Sunday British Open Semi Live Blog

11:20 pm

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!!


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.

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85 Responses to Sunday British Open Semi Live Blog

  1. Ken says:

    Lookat those scores. This is a major?

    It’d be nice to see multiple 62s today. Or a 59. Maybe they’ll realize that something is wrong.

  2. JoseyWales says:

    Here ya go Lanny…to brighten up your day…I give you Hitler in the Nike Bunker.

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    A scroll of my aunts favorite recipes would be more interesting, than showing scores of people who are -3 and in 68th place all day……

  4. Ken says:

    Jordan rolling.

  5. Sports-realist2 says:

    Louis is such a good putter, probably he and Spieth are the two best putters on tour……..I was surprised ESPN scoreboard kept Willet ahead of Louis when they had the same score…especially when Louis already won this Major before….

    • Ken says:

      Not sure how they decide the order. I thought it was supposed to be who had completed the most holes. Unless their name beings with “Wo” or “Mi”.

      I thought that Louis’ problem, like Schwartzen, was putting. Maybe I’m wrong. He sure has no trouble tee to green. He’s had a lot of health issues. If he stays healthy he could win a lot.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        They just put at the top of the tied players who they want…There is NO order of merit for PGA scoreboards on telecasts..

      • Ken says:

        Wouldn’t be surprised if the BBC does it in a certain order, without regard to popularity.

      • DanishDude says:

        The official scoreboard shows the players in playing order

  6. AntiJordan says:

    C’mon Louie!!

  7. Ken says:

    DJ not looking invincible right now.

    2-1 odds on him were kind of amazing, starting with only a one-stroke lead with 36 to play.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      I still expect DJ to be in the lead after 54 holes…Just too many short holes on this course….

      • Ken says:

        Agree. But right now, he is just not getting it close enough.

        He could also go -5 on a four hole stretch at any time.

  8. Sports-realist2 says:

    espn is doing a horrendous job of showing the leaders….instead as usual they are showing guys walk around looking at their putts for 2 minutes instead of just showing shots…..

  9. PressureCooker says:

    Well, there goes DJ’s chances. Just can’t handle the pressure.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      he still has ALOT of short holes left…..he’ll be right up there by the end of the round…

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        well DJ doing the MAJOR BLUE BALLS in this round….this course is like playing a PUBLIC course with the wide open fairways and not fast greens…

  10. Ken says:

    Even with coverage complaints, Woods-less golf is a pleasure to watch.

  11. Sports-realist2 says:

    DJ not using driver on 9 is dumb…His advantage is his driver and NOT his short game…Unless he’s lost confidence in it…

  12. Ken says:

    For a guy that we keep being reminded isn’t long, Jordan seems to have no trouble keeping up with Sergio.

  13. lannyh says:

    Nice round by Jordan! Now I have to pull against anyone getting away from the field. DJ’s mediocre play is a bit surprising; he seems tense. Willett and Dunne look cool as cucumbers today. This broadcast got way better once I got rid of the scroll.

    I heard Curtis say, “It could have gotten contentious on the 18th tee,” in reference to Sergio and Jordan. Any idea what he meant by that?

  14. Sports-realist2 says:

    yeah, no one cares about the interviews OR do a split screen while showing golf….This isn’t the oprah winfrey show…..These producers are so lame…If I’m not mistaken this all started with Augusta and the Butler cabin or whatever, and guess what, it’s dumb there too….

    • RinaldiSucks says:

      Rinaldi just asked, “what’s at stake tomorrow?”

      C’mon man.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        I mean think about it…Do we tune in to watch interviews? um NO….All sports need to back off the interviews..They just don’t work…they don’t add ANYTHING to the coverage and detract from what’s going on………..I’d rather see bad shots by golfer, then “HOW DO YOU FEEL” questions all day long…..sooo lame…

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        yes if someone could order a mffia hit on rinaldi and blow up his interview house, I thing we’d all aprecitate it…

  15. Sports-realist2 says:

    espn does a really good job of NOT showing where the ball ended up…..

