Sunday, February 27, 2011

Luke Donald - WGC Accenture Match Play Champion

He never saw the 18th hole all week. He never trailed in any of his six matches. He beat the newly crowned world # 1 player Martin Kaymer 3 and 2 in the final. He ascended to #3 in the world rankings. Quite a week for Luke Donald. $1.4 million on top of that won't hurt either.  

Laser iron shots and impeccable putting were Donald's secrets. That they held up for six rounds is amazing. The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship hasn't seen this sort of domination.Donald's always been known as sort of nice player, but an underachiever based on talent. He referenced that in the post match interview,  "It feels amazing," Donald said. "I had a bit of a monkey on my back. I hadn't won in the U.S. in five years."

Overnight snow gave Dove Mountain a bizarre look. Not that it's nor bizarre in it's own right. The place looks like someone dropped outdoor carpeting on the moon. A mid-round sleet storm just added to the weirdness exuded by the place. I can think of twenty better spots to hold an event of this magnitude without even trying. I hope the rumors of a move are true.

Matt Kuchar prevailed over Bubba Watson 2 and 1 in the consolation match.  

Lots of compelling golf. Well worth the watch. Next up, The Honda Classic. Pretty good field for what used to be weak sister event. 

Swing hard, look up,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kaymer/Donald Final at Accenture Match Play

Martin Kaymer sealed the OWGR # 1 spot and bought himself a ticket to tomorrow's final at the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship, besting Bubba Watson on the last hole of the semi-final. The match was neck and neck most of the way with Kaymer calmly sinking a 5 footer on 18 for the win. The German had earlier beaten Miguel Angel Jimenez 1 up, surviving a furious rally by the Spaniard who had been down most of the match. Watson outlasted, and I mean outlasted, JB Holmes after having been down five holes through ten played. Holmes imploded in the style he'd done years earlier with Tiger Woods. Holmes is a snail on the course and never was it so evident as today. 45 minutes to play two holes as Holmes made side trips through the Arizona desert. At lease no one will have to suffer through a repeat Holmes performance in tomorrow's consolation match.  

Kaymer will face Luke Donald in the finale. Donald surgically dissected both Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar to earn his berth in the championship match. He whipped Moore 5 and 4, had some lunch, then returned to barbecue Kuchar 6 and 5. All Donald does this week is hit greens and make virtually every putt he looks at. Good formula for match play.  

Expect an interesting match with a good contrast in styles. Donald's precision vs. Kaymer's power. The early word is that some extreme weather may be passing through the venue with a threat of snow. I'd hate to see weather make a difference, but Kaymer's power would pay off in difficult conditions. That being said, I'm pulling for Donald. 

Swing hard, look up,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Watson - Holmes Bombfest on Tap at Accenture World Match Play

Hide the women and children tomorrow, or at least cover their eyes. Bubba Watson and JB Holmes will tee it up together in a quarterfinal match at the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship. Watson destroyed two-time winner Geoff Ogilvy, 6 and 4. Holmes beat Jason Day 1 up to set up tomorrow's slugfest. Should be the must see match of the day. On a course playing up to 7,800 yds. both Watson and Holmes are approaching most greens with wedges. Nice advantage on the firm surfaces. Should lead to a whole new mob of amateurs swinging out of their shoes. Fun.

Also tomorrow, Matt Kuchar vs YE Yang. Yang dispatched Graeme McDowell 3 and 2, while Kuchar bested Phil-slayer Rickie Fowler 2 and 1. Miguel Angel Jimenez meets Martin Kaymer in the "opposites attract" match, Jimenez having sent home Ben Crane 7 and 6, almost mirroring the tattooing Crane laid on Rory McIlroy yesterday. Ben apparently had some sort of experience overnight and couldn't channel his inner golfer. Kaymer bested Hunter Mahan 2 and1 with Mahan doing his best to reenact his chili-dipped chip shot from the Ryder Cup on the 17th hole. Finally Luke Donald will meet Ryan Moore in the last quarterfinal. Donald sending the 17 yr. old Manassero home 3 and 2, while Moore outlasted Nick Watney in 19 holes in the only match to go overtime today.      

