Tuesday Thoughts

4:45 pm  ESPN has a really high-quality article out, but you have to read a long way to get to the good parts.  The title, “After Yang took down Tiger, major golf was never the same,” is misleading.  I thought it was going to be about the years since Yang won, but it was about that tournament, with way too much “Wasn’t Tiger swell ten years ago?” buildup.  I skimmed the first ten or fifteen (or more) paragraphs of it (it’s kind of long) with my mouse hovering over the “close window” button.

Then I got to the good parts:

On the 15th, after Woods chunked a fairway wood, Yang turned to Montecinos and said, “Tiger [seems] nervous,” Montecinos recalled. The caddie responded, “You bet your butt he is.”

If Woods had tried to use gamesmanship on the relative novice, it didn’t work. Some observers thought Woods had crowded Yang and tried to unnerve him at different points in the round. “I wasn’t rattled at all,” Yang would say. “As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know that he was near me.”

Montecinos didn’t notice any encroachment, either, but he did see Yang stick up for himself on the sixth tee when a rules official told him his group needed to speed up after taking forever to play No. 5. Yang immediately pointed at Woods and said, “Not me, him.”

An aside:  Woods was a notoriously slow player, but the media simply refused to call him out for it.  One more nugget from the article, shining some light on Tiger Woods The Popular:

One clubhouse attendant who was near a locker room TV down the stretch told Montecinos, “You have no idea how many players were down here cheering Yang on.”

It’s an excellent piece, so don’t give up on it too quickly like I almost did.

11:55 am Tiger Woods Presser Coming Soon  And Lanny H Golf will be live-blogging it!!  Hold onto your hats!  Will they ask him about Rock Ishii?  Biogenesis?  Anthony Galea?  Amanda Dufner?  The Phil Mickelson investigation?  Or will we hear more questions about snorkeling and playing soccer with this kids?  Oh, and his new restaurant; now would be a great opportunity for a nice Golf Channel restaurant infomercial; maybe Matt Ginella can do a remote.  My bet is on on the latter two.

“Tiger, you dominated the game to an extent we’ve never seen before…”  Reinforcing my point from this morning about the fatuity of the golf media.

“What are your memories of holding the trophy?”  Holy crap.  Revoke that idiot’s credentials.

And, right on schedule, here is a question about the restaurant…  Infomercial time!

Okay, mercifully, the presser is over.  I found it very difficult to pay attention.  It wasn’t horrible or anything, I just find it hard to listen to the repetitious questions and answers.

10:32: am Update:  Is that Stephanie Wei Rory just hugged on the tee box of the Long Drive Contest hole?  This isn’t a PGA Tour event, so she can be there.

10:30 am Update  Geoff Shackelford is really on a roll.  He brings to our attention two big developments today.  He first addressed the Euro Tour’s decision NOT to sanction next year’s WGC Bridgestone, and he mentions the comments from the New York Times regarding Phil Mickelson’s insider trading case.

Here’s the germane part from the New York Times article on the Mickelson investigation:

[The Securities and Exchange Commission] is also pushing ahead with another insider trading case that involves trading activity in the shares of Dean Foods by the golfer Phil Mickelson and the professional sports gambler William T. Walters, according to several other people briefed on those investigations but not authorized to speak publicly.

Elsewhere, the S.E.C.’s investigation into whether Mr. Mickelson and Mr. Walters possessed inside information about the plan by Dean Foods to announce a spinoff in August 2012 has escalated. The authorities suspect the tip about the spinoff came from a board member at the company who knows Mr. Walters, who then shared the information with Mr. Mickelson, the people briefed on the investigations said.

And then:

Late Friday, Dean Foods announced the immediate resignation of Thomas C. Davis, the company’s chairman, in a regulatory filing. Jamaison Schuler, a company spokesman, declined to comment on the resignation of Mr. Davis, 67, an investment banker who has been on the Dean Foods board since 2001.

The Dallas News writes:

One analyst sought more information on the sudden departure of board chairman Tom C. Davis.

Late Friday, Dean Foods issued a brief regulatory filing noting that Davis had resigned from the board, effective immediately.

A Dean Foods director since March 2001 and chair since May 2013, Davis also served on the company’s audit, compensation and executive committees. He was re-elected to the board in May.