    • Ken says:

      And ignoring contenders like Schwartzel, Goosen.

      • lannyh says:

        My biggest complaint today (other than the constant useless chatter) is how they linger on a player after he played his shot, then quickly cut to a guy hitting or putting where you have to figure out who it is in two seconds. When so many are dressed in dark blue and gray like today, we need way more time.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        u said it lanny….it’s the ‘eldrick effect’…Thinking anyone cares to watch a person WALK down a fairway…..It also shows WE are not prejudice towards certain golfers, we just HATE not seeing shots, and instead watching WALKING……oh and don’t forget those log cabin interviews instead of watching GOLF..

  16. Ken says:

    How can DJ not have a birdie today?

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      I think DJ treated this like it was Sunday, mentally…..Ofcourse it is Sunday, but you know what I mean…Maybe DJ can still get to -11…

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        If you would have told me that -13 would be the leading score after today, I would have thought you were nuts…..Ironically tomorrow might take a 64 to win this thing, bringing the record in jeopardy..

  17. Sports-realist2 says:

    So because Louis putted first, he will be in the final group with either Day or Dunne…

  18. Sports-realist2 says:

    LOL…welcome to golf..DJ makes a putt he didn’t expect too….

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      then he doesn’t use driver on 16 on a 418 hard hole? I just can’t believe that strategy made any sense……

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        This might be the DUMBEST strategy by a long hitter in DJ that I’ve ever seen in a major……You almost wonder how much influence Butch Harmon had on his gameplan…..
        Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Phil Mickelson have Butch Harmon when he played that one Major without ANY drivers? This almost seems like Butch said “hey you are playing well, just play more irons off the tee”……..Again, just a hunch…..

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        You wonder if it was Butch’s strategy and not Eldrick’s to NOT use his driver on this course in 2000……

  19. Sports-realist2 says:

    To me this tournament is now down to Louis and Jordan….I don’t trust Dunne or Day…..Louis and Jordan’s putting is the best on tour, and that will decide it……

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      yeah the rinaldi interviews are absolutely embarrassing….He kept telling dunne to LOOK AT THE BOARD…LOOK AT IT……WHAT DOES IT MEAN, LOOK AT IT!!!…..Um take a sedative tom……espn just is a JV network…

      • lannyh says:

        It’s like he wanted the kid to say, “Yeah, my name is on top. I’m one cool dude. In fact, that’s it. Why bother playing tomorrow? This is the ultimate.”

        Or, “Yeah, I suck at golf. I’m a 23-handicap. I’m just getting so lucky. Wow, look, there’s Jason Day and Jordan Spieth. Wow!”

        And Rinaldi kept asking the same question, really. Three times, at least. If he jumped up and down every time something good happened, he would have never been good enough to make the field.

    • lannyh says:

      I trust Day, with no reservations. Dunne, well, he’s in unfamiliar territory, but he’d make a great winner.

      Weather may play a big role tomorrow. Setting up for one heck of a finish.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        The pairing is interesting too….Louis gets to be paired with Dunne: is that an advantage compared to Spieth and Day being together……..I’d rather be paired with an amateur who you know, historically, will fall off the map in the 4th round….
        I again go back to the putting though…Those 10 foot and in putts, I put Louis and Jordan above Jason Day……If I had to pick a number, I’d say 18 under par might be a playoff……

      • lannyh says:

        I was having the same thoughts regarding the pairing. Not horrible, but not my first choice. It’s hard for me to pull against Jason Day. Spieth, Day, and Dunne would all make a good winner for me. Spieth above all, of course,

    • Ken says:

      Day has had chances to close before and has failed, so not sure about him. (See Johnson, Dustin)

      This could be very cool if Jordan pulls this off. I like the pairing with Day very much. Should Dunne suddenly revert to an amateur, that could be distracting.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        As a golfer myself, and someone who has played in golf leagues(match play) and scrambles, I believe mentally, it is easier to play with someone who should play worse than you….
        The other advantage to Louis is that he will KNOW for sure what he has to do, as he’s in the last group……Not that this course has alot of danger, but #17 is where I’d love to go last, and know for SURE what I need to do there…

      • Ken says:

        I find that I play better with someone who is also playing well.

