Saturday, November 29, 2008

Average Golfer Quandry: Double the Size of the Golf Hole?

My great friend Dean Miller is a thinker. He thinks more than anyone I've ever met. His thinking results in ideas, some of which are labeled "Gee, that's interesting", the rest labeled, "Huh?". He recently suggested to me that golf would be more interesting to watch and certainly more satisfying for amateurs to play if the size of the hole was doubled. At first this sounds a little like a lunatic fringe rant, but if you really think about it.....

The standard size for a golf hole was determined in 1891 by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. They felt it was finally a time for standardization of the hole size, as they were in the process of standardizing everything else about golf, short of trouser selection. The decided size landed at 4.25 inches. A prevalent rumor is that a nearby club, Musselburgh Links, had invented a hole cutter derived from a piece of pipe that was, you guessed it, 4.25 inches in diameter. True or not, it's definitely convenient. With golf ball size mandated at no less than 1.68 inches, the ball is 39.5% of the hole size. Compare that to basketball where the ball is exactly 50% of the hoop size. Would that suggest that sinking a 15 foot putt should be easier than making a free throw? Maybe for Shaq.

Assuming the hole size was doubled putting would obviously be easier. That means quicker rounds for amateurs and half of the discouragement that forces some beginners to quit the game out of frustration. "Gimme" distance would increase and "inside the leather" would be outdated.
From a professional perspective we'd spend much less time watching pros agonize over every putt as if their very lives depended on it. Great ball strikers and accurate approach shots would finally receive their due reward. No more three putt pars on par fives after hitting a green in two. TV air times could be reduced and golf tournaments would cease to seem as long as a trip to the dentist. Maybe, just maybe, we would see the demise of the ridiculous plumb bob, which is as confidence inspiring as a divining rod. Anyone ever see Tiger Woods plumb bob? More chip-ins, pitch-ins, and shots holed from the fairway. What's not to like? Golf tournaments would at last become a staple on SportsCenter, a continuous highlight reel.

Of course if you doubled the size of the hole all current tournament scoring records would be rendered obsolete. Hey, that wasn't a problem for Major League Baseball when their record books were assaulted by steroid munching superstars. Hmm, 500 yard drives and 10 putts per round. Someone could shoot in the 40s.

Til' next,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tiger Woods, Buick Part Company

Let's all be realistic for a cotton pickin' second. Does anyone really think that Tiger Woods has been driving a Buick for the last nine years? I'd bet his gardener, nanny, personal assistant, etc. may be driving them, but Tiger, no way. Too stodgy.

Susan Docherty, GM vice-president for Buick-Pontiac-GMC said in an email to dealers today, “It’s with great emotion that I wish to inform you that the time has come for our long term relationship with Tiger Woods to end.” On his end Woods issued the following statement, “I am very proud of the long-standing partnership I’ve had with GM and have enjoyed being a part of the company’s dramatic product evolution.’’ In other words, thanks for the memories.

Woods had one year remaining on a five-year deal worth $40 million, according to Advertising Age magazine. So, one less year cost him and saved GM eight million dollars. I don't expect Woods will have much of a problem replacing that endorsement money if he chooses. It seems like a pittance in savings on GM's part, but it's a statement of austerity that reflects the collapsing domestic automobile business and an effort to save money that GM sorely needs to portray as they pitch the corporate bail out idea to Washington.

You would think that Woods would be the ideal pitchman for anything, even hemorrhoid cream, but I never saw the Buick marriage as made in heaven. Buick's demographic was and is the 54-75 year old somewhat affluent guy with golf being a common denominator. I'd picture Arnie or a Jay Haas type as carrying more weight with those consumers. I'm certain Buick tried to lower their median purchaser age by hiring Woods, but they never built the product that was desirable to a younger audience. I'd fancy Tiger as more of a Toyota or Lexus spokesperson. That said, I'm sure he didn't hurt them, I just think it was a round peg in a square hole.

