If it was a fight, they'd have stopped it. She carved out a sweet 65 at the HSBC Women's Champions to distance herself by seven strokes over the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer, both of which had won in 2008 before Lorena came out to play. This one's over at halftime kids. Bet they wished she'd have hibernated a little longer. The little dynamo had eight birdies in her round including four in a row on the front nine. The sponsors must be concerned about attendance in the wake of what appears to be a rout. The only saving grace for the field is that this is a four round tournament, unusual for L.P.G.A. events. So if Saturday is moving day, the chasers are going to need U-Hauls just to catch a glimpse of Ochoa.
The story this week in pro golf is Ochoa. The Honda Classic seems lifeless. Perhaps it's just watching Ernie Els sleepwalk that does that to me. The Nationwide Tour is on break. Probably due to too much exposure. The Champions Tour is off for a group hair transplant, and Shiv Kapur is leading the Johnnie Walker Classic in India. Watch the tigers and elephants boys! Which also begs the question....How much Johnnie Walker could they possibly consume in India? I know it's a huge country, but it's tough to picture the sponsor with the venue. Capice?
Friday, February 29, 2008
Posted by Average Golfer at 5:39 PM
Thursday, February 28, 2008
In Singapore today you would have gotten better odds that the sun wouldn't rise than odds that after the first round Lorena Ochoa would be leading the HSBC Women's Champions event. Ochoa posted a smooth 66 to finish with a one shot lead over Paula Creamer and Ai Miyazato. I don't mean to infer the tournament's over by any stretch. After all, Creamer was victorious just last week and has been a hot golfer. Still, it's remarkable that after nearly three months off Ochoa can return to her world #1 form in her first event of 2008. There's no error in referring to her as the L.P.G.A.'s Tiger Woods. She opened the season with a six birdie, bogey free round that only proves the model of consistency she's been for the last two years. Bogey free rounds will keep you in any tournament. Birdies will come on their own when the putts fall. Contrast that to Annika's three birdie, two bogey round for a 71, five shots back. One under yes, but staring at Ochoa's tail lights after the first day. That creates pressure to make birdies tomorrow and changes shot selection, especially approaches fired at pins. Great if it works, trouble if it doesn't. Besides, you could post 5 under on day #2 and not be shocked if Lorena shoots 65. It's too early in the season to crown anyone on any tour. Nevertheless, I'd be remiss to not point out that Lorena and Tiger appear to be playing in onesomes.
Of secondary note, Luke Donald leads the Honda Classic with a six under 64. Ernie Els, who desperately could use a jump start, is three off the lead. The tournament is being held at P.G.A. National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Being held once again on The Champion Course, shot makers should be favored, due to 107 sand bunkers and water on 16 of 18 holes. Originally a Tom Fazio design, redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 1990, the course appears to be a permanent locale for this stepchild of a tournament.
Pay attention kids. This is the time of the professional golf season where trends begin to appear. The wheat starts to separate from the chaff.
Posted by Average Golfer at 5:08 PM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
When I'm stuck for topics, questions are the way to go. At least they create conversation instead of me providing it when none exists in my pea brain. Average golfers can have an uninspired round, so I suppose I'm entitled to an occasional uninspired post. So, here you go......
1. Am I the only one that can't wait for The Masters, to the point where the golf in between seems pedestrian?
2. I think belly/chest/chin putters should be outlawed. You should only be able to grasp any club with your hands. I don't care if they putt better. They're goofy.
3. Speaking of goofy. Golf sandals should be outlawed as well, unless you have a verified, serious, foot ailment and a note from your doctor.
4. Isn't Paula Creamer the best thing in the L.P.G.A. since DNA testing? Plus she's a great player.
5. I hate to keep harping on Ernie Els.........so I won't. What I'd give for his swing!
6. You'd think The Hooter's Tour would get more exposure. I know I don't keep abreast of it.
7. Shouldn't The Hooter's Tour fall under the L.P.G.A. instead?
8. The P.G.A. Tour altered it's cut policy today. I glanced at it briefly and decided that as brilliant as I am, I have neither the time, nor the energy, to figure it out.
9. Which reminds me. My best friend, a golf instructor, commented about my game after a few lessons once. He said, "All you lack for golf is talent, motivation, and desire." Ha! Guess I proved him right.
