Saturday Firestone Semi Live Blog

1:55 pm Update:  Last week, Golf Channel had a Twitter Tiger Woods Tracker all four days.  The Strength of Field was 137.  The SOF this week is 745.  We get no Tracker whatsoever.

1:35 pm Update:  What the…?   Jordan Spieth tees off on No. 1.  Alright!  Finally!  So, of course, Golf Channels sends us “back to the studio” for thirty minutes of Tilghman and Chamblee.

Well, at least they cut back to the course to show him birdie No. 1.  Kelly, when describing Spieth seems bored and distracted when discussing Spieth.  But let Woods make a six-footer for bogey and Tilghman acts like Larry Mize just holed his chip against Norman.

1:30 pm Update:  It’s Jordan Time!!

8:45 am Update – Exemptions for Trump and Woods:  The more I think about the exemption Woods got to play in the OWGR-points-giveaway Hero Challenge, the more stupefied I become.  Consider a timely analogy: Donald Trump.

Why not give Trump an exemption into the White House?  He’s good for politics because, as last Thursday’s highly-rated debate showed, he moves the needle.  His past success in real estate and television are more than enough to earn the exemption.  And, frankly, no other politician is going to bring the interest and ratings.  More than ever, we need to grow politics, and Trump does that.  The haters watch because they hate him, the lovers because they love him.  We have not replaced the immensely-popular Ronald Reagan, and it is well past time to do that.

You can see how asinine it is to think television ratings are the be-all, end-all of existence.

Now consider these factoids about Woods and OWGR points:

  • Twenty-nine percent of Woods’s current OWGR points come from the two 18-man silly season Hero Challenges he has played in. Take those points away and he drops another 100 rungs in the OWGR rankings.
  • Woods has earned 12.44 points in 9 events in 2015, for an average of 1.38 per event.  Woods could shoot 102-99-109-98, finish dead last in the 18-man Hero Challenge, and yet CLIMB in the OWGR rankings because dead last awards 3 points.
  • If Woods could finish 4th, topping only 14 players (several of whom will not have touched a club in over a month), he would earn more points than he has in the entire prior two years.
  • Should he win the 18-man silly season non PGA Tour event, he’d get double the total points he’s acquired the past two years.  Think about that: winning a silly season event — when some of the participants have shut it down for the year and aren’t even practicing — could net him more points than two full seasons of Tour play have.
  • Considering the above, you can see why Woods insiders like Finchem and Steinberg and Rosaforte fought so hard to put Woods in position to grab some of those free OWGR points.
  • The capitulation of the OWGR overseers have emboldened the press to call for Woods to be exempted into every tournament for which he does not qualify.  They are even lying about and distorting the words of other professional golfers.  Jason Day said, “It’s tough, though. It’s something that, for us as players, we have to earn our spots in these tournaments.”  Golf Channel, among many other distorters, ignores that point and headlines their article, “Day Wants Exemption.”

Mandatory Reading for All Tiger Woods Apologists: From Tim Baffoe, analysis of fans defending the regrettable personal life of hockey player, Patrick Kane:

You don’t know him on a meaningful level. Maybe he signed your kid’s hat that one time. Maybe you took a picture with him at a golf outing a few years ago.

But Patrick Kane is not your friend. You are not his dawg, and he is not your bro. For all intents and purposes he doesn’t care about you no matter how many times you’ve swooned at him saying something about “not being able to accomplish this without you great fans.”

And you need to stop with the garbage default setting of rushing to defend him.


The reflex of “Leave Kaner alone—you’re ruining his reputation!” […] shows you’ve let sports fandom strip you of your humanity. Your ethics have grown so out of whack while drunk on being a fangirl or fanboy that you’ve drowned your soul.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Whistling Straits:  Two holes stand out in my memory:

No. 5, the par-5 “Snake”  It’s pretty obvious why it has that name.

No. 18, “Dyeabolical”   I don’t think many players, if any, used the left route, but it makes for a visually impressive hole.

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25 Responses to Saturday Firestone Semi Live Blog

  1. Anonymous says:

    That should be required reading for everyone in our celebrity-obsessed culture.

    I wish they’d print that in the papers here in Pittsburgh. The people here that defend Ben Roethlisberger need to read it, though I doubt that they would get it.

    There’s so many women that wear his shirts here, you just want to scream “What the hell is wrong with you!?!” The same applies to the parents that outfit their kids and babies in Roethlisberger gear. Beyond the multiple rape allegations (the one in GA the cops basically said that he was guilty but they would lose in court), the guy is known all over town as a bad person. There was even an SI article about what a jerk he is to everyone.

  2. Ken says:

    That HERO/OWRG analysis is pretty damning. You should send that to every sports news source that you can think of. It probably won’t have an impact, but maybe some journalist with integrity with make an issue of it.

    Hopefully it will show the public the sort of person Woods is, and the pathetic way that the sports world bows down to him.

