Chamblee Opens Mouth, Stupidity Ensues

Here’s a visual for you.  A giant mouse maze containing a dozen golf reporters.  They are all stacked up at a dead end, shouting in unison, “Keep going, keep going!”

Just stumbled across an article from Brandel Chamblee.  He’s dumping on Pat Perez:

What athlete isn’t playing to keep their name and “brand” relevant? The only reason Perez is playing golf is because he’s trying to be relevant and in being relevant he hopes to become massively rich.

No. Take Johnny Vegas or Kevin Na or Zach Johnson.  Or Pat Perez.  Or thousands of other pros.  They aren’t playing for their non-existent brand.  They aren’t playing to keep up multi-million dollar endorsement contracts.  They are playing for the millions of dollars in prize money.  I’m stating the obvious.  (Thought Experiment: Did Bill Haas get more money from winning the FedEx Cup or from ensuing sponsorship deals?  Billy Horschel?)

And in presuming to fathom what Tiger thinks, Perez says Woods knows he can’t beat anybody. Tiger won his first major by 12 shots and his 14th major with a broken tibia… Those events would have a corrupting immortality in Tiger’s mind…  he would still harbor thoughts of [winning].

Woods knows he can’t win.  He can’t even sit.  That he had great accomplishments a decade ago means nothing.  Jack won at age 46, but he knows he can’t beat today’s pros.  Ken Venturi won with heat stroke, but he still had to eventually retire.

Look, I get it that today’s golf media is really, really weak.  I understand they troll with Woods in an attempt to get people to react with comments, with the hopes that those comments will then attract return-volley comments.  But it’s not working.  I just saw an article from Kyle Porter at CBS with a troll headline along the lines of “Rickie Won Because of Tiger Woods.”  It had generated one comment.

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SHOCKER: OWGR Rejects the Masters!

This is inexplicable.  I pulled up the 2016 events, to refresh my memory of the major winners.  I sorted by SOF and was shocked to find the Masters was not listed whatsoever!

What has happened to the world?

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Rickie and Oscars and Cars, Oh My!

5:56 pm Update: Rickie wins and Danica would have (if not cheated out of it).  Manchester by the Sea going tonight.

5:15 pm Danica Out, Rickie Looking Good:  Some of these idiots need to be banned from racing.  No need to go four-wide at that point.  Danica had a real chance to win this thing.  Rickie has been willing the ball into the hole.  Best putter since Ben Crenshaw?  Rickie holed one when Jack was commentating.  Very nice, and funny, Jack making remarks about green guides while Rickie sinks a long one.  Symbolic?  Jack handing the baton to Rickie?

Very disappointed that Danica got knocked out by that idiot.  Totally unnecessary.

12:45 pm Update:  One hour until Rickie tees off.  The Daytona 500 begins 45 minutes after that.  Then the Oscars tonight.  Rickie, Danica, and Manchester by the Sea, yeah!  By the way, the fight last night was interesting.  Wilder didn’t look too great until — boom! — one punch ended it.

Sunrise:  What a day this promises to be.  Rickie Fowler looking to close out a victory at the Bear Trap, a little gathering on a Florida beach called Daytona, then a Hollywood party.  Oh, my!

You know about all that, but what you don’t know is who will prevail.  I’ll keep it short: Rickie, Danica, and Manchester by the Sea.

Remember Shane Ryan?  He wrote a popular book on the 2014 golf season.  I remembered him this morning and checked to see what he was up to.  A bit of a surprise.  He apparently stopped writing about golf last September and has devoted himself to partisan left-wing politics.  In a very strident way.  Think Rachel Maddow.  Ryan did recently have a brush with golf content when he tweeted about Rory and Trump, whining that Rory was “normalizing” Trump by playing a round with him.  (We’re all supposed to pretend Trump is Hitler, doncha know.  To do otherwise is to “normalize” him.)  Ryan said Rory was ignorant of the fact that we are in a “take a stand” moment.  From golf writer to melodramatic teenager.

Everyone is so shrill and illogical nowadays.  It’s disheartening.  Ryan is not a dumb guy.  I guess he sees a career path in strident political partisan whining.  Me, I’d become an accountant or mechanic.

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Penultimate Pairing Semi Live Blog

[Note: While waiting for tomorrow’s fourth round, there’s some great, and unusual, sports action on television tonight.  Fox will have a live heavyweight title fight at 8pm.  Yes, you heard that right.  A live heavyweight title fight on regular broadcast TV.  And, no, this isn’t 1964.  Also, tonight, if you have NBC Sports Network, you can watch the Tokyo marathon at 7pm.  Lanny H Golf: Your one-stop shop for sports information.]

5:55 pm Update

Nice day by Grillo to put himself in the hunt.  Kaymer, too, but both are six back of Rickie, so they’ll need some help.  Clinical performance by Rickie today.  He’s got four shots over Hatton in second (of whom I know nothing), and six over a gaggle in third.  If he plays as solidly tomorrow as he did today, he’ll have another trophy to shine.

Brutal day for Anirban, and even worse for the two third-round leaders.  A few days ago, I asked if Rickie Fowler could save this tournament?  He answered!

By the way, new readers will want to check out my article about Rickie and his hometown driving range.  I still consider it my best.  (CBS did a documentary on Rickie and that range six months later.  It was great, as I detailed in my review at the time.  Do I deserve some credit for the idea?  Who knows.  By the way, you can now watch the Fowler segment of that documentary on YouTube at this link.  775 thumbs up to 4 thumbs down.  Not too shabby.  Go make it 776.)

