Late Addition: From the Scotsman:
RORY McIlroy came out firmly on top in an early instalment of his so-called “rivalry” with new Masters champion Jordan Spieth on the opening day of the Players Championship at Sawgrass.
That’s the kind of thing that makes me rate the Euro golf press so much higher than the American.
I fully expect Jordan to play better tomorrow. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t.
8:00 pm Final Update: The Sun (of London, England) declares, “Rory closes the Jor.”
7:10 pm Update: Tiger Woods makes the No. 17 island green by 3 inches and chips in for birdie. He has better putting stats than Rory McIlroy, who beat him by four shots. Then, after his round, he declares his +1 score was the worst he could have shot today. All you can do is laugh.
2:41 pm Update Woods Making History: Tiger Woods just hit a shot into the water in a place an NBC announcer said he has never seen a ball go in all his years of covering this event — going all the way back to 1988! If a kid on “The Short Game” hit a shot that bad, his dad would spank him.
3:01 pm Update: Woods Does It Again!
On the fifth hole, Tiger Woods once again used a putter from off the green. Johnny Miller opined that he was shocked by the choice. Woods just does not seem to want to chip.
2:04 pm Update: Does Woods Have Yips After All?
Tiger Woods has bogeyed his first hole of the day, missing a short part putt, pushing it badly to the right. Prior to that missed putt, he had putted from off the green, perhaps showing a reluctance to chip.
1:10 pm Update: What the hell is up with Kelly’s coverage here? Bizarre. I literally laughed. I hope she isn’t really going to call the action? Is someone sick or something? If she’s filling in, good for her. If she was chosen to cover this, big mistake. Kelly calling Tiger Woods. Haha, the thought of it is ridiculous. Now, she’s doing the obligatory somber tone voiceover opening. “The strongest field of the year.” Kelly lies before she gets through the introduction.
Oh, thank goodness! Never have Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo sounded so good!!
12:10 pm Update: You get a great feel for an event by watching a stream dedicated to a single group. In today’s case, you see how much waiting they are having to do. An announcer just said it took Rory’s group 2 hours and 40 minutes to play the front nine.
11:50 am Update: Phil Mickelson tees off in two hours. My question: Is it premature to bash him for skipping last week’s Match Play? For years, Mickelson hasbashed the Match Play format and bashed the Dove Mountain venue. So the Golf Powers change the format and venue, and Phil thanks them by — skipping the event. (Same as it ever was… same as it ever was…) His excuse for backing out was “personal reasons.” Well, here he is one week later playing at Sawgrass, with no explanation on how he got his personal problems sorted out. I say: Bash away!
10:37 am Update: The eagle has landed! In Florida! With an Irish flag! Jordan is okay. Don’t fret. You are going to have a few bad holes in a round; sometimes they come on Thursday.
9:20 am Update: The media-proclaimed Spieth-McIlroy Rivalry is off to a horrendous start. Maybe the golf media should stick to covering sports news instead of trying to create it.
8:00 am: Are you ready to rumble! Thirty-nine minutes until McIlroy-Spieth-Day. (live stream starts at 8:30 EDT) I wasn’t pleased with this grouping when I first saw it but now I do, though I do not want them to make a habit of it, as it is disruptive. (Let them meet naturally on the weekend.) Euro Sevener Anirban Lahiri doubled the first hole, dammit.