We’re getting close. After this week’s tournaments conclude on Sunday, the eyes of the golf world will turn to Rory. The field is set for the Erstwhile Inverrary, the 14th strongest event last year. With the Match Play moved to May, this will be the strongest event played so far this year.
I should perhaps mention why I call this event the Erstwhile Inverrary, which is a shorterned version of the Jackie Gleason Nicklaus Inverrary Classic. This event started out 42 years ago as the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic, Inverrary being the name of the golf club where it was played. It was there for 12 years, then moved several times before winding up on the Jack Nicklaus course that has the Bear Trap. That’s the PGA National, or something like that. Anyway, you can see how I wound up with the long name. “Jackie Gleason Nicklaus Inverrary Classic” was just too unwieldy, so I went with the Erstwhile Inverrary. I quite like that name, though I reckon few others do.
The practice of naming tournaments after corporations is a trend that needs to be reversed, but I know it’s too late. Outside of the majors, is there even one non-corporate-named tourney left? The L.A. Open is the Northern Trust Open. A new golf fan sees that name and thinks the tournament is in Minnesota, I imagine. I mean, it’s not even the Northern Trust Los Angeles Open. The L.A. Open doesn’t even have “L.A.” in it any longer, for crying out loud. Idiocracy, Finchem style.
Tomorrow, I will put “Why the American Golf Media Hates Rory McIlroy,” or something along those lines, in the Rory Countdown. Stay tuned.
Obsessive, and dumb: The All Tiger All The Time golf media is as dumb as they are obsessive. I mean, if you are going to obsess over something, you shouldn’t miss anything, but they regularly do. Let’s make this a pop quiz. I’ll put the answer at the bottom of this column. What are these Tiger apologist writers overlooking?
Bob Harig, ESPN: Woods will not be eligible for the WGC-Cadillac Championship in two weeks. It remains to be seen whether he would enter the Valspar Championship near Tampa (he has never played the event) in three weeks or the Arnold Palmer Invitational a week later at Bay Hill, where Woods has seven professional victories.
Harig, again: If Woods skips Honda, he won’t be eligible for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral the following week, which would mean three full weeks of working on his game.
Steve DiMeglio, USA Today: Woods now must wait until at least the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor on March 12-15. He has never played there.
There are scores of other examples, but I’ll leave it at those. So what are these guys — guys who obsess over Tiger Woods every waking hour — overlooking? The answer appears at the bottom of this column.
Kyle and Ben: Kyle Porter, the King of Animated GIFs, has put together a real nice article on Ben Hogan. If you read it, there is an added bonus: I offered up my list of the top three golfers of all time in comments section.
This week’s events: I’m still getting a kick out of the traffic noises around No. 6 and No. 7 at the Indian Open in Delhi. The rest of the course is very peaceful. Did you know the Delhi course is older than Augusta National? Well, kind of. The first course at the Lodhi Club seems to have been built prior to Augusta.
In L.A., I’m personally pretty pleased with the leaderboard. Spieth — how about his drive on No. 18 yesterday! — and Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson are all in the top ten. I hope at least a couple of them are still in the hunt come Sunday afternoon. Seems like my favorites have been falling by the wayside of late.
The solution to the pop quiz: There is an opposite field event in Puerto Rico the week of the WGC-Trump Championship; Woods can play in that if he wants. I should point out that while I was gathering examples this morning, I noticed Emily Kay of SB Nation (and a couple of others) had actually pointed out this possibility. Kudos to her, and to all of you who answered correctly. (There could be other correct answers, I suppose; the golf media writes something dumb in just about every sentence.) I hope I’m not being picayune here, but if Harig and DiMeglio are going to obsess over and “analyze” every detail of Tiger Woods’s movements, they should at least notice the obvious things. You really gotta wonder why Harig and DiMeglio have high-profile jobs at ESPN and USA Today while Steve Elling labors in Siberia.