6:15 Update: Disappointing finish for Austin Cook. He’s become a favorite of mine. Barely even has status on the web.com. He is not out of it, but the difference between 2 and 3 shots going into Sunday is not insignificant. Still, he’s in the hunt. Koepka, on the other hand, got a nice birdie to finish. Disappointing day for Spencer Levin, who is out of it, realistically.
5:10 pm update concerning a comment: Re Rory vs Phil: Rory is Blue, Phil is Red, this is from Google Trends:
Look at that. Rory is bigger than Phil, and he has been for several years now. Woods still gets a lot of “freak show” and “Tiger Only” interest, but the fact is, Phil and Tiger just aren’t that interesting any more. I’m a casual basketball fan, but I know who Steph Curry is. I remember Lebron, but Steph Curry was all over the NBA news this year. (Had to be for me to have even heard of him!) As for the Yankees in baseball, that’s a huge market and MLB is way bigger in the Northeast Corridor than anywhere else. It’s like college football in the South. And those teams aren’t breaking down physically! When players do, they get new ones!
5:00 pm Update: The sun is setting at 9:00 pm right now at Chambers Bay. That’s midnight in NYC. I prefer my golf earlier, but this will be fun as a change of pace, and it will be interesting to see what it does for ratings.
At St. Jude, I find myself rooting for Austin Cook now.
2:05 pm Update: Rory McIlroy playing Chambers Bay for first time today!!
1:15 pm Update: Make Me Pay Players: Lanny H Golf has decided to do something a little different; we are going to treat Rory and Jordan Spieth as a single entity, and do progressive majors contributions based on the two of them. For the first major won, $100 (that’s already done thanks to Jordan winning the Masters), for the second, an additional $200, for the third, an additional $300, and, for the fourth, an additional $400. If Jordan and Rory win all four majors this year, we’ll contribute a total of $1000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
In addition to that, for next week’s U.S. Open, as a standalone, we are going to contribute $100 should Jason Day or Rickie Fowler win.
- The New York Times has a nice not-too-long, not-too-short piece out on Chambers Bay, focusing on the grass, the trains, and the solitary tree.
- I’m wondering if it wasn’t a mistake to have Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits both in 2015. Of the courses hosting majors this year, Augusta is the only one with trees — and those pines are not much of hazard. Nothing against the courses; I really liked Whistling Straits in 2010; I just think a traditional course offered welcome variety.
- Brooks Koepka leading the St Jude should increase the interest level for the event the week before the U.S. Open. Mickelson six back heading into the weekend. Spencer Levin is four back; I hope he gets a win one of these weeks.
- A few days ago, Paige McKenzie said Phil Mickelson is the biggest story heading into the US Open. DiMarco said, No, it is Tiger Woods. In other news, Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors are the biggest stories heading into Wimbledon.
- I’ve read about half of Shane Ryan’s new book, Slaying the Tiger. I highly recommend it. It might be the only good golf book written in the past twenty years about current golfers. I’ve read some good new books about golf in the 60’s and 70’s, but I can’t think of anything about contemporary Tour pros before this book. There was a lot of collateral damage from the All Tiger All The Time mentality held by the lockstep golf media. (By the way, Ryan’s book has a good chapter on “needle moving.”)
- Here’s a quote from The Guardian: “Woods probably felt compelled to end an absence from competitive action, as was the case at this year’s Masters. He seemed to feel a form of duty, not only to himself, but to golf. It is also admirable that he is willing to perform under the scrutiny which surrounds his every move, amid a realisation that only tournament play will reveal his current level.” A sense of duty to golf? How about a sense of duty to Nike, who pays him tens of millions a year? Woods made $50.6 million last year; as this Breitbart article pointed out, “The .6 came from tournament winnings and the $50 million from endorsements.”