Love to see The Mechanic send Kaymer home.Other than that, strictly red, white, and blue. Watson's been so smooth, he looks unbeatable. Of course the same could have been said about Ben Crane yesterday. Match play, gotta see it.   

Swing hard, look up,  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Someone Moved The Furniture On Tiger Woods.

We've all been there. 2 AM, thirsty as hell. Leave the lights off, don't wake the family, down the stairs on remote control, just like we've done a thousand times before. It's the only thing in the world we can do blind. Past the first chair, ease by the couch, into the dining room. Your tongue is stuck to the roof of your dry mouth like a week-old band aid. You can taste the OJ and you're still a good 20 feet from the fridge. Navigate one last room and you're home free. Disaster. The computer desk right in the @%#&ing crucial spot(s). Who vacuums behind that damn thing anyway?

That's where Tiger Woods found himself after his 19th hole tee shot nearly left the planet. After a match equalizing birdie on 18, one would believe a 3 wood to the fairway would be child's play for the legend and keeping with his assassin persona. Not in the cards. The wayward 3 wood led to two more cripplers just to reach the fairway and double bogey, a very un-Woodsian finish to his opening round match with Thomas Bjorn at the Accenture World Match Play Championship. Truth is, neither player impressed, it's just that Woods impressed less. They both hit shots that were stunning in their ineptness and for a while I wasn't so sure either of them had a room booked for tonight.

Back to the woodshed for Mr. Woods. Hasn't found it yet. Welcome to golf.    

Best Round #2 Match to follow..............  Mickelson-Fowler

Swing hard, look up,

Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 WGC Accenture Match Play Championship - Odds and Expert Picks

Golf is tough enough to handicap. Match play is brutally impossible. Still, we soldier on. 64 men enter the cage, one exits. The vagaries are numerous. One bad hole doesn't eliminate anyone the way a multi-stroke deficit could crumble lesser opposition. A couple of lucky or bad bounces at the right or wrong time could be curtains and a weekend off. One day, one round with or against a hot putter could seal fate. That's the beauty of the deal and why we watch. The biggest risk of all this year, as always, is for the network covering the event. NBC wags will be holding their collective breaths for the first three rounds of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship praying for weekend pairings of players with gravitas. I'm thinkin' Brendan Jones and Richard Green aren't at the top of the wish list. 

As usual we'll list some Ladbrokes odds for the favorites and make some particularly insightful picks. They offer individual match odds as well as odds to win the whole shebang. I stress again though, this is a flat out crap shoot. Any success is coincidental and appreciated.  Download Your Blank Bracket

Here we go...

Phil Mickelson, 14/1 - This ain't Phil's cup of tea. Should get by Brendan Jones, then ??? Home by Friday.

Tiger Woods, 14/1 - John Cook says he's found it at home. He's not home. Tough bracket with Casey, Watson, D. Johnson Ogilvy, etc. Home on Friday.

Paul Casey, 16/1 - My pick to take it all. Good match player. Playing well. That's the list.

Lee Westwood, 16/1 - Tons of match play experience. World #1. Slow start to 2011. Can't get by Casey.

Martin Kaymer, 16/1 - Hard to argue. Putting wins these things, especially par savers. Could win.

Rory McIlroy, 16/1 - 1st time in states in 2011. Has the game. Possible.

Steve Stricker, 25/1 - Won 9 years ago. Not much since in this event. Would take a lot.

Luke Donald, 25/1 - Can't get by the 3rd round here. Don't see the streak ending.    

Dustin Johnson, 25/1 - Blow up hole wouldn't kill. Need a steely putter late in the rounds. Doubt it.

Graeme McDowell, 25/1 - Tough guy to against in format. I like him after Casey.

Rickie Fowler, 33/1 - Virgin appearance here. May do well, don't expect win.   

Matt Kuchar, 33/1 - Probably not his best format. Home by Thursday.    

Geoff Ogilvy, 33/1 - Big odds for two time winner. Finger OK. Will make noise.

Retief Goosen, 33/1 - I can never get a handle on Goose since US Opens. Flip a coin.  

