Qatar Live Blog, Day Three (and other assorted stray Friday Thoughts)

8:30 am

Well, well, well, Emiliano Grillo is tied for the lead.  Eddie Pepperell is two back and T-5, very much in the hunt.  We’ve focused on the young guys this week, and here’s a new one for you.  Renato Paratore, of Italy.  He turned 18 just last month.  He’s T-9, five off the pace.

I can’t wait until tomorrow’s final round.  (Remember this tourney runs Wednesday-Saturday.)

7:00 am

Grillo on fire now, birdieing 3 in a row, 4 of last 5.  Getting ahead of ourselves, if Grillo were to win this event, it would vault him to the bubble region of the fast-approaching WGC Match Play field selection.  He’d make a great addition to the field.

The very audible call to prayer in the background is certainly a unique aspect of Middle Eastern golf.

The OWGR website upgrade last year has turned out to be pretty decent.  I still don’t like the motion of the top-of-the-screen scrolling top 50.  It is a major distraction that serves absolutely no purpose.  I also still don’t like the player result layouts because it’s not as compact or as easy to read, but it’s not horrid.  It’s readable and the information is all there.

What boggles my mind is that more than a year into the upgrade, the player search function does not work.  At least it doesn’t work for me, and I’ve tried multiple browsers.  Why not just remove the feature until it works?

That said, the site is extremely useful, and the ability to pull up past player years so conveniently is an improvement.  It’s a great website that could be better.

Is anyone else looking forward to the David Feherty show featuring Al Michaels?  I certainly am.  I won’t watch it, but if I hear the promo for it one more time, I’ll puke.  Golf Channel’s Bureau of Propaganda doesn’t spare any effort in promoting their Only Tiger Matters agenda.

6:30 am

Sergio Garcia shooting himself out of it today.  He’s +1 when real par is probably -3.

I got up too early this morning, a half hour before the Qatar coverage began.  A Golf Central replay was on.  David Duval was in the studio with Tilghman and Chamblee.  Duval might turn out to be quite good if he’s allowed to speak his mind.  It would be silly to hire him then insist he not stray from the Golf Channel All Praise Tiger Woods narrative.

The topic of the day on Golf Central was Phil Mickelson.  I had forgotten he was even play the Humana.  With Reed and several other top players in the field, that’s understandable.  But Golf Channel had not forgotten.  Seems Mickelson shot -1 on a day when the rest of the field was going deep, so he sits at T-89.  Golf Channel seemed to be in mourning.  Two things.  First, Mickelson is an old golfer now.  He’s won six events in the past five years  Contrast to Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed, who both have four wins in the past three years, and calendar-wise, it’s only been two years.

Second, one round does not a year make.

5:45 am

Young guy report:

Emiliano Grillo, age 22, OWGR #131, started slow, parring the first six holes, before birdieing No. 7.  He’s only two off the lead with many holes yet to play.

Eddie Peppernell, age 24 + 1 day, OWGR #151, vaults to the top of the leaderboard with a -7 on the day.  The course is yielding a lot of birdies, so he’ll be passed by several players before the day is over.  Still, he should be within shouting distance of the lead heading into the final day.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, age 20, OWGR #330, is heading the wrong way today, +2 on a day the course is playing easy.

Jay Something.  Who the heck is this American announcer on the Sky Sports relay on Golf Channel?  He won’t shut up.  In fairness, he seems more subdued today than he has at any other time this year, so let’s hope he got a good talking-to.

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