Why Mr. Elling is the Greatest:
Last Call: Why is Golf Channel forcing this Altered States crap on me when I want to watch Live from the British Open? I hardly saw it all day, thinking I’d catch it in the evening. But, instead, GC is running a a bullcrap reality show. They already announced all the reality show projects have been scuttled. They need to clean house at GC from the executive suite to the on-air presenters to the receptionist. Get rid of all of them!
4:40 Update: A Brit Shows American Golf Writers How It Is Done: Here’s an excellent piece on Jordan Spieth from the Guardian. “Jordan Spieth: the all-American hero predestined for golfing greatness,” by Ewan Murray. As you read this article, make mental comparisons the the tripe we get from the American golf media.
I do have one minor complaint, though. “First three majors of the calendar year.” What other kind of year, is there? Certainly the wraparound season doesn’t affect the majors. A fiscal year for tax purposes? This “calendar” crap is getting out of hand. But, other than that, the article is damn good.
Josh Sens, Part Deux: More Josh Sens nonsense from today’s Tour Confidential:
SENS: One of the myths surrounding golf is that it is somehow intrinsically more “honorable” than other sports, that those who play it are by nature more upstanding than the middling swaths of humanity. Bulls–t.
It’s not a myth; it’s reality. It doesn’t mean golfers are perfect, but when is the last time you saw video of a college golfer punching a coed in the face because she wouldn’t give him her phone number? Can you remind me of the name of the PGA Tour player who is in prison for an execution-style slaying? Remind me of the PGA Tour players or NCAA players who can’t spell “cat” if you spot them the “C” and the “A.”
Come on. Not a weekend passes when some football Einstein isn’t stabbing or shooting someone — or getting stabbed or shot — or punching someone in the face. (The face of a female quite frequently.) A scandal for an NCAA football player is committing a murder or rape, assault or armed robbery. Or all four. Patrick Reed is the Al Capone of golf for being accused of writing down an incorrect score in a college team qualifying event.
[This just in, from ESPN: “Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was arrested early Sunday morning in Florida on a misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly punching a boy in the face and threatening to kill his family.”]
Get real, Josh Sens. Golf tends to attract a more cerebral and honorable type of person. That doesn’t mean they are flawless, or that outstanding people can’t play other sports, but all things considered, golfers ARE better than the average bear. It might be really cool and PC to pretend every human being is the same, but they aren’t. Claiming they are is, to use your terminology, bullshit.
Rigged British Open Pairings? I’m not kidding; this disturbs me. (Here’s the full list. Why in the hell do they use photos? Does anyone even look at them? I just see amorphous splotches of color in my peripheral vision. My ancestors switched to written language instead of hieroglyphics quite a few years ago.)
Exhibit A: Spieth, DJ (and Matsuyama). Putting Spieth and DJ together was unnecessary. That’s like putting Woods and Dufner together as in my joke earlier this morning. It’s disruptive (at least to a minor degree; DJ was asked about the pairing in his presser, for example) and causes me to wonder if the R&A is trying to add their own obstacle to Spieth’s quest for the Grand Slam.
Exhibit B: This one is even worse. Louis Ooosthuizen, who is playing some great golf and damn near won at Chambers Bay is paired with Tiger Woods (and Jason Day). As you may recall, Oostie was paired with Woods (and Fowler) at the U.S. Open. The Tiger Woods Freak Show where Woods went 80-76-gone. Woods’s traveling circus act brought down the entire group: Fowler was 81-73-gone. Oostie was dragged down to a 77 in the first round, but battled battle to close with 66-66-67 and finish T-2. That might have been the performance of the tournament.
Louis may well have won the U.S. Open had he had a less disruptive grouping in the first two rounds. So why in world would you stick Oostie with Woods in the very next major? Jason Day is also an odd choice as he battle through vertigo issues at Chambers Bay to finish a very respectable T-9. For that he is rewarded with a Woods pairing?
