Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ernie Els: BPTNHWMTIATYIFHHWEOHY

BPTNHWMTIATYIFHHWEOHY - Best Player To Never Have Won Multiple Times in America This Year In Fact He Hasn't Won Even Once Here Yet.

But, you won't hear him being critisized for it anywhere exept on this blog. This whimpy-ass article sticks this important graf near the end, of course:
But he was the only member of golf's so-called "Big Four" -- also featuring Woods, Singh and Phil Mickelson -- without a win on American soil entering last week's Bank of America Colonial. Els, a runner-up and third-place finisher in January tournaments, is growing more confident that his victory drought may soon end, however.
Yup. Nothing boosts the confidence like a T39 finish in one of the Euro Tour's premier events.

In other news, winless Retief Goosen still first in Euro Order of Merit. Els now 4th even though he's won three times this year. That cracks me up.

A Moment For....Wild West Ninja

The Sidewinders pulled it together and won last night. Now they are a game (or 2 0.5 games) out of first.

I'm going to meet up with Blax to celebrate all drinking style. He's been going since noon -- when he woke up and found out the news.

Three words I never wanted to read in the same sentence

Golf. Blog. Virgin.

Thanks MediaGuru for subtley pointing out a new golf blog. Although, I'm gonna have to give this one a preliminary score of bogey for posting a top-five list already in its short life. Bad move.

BTW, its not that I am against all lists. I'm only against lists that are not extremely clever and highly original, unless they involve sex.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Too bad I missed this one

Apparently the USA network thought I would freaking care:
The Good Life will gaze into the lives of five PGA TOUR pros to uncover the loving families, fascinating hobbies, and luxury living that make all their lives so exceptional.

The terrible twos

+2's that is.

I'm a relatively new golfer (been going at it for a little over 2 years now) and I'm on the verge of breaking 80 for the first time. I know that I have all the tools to do it. It's been my goal all year to do it. I just can't freakin do it.

Having studied my stats, I've realized that my biggest nemesis on my quest to break 80 is the double bogey. But, it's not so much what a single double does to my scorecared, it's what it does to my focus and confidence. One double invariably leads to more doubles and/or a string of bogeys. For instance, I'll play holes 1 thru 6 at 1-over, then hit a quirky drive on 7 and wind-up with a double bogey. Having the wind taken from my sails, it's common for me to double-up on either 8 0r 9 as well. More often than not I'll do something similar on the back nine. Hence, I wind-up with a lot of 82's, 84's, 86's with three to six double bogeys on my card.

I was wondering if any of my readers have any advice for me on how to deal with these double bogeys. What do you do to maintain focus after a double bogey?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sand Trapage

I know. I know. I did a little senseless Sand Trap bashing yesterday. But, hey, I stand by it. None-the-less, having reflected upon this original report from the Senior Open by head Sand Trapper Erik, I must say that I am very impressed. Very, very cool. It's the interesting type of content that you'll never see in a major media outlet. And, let's not forget that the guy actually got off his ass to bring us -- the folk still sitting on our asses -- some meaningful behind-the-scenes coverage of the event, and a picture of a fat guy in a yellow jacket.

To my next point: For as much content as The Sand Trap has, most of it is useless. Sad to say, but true. The competent and insightful crew posts previews, then day-by-day analyses of all three PGA tour events seemingly every week. Why? I'm not sure, because I can hop over to ESPN or SI and get the same information presented to me in a superior aesthetic package. So, what can The Sand Trap offer me that ESPN or SI can't? Well, meaningful behind-the-scenes coverage, and pictures of fat guys in yellow jackets for one. Or, in other words, first-hand reports with a personal touch.

I'm not trying to pile on the site. The best thing it has going for it is its staff of dedicated posters who crank it out consistently. That's near impossible to find in the Golf Blogosphere. I realize that they can't send someone to every PGA event, but what they can do at least is offer some personal comments about the events instead of just rehashing what happened. I also remember a very cool post that detailed the construction of an indoor putting green. That is freaking great. Day 2 LPGA stories with no flare are not.

Quotage

From around my Southern AZ golf world:

Yeah, I really like Gee-Off Ogilivy. -- Kid I was paired-up with at muni.

Let me tell you what kind of a guy I am. If I was up by a stroke on Tiger going into the final hole I'd just blow it and let him win. -- Schizo on the practice range at muni.

