Monday, September 26, 2011

Solheim and FedUp Cup Post Mortems


Before you roast Rosie Jones for playing Cristie Kerr in the first four matches of the 2011 Solheim Cup with a bad wrist consider... I'd guess Cristie said she was ready to play, period. Secondly, would the US squad be in the position they were in going into Sunday singles had Kerr sat? Who knows, doesn't matter. If Michelle Wie had won her match and others contributed, they could have won regardless. The Euros outplayed them on the day that usually counts and that's a wrap. The theory that the Euros should have have called Kerr's singles match a draw in the spirit of fair play is bunk. Michael Vick got hurt on Sunday and I wasn't expecting the Giants to give back any points. Congrats to the Euros and their win will make the next match all the more compelling.


Way to go Bill! Young Haas seems like a nice enough fellow. I have no evidence to the contrary to suggest there might have been a more deserving winner. $11,400.000 is a nice haul. That and the associated exemptions should serve Bill well for a long time to come. The cynic in me sees the FedUp Cup as a pure money grab. I don't see anyone that played at East lake this past weekend having to contact Social Services in the near future. Only by hedge fund manager's standards do they fall short. Nice work if you can get it.  The flip side says though that meaningless golf would have been played otherwise had there been no Cup. Let the meaningless golf begin now then. Not meaningless though if you're a pro struggling to keep his card and explaining to the wife and your backers that you really can play this confounding game.

Haas threw a monkey wrench into Fred Couples' final President's Cup selection though, making the Haas/Bradley decision a tougher one. I reckon the best out would be if Steve Stricker decides his own shoulder problem, coupled with hunting season, takes him out of the mix allowing Bradley and Haas to notch their passports with an Australian stamp. That way only Brandt Snedeker is pissed. It will bee nice though to see all of Tiger Woods' caddies, Fluff, Williams, and the newly appointed Joe LaCava share a locker room.

Swing hard, look right....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday Singles to Decide Solheim Cup - John Daly and R.E.M.

The US squad staged a furious rally in afternoon fourball matches, (That's best ball to us Yanks), and tied the 2011 Solheim Cup at 8 points per side. Sunday singles will decide the whole shootin' match. The US holds a prohibitive 69-42-13 overall record in singles play. As far as this Average Golfer can tell, the key match-ups should be Wie/Pettersen, with an under-performing Wie facing a Euro juggernaut, Davies/Inkster, with a combined age of 98 and never having met head to head in Cup play, and perhaps Kerr/Stupples. It's not that Kerr shouldn't beat Stupples, she should. Stupples has played like the Big Breaker, rather than Ryann O'Toole. It's that Rosie Jones placed Kerr in the last match of the day, where her tenacity may be wasted. See the full line-up here.

Hey John Daly! "Get in the taxi." 

I used to like John Daly. Hell, I used to like Wild Turkey too. Daly's latest display of ignorance on someone else's dime is just confirmation of what should be inevitable. Hey Big John, like R.E.M., the taxi's been out front for quite some time.   

Break some shoelaces, they'll make more...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Solheim Time

Once every two years the ladies duke it out for intercontinental supremacy in their golf world. Solheim time at Killeen Castle, Ireland, 9/23 - 9/25. 12 on 12, US vs. Europe for the Solheim Cup, courtesy of Karsten Solheim, PING founder, who developed the idea and hatched it in 1990. The US has won 8 of the 11 events held, but this year's match up appears to be relatively even with the added advantage for the Euros of being on home turf. It's truly a must see if you're even half a golf fan. The intensity and will to win displayed by both squads makes the men's President's Cup seem like thumb wrestling.

An indication of the worldwide spread of golf, men's and women's, presents a little conundrum in all international team events, but really strikes a chord in the Solheim Cup. You see, 5 of the top 10 ladies in the Rolex World Rankings are Asian, of course led by World #1 Yani Tseng.  Obviously this wasn't the case in 1990, but it sure is now. I think the women should lead their male counterparts and alter future Solheim matches to reflect this global shift and have an all inclusive set of matches. The LPGA sure could use a boost with it's number of annual tourneys nearly sliced in half. After all, what good is 1st place when the best team(s) didn't compete. Regardless, for this year make the Cup a priority on your TV. You won't regret it.

Average Golfer will update results later in the week and provide insightful and hilarious commentary as is expected.

Don't sweat it, they'll make more.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How To Win Your Next Scramble

First let me qualify the following by admitting that winning a golf scramble is a crapshoot. Sandbagged handicaps are the main culprit and the subject of another article. Still, there a few things that can be done to increase your odds of taking home the trophy, most likely a beer logo-ed golf bag and a sleeve of RockFlites. I'm working under the Average Golfer's scramble scenario, meaning a team handicap at 36 to 40+. So, kill the TV and pay attention. I'm only going to say this once.

Putting Wins Scrambles. Most scramble teams get it around pretty good from tee to green. Most make their putts from inside 6 or so feet. The difference between a -8 and -12 final score is the seven to sixteen footers that the winners drain. Pros don't make half of these. Your team needs to make most of them. The 50 ft. snakes are pure luck, even with four whacks at it. Save that for the only skin, which is the only real money in a scramble anyway. Make sure your team has at least two very good putters and have them putt last, unless of course anyone putting ahead of them is so bad that you don't want their putt witnessed.

Take Short Game Over Long Game. Similar to putting  strategy in scrambles, short shots are mucho importanto. Even at 40+ your team should be on nearly every green in regulation or just off. An eagle chip-in shaves strokes in a hurry. In a word, just be sure every team member is adequate in the short game. Four decent chances from just off the green is all you want here.

Women And Seniors Welcome. A woman or a senior that can tattoo the ball from their respective tees is invaluable. Nuff' said. (If they can chip or putt make them the captain).

Yes, Having A Hitting Order Helps. Differing theories abound on this one. Does Dr. Pressure hit 1st to ease the vise? Should the best putter go 1st to show the line to the remaining three? Hard to say. The dynamics of four golfers with divergent personalities and styles is tough to pigeon hole. I would assume that all members of the group are well acquainted, friends even. Therefore, y'all are probably familiar with each other's tendencies and habits. My solution is to pick a captain and have him/her make all relevant decisions, i.e. hitting order. People like to know their roles in a group. Give 'em one.   

Get Those Mandatory Drives Out Of The Way. Sure his/her drive was 40 yards shorter than everyone else's, but, if you can advance it, play it. Nothing kills a good scramble score than having to use the 25 handicapper's drives on the last two holes. Exception, par fives, where length matters. 

The Tour's Not Calling. In my town one could play in a scramble of some type virtually every day of the week. Often it's the only tournament setting that the weekend warrior will find himself in. Resist the urge to take yourself or the event too seriously. I've got that part handled by remembering that the last scramble my team placed in I took home a new golf towel and got to see my name misspelled in the local paper. I limit my scramble tourneys to charities I favor or events that have been particularly fun in the past.

Now I realize I've just scratched the surface here. Please add your scramble tips and perhaps we'll have a definitive guide.....

Don't sweat it, they'll make more.