Stricker, 65, 67, 61, 62, -33. Perez, 61, 63, 67, 67, -30. Robert Garrigus, Vaughn Taylor, and Bubba Watson all tied at -26. Imagine being at -26 and finding yourself 7 shots behind the leader. That's the situation at the Bob Hope Classic, where making pars will find you falling behind. Stricker has 36 pars and 34 birdies. The way he's played the last two days, his birdie total could beat his pars. A pair of 67s saw Perez lose 11 strokes to Stricker in the last two rounds. Ridiculous.
A combination of benign weather, perfect greens, and pin placements set up for the large amateur field has led to a golf tournament where par has been vaporized. It's just a number, albeit not a very influential one. One can argue that it's made a travesty of this vaunted game, or one could say it's like having 8 foot baskets in the NBA. No matter, the number of strokes will still decide the victor. Regardless, it gives a nudge to the front runners for the Vardon trophy.
Watch if you love a birdie parade. Don't watch if you're a purist. All I would ask is, at the end of January, when it's a million below zero in much of the nation, with the Super Bowl a week away, what else is the Average Golfer going to watch?
*PS - I wonder where the scores would be if the world's best played in this event?