Captain Woods: Mark Rolfing was doing a Golf Channel remote from Valhalla and said Tiger Woods should volunteer to be a vice captain on the Ryder Cup team. Yeah, that makes sense. He’d so want a Tigerless team to win, so people could continue to point out how the U.S. only wins when Woods is not playing. He’d try to poison the well. If he did become vice captain, you can be sure Golf Channel would tell us how the vice captains are the most important spoke on the wheel.
Woods’s “Decision”: I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know, but this has been done to deflect attention from Rory and the rest of the field. If he doesn’t play, he’ll get media attention Monday through Wednesday. If he plays, his “return” will warrant constant coverage and analysis of his every swing, with unceasing commentary, in solemn tones, on whether he “jarred his back again.”
Woods’s “Decision,” Part II: I just heard Bubba Watson say there are about 10 or 12 driver holes (I lost count) at Valhalla. No way Woods plays.
Stephanie Wei sighting: Stephanie got several minutes of incidental airtime again this morning by being near the practice green while one of the GC guys did an interview. I noticed real-time, and here’s Twitter confirmation. (By the way, she does her own TV work for Fox Sports International, so I imagine she’ll play a role in Fox’s golf coverage next year. I certainly hope so.)
Frank Nobilo, Journalist? Frank Nobilo was darn good on Live From last night. First, he quoted Shakespeare, saying fame dissipates like rings in water. He was referring to the increasing insignificance of Tiger Woods. Here’s the quote to which Nobilo referred:
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till by broad spreading it disperses to naught.
There are stones making huge, new ripples all across the pond of golf, but most of the golf media are still trying to make out the imperceptible ripples of the Woods stone.
Second, Nobilo gave us some great information regarding Rory McIlroy. I am not sure I completely followed, but here’s what I took away: Rory had some body scans done of him when he was completely healthy. Later on, he injured his shoulder. They did more body scans and compared the two. They were able to tell that he’d merely stressed it, and that there was no need for any kind of surgical procedures. Had they not had the scans, it’s quite likely a doctor would have recommended some kind of procedure.
A similar thing took place when he made the change from Titleist to Nike. He used TrackMan to record his swing, so, after the change, he could tell Nike, “Look, guys, I’m doing the same thing as before. Your gear isn’t getting the job done.” (Nike could, conversely, say, No, no, you are swinging differently.) I found this all quiet interesting. (I probably didn’t get all that right, but I did my best.)
Lastly, Frank made a great point that is not discussed nearly often enough. Golf is a sport that parents steer kids toward because they have concussion concerns about so many other sports. I think fifty years from now, the NFL will either be a relic of the past, or very changed from its current form. Concussions are forever.
Product Placement Department: Rickie Fowler has finished top five in the first three majors, something, Golf Channel tells us, only two other people have ever done, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. A Golf Channel stat that brings up the names of Woods and Mickelson? What a shock, right? Well, here’s the thing: They had to limit it to 2004-2014. Must have been some “outcasts” who would have sullied their product placement. And, let me assure you, they did not stress how limited was their time frame.
Deseret News: One thing that makes this article interesting is where it came from. The Deseret News is “owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Its mission is to “be a leading news brand for faith and family oriented audiences in Utah and around the world.” The article is about Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau, the guy who won last week on the web.com Tour while Rory was winning the WGC at Firestone. Seems they spent a few weeks playing golf together in Utah when both were 11-year-olds. A nice article, and it sure is nice that a morality-focused publication can write about golf and use words such as these:
But more importantly, both these budding stars are good guys. They are respectful, humble, friendly, unpretentious and simply kind people.
They’re the kind of men you can cheer for — at whatever level they walk.
Bubba Watson’s Point: Bubba Watson didn’t want to participate in the long drive contest, so he hit 3-iron off the tee on No. 10 during his practice round, although he’ll hit driver during the actual tournament. He said, “I was just trying to make a point nobody cared about.”