10. Does anyone "real" actually buy $300.00 golf shoes?
11. We're getting 18" of snow here and then a "cold snap". Is bowling hard?
Ponder those kids.
Posted by Average Golfer at 5:47 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Tiger Woods made short work of Stewart Cink today in a anticlimactic final to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Woods won 8 and 7 for the largest victory margin in the event's history. Tiger had the trophy in his hands before 5:00 PM EST, which must have made the suits at NBC Sports cry in their beer. I'm positive just 24 hours ago they were elated to have Tiger in the final, but didn't count on having to fill dead air space with Leonard vs Stenson. I had planned to catch Leonard vs Stenson, but had to watch some paint dry instead. No contest for entertainment value.
So, Woods in a rout. Getting kind of old.
Posted by Average Golfer at 4:58 PM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Stewart Cink and Tiger Woods will tee it up for one last time tomorrow to decide the outcome of the 2008 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Cink handily dispatched Justin Leonard by playing the front nine in 7 under par. I'd like to say Leonard was game, but he wasn't. The Woods/Stenson match was much more interesting. The shot that decided it was a 12' putt by Woods on the 17th hole. Stenson had tied the match on the 16th with a clutch putt of his own to draw even. It was short lived though. Needing to win the 18th to force extra hole(s), Stenson botched the hole completely. A one hole lead by Woods was the largest of the match.
Let's predict Sunday's 36 hole final.
What does Cink have to do to win? .....Simple, make putts and keep it in play. Mostly make putts. He's proven he can be a birdie machine here, but in match play you don't need birdies. You just need a better score on a hole than your opponent. If he makes the 8-15 footers when putting first, the pressure goes back on Tiger. If Stenson had made two of those, he'd be playing Cink.
If you're Tiger, what do you have to do?.....Be Tiger. Keep your tee balls in play and make the 8-15 footers that pressure your opponent.
Who wins? Well, Tiger should win for the obvious reason. He's a better player. He may have a bit of an advantage over 36 holes due to conditioning, but not a large one. Cink appears to be in pretty good shape. A red hot putter is Cink's main chance. He can't count on Woods wilting. He's capable of getting that hot though.
Consolation Match-Who Cares?
I hope it's enjoyable. I'll tune in for the second 18 hoping it's still a contest. I believe it will be.
-Average Golfer Insider Photo of the Day-
Johnny Miller analyzing a putt that Stewart Cink
pulled a tad left. Johnny, with the camera zoomed
to Cink's fingers, explained the role of each of
3 fingers and why his left hand closed the putter
face to miss left. The truth is the camera showed nothing
and Johnny was in the booth. He couldn't see Cink's
aim or swing path, both major contributors to
pulling putts. Once again, Johnny sucombs to the
need to impress us with his brilliance.
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:13 PM
Uh-oh! Average Golfer's 8 for 8 streak of yesterday seems like years ago. 1 for 4 he went this morning leading into the semi finals. Let's do a quick summation for this afternoon's matches....
Stenson vs Woods - I bet against Tiger against Choi. Dumb. Tiger in this one.
Leonard vs Cink - Two Americans out of three in the semis. Like 'em both. Cink on the strength of his putter.
Be back soon to set the stage for tomorrow's final. I don't pay a lot of attention to the consolation match on Sunday. Nobody remembers who finishes third.
Posted by Average Golfer at 1:55 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
THIS AUTHOR WAS 8 FOR 8 IN ROUND #3 PICKS !!!! EIGHT FOR EIGHT !!! OCHO POR OCHO !!!
That's right. If you call Ladbrokes to bet on tomorrow's matches don't tell them you read my picks. They won't take your action. Too much to lose.
Fast recap before listing tomorrow's winners. Woods stretched to 20 holes before beating a game Baddeley. Win's a win in match play. Choi continues his hot streak. Stenson 1 up over a very game Jonathan Byrd who played well all week. Woody....what can I say? Leonard in a surprisingly easy victory over Appleby, the Phil killer. Singh in a 25 hole marathon. That match was longer than 9th grade math. Cabrera's great play continues taking out Strick, a #1 seed. And.....The Good Ship Monty sunk by Cink. Tomorrow's winners are.......
Woods vs Choi - Choi's a machine this week. Woods has been fortunate to escape twice. Choi.