Hunter Mahan, 33/1 - I keep waiting for the break out. Still waiting.   

Jim Furyk, 33/1 - As we know, fierce. Strangely mediocre at match play. Don't think so.

Ian Poulter, 33/1 - Huge odds for a defender. Better than he looks. Should make the weekend.    

Ernie Els, 33/1 - The "Big Easy I Don't Know". Must be a South African thing. Semis here in '01. Nothing since. No reason to expect differently.  

Average Golfer Pick

Paul Casey over Graeme McDowell

Keep your eyes on....  Stenson, (previous champ, late fill-in for Taniguchi),   Poulter, Rose, Watney, and Overton, (birdie machine, always helps in match play).

Bet early and often. Register pick complaints with Complaint Department, (Open Weds., Mar 23, 4:00-4:10 AM).

 Swing hard, look up,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Northern Trust Open Final - Baddeley

Aaron Baddeley, 29 year old Aussie, proved there can be life after the Stack & Tilt, and captured the 2011 Northern Trust Open. Baddeley kept the coolest head among the contenders and fired a -2, 69 to land at -12, a two stroke cushion over Vijay Singh. Aaron had attempted to revamp his swing a few years back in a quest for consistency. What he found was a lack of distance and a rather robotish look to the whole deal. Now he's back to the Badds of yore with an aggressive approach. Add that to what's always been a fearless attack on the hole with the putter and you have the recipe for today's win.    

The crowd had sided with Fred Couples before the pro am. Fred slid to a T7 finish with a tough 73 today. He ignited the crowd early opening with birdies on the first three holes to take the lead by one. His undoing was going five over in holes six through ten. Walking four rounds may have ultimately been Freddie's undoing. Champions Tour events are three round affairs, and although you'd never see it shown on TV, they can hop in a golf cart if they choose. Fred could have used a cart today. Still, an excellent showing by probably the best loved player in the last twenty years. Can't wait to see him again at the Masters.

Vijay Singh came in with a superb 69 to finish in sole 2nd at -10. Vijay looks rejuvenated after a tough couple of years handling nagging injuries and knee surgery. Expect him to be around at the top level for a few more years. Kevin Na, playing in honor of his cancer stricken father, landed in solo 3rd at -9. Na's one of the best ball strikers around and it's easy to forget he's been out here for eight years, having joined the tour at eighteen. Watching his face and body language I'd have to think he'd benefit from some outside help with his demeanor though. Golf's a marathon. Letting your misses carry over into the next shot is deadly. Na hits some beautiful shots. I'd love to see him break through.   Full Field Final Scores   

Tomorrow we'll begin analyzing and handicapping this weeks WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. 64 go in, 1 comes out.   

Swing hard, look up,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baddeley Leads After Northern Trust 3rd Round - Freddie, Na One Back

Aaron Baddeley did what my playing buddy Ken managed to do, ditched the Stack & Tilt. It paid off in spades today as Baddeley shot a -4, 67 to grab a one stroke lead over Fred Couples, (70), and Kevin Na, (67) at the Northern Trust Open. He looked like the Badds of old, striping drives, crisping irons. Couples was steady, if unremarkable, two birdies, one bogey, and a pantload of pars. Na notched an impressive seven birds on the way to his 67. Very much in the hunt was Vijay Singh after a strong 67, -8. At -6 and relevant tomorrow are Ryan Moore, John Senden, and Harrison Frazar. Frazar had the day's best round, 65. Corey Pavin, 76, and Phil Mickelson, 74, were today's crash and burners.       Final 3rd Round Scores

Tomorrow will decide the battle of the ages. Let's go Fred!