Me: Why don't just you just hit the ball out of the tree? Brother: Because the way I've been playing I'll probably hit my hand on the tree and get AIDS. -- My brother making an excellent point to me on the 13th at Santa Rita.




Want more Els bashing?

Look no further. Says Johnny Miller about Els in the LA Times:
He's a full notch behind Vijay. He's not even on the same rung. There's no major that rattles you like the U.S. Open. Last year's Open, probably took a month to get over that. It's not like the Masters, where the conditions are generally the same. At the Open, they're probably already rattled going in.
Els did, however, win by 13 strokes in commie China recently. That's gotta be a huge confidence booster going into the US Open. Or some sorta sham that means nothing.

(Link c/o Shackelford who hath no permalinx.)

Because I'm in just in that sorta move this morning

Why golf is better than sex. I got one: Because Danielle Aimee has huge knockers and even larger thighs. Or something.

What a skank

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Talk, Listen

There are a lot of things you can say about Retief Goosen. But, one thing you can't say about him is that he didn't get a quintuple bogey on the first hole during the first round of the Sony Open this year.

I hate to be such a jerk, but...

Crap. Crap! I tell you...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Just what I like to see

Canuck Robert Thompson going off:

Of course, this is the same Chris Baldwin who made a recent trip to British Columbia and came back raving about Furry Creek, arguably one of the worst-designed golf courses in history and renowned as a joke.

Cry me a river

After a year of representation, Ernie Els is leaving IMG for undisclosed reasons. This article speculates that it may have something to do with the IMG memo about quasi-appearance fees that caused a big ado in the golf community.

In March, the South African had voiced his displeasure about being included in a letter IMG sent to select PGA Tour tournament sponsors regarding corporate outings. The letter listed Els and other top pros as being available to play corporate events during tournament weeks for a price of $100,000-$200,000 per outing.

"I made it very clear to IMG and to the Tour here (in the U.S.) that I'm not for it," Els said in March. "I'm not standing for it, OK. And for people to speak on my behalf without talking to me, I don't like that very much. So I made that very clear to IMG."


Seriously. 200K per outing? Shyit...he can make 2-3 times that much in appearance fees playing a tournament in commie China.



From Hooked on Golf

Enough with the damn lists...Part Deux

Why hasn't this guy been canned yet? It is beyond my ability to comprehend a professional golf writer starting a story with this line: "Tiger Woods' cut streak wasn't supposed to ever end -- especially at the Byron Nelson Championship." Says freaking who? Of course it was gonna end you freaking dolt. I read better sports writing in my high school paper.

Enough with the damn lists

Is there anything less remarkable than a top-five list of the most remarkable PGA tour records?

Actually, there is.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Memo to Christina Kim

Mix in a salad, baby...

Good Lawd

From the I-hate-to-break-it-to-you dept.

Hooked on Golf posts the results of its Player of the Year poll. I hate to break it to you, but Vijay Singh (who garnered the majority of the votes) is not player of the year...thus far. Having three wins and being no. 1 on the money list is impressive, however, Tiger's two tour victories plus his Master's win is far superior.

I am a huge Vijay guy, but I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that Tiger is somehow irrelevent because he can't maintain the no. 1 position in the World Golf Rankings. Or because he plays what seems to be half the number of events Vijay does. Moreover, it is unfair to measure Tiger by a 2001-era rubrick, which I think many people do.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Administrative Notice

Posting will be light to non-existent until Monday. Thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bear Down Arizona

Former Arizona Wildcatz Annika Sorenstam and Ted Purdy snatched victories today in their respective golf tours. Tucson, Baby, Tucson.

Sounds Like PGA Material to Me

From the Herald-Sun:

After opening with a par, Wie had a run of four straight bogeys. She had three-putt bogeys at the second and third holes, and her tee shot at the par-3 fourth hole sailed left, bounced off a rock and plopped into the water. She then missed her 4-foot par putt at No. 5.

With her father as her caddie, Wie missed a 2-foot par putt at 574-yard, par-5 ninth hole and closed her eyes in disgust. She had a 41 on the front nine.