Coincidentally, I spent twenty five years in dealership management, a number of which were in GM dealerships during the Tiger era. We were feasted with Buick/Tiger promo material and more than a few ProV1 s with Buick logos came my way. I decided to leave the business exactly one year ago. Sadly, my brethren still in the business have much more to worry about now than just the loss of free golf balls.

Til' next,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tiger Woods Played 604 Holes in 2008 - Be There.

Follow The Roar
By: Bob Smiley

Average Golfer Book Review

I first became acquainted with Bob Smiley's work by reading an article he published on Anything that makes me chuckle out loud, while reading alone, is worthy of investigation. That led me to Bob's website,, and another window into this man's singular take on the golf world.
I've mentioned that he's the funniest golf guy in cyberspace, a claim I still stand by.

In his fir
st attempt as a book author he took on the Herculean task of following Tiger Woods for all 604 holes of his now legendary 2008 season. The logistics involved in this quest are such that if you examined them in hindsight, you'd never attempt it. The beauty is Bob did it the way the common fellow, you or me, would have been forced to do. No private jets, no chauffeurs, an accidental press pass, and the wile and guile needed to just gain access to some events. Bob tells you exactly what it would have been like if you'd have tried the same itinerary. From Torrey Pines to Dubai and back again, Smiley truly gives you the sensations of witnessing every single solitary stroke that the icon Woods took in 2008. Most will be familiar with the headlines of Tiger's year, but witnessing the dissection of it just adds to the appreciation of his exploits.

The book has a secondary theme that I enjoyed immensely. Smiley is particularly adept at observing the people around him. His riotous and dead- on descriptions of the characters he encountered during his journey were a welcome surprise that kept me page turning to see how the relationships played out. This makes it sort of a book within a book. This read will grab you from the get go and you'll find it difficult to bookmark, instead plowing onward as to not break the mood.

In case you hadn't guessed, Average Golfer gives Follow The Roar an unqualified thumbs up. Take the time from your busy life to escape into the world of Woods via Smiley. You'll wished you'd done it sooner. Here's an exclusive excerpt from Follow The Roar as released by the publisher, HarperCollins. Buy It Now At....., Barnes & Noble, Borders.

Shin Win at ADT

20 year old Ji-Yai Shin, veins packed with ice water, bested the rest to capture the ADT Championship. Shin's -2, 70 was one better than Karrie Webb and earned her a cool million dollars, the largest purse in women's golf. That converts to 1,505,797,300 South Korean won if you're interested. Ji-Yai, (pronounced G.A.) is rated #6 in the world and winner of this year's Women's British Open. Shin should be a fixture in women's golf for a long time.

Paula Creamer gamely wrestled with an intestinal ailment all week, but her +2, 74 today was just good enough for a tie for 3rd with Seon Hwa Lee. Lee doubled the par three 17th to end her chances. Eun-Hee Ji's 75 gave her solo 5th. Angela Stanford's impressive run came to an end with a 78 and Jeong Jang and Suzann Pettersen shot themselves in the feet with 79s.

Professional golf in the US had come to an end for 2008. Stay tuned to Average Golfer for news of interest. If there isn't any golf news, we'll make some up.

Til' next,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Final 8 in Shoot-Out at ADT Championship for $1,000,000.00.

In the LPGA's version of Survivor, 8 women survived the test today at the ADT Championship. Whatever you accomplished in the first 36 was for squat. Prime example, 36 hole leader Katherine Hull, playing the best golf of her career, was sent packing after an unfortunate 79. Instead, Suzann Pettersen was in the driver's seat today after a sizzling 68 in tough, windy conditions. Angela Stanford stayed white hot with a 68. Seon Hwa Lee and Paula Creamer were the next to make Sunday's field with -2, 70s. Creamer was observed doubled over in pain, suffering from an unknown ailment rumored by the talking heads to be appendicitis. Without discounting her obvious pain, and revealing the fact that I'm no doctor, I'd guess more on the side of an intestinal virus. Paula claimed she'd been in pain since Wednesday. Appendicitis probably would have forced her out of the event by now. Regardless, let's hope she's fine for tomorrow's million dollar grab. Jeong Jang and Ji-Yai Shin shared identical 71s to safely make the shoot out. Karrie Webb and Eun-Hee Ji bested Sun Young Yoo in a 1 hole playoff for the 8th and final spot.