Swing hard, look up,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Freddie Leads Northern Trust - Jim Gray Misses Cut

A 94 foot eagle is a damn good way to start your round. Throw in a couple of 30 ft. birdie putts, stay bogey free, shoot 66, (-8), and lead the 2011 Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Oh, and happen to be Fred Couples, king of 50+ cool on the golf course and a lot of other places. That's where Freddie finds himself, two shots clear of John Senden and J.B Holmes. The 2nd round hadn't been fully completed, so expect some movement on the board by tomorrow AM. Senden's score was through 13 hole and a few players were in striking distance of Couples.   2nd Round Partial Scores

One man who didn't make the weekend was The Golf Channel's designated interviewer, the serially contentious Jim Gray. It seems Mr. Gray was a tad obnoxious in attempting to quiz Dustin Johnson's caddy about Johnson's missed 1st round tee time. Average Golfer has perused various and divergent accounts of the incident only to conclude that in the least Mr. Gray violated PGA Tour policy by interviewing during a round in progress. Seems simple enough to justify TGC's removal of Gray from their telecast. Hard to feel too bad for Gray. Not like it's his first dust up. Forrest Gump was right. Unconfirmed sources reported Mr. Gray leaving Riviera clutching a realtor training manual.

Can the fifty-something with the bad back hold up? That's the fun in watching for this fifty-something. Freddie stills bangs it out there with the young guys, has great hands around the greens, loves Riviera, and finally turned in his goofy putter for a semi-goofy one. If the putts fall he'll be catching a lot of face time come Sunday.  

Swing hard, look up,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Should Be Phil at Northern Trust Open

It's said that past performance is an indication of potential present success. If that's indeed the case then Phil Mickelson is the winner of the 2011 Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. Consecutive victories in 2008, and 2009 are the proof. Of course Phil isn't the only guy to win twice in a row. Macdonald Smith did it in 1927, 28, Ben Hogan in 1947, 48, Paul Harney in 1964, 65, Corey Pavin in 1994, 95, and Mike Weir as recently as 2003, 04. Weir and Pavin are here, so perhaps I'm presumptuous with the Phil pick. Truth is Phil typically wins at least once on the California swing and he's due. Predictions of rain will hamper the lighter hitters and make the bombers a premium. Bet the house on Phil, especially if you're underwater on your mortgage.  

If you're into longer shots, and who isn't, pony up on Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson for some of the aforementioned reasons.  If sentimentality's your bag, go with Fred Couples, a two-timer himself in 1990, 92. After all, he knows the course. Regardless, bet early and often. 2011 Full Field

Swing hard, look up,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spitting Should Be Allowed in Golf

All the talk over over Tiger Woods' Spitter-Gate. There's a simple solution..... Allow spitting, just insist the offender pick it up when finished. Bare-handed, no utensils. Worked with my kids. Should here as well.

Swing hard, look up,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

D.A. Points, Bill Murray Sweep at Pebble Beach National Pro Am

Kismet. (I've vowed not to use Cinderella story). D.A. Points and Bill Murray each captured their maiden victories at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am. Points shot 32 on the back nine including a spectacular hole-out eagle on the 14th hole that gave him the lead. He followed with a birdie on 15 and garnered a two shot cushion that he never relinquished. It's was Point's first PGA Tour victory. He's won four times on the Nationwide Tour. Points and Murray combined for 35 under to win the Am title by two. Must have been satisfying for Murray, who has become the legend celebrity at this party. Final Full Field Scores. Final Amateur Results.

Hunter Mahan sat on the clubhouse lead after firing a 66 and getting to -13. Steve Marino, the overnight leader, was the only man with a legit shot to catch Points after the 14th hole turnaround. Marino took the gas pipe however with a back nine 38 including an 8 on the 18th hole. Marino appeared visibly agitated by the wait between holes that are an inevitable part of celeb events. He's typically a guy that likes to play quickly, so you could see how the pace affected him. Remember that in your regular foursome at the local muni.

All in all a very pleasurable tourney. Hard to beat the Monterey Peninsula in the dead of a Northeast winter.

*Average Golfer mention..... Hard to ignore all the Caddyshack references this weekend thanks to Mr. Murray. I was fortunate to play a course in South Florida called Grande Oaks. It was named Rolling Hills Golf Club when they filmed Caddyshack there. 

Swing hard, look up,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3rd Round Notes From 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am

Spectacular day in an edenic setting. Celebrities, some Tom Foolery and general lightheartedness were the buzzwords at the ATTPBNPA today for the 3rd round. Between hole interviews and cut-ups were the norm and I might add refreshing in the stodgy world of professional golf on Midas courses. That being said...

