Here’s an interesting article on Spieth showing how he and I have a similar approach to playing a round of golf:
With each unscheduled stop there was increasing concern Spieth was hiding an underlying illness that could affect his chances on the final day.
Accordingly, after his main press conference, I manoeuvred myself into place for my first ever chat with potentially the greatest ever golfer the world has ever seen.
“I take on a lot of water during a round and I got caught out a couple of times at the weekend because there are not many of those portable toilets out there,” Spieth responded to my only question with a clinical lack of embarrassment. “I made sure today that I took advantage whenever I could. But no, I am not ill or anything.”
I slept so much this afternoon, I’ll be up all night. Oh, well, at least I shouldn’t wake up hours prior to the start of live coverage. Here’s some music I am reminded of by the bumper music ESPN keeps playing. It’s not precisely what they play, but there’s a similarity.
7:00 pm I feel like I’m working the midnight shift or something. Any sleep deficit I had accumulated should be gone now, though, after having just slept for who knows how long. I’m scrolling through the pairings and seeing a lot of stuff I missed in real-time, or forgot about, when my focus was only on those near the top:
- Forgot #1: Some things happened so early this morning, they seem like a day ago: Duval going -5; wound up climbing 28 spots to T-33. I’d love to see him climb again tomorrow.
- Forgot #2: Pepperell’s great round; shot -6, but would have been in third-to-last group had he not hit the hotel on No. 17.
- Forgot #3: Fowler’s -6, which put into the top 20.
- Anirban Lahiri with another solid major; only -1 today, but sits just outside the top 25.
- On a calm day, perfect for scoring, the four remaining Euro Seveners shot a combined -2, within a three-stroke range -2 to +1.
- I believe eight amateurs beat Woods in this event.
- Reed climbed into top 20.
- So did Cink. My nightmare prediction of him beating Spieth in a playoff… that couldn’t possibly come to fruition, could it…
- Streb with a good outing.
- My favorites, in order, among those in the hunt: Spieth above all; I’m a big fan of Jason Day, too; the amateur, Paul Dunne. Sergio next, I suppose. I like Pepperell, but he’s surely too far back.
1:45 pm Rinaldi just conducted his worst interview ever. The worst interview in the history of the world, probably. Paul Dunne, just a youngster, bailed him out time and time again, but Rinaldi couldn’t shut up. The kid had a great, dry sense of humor and a realistic attitude about leading after 54 holes. Rinaldi acted like the kid had already won or something. Fire Rinaldi now. I don’t care if you replace him with Tilghman. Just get him out of there.
9:00 am Problem solved. I taped thick paper over the scroll. I can’t tell you how much that improves the viewing experience.
That Rinaldi interview of Leishman was the worst interview I’ve seen since Tilghman’s 4:20 ambush of Matt Every. There was no reason for Rinaldi to bring up Leishman’s wife. Leishman could have done that himself if he wanted.
8:34 am What is it with ESPN and their f—ing scroll! I’m trying to take in the clubhouse in the background as Spieth and Sergio tee off, and every three seconds, the f—ing scroll jumps, triggering my orienting response, and I lose my train of thought. Total shit and not something Fox or CBS does. Even GC/NBC limits it a little bit. ESPN never f—ing stops it. I literally find it so distracting I can’t watch on a TV of any size.
8:30 am I just made the rounds at Shackelford’s website and found a couple of interesting things. First, this comment from a piece praising ESPN’s coverage:
While we unfortunately can’t hear the announcing
I had to laugh. If he could hear the announcing, he’d know the word should be “fortunately.”
More interestingly, it looks like this Open is bringing the problem of the equipment arms race obsoleting classic courses to the forefront. Here’s a piece from Shack on the topic. I have not yet read it all, nor have I read the links in it, several of which look promising. Could we actually be seeing a serious and growing groundswell of support to roll back the ball?
Okay, now it’s Spieth Time!!
7:10 am: JOHN KINCADE TELLS RADIO LISTENERS TO GOOGLE “TIGER CANADIAN DOCTOR”!!!
