Sunday, February 28, 2010

Calcavecchia Wins Waist Management Phoenix Open

Mark Calcavecchia, despite finishing 9 strokes behind the title event winner Hunter Mahan, captured the adjunct tournament, the Waist Management Open, with a final round 74, -7 total, and 250+ pounds at Thursday's weigh- in. Calc's 1st victory of the season proved he's still a force to be reckoned with as he approaches 50 and that "other" tour. Calc was quoted as remarking after his victory, "Hey, just walking 18 holes should count as a win. If it's hilly it should count as a major." Pre-tourney favorite John Daly was disqualified for having lost too much weight after his recent lap band surgery. There's no truth to the rumor though that Daly, Camilo Villegas, and Charles Howell III will be forming a separate tour for players under 135 lbs. By the way, Hunter Mahan captured his 2nd career PGA win in the regular event, finishing at -16. Final WMPO results.

Ice Cream! Get Your Ice Cream!

Make mine a double scoop with sprinkles. Who could fault the uninitiated from mistaking this pair for a couple of ice cream vendors. I'm no fashion plate and have no bone to pick with tour pro's ensembles, but does the likes of Puma, et al, expect these get ups to translate to public sales? Color me skeptical. What I'd really love to see is Calcavecchia in Fowler's duds. On second thought...

Til' next,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Women's Olympic Curling Eclipses Golf

They play hooks and cuts at will. My hooks and cuts are unintentional. They gracefully slide down the ice gently releasing a rather large boulder with skill and precision on an intended line. I shove a too small white ball on grass on no discernible line. They're attractive. Male golfers are not.

For the better part of the last week I've discovered women's Olympic curling. I must confess there's still much to learn about this quasi-sport, but I'll have to wait another four years to get my degree. In between Olympic games you couldn't find curling with both hands. The Canadian women lost 7-6 in 10 "ends" to the Swedes in this evenings gold medal final. Think of "ends" as innings in baseball.  Heartbreaking. You see I'd semi fallen in love with the Canadian "skipper", Cheryl Bernard. I'm sure I'm at the end of a long line, but smitten nonetheless. Something about women in athletic casual wear, sliding on ice with big rocks, that gets my motor running. Be careful who you "Google" however, as my bubble burst with an audible hiss when I discovered that Ms Bernard was married. Probably to some weenie she met on the curling court. Or is that rink, or stadium, or pitch?

I added "In the house", "peeler", and "On the button" to my lexicon. Pity I now have to wait four years to show them off. Pity as well that my so-called life has disintegrated to this level. Bullcrap! No excuse to watch attractive women stretch and slide is a bad excuse.

Til' next,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Woods' Mea Culpa Seemed Sincere

As apologies go this one appeared to have covered all the bases, family, friends, fans, sponsors. Tiger Woods' public apology ran the gamut. In the interest of rehab and recovery, it had to. Whether one believes him is probably a matter of your opinion of him before the speech. I don't think any popularity polls were changed in the twelve or so minutes that he spoke. Like any other change of direction in life, the stated behaviors are one thing, the proof is in doing. Rightly, he admitted as much. Woods faces the challenge of time in that regard. His problems didn't develop in twelve minutes, nor will they be repaired that quickly. Still, if you're a Tiger backer, today's outpouring was a necessary first step in the journey.

I heard it remarked that it must have been excruciatingly difficult for Woods to take to the podium today and bare his indiscretions to a world-wide audience. To that I say it should have been. Any pain Woods felt has been multiplied by what's been felt by his family. From a purely humanistic side I hope he was genuine and have no reason to believe he wasn't. I was especially glad to hear that's he's evidently realized his behavior on the course had become boorish. I was also struck while watching the proceedings by the shots of his mother sitting in the front row. She appeared relatively stern, arms tightly folded across her chest, almost dismissive of what her son was saying. Moms hold a lot of power over their male offspring. Maybe this one is an important factor in righting the son's course.

I've contended all along that Woods' troubles were of little concern to me outside of the sympathy I had for the innocents involved, namely his family. Still, I'd have been remiss if I hadn't commented on this leg of the Woods saga. The one thing I wanted to hear most today didn't occur. When is he putting the peg in the ground next?

Til' next,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiger Woods to Regurgitate Apology on Friday

"Tiger Woods will be speaking to a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at 11:00 a.m. EST on Friday at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future, and he plans to apologize for his behavior."  

When I began reading the above quote on his website it sounded like a pitch for an original poetry recital or motivational seminar. I reckon that after nearly three months in a vacuum the Team Woods spin doctors have haggled over every letter and nuance. Should I have expected anything less? No questions will be allowed, so this is merely a prepared statement where the only real question to be answered is "When's he teeing it up again?" We know about the past, no one can predict the future, and the only apology that matters in this average golfer's mind is the special one between him and his family.

So Tiger, Arnie's place or Augusta?