        I just wouldn’t want a Dunne shooting 80 paired with Jordan.

      • lannyh says:

        Good point about Dunne.

  20. StatBoy says:

    Hearing about how difficult #17 is playing got me curious.

    #17, Par 4, 495 is playing to a stroke average that his higher than #5, Par 5, 570 yards. 4.63 vs. 4.49

  21. ExcitedGolfFan says:

    Watching the replay (I also caught it live although I was only half paying attention at that time) SVP said something, jokingly, but something I think we all would have been okay with. Something to the effect of, “Audible boys, we’re playing 36 today!” I could have definitely gotten down with that given the craziness that happened (not to mention the weather was perfect, not something that is likely to continue tomorrow).

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      just fyi, in 2010, the final pairing was Louis with a 4 shot advantage over Paul Casey…..Louis shot a 71 while Paul shot a 75…..

    • lannyh says:

      I didn’t even think about that, but, yeah, 36 on such a good day. If that had been known ahead of time, that would have been very hard to pass up.

      SVP? I just woke up, but I’m totally drawing a blank.

    • lannyh says:

      Oh, Scott Van Pelt. I remembered the instant I hit send…

  22. TruthTeller says:

    Minimum -16 is needed to win/get in a playoff. -18 likely wins it outright.

  23. Sports-realist2 says:

    Jason Day Turned pro in 2006: 3 PGA wins….ZERO majors
    Louis Oos: Turned pro in 2002: 1 PGA win(St Andrews)…ONE major..He’s won 7 other events, but all but one of those were outside of Europe(most in Africa)….Ironically, his largest margin of victory came at St Andrews….
    Jordan Spieth: Turned pro in 2013: 5 PGA wins…TWO majors….3-2 record in playoffs

    Here’s a totally worthless BUT interesting stat: The final round winners score at St. Andrews has NEVER shot below 69…….

    • lannyh says:

      I wonder if that final round score is just chance, or if they have crazy hard pin placements.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Yeah the ‘pin placement’ came to my mind too…Do they do ‘traditional’ pin placements like Augusta, or do they just try and put them in goofy spots..Augusta WANTS scoring on Sunday, but maybe St Andrews takes the opposite approach…
        I realize EVERYONE is thinking 18 under or better to win, but I’m starting to think there could be a reason NO one has shot lower than a 69………So if you take the 69 figure, then -15 would be the score you need..Louis was -16 in 2010 and Eldrick was-14 in 2005….

      • lannyh says:

        So much depends on the weather. Rain and 15-25 mph hour winds were expected last I saw, though it’s not like they have forecast with any great accuracy this week.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Well if the weather turns bad, Spieth PUTTED poorly in the bad weather, while Louis was 2 under….Day was one under, but not sure if he finished before or after the weather started…

      • lannyh says:

        Good points.

  24. Sports-realist2 says:

    Oh my, can we just put all these interviewers in front of firing squads? Todd Lewis questions to Amateur Dunne were something like: How do you compare to the leaders….???? Tell us why you can compete with these guys(paraphrase)….????? Rinaldi should have teamed up with him and FORCED him to LOOK at the leaderboard: LOOK AT IT…LOOK AT IT!!!! CRY, YELL, SCREAM KID!!! LOOK AT IT…….Reminds me of a Frankenstein mad scientist or something..

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      I think I’d like to go to a PGA event, just to tell Lewis that he sucks butt as an interviewer…..Ofcourse he asks Day a question with Eldrick in it……

    • JoseyWales says:

      Part of the problem is that Lewis works for the Golf Channel…a place where being bland, mediocre and airheaded is rewarded.