Helen Alfredsson birdied the difficult par three 17th hole to remain right in the thick of things. She splashed two balls on 18 however for a triple bogey 7 that ended her chances. Universally loved Christina Kim and In-Kyung Kim struggled to a 79 and 80 respectively.

Pressure packed should be the word of the day on Sunday. Bath tub slick greens may decide the eventual million dollar baby. Be sure to tune in. It's riveting. NBC 3:00 - 6:00 PM, EST.

Til' next,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hull Hangs Tough at ADT - Annika Exits.

Fairytale endings are great, just not something that can be relied upon. Annika Sorenstam was hoping to add just one victory to her fairytale career when her putter stepped in her way at the season ending ADT Championship. She took 33 putts yesterday en route to a 74. Needing a low round to make the 16 player Saturday field, her putter again rebelled and she was forced to use it 36 times. 69 putts in two rounds does not a cut make. As much as I'm sure she wanted to finish her LPGA career on a high note, this does nothing to tarnish her unbelievable record. Thanks for the memories Annika. Gee, that would make a great song title.

Katherine Hull's -1, 71 was just enough to maintain her lead, albeit over different faces. By contrast, Hull has putted 56 times over two days compared to Annika's 69. Her shadow today however was white-hot Angela Stanford. Stanford's 67 today was the best round of the day by two strokes. That propelled her from 17th to 2nd, one back of Hull. Paula Creamer and Christina Kim inched closer with identical -1, 70s and a tie for 3rd at -2. In-Young Kim backpedaled a tad with a 73 that left her locked with Creamer and C. Kim. Jeong Jang and Angela Park reached red numbers for the tourney, both with 70s today and -1 overall. Seon Hwa Lee treads water at level par and Ji-Yai Shin lost ground with a 75 that placed her tied with Lee in 8th position. 5 ladies were tied for 10th spot and a +1 total.

+3 was the cut mark and Karrie Webb hit it on the number. Karen Stupples survived at +2. Big names didn't make the cut included the aforementioned Annika, Laura Diaz, Maria Hjorth, Cristie Kerr, Lorena Ochoa (reversed Annika's two days, 75, 74), Nicole Castrale, Morgan Pressel, and Yani Tseng.

Wow, this tournaments not for the timid. It's sort of like playing "3 card guts", a game that by the time I had it figured out, I was broke. On Saturday the slate is wiped clean. Everyone's equal. The top eight scores will advance to Sunday's 1 million dollar payoff. Saturday ties for the final spot would be broken with a playoff. That should separate the women from the girls!

Better watch. I have no idea who to favor, but I guarantee drama.

Til' next,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Katherine Hull Leads ADT, Annika 6 Back

My JV football coach frequently told us saps to "Get our rears in gear". Of course this was the same coach that told me I ran like I was carrying a piano. Annika Sorenstam is 6 shots off the pace at the ADT Championship and she needs to get her rear in gear to avoid flaming out in the last LPGA event of her storied career.

Katherine Hull, coming off a 4th and a 2nd in her last two starts, leads the pack with a 68, a round that featured six birdies. She leads by one over In-Kyung Kim and Ji-Yai Shin, both with 69s. The trio of Na Yeon Choi, Ji Eun-Hee, and Ji Young Oh are knotted in 3rd with matching 70s. Christina Kim, Karen Stupples, and Paula Creamer finish the under par set with -1, 71s.

Sorenstam needs a great round on Friday to avoid the cut that lops off the field of 32 to 16. “I was a little nervous. I feel like I’m playing good. I’m excited about the week,” Sorenstam said. “But I’m telling you, nothing went my way today. You just have to be patient, just fairways and greens,” she added, “It’s worked in the past for me, so I’m not really going to change it. I just have to make a few more putts.”

