Sunday Thoughts and Semi Live Blog: Greater Hartford Open


Casey butchers the hole.  Bubba birdies.  Nantz keeps saying second win of the season, which confuses me.  He won late last year on the Euro Tour, but do they have the wraparound season?  They still use the calendar year, don’t they?  I guess it’s just a matter of semantics.

Casey saves, Bubba misses birdie.  On we go to a second hole…

Casey into a greenside bunker.  Bubba from the rough puts it in makeable range.  Advantage flips to Bubba.  As Nick is wont to say, “Bubba will have two bites at the cherry.”

Advantage Casey, after the tee shots.

Bubba Watson and Paul Casey to play it off in sudden death at the Greater Hartford Open.  I find myself a little bit more for Bubba, but Paul Casey got a bad break earlier this year at the WGC Match Play when he got ill overnight before finishing his suspended-by-darkness match versus Rory McIlroy, so I can’t really pull against him.

Free-For-All in Europe:  A dozen players within three shots of each other as the contenders are starting to reach the back nine.  If you are up early this Sunday morning, you might get to see a great finish.  (I wish Stenson has used the wood and gone for the green on that short par-4 over water.  Would have been fun.)

As The World Turns (Against Woods):  The media can’t get off the Tiger Woods bandwagon fast enough.  Nelson Clyde of the Tyler Morning Telegraph writes:

It would be a longshot from today’s vantage point for Woods to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships. For my part I don’t want him to surpass Nicklaus as Jack has conducted his life both on and off the field of play, in what appears to be, an honorable effort.

What?  Honor is now considered “cool”?  The golf media is coming out of their Him Wear Red Shirt/Him Pump Fist grammar school worldview?  I can’t believe it.

Reader View:  A while back I was complaining about how most websites have become unreadable due to their focus on mobile, combined with purposefully distracting advertisements.  Someone suggested “reader view,” which was new to me.  Firefox, my primary browser, didn’t have it, but I was able to get a plug-in.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work very well.  I gave up and continued to cut and paste articles of any length which I wanted to carefully read.

Then, a month or two ago, Firefox sent out an automatic update (I’m not crazy about those, but it doesn’t seem to be optional, and it’s never caused me a problem); the information page that came up after the update announced new built-in “reader view” functionality.  It works great!

So, if you are sick of the trend of unreadable websites, spend time investigating your browser’s capabilities for “reader view.”  You might find it well worth the effort.

(I also use an ad blocker, Adblock Plus.  It is free, and it can eliminate a lot of annoyances — including auto-start videos, if you so desire.  It’s too bad how aggressively distracting Internet ads have become, but I don’t think it is a sustainable trend; some ad blockers now offer an option to allow reasonable ads, and they claim most people do that.  People understand that advertisers fund the websites, and they don’t mind ads if they are not disruptive to the reading experience.)

Funny, Lucky Golf:  We’re going to have a great British Open buildup, what with Jordan Spieth going for the Grand Slam, and Rory and Jordan owning the last four majors.  There’s almost a sense right now that Jordan is The Man, and that Rory is doomed to play second fiddle after a great five-year run.  But think about the luck factor in golf — which is huge despite the golf media’s bullcrap — and imagine how different things would be had DJ made his eagle putt on the 72nd hole.  (If you gave me ten balls and made me putt left-handed, I would hole two or three of them.)  Had DJ made that putt, Jordan would not have set all those records, would not be chasing the Grand Slam and Hogan Slam.  People would say, “Jordan finished 2nd, five shots ahead of Rory — who putted atrociously.”

It’s funny how a matter of luck — whether DJ holes a very makable putt — can so drastically alter the narrative.  Also, fans (forgivable) and sportswriters (not forgiveable) write about past golf results as if they were as knowable and obvious ahead of time as, say, an arm wrestling match between Lebron James and Taylor Swift.  For instance, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “Tiger never missed putts of less than ten feet during his prime.”  Having just watched a replay of the 2000 British Open, I can tell you Woods missed such putts right and left.  Nothing wrong or surprising about that; everyone misses them.  But it’s interesting to see how faulty are the the memories of the professional golf writers.  (And I think they truly do believe what they write in this case; Woods is a movie superhero in their memories, never hitting a bad shot, holing every putt, winning every time out, and causing other golfers to shake and cry.)

At any rate, that one missed putt by DJ has made the buildup infinitely more enthralling that it would have been.

Big Cat Watch:  Tiger Woods has officially entered the Greenbrier.  He’s getting an appearance fee, but will any golf writer mention that?  In the past, only Steve Elling has the backbone to write about it, although I did see Tim Rosaforte — the most mainstream Tiger Woods cheerleader of the mainstream Tiger Woods cheerleading golf media — mention it, so maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a little Truth in Golf Reporting.

Circus, Tractor, Meat Pie:  Next week the Tiger Woods Circus/Farewell Tour rolls into town; the following week, Spieth will play the John Deere Classic; after that, it’s on to St. Andews.  [Oh, the French Open and Scottish Open on the Euro Tour are played concurrently with the Greenbrier and the John Deere.]  After that, there are three events (Canadian Open, Quicken Loans, and WGC-Bridgestone) before the PGA Championship.  Then it’s football season (with FedEx Cup for a nice distraction).

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4 Responses to Sunday Thoughts and Semi Live Blog: Greater Hartford Open

  1. Sports-realist2 says:

    A LONG list of ‘almosts’ and ‘could have beens’…..
    2015 DJ, yeah we know what happened.
    2012 Adam Scott bogeys the last 4 holes at the British to lose to Ernie Els…
    2009 Tom Watson in the fairway on the 18th at the British, and bogeys from there..
    2008 Rocco Mediate couldn’t birdie the par 5, 18th on either Sunday or the playoff to win.
    2006 Phil Mickelson with a 1 shot lead hits driver on the 18th and double bogeys…
    and on and on…..

    • lannyh says:

      And think of how the narrative would have changed, based on these more-or-less chance occurrences. Can you imagine a world without “He won on a broken leg!!!” Haha, I can. (Your Tom Watson example is too painful for me to think about. Damn you, Stewart Cink!)

    • lannyh says:

      What if Van de Velde’s caddie had said, “No, no. You’ve got to lay up here.”

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        And in those few examples and the Van de Velde one too, it shows that the 72nd hole–the LAST HOLE of each Major was MISPLAYED over and over and over again…..

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