While finishing T6 in a field of 55 men is an impressive accomplishment, it hardly warrants the attention and exemptions that the teenager gets. Just ask Mark Hensby.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's Me, a Bad List

SI's Scott Wraight comes though with yet another worthless golf list. Dude, does anyone in the world of sports journalism have an easier job than this guy? Scott tackles the compelling and contreversial topic of future hall-of-famers (from the true fan's perspective, no less!). Now, there are two reasons why this is lame. First, any monkey with minimal PGA knowledge can come up with a list of nine really good young golfers. The PGA is freaking bursting at the seams with them. Second, its lame because none of the golfers he lists is going to be on the HoF ballot for another dozen years. Thusly, by the time we determine which of these guys does or doesn't get into the HofF, Wraight will be clerking graveyard style at a Quick Mart off Interstate 40. It's just a little too hypothetical.

I've got a good topic for Wraight to waste my time with next week: How MacGregor spent countless thousands on TV ad time last year to run those Aaron "It's me, Bads" Baddeley commercials only to watch Baddeley struggle to place 123rd on the 2004 money list.

The Corporatization of Blogmerica

I agree with pretty much everything Robert Thompson has to say about the Carlsbad Confidential saga.

Interestingly, in the comments of RT's post, Erik of The Sand Trap fame wonders aloud about what consumers want in a corporate blog. Personally, I don't want corporate blogs. You're never going to get the raw honesty from an Offical Corporate blog that you'll get from a blog run by an independent or an organization of independents. Frankly, I'm sick of the constant product marketing I encounter in my life. The last blog I want to read is one that is merely a pimping-tool for some soulless business. Moreover, it goes against the blogger ethos (in the extreme) to finance the publication of a blog for the sole purpose of marketing a product or company. In fact, I'd be disinclined to describe such a website as a blog.

As far as I am concerened, the new Offical Carlsbad Confidential can collapse under the weight of its own marketing budget. For all the whoring that Jason -- the primary poster there -- has done for Taylor Made, he has utterly neglected to balance the blog with even the slightest of criticism of TM. For instance, I'd like to know why Sergio putted himself right out of certain victory using a Rossa model putter. I'll never hear a reasom from a blog run by TM, however.

And while I'm on the topic of corporate whoring--has anyone seen the most recent Golf Digest issue with the AMEX ad which shows Tiger and his mom in loving embrace? It's very much a disgusting two-page spread. As if I don't see Tiger's ugly grill enough, now I have to see him squeezing on his gravy-training mom. Memo to Tiger: For all the amazing feats you've accomplished at your young age, in my mind, everyone of those feats has the mild stench of a corporate brothel.

Diet Coke and Cigarettes

One of my most memorable PGA moments occured on the first play-off hole of the 2004 Buick when Big Daly hit that sweet, sweet bunker shot to within 3 feet for the win.

Via the Golf Blogger, here's a pretty simple article (reg required) on JD. Fascinating:
He was No. 507 in the world golf rankings in 2001 before climbing back into the top 50 in 2002. He slipped again in the rankings, to No. 299, after finishing the 2003 season by missing the cut or being disqualified from his final seven events.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Huh?

What kind of parallel universe are we living in today? Tiger misses the cut. Goose misses the cut. Brett Wetterich and Sean O'hair share the lead.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that today is Friday the 13th.

It also shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Ernie Els followed up his 1st round 64 with a below-average 72 today. Blowing away fields in commie China or winning the pathetic Qatar Masters are not proper ways to prepare for the world-class fields to be found in the states.

My prediction: Els finishes outside the top-ten.



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Washington Blog Post

I just stumbled on this WaPo expose on the golf blogging community from April 20th. You have got to be freaking kidding me.

The first blog we are introduced to is the illustrious Bad Golf Blog maintained by some bad writer who has eight posts since January 11th. Eight posts? Eight freaking posts!! Geoff Shackelford--who should be the first named mentioned, but wasn't even linked--can type out eight insightful posts in a single day. Nevermind that he's authored a book called The Future of Golf. Which, by the way, was recently reissued. The guy sounds like a pretty damn good topic for a story in a newspaper. Sounds much better than a piece about Dan who knocks out two trivial posts twice a month.

We're also aquainted with the "stable of bloggers" at Travel Golf. This lazy schmuck writer, however, neglects to mention the best, by far, of the bunch at Travel Golf, Jay Flemma. Instead, the piece zeroes in on Jennifer Mario who is basically annoying and should be banned from golf courses nationwide.

Finally, the piece links to the Golf Asylum blog which hasn't even been updated since the end of February. Here's a taste of that final post though: "So, naturally, when I was at my neigborhood golf store I picked up a package of 16 tees for five bucks. Ouch." Listen, if five bucks makes you say ouch then you're probably too poor to afford a site on blogger, much less a golf habit.