Notables inhabited the lower portion of the standings. Lorena Ochoa stood T26 after a 75. Cristie Kerr was T29, tied for last after a 78.

Hull said she planned to stick with her game plan and have fun. Hard to argue after day #1.

Til' next,

*Average Golfer Quote of the Day. When asked what she thought of the difficult ADT course set up, Ji-Yai Shin deadpanned, “I think it’s very tough, it is, I think, very funny. Yeah, very funny.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 ADT Championship - 32 Go In, 1 Comes Out.

The last event of the 2008 LPGA schedule, the ADT Championship, will be a series of good byes. Good bye Annika. Good bye ADT. Good bye LPGA economic model. Annika's final US event will be bittersweet. I hope she can focus well enough to be in contention. If last week was a prelude, that isn't a problem. ADT says adios to tour sponsorship. This could be part of a string of withdrawls unless the world economy ticks upwards. Soon. Every company, even the few profitable ones, are reexamining their expenditures like Santa with his list. Realistically there's no reason to expect that pro golf will emerge unscathed while many of their business partners are contemplating survival. The LPGA especially, without the gravitas of it's PGA brethren, is treading on thin ice. OK, enough doom and gloom.

Thirty two women start on Thursday. (Full Field list). The field is culled to sixteen after the second round. After round three there's eight women left standing. The final eight play on Sunday with the winner emerging a cool million richer. How's that for a season ending playoff? Beats the FedEx Cup like a rented mule.

Who does Average Golfer like in this baby? Well, can't really go wrong with any of the 32. I'd like Brittany Lang, but she's just an alternate at this point. Ochoa defends. Annika's playing great. Yani Tseng's having a superb year. Angela Stanford is the hottest player in the field. Inbee Park loves big tourneys. So, it's basically a pick 'em.

Trump International Golf Club is the host. The Golf Channel broadcasts the first three days with NBC taking over for the final round. Check here for broadcast times. Be there for the final US event of the pro golf year.

Til' next,

*For in depth insight on the 2009 LPGA scheduling possibilities check out The Constructivist's latest post.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Angela Stanford Eeks Out Win at Ochoa Invitational

Angela Stanford survived a course record by Brittany Lang and a 17th hole bunker shot birdie by Annika Sorenstam to chalk up her 3rd LPGA victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. It was a three woman show on the back nine. Stanford held a tentative two stroke advantage throughout most of the last nine holes. Lang's stellar 65 put her in the clubhouse at -12, one stroke behind Stanford. Annika's bunker shot on 17 sailed directly into the cup. If it hadn't she would have faced at least a 20 footer for par. In is in though and that got Sorenstam to -12, one back, heading to the par five 18th. Sorenstam and Stanford both hit decent drives and laid up nicely with their second shots. Stanford got her approach pin high, but it spun back below the hole leaving her about a twenty foot birdie attempt. Annika had 99 yards for her 3rd shot. She landed it just right of the pin, it spun left, and missed going in by the width of the ball! It settled about 10 feet for her birdie chance. Stanford's birdie try moved a tad left and gave her a gimme par. Annika's putt would force a playoff. The ball caught the right side of the cup, but lipped out to deny her a chance for her 73rd LPGA win.

It was truly as exciting a finish as Average Golfer's seen this year. Great golf, classy players. What's better? Lorena birdied the 18th in front of a huge hometown crowd to finish with a 70.

Up next week is the final event of the LPGA season, the ADT Championship at Trump International in West Palm Beach, FL. It's a must see. Annika's last tournament, a $1,000,000.00 first prize and an elite field. It's the tour's 32 best golfers with guess who defending? Lorena Ochoa.