Stenson vs Austin - Why would I get off the bandwagon now? Woody, obviously.
Leonard vs Singh - Tough one to call. Singh's tired. Lot of holes played. Leonard.
Cabrera vs Cink - Cabrera's on a mission. Cink beat Padraig. Cabrera.
There you go. From the simple goodness of my heart. Almost guaranteed picks. Free of charge. What more could you possibly ask of an average golfer?
Average Golfer Insider Exclusive, Colin Montgomerie enjoying a post round libation.
Posted by Average Golfer at 9:33 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
And then there were 16. 3/4 of the field were in airports after today's 2nd round. Match play happens fast until the final day. The Mighty Bobbio was 11 for 16 on day #2. Highlights of his spectacular picks include predicting Stuart Appleby upsetting world #2 Mick Phillerson. He also predicted a dogfight between Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan. As called, Stricker prevailed after a 20 hole shootout. Perhaps his most astute pick though was Woody "The Woodman" Austin's defeat of Adam Scott in 19 holes. We'd be remiss as well, to not mention the 25 hole donnybrook that saw Bobbio pick Henrik Stenson outlasting Trevor Immelman. There will be no mention of Bobbio's losing picks due to time and space constraints.
Get out you permanent markers. Here's the inside scoop, lowdown for tomorrow's Round #3.....
BOBBY JONES BRACKET
Woods (1) vs Baddeley (5) Might be closer than you think. Still, Woods.
Casey (7) vs Choi (3) Been hot all year. Steady as can be. Choi.
BEN HOGAN BRACKET
Byrd (16) vs Stenson (4) Byrd is lowest seed left. Stenson.
Austin (10) vs Weekly (11) On the Woody roll til' he shows otherwise. Woody.
GARY PLAYER BRACKET
Appleby (8) vs Leonard (13) Appleby beating Phil was it. Leonard.
Pampling (15) vs Singh (3) I said Vijay was done. I was wrong. Vijay.
SAM SNEAD BRACKET
Stricker (1) vs Cabrera (4) Underestimated Stricker. Cabrera.
Montgomerie (15) vs Cink (6) Mrs. Doubtfire goes home. Cink.
As per usual, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. Any use of these picks for attempted financial gain is prohibited. The author hereby is held harmless if such picks are used in a betting fashion, legal, or otherwise. Read at your own peril. Stop by tomorrow for the final and most highly respected prognostications for Round #4. Bet early, bet often.
_Average Golfer Insider Photo of the Day_
Phil Mickelson, 15 minutes after his defeat
by Stuart Appleby in Round #2.
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:57 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Well, the field is cut in half. I finished 23 for 32. Good enough to write another column, but not good enough to quit my day job. For anyone that read my picks and used them for wagering......that was stupid. I suppose the big story was Woods salvaging victory from the jaws of defeat. That explains why I'm known as the Cliche King. Ernie Els got his head handed to him by Jonathan Byrd, future Hall of Famer, 6 and 5. If it was a fight, they'd have stopped it. Ernie better watch out. They're drug testing this year.
Here's the mighty Bobbio's lowdown on Round #2. I was thinking of back dating a post after the results started flowing in, but changed my mind.
Woods (1) vs Olberholser (9) Woods had the wake up call. Woods
Toms (13) vs Baddeley (5) Guess the stack & tilt's OK. Baddeley.
Dredge (15) vs Casey (7) Dream Date's over. Casey.
Choi (3) vs Poulter (6) Should be a great match. Choi in a photo finish.
Byrd (16) vs Romero (9) And the fairytale continues. Byrd.
Stenson (4) vs Immelman (5) I like Mr. Serious. Stenson.
Scott (2) vs Austin (10) I ain't backing off the Woodman. Woody.
Weekly (11) vs Garcia (3) Sorry Boo. Mr. Crybaby, Garcia.
Mickelson (1) vs Appleby (8) Biggest upset of Round #2. Appleby.
Leonard (13) vs Westwood (5) I love Justin. His game's back. Westwood.
Pampling (15) vs O'Hern (10) Pampling knocked out Rose, one of my favorites. O'Hern.
Singh (3) vs Fasth (6) I said Vijay goes down in Round #2. Fasth.
Stricker (1) vs Mahan (9) Stricker survived a dogfight. Stricker.
