Saturday Thoughts into St. Jude Semi Live Blog

6:15 Update:  Disappointing finish for Austin Cook.  He’s become a favorite of mine.  Barely even has status on the  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:

roryphilLook 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.”
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14 Responses to Saturday Thoughts into St. Jude Semi Live Blog

  1. Sports-realist2 says:

    Still not sure why Chris Dimarco is such a butt kisser to Eldrick…..But if Bjong Borg wins, I wouldn’t be that surprised….

    • JoseyWales says:

      I don’t watch GC much but all this stuff is orchestrated in production meetings. Most of it is based on a “good-cop/bad-cop” strategy. It’s pervasive in the TV world going way back to the “Firing Line” shows with Pat Buchanan all the way up to “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith. It may seem spontaneous but it is far from it.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Oh I’m sure some of it is rigged, just saying since Dimarco was a former PGA player, that won multiple events and almost won a major or two, I’m amazed he’d lower himself to the golf channel approach……

      • lannyh says:

        Whoever thought up the idea, why would they think choosing Mickelson and Woods as the two “top stories” was a good idea? It’s certainly not logical.

      • Kris says:

        Chris DiMarco doesn’t mind kissing Tiger’s butt because Tiger ruined his career. If he doesn’t say Tiger was the greatest player ever it means he’s a failure and should have won the 2005 Masters and the 2006 British Open.

      • TruthTeller says:

        “Whoever thought up the idea, why would they think choosing Mickelson and Woods as the two “top stories” was a good idea? It’s certainly not logical.”

        Same reason everyone talked about LeBron James even though The Spurs were defending champions. Same reason The Yankees are talked about a lot more than The Royals who went to the World Series last year. Same reason The Cowboys get a lot more pub than Seattle even though Seattle was in the Super Bowl.

        You may hate the fact that the media seemingly caters to “the casual fan” but they know full well core fans will tune in regardless. It’s all about eyeballs and money and Phil/Tiger still pull a heck of a lot more eyeballs than Rory and Jordan.

      • lannyh says:

        I’m sorry, casual fan or not, at this point Rory McIlroy is a bigger name then Phil Mickelson.

  2. DanishDude says:

    “A good walk spoiled” by John Feinstein from ’96 is highly recommendable and very similar in style to “Slaying the Tiger”.

  3. TruthTeller says:

    Correction…Rory McIlroy is a (significantly) better player than Phil. Phil still draws a bigger audience. I saw your chart above but that’s based on google searches. The real question is, who is tuning in to actually watch? My guess is it’s still Phil, especially given his age, close calls at the US Open, and limited years left to win one.

    • lannyh says:

      That’s quite far-fetched. They search for Rory, more stories are written about Rory, but based on guy feel, Phil brings more people to watch on TV.


      • TruthTeller says:

        Working at a golf club, I get loads of “how’s Tiger doing?”, “How’s Phil doing”, “how’s Jordan doing” (I’m in TX)…..almost literally never get “how Rory doing?”

      • lannyh says:

        They are probably streaming Rory on their iPhones.

      • lannyh says:

        Speaking of Texas, I’ve been watching two pretty decent Texas mini-series, “Texas Rising” and “Halt and Catch Fire.”

        Is that a thread hijack?

  4. Realist says:

    Phil was always the gentleman in what is a gentlemen’s game. Call me old fashioned but you never saw Phil throwing a club or swearing like a drunken sailor. Rory is good but a bit erratic. He will win more for sure. Tiger is done. I think we can pretty much chisel that in stone. Anyone who thinks otherwise has unrealistic expectations of someone who has so much battle damage. Face the facts, the young guns have arrived and they are ready for the challenge.

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