Til' next,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Annika in Position to Grab Lorena Ochoa Invitational

If golf was NASCAR then Annika Sorenstam is drafting behind Angela Stanford and setting her up for a final lap pass and a checkered flag at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at Guadalajara Country Club. She gained 5 strokes after an excellent 67, -9, that left her a solitary stroke behind after Stanford's even par, -10. After bogeying 16 and 17, Annika stuck her 3rd shot approach on the par five 18th to two feet for a tap in birdie. Stanford's uneventful round included two bogeys and two birdies for a hum-drum 72 that allowed Annika back in the tournament. Stanford's reputation for overly protecting a lead may have reared it's ugly head once again. She still has tomorrow to shake that demon.

Also picking up ground on the water treading leader were Jee Young Lee, -7, Sun Young Yoo, -6, and In-Kyung Kim at -5. Brittany Lang equaled Sorenstam's 67 and sat tied with Kim at five under, still within striking distance. Gracious host, Lorena Ochoa, shot 70 today leaving her 8 strokes off the pace. Understandable considering her hosting responsibilities and the impact this event has on Mexico. Lorena's a huge star and philanthropist in her home country and willingly carries a lot of weight for Mexico in the eyes of the world. Guadalajara is also her home course and where she learned the game, so I'm certain she has a ton of distractions to handle. The players were gladly remarking what a wonderful course this was and how well they've been treated all week. Consider yourselves to be on the ground floor watching a tournament that will continue to grow in importance and stature.

It would have been great to see Lorena win on her home course, but it would be equally satisfying to see Annika prevail in the next to the last event of her illustrious career. Watch tomorrow. Won't disappoint.

Til' next,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mike Austin, Record Holder, Longest PGA Drive, 515 Yards.

Never heard of Mike Austin? Neither had I.

The scene was the US National Seniors Open Championship in Las Vegas in 1974. Egged on by his partner that day, Chandler Harper, winner of the 1950 PGA Championship, to "really let one go", he did just that. It was 450 yards to the pin on the par four 5th hole. They found Austin's golf ball 65 yards past the pin. Guess he should have hit three wood. 515 yards was, and still is, the longest recorded drive in professional history. Here's the best part. Mike Austin was 64 years old! He was aided by a 35 mph tail wind, but keep in mind that the hole was relatively level, and Austin had a steel shaft, persimmon head, and balata balls.

His golf exploits just scratched the surface of this prodigious man. He was a WWII war hero. He shared an apartment with Errol Flynn. He gave secret golf lessons to Howard Hughes and played against Hogan and Snead. He'd been noticed as a youngster by no less than Bobby Jones, who remarked about the young Austin's 300 yard drives at East Lake.

Born in England, but raised in the southern US, Austin was a cantankerous sort. His gruff presence was as intimidating as it was natural. He taught golf in southern California, L.A area, for many years and hosted what else, The Mike Austin Golf Show. His exploits and character are detailed in a fantastic book by Philip Reed called In Search of the Greatest Swing. I recommend it highly for an inside look at this legend.

Mike passed away in 2005 at age 95 but his legacy continues to this day. Mike Dunaway is a well known advocate and teacher of Austin's swing, ( I'd rather have you, the reader, dissect the basics of the Mike Austin swing. It's not radically different from the current idea of a golf swing. It's much simpler and uses just a few "basic" concepts to get the fundamentals across. My best friend, Dean Miller, a legit 8 handicap, watched half of an Austin video, took it to the course, and proceeded to nail 14 of 14 fairways. I'm prepared to "Austinize" my swing over the long winter. If I gain some length great. What I really want is accuracy and I'm convinced that Austin's ideas are sound.

Why aren't these incredible concepts taught in the mainstream? Austin, a PGA member, claimed that when he presented his ideas to the PGA they had already decided on what the model of an ideal golf swing should be in order for their teaching pros to have some continuity, i.e. two plane swing, forearm rotation, etc. Mike professed to have been "blackballed" from teaching his methods. You be the judge. After all, 515 yards is still 515 yards.

Til' next,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiger Woods on President-Elect Obama.


Tiger Woods, usually carefully silent on potential hot button issues, offered his opinion of Barack Obama's milestone presidential victory. Woods was questioned by CNBC at the groundbreaking ceremony at a new golf course design of his in North Carolina.

