Saturday, January 29, 2011

Farmers Insurance Open, 3rd Round - Cream Rises

All the guys whose names I couldn't remember faded today during the 3rd round of the Farmers Insurance Open. They were instead replaced by more familiar monikers like Mickelson, Mahan, Watson, and Kim. Ideal conditions, albeit sneaky, tough greens, meant the day was tailor made for experience. Unless your name was Woods or Daly.

Bill Haas kept a tentative hold on 1st with a -1, 71, -12 total. Phil's superb 68 matched him and will plant them in the final group tomorrow. An apt test for young Haas. Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson are just one back at -11. Anthony Kim's injury concerns seem to be alleviated and he sits at -10. Jhonattan Vegas evidently hasn't heard that he's a tour rookie. -9 puts him within sniffing distance. Pressure doesn't appear to affect the young Venezuelan and that alone may serve him well and the more prominent names battle ahead of him tomorrow. The guy's got it in the bank already for 2011 with an early victory.

The "Farmers" title fit Mr. Woods to a tee today as he hacked, blasted, skulled, and otherwise looked like he was only trying  to uproot soil on his way to an unremarkable 74, and an 8 shot deficit. Hope the tomatoes come out OK. Time will tell. For the historians in the crowd, this was Woods' first over par round at Torrey Pines since 2002. I can't discern much difference in Woods' current struggles vs the expected troubles last year in the wake of the meltdown. Take two weeks off then quit? His tour buddies claim he's "close" and "right there". They've been saying that for some time. Since last year as I recall. Mr. Daly imploded with a 76 that'll get him out from in front of the camera tomorrow. He's tied with El Tigre, -4.

Interesting enough event thus far. I'll tune in on a Sunday afternoon without much else happening. Will you?

Til' next,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Farmers Insurance Open, 2nd Round - Commentary and Insight

A tumultuous last 45 days has left me in career limbo. Tough on the wallet, but perfect for watching early season golf. You see, one door closes, another one opens. I managed to catch a good share of the Farmers Insurance Open's first two rounds. I typically don't care much for the season opening money grabs. Sure, Hawaii's beautiful on TV, but I've been there so it pales. The Hope has sunk to Nationwide Tour status unfortunately. Evidently the golf heroes don't care to play five round tourneys and the greens aren't in late season form. God forbid they have to putt on less than bathtub greens. So, off to Torrey, a US Open venue, with Tiger and Phil, but conspicuously missing the world's #s 1, 2 and 4. Hey, you can't be everywhere at once!

Observations for those who missed........

  • John Daly has to be the early story. A T3 with a 69 today that included a four putt. Dalyesque. The pants are hideous. I can't wait til he wins and a better sponsor courts him.
  • Bill Haas may have realized he's a pretty good player. Playoff last week and the lead by two so far here may cement it for him.
  • Tiger Woods today managed to make me look like a damn good bunker player. He ain't the old Woods yet. Only time will tell if he can regain the form. Nobody looks too intimidated when partnered with him. I wasn't scared watching him either.
  • Kelly Tilghman continued her love affair with Woods though. We were interminably reminded how Woods "loves" the venue and has "dominated" here since the course opened. Guess that squashes those hints that Kelly plays for the other team.
  • Rickie Fowler needs a mirror, or a new line of golf pajamas.
  • I'm pulling for Bubba Watson, as per usual. Just have always liked him. His 65 on the North Course brought him very much into the picture.
  • I was particularly taken by the shot of the massive RV park between the course and the ocean. Reminds me of home. I forgot which hole it was planted on. Or which course.
  • I must admit I've never heard of Michael Connell. He just missed the cut by one shot. I think I may have played in a scramble with him in '01.
  • Jhonattan Vegas may be turning out to be a real player. Still, his folks can't spell.
  • Dean Wilson DQ'd at 149. Too bad, would have tied him with Duffy Waldorf, safely 9 shots from last. BTW, Duffy's shirts seem rather bland now, don't they?
  • Colt Knost's 78 today tied his number of runs through the breakfast buffet.
  • Yesterday's crowd of about 200 swelled to maybe 275 today. Must all be at Charlie Sheen's house.
  • Rocco Mediate wasn't able to duplicate his '08 heroics. He has the weekend to search for answers. I have a feeling he'll win something this year though.
  • I'll watch tomorrow, unless the laundry runs over or my pipes freeze again.

'Til Next,