Memories of 2011: Do you remember the 2011 Masters when Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day were grouped together for the first two rounds? Do you remember how well they played as a group? After two rounds, Rory was atop the leaderboard, Jason was sole 2nd, and Rickie was T-7. (Rory and Jason actually played together again on Saturday.)
Rory entered that Masters as World #9, Rickie as World #32, and Jason as World #41. Four years later, they are World #1 (Rory), World #4 (Jason), and World #12 (Rickie).
Murrieta Valley Driving Range: Anyone recall the idea I had for an article about Rickie Fowler and the driving range in Murrieta, California, where he spent so much time when growing up? Well, let’s give credit where credit is due. Golf Magazine actually did something along those lines even as I was writing my suggestion. They didn’t address my main point, which was that driving ranges offer an affordable entry into the world of golf, but they did a good job of describing the vibe, at least for those of us already familiar with such modest driving ranges.
I encountered the article quite by chance, spotting a copy of the magazine in a waiting room. I was baited by a cover photo of Rory McIlroy. I thought the magazine was quite good, truth be told, at least that issue. I see you can subscribe for just $10 a year, so if that’s your thing, it might be worth considering. It struck me as being better than the competition, or at least my memories of the competition. Anyway, the article about Rickie was damn decent; I located it online this morning, so you can judge for yourself. I wish they would use this piece as a jumping off point for another article on the affordability of driving ranges, but, hey, it’s a step in the right direction. (If you do read it, I’d advise you to first peruse the photos I provided in my article, so you can read the article with a full feel for how modest a place the Murrieta driving range actually is.)
Tiger Woods’s Odd Announcement: Even though everyone reading will already know this, but I feel compelled to mention it because no one in the mainstream golf media ever will. Tiger Woods could have said, “I’m out for the Honda and won’t be back until at least such-and-such.” Instead, he said something like, “I want to play the Honda, but I won’t unless I’m ready.” Okay, if he had any idea at all that he might play it, why say anything at all? Are players expected to announce sabbaticals during their off weeks now?
I get that he might want to lay the groundwork for missing the Honda, but isn’t WD’ing from the San Diego Open with back pain a pretty clear signal that the next start is iffy? And does he really have any intention at all of playing? It strikes me as just another desperate attempt to keep his name in the news. And — this is really my reason for writing this — watch how this Friday, there will be “stories” about how “The entry deadline has passed for the Honda, and there is no Tiger Woods. Let’s bring in our roundtable panel in to discuss this ‘latest development.'”
“I like their drivers”: There’s a five-year-old kid in England you may have heard about. Here’s a short article with a quality Sky Sports news video if you are interested. I mention him for this reason: He states his two favorite players are Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Uh, oh, that kid needs to be taught The Narrative.
Tiger Fanboy Media Quote of the Day 1: Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel writes this:
Tiger Woods – arguably the most athletic golfer of all time and the man solely responsible for ushering in the new fit-crazed era on tour
The man solely responsible for ushering in the new fit-crazed era on tour? Really? I’ve written about this fallacy so many times, I can now just quote myself. From a past article:
Okay, despite the fact that the PGA Tour had a traveling fitness trailer at every event ten years before Woods showed up, the narrative has been, “Tiger Woods brought fitness to golf.” Woods was “golf’s first athlete.” (Which had to come as a surprise a guy like Hale Irwin, who was all-conference as a football player in the Big Eight. Not to mention, John Brodie, who played the tour after being an NFL quarterback. Or that guy, Jack Nicklaus, who was a star in every sport he played. Woody Hayes, recognizing Nicklaus’s immense golfing potential and fondness for football, told Jack’s father, “Keep him as far away from my game as you can.”)
The media took the mythology they created regarding Woods and resistance training and ran with it. That was the wave of the future: Tiger is a pioneer, praise him, worship him, imitate him!
I didn’t even mention Gary Player.
Davis Love III: The golf media is not at all happy with the selection of DLIII as Ryder Cup captain. For several reasons — he’s a repeat, he’s lowkey, he’s not Freddie Golfdashian — they won’t be able to create any “exciting” narratives. I don’t think they find Clarke “exciting” either. The Ryder Cup, being an NBC event, has to be talked about 365 days a year on Golf Channel. These captain selection don’t make that job any easier. Add to that the likelihood that Woods and Mickelson might well have played their last Ryder Cups, and the Morning Drive crew is reduced to crying in their coffee.
Tiger Woods Media Fanboy Quote of the Day 2: “SportsCenter” anchor Jonathan Coachman, speaking of Tiger Woods and his recent travails:
It was truly hard to watch my favorite golfer…