Thursday Semi Semi Live Blog: St. Jude

I’m spending every free minute reading Shane Ryan’s new book, so I have not followed golf much today.  Koepka with a nice early round, so he’ll make tomorrow afternoon worth watching.  Spencer Levin is near the top; will this finally be his week?  Mickelson had a nice round going, but foundered; still, he’s sitting nicely and will also get TV time tomorrow, you can be sure.  Seung Yul Noh might be putting together an afternoon round.

Here’s a Washington Post article I found interesting in its matter-of-fact discussion of Woods:

Woods’s reputation, once the most exalted in sports, did not suffer its greatest damage from what he described as a “sex addiction.” Millions of people resented him more because he made a billion advertising bucks by selling them a lie about his personality. They were willing to forgive, forget or maybe just accept — but balked at being sold a fake.

It wasn’t but a year or two ago the media was still preaching, “He cheated on his wife; no one should be mad but her.”  Some still do.

Is he doing it for money? His $61 million in ’14 (down from $121 million in ’09) is mostly endorsements that might disappear if he admitted the true state of his game and his morale.

Shane Ryan’s book is great.  Quite well-written, so it’s a pleasure to read.  He was on Golf Channel for some 30 minutes this morning being interviewed by Gary Williams.  Williams was somewhat “tough” on him, though Morning Drive is such a fluff ‘n’ puff show, almost any serious question seems hardball.  But it was good.  I thought Ryan handled himself well.  Once when asked who “they” were (I’m not even close to how the question was phrased), Ryan first pointed to “television,” showing right away he wasn’t on Morning Drive to wave GC pom poms.

Ryan pointed out to Williams that being liked and being considered overrated (discussing Rickie Fowler) was not necessarily a contradiction.  You’d think that would be obvious, but on crayon-toting Morning Drive, such “subtle” points must be explained.

After Ryan left, Paige McKenzie and Damon Hack commented on the book, and Paige was visibly upset and negative on the book because it criticized some players.  I don’t agree, but I was glad  to see she had a strong opinion.  Hack said that was journalism, which should extend beyond fandom and spin and PR.

I’m skipping around in the book, reading chapters that catch my attention — that’s also how I read A Good Walk Spoiled — so there are a couple of chapters that might be Yay Tiger Whee Whee (I heard that there are), but from what I’ve seen, I’ll be surprised if that’s the case.  Time will tell.  Anyway, I highly recommend everyone read the book.  Not only is it a good, informative read, but I think it’s a landmark book for golf.  It’s no less than equal to Haney’s The Big Miss, and has the potential to have a tail as long as A Good Walk Spoiled.

Some have criticized Shane Ryan for not having much of a golf background, but if you ask me, that’s a huge bonus.  The golf media is just awful these days, afraid of their own shadows and in cahoots with each other and the players, organizers, and equipment manufacturers.

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13 Responses to Thursday Semi Semi Live Blog: St. Jude

  1. Kris says:

    Paige Mackenzie is full of herself and has a chip on her shoulder. She thinks he’s judgmental? Paige is the one that held a grudge against someone for 15 years for not signing an autograph the second she asked for it. I thought it was PGA Tour policy for golfers not to sign autographs until they sign their score card, and a lot of golfers don’t like to sign during practice rounds. He didn’t say no, he said wait until the round is over, which isn’t mean at all.

    It’s obvious she feels she’s been judged too harshly for things she’s said and done. She over identifies with other golfers who have negative things written about them. She needs to embrace the fact that she’s not perfect and she’s not above criticism just because she’s a middling LPGA player. No one else is above criticism either, and people who choose a high-profile profession should get used to it.

  2. JoseyWales says:

    It’s fun to watch the Golf Channel TV “personalities” cringe and become “disgusted” over
    Shane Ryan’s book…especially since they have been making a living spewing forth the very same junk for years.

  3. DanishDude says:

    I’m also reading Shane Ryan’s book and I find it interesting, that the chapter on Patrick Reed has been totally rewritten. The allegations of cheating have been toned down and the part about stealing has been completely omitted, if you compare to the original excerpt published in january:

    • lannyh says:

      Interesting! The stealing part is totally gone?? Nice work picking up on that!

      Question: I read what was released last February very carefully. I was planning on skipping the Reed chapter in the book. Would I be missing anything if I did that?