Cabrera (4) vs Donald (5) I like The Duck. Cabrera.
Montgomerie (15) vs Howell (10) Underestimated Colin in Round #1. Mrs. Doubtfire.
Harrington (3) vs Cink (6) Should be another great match. Harrington.
There you go ! Consider these educated picks at your own peril.
In case you were wondering........When they took the lead out of the gas, this is where they put it.
Posted by Average Golfer at 8:24 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Michelle Wie returns to the LPGA Tour in the 2008 Fields Open in Hawaii after a long, torturous hiatus. Playing on a special tournament exemption, Wie hopes to display the flashes of brilliance that made her one of the most talked about golfers in recent years, male or female. A pair of wrist injuries, meddlesome parents, and questionable tournament selection made a mess of Wie's career last year. With the benefit of youth and David Leadbetter on her side, she hopes to ram the genie back into the bottle. A few questions remain and they'll be answered this week. Are the wrists healed? She says they are. Did she find new parents? Evidently not. Can she shake off the ring rust on her game and the long delay between competitions? We'll see soon enough. Her personal schedule and non-member status in the LPGA will limit the number of tournaments she can compete in for the next couple of years. I hope her posse hasn't raised her expectations too high. Despite being a remarkable talent I believe she was steered in the wrong direction in her early career. She should have played age- related women's events to develop a sense for what it takes to win a tournament. All pro golfers, male and female, have great swings, short games, and can putt 10 times better than the average golfer. Still, only one wins every week they tee it up. Teenager's psyches are fragile enough without submitting them to world class competition before they're allowed to drive. If I were her coach, I be happy if she made the cut this week after all she's been through. She's still a tremendous talent with the advantage of youth on her side. Let's hope her handlers don't screw up this second chance. Interestingly, I went to Miss Wie's website. It's handled by the William Morris Agency, LLC. There's just the opening page asking that you leave an email address to be notified when the full site launches. Perhaps they're waiting for her first win. I'd love to see it, all in due time.
Yes, there still is a tournament with other players besides Wie. Stacy Prammanasudh defends. Annika plays for the second week in a row driving for the money title and to regain her position at the top of women's golf. I wouldn't bet against her , even after Ochoa joins the fray. Julie Inkster, the ageless one, makes her 2008 debut. Karie Webb and Laura Davies are there as well. It's an excellent field for the second tournament of the year even without the world's #1. I read the "unofficial" starting field and counted 6 Kims entered. I'll let you know if that goes up or down by Thursday. I believe the all time record for Kims in one event is 9. It doesn't appear to be in jeopardy this week.
I'll watch this one to see the LPGA stars and young upstarts. Also, watching golf in Hawaii helps me block out the suicide inducing weather here.
Non-golf question....Can any reasonable person convince me that
these two aren't Grandmother/Granddaughter? Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton?
Posted by Average Golfer at 6:42 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
It's here. If you like match play this week is for you. The 2008 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship begins Wednesday at the Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Tucson, AZ. How would you like to be answering the phone at that course? You'd need oxygen. Their website makes it look like another course I won't be teeing it up at unless I go back to being a gigolo. Henrik Stenson defends. I'd send old Henrik money if he'd crack just one smile. Last year Tiger Woods was unceremoniously evicted by Nick O'Hern.
I love the "one and done" aspect to this tournament. It's the closest thing golf has to March Madness. It makes it worth watching from day one. If you're like me you're rooting for first round upsets.
With all that in mind, let's make some first round prognostications.......
Woods (1) vs Holmes (64) Woods. Pulling for J.B., but Woods.
Weir (32) vs Oberholser (33) Weir, Oberholser's been hurt.
Z. Johnson (16) vs Toms (49) Not really an upset, Toms.
Baddeley (17) vs Calcavecchia (48) USA! USA!, Calc.
Sabbatini (8) vs Dredge (57) Rory's been en fuego, Rory.
Casey (25) vs Karlsson (40) Casey. Don't know why.
Choi (9) vs Villegas (56) Choi, hot and experience factor.
Poulter (24) vs Hansen (41) Hansen. Poulter too inconsistent.
Els (4) vs Byrd (61) Takes Ernie and hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes. Els.
Goosen (29) vs Romero (36) Something wrong with Goose. Romero.