My conspiracy theory: The R&A is finagling for a Euro winner. Pairing DJ and Spieth is distracting for two American favorites. Putting Oostie and Day with Woods handicaps the top South African and Australian.
Exhibit C? Even Rickie Fowler, who got a good pairing with Rose, will have Sir Nick Faldo in his group. I am a huge fan of Nick on TV, but this is his farewell outing, and that will add a level of distraction to Rickie’s round he could well have done without.
DJ Presser: I thought it was pretty good. He answers questions in a laidback, but forthright, manner. Got in a nice little shot at the Chambers Bay greens. Solid questions from the media. None of the fluff-puff bullcrap we so often see in the U.S.
Josh Sens, Odds-On Man Out: Josh Sens, professional sportswriter, does not know what “odds-on favorite” means. From this week’s edition of Tour Confidential, in reference to Rory missing the British Open:
Anytime the odds-on favorite and defending champ has to pull out of an event, the results have an asterisk beside them.
Odds-on means greater than 50/50 odds to beat the entire rest of the field. Like what American Pharoah was at the Belmont. If American Pharoah pulls out of the Belmont, an asterisk. If a 6-1 golfer pulls out… not so much.
“Potential Grand Slam”: Damon Hack just said Jordan Spieth is looking at a “potential Grand Slam.” Not a calendar Grand Slam. Nice going, Damon. [Then 40 minutes into the program, a teaser for the Open referred to Jordan’s quest as being for the “modern Grand Slam.” Personally I just call it the Grand Slam, as I see no reason not to include Bobby Jones’s feat; he did get a tickertape parade, after all. Still, my point is that the word “calendar” was excluded from the promo. Is Golf Channel getting the message?]
British Open Dream Group: Admit it. You want to see Jason Dufner and Tiger Woods in the same group. Along with either Sergio Garcia or Phil Mickelson.
OWGR Report: Rickie Fowler has moved up to #5, his highest ranking ever (his previous best being #7). Spieth now trails Rory by just over 1.2 point, so he’ll need a win this week to ascend to the top spot. Five of the top six spots are held by Americans; a year ago, there wasn’t an American in the top five. Young Englishman Eddie Pepperell has worked his way up to #85, closing in on WGC tournament territory; he started the year at #151. Branden Grace, one of jalnichols’s targets, has worked his way into the top thirty. Tiger Woods is now #241 and trails Sanghyun Park, who might be an LPGA player, I’m not sure.
Tiger Talk: Morning Drive made a gratuitous reference to Woods (some past accomplishment) about nine minutes in, but I have not noticed a mention since. I could have missed some, sure, but for the most part, they are covering real golf today. A welcome trend, or an anomalous morning?
Tracking The Trackers: Golf Channel refused to reply to my inquiry about a GC Jordan Spieth Tracker account, but look what I found this morning:
I assume the Tiger Tracker is not a single person, but a revolving cast of Golf Channel employees, so I don’t think they sent someone to Scotland just to do Tiger Tracker, or that whoever does it has no other duties. But, clearly, Golf Channel plans to track Woods all week, and they still don’t have an official, announced Jordan Spieth Tracker. TT’s snide remark about the “241st ranked player” makes me wonder if the typer doesn’t wonder if it’s time to move on to other, more compelling players.
Six More For Jack: Should the Australian Open be considered a fifth major? David Graham, on Morning Drive, just commented on how the Australian Open was considered one of the biggest events of the year. Jack won it six times; Gary Player won it seven times. Rory and Jordan have both won it. I vote yes and will henceforth include it in my majors totals: Jack 24, Player 16 (putting him two ahead of Woods), Rory 5, Jordan 3. If a player hasn’t won the Australian Open, I don’t consider him as having won a career slam.
Hideki: What is up with Matsuyama? Haven’t heard his name much lately. He seemed to be playing every week early in the year, now he’s cut back quite a bit. He hasn’t played since the U.S. Open. Maybe he’s focusing on the majors. He’s playing well, finishing inside the top 25 his last nine times out. I can’t find an article on what his strategy is. You’d think he’d get more coverage in the English-speaking world.