  4. JoseyWales says:

    I haven’t read the entire book…just excerpts…but an interesting and probably unintended reaction has come not from players but golf “media people”…so much fun to see hacks like Shacklelford get all bent out of shape…especially since he has been making a living dishing out the same gossip for years. And to hear a PGA Tour pro proclaim “fuck Geoff Shackelford” causes my heart to leap! lol…Same goes for Gary Williams and Paige Mackenzie. The so-called golf media can dish it out but they can’t take it. Their fragile egos are so easily bruised…lol.

    • lannyh says:

      They are so right about Shackelford: He goes after safe targets. He doesn’t want to offend those with power. He’ll mock the Olesens and Allenbys, though. If the rest of the golf media approves of the bashing, he’s all in.

  5. JoseyWales says:

    just noticed this post from someone called “Good Ole Tom” on the website who printed excerpts from the book…

    thank you Shane Ryan…for exposing the hypocrisy and phoniness that is Geoff Shackleford. Here’s a guy who has zero credibility in the golf world who has somehow managed to hoodwink his way into print and television. He gets away with deleting and blocked posters on his site, ending up with a only those who agree with him…if you disagree with Shackelford you get deleted, blocked and banned. Matt Every is right…Shackelford goes after easy targets so he looks like a hero. He mocked and made fun of Charlie Beljan’s panic attacks and accused Beljan of faking. Beljan’s medical issues are very real…but Shackleford knew no one would stand up for Charlie because Charlie was a “nobody” in golf. Shackelford knew if he attacked Matt Every no one would care because Every was a ‘pothead” and no one would be offended (except Matt and his family, of course). Shackelford is a loner in the real world…he keeps his personal life secret for good reason.

    You will notice absolute zero personal info on Shackelford and he wants to keep it that way.

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t care about Shackelford’s personal life. (I have not been out of my parent’s basement in over twelve years…) And I think his criticism of the equipment arms race is great. My problem is that he’s turned his back on the equipment arms race so as not to jeopardize his Golf Channel appearances (apparently). And being a “rebel” by attacking the safe, easy popular targets is lame.

      I would like to say that I criticized Kelly Tilghman’s ambush of Matt Every the day it happened. [pats self on back]

      Hey, Kevin Na was another safe, easy, popular target. (I was really happy/proud/whatever, and in agreement, when Stephanie Wei defended him.)

      One thing that is kind of bothering me about Ryan’s book, and I’ve not read the early chapters yet (I’m skipping around), is that he seems to be afraid to point out the problems with the Officially-Approved Tiger Woods Narrative. He labeled Jordan Spieth “the Great White Hope,” as if Woods pre-scandal didn’t have one of the highest popularity ratings in history. Tired, lazy journalism. With a nod to Ryan, “North Korean journalism.”

      I really need to go finish the book before I comment, so take what I just said with a grain of salt.

    • Kris says:

      I’m not a fan of Shackelford, but Charlie Beljan is an idiot. He did not have an anxiety attack. He had a low blood sugar attack. Bob Rotella said he didn’t believe it was an anxiety attack, but a reaction to not eating. As someone who has had both, I can explain the difference. An anxiety attack stems from worrisome thoughts you can’t get out of your head, which he said he didn’t have. The emotion builds until you have a severe physical reaction to it. A low blood sugar attack stems from not eating for an extended period of time, like 20 hours, which he admitted to. It starts with physical symptoms like elevated heart rate, weakness, shakiness and deteriorates into emotional symptoms that mimic anxiety and depression. His “anxiety attack” could have been cured within 15 minutes of eating a banana.

      There were 2 more instances made me lose even more respect for Beljan. After he lost in a playoff at the Northern Trust he wrote a childish letter about how unfair the playoff at the 10th hole was. Also, he and Matt Every complained about amateurs playing the Masters. The Masters tournament was created by a career amateur, so they amateur exemptions aren’t going anywhere. Also, the field expands to accommodate deserving pros, so the amateurs don’t take spots from anyone. Maybe if Beljan stopped being useless and won a real tournament like Every, he could get into the field.

      Sorry about the rant, but Beljan gets under my skin worse than Shackelford. The book is only 400 pages man, hurry up, haha.

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