Til' next,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Odds and Expert Picks

Bing Crosby's ghost will be out this week for the 72 hole Pro-Am known as "The Clambake". B list stars and Hollywood Hackers will vie on three Monterrey Peninsula courses, MPCC Shore Course (replacing Poppy Hills), Spyglass Hill, and the namesake, Pebble Beach Golf Links. Pebble will host the 2010 US Open later this summer. I don't know how much of a tune-up this will provide for the Open. Expect a firmer, drier course in the summer with slicker greens and much longer rough.
As is our tradition here at Average Golfer, Ladbrokes supplies the odds, we supply the expert commentary. Without further ado, let's handicap some golfers....

Phil Mickelson, 8:1 - Not the way he's played lately. Phil pops out after tough stretches in the beginning of the year though. Should win.

Retief Goosen, 14:1 - Indicative of the weak field. 2nd in odds. I never get a handle on this guy. Perhaps an android. Could win.

Jim Furyk, 20:1 - Hasn't won in a while. Slipping in rankings. Won't win.

Dustin Johnson, 20:1 - Defends here. Slick game for a basher. Could win.

Sean O'Hair, 25:1 - Still appears a little tight. Very deliberate. Could win.

Luke Donald, 25:1 - Good result last week at Riviera. Seems soft to me, lacking killer instinct. Happy with Top 10s. Won't win.

Matt Kuchar, 25:1 - Strong since last year. like him here a lot. Potential winner.

Padraig Harrington, 25:1 - Other than last year's PGA, really hasn't played all that well. Still, 3rd World Ranked player here. Could win.

Tim Clark, 25:1 - Perennial overacheiving bridesmaid. Would find a way to lose when ahead. Won't win.

Sergio Garcia, 25:1 - I've quit on Garcia. Needs head transplant. Could win, won't.

Mike Weir, 25:1 - If the putter gets hot.......

Nick Watney, 40:1 - Like him better than 40:1. Good all around game. Possible winner.

DL III, 40:1 - Nostalgia pick. Putter hasn't been sharp at all. Still strikes it as well as anyone. Won't win.

Hunter Mahan, 40:1 - Should have more wins at this point. may be addicted to his mirror. Probably won't win.

Vijay, 40:1 - Past winner. Rounding into form after injury. Not there yet. Won't win.

Brandt Snedeker, 40:1 - May be the nicest guy on Tour. Nice guys finish...

JB Holmes, 40:1 - Makes molasses seem fast. 6 hour pro-am rounds should suit him. Could win.

Celebs slated to play include NFLers Tom Brady and Tony Romo. The ubiquitous Kenny G and Michael Bolton. Of course Bill Murray, whose golf act has run a little thin for my tastes. The rest of the stars on the roster make The Who at the Superbowl halftime show seem fresh.

Average Golfer Picks

1. Kuchar
2. Pat Perez
3. Mickelson

Sleeper Pick.......Brian Gay

There you have 'em. Bet early and often!

Til' next, 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mickelson Cheats? - Daly Quits?

Scott McCarron dodged the issue of whether he labeled Phil Mickelson a cheater for using vintage wedges this weekend in the Farmers' Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Today McCarron's statement read..... “it’s cheating” for Mickelson and anyone else to use the Ping wedges, “I never called Phil Mickelson a cheater.” Wow, that makes Bill Clinton's interpretation of "is" seem downright sensible. As a wise man once uttered, "Tis' better to appear a fool and keep one's mouth shut, then open it and remove all doubt". Mickelson's not so veiled allusion to possible legal action regarding McCarron's statement may have forced today's rehash from the belly putter user.

Obviously the clubs in question didn't offer Phil much help on Sunday as he shoved the ball around for a smooth 73. In his cookie cutter post-round interview he claimed, as always, that he'd hit the ball better than the score indicated. Evidently Phil's hoping for a move to Olympic type scoring where style points count at least as much as getting the ball in the hole. This average golfer believes that Phil was stretching the limits of the rules, but playing within them.  His rep may take a dent, although I'm sure in his pre-game calculations he took that into consideration. Any thought that his playing of the Pings was an intentional message to the PGA regarding the new rules was scrapped by his crash/burn finish. I'm sure he'd trade the "message" for a Sunday 65. Phil's always been a grandstander. Why now would we expect any different?

Big John Daly's image didn't suffer an iota when he announced that he'd quit the game after missing the cut in the aforementioned tournament. Daly's image was already somewhere south of gutter before he struck his first shot. The "lovable lug" act has been used up. He was right in proclaiming that he's been taking spots in events that would be better served going to young up and comers. Unfortunately, like many times before, Daly retracted his words the following day. Now we'll have to be subjected to wayward drives and a non-existent short game for a while longer. As if that's not enough, the Golf Channel is continuing to prostitute Daly in again another upcoming series. I tried to watch his last one, but grew weary of watching a grown man smoke cigarettes, drink beer, play bad guitar, and sleep. As a guitarist myself, it was the lame rendition of Knockin' On Heaven's Door that made my hair hurt.

Daly had a chance last fall to redeem himself. With no official PGA status, relying on car wreck audiences for sponsor exemptions, he could have entered Q School. Had he done so he would have at least proven his desire to honor the game and the fellow players that work so hard to get to the big show. Even had he failed he would have performed surgery on his reputation and garnered lost respect, not to mention that the exemptions would still be there to fall back on. Instead he took the easiest route with least required effort. Look, this is my shocked face.

Til' next,