Tuesday Thoughts (incorporating “Are Modern Training Methods Causing Injuries?”)

9:25 am Update: Wally Pipp; Golf Channel Graphics; Mickelson vs Woods

The Iron Child:  Has Rory McIlroy just become golf’s Wally Pipp to Jordan Spieth’s Lou Gehrig?  Once Jordan Spieth takes over No. 1, he’s going to be very hard to replace.

Scroll You, Viewers: Golf Channel likes to run a constant scroll, and it almost always provides useless information.  Who the hell reads a scroll to get the European Tour season rankings on scrambling or putts per round?  Those are two of the items I just noticed on the scroll.  Anyone who cares about those would look them up online.  I suppose the entire scroll was just an excuse to keep “Wilson Staff” on-screen.  I hope Wilson didn’t pay much for that ad; maybe a dollar for a month.  Everything about that scroll screams, “Second rate!”  I doubt that’s the image Wilson is aiming for.

I wouldn’t have even read the scroll had it not blocked a photo of Paige McKenzie wearing a boot for an ankle injury.  Golf Channel put up an old photo of Paige wearing the boot, so we could see what it looked like — then they blocked it with the scroll (twice! — the scroll has run nonstop today).  Brilliant.  Just a day or two ago, they showed a historic video of some Hall of Famer or other putting.  The scroll blocked the hole, so you could only guess whether he made the putt or not.

Golf Channel Covers Phil Tiger:  Here’s something I find funny and couldn’t help but notice.  I’m not much of a Phil fan.  He was never one of my favorites; I had nothing against him, I just liked a lot of other players a lot more than him.  And, now, after the insider trading stuff, I like him even less.  I mention that only to show I’m not an Only Phil The Anti-Tiger Matters type.

We all know how the golf media shills for Woods nonstop.  Last year’s PGA Championship live video of Woods’s empty parking space was one notable low point.  His coverage at this year’s Masters was typical overkill — from headphones to hugs to chipping to Lindsey and kids to wrist “injury.”  The same at Chambers, where Chris DiMarco told us on Golf Channel that Tiger Woods was THE story going into the U.S. Open.

Where am I going with this?  Let’s look at the recent results in majors for Woods and Mickelson since the last time one of them won (two years ago):

Mickelson    Woods

                      1        6
                     72        40
                    CUT        DNP
                     28        DNP
                     23        69
                      2        CUT
                      2        17
                     64        CUT

You can see that Woods has only beaten Phil Mickelson in a major once in the past eight, and that came in 2013.  The Anti-Tiger is beating Tiger every time out, basically, so why is Mickelson an afterthought (except for the tired “My oh my, he’s the heartbreak kid at the U.S. Open”) before majors, while Woods is “the big story” over and over again?  Forget Rory.  Forget Kaymer.  Forget Spieth.  Forget Bubba.  Woods isn’t even beating the 44-year-old Mickelson.

6:50 am:  More Thoughts on Rory’s Injury

  • The New York Times wrote that Rory was injured while playing on a “less-than-pristine” field.
  • Andy Murray said, when asked about Rory and the injury, “I sometimes play football. I always play with ankle braces and stuff in case something happens.”
  • I wonder if alcohol is involved.
  • What good is all the training to prevent injury if you are going to play soccer on a less-than-pristine pitch?
  • The popular modern training methods are not a written-in-stone matter of science.  Here’s a pro-heavy-lifting guy criticizing part of Rory’s regimen:
    “You always want to think about the risk-reward ratio of every exercise you do, and the risk in this case is far greater than the reward. I don’t think any athlete should kneel on a Swiss ball while having medicine balls thrown at him, let alone an athlete worth millions.”


Are “Modern” Training Methods Causing Injuries?

Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t recall the PGA Tour having injury problems like those we see nowadays.

Lee Trevino had a bad back — after he got hit by lightening while playing in a tournament.  Hogan got injured in a car accident.  But I don’t remember much else.  Maybe some lingering, nagging injuries as players aged, but not the kind of injuries that kept players out of majors.

I would include the “injury” of Dustin Johnson, too.  There were players in the past who drank too much, but they seemed to manage to play.  I guess that’s a totally different subject, but it seems relevant to the discussion.

Consider John Daly.  He’s never been in training for the Iron Man Triathlon, but he’s always been injury-free as long as best I remember.

I can’t remember a Rory-Jordan type matchup being spoiled by an injury during the Nicklaus era.  And Golf Channel has been stating a stat about Nicklaus playing something like 146 straight majors without missing a start.

Think about the players who have recently missed time due to injuries.  Casey, Oostie, Jason Day spring immediately to mind.  I am sure you can think of others.

I can’t quantify this trend, if indeed such a trend exists, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate an era of golf injuries.  Be it modern training methods, “supplements,” extreme practice regiments, reckless outside activities, whatever, it seems like “the product” suffers when so many big-name players are sitting on the sideline.

Rory at St. Andrews and Rory at Whistling Straits were going to be huge stories.  I wrote some anticipatory things several times over the past few weeks.  I was particularly looking forward to Whistling Straits; as you may or may not recall, Rory finished one shot out of the Kaymer-Bubba playoff in 2010.  Now, at most, we will get a less-than-one-hundred-percent Rory.

Jordan Spieth remains Story 1A for the British Open, but Rory would be been 1B, and it’s a lesser event because of his injury.