It's Steve Marino's baby to lose as he chalked up a one stroke advantage for tomorrow's finale. He was +1 at Pebble today and sits at -12. One back at -11 are Bryce Molder, 14 at Spyglass and Jimmy Walker with a snake belly low -7 at Monterey. D.A., partnered with Bill Murray, salvaged a -1 at Pebble in what at one point could have been a disastrous round. Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan are at -7 with an outside shot.

Mark Wilson, Charley Hoffman, Mike Weir, and Paul Goydos all missed the cut. I almost made Goydos a dark horse pick. Phew.

Just in. John Daly missed the cut. Too bad, the blimp was using his pants for vector verification.

I listened to Kelly Tilghman early and Ian Baker Finch later. Now I'm diabetic. Thanks. 

The Lewis Carroll hat and janitor attire notwithstanding, I'm not sure Bill Murray's been outside in months until this weekend.    

George Lopez seemed to have a genuine axe to grind with David Feherty during their interview. May be an old Hispanic/Irish gang thing for all I know.  

Watching Hank Haney's ex-pupils might not be the ticket to getting his phone to ring.  

Think I'll pop a couple and catch the final round. Nice mid-winter antidote.

Swing hard, look up,

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Marino May Win a Big One at Pebble Beach National Pro Am

If you consider the Crosby Clambake to still be one of the big ones, Steve Marino might succeed where his namesake's Miami Dolphins fell short. Steve took a 4 shot lead into the 3rd round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am today with a sterling 66 at Pebble. That left him at -13 through two rounds and a 4 shot cushion over D.A. Points. Marino's only used 51 putts over the first two days and that's what provides the advantage. D.A. Points hung tough in solo second at -9. Keegan Bradley grasped 3rd on his own at -8. 9 golfers were at -7 including Arnie's grandson Sam Saunders and Padraig Harrington. Young Sam carded a 67 today to earn mention on the Golf Channel telecast. Marino and Harrington head to the Monterey Peninsula course considered the easiest of the three in the rota, for tomorrow's 3rd round. The tourney uses an unusual 54 hole cut policy. How about a 72 hole cut and a shoot out on Monday for the survivors?        


Hunter Mahan has quietly put himself in position at -7.

Phil Mickelson's at a rather pedestrian -4 through 16 today.

Tommy Gainey sits at -2 through 15 at this release. Pulling for Tommy with a super early projected cut of -1.

David Duval claims the "Sybil" round of the day following his opening 77 with a spectacular 65 and rests at even par.

Jim Furyk uncharacteristically off game at +1 through 16 at press time. 

John Daly imploded today with a 77 at Spyglass. Looks like he can spend the weekend watching TV on his golf bag. 

Great tourney so far.  The views at Pebble today were unmatched. Stark contrast to here.

Swing hard, look up, 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am, Round 1 - Journeymen Lead

Steve Marino and D.A. Points matched 7 under scores to share the lead after the 1st round of the ATTPBNPA. Marino's 65 at Pebble Beach and  Point's 63 at the par 70 Monterey Peninsula course were accomplished during near perfect conditions in this golf mecca. Alex Cejka, playing at Monterey, held solo 2nd with a -6, 64. Tom Gillis, Gary Woodland, and Keegan Bradley shared the next slot at -5. See what I meant by a distinct lack of big names near the top? Plenty of golf left though, so expect to see a lot of movement on the board in the coming days. Points and celeb partner Bill Murray shared second in the amateur fight with -11 score. Sounds like a winning scramble score at my course.

Notable's starting efforts included Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh at -3,   last week's everyman pick Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey at -1, and John Daly, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, and Dustin Johnson knotted at +1. Full Field 1st Round Scores.