Stenson (13) vs Allenby (52) Mismatch. Stenson.
Immelman (20) vs Katayama (45) Tempted, but....Immelman.
Scott (5) vs Jones (60) 2 Aussies. Bloodbath, Scott.
Taniguchi (28) vs Austin (37) Have to take Woody. Obviously.
Garcia (12) vs Senden (53) If this was the Ryder Cup he'd win it all. Garcia.
Kaymer (21) vs Weekley (44) Hot Euro takes down Boo. Hoo.
Stricker (3) vs Chopra (62) Strick's ranking too high, Chopra, too low. Upset, Chopra.
Sterne (30) vs Mahan (35) Never heard of Sterne. Mahan's my pick.
Cabrera (14) vs Hansen (51) Cabrera. Gunslingers can be great in match play.
Donald (19) vs Dougherty (46) Tough one. Donald I guess.
Furyk (6) vs Montgomerie (59) Mrs. Doubtfire great in match play, but I like Furyk.
Ames (27) vs Howell III (38) Chucky Three Sticks prevails.
Harrington (11) vs Kelly (54) Padraig hasn't been great lately, but takes this one.
Cink (22) vs Jimenez (43) Could be interesting. Cink though.
Mickelson (2) vs Perez (63) Perez whined when he thought he drew Tiger. Phil.
Appleby (31) vs Clark (34) Clark's been a bit off. Appleby.
Ogilvy (15) vs Leonard (50) Leonard better than ranking. Close match, Ogilvy.
Westwood (18) vs Snedeker (47) Experience takes this one. Westwood.
Rose (7) vs Pampling (58) Pampling's tough, but I see Rose winning a Major and this one.
Verplank (26) vs O'Hern (39) O'Hern, Tiger killer from last year.
Singh (10) vs Hanson (55) Vijay takes this one, but loses in 2nd round.
Fasth (23) vs Green (42) Coin flip for me. Go with ranking, Fasth.
On Wednesday after the first round you can all post comments reminding me what a moron I am and I have no business writing about anything to do with golf. We'll check in for second round picks. Half the guys, less typing!
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:48 PM
Friday, February 15, 2008
I'm giving you 10 ponderables (sic) to sate your appetite for inane golf topics. I start my newest career tomorrow and probably won't ask if I can bring a laptop to post on this site. Maybe day #2.
1. Phil, Northern Trust Open, -10, 4 clear, (that's what they say on the European Tour). 2 rounds left. Hold 'em or fold 'em?
2. Annika, SBS Open at Turtle Bay, -7, tied for the lead with one round left. Hold her or fold her? (Not quite the same ring.)
3. Momoko Ueda, Kenyan marathoner or LPGA member?
4. Yu Lin Ping, LPGA member. What clubs does she endorse?
5. Best Golf Hangover, Steve Lowery, last week's winner. This week solo 139th, (dead last), +15.
6. Big John Daly, +1, 2 inside the cut line. Better.
7. Butch Harmon says Adam Scott is the only player who can beat Tiger.
7a. Butch Harmon says John Daly is the only player who can beat Adam Scott.
7b. Butch Harmon says Natalie Gulbis is the only player who can beat John Daly.
8. I think PGA Tour players should be allowed to wear shorts if they choose.
9. I think some LPGA players should be required to wear long pants.
10. I love Laura Davies. The grande dame of ladies golf. If you ever have the chance to hear her interviewed, take it. She's the best interview on any tour.
There you have it. 10 pieces of rather useless fodder for conversation. Or if you prefer, "One man's manure is another man's cow crap."
Posted by Average Golfer at 9:28 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The dawn of drug testing on the PGA Tour is almost upon us. The Tour policy was rather quietly announced last November with preliminary plans to be implemented in May of this year. There was a mandatory meeting of players held last month at Torrey Pines with Tim Finchem, PGA commissioner, aides, and a top expert from the World Anti-Doping Agency. More on player's reactions later in this piece.
