Wednesday Thoughts

Lanny Hits the Big Time!

I am a featured questioner in Van Cynical’s latest Mailbag!  That’s Sports Illustrated/, baby!  Sweet!

What will the naysayers say now?  Because, if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.

12:30 pm Update  Okay, the numbers are in.  The Tiger Woods National is expected to have a Strength of Field rating of 173, making it the fifth-weakest event of the year — and two of those were opposite-field events.  The other two fell the week before majors.  Here’s the chart at the OWGR website.  (Click on the “World Rating” column to sort by weakest to strongest.  Note the Quicken Loans SOF on the right.)

 Look on my Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair:  That’s from the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  It’s short and well worth reading and reflecting upon.  My summary may be as long as the poem, but here goes: A guy comes across an ancient Egyptian monument to a once all-powerful king.  It’s in decay, halfway turned to sand.  But he can still read the inscription:

‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

At the Tiger Woods website, there is a page showing Tiger Vs. Jack, Major Victories By Age.  It contains all the juicy details until Woods’s 36th year (he’s nearly 40 now), after which it has been abandoned and left to decay.  (If interested, here’s a Google search that will take you there.)

Swing Change, Schming Change:  I don’t buy the never-ending Tiger Woods “swing change” BS.  It’s a smokescreen for, in this case, the back operation.  Remember how he withdrew after grabbing his back earlier this year at the San Diego Open?  It works like this:  Don’t you golf fans for a minute think Woods is old and trying to recover from back surgery; oh, no, he’s in the midst of a “swing change”; nothing’s changed other than his swing; so, if his back gets better and he becomes competitive, it’s not a matter of “how long until his back fails again,” or “he’s still on the downslope, folks,”; no, it’s Tiger 2000 all over again, because “he’s mastered his new swing!”

Play, Tiger, Play:  I wrote last year that Quicken Loans pressured Woods to play before he was fully recovered from back surgery.  I stand by that.

Summer Rerun:  I know I wrote about this yesterday, but I still can’t believe Paige McKenzie said, “career grand slam in one season.”  Morning Drive keeps getting worse and worse.  They are due for a major shakeup.  I want a morning talk show about timely golf topics.  Mike and Mike, not Michael Breed.  Tell me about this week’s event, not how Paige and DiMarco think I should hit a 3-wood in the wind.  If I want to learn how to hit a shot in the wind, I’ll google it.  And I don’t need to hear a discussion about Jordan Spieth’s putting which is really a setup for Paige and Hack to declare Tiger Woods is the greatest putter forever (to use Fred Couple’s nomenclature).

Rory Goes Dark:  It’s depressing with Rory out because of the freak/careless injury.  Last night’s replay of the PGA Championship (where Rory won in the dark)  only added to the gloom.  It was very interesting, though, to watch how the 18th hole played out, with Rickie and Phil standing  aside while Rory played up.  Say what you will about Chambers Bay, at least they had plenty of daylight.

The Golf Media Still Carries the Woods Water:  With this being the week of the Tiger Woods National, and with Woods’s game in the dump, the golf reporters locked in fierce competition to make the most outlandish claim about back-in-the-day” Tiger.

  • Van Sickle:  The old Tiger was so good that he would’ve been boring if he didn’t play so many shots that nobody else could hit.
  • More Van Sickle:  Not to make excuses for Tiger Woods, because he doesn’t need any and, you know, 14 majors means he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone
  • Bob Harig:  At various times, Woods sounds like a guy who deep down realizes that he isn’t going to snap his fingers and start beating upstarts he’s never heard of, let alone play to the unfathomable standards he set.
  • More Bob Harig:  Woods is never going to be afforded that solitude, and 79 PGA Tour victories makes that more than understandable. There will always be interest, regardless of the state of his game. If Jack Nicklaus showed up to play a tournament right now, you think people wouldn’t be there to watch?

The Nicklaus line is ridiculous because Jack clearly was not obsessed over the Woods has been.  Once he was in decline, Jack would rate a mention only when he shot a great round to put him among the leaders.  Certainly Jack’s bad rounds were not an object for incessant coverage and analysis.  You might get one line at the end of an article: “Jack Nicklaus shot 75.”

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18 Responses to Wednesday Thoughts

  1. Sports-realist2 says:

    Someday, I hope to win the career grand slam in one year…..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Like it’s unfair to compare athletes from different eras ( in any sport), it’s also unfair to compare the media with Jack and the media with Woods. Woods lives in this 24 hour news cycle era where anyone with a tablet/phone can write a blog/article. Jack’s lack of coverage during his decline is more a reflection of the media than it is Jack’s so called “lack of obsession” as you mention.

    • lannyh says:

      That’s a meme, but it’s not a logical meme. Because, during television broadcasts of live events, Woods is covered out of proportion. Go back no farther than the British Open two weeks ago.

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    So the PGA golfers don’t give a crap about Eldrick Woods sponsored tournament…..And I thought, based on the golf media, that all the players liked Tiger and were GOOD friends with him……

    • lannyh says:

      It’s odd, and sad. I saved an article link somewhere saying that, despite the media spin, Woods was not at all a liked player on Tour.

  4. Kris says:

    Congrats, Lanny. You were featured in the same article as Steve Elling. You have finally arrived! VanSickle’s responses were pretty funny. They were also fairly charitable to Tiger, which is sad considering his most optimistic response was he thinks Tiger will get back into the top 90 in the world rankings.

  5. CasualGolfFan says:

    Need some help. I seem to recall you saying the Players Championship wasn’t the strongest field on the tour but when sorting the rankings, it appears to me that it is in fact the strongest. What am I missing?

    • lannyh says:

      Excellent question! I can answer in two words: Rory McIlroy. The OWGR #1 brings 45 points to every event. Rory didn’t play the Brit, so it skewed everything.

      As well, the Players was anomalously strong this year because of the WGC Match Play the week before, which brought many European players to the States who stayed to play the Players.

      Again, great question. In 2015, the British was (and the upcoming PGA will be) weaker than normal, and the Players stronger than normal due to the placement this year of the Match Play (which will be in March next year).

  6. JoseyWales says:

    You have earned it Lanny….just don’t pull a Shackelford and forget who supported you in the beginning.

  7. JoseyWales says:

    Have you got a Callaway freebee deal like shackelford?

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