Euro PGA, Colonial: Semi Live Blog

9:30 pm Final Update: Jordan Spieth sits T-1 at Colonial; Rory McIlroy is T-23 at Wentworth.  A changing of the guard.  Spieth has supplanted McIlroy as the world’s top golfer!

7:00 pm Update:  I’ve really enjoyed the coverage today, and especially the coverage of the opening holes.  Often, coverage doesn’t begin at Colonial until the leaders are coming out of the Horrible Horseshoe (Nos. 3-5).  One thing I just missed was the tee shot at No. 10.  Watch for that the rest of the week, and tell me if you don’t think those people lining that tee box and leaning over the rope to look back are a few bricks shy of a load.

Damn!  Golf Channel just bailed on the coverage.  Disappointing.  Eight hours of Euro PGA this morning, but only three hours of the PGA Tour.  Hmm….  I wonder if jalnichols would approve.

5:55 pm Update: Lanny Sez:  I don’t think Jordan will have any problem finishing today.  We’re only a month away from the summer solstice, and he’s on the western part of the central time zone.  Should be no problem!  If Golf Channel stays with live coverage, we’ll get a lot more golf tonight!  The last groups won’t finish, I don’t suppose, which means tomorrow’s tee times will be pushed back, meaning… Jordan will be in some of the afternoon broadcast window.

I was thinking to myself, “I’ve never in my life seen Colonial this green; it looks like Augusta.”  Then I remembered the all the spring rain, including this morning.  At that precise time, Feherty said, “The course is incredibly green.  The area has got an astonishing amount of rain this year.”

Faldo two off the pace in the Senior Tour event:  I’m going to do something on the spur of the moment:  I’m making Nick Faldo a Make Me Pay pick!  If Nick wins this week, I pledge to donate $100 to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.    Let’s go, Sir Nick!  Good to see Corey Pavin at Colonial this week.  I really enjoyed watching the replay of his 1995 U.S. Open win earlier this week on Golf Channel.

3:10 pm Update:  I’m watching Jordan Spieth warm up, and I thought back to Augusta, when Tiger Woods was warming up…

Rex Hoggard:  Well, Kelly, I’m out here on the range, and there is the kind of excitement that can only be called a Tiger Woods buzz.  First he chipped for 20 minutes, in between hugs for all his great friends on Tour.

Kelly Tilghman:  Rex, you said you saw him chip.  How did he look?

Rex:  He looked great!  He didn’t scull any at all, and there were only a handful of chili dips.  I heard several fans say he looks like the Old Tiger.

Kelly:  Did you see him hit any drives?

Rex:  Yes, Kel.  He was hitting them as far as Tiger circa 2001.  The duck-hooks seems to just keep rolling and rolling and rolling, and the banana slices looked like they were touching the clouds.

Kelly:  How about putting?

Rex:  He made these so-called young guns look lazy.  Tiger was making three practice putts for every one of theirs.

Kelly:  Well, there’s certainly every reason to expect Tiger to play well today, and we’ll be there every step of the way.

4:00 pm Update: Live coverage is about to begin on Golf Channel.  There was a three-hour weather delay at the start of the day, so Spieth has yet to tee off.  Not sure if he’ll finish today or not.

I did not know Faldo was in this Senior event today, or I might have watched.

1:20 pm Update:  Stupidstic of the Day

From the European Tour:

How important is the first round of the #BMWPGA? 27 of the last 29 winners shot 70 or lower on the opening day.

Now, let’s all reconvene in 29 years and see if this is a meaningful trend or just another case of too many people looking for meaningless patterns in too much easily-available database information.   Of course, the idea of guys who shoot a good first round contending is hardly surprising…  Bottom line: Count Rory out, as he shot 71.

12:10 pm Update:  Jordan Spieth is going to tee off a couple of hours prior to Golf Channel’s live coverage, which seems to be starting a little later today, I suppose because of the Senior Tour “major.”

Has enough time passed for us to conclude that Phil Mickelson’s “personal matter” at the WGC Match Play was just him playing prima donna and skipping the event after his complaining got the format and venue changed?

I was suspicious of Reed’s change of plans, but it seems legit the more I learn about it.  I wonder if he’ll now consider trying to make the Irish Open next week.  I wish he would; it would help Rory’s event.  I’m really curious to see the OWGR tourney rating for that one.

