4:00 pm Update: Recall that I tipped Patrick Rodgers before this event started. Actually, I tipped him for this week before Colonial. Anyway, he is -1 through four holes, having birdied No. 3, which I think is the most difficult hole on the course. (I could be wrong on that.)
It’s Official! The Irish Open (310 strength of field) is substantially stronger than the Byron Nelson (272 strength of field). The Nelson was hit by a deluge of withdrawals (12 total) due to the prospect of the already soggy course predicted to be soaked again by rain on Friday and Saturday. I’ve enjoyed building up the Irish Open, but I hate to see the Byron Nelson suffer such an exodus. The tournament has been trending the wrong direction for several years now. On the bright side, Jordan Spieth is likely to play both DFW events for the rest of his career, and that will be a big shot in the arm until, oh, about 2040.
11:20 am Update: I can’t help but mention the great ETP coverage. Notice how they will let the course visuals and golfers and ambient sounds tell the story. They just went 15 or 20 seconds where not a word was spoken. Golf Channel/NBC/CBS don’t have 15 seconds of quiet their entire broadcasts! Also notice the lack of “In the hole!” idiots amongst the gallery. Absorb this coverage, then contrast it to this afternoon’s coverage and gallery at the Byron Nelson.
11:00 am Update: Golf Channel has been running a promo all morning for something, I’m not sure what. A streaming app or something. Anyway, the centerpiece of the promo is a clip of Woods some time in the past saying, “It’s good to be back.” Who knows when it was. He’s had about twenty comebacks/returns. Coming Soon: The Memorial promos. Think Woods will be featured in those?
Oh, I almost forgot. The Irish Open is completely sold out. Golf is dying, doncha know.
And now for something completely different… Posting at the CBS golf board automatically enables you to post about other sports, too. Yesterday CBS posted an article in the NFL section entitled, “NFL’s breakout players for 2015? Here are 20 on stardom’s doorstep.”
If you ever scan CBS’s NFL section, half the articles are about some player or other in trouble with the law or otherwise doing something asinine. So I wrote, “None of these players with break out. After your article, they will be moved to maximum security prisons.” CBS deleted my comment. No sense of humor at all.
7:00 am Update: Why is the best player in the world the worst player in the Irish Open? Rory’s game obviously got lost on its way to Europe. Fowler playing great. McDowell, Manassero, Pepperell likewise. Matthew Fitzpatrick, who has really struggled this year until very recently, is near the lead.
4:30 am: Great coverage. I’m elated the European Tour Productions crew is handling the broadcast. Rickie was standing on his third green with an eagle putt to go -4, but three-putted instead. He is now only -1. Rory looks a bit off, and his putter is not saving him; he sits at +2. Kaymer was put off course by a stray tee shot at a par-3, leading to double bogey; he also sits at +2. This group started on the back and had the wind at their back; soon they will turn into the wind.
Good to see Matteo Manassero playing well again; he’s really been struggling the last year or so, but his game might finally be coming around.