Memo to the Washington Post: You're a dirty rotten stinking rag. I wouldn't wrap my salmon in you're paper. You're writers are lazy. You're editors are clueless. You know nothing about golf blogging so don't even waste you're journalism degrees writing about them. Idiots.

Hooked on Putting

The Media Guru convinceed Macgregor to send him their V-foil M5K-GT putter so that he could review it on his blog. Very cool.

World Golf Rankings

Keith Lowe, Golf Oberserver's resident WGR expert, sure feels like Vijay should have retaken the No. 1 spot with his victory on Sunday. Hence, he does some statistical analysis and concludes that Singh would be No.1 if he hadn't missed cuts three times in the past two years. As we all know, Tiger hasn't missed a single cut in that same span.

We all know that Vijay plays a lot if tournaments, but, hell, he sure wins a lot of tournaments. Not just a high volume either--according to Lowe, he's won 26.6% of the events he played in last two years. Siiiick.

In other news, Lowe's "blog" doesn't have links on the individual posts. Memo to golf bloggers: having links to individual posts is a fundamental component of a blog.

Shackelford Reviews

Dare I say, this man knows how to read a freaking book. Or 60.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Intersection of Lawyers and Golf Bloggers

This is one interesting post:

"The fact is, we say very explicitly that it is not an official site. We even position it as 'the place we can post things the lawyers won't let us post elsewhere.' If we start having legal review of things, not only will we have fewer interesting posts, but we will be lying to people. In that scenario, I would rather shut down the site."

Monday, May 09, 2005

The No. 1 SIgn That a Player WIll Not Win A Major This Year

He hires a mental coach. Or a life coach. Or life partner. Or a paid brother. Or a Maharashi. Or whatever the hell that moron's title is that is now speaking about how Ernie could be winning 20 tournaments a year.

I guess if he keeps playing in China he'll have 20 in no time.

(Hat Tip: Geoff Shackelford -- He who hath no permlinks on his posts)

How Good is Sergio?

Ron Sirak weighs in on Sergio with a piece that sensibly tackles Sergio's career, his recent collapse and his future prospects.

Mickelson Speaks About his Good Day

"I'm not going to let one hole ruin my day," he said. "It was unfortunate. I had a chance to win, but those things happen, and for whatever reason, that hole just gave me fits this week."

Its quotes like this that remind me why Hefty is Hefty and Tiger is Tiger. I'm pretty sure that one hole has ruined Tiger's day plenty of times.

Ernie Els Blew It Four Freaking Times Last Year

Singh making-up six strokes on Sergio, then going on to beat both Sergio and the fiery Jim Furyk on the fourth play-off hole was a superior performance to that of Ernie Els' when he won in commie China by 13 strokes.

Did anyone catch Furyk yelling at the spectator while he was taking his drop. Apparently the guy told Furyk to drop in the shorter grass to which Furyk yells in reply, "The short grass is in the hazard, buddy." Read this interview with Furyk from a year ago. He talks about challenging spectators to come on the course and hit shots when they get mouthy with him during practice rounds and pro-ams.

Going for the Jugular

This writer's fave golf blogger to the North, Robert Thompson, woke-up a bit trigger happy this morning. He first blasts Sergio for, get this, throwing up all over himself at the Wachovia, which he did. Thompson then goes on, however, to fire away at Sergio for being basically an over-hyped sham, a shot that I disagree with. Last week Thompson was very quick to blast DiMarco for blowing the Zurich, and for, get this, being basically an over-hyped sham.

I posted the following in his comments section:
Robert,

You're so quick to jump on guys when they have a bad Sunday. You tore into DiMarco when he didn't show up on Sunday at the Zurich. Now you're going after Sergio's jugular.

Give these guys a break. Granted, neither of them deserves any serious accolades for their recent less-than-stellar Sunday performances. But, let's not forget that its even tough for world class players to win a tournament. In Sergio's case, its especially tough when he has guys like Furyk and Singh, who are proven winners (not to mention 10 and 16 years older than him, respecively), breathing down his back.

Moreover, I find your crack on Sergio for having not won or realistically contended in a major in a whole "half-a-decade" hardly amusing. In other words, in a measly five years a gunning 20-year-old hasn't turned into a dominant 25-year-old, therefore we should be questioning his true ability on the golf course.