7:50 am Update:  I grabbed this graphic from the Wentworth website.  It’s the 17th hole on the West Course.  It’s a dogleg-left par-5 with a long tunnel of a fairway.  The view from behind the green looking back down the fairway is eye-grabbing, magnifying the tunnel effect; it looks like the player’s tee shots arrived out of a magical, mystical, mythical tunnel, an apparition veering off to the right.


The trees on this course are real trees; they define the fairways.  Too often the “woods” on American courses are three or four naked-trunked pines which cause no concerns outside of the rare, unlucky stymie.  Wentworth also has penal rough all around.  I don’t think an inaccurate player off the tee like Tiger Woods could get around this track in fewer than 80 strokes.

If you ask me, Wentworth is a better golf course than Augusta National.  It’s not even close.

7:30 am Update:

“Tiger beat a lot of nobodies to win most of his majors.” — Dan Jenkins.

I just picked up a couple of tips from a new Dan Jenkins interview:

  1. “The Nelson, which will always be the Dallas Open to me”
  2. “what I still call the Crosby.”

Dallas Open and Crosby.  I usually call them the Bryon Nelson and Pebble Beach, but I will start using Dan’s names as well.  One thing is certain: neither Mister Jenkins nor I will ever call the San Diego Open the Farmers Insurance Open, or the Phoenix Open the Waste Management Open, or the L.A. Open the Northern Trust Open…

I’ll be interested to hear what Rory says about his round today.  Three holes yet to play and he’s currently positioned at T-11.  That’s a decent start, but it’s been kind of frustrating to watch, though I can’t quite put my finger on why.

6:40 am Update: This three-week stretch of golf is proof positive that golf is better when it’s not treated as a one-man reality show.  A fantastic Quail Hollow last week.  This week we have Rory anchoring the Euro PGA Championship and Spieth anchoring the Colonial.  Next week Rory anchors the Irish Open — a really high-profile event this year — and Spieth anchors the Byron Nelson.  Mind you, these are the three weeks between the Players and Memorial, typically portrayed as a “down” period by American golf reporters.  In years past, the media took a “Who cares? — Tiger isn’t playing” attitude.  It seems this year the media has finally caught up to the fans who have long been saying, “Woods is playing?  — Who cares.”

There’s a lot of forced talk about rivalries; most of it is media nonsense designed to fill up allotted time or space.  That said, forget that word, and think of McIlroy and Spieth simply as #1 and #2.  Each will be playing two weeks on his home turf, continents apart but linked by their OWGR rankings.  Another golf media phrase to forget is “send a message.”  There won’t be any message sending, but the golf world will be interested to see how each man performs during this fortnight.

5:20 am Update: The Euro Tour online radio coverage is so good, I forgot Golf Channel’s coverage started 20 minutes ago.  Rory has two birdies and two bogeys through seven holes.  He’s T-17 with 54 players on the course.

4:15 am: Rory bogied the first hole, birdied the second, missed birdie putt on the third.  Here’s the leaderboard, here’s a live blog, and here’s a live audio stream.

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19 Responses to Euro PGA, Colonial: Semi Live Blog

  1. Speedy says:

    There are atleast 20 courses in the UK and Ireland better than Augusta National. Wentworth isn’t in these, especially after the Els butchery.

    For some strange reason, many Brits and Irish treat Augusta National as hallowed ground, surprisingly foresaking their masterful links tests.

    • Ken says:

      Maybe courses an ocean away just seem more appealing, from both sides of the ocean.

      • Speedy says:

        Could be for some, but for others there’s plenty of shot value to choose from around the world–parkland, links, heathland.
        Augusta National’s TV value is very high, in terms of a carefully-manicured production, year after year after year.

  2. Speedy says:

    I guess with world-wide BMW Euro PGA Championship coverage this week, BBC felt compelled to ponder whether golf has become unhealthy and unfamily-like.

    “When watching a sports program we should be free from vile, insulting assaults.”

    I must confess to contributing to the sport’s perceived downfall.

    An afterthought. Maybe the BBC’s just bitter on being snookered out of a “healthy” golf television package.

    • lannyh says:

      First off, I had to approve this comment because of the link. I’ll go change that now. I put it that way the other day after someone left an idiotic image that automatically displayed.

