7:15 pm Final Update
Really nice 60-second Q&A with Rory from Irish Examiner. Names his best friends on Tour (one was Justin Thomas, which I found interesting) and the player he’d play money to see play.
The Dinah Shore is getting intense and it’s just Saturday. Sei Young Kim and Stacey Lewis are tied, with Lincicome, Lexi, and Pressel in hot pursuit.
One quick comment about the NCAA basketball. I saw a chart today that showed the highest-rated championship game was in 1979, with Indiana State squaring off against Michigan State. Yeah, you know who the star players were in that one. In fact, all the highest-rated games were from at least 20 years ago. I guess my point is that I’d way rather watch Stacey Lewis and Sei Young Kim at the Dinah Shore than I would today’s version of NCAA March Madness. Nothing against the game today, but back then, we filled out brackets by hand, and we had Magic vs. Bird. Last year’s championship game drew half the ratings the game used to regularly get. Yeah, that’s right. Half. Despite all the hype and 24/7 sports talk — or perhaps because of it — March Madness does not permeate the nation’s consciousness the way it once did.
6:15 pm Update
Looking good for Jordan Spieth, who leads by one. I’ve got quite a few tidbits about Spieth I think I’ll serve up with Sunday brunch tomorrow morning. Looks like if he wins this thing, he moves to world number two. If Spieth doesn’t get the W, I’m for Austin Cook big-time among his pursuers.
Most of my rooting interests have fallen by the wayside in the LPGA Dinah Shore, but at least Stacey Lewis is hanging tough. Lexi not too far back. Sei Young Kim seems pretty impressive at age 22.
4:55 pm Update
A new header! Haha, I won’t leave it long. There’s surely a problem with using such an image without permission. But I’ll leave it a day or two.
4:40 pm Update
Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks go into their Tiger speech. He made golf cool, they tell us, then they blah blah blah about him playing the Masters. Totally idiotic and unnecessary, but give them credit for waiting a long time and getting it over quickly.
3:40 pm Update
Austin Cook is livening up the proceedings today. I’d love to see that guy win. Spieth is climbing and sits only two back — and just hit one close. Very makeable putt coming up. Makes it! Sits one off lead. Long way to go, yet. Jordan needs to bear down and finish solid. He’s faded a few Saturdays on the back nine, hurting his Sunday chances. I’d love to see the winner be Spieth or Cook. Reed making a mini-run, but two front-nine bogeys offset his hole in one. He sits five back. Needs a strong finish today to really in the hunt tomorrow.
1:20 pm Update
Patrick Reed with the ace!! Picks up two strokes on field. He and caddy run maniacally to the green for some reason, across a long wooden footbridge, too. He went back and looked at area under bridge. Did he drop something? That was weird.
1:05 pm Update
Mickelson and Cook are both in the bunker off of first tee. It looks like their balls came to rest where each will have to stand on the other guy’s ball in order to hit. Maybe not, but it’s close.
8:45 am : Geoff Shackelford on Morning Drive
“Huge win for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth…” You know the meme by now: By not giving Rory his deserved coverage, it helps Rory… Giving Woods undeserved attention is a “win” for those who will not get their deserved attention.
That is the most bullshit narrative I’ve ever heard.
8:40 am : Shane Bacon on Moose and Maggie
I praised Bacon just yesterday for saying he hoped Woods didn’t play and that Woods distracted attention from the deserving participants. On Moose and Maggie this morning, Bacon was all about how “good for the game” Tiger is. Nothing about how he had been hoping Woods wouldn’t play. After Bacon’s segment, Moose told listeners that Woods used to be the “odds-on” favorite every year at the Masters, thereby showing he is as clueless as the next sports “analyst.”
8:07 am : Gary Williams
“We cannot talk about him enough.” Williams said this after going through the standard Woods bullshit: made golf cool; face of golf; attracts kids. He somehow forgot to mention that participation rates are down since Woods gained fame. Yeah, doesn’t fit with your false narrative. Oops.
This does not bode well for anyone wanting quality Masters Week coverage from Golf Channel. This is exactly why the USA Today writer last week wrote that “Tiger Woods is no longer good for golf.”
7:45 am : Rex Hoggard, Lying Through His Teeth.
Rex Hoggard pushes the idea that other golfers are “elated” that Woods is playing because it “takes the pressure off of them.” Okay, that is total bullshit. For one thing, Tour players receive compensation from their logo sponsors for the amount of time they are on television. It’s measured. Very precisely. The golf media’s ridiculous coverage of Woods actually takes money out of the pockets of the deserving players.
Now, consider Rory. He may never win another major in his life, you never know; this could be the biggest moment of his career. Having two majors in a row heading into Augusta should be a bigger story than California Chrome going for the Triple Crown last year. But the golf media tells us a broken-down, freak-show nag running in the Belmont Stakes deserves the majority of the attention, and its entry “takes the pressure off of California Chrome.” The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner should be “elated” that he won’t get the media attention he deserves as he goes for the Triple Crown.
7:15 am : Morning Drive Tiger Circle Jerk
The open is about nothing but Woods.
Gary Williams: “When you get a story like this, it’s enormous.” He says that to explain why he is skipping the LPGA’s major taking place this week.
Damon: “Do you believe that he believes he can win?” John Cook: “There’s no doubt about it.”
In case you were wondering, this is another “comeback.” Must be what, the 20th? They keep using that term.
Woods’s decision to play shows Damon Hack Tiger is “all in.” (Whatever the hell that means.)
They show a 30-second fist-pumping montage. It’s fifteen after, and they’ve yet to discuss anything other than Woods.
Hack says his expectations are “extremely low.” Gee, so if Woods finishes T-40, you can gush about how great he played. I can give you one guarantee: Whatever Woods shoots, good, bad, horrid, mediocre, fair, whatever… it will be considered “the story of the tournament” to the fools on Morning Drive.
6:00 am : Tiger, Greatest of All Time
Our crack research team, in conjunction with the American golf media, has come up with the ultimate statistic to show just how superior a golfer Tiger Woods is to Jack Nicklaus.
- Jack Nicklaus wins a major every 1526 days of his life.
- Tiger Woods wins a major every 1022 days of his life.
Sorry, Jack, it’s not even close. There has never before been a majors-winning machine like Tiger Woods, and there never will be again.
[Note to Karen Crouse of the New York Times: Feel free to use this stat in your next piece.]