John Kincade (from the CBS Sports website: “John Kincade hosts the ‘JK Show’ Sunday Mornings from 6:00-10:00am ET on CBS Sports Radio. The ‘JK Show’ has been a Sunday morning staple nationwide since 2007”) was discussing the fall of Tiger Woods this morning on his national radio show when he suggested there is more to Woods’s struggles than simple aging. He then suggested his listeners Google “Tiger Canadian Doctor.” I couldn’t believe my ears!
7:00 am Finally, live coverage. Duval is -5 and T-17!
6:20 am What is going on? I see several media sources confirming ESPN’s British Open coverage was to have already begun. Is there another weather delay? What the hell is going on? I complain a lot about Golf Channel, but it’s almost always about their editorial stance (i.e., their All Woods All The Time focus), but give them credit for putting live coverage above all. ESPN is failing in that regard this morning.
By the way, don’t forget about the Barbasol tournament today. Emiliano Grillo, the young player from Argentina who plays on the Euro Tour, is in the States playing and sits one shot out of the lead. Also, Robbie Shelton, an amateur attending the University of Alabama (recall Justin Thomas) is three back. Anyway, today’s finale should make for some decent viewing after the British Open coverage (if ESPN decides to actually show it; perhaps with Woods out, they decided to drop coverage).
6:00 am Why the hell is ESPN showing SportsCenter right now? My listings say British Open coverage should be on. Golf Channel is showing an LPGA repeat. What is going on?
5:15 am This ESPN article was recommended to me, and it’s worth reading, but I had a few problems with it. It’s about Woods’s demise; however, some of it was too… keeper-of-the-flame-y for me. Standard apologia fare:
We always appreciated his athletic brilliance, his steely determination, his grace under pressure and for what he meant to the game – sociologically and financially.
Grace under pressure? Grace? The writer, Kevin Van Valkenburg, must have a different definition of grace than I’ve ever seen. Grace is not a word I associate with Woods in any circumstance whatsoever. Then, in the same sentence, the author references what Woods “meant to the game financially.” That’s a myth that needs to be publicly debunked before Woods’s career can be looked at with anything approaching honesty.
The article gets better, though. Here’s a good point:
Understand this as well: part of the problem, at the moment, is framing. From the moment he burst on the scene, Tiger Woods was supposed to be the man who was going to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major championships, a record that didn’t even seem like all that big of a deal when Nicklaus was setting it.
Repeat: “Jack Nicklaus’ record for major championships, a record that didn’t even seem like all that big of a deal when Nicklaus was setting it.”
I found it funny that Van Valkenburg wrote, “part of the problem, at the moment, is framing.” “At the moment”? No, it’s not just an at-the-moment problem; it was the problem for Woods’s entire career. The framing was that Woods was the sui generis uber golfer for all eternity, with the breaking of Jack’s record being “when, not if.”
It’s not a new problem. It’s often referred to as counting your chickens before they hatch.
The problem — “at the moment” — is more like this: Nicklaus, Hogan, Jones, Nelson, Palmer, Norman, Player, Snead, Miller, Watson, Trevino, Peete, Elder, Miller, and all the others were flushed down the toilet. They were total shite. Woods was the sui generis uber golfer who “hits shots no one else could hit.” Who “hit shots we’d never seen before.” (That was actually said just yesterday during the ESPN British Open telecast.) For nearly twenty years, that nonsense was crammed down our throats. Where was your concern for “framing” then?
Therein lies the problem. After eighteen years of media worship — those since the 2009 scandals completely inexcusable — Van Valkenburg tells us:
But don’t turn him into a punch line either.
Yeah, good luck with that. Because, after seeing Nicklaus and rest’s legacy trampled on for two decades, cast aside as pig swill, people are going to laugh at Woods (and the golf writers) who did the premature trampling. It’s funny as hell. The king has no clothes. Good old-fashioned schadenfreude. It makes people feel good to see the undeserving get their comeuppance.
The laughter is aimed at Woods, sure, but moreso at the golf media who would have turned Woods’s sordid sex scandal into “an auto accident.”
The media insisted Woods was going to break Jack’s record, just as Bernie Madoff insisted he was going to make investors rich. My sympathy for Woods and the golf media equals my sympathy for Bernie Madoff.