Why golf? Why now? Major League Baseball is right in the middle of it's own hornet's nest. An ever increasing circle of supposed steroid and HGH suppliers and users has even demanded the time of our Congress. I be happier with them spending time healing what ails baseball if they'd already fixed the Iraq War and the economy. Oh, if they have the time, health care and the border problem....pleeease. Baseball's time honored benchmarks are it's records. That's where a lot of the emotion comes into play. Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's home run record is tainted if you believe he's juiced. Numbers are to baseball like Twinkies are to Rosie. I'm suprised that the NFL hasn't come under more scrutiny. It's scientifically impossible for evolution to produce a human specimen that is 6'7", weighs 280 lbs. and runs a 4.5 40 yd. dash. This has all happened in the last 15-20 years. It's incredible to see these "people" in person. It makes you want to break out into a rousing chorus of "The Lollipop Guild". The NFL is hotter than ever though. Maybe it's the helmets and face masks that allow us to disassociate from what might be involved in building this super species. The Olympics would require a book of their own. Suffice it to say that one of my greatest adolescent defeats is when I saw my favorite Romanian gymnast in a close up and she had five o'clock shadow.
Golf, gentleman's game. Where else do professional athletes call penalties on themselves? Can you picture Kobe saying, "Yo, ref, I don't deserve these foul shots, I was charging." The answer is to protect the brand. Mr. Finchem knows full well that a drug scandal, or even a hint of one, could kill that golden egg laying goose. So, a preemptive strike was in order. The LPGA beat them to the punch though with a policy already in effect for the season opener. The previously alluded to player's meeting at Torrey Pines was met with some resistance. The "user's manual" is very long and contains a hefty list of banned substances. For example, a Vick's Vapor Inhaler is on the list. Vitamin supplements, seemingly innocuous, may contain traces of banned substances. Beta blockers, a common hypertension drug with other cardio applications, is listed. The idea behind beta blockers is that their healing properties may allow one to be calmer, i.e. putting advantage? As an average golfer I may try them. The valium suppositories* I use now work pretty well, but can be a tad cumbersome. The point is everyone better know what the heck is in everything they ingest. Another stipulation of the policy is that player's are subject to being tested anytime, anyplace. That prompted Frank Lickliter to say at the meeting in reference to someone coming to his house to test him, "He's going to have a hard time getting off my property without a bullet in his a**."
Adjustments are necessary when something radically new and untried is announced. Of course. Especially in a tradition laden, time honored game like golf. I'd be shocked if there were any serious violators to be found. I don't think golf lends itself to the big boy drugs like anabolic steroids. I could be wrong. I'm wrong all the time. Unfortunately, someone's prescription may make them afoul of the law and that's a shame. Perhaps this is the impetus for a group of independent contractors to consider unionizing. Until now there wasn't really a topic to unite under that affected so many pro golfers.
I probably would have taken a similar position if I were in Mr. Finchem's shoes, and that's a pity.
*The writer apologizes for not being able to find a link for valium suppositories.
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:55 PM
Monday, February 11, 2008
Pat Perez only said yesterday what I've suspected for a while. He knows he can't beat Tiger Woods. In case you missed it, Perez backed his way into the Accenture Match Play Championship to be held later this month. Unless someone withdraws, he faces Tiger in the 1st round. Perez said, "The last person I want to face is Tiger. I don't want to embarrass myself." Now perhaps he's just saying what most of the other players are thinking, but for my money the pie hole stays closed. As my mother often told me, "Just because it pops into your head doesn't mean it has to dribble out of your mouth."
I'm not Perez bashing here, although he does have the consolation of taking home $40,000.00 after his Tiger smacking. For one day's play. Justin Leonard at The Buick Invitational earlier this year said, "There's two tournaments going on. I'm trying to win the one Tiger's not playing." How inspiring. There was a host of players praising the glory of Tiger with rounds left to play. They literally sounded like paid PR staffers for Team Tiger. Stuff like that really makes me, average golfer, want to watch when the field has cashed it in. Cashed it in is right! A cool half million or so for second place isn't a loss, is it?
When I played high school sports, if I had even hinted at the superiority of the other man or team, I would have turned in my uniform without the courtesy of being asked. Plenty of other guys were lined up to take my spot. I don't mean to imply that taking Tiger down is easy. That's stupid. For my money he's the best I've ever seen and will no doubt shatter every conceivable record in the sport. Still, does he win every time he tees it up? Listen to these guys and you'd think he did. You have to admire Rory Sabbatini, and to a lesser degree Ian Poulter, for the stones to at least let you know that on the 1st tee they think they can win. When I'm sitting in my Lazy-Boy in the winter longing for golf season there's a few things I'd like. I'd like to drink my sponsored beer, wear my sponsored golf hat, shirt, consider new sponsored clubs, balls, etc., suffer through seemingly thousands of commercials for other crap I don't buy.....and know that the guy on the tee with Tiger thinks he's got a chance. If he doesn't feel that way, then lie to me.