Nevermind that Furyk didn't win his first (and only, btw) major until he was 33 and that Vijay didn't win his first until he was 35.
Thompson replied by stating that the announcers over-hype Sergio and others even though the hype isn't backed with actual credentials. This is reasonable, except for the fact that I'm not arguing on behalf of the anncouncers. I'm arguing essentially that its not right to blast the careers of very good players because they haven't proven themselves to be elite players. It's not like Sergio got chased down by one of the monday qualifiers or something. And, it's not like DiMarco got beat by Tim Petrovic or something. Oh, wait...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

More University of Arizona News

Thanks to the Bogeyman at the BogeyLounge for pointing out that former UA stand-out Erica Blasberg has her own website, EricaBlasberg.com. Looks like she's taking the same route as ex-Wildcat Natalie Gulibis by trying to cash-out on her looks and personality, in addition to her sick golf game.

Wildcuts

Unfortunately, former Arizona stand-outs Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen both missed the cut at Nationwide tour's Rex Hospital Open this week. By 1-stroke each. Ouch.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

More Wie smack

More BJ Wie smacking. This time from the Washington Post, which isn't exactly an unhinged tabloid. After determing that BJ must stand for "Bad Judgement," the columnist, Leonard Shapiro, absolutely drubs Mr. Wie with this:
It's also nice that her proud papa thinks so highly of his daughter's considerable skills that he believes one day she'll also make a comfortable living and maybe even win now and then on the PGA Tour. Maybe it's the distance he lives from the mainland that has made Mr. Wie delusional, or maybe its just paternal pride in seeing his daughter regularly hit drives that travel 300 yards or longer.
Niiiice. I'm sure BJ is very thrilled to see a bandwagon of writers questioning his parenting skills and now his perception of reality. I think its about time he puts his daughter back on the junior league circuit. Cuz, hey, you don't want one of those grown-up professionals to get ahold of her and show her how to swing his three-wood.

DLIII cont....

The GolfBlogger mentions that on a recent TGC discussion board Davis Love III was named "the most dissapointing player of his generation." Wrong.

Without question, that title belongs to Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has not been relieved of all his past sins because he won the The Masters last year. Let's not forget that hez lost 48-some-odd other major tournaments to accompany that that one win. That is a freaking dissapointment.

Friday, May 06, 2005

More Wie Smack

Robert Thompson has posted his National Post piece on Michelle Wie playing in the very-average-otherwise John Deere Classic.

Gotta love Mark Hensby going after Wie's parents. Nothing quite as explosive as implying that someone is a bad parent. Way to go, mate.

More on DLIII

Rick Arnett comes strong with a well-written and insightful piece on Davis Love III. (Some of Arnett's colleagues should take note.)

This line in the first graf caught my eye: "Heaps of attention have raised the value of the Fab 5 firm of Woods, Singh, Mickelson, Els & Goosen -- and rightfully so." Its really not my style to get caught up in such teenage trivialities, but I did raise my brow upon seeing someone toss Goosen's name in with the other four without a detailed explaination of why he belongs. And, whatever, I don't care whether or not there is a fab 4 or 5. Or 125. What I do care about is the word "fab." And, by "care about," I mean freaking quit it, already. We're all grown men, here. We're not writing for Tiger Beat magazine. Arnett is writing for Sports Illustrated for christ's sake. No man needs to call any other man or men "fab" to get his point across. How about just the "World's Top 5."

More on topic--towards the end of his piece Arnett gets, I think, a little unwieldy with this statment: "However, when you watch a player possess as much talent as Love, it's difficult not to question why he couldn't have accomplished more." C'mon bro, the guy's got a major, 2 Players and a dozen or so other wins. I think its just merciless piling-on to question whether he could have squeezed more out of his talent.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Stat comparison of the day

#1 male golfer in the world, Tiger Wood.
Wachovia Round 1 driving distance avg: 330.5

#1 female golfer in the world, Annika Sorentstam.
Michelob Ultra open Round 1 driving distance avg: 232

232? That can't possibly be right. Her season averge is 272.9.

Nice 76, by the way.

The Commish

If he can pull himself away from counting all his money (Scroll down to 2nd item), he'd have the good sense to offer Michelle Wie a different spot. In a desk. In front of a Whiteboard.

Hat tip to Geoff Shackelford for the first link. Hey Geoff, how about coding in some perma-links on your individual posts!

