Thursday, Day One: The Players Semi Live Blog

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.

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22 Responses to Thursday, Day One: The Players Semi Live Blog

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tiger kicking your boy Spieth’s azz

  2. lannyh says:

    Well, there is a difference: Jordan has already played No. 17. Don’t forget to come back and comment after Woods rinses a couple coming in.

    (And two shots is hardly a butt kicking, anyway.)

  3. Jaybird says:

    I’m not sure what’s funny about TW saying his 73 was the worst he could have shot. I mean, he missed at least one short putt and had 2 doubles on the card

    • Jaybird says:

      It reminds me of a funny situation I encountered during a High School State tournament I was scoring. Kid comes in after having a hole in one during the round. The rules official congratulated him but instead of an exciting response the kid seemed kind of down. Just before he left the scoring area he says, “had a hole in one, three birdies…..and shot 80.

      • lannyh says:

        I would have been excited to have a hole-in-one when I was young, but I don’t think it would affect me the same now if I got one. However… there is one I really, really, really wanted. It was a par-3 from the top of a set of tiered tee boxes, sloping all the way to the green. I stone-cold topped one and it rolled through every tee box on its way to the green. We had plenty of time for commentary. It rolled past the pin a foot or two to the side. Oh, that would have been fun!

    • lannyh says:

      And he made some long putts, and, like I said, he made the island green by inches. Again, such a comment is normally said when a guy misses ten five-footers or somesuch. But Woods lost 0.390 strokes, hardly a day changer.

      • TruthTeller says:

        Along the lines of my story, Tiger made 5 birdies, which you’d think would put him, or any tour player really, under par and yet he was +1.

      • lannyh says:

        How many times was he in the water? Thinking back to his comment, he got a birdie on a par-5 where he yanked it way left.

        The course was easy today (relatively speaking). -3 put you just inside the top 25. If he parred No. 18, he would have been T-40. He hit the ball all over the place. I thought shot what he should have, and that takes into consideration some decent scrambling (not the least the birdie on No. 17).

    • Jaybird says:

      It is what it is. I guess it boils down to this,

      The phrase, “the highest score I could have shot” is usually applied to rounds where a player feels like the score doesn’t accurately reflect how he felt he struck the ball during the round. And, TW definitely isn’t the only player that uses that phrase, or a phrase that essentially means the same thing.

      • lannyh says:

        Right. But having seen his round, he yanked drives left, fanned irons short and right, I mean, it was not exactly a ball-striking clinic. I don’t recall him missing any real short ones, and I know he made a least one of good length, plus the chip-in.

        Rory bounced one off a sprinkler head, probably robbing him of a birdie on a par-5. Of course he also bounced one off of a railroad tie bordering water, which found dry land…

  4. TruthTeller says:

    Here’s a good question for you.

    It appears Tiger and Jordan are both outside the cut line (I know, another round to go)….so, with Tiger at +1, and Jordan at +3, who has the better chance of making the cut?

    • lannyh says:

      My first response was Woods, but I don’t know. That’s a close one. I guess if I had to bet, I’d still take Woods. (I just heard Jordan say he had a problem with his swing today, not just a bad scoring day.)

      I started to say Lahiri would beat Woods in this event, but I’m not sure Lahiri will make the cut. Did you know he was +5 after four holes, +6 after six holes? Then he played the rest of the day in -2. Pretty impressive. I like his chances vs Woods IF this were a no-cut event. Realistically, he’d have to be an underdog, but I think it’d be competitive.

  5. BigTimeTimmyJim says:

    The Sun (of London, England) declares, “Rory closes the Jor.”

    Boom! It’s officially a rivalry now! (to the media anyway)

  6. TruthTeller says:

    Dammit, Lanny.

    I usually just have GC on as background noise but your consistent bitching about the coverage appears to have gotten to me as I noticed that since Live From came on I don’t think they’ve mentioned Hideki….you know, that guy tied for the lead.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, I was thinking about that earlier today. He’s gonna be an important part of golf and they give him the “another one of the strong young players” routine.

      • TruthTeller says:

        I don’t know if it applies to him but generally speaking, the language barrier comes into play with “Asian” golfers.

      • lannyh says:

        Oh, man, I just saw Ryo do an interview a day or two ago. It was really cool. He has been working hard on his English. He was doing well, though in somewhat fragmented English. At one point, he couldn’t find a word, looked off camera and spoke in Japenese. His translator — his training wheels — was there to lend a hand.

        I’m not sure of Hideki’s English-speaking status.

  7. TruthTeller says:

    Speaking of Lahiri…’s Snedeker doing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Snedeker is -3 for the tournament (tied with Rory), and he played in the afternoon. His success will be ignored because it interferes with the Euro Seven narrative.

      • lannyh says:

        You really want to go there? I didn’t write a thing last week about Sned’s 0-3 performance at the Match Play.

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