Monday Thoughts (Early Edition)

Monday Morning Supplement

OWGR Scan:  Kisner climbed to OWGR #66 from #123.  Rickie went from #13 to #9;  Sergio climbed almost as many spots, going from #10 to #7.  Woods finished so far down the leaderboard, he didn’t even collect any points for playing, and dropped from #125 to #133.

If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It:  The Golf Powers, after the incredible 2014 WGC Match Play event, decided to move change the date and venue.  Now I hear on Golf Channel that the PGA Tour, after yesterday’s greatest Players in history, wants to modify Sawgrass.

Rory Going Quail Hunting:  I’m really glad to see Rory playing this week at Quail Hollow.  I’m also surprised, as he is playing next week’s European PGA Championship and the following week’s Irish Open, making five straight weeks of playing.  Speaking of the Irish Open, do you recall that Rickie Fowler is one of the players Rory was able to get to play there this year?  Yesterday might have upped the interest in Rickie by the Irish fans, don’t you think?

***

Sunday Night Early Edition

Remember the 2011 Masters grouping of Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler? Four years later, they’ve already all won a Tour event, and it’s only May 10.  The future of golf has become its present.

Overrated: First off, I have no problem whatsoever with anonymous pros being surveyed. In fact, I like it; it gives them a chance to be honest instead of toeing the company line. For example, what player would say publicly, “Tim Finchem needs to test players for PEDs off-site more often.”  Nothing good’s going to come from that.

And I don’t think the fact of Rickie winning today invalidates the fact that he has been overrated in the sense of his fame/success ratio. Overrated does not necessarily carry a horrible connotation. I think it’s pretty clear that the amount of publicity Rickie received over the years was not in line with his success. That’s not some horrible insult.  I’ve long said Tiger Woods has been overrated. (“No one else could hit THAT shot!”)  That’s not at all to say he’s a crap player; he was the best of his day; it’s just saying the reality was less than the hype.

Credit Where Credit is Due: Far be it for Ole Lanny to unduly take credit, but I think it’s pretty clear my dressing down of Rickie Fowler prior to the New Orleans Open two weeks ago (here and here) was just the tough love Rickie needed.

Thanks, Tiger:  Let’s all thank needle-mover Tiger Woods for playing this week.  I’m sure his presence will result in some very good television ratings!

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23 Responses to Monday Thoughts (Early Edition)

  1. BigTimeTimmyJim says:

    Yeah, your dressing down of Rickie, resulting in a missed cut, was way more influential than his peers “criticizing” him, resulting in a W.

    On a separate note, they just showed an interview of Rickie’s caddie. Really?

    • lannyh says:

      Well, those anonymous pros only criticized him only after I did. Same with the media. The mainstream golf media members often take what I write, rehash it and pass it off as theirs. I honestly don’t mind; I just want the truth out there.

      If I don’t forget, tomorrow I’ll go dig up a couple of “tough love” articles about Rickie Fowler that came out the week after mine.

      • BigTimeTimmyJim says:

        Well, being perfectly honest, I too noticed the poor play of Rickie up to this point. I guess the difference is you made a point to have an avenue where you could put it in writing.

  2. Jaybird says:

    This is more of what I have been hoping for. Sure there have been exciting events this year but a fair amount of them included some collapses. This one was more of a fight. Guys chuckin’ up birdies like they were going out of style. Sergio, Haas, Martin, didn’t lose it, Rickie, and to some extent, Kisner, earned this win/showdown by playing outstanding golf.

  3. Jaybird says:

    Had to rely on Internet scoring for a fair amount of the scoring and noticed that Tiger seemed to make a fair amount of birdies. Turns out he made 18 birdies over the course of the 4 days which was good for T15. Problem was he made 5 scores of double or worse over the course of the 4 days, and added 10 bogeys.

    Compare that to the winner, Rickie, who had 21 birdies, but only had 7 bogeys and 2 doubles, no “others”, but added the all important eagle on 16 in the final round.

    Kisner – 21 birdies, no eagles, 5 bogey’s, and 2 doubles

    Sergio – 20 birdies, no eagles, 10 bogeys, no doubles

    Keeping the big numbers off the card is very important. Not saying TW is going to go on some winning streak but IF he can eliminate those big numbers he’ll get back to contention.

    You may not like it but I think it would be huge for golf, in the short term, if Tiger mixed it up with some of these young guys like Rory, Rickie, Jordy, Jason, etc. We have transitioned to a new age but that doesn’t mean golf fans don’t want to see one more swan song a la Jack in 86.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      nah…

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        the golf channel does, but the golf channel is stuck in the same gear…..

    • lannyh says:

      As Woods was on the morning live stream both Saturday and Sunday, I saw a lot of his play. The reason he had five scores of double or worse is that he hit the ball all over the place. He could have had ten or fifteen more doubles-or-worse. Every second or third tee shot was a duck hook, with the occasional “far right” balls mixed in. After one duck hook, he used his trademark vulgar language. The fans at the tee box ropes stood there in awkward silence. He is not deserving of even 1/10 of the attention he still gets.