Someone give this guy a pink slip

Who pays you to write this hackneyed tripe?

"Jim Furyk has an unusual swing. And, did ya hear what Jonny Miller said about Craig Parry's swing?"

But, this is my favorite part:

SI.com colleague Gary Van Sickle has pointed out that a repeatable swing is as good as, if not better than, a great swing that doesn't repeat. That definitely rings true for DiMarco's swing...The biggest downfall with DiMarco's swing is that it can get loose at times


Is it tight and repeatable or loose and unreliable?

Someone give this guy a pink slip.

Sergio's first nine at Wachovia

Begining the tournament on the Back-nine, Serigio Garcia lit it up, shooting a bogey-free , 6-under score of 30.

Key stats on the back-nine:

Fairways hit: 100%
Driving Distance Avg: 327
GIR's: 100%
Putts: 13


That's pretty freaking sick.

UPDATE: Then he promptly bogies holes one and two. Possibly thinking about 59 and a little too soon?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tiger Woods 2nd round performance. Sick.

These are some of Tiger's stats from round two at the Wachovia last year:

Birdies: 8
Pars: 8
Bogeys: 2
GIR %: 55.6
Total Putts: 22
1 Putts: 12
Made every putt within 10 ft.

These stats signify one freaking sick short game.

Going for the White

Canuck Robert Thompson echoes my sentiment concerning George White's ridiculous column about Els' China win.

More Els Sycophancy

The Golf Channel's George White decides that Els "domination" in the middle of golf nowhere was "as total and thorough as is humanly possible." Remember, Tiger only won the Masters by a mere 12 strokes.

Then, after making an outrageous proclamation about the problem with all of Western Civilization, White decides that its okay that Els plays in communist countries with no golf heritage because he gets a nice appearance fee to be there. Its a disgusting read.

How good is DLIII?

Good enough, I suppose, to make a pretty damned good living. The Sand Trap's Cody Thrasher wonders whether Love will ever regain his status as one the PGA's best players. Let's not get too crazy, here. I don't think an argument can be made (Thrasher certainly doesn't make one) that he is not one of the tour's best players. Love is just not a dominant world top-tenner like he was in 2003. It's not like the guy made an epic Duvalian fall off the face of the golf Earth. This year he's played nine events and pocketed about a million.

I think DLIII's slip began during the championship match at the 2004 Accenture Match Play. He ultimately lost to Tiger which is not a surprising or uncommon result itself. But, I do remember during that championship match that Love got very riled over a heckler in the crowd. Love personally had the guy ejected. It made quite a bit of news the next day.

Whether the combination of the loss to Woods and the heckling was coincidental to or the actual cause of Love's slide, I'm not sure. But, I think it could have been rather detrmimental to his psyche.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Els gets more props for winning in China

The Els sycophancy continues. Mike McAllister has Els leap-frogging Vijay to make it into second place on his worthless power rankings. Granted, Vijay had a very average week (he's does play a lotta weeks though, ya know), but let's not get too excited about a win in China. Where the runner-up was ranked 205 in the world. Where the communist government has put a stop to any further golf course building until it can assess the social implications of the spread of the game. And, let's not forget that Els barely made the cut at Augusta just weeks ago.

Another point: Els is still only ranked second of the European Tour O of M behind Retief Goosen. Funny considering that Goosen has only played in 3 Euro-sactioned tournaments while Els has won 3 of the 7 he has played in. It just so happens, however, that Goosen took T3 at The Masters and and 3rd at the Accenture Match Play, which are both sanctioned by the EuroPGA. Els respective finishes at those tournaments were 47th and "Did Not Play."

Memo to SI: It's bad enough that we have to read Scott Wraight's clever lists every week. Why force-feed us McAllister's tripe as well?

The TPC Saguaro

Geoff Shackelford writes about TPC courses in Links Magazine.

Interesting: "It may bear mentioning that, other than the Players Championship, Byron Nelson Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship (in which funds go to his foundation), Tiger Woods has played only one tour event at a TPC course in the past five years. "

Does anyone care about the Champions Tour? Absolutely. And by absolutely, I mean no. Gary Van Sickle looks at the problem in his latest SI piece.

I'd like to see more mainstream coverage of the Nationwide Tour, personally.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Ernie Els Plays in China

Ernie Els wins by 13 strokes in China. Lance Armstrong beats local junior league cyclist runner-up by 38 minutes in 10K road race.

