Tuesday Thoughts

Wei Over There:  Stephanie Wei, who recently (and rightfully) had her credentials revoked by the PGA Tour, is heading to Wentworth to cover the European PGA Championship.  Good for her!  It’s a great idea.  Rory is the defending champ, so there will be immense interest as he seeks to win his third event in four weeks.  Then, the following week, she’ll be at the Irish Open to cover the start of that event, which is being hosted by Rory and has quite a strong field.  I look forward to following her reporting.

Rory on the Dan Patrick Show: If you haven’t seen/heard Rory’s appearance on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday, it’s worth checking out.  Rory has such good grace and humor about him.  Whenever the interview seemed headed to an awkward place, Rory would right the ship with an amusing remark.  I’m not really on board with his theory of golfers needing to look like “athletes.”  I’m not naive; I realize that appearances matter in the entertainment world.  However, I also remember a music video I saw decades ago on Headbangers Ball or somesuch.  A heavy metal guitarist who looked like Arnold Schwazenagger was playing shirtless.  It was amusing, but it quickly became apparent that while he could surely bench press more then Kirk Hammett, he couldn’t play like him.

Golf, like music, is not a beauty or bodybuilding contest.  Either you can play or you can’t, and it doesn’t matter if you look like Chesson Hadley and Chris Robinson, or if you look like Brendon de Jonge and Adele.  Looks help with sponsorship deals, sure.  Ask Danica Patrick.  On the other hand, skinny and fat golfers send a message that any body type can play and potentially excel.  That message inspires some people to take up the game who otherwise might not.

I’m glad Rory feels free to voice his opinion, but I don’t have to agree.  Golf has room for all body types.  I don’t think the overweight NFL offensive linemen are causing kids to ignore football.

Lastly I would like to point out that during my youth there was a very photogenic man who was considered the World’s Greatest Athlete.  He won the Olympic decathlon and looked very handsome and athletic on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  However, try as they might, not everyone can look like Bruce Jenner.

Best. US Open. Ever.  One of my favorite U.S. Opens is being replayed tonight on Golf Channel.  It’s the 1995 tournament from Shinnecock Hills, won by Corey Pavin.  Thinking about this event, I recalled an incident at Shinnecock nine years earlier in 1986.  It shows how a real man handles hecklers.  I’ll let the L.A. Times tell the tale:

As Norman addressed his ball on the No. 14 tee-box, a man who appeared to be in his early 20s began heckling the golfer.

“Norman, you’re choking,” said the man, who was wearing a white shirt that was unbuttoned, revealing his bare chest.

Norman didn’t flinch, hitting a solid drive down the middle of the fairway.

Norman then began searching the gallery for the man. When he found him, the man smiled at Norman.

The smile quickly disappeared when the man saw Norman step over the rope. If this were a movie, the theme from “Jaws” would have been playing. Norman’s nickname is the Shark.

He looked as if he were about to put a loud-mouthed shrimp on the barbie.

“If you want to say that, I’ll talk to you afterward,” Norman told the man. “But shut your face.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the man said.

Norman stalked away, not acknowledging the apology.

Tour Confidential:  I try to read or at least scan Tour Confidential every Monday.  Astonishingly, this week’s edition did not mention Tiger Woods.  Not even once.  I think that’s the first time ever.

Gold Medal, Schmold Medal:  Speaking of Woods, I find it funny that suddenly it’s become de riguer to bash Olympics golf now that Tiger Woods is highly unlikely to be participating.  If you want a laugh, google for old articles detailing how “if the games were held today, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would qualify.”  Of course, should Woods somehow make the field and win — and navigate the drug testing — the gold medal in golf would turn into the Holy Grail, the one true determinant of the Greatest of All Time.  (For the record, I said Olympics golf was a bad idea from day one.  Restrict it to amateurs, or do away with it.  Adam Scott’s take is so obvious, it’s odd it is even considered a story.)

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9 Responses to Tuesday Thoughts

  1. Speedy says:

    Wondering how a blog owner such as Wei could recoup expenses incurred on a European trip, such as the one just mentioned?

    • lannyh says:

      Well, she also works for Fox Sports Asia. Maybe they are footing the bill. I don’t know.

      Maybe I should see if I can get reimbursed for covering the Irish Open! I’ll call my team of tax accountants this afternoon.

  2. Jason says:

    Michelle Wei won’t travel to Ireland for the Open on her own. She will certainly bring along her team. Where am I going with this? If the LannyH blog is going to cover the Irish Open live, you will need to bring along a team of your own, and I’d like to volunteer to join. I can’t write well, cook, plan itineraries, etc., but I am an excellent hype man, and will cheer you on as you type every word.

    Looking forward to the trip!

  3. Ken says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of the Olympics. I’m not into pageantry and all those “inspiring” personal stories that the networks throw at people. It should be for the traditional Olympic sports only, like wrestling and track and field (ZZZZzzzzzzzz). The fact that the NHL will actually stop its season to participate in a meaningless exhibition – at a risk to its high-priced talent – is just ridiculous. Golf has no place here. Yeah I’ll eat into my schedule rather than prep for the British Open and PGA.

    Why becoming an “Olympic event” suddenly confers a high status on something is a mystery to me.

    It’s always been the quadrennial hypocrisy fest. They always tell you that it’s about the athletes not countries, a time to put aside differences and compete in the spirit of peace, friendship, and sportsmanship. All in the shadow of the giant medal count scoreboard by country!

    And yeah, I’m a cynic. All those guys and gals who so proud be “representing their country.” Nah. They’re there representing themselves and they want personal glory. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Yeah as a kid, the olympics seemed ‘deeper’ and certainly better than they are now(mostly due to the ‘cold war’)………could just be nostalgia kicking in too, I don’t know………Olympics should NOT have any professional athlete playing…..The ‘cold war’ and Russians taking steroids, kinda helped some of the pros getting involved…..Now though, pros seem to TAKE AWAY some of the lure and interest of the olympics…..Without the COLD WAR RUSSIANS, the Olympics almost seem unnecessary……I don’t care if Phil or Eldrick or Rory wins a medal….As Lanny said, if ‘you know who’ won a medal, it would suddenly be of major importance to the golf channel, but it really doesn’t mean anything….Just another mini tournament, with no OFFICIAL purse, but plenty of SPONSOR money for those players showing up and playing…..SMH…..

      • Ken says:

        The only thing that I get about Woods or Phil wanting to play in tbe Olympics is the “last hurrah” element. Heck Phil will be 46. Neither will make it. I guess I can understand how anyone would want to be one of the two highest ranked players in their country. They are competitive athletes. After making the team, the actual Olympics would be just a distraction and a letdown.

  4. Speedy says:

    Olympics are bad for golf. They do extensive dope testing and announce all results.

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