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:09 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Steve Lowery birdied the the first playoff hole at Pebble Beach to win the 2008 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am today. Lowery hit the fairway, laid up into the wind that prevented going for the green in two, hit his wedge to about five feet, and sunk the winning putt. Singh's drive was bunker bound and forced hin to lay up to 196 yards for his 3rd shot. That shot fried egged in the right front bunker where he almost holed his 4th. His par putt placed the pressure directly on Lowery who calmly holed a bit of a snake for his 3rd career win.
At one point Singh enjoyed a four stroke advantage, but four bogies on the back nine allowed Lowery to sneak back in. All three of Lowery's victories have been in playoffs. Next up on tour is the Northern Trust Open, at Riviera Country Club. Charles Howell III defends. Thurston Howell III will be in the field as an exemption.
It's reported that over $7,000,000.00 was raised this week for charity by this tournament. The annual charity dollars raised in conjunction with the PGA Tour dwarfs all other professional sports.
Posted by Average Golfer at 6:52 PM
Saturday, February 9, 2008
We interrupt this broadcast....I have to get this off my chest. Who the hell cares if Roger Clemens' wife was taking HGH or any other substance. If Roger was, then maybe she needed to in order to remain competitive in certain areas, if you catch my drift?
Back to golf. After the first day of play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am I listed the first ten finishers. Let's see where they are now.
1. Kent Jones, T-12, 4 strokes out.
2. John Mallinger, T-22, Yikes!
3. Roland Thatcher, T-71, Roland the Headless Thompson Golfer, Bonus pts. if you get it!
4. Brad Adamonis, T-120, 67,77,77.
5. Jay Williamson, T-11, hangin' tough
6. Michael Allen, T-3, only 2 back.
7. J.B. Holmes, T-61, 78 today.
8. Kris Cox, T-133, 82 today. Realized where he was I guess.
9. D.A. Points, T-11, Leading the abbreviated first namers.
10. Tim Herron, T-11, Needs a 64 or 65 in my opinion.
I guess we can see why they bother to play all four rounds. It must be tough to be in the top ten after day #1 and then miss the cut.This is a large field. That makes for some notables playing that otherwise wouldn't make the starting gun. Notable observations....
Vijay, T-1, -9. It was hard to believe that this guy would be down for long. Phil, MC, I suppose it's time to wonder. He loves these courses and should have played well. The little bit I saw him he resembled the gunslinger Phil, not the plan every shot Phil. Today he might as well been putting with a 2X4. Robert Floyd, -4. Making the best of an exemption and making the old man proud I'm sure. Jason Day, -6. Heralded Aussie. Youngest man on the tour. Showing flashes of the hype as the next Tiger killer. John Daly and Greg Norman, both +9. Same scores, different reasons. DL III, -3. Pretty good after ankle surgery and back problems. David Duval, +12. OK David, I admire your gumption, but maybe you should work this out on the Nationwide.
Tune in tomorrow for a winner. I need Herron!
PS-I was hoping to have the amateur winners to list. As of post time I couldn't locate them.
Posted by Average Golfer at 7:31 PM
Thursday, February 7, 2008
When I saw the leaderboard after the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am I thought, damn, there's a bunch of amateurs leading the tournament! They all sound like average golfers to me. Here's the first 10 positions, all from the US of A;
1. Kent Jones, He's the kid that moved away in 7th grade.
2. John Mallinger, He's Radiohead's original drummer.
3. Roland Thatcher, Unsung Monty Python member.
4. Brad Adamonis, Gettin' real close to a porn name.
5. Jay Williamson, Thought he was Dennis of Dennis the Menace fame.
6. Michael Allen, The name I want when I go into the Federal Witness Protection Program.
7. J.B. Holmes, Sherlock or John C's family? Yeah, I know. He won last week.
8. Kris Cox, Too cute a name for the Tour IMHO.
9. D.A. Points, Nationwide stalwart.
10. Tim Herron, Finally! My horse in fantasy golf. Let's go Lumpy!
No slight intended. These are obviously all great players or they wouldn't be here. If you're 1/2 shot better over four days, that's a 2 stroke advantage. I'm good at math. So, not a lot separates winners from also- rans on this tour. Perhaps a changing of the familiar guard is in order. Maybe J.B. staring Phil down last week is a sign of things to come.