My chuckle of the opening round had to be at the expense of ESPN's icon Chris Berman. He had a serious case of the rights on 18 at Pebble. Not that I can't relate. Gun toting luxury homeowners kept the mayhem to a minimum. I'm not certain who has the worst attack at the golf ball, Berman or Rush Limbaugh. I suppose it would be tough for Limbaugh to go any righter than he already is though. Advantage Rush.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro Am - Odds and Expert Picks

The APBNPA, aka The Dustin Johnson Invitational. Two time defender is the easy pick. We'll look for the tough ones. Bit of a watered down field with the world's top ranked 3 off in the Dubai desert  for a slurp at the appearance fee trough. Still, plenty of great players and Pebble's always a treat, even with tiny, slow, bumpy greens.

British betting house Ladbrokes again provides the odds. Average Golfer supplies the witty, insightful commentary.  

And we're off...

Phil Mickelson, 7/1 - How much more unpredictable can a man with this much talent get? We'll see. Loves the West coast. Should contend, won't win.

Dustin Johnson, 7/1 - All the tools. Gained valuable experience in last year's dogfights. Expect him to be right there. Safe to say he likes it here.  

Jim Furyk, 16/1 - On reputation alone. Hasn't been the same Jimbo of late. Still, may contend. Like anyone, if the putts fall....  

Nick Watney, 16/1 - Waiting for a bust loose season. Might as well start here. Could very well win. 

Tim Clark, 16/1 - T2 last year. Lack of mistakes makes him a constant threat. Could win. 

Geoff Ogilvy, 20/1 - Rallying well from slump. Played well last week in AZ. Still, not quite. Won't win.

Brian Gay, 25/1 - Odds seem low. Steady, but nothing of distinction. Don't see it or him ahead of a Mahan. 

Vijay Singh, 25/1 - Reminded us last week that he hasn't retired. Has a golf age of 92. Not all the way back yet. Won't win. 

Padraig Harrington, 25/1 - The man of a million swing reincarnations. Surprised not in Dubai. Have no idea with Paddy. You tell me.

Jonathan Byrd, 33/1 - Gee, who knows? I put him in the B.Gay category. See B. Gay.

Brent Snedeker, 33/1 - May be best putter on tour. Rest of game too spotty to favor him. Won't win.  

Mark Wilson, 33/1 - Let down in order? Couldn't blame him. Ride the streak as far as it takes you though. Won't win again this week.

Hunter Mahan, 33/1 - The beard's gotta go, along with Fowler's wardrobe. By golly should win or least be right there.  

JB Holmes, 33/1 - Visibly upset at WMO where he'd won twice. Ryder Cupper should have a chance. May win.

Sean O'Hair, 40/1 - Disappeared after promising career start.. Oodles of talent, but not here, not now.  

Average Golfer's AT&T Picks

1.  Dustin Johnson, Hey, til' he loses.
2.  Tim Clark
3. JB Holmes

Dark horses to watch...

Overton, Daly, Duval, Hoffman, Flesch

There you have 'em. Gratis as usual. Feel free to forward donations when you win. Tax deductible.

Swing hard, look up,

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mark Wilson Bests Jason Dufner on 2nd Playoff Hole at Waste Management Phoenix Open

Was the wait worth it in Scottsdale? It was for Mark Wilson as he beat Jason Dufner on the 2nd playoff hole to win the 2011 version of the Waste Management Open. His birdie on #10 capped a stellar weekend for the Wisconsin native as he was able to piggyback his beloved Packer's Super Bowl win last evening. Coupled with his previous Oahu win, Wilson stands atop all the early 2011 standings. With two wins he's now qualified for all of this year's majors and the WGC Match Play event.

The morning action began with Wilson holding a tenuous lead. Dufner made up two strokes in the last four holes to force the extra session with birdies on 16 and 17. Wilson and Dufner finished at -18. Fan favorite Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey spit the bit on the drivable par four 17th with a triple bogey 7. It was an expensive hole. Still, Gainey gained fans by virtue of his homemade swing with the Palmeresque lash in the finish and his solo use of two gloves on tour. This average golfer's glad he earned a good week's pay.  Final Full Field Scores.

What's next?  

The three top ranked golfers in the world, Westwood, Kaymer, and Woods head to the appearance fee fest known as the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.The quality of the Euro Tour fields are giving the PGA Tour a run for it's dinero. Expect to see more of the same in a game that's growing internationally while stagnating domestically.

