I Cannot Believe Tears Were Not Shed
Once everyone got over Patty Reed’s use of ‘faggot’, the WGC HSBC in Shanghai turned out to be a pretty decent tournament. In a field full of big names that are not Phil or Tiger, Bubba Watson battled 54 hole leader Graeme McDowell, reigning U.S. Open Champ Martin Kaymer, top ten machine Rickie Fowler, and short knocking-long putter wielding Tim Clark to capture his first WGC title. How he did it is what made viewers drop their jaws (if they stayed up all night to watch).
Watson made his way to the back nine with the lead. With two par 5s and a driveable par 4 still on his plate, the tournament looked to be Bubba’s to lose. He tried to do just that. Watson made a bogey at the 13th thanks to hitting his tee ball in the drink. Then he bogied the 276 yard par four 16th hole when he laid up and made a mess of things with his wedges. He took two shots to get out of the bunker at 17 and made double. Trailing a group at 10 under, Bubba knew he needed to do something at 18 to give himself a chance. His colossal drive was a great start, but another poor iron shot from 220 left him in the bunker left of the green. His third shot follows:
Holy shit! That’s an early nomination for Shot of the Year. Doing that after playing his previous two holes like a jerkoff is amazing, and a bit lucky. A birdie was mandatory to join the leaders a shot in front of him. Still, odds were that one of those players would have made birdie on the closing par 5 to get to 11 under. Bubba’s eagle guaranteed his spot in a playoff. Then Timmy Clark joined him by wedging his 3rd shot close and making a clutch putt.
Clark and Watson played together all day, then they dropped Rickie Fowler off and and went back to the 18th tee to start sudden death. Oddly, both hit nearly identical shots as they had in regulation to get near the green. Clark missed his birdie putt from further away this time. Watson’s bunker shot wasn’t in the same world as the one he holed for eagle. He left himself about 25 feet for a four.
Unbelievable. Gerry told the Golf Channel that the putt was on a similar line as his bunker shot 40 minutes early. The fact that he and caddie Ted Scott learned something from the previous bunker shot means that Ted earned his 7% this week (although he does every week looping for this nut job). Watson is now 4-1 for his career in playoffs. That’s really fucking impressive for someone who is as jittery as he is. His only loss is off course the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straights in which he dumped his approach shot in the drink at the 18th hole and handed the Wanamaker trophy to Martin Kaymer.
The diminutive Tim Clark was out driven by Bubba Watson by 75 yards on the first playoff hole. He had no business being in the playoff, but his accuracy and stellar wedge play say otherwise. Clark of course is a 1 time winner on tour that has 13 runner up finishes, including today’s. He didn’t lose today, Watson beat him, but Clark must feel snake bitten knowing how close he was again. Hey, at least he was rocking a sweet ‘stache for Movember.
When he took his cap off he looked like a James Bond villain. Clark also knows that he’s got less than 14 months to keep making money at this kind of clip. His long wand will be banned on January 1, 2016, and he claims he can’t use a conventional putter thanks to a defect in how his wrists bend. I’m sure he’ll come up with some modified way to yield the flat stick, but that doesn’t guarantee future millions in earnings.
As for everybody else, they all had their chances. Asian Tour player Hiroshi Iwata contended through the final hole of the HSBC. The Golf Channel did a nice job telling us how a win in this event could change his life. It would have sent him to the Masters, given him tour status, and qualified him for future WGC events. That’s like a winning lottery ticket right there for the taking. Sadly for Iwata, his game didn’t hold up under the pressure of the final holes. His 3 birdies in the first 5 holes of the closing nine got him into contention, but his game looked like he knew what was at stake over the last 4 holes.
Kaymer, Fowler, and GMac were the other names in play in Shanghai. Each of them made critical mistakes to end their bids to win over the final holes. Rickie erred by finding the drink on 18 on his 2nd shot. Kaymer rinsed his 3rd at the 18th. And GMac couldn’t hit it close enough to give himself any legit chances at birdies. He only made one birdie for the entire final round.
What The Fuck?
Once Bubba had the trophy and the pictures were all taken, the 18th green cleared and shit got weird. Ten to twelve Asian chicks took the stage to perform some kind of cultural dance. The image below is from the pre-tournament press event that was put on by the sponsor, but it looked a bit like this.
I’m sure this is very common in other cultures, but I sat and watched the Golf Channel close its broadcast with this image on the screen as the camera panned away. It made me think, what if after the green jacket was presented Augusta National brought out the Laker Girls to shake their tits and asses, or something along those lines. I don’t even know what the chicks in Shanghai were doing on that green, but it looked odd to me. There were balls on strings and intricate footwork, what did it all mean? I’m clueless.