      Jack was like a Shakespeare play. People grew fonder as time went by. Woods is like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. People dressed up in costumes and threw popcorn at the screen. It was the big popular, trendy thing to do. Everybody did it because everybody did it. Then people stopped, and theaters stopped their Friday night showings (after many years). No one hopes Rocky Horror Picture Show returns, but Shakespeare plays are still cherished.

      The only “golf fans” who wish for Woods to be involved in anything are the “I only watch when Tiger plays” crowd. By definition, they are going to be more interested if Woods plays, because they are ONLY going to be interested if Woods plays.

      If Woods had been four shots back of the five guys sitting on -12, we’d have been “treated” to his every shot and grimace. Rickie and “overrated” would not have even been a secondary storyline. Kisner would never have even been mentioned.

      Woods is no longer “good for golf.” If he ever was.

    • Kris says:

      The Shakespeare vs Rocky Horror Picture Show analogy is fantastic. By the way, Sergio made an eagle on the 2nd hole in the 3rd round. Unless and until Tiger contends without the aid of questionable rulings and PED use, ignore him like everyone else.

  4. Jaybird says:

    People like to overstate the “Tiger drew these young guys to the game” meme a bit. It’s a bit misguided, obviously. Most of these guys, if not all, were drawn to the game by family and a friends.

    What I don’t think is overstated is the effect Tiger had on how hard these young players work to play at a high level. Tiger is 39, will be 40 this year, so pretty much everyone late 20’s and younger saw Tiger as the bench mark and that’s the effect Tiger had. He showed the “young gun’s” the level of golf that could be attained, and how to work hard at it to get there. Seeing guys like Rory, Rickie, Jordy, Jason, and a host of other players playing at, and in some cases, above, that level, is a clear indication of the effect/influence Tiger had on today’s generation.

    I think organizations like The First Tee and the AJGA, among other junior golf organizations and programs, helped develop the etiquette you see from today’s players.

    • Ken says:

      People “overstate the “Tiger drew….” meme is an understatement. They beat that to death. They do it with McIlroy, a guy whose grandfather and father were club champs at the course he grew up at. He was playing golf at a very early age. They do it with a bunch of guys whose fathers had them on course at a very early age, at a time when they wouldn’t even have known who Tiger Woods was.

      AJGA probably helps with etiquette, but mostly I think it’s good parenting.

  5. Ken says:

    Amazing stuff from Fowler and the others yesterday.

    I totally agree with the “overrated” thing before yesterday. He had one win and was talked about as being one of the very best players. All the talk about finishing high in majors means little. You have to win something. It doesn’t even have to be a major, just start winning tournaments. That poll probably lit a fire under him. Maybe he’ll start being a regular winner now. Sometimes you need to get over the hump.

    • lannyh says:

      Now the “overrated” thing only makes his win resonate more. All the kids who dressed up in orange all these past years are never going to forget this storyline.

      • Ken says:

        I found myself almost starting to dislike Fowler because of all the undue attention showered on a one-time winner. Yet he’s such a nice kid whenever you see him in interviews. I really do hope that this is the start of something big for him. Good guy. Good for the game.

      • lannyh says:

        Same here. My favorite thing about him still remains his humble beginnings in the game. (I have never been anywhere near Murrieta, CA, but I looked at that scraggly range he started on so many times via Google Maps, I feel like I’ve hit a bucket of balls there.) I will always be a fan because of that, but it was starting to seem players like, say, Brooks Koepka, were better on the course but getting 1/100 the attention off it. This is a case where I’m elated that Rickie “shut me up.”

  6. Speedy says:

    “Irish” and “Memorial”, Fowler’s only starts before Chambers Bay?

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t know. I wondered if he might play the Euro BMW PGA the week before the Irish, but I don’t know. Not sure what the US event is. St. Jude?

  7. Jason says:

    Sorry to bring this unrelated rant to this story (never sure where to make these unrelated comments that I want to share with this forum).

    I hope that everyone else hates the new XR golf ball commercials as much as I do. “XR, hit it so far, XR, jiggy jiggy jiggy”. Who honestly that that was a good marketing campaign?

    • lannyh says:

      You can rant about whatever you want wherever you want, and if you want, I’ll post it as an article here. I can’t recall that commercial. That’s not to say I haven’t see it a hundred times, I just don’t recall it. The one that drove me nuts this week was the online one with the actor Rory kid hitting balls into the dryer. The unaccompanied and unexpected clanking sound kept making me think something in my house was breaking.

  8. Jason says:

    Thank you, Lanny. This particular spot is also online, usually a 6 second add before one of Porter’s imbedded links plays. You probably haven’t seen it because you are smarter than I am and don’t click on his stories anymore.

  9. Speedy says:

    Lots of bandwagon jumpers for These Guys Are Good, because there’s a different winner most weeks. It’s happened before. Changing of the guard. or what we think may be changing of the guard.

    Re 3-hole aggregate playoff, lots of lovers of that, too. But, it was mighty close to coming back Monday morning. Finchem & Co. might want to rethink that some.

    The retired bikini model. Definitely undressed. The only blemish in Fowler’s win. Rethinking needed there, also.

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