From Outhouse To Penthouse
Last week at the Frys.com Open in Napa Valley, journeyman Ben Martin missed the cut by more than a dozen shots and barely broke 80 in his Thursday and Friday rounds. A week can be a big difference on the PGA Tour, because somewhere between Napa and Vegas Martin found a swing that can win a golf tournament.
As that tweet says, through 54 holes Martin was 30 shots better versus par than his prior week. Yes, the track in Vegas is a bit easier, but golf is such a mental game that going from playing like shit to being ‘in the zone’ is a complete shift in your thinking. Perhaps he got a lesson and a brain transplant.
After playing well this week Martin had to sleep on his first 54 hole lead in Vegas of all places, where they pump oxygen into your hotel room to keep you awake so you can gamble. That couldn’t have been fun. I feel like a meth addict when I try to sleep in Vegas. Maybe Ben did too as he clearly fought through an early round malaise with a strange calmness to close his first win.
As I noted in a tweet, Martin was even par for his round when he walked off the 14th green. He hadn’t made a birdie since the 2nd hole. I thought he was cooked and shooting a round in the 70s as a 54 hole leader won’t get the job done most weeks on tour. Plus, there were several tour players like Webb Simpson, Kevin Streelman, and Jimmy Walker, who’ve all won in the last year, trying to run him down and take his 1st win away. Martin took his driver out at the short par four 15th and….well….got lucky. He said to his caddie that he necked it (hit on the heel a bit) and asked for the ball to get up. It did and landed in the fairway just short of the green and rolled out to be pin high. His 2 putt birdie was the confidence boost he needed to get his head back in the game.
With Streelman pouring in birds all over the place, Martin had to do something to keep up and catch up. Streels made birdie on 17 and was sitting in the 18th fairway with a short wedge shot to the green. Martin hit the par five 16th in two and faced a long eagle putt. From 46 feet away he fucking drilled it to retake the lead. Streelman heard the roar and he had to be stunned, although he appeared un-phased, he then missed his short birdie putt. From there Martin cruised to victory and spiked the ball after he crossed the goal line by sinking his birdie putt at the 72nd hole when he only needed to two putt to win.
Jimmy Walker shot a 3rd round 62 to get into contention on Sunday, but his 69 in the final round wasn’t enough to make up any ground on Martin. Still, Walker is showing signs of life this fall. He played great at the Ryder Cup and looks to be close to winning again, soon. Webb Simpson must love Vegas. The defending champ of the Shriners has played like shit for some time now, but looked pretty good this week until some questionable decisions down the stretch that ensured that he wouldn’t retain his title.
Outside of Martin, Streelman was the only other true man of the moment on Sunday. As TGC’s Jason Sobel pointed out above, Streelman’s pursuit of Martin in Vegas was eerily similar to what he did in Hartford at the end of June. Streels was 5 under over his last 6 holes. He was fun to watch, sticking irons, bombing drives, and making putts. I thought he had the tourney wrapped up when he stiffed his approach at 18. He’ll be thinking about that missed putt for a while. I have no doubt the roar of Martin’s eagle putt behind him added pressure and helped cause the miss.
Streelman is a good guy. Everybody likes him and vice versa. But I wonder what he was thinking as Martin surveyed his putt at the 18th. A 3 putt would have putt Kevin in a playoff. There’s no way he was rooting for that to happen, but what are you thinking when you need the other guy to fail for you to succeed? I’d love for a tour pro to speak the truth about something like this.
You fuckers saw Mrs. Martin embrace her hubby after he cashed in for a million bucks. When it looked like Ben had the tourney locked up I went to the Google machine to see what turned up for her. What I found out is the Martin’s met at Clemson and have been married about a year and a half. Here’s the Mrs. for your viewing pleasure:
Definite girl next door look.
She’s in the black and red, hard to judge her cans there.
The happy couple. Hey, that’s all I’ve got. It’s not like she’s out on Instagram showing her tits like some of these broads. They did register for their wedding at William Sonoma. Feel free to send them something if you’re that generous.
Not Enough T&A?
Mrs. Martin didn’t show us much. Thank god the organizers of the Shriners are forward thinking and took care of that problem for us (unknowingly). You see, there is a sort of fad going on in pro sports that involves creating a viewing area within a stadium where fans can watch the action from a pool. This started in the late 90s with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lately, NFL teams are following this trend. In Vegas this week, the Shriners did the same.
Ahhhh Vegas. That seems just about right. And I suppose that could be done in Scottsdale next February too. Why not? Just don’t expect to see that at the John Deere or Arnie’s Invitational.
Shot of the Day
This one is easy. Ben Martin’s eagle putt at the 16th hole on Sunday was simply perfect. Eagles are big, and they’re obviously even bigger when they move you from 1 behind to 1 ahead. Then figure in the timeliness of it and the length and you’ve got the Shot of the Day.
Next up? Back to the Shutters for the Whiny Bitch of the Year award. Stay tuned.