Oh, one other thing:  The state NBC put up about Justin Thomas vs Rickie Fowler in yards per pound was great.  Funny how Thomas has been much discussed for his yards per pound prowess, while with Rickie, it was more just the occasional, “He hits it a long way, and he’s not that big.”  I guess the golf media was too obsessed defining Fowler by action sports and the color orange.  (Not that Rickie didn’t aid and abet on the latter!)

4:00 pm Update

Rickie stretches lead to two.  Lahiri losing ground, all the way back to T-9, five back of Mister Fowler.

2:30 pm Update

Lahiri recovers from the opening bogey very nicely with an eagle on No. 3.  Fowler also 1-under on the day through three holes and is now only one shot back of the leader.  If Lahiri prevails tomorrow, I’ll have to “interview” via Twitter that stats guy.  J-something, I believe.  I’m drawing a blank.  Oh, well, I’ll gladly look it up if needed.

Kaymer playing well and in contention.  He kind of quietly slipped down to OWGR #50 and has been treading water there for a year or so.  Maybe he can have a good finish and climb a bit; he’s a good guy, a good ambassador for golf.

Tee Off:  Coverage has begun on Golf Channel.  Rickie and Anirban tee off in forty minutes.  No 30-minute switchover intermission today.  Straight from GC to NBC.  Lots of low and high scores on the board today, meaning there is a whole lot of golf yet to be played.

Morning:  Here’s hoping this weekend’s winner comes from today’s next-to-last pairing, Anirban Lahiri and Rickie Fowler.  Two longtime favorites of this website, a win by Lahiri would be especially meaningful in light of the hate crime recently committed by the piece of white trash in Kansas.

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Rickie Roars (to top of leaderboard)

Can Rickie Fowler save this week’s event?  Fowler doesn’t get half the attention he deserves.  That’s not a joke.  He went from over-rated to under-rated in two short years (thanks, in large part, to my “tough love” open letter to him).

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Brandel and Tim

Brandel Chamblee informs the world that the winners on the West Coast Swing this year were young due to…  Tiger Woods.

We live in a world where people come up with the most nonsensical narratives about any and everything and and try to pass them off as valid analysis.  Last year, Hideki Matsuyama was the only young winner, the others all being 35-39.  In other words, not only were they not young, they were old.  If Chamblee had done even the slightest of research, he would have seen the ridiculousness of his contention.

Chamblee is just going through the motions at this point.  Golf Channel should involve David Duval and Justin Leonard more.  Like Tiger Woods, Chamblee is falling apart.  Maybe because of Tiger Woods, eh?

Tim Finchem “taught a lesson” to fringe presidential candidate President Donald Trump by moving the WGC Doral event to… Mexico.  In the unintended consequences department, the strength of field of this week’s Honda Classic in Florida has been slashed.  Down roughly 100 points, losing about 25 percent of its SOF.  Players are choosing to take the week off, then travel to Mexico, and only THEN head to Florida.  Well, that’s assuming they plan to play the mighty Valspar.  With the passing of Arnold Palmer, maybe the final Florida will bring a strong field out of respect, but who knows, as the WGC Match Play is in Austin the following week.  (Am I the only one who misses the Match Play excitement of those Arizona Februaries?  I thought it was the best event of the year.  I really did.  Now it is basically a Masters warm-up event.) Finchem moved the crown jewel of the Florida Swing to Mexico, diminishing the other events as collateral damage.  All because it was politically correct to bash Trump.

Not only did Finchem cost the Florida economy the revenue lost by moving the WGC-Doral to Mexico, but he lessened the appeal of the other events on the Florida Swing to players, and therefore fans.

Tim, you are not missed.

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Rory and Golf’s First President

As you know by now, Rory McIlroy played 18 holes of golf with President Trump this past weekend.

I pay attention to Rory McIlroy, him being my favorite golfer*, so I saw a bit of oddness in this outing.  Why?  Because in the past, Rory had seemed to “go with the flow” and take a few mild shots at Trump.  I say go with the flow because, as American citizens well know, the media (with a very few exceptions, those proving the rule…) will attack anyone who shows any support for Trump whatsoever.  So Rory makes a joke about jumping the wall and tsks-tsks the debate rhetoric.  Nothing big, but it keeps the media from turning on him.  (I should say this:  I’m honestly shocked at how the GOLF media has fallen into line with the news media.  Why?  Do they have no autonomy?  Are they afraid to go against the megacorps for which they work — or aspire to work?)

The point is, most people say things all the time just to answer a question.  They don’t necessarily believe them, and certainly they don’t feel strongly about them.  How many times have you seen political opponents who viciously attack each other smile for the cameras and announce they are “good friends”?  How often have star athletes and coaches “buried the hatchet,” only to later — when player is on another team — launch into a tirade about how horrible the other person was.

Anyway, it’s pretty sad that we’ve reached a point where when a well-known person spends time with President Trump, the media, including the golf media seeks to make the person an outcast.  Shows just how brainless are the political types.  Soon Rory will be Mussolini to Trump’s Hitler.  Probably that comparison has already been made.  (Hey, perhaps I’ll do a satirical article based on that.)

Maybe Michael Bamberger can ask Rory about Trump in a future e-mail exchange.

* “Look, I have a soft spot in my heart for Rory.  I really connect to how he came from such humble beginnings.  All things being equal, I prefer him over Jordan Spieth.”   Rory, Quail Hollow, Semi Live (May 7, 2016)

********

Great article from the Irish Independent on Rory’s round with Trump — and the media’s shrill reaction.

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