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15 Responses to Tuesday Thoughts (incorporating “Are Modern Training Methods Causing Injuries?”)

  1. Ken says:

    It is hard to think of any oft-injured players in the past. Palmer and Snead were indestructable. There were some back problems I suppose. Ballesteros was an example of that. Tom Watson, like Nicklaus, is on his second hip but just keeps going and going.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      yes, but did Nicklaus and Palmer play soccer with their friends……

      • Ken says:

        Don’t know about Palmer, but Jack was a multi-sport guy growing up. Good at football, basketball, and track. When he was Rory’s age maybe he did play other sports with friends, though he was married with kids by then.

        You can’t live in a bubble. Rory is enjoying his life. We might want him to be 100% golf, but it’s his life. Accidents happen. I don’t think much of the training that some golfers now do, but anyone can twist and ankle and get hurt playing soccer.

  2. Ken says:

    You’re right about Spieth. If he gets to #1, with his consistency it’ll be difficult to dislodge him.

    • Kris says:

      It’s true. Jordan is either winning or doing well, and Rory is either unstoppable or getting back door top 10s and missing cuts. Rory can build a huge lead in the OWGR, but Jordan is more capable of maintaining a small lead.

      In regards to fitness, people who work out more are injured more. It makes sense that if you put more stress on your body it’s more susceptible to injury. I like the Steve Pate quote Fred Funk said in the champions tour commercial “I’ve never heard of pulled fat before.”

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    Yeah I’ve often wondered about the cost of some of these ‘product placement’ advertisements…Can’t believe they’d be that much…
    Coverage in baseball is similar to golf…Almost every day there’s a New York Yankee article about something, and they LOVE to talk about Alex Rodriquez, even though he’s well past his prime….On MLB network, high majority of MLB game they show is the Yankees(no exaggeration)…Even though they have one title in the last 14 years, they are treated like everyone else is JUST a sideshow……

    • lannyh says:

      The Yankees are very similar to Woods in that regard, but there is one major difference. The announcers don’t openly root for the Yankees while saying the Yankees are “good for baseball,” “baseball needs the Yankees,” and “baseball will die if the Yankees don’t win soon.”

      By the way, anyone noticing the ESPN Sunday Night baseball schedule might think the only two baseball teams existing are the Yankees and Red Sox.

      • Ken says:

        The Yankees/Red Sox obsession drives me crazy. But at least with New York, it’s somewhat understandable. It’s the biggest TV market. I don’t like that this is what drives sports coverage, but I get it

        Woods doesn’t represent a city. Pro golfers are individuals. There’s no natural geographic constituency for them. The best players should merit the most coverage.

  4. Ken says:

    Ridiculous feeding frenzy on Trump right now. Political correctness run amok. He didn’t say that every Mexican was a criminal. He correctly was referring to the amount of criminals, drug trafficking, and violent crime that comes from illegal immigrants. It would be nice to see the media actually address the facts, but they wouldn’t dare because they already know the answer and don’t like it.

    I’m no fan of Trump. He’s a blowhard and sometimes a buffoon. But even buffoons are right sometimes.

    • lannyh says:

      I haven’t really paid much attention, but I finally got around to reading what he said, and you are right. It was an intentionally incendiary comment, though smearing by juxtaposition only. But his comment clearly referred to illegal aliens coming from Mexico, not a generic “all Mexicans.”

      The media is out of control. I think they fear for their jobs in this new age of free news on the Internet. They fan any and every flame, and, in this case, strike the match. Because while what Trump said was clumsy and inflammatory, he didn’t say what they are claiming.

      Oh, well, I can’t shed any tears for him. Some of the financial shenanigans he (and Stephen Bollenbach) pulled back in the 90’s were rotten to the core. Trump is also an attention whore.

      But, objectively, the reaction to his comments is ridiculous.

    • Kris says:

      I agree that the media took his comments and misrepresented them. He was talking about illegal immigrants, and crime statistics and anecdotal evidence indicate that they are a massive problem. However, as a presidential candidate and influential businessman he should have pointed to factual evidence and used neutral language instead of spouting unapologetic hate speech. It’s not like the majority of illegals are criminals, just a larger percentage than other sections of society, and there are reasons for that. I know the political correctness has gotten out of control lately, but is it so hard to show a little compassion for someone else? And I’m tired of hearing the idiotic “if I have to tolerate your differences then you should have to tolerate my intolerance” argument.

      On another note, Scott Stallings has been suspended for 90 days for confessing to taking DHEA for a medical problem. Also, an LPGA caddie has been suspended for taking pictures of documents relating to the course set up of the Women’s US Open.

      • Ken says:

        According to American law (unenforced) and the rules of grammar, 100% of “illegals” are criminals. By their presence, they are breaking the law.

  5. Ken says:

    I know you’ve been critical of John Feinstein and his GC commentary regarding Woods. I really haven’t heard him much on GC. But you should listen to him on PGA Tour radio. He has his own show and is very critical of Woods. He just did a long commentary about how unbelievably smug he was at Greenbrier after T32, with an “I told you so” attitude. He also ripped him for not talking to the press after rounds 2 and 3, despite the fact that he never says anything of value.

    Feinstein doesn’t like Woods. He’s very plain about that.

    You have to wonder if contributors on GC are told to toe the “Woods is golf” corporate line. Same thing with Chris Dimarco. On his show on XM last summer, he basically said that Woods used PEDs. Maybe there’s a GC muzzle on these guys.

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