A few more notes from day #1 .....
John Daly 79. C'mon John, if you're hurt fix it. If not, move in with Butch.
Tied for 26th with matching 70s, Doug LaBelle II and Davis Love III. DL2 AND DL3.
Colt Knost, 77. Gave up a Masters spot to hit the tour early.
Greg Norman, 76. Little rust on the Shark. Looks like a tennis weekend.
David Duval, 75. Believe me, no one's pulling for Duval more than me. I'd love to see him get his game back.
The next three days are worth a look. Can't beat Pebble as a venue. It's fun to watch the celebs play as well. Twice a year's plenty though.
Posted by Average Golfer at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I usually only make 1 mistake per day. Yesterday I thought getting out of bed was the mistake. Adrian made a comment in the previous post regarding the cleaning of Winn grips. He's spot on. They aren't to be cleaned with soapy water. Here's a link explaining the proper way to clean them, Arizona Golf Company. Thanks Adrian for spotting that.
Posted by Average Golfer at 11:58 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Actually this isn't much fun. I needed a headline that might get someone's attention.
Regardless, this is a necessary and inexpensive step that will actually help your game. I, and some others call it regripping. Most average golfers are unaware when their grips need to be changed. Their grips either wear or become slippery due to body oils from the hands or just flat out dirty. We never think about it while playing a round or the rest of the time when our clubs are in the trunk of our car. You'd be amazed at the difference new grips can add. When grips are worn or slippery you have to grip the club tighter resulting in tension, the killer of average golfer's swings.
First see if yours appear to be worn. If not, just wash them in warm, soapy water, (dish liquid is ideal), and dry. That usually restores the tackiness and saves you a few bucks. If they're worn you have two options. Pay to have them replaced by a competent replacer person or do it yourself. Most golf supply companies will sell you everything needed in kit form. I'd stay away from the discount walk-in stores with generic rubber grips for sale. They're most likely cheap rubber grips that won't last very long. The online suppliers offer virtually every grip made. Winn, Golf Pride, Lamkin, to name a few. The only thing you'll need to provide is a vise to hold the clubs steady and a utility knife to remove the old grips. Here's a link to step-by-step instructions on how to regrip your clubs. Golfsmith Clubmaker. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. I regrip about once a year which equals about fifty rounds. About every ten or so rounds I wash my grips.
Before you order a kit make sure you are using the correct size grip. If a grip is too small your swing will be "wristy" and too "handsy" making control difficult. If they're too large it will be less "wristy" and make it difficult to fully release the clubhead through impact. Here's a Grip Selection Guide to help you find the correct size. I've fitted people that were using the wrong size grip and when they played with the correct size they were amazed at the difference in their game. Same with regripping. I had one fellow who was ready to sell his entire set of clubs. After I regripped them he was ecstatic with them and his results.
So, boring post? Yes. Necessary? Yes. Do it now. When your local course opens, you'll be focused on playing.
Posted by Average Golfer at 4:30 PM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
There's certainly a lot to pay attention to in the golfing spectrum, but I can't focus on any of it. Sometimes life kicks you in the ass, usually to remind you that what you thought was important really isn't.
Two of my dearest friends, they were high school sweethearts, lost their 22 year old daughter yesterday to an epic battle with pancreatic cancer. Believe me when I tell you that the whole family is the definition of nice. Genuine nice. This radiant young woman left an impression on anyone that crossed her path. That she was taken this soon forces me to remove the word fair from my limited vocabulary. Indeed, the relationships she formed and the blessed memories she left behind are her legacy, and a powerful one at that. Regardless, it's too soon, too soon, too soon.....
Hug your kids. Hug your spouse or significant other. Hug the dog. Visit a sick relative. Donate to your favorite charity. Smell those cliched roses. But do it NOW. No one can promise you tomorrow.
Posted by Average Golfer at 9:08 PM