"I think it's absolutely incredible," Woods told CNBC's Jane Wells. "He represents America. He's multiracial. I was hoping it would happen in my lifetime. My father was hoping it would happen in his lifetime, but he didn't get to see it. I'm lucky enough to have seen a person of color in the White House." When asked what his father's reaction would have been Woods offered, "He would have cried. Absolutely. No doubt about it." Full story on

I suppose it's easier for Tiger to comment on the election after Obama won. Still, it's refreshing to see that he has more of a human side than he usually lets on.

There's no truth to the rumor that Michael Jordan was quoted as saying "I'm pleased Mr. O'Bama (sic) was able to be elected as our 2nd Irish-American president."

Til' next,

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Davis Love III Over Tommy "Two Gloves" in Thriller at Disney.

Davis Love III shot his second consecutive 64 to hold off a back nine charge by Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey and win the 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World Resort. Gainey's 30 on the back nine almost had the victory he needed to retain his card. Instead it's back to Q school for the two-time Big Break contestant. Love III finished at -25, one stroke better than Gainey, and knocked a treacherous bunker shot on the 18th to within three feet and sealed the victory. $828,000.00 was pocketed by Love III for the triumph.

It was a two man battle as the nearest finishers were Steve Marino and Scott Verplank, each at -20, 4 strokes in arrears. Joe Durant's superb 65 in the final round gave him solo 5th place. The trio of Scott Sterling, Kevin Streelman, and Troy Matteson finished at -18, T6.

Average Golfer was pulling for Gainey, the every man's representative. His 2nd place finish moved him 40 spots on the money list from 208 to 168, but it was a win he needed to secure his card for 2009. In the glass half full category, he'll have a confidence boost going into Q school. I'm certain we'll see more of Gainey. Everyone refers to his work ethic and drive. That's a huge part of the battle on the tour.

Bubble News

The results are in after this, the last tournament of the season. The "Thank God" spot, #125, belongs to Martin Laird. Those keeping their jobs by a whisker were Brad Adamonis, 124, Jason Bohn, 123, Angel Cabrera, 122, Nick Watney, 121, and Brett Quigley, 120. Those wishing they'd played better earlier in the year included Shane Bertsch, 126, Bob Estes, 127, Patrick Sheehan, 128, Joe Durant, 129, and Charles Warren, 130. $11,504.00 separated Laird and Bertsch, the difference between 126 and 125. Here's the final 2008 money list for your perusal.

Now is when writing on a golf site separates the men from the boys. Two months of "not much" will test Average Golfer's imagination. Maybe I'll start doing a series of reviews on golf tees. Perhaps throw in a contest with the winner receiving a free tee! Gotta nice ring to it.

Til' next,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eclectic Bunch Atop Children's Miracle Network Classic Leaderboard.

Someone for everyone. A certain Hall -of-Famer, a grizzled veteran with many wins and Ryder Cups in his pocket, a young upstart, a Big Break contestant, the man with the shortest putter, (28 in.), a rookie of the year candidate, and the group of veterans you'd expect heading into the last lap of the 2008 season, the final round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic.

Steve Marino is bogey free for the tournament and his 66 today left him tied with Scott

Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart - Round Three
Verplank, who slipped with a 69. Hard to believe that a 69 would get you going backwards, but it did today. Both are tied at -19. Davis Love III shot 64 today to claim solo 2nd place, -17, going into Sunday. Tied for 5th spot at-16 were Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, Robert Garrigus, he of the midget putter, and Troy Matteson, whose 69 today backed him up from 2nd to 5th. Locked in 8th position at -14 were Ken "Of Hazard" Duke, Robert Gamez, last spotted at the Hope, Jason Gore, and Kevin Streelman.

Notables that didn't make the weekend were Steve Elkington, Daniel Chopra, Jesper Parnevik, Bubba Watson, Brad Adamonis, Charles Warren, Ryan Moore, Jay Williamsom, and Fred Couples. Adamonis, Warren, and Williamson shot themselves in the foot and out of the chase for their 2009 Tour card. Spots 126-150 have some provisional status though, especially in the lesser events that play at the same time as the big tournaments. Still, I'm sure they're all crestfallen. I've been just dying to use crestfallen in Average Golfer.