Els 2005 win total now equals those of Tiger and Phil, at three. Is there any more revealing statistic in golf? Let’s break it down and see:

PHIL

Phil has won the Phoenix Open, the Open at Pebble Beach and the Bellsouth Classic. The respective victory pursues were $936K, $954K and $900K. He beat Kevin Na (No. 89) and Scott McCarron (No. 75) in Phoenix, then toppled Mike Weir (No. 12) at Pebble Beach and finally beat out four other guys at the Bellsouth classic, including Jose Maria Olazabal (No. 59). Let’s not forget that Phil lost by a stoke to Tiger at Doral.

TIGER:

Has won the Buick Invitational, the Championship at Doral and the Masters. The respective victory purses were $864K , $990K and $1.26Mil (Christ!). He beat CHIII (No. 38), Luke Donald (No. 13) and Tom Lehman (No. 20) at the Buick, then went on to beat Phil at Doral and Dimarco at Augusta. Both are now top tenners.

ELS:

Has won the Dubai Desert Classic, the Qatar Masters and the BMW Asian Open. The respective victory purses were $356,823.01, $242,377.81 and $245,654.65. The respective runner-ups were Miguel Angel Jiminez (World No. 18) and Stephen Dodd (No. 107) in Dubai, Henrik Stenson (No. 68) in Qatar and Simon Wakefield (No. 2-0-fucking-5) in China.

Why the hell is Ernie Els playing junior league golf? He should be playing here in the US. Not simply because it is the US, but because this is where the real talent and the real money is. Phil’s and Tiger’s victories were far more valuable – approximately 3-5 times more valuable per victory. Phil had to beat a runner-up, on average, 54.75 spots behind him in the world rankings (not including the three scrubs who snuck into the Bellsouth playoff). Tiger had to beat a runner-up, on average, only 15.4 spots behind him. Els had to beat a runner-up, on average, 99.5 spots behind him.

Let’s look at the past 13 months. Since then, both Tiger and Phil have picked-up Green Jackets. Vijay, the only other player besides Woods ranked above Els has won one major and ten other PGA tournaments. Els’ fellow countryman, Retief Goosen, has won a US Open and a Tour Championship. In the same time, Els has three decent PGA tour victories and a basket of Australasiantarcticarussofrancocanadian victories.

I’m ready to say it: Els is the most overrated golfer in the game. But, worse than that, Els lacks more integrity and more stones than any other world class golfer. Take Doral for instance. While Tiger and Phil were in the midst of an epic Sunday duel, and Goosen and Vijay were making top-ten runs, Els was winning the Dubai Classic. Fuck Dubai and their Classic.

I see it was very easy for some golf pundits to wake up this morning and bash Chris Dimarco because he’s let two majors and a Zurich slip by him recently. Remember, however, that Dimarco really shouldn’t even be getting that close in any tournament. His odd swing, short drives and claw putting grip don’t exactly spell consecutive major championship runner-up. On the other hand, Els is absolutely overflowing with God-given touch, power and coordination. And, yet, he’s wasting it winning nothing golf tournaments in nothing golf countries like China. Where’s your outrage over this, pundits?

Ernie can take his appearance fees and shove em. He couldn’t get it done on any one of four Sundays last year. He barely made the cut at the Masters this year. And the best he can do now is pocket a 13 stroke win in China. Why not make it 17 next time,. Ernie.

Pete Dye, How does CBS love thee...

Now, I realize that the CBS staff didn't mention it a dozen dozen times, but I'm pretty sure that the TPC of Louisiana is a Pete Dye design. None the less, whomever designed it is a apparently a pinball aficiando. Pot bunkers? More like 10,000 point penalty traps. I didn't find them to be a particualrly clever design element.

Moreover, why the emphasis on the fact that looking from the green back to the teebox you see small grassy humps where the pot bunkers are? Are the players supposed to be fooled into thinking that they were an optical illusion all along?

And, one more thing on these bunkers: While I never saw a single player hit into one, why penalize a player a sroke (essentially, because it appears the only play out of most would be a short sand-iron blast out) for landing the ball on the fairway, where so many of the the pot bunkers are.

Final note: Congratulations Kelly Gibson on convincing Dye to keep the large Cedar on the 13th. Seriously, I liked it--but not enought to want to hear about it in anticitpation on the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and finally on the tee on the 13th.