Brian’s fiance, Kelly Van Slyke. It was hard to gauge how hot she might actually be with that outfit and sunglasses on, but that’s what Google is for.
It’s still hard to say what her face looks like, but she’s at a minimum ‘sun glass hot’. And thanks to her and her Twitter account for the bikini pic. Hopefully Harman plays well more often in the future so we get to see more of Van Slyke.
Jordan Spieth put up a solid title defense and a score of 16 under par for the tournament. That’s impressive if you saw how he played Thursday when he played his first 10 or so holes well over par. The kid is a grinder like Tiger was most of his career. He never throws away a stroke or a round. At twenty years or age, that might be his most impressive characteristic.
Steve Stricker went in the opposite direction of Mr. Spieth. Strick was in contention and playing in the final group with Harmon on Sunday. He trailed by only one shot and appeared primed to win his umpteenth John Deere trophy. But a final round 72 shot the air out of that balloon. I think today shows us what semi-retirement has done to Stricker’s game.
He can still compete, but he’s not going to win with any regularity and when his game is off……it’s a little ugly. Remember that shank he hit at Merion last year in the final round when in contention? Good for Steve that he puts family first, but more trophies and that elusive first major won’t be in his immediate future until he decides to play more. And whats all this talk of him being a pick for the Ryder Cup team? We all love Steve but fuck that noise. If the guy wants to be retired then he’s not an option for the American team. There are too many players that want to be on that team more and have played more trying to earn that spot.
And welcome back Jhonny Vegas. Remember when this guy jumped up out of nowhere and won the Bob Hope a few years ago? Then he nearly won at Torrey Pines the following week. Vegas has been off the radar since those two weeks of 2011, but some of that is due to injuries he has suffered. This year he’s playing on a medical exemption and needs to score some big time checks to keep his card.
Thanks to two closing birdies that locked up a T3 finish in the Quad Cities, Vegas is now some $8,000 odd dollars away from being exempt for the rest of the year. He has two more events to make the money and would do so simply by making one cut. Don’t bet against Vegas.
Dick Of The Week
Almost anytime I have to read a quote from Rory Sabbatini I cringe. The fucker annoys me like no other. But then he goes and does something like he did this week and I just have to chuckle. Sabbo said the following to golf journos at the John Deere after his first round 63.
“After watching my four amateur golfers play yesterday I really thought I had no chance to play decently this week, because I had to try to erase those swings from my mind.”
I feel his pain. Have you ever been paired up with golfers so bad that you can’t even focus on your own game? It’s the golf gods way of testing you. Recently I’ve simply tried to use these types of days as ways to strengthen my mental game. Sometimes it works, sometimes I want to wrap my 7 iron around the 37 handicapper’s neck that the starter just stuck with me. I can’t blame Sabbo for saying what he said because I get it. Yet, pro-ams are the life blood of the tour and those fellas paid a few grand each to play with this prick. They deserve better. And the golf gods…they know how to handle Rory. He didn’t break 70 the rest of the week.
Shot Of The Day
I can’t completely ignore the fact that the ladies of professional golf played a major this week. If you missed it, Mo Martin won the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale. Martin had one top 10 in her career on the LPGA before today. The approach shot she hit to her 72nd hole was a career maker.
If that goes in and she wins by a shot it would have been more legendary than Gene Sarazen’s double eagle at the Masters. It is still a hell of a shot and it put her in the winner circle. That is worthy of being the shot of the day over anything we saw in the Quad Cities today.