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:
- “The Nelson, which will always be the Dallas Open to me”
- “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.