The back nine tomorrow will show you how PGA players do or don't handle pressure. Anyone that's near the magic 125 has to be trying to figure what he has to shoot to be in the club. Geez, as if golf's not head game enough.

Til' next,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2009 Augusta National Changes Announced.

On Tuesday, November 4th, the Greenjackets formally announced the physical changes to Augusta National that will affect the 2009 Masters. Average Golfer had hoped they would steer the layout away from the "world's largest green bowling alley concept" that's been all the rage. Reviving the phrase "The Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday" has also been bandied about. You be the judge.

Here's a list of the changes that we think will make a difference in the venerable event;

Til' next,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PGA Pros' Last Shot at 125 - 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic

Let me preface by saying I'm an advocate of the Children's Miracle Network. Kind of hard not to be, but my interests are parochial. My brother is a pediatric trauma physician in Hartford, CT. His immense concern and actions have made me aware of all sorts of children's health issues. Thank you John.

Back to the action. the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort this week is the penultimate in pressure cookers for pros on the bubble. Stephen Hawing might struggle to explain all the mathematical possibilities and permutations, so I won't even attempt. We'll clue you in on numbers 120-130, the players with the immediate needs. Here we go.....

  • 120 - Brad Adamonis - Has had a nice year. Needs a decent finish to stay in top 125.
  • 121 - Tim Petrovic - 39th in birdies. At a birdie fest course.
  • 122 - Nick Watney - Best finishes were early in year. Better regroup.
  • 123 - Michael Allen - T3 at Timberlake. Needs that magic at Magic Kingdom.
  • 124 - Shane Bertsch - 20 of 28 cuts. Just one top ten.
  • 125 - Jeff Overton - Bubble Boy himself. Appendectomy recently. Waiting for medication approval from last week by PGA.
  • 126 - Martin Laird - Scotsman shouldn't be in this position. 3 top tens in '08.
  • 127 - Charles Warren - The other Charles. 3rd in FBR, T10 at Turning Stone.
  • 128 - David Toms - Has career exemptions to fall back on. Don't worry, you'll see him in '09.
  • 129 - Patrick Sheehan - Never won. Can make birdies in bunches.
  • 130 - Mark Calcavecchia - Didn't expect him here. Lots of nagging injuries.
Find the up to date money list here.

Notables with a chance.....

136, Jason Gore, Needs to be the Gore of old.
138, Jason Day, Remember, he's 19 years old!
139, Rich Beem, Hard to picture tour without him. Larger than life.
142, Jesper Parnevik, See Beem.
144, Chris DiMarco, Injury train. Pulling for him.
148, Todd Hamilton, Open Championship seems eons ago.
149, John Huston, Perhaps can ride last week's momentum.
157, Aaron Olberholser, Another injury plagued year.
163, Chris Riley, '06 Ryder Cupper. Taken big fall.
168, Carlos Franco, White hot for a while. Love to watch his game.
217, David Duval, Win might not even get him in.

Plenty of drama on a birdie laden golf course. Should be a great way to see the PGA Tour for the last time in 2008. So, unless the Silly Season is your bag, tune in for this one.

Til' next,

*Average Golfer tidbit......The Children's Miracle Network was founded in 1983 by the Osmond family and John Schneider.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day at Average Golfer - Vote Early and Often.

Forget the presidency. Let's vote on some issues that really matter. Face it, the president doesn't actually have much power by themselves other than the veto button and the armed forces when we've declared a state of conflict/war. I'm calling on all red-blooded citizens of the world to cast their vote on questions whose consequences will reverberate through the halls of time and have some real world impact. "If it ain't golf, it don't matter!" -Average Golfer, 2001.