  25. Kris says:

    The Jordan/Sergio pairing really delivered. Great golf, and they had the loudest cheers and the most singing. You could tell they enjoyed playing with each other, especially since they spoke so highly of each other after the round.

    Sergio’s mistake on 18 was ridiculous, but the way Jordan handled it was perfect. Sergio was about to hit and then he turned and looked at Jordan and said “Wait, why am i hitting?” and Jordan said “It’s fine, go ahead.” Then they bantered back and forth about how Sergio felt like he made a birdie on 17 and Jordan said Sergio’s par was prettier than his, so it was understandable.

    I’m a huge fan of them both, but Jordan Spieth’s chance of winning the Grand Slam is bigger than Sergio Garcia’s chance of winning any major. I’m rooting for the third leg of the Grand Slam, but if there has to be a spoiler, I hope it’s Sergio.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Yeah Sergio seems like the most genuine person on tour…If I could pick a PGA player to have a conversation with, I’d pick Sergio…..
      I find it hard to root against him in the Ryder Cup….It wouldn’t surprise me if he wins a major or two in his 40’s, like Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson have done….

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, that was cool at the 17th tee. I too want Sergio to get a major (or multiple majors), but I want Jordan to get this one!

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        I checked the rule, just in case:
        there is no penalty for playing out of turn in stroke play on the PGA, unless the Committee determines that competitors have agreed to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage, in which case they are disqualified……
        So even had Garcia hit first, when he shouldn’t have, there would NOT have been a penalty……So many ANAL PGA rules, It wouldn’t have surprised me if there was, but there isn’t in this case…

      • lannyh says:

        Jordan was asked about it at his press conference. He pointed out that there was no (competitive or psychological) advantage to going first or second, because it was such an easy driving hole.

      • Kris says:

        Thanks for that, I was curious.

      • Kris says:

        Does anyone have a link to the full transcript or full video of Jordan’s post-round press conference? My internet sleuthing skills are failing me.

      • lannyh says:

        I took a look, but I didn’t have any luck, either.

  26. JoseyWales says:

    I have a client who is active in the Salesmanship Club in Dallas…the group who puts on the Byron Nelson tourn. He has been active in it for 15-20 years…he plays in all the Pro-Ams…I asked him how the tour pros were to play with…he said the nicest guy was Sergio…very helpful, happy, friendly…he said the worst guy was Tiger Woods…by far.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Yeah Woods and Michael Jordan and other have gotten so used to being worshipped, they have lost REALITY…..They are self absorbed and care little to nothing about anyone else…(neither of them tip either…this from multiple sources)…….
      Feherety interviewed one PGA golfer, and he said the HARDEST thing is to stay grounded, and realize you are a REGULAR person, as everyone treats you like royalty and basically worships you……… I found that extremely interesting….

      • JoseyWales says:

        It’s funny how the media jumps on Sergio as being a bad guy when in reality he is one of the nicest, fun guys to be around. Sadly, people believe what the media feeds them…it is not always the truth.

    • Ken says:

      Sergio’s interview on “Feherty” was really good. He is the most unfairly portrayed player on tour.

      Everyone is different. Some people don’t want their playing partners to talk, others like having a conversation. Some players have to concentrate and say nothing to play well, like Woods, Faldo, or Hogan (Faldo told Feherty that he had to be that way). Others need to talk, perhaps to stay calm or burn off the nervous energy, or they feed off the crowds, like Trevino or Mickelson.

  27. Bird says:

    Good to hear Louis pay hommage to Dunne’s approach on 17.
    Winner should come from Day & Spieth pairing, though an earlier 64 and/or 65 could shake things up. Wind 12 to 16 mph and rain for the leaders.
    Time to set the pvr, adding an extra hour and a half for a possible 4-hole or more playoff.

    • lannyh says:

      I also got a kick out of Louis stopping Dunne at the crossing of the 7th hole when DJ was about to hit. Apparently, Dunne forgot about it.

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