Most everyone else heads to Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am, aka the APBNPA. I think I injured a finger typing one of the longest tournament names. Defending champ Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson headline the entrants in a tourney that's sort of lost it's luster over the years. IMHO it's the quality of the celebrities playing, or lack thereof, that's caused the demise. Sorry Mr. Murray and Romano, it's time to step aside for Brooklyn Decker and the rest of her friends.   

Swing hard, look up.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jarrod Lyle Lights Up the 16th at the Waste Management Open

A picture's worth a thousand words.........

Jarrod's first career ace came at the most raucous site possible, if not the most memorable.  Evidenced by the green togs it was "Green Out Day" at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Tommy Gainey holds a tenuous 1 stroke lead at -14 over Mark Wilson after two complete rounds. Bill Haas, Chris Couch, Rickie Fowler, (62 today), and Phil Mickelson are in close pursuit. They'll most likely play the 3rd round and perhaps part of the final tomorrow and squeeze in the conclusion on Monday. Lyle finished his day at -5, T37.  Full Field Scores.

So far it's been fun.    

Til' next,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey Leads Waste Management Open

With the temps I'm certain Tommy Gainey's two gloves may have been a distinct advantage at today's reverse global warming interrupted Waste Management Open. His sparkling 1st round 63 left him at -11 through 9 holes of the abbreviated second round. Also at -11, through 14 holes of round two was Mark Wilson, albeit with a lone glove, or perhaps no glove. I didn't personally spy Mr. Wilson as I didn't catch a lick of the telecast, if there was one. Geoff Ogilvy sat at -9 and J.B. Holmes, twice champion here, penciled in at -8.

PGA Tour officials have announced a Monday finish due cold weather start delays in the 1st two rounds. That's a mixed blessing as this Average Golfer sees it. On one hand they could have capitalized on the "sports fever" tone presented by Super Bowl Sunday. Millions of non-sports fans have grudgingly resigned their flat screens and Doritos to the one day a year when watching 12 or so hours of sports isn't considered bad form. The endless run up to the big game itself forces a sort of "remote frenzy", lending itself to golf viewing rather than football announcer's inane blather prior to kickoff. One might ponder if the Monday finale would provide a monopoly on sports viewers and therefore be the better outcome. One would be wrong. Post Super Bowl viewers are at work or hung over. Or, at work hung over. Then there's the competition, Oprah.

That leaves three more days of golf viewing. Darn. More if you consider the Euro Tour. Westwood missed the cut. That's my analysis of the desert duel.


Til, next,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Waste Management Open - Phrosty Phoenix

I know I'm late to the Scottsdale, (Where the hell is this thing, Phoenix or Scottsdale?), party for the Waste Management Open. If Calc wins it gets renamed the Waist Management Open. Hence, I'm pullin' for him. I'm late due to our own snow issues in the Northeast. 18" and counting. I spent the delayed tourney TV time shoveling off my porch roof so the insurance company won't have any excuses. I gotta find a kid to do this crap.

Early frost caused a late start, so partial scores are in order. 74, 69, 75 70. Praise George Carlin. Rest his soul. The quad of Bill Haas, Jason Bohn, (pronounced.....), Tom Gillis, and Tom Lehman thoughtfully shared an opening round 65, -6. Irrepressible Philly Mick was just two back with a 67. See, math is easy. With partial results it's really too early to comment on much. The watered down field in the festive atmosphere should crank up by Saturday though. The 16th hole "patrons" may even surpass the Super Bowl crowd in raucousness. If fact they definitely will since the only people allowed at the Super Bowl are corporate wags that got the only available ducats as part of their compensation package. I went to the '86 Bears/Patriots Bowl in New Orleans as a wag. Shoulda sold my ticket. Better views in a bar. Regardless, I did see Refrigerator Perry score a TD on what then passed for a big screen.

I know we're rambling a tad here, but the real action doesn't start until the weekend, or a least until they complete one round. Find me here for poignant commentary and ridiculous analysis. Bank on it.

Til' tomorrow,