I'll post the final tallies within a few days of Election Day. Cast those ballots and they'll be tallied via the comments section or email me at

1. Proposition 1, Mulligans.

A. What took so long?
B. Never.

2. Proposition 13, Tim Finchem for US Secretary of the Treasury.

A. Now we'll have some cash.
B. Now we'll really go broke.

3. Proposition 20, Free golf.

A. It's a human right.
B. It'll bring icky people to my course.

4. Proposition 31, Outlaw cargo shorts on the course.

A. They're ruining golf's precious image.
B. We can't afford to turn anyone away.

5. Proposition 39, Separate sex rounds mandatory.

A. Here, here!
B. My wife/girlfriend would slice my throat in my sleep.

6. Declaration 4, Throw out the slow players!

A. About freakin' time.
B. Hey, who you callin' slow!

7. Proposition 52, Ban cliche interviews with pro golfers.

A. Yes, they make my hair hurt.
B. No, then there wouldn't be any interviews at all.

8. Coronation 63, Name your poster child for World Golf.

A. John Daly.
B. Paula Creamer.
C. Write-in __________.

9. Abomination 47, What do you hate most about the golf culture?

A. Snobbiness.
B. Inclusion.

10. Survey 101, This year my game........

A. Improved.
B. Sucked worse than ever.
C. Stayed the same, hum-drum.

11. Question 29, Who would you rather play a round with? It's play a round, not play around.

A. Obama
B. McCain
C. Ralph Nader
D. Ron Paul
E. Hillary

12. Inebriation Ballot 4, Drinking should be mandatory on the course.

A. You mean it's not?
B. Demon drink kills rounds.

Thank you for your anticipated participation. All results will be kept confidential unless otherwise noted. Your email addresses and website info will absolutely not be sold, unless of course Average Golfer receives a mind blowing offer.

Til' next,

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ryan Palmer Birdies the 18th to Win Ginn.

What a difference a day makes. Gee, that would make a great song title. Resurgent Ryan Palmer reversed his 18th hole result from yesterday to separate himself from a bevy of golfers and win the Ginn sur Mer Classic. A pack of six golfers were at one time tied at -6 with two holes left. Palmer's -1, 71 was just enough to squeak by 3rd round leader Michael Letzig, George McNeill,

Legends Reno-Tahoe Open - Round Three
Vaughn Taylor, and Nicholas Thompson, all of whom finished at -6. At -5 was a second bevy of five players. To say anyone one of these eleven had a chance to win the damn thing in the last few holes would be an understatement.

Palmer began his week as a Monday qualifier and firmly planted in 143th position on the Tour money list. The pay check and the two year exemption for the win have turned his bus around. A throw- in trip to Maui for next year's start is just a bonus. Next week's Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort will be the final shot at finishing inside the top 125 and keeping your card for 2009. Wonder what has more pressure, Q school, that tournament, or playing a ten dollar Nassau with five bucks in your pocket? At the very least it'll be interesting.

Til' next,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Duval Slides, Palmer Chokes, Letzig Leads at Ginn sur Mer Classic.

The scramble for the 125th position on the PGA Tour money list is in full combat mode at the Ginn sur Mer Classic in Palm Coast, FL. 2nd round leader Ryan Palmer hit an ill advised driver off the deck on the par five 18th hole. Palmer's errant blast drowned left and short on a hole that no one had reached in two shots all day. Then again, bogeying 3 of his last 4 didn't help. David Duval slipped to a third round 74, including a double bogey, that left him tied for 14th place after having started the day two shots back. Michael Letzig stood to the challenge and birdied 3 of his last 6 holes en route to a -2, 70, 209. That gave him a single stroke cushion over Kenneth Ferrie, 67, and John Huston, 70. Huston made the field as the third alternate.

PGA TOUR - Fry's.Com Open

"Bubble Notes".....Here's the pre-Ginn money standings for the players at or near the top of this week's leader board and a couple of note; Michael Letzig, 109, Kenneth Ferrie, 186, John Huston, 168, Ryan Palmer, 143, David Duvall, 223. Of note, Greg Norman was at 147. Shoulda played I suppose.

Til' next,