      About the cursing, I have kind of a strict view of that. There are certain words in our society that simply aren’t permitted. You say those words and you are an outcast. So since everyone has to censor THOSE words out of their speech, why can’t we expect them to speak proper, civil English even when angry. Again, they would never use those other words, no matter what.

      An alternative would be to allow players to say whatever they want, but under the condition that foul language will mean you aren’t shown on television, maybe for a year’s time.

      • Ken says:

        I’m surprised that they don’t use the ten-second delay, as many other live broadcasts do. Call it the Woods rule.

  3. Jason says:

    Sorry to thread jack. Just curious, what does everyone think about Chambers Bay? I personally think it’s a beautiful course and one that will bring many competitors to their knees come June, but I know there are some who agree with Poulter and think it’s “complete farce”.

    I imagine Lanny will write something on this as we get closer to the Open. I just can’t wait because it’s the first time this glorious championship has come to my backyard, and I don’t care if it’s not a traditional US Open set up. I hope it does bring the undisputed “most overrated player” in golf to his knees.

    • lannyh says:

      I like everything about it, but I am concerned that it may be gimmicky. I don’t want to see a guy hit a shot one foot off target and get a bounce into a horrible lie while another misses by 30 feet and gets a bounce up next to the hole. If it is severe and punishing and FAIR, I think it will be great. And I’m all in favor of more West Coast golf.

      • Speedy says:

        It won’t be fair for players, caddies, or spectators. I feel/fear for the loopers already, unless they shuttle them with the players at spots. You must be fit to do anything with this course. Spectators should choose vantage points, and stay put with binoculars.

        There are tremendous shifts in elevation, which makes it a compromise to true links. A book entitled Chambers Bay: America’s St. Andrews is available. Because of elevation, CB is closer to Ballybunion, but even then it’s an unnecessary comparison. It is what it is, something unusual.

    • Speedy says:

      I played Chambers Bay in July 2012. It is a farce, but it can be an enjoyable farce, if one has his/her head in the right place. It’s as far from being a “members course”, as one can imagine. Which means it should be perfect for US Open and Ryder Cup.

      The course had immense problems after the terrific 2010 US Amateur. Most of these “challenges” involved the greens, since the USGA is intent on using fescue. They were the worst greens I’ve played. The original superintendent was fired. The new one didn’t have much success. Consequently, the USGA upped their involvement.

      I haven’t Googled for their greens conditions lately, so I don’t know how they’ve progressed. If they’ve progressed some, I think we can still safely say they’ll be amongst the worst greens this field has putted. Some must be furry because of undulations.

      Tee to green, the USGA has softened matters some, though if they’ve grown the rough to more than a few inches (meaning no more than 3 inches), that’ll be negated.

      Wind may or may not show up. The courses defenses should be the poor greens.

      Oh, they have no clubhouse, so i expect the worshipped linksters will be tenting it. Or changing at their courtesy cars.

  4. ParShooter says:

    Tuned in to catch some of the action only to find Lanny Wadkins calling the action. He ranks right up there with Ken Venturi (God rest his soul) as one of the most annoying announcers in my personal opinion. Johnny Miller has worked his way into the group as well.

    • lannyh says:

      Ah, I was wondering who that was. I agree about Johnny, which is very sad because he used to be my favorite by a large margin. I found his comments on the replay of the 1995 US Open held up okay. I got a kick out of some of the comments that probably wouldn’t be made today. Someone kidded Johnny about being Mormon so he couldn’t drink, and someone else point out Pavin’s religious leanings. Some people might not like that, but I personally want UNFILTERED conversation and analysis. That tops the PC, afraid-to-offend mindset we havew now.

      • Speedy says:

        Now, lanny, I think you’ll hafta accept occasional cussin’ with that rightfully liberal ‘tude.

  5. Speedy says:

    Can we please add Gary Koch to that group as well. Thank you.

  6. Speedy says:

    “Hello friends.” Yes, Jim Nantz also.

  7. Puttin'Fool says:

    One of the big differences between Ror’s and Jordan is Jordan’s putting prowess. Definitely evens the playing field between him and Ror’s tee ball.

    • Speedy says:

      Both have been putting well lately, apart from today’s hiccups, but PGAT stats through Wells Fargo back you up. Total Putting: Spieth #30, Rors #62.

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