    • lannyh says:

      I would love to do something like that, but there’s not a lot you can do. Maybe I could send it to a Shane Ryan, and maybe he’d write about it. Most would ignore it and go write an article on “why golf STILL needs Tiger.” I’ll definitely be bringing it up as we near the event.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      ….MOST people won’t connect the DESPERATION dots by the Eldrick camp, to somehow keep his career relevant……
      …The idea that ‘innocent little’ Steinberg and friends just think it’s a nice idea is naive….This is a ‘we’ve got to do something’ move by Steinberg, as he knows without ANY more WGC events, Eldrick probably doesn’t get guaranteed $$$$ anymore….
      .. Finchem is becoming a PUPPET commissioner….When you consider the steroid coverup, and NOW the FREE OWGR points for Eldrick, there is little doubt it is a MOB like atmosphere on the PGA tour……

  3. Kris says:

    I like your Trump analogy, but I will say that sports is entertainment. Ratings are all that matter, unlike politics where a policy decision on healthcare or disability payments can be life and death. People like to say sports teach our children perseverance and integrity and give them role models. The truth is athletes are people that couldn’t succeed in real life for some reason or another, so they dedicate their lives to absurd things like trying to knock a tiny ball into a tiny hole from a great distance for our entertainment and obscene quantities of money.

    Saying an athlete is a great role model among athletes in their sport is like saying someone is a great role model among white supremacy gang members in federal prison. Golfers pretend to be the classiest of athletes, but they’re just as likely to be amoral money-grubbing glory-seekers. You have to be at least 1 out of 3 to want to be a professional athlete in the first place.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, I thought about your point as I wrote, but I include today’s “journalists” — both sports and political — in your category of “amoral money-grubbing glory-seekers,” so I looked at it from that angle. Because, from my perspective, I ain’t buying what they are selling in either instance.

      I’m not quite so down on sports role models as you are. I certainly see your point, but I don’t think a guy like Jordan Spieth is much of a threat to turn into Charles Manson. Or O.J. Simpson or Aaron Hernandez. Or even a Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Pee Wee Herman. He could, though, yes. I think maybe the public/media is too quick to promote guys in violent games as role models. But there are some genuinely nice guys who succeed at sport and promoting a message that nice guys can finish first isn’t all bad. We just need to be a little more selective in identifying “nice guys.”

      • Kris says:

        I completely agree that there are good guys in sports, but they’re no better than good guys in real life. I’m tired of athletes being treated like they should be revered as saints if they don’t rape or murder people and they mention God every once in a while. All these athletes started their own charities for good PR and a tax shelter, not purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

        As much as I love Jordan Spieth and think he’s one of the good guys, he is a glory seeker. He has said if he has to choose between potentially improving his performance and maintaining a personal relationship, he’ll choose performance. That’s like choosing to miss your child’s first school play because you don’t want to miss an important meeting with business partners. Some people might see that as dedication. I see it as selfish.

        Journalists write about scumbag athletes like everyone expects them to be scumbags, so why write about why they’re scumbags? If an athlete shows themselves not to be a scumbag, they’re fantastic role models and the type of people you want to marry your children. It’s ridiculous.

      • Bird says:

        Just say “NO” to sports bad boys. Don’t buy their cereal.

    • Bird says:

      Rodman endorses Trump. That’s all the Trumpster needs.

  4. PointShaver says:

    I’d be pissed about Tiger and his free OWGR points too……..if I cared about stuff like that.

  5. Puttin'Fool says:

    Driving distance Ranks (Putts per green rank)

    1 Jim Furyk – 68th (4th)
    2 Steve Bowditch – T4th (18th)
    2 GMac – 76th (T7th)
    2 Danny Lee – 51st (T28th)
    2 Bubba – 1st (T21st)
    2 Shane Lowry – 21st (T19th)
    7 Ian Poulter – 61st (3rd)
    7 Robert Streb – 7th (T12th)
    7 Patrick Reed – T26th (T16th)
    7 Justin Rose – 33rd (63rd)
    7 Dustin Johnson – 28th This is clearly an anomaly (T5th)

  6. Sports-realist2 says:

    I just don’t understand how a LONG DRIVE HITTERS golf course doesn’t have Dustin Johnson at the top of the leaderboard..

  7. Sports-realist2 says:

    Gosh what happened to Spieth, playing like crap….

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Should have known when they had him favored over Lee Westwood, something was fishy…..Double bogey finish? Gosh amateur hour for Spieth today..

    • Ken says:

      T17. That promped hosannahs at the Golf Channel last week for another player.

  8. Bird says:

    Jordan Spieth, who? Numerous injuries, as people flee the bandwagon.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know you’ve arrived when people act as though shooting +2 is some sort of collapse.

      Spieth is T17. Seems to me there was dancing in the aisles at Golf Channel when Woods was T17 last week.

  9. gpbgolfer says:

    Lanny, a nitpick, Last place at the HWC will be worth 2.4 OWGR pts, not 3.0. Woods earned 3.16 last year because technically he was not last, he was T17. Solo 18th was worth 2.4 and will be 2.4 this year.

    As stupid as it sounds, CBS and Golf Channel do not co-op much production equipment and that is part on the reason why there is a 30 minute intermission between Golf Channel’s coverage and CBS coverage. GC and NBC share the same equipment and there is no intermission.

    Next week TNT (ugh!!) has the lead in coverage and there is not an intermission.

    • lannyh says:

      I had noticed the half-hour gap between GC and CBS (and not GC and NBC), but didn’t know the reason.

      Yeah, I ballparked the points for last place, but it’s also dependent upon the points brought to the event by the players in any given year. Woods won’t bring any this year, which will be a drag as well. The point, of course, is that the event is an unfair scheme to pump points into the “chosen ones.” Putting Woods in when he is ranked #262 is just plain bizarre.

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