There was talk in Phoenix of Mickelson and Woods being grouped together Thursday and Friday. Despite the American media’s relentless focus on Woods and Mickelson and their so-called rivalry, they are seldom grouped together. I think one or both don’t like playing together, so the PGA Tour defers, even though the grouping seems obvious.
On the other hand, it seems like Woods and Spieth, or Woods and Rory, are grouped together constantly. By the way, that didn’t work out so well for Woods at the start of last year.
San Diego Open: Rd 1: Spieth 71, Woods 72, Walker 74 Rd 2: Spieth 63, Walker 71, Woods 71
Dubai Desert Classic: Rd 1: McIlroy 63, Gallacher 66, Woods 68 Rd 2: McIlroy 70, Gallacher 71, Woods 73
More recently, Spieth at the Hero Challenge last month beat Woods by a staggering 26 strokes. As for Reed, let’s hope he wears his trademark red and black tomorrow or Friday. By the way, we are told not to expect too much out of Woods. He’s rusty, doncha know? He last played in the Hero Challenge in December. That’s the last time Spieth played, too…
Dubai Desert Classic Television Schedule: Golf Channel will have live coverage from 1:00-4:00am EST and 5:30 to 8:30am both Thursday and Friday. The hour-and-a-half in the middle is an abridged replay of the first live segment. On Thursday, Rory tees off two hours before the first/early live segment, meaning can catch his full back nine live. On Thursday, Rory tees off two hours before the second/late(r) live segment, meaning you can again catch his full back nine live.
Odds and Odds: Some interesting betting odds this week. You can find more truth from bettors and oddsmakers in fifteen minutes than you can from the golf media in, well, forever. Take a look:
- Bovada: Haas (-130) favored over Woods (even)
- Bovada: Kuchar (-185) is a big favorite over Woods (+145)
- William Hill: In a three-man matchup of the Spieth-Reed-Woods group, Spieth (11-8) is the favorite, Reed (15-8) is next, Woods (16-8) is last. So Woods is not even favored to win his own group. And get this: the other two players are Americans. And, those two are not even the most-favored Americans to win the tournament; Bubba Watson (14-1) is. But who does the media obsess over? This is starting to get creepy.
Then, there’s this one:
- Ladbrokes: Rory, to win the Dubai Desert Classic: 3-1.
Major Count: The Dubai Desert Classic field accounts for three of last year’s majors (Rory and Kaymer). The Phoenix Open accounts for one (Bubba).
More Golf Channel Idiocy: Golf Central had the most idiotic opening this morning. (I guess it was a replay from last night, actually.) It was basically Tiger and Phil and the Super Bowl, then Tiger and Phil and the Super Bowl. I don’t know how that kind of thing makes Bubba and Spieth and Kuchar and Rickie Fowler feel. Players who have better chances to win — and Golf Channel ignores them.
Isn’t it time for Golf Channel to label this year the Tiger-Phil Farewell Tour? At least that would justify the bizarre amount of time they devote to two players who combined to win exactly zero tournaments last year.
That Golf Central promo struck me as, not only annoying, but sad and anachronistic. Thoroughly depressing. I thought of an ad salesman for a newspaper and how his salad days are distant memories. I thought of vacant book and music stores with For Lease signs in their windows. There is no one in golf who doesn’t know Reed and Spieth and Fowler and Rory are no longer the future of golf, but very much its present.
Speaking of Rory, there’s been hardly a peep out of the American golf media about him or the Dubai Desert Classic. Contrast to last year when Woods played the event, and Golf Channel constantly ran promos for it and every mainstream golf reporter obsessed over it.