On the analysts’ call, Tanner acknowledged Davis’ 14 years of service to the company. He did not give a reason for the resignation but said Davis was leaving “at a time when we feel more optimistic than ever about the future of Dean Foods.”

Davis, who is also is chief executive of the Concorde Group, a private investment firm, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Thomas M. Melsheimer, issued a brief statement:

“After 14 years of distinguished service on the board of directors of Dean Foods Co., Mr. Davis voluntarily decided to step down from the board [Friday]. He wishes his colleagues at Dean Foods well and believes he is leaving the company in good hands with an excellent management team.”

The piece then goes on to reference the New York Times article about the SEC investigation into inside trading of Dean Foods (which is headquartered in Dallas) stock.

10:00 am Update

Returning to the top of ridiculous media hype…

Charlie Rymer, a little while ago on Golf Channel:  “I’m not sure Tiger ever feels nervous, but…”

Tiger Woods: “If you don’t feel nervous, that means you don’t care about how you play. I care about how I perform. I’ve always said the day I’m not nervous playing is the day I quit.”

Do you see the nonsense the golf media spews?  I think I’ll tweet that Woods quote to Rymer right now.  Done!

Feed Us, Pavlov:  For some reason, a practice round today with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth vs Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson is “a thing.”  A story.  A reportable event.  That’s fine, but I wonder, in the wake of Mickelson’s $3 million gambling loss which he paid to an illegal money laundering operation, if the golf media will lighten up on their wink-wink-ain’t-it-cool commentary about Mickelson’s gambling: “a few dollars are at stake today.”  One thing we can be sure of, however, is that Justin Thomas will be referred to as “Jordan Spieth’s good friend” a few thousand times.

Lanny Knows Golf?  I thought the first major played at Whistling Straits was DJ-in-the-bunker in 2010.  Turns out, the first one was the 2004 PGA Championship.  In that year, Vijay Singh won in a playoff, and he took over world no. 1 three weeks later.  Now, I ask you, why are we not being flooded with images of Vijay Singh’s victory?  If Tiger Woods has won at Whistling Straits in 2004, do you think Golf Channel would have allowed ole Lanny to be ignorant of that 2004 tournament?  Now that I’m aware of Vijay’s 2004 win, I’ll be curious to see how many times I hear his name this week — if any.

Notah Alert:  Golf Channel has Mark Rolfing interviewing Notah Begay about the importance of this event for Woods.  I guess they are searching for some angle or other to explain their coming obsession, which we’ll get as surely as the sun will rise.

Does The Sports Media Ever Admit Overhype?  That question occurred to me this morning as I watched Golf Channel hosts say things like, “Tiger was a superhuman who never got nervous.  He seems nervous now, which must be a new thing for him.”  That’s just one example of about a million.  “He hits/hit shots no one could can/could hit.”  “In his prime, he never missed an important putt.”  You’d think he birdied every hole and won every tournament.  And don’t get me started on the nonsense about Woods “making golfers rich.”  The hype went way beyond the reality.

Anyway, I starting thinking about other sports.  It’s like once the media establishes a “household name,” they refuse to let go.  Nevertheless, I came up with a few.  Brian Bosworth came quickly to mind.  Mike Tyson is another, although the media really only started dumping on him after the problems in his personal life.

Will we, then, ever hear the golf media admit,”Woods was a great player, but, man, did we ever overhype him!”  Or, “The reality is that Woods added very little to the increase of money in golf, yet we attributed it all to him as if money was not also rising in every other sport as corporations took over the sports world.”  I wouldn’t bet on it.

Shack is Back (on Golf Channel today):  My good friend* Geoff Shackelford is back on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive this morning.  Maybe he’ll mention the Rocki Ishii ball, since I planted the idea in his head yesterday.  No, he didn’t.  Well, he’ll be back on tomorrow; maybe he’s saving it for them.

* We are good friends the way the media makes everyone Tiger Woods interacts with his “good friend.”

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19 Responses to Tuesday Thoughts

  1. Ken says:

    Vijay was on a hell of a run in 2004. Never exactly a media darling and, from first-hand accounts that I’ve heard, was never fairly portrayed. People who play pro-ams with him will tell you that he’s a heck of a nice guy. The media won’t mention him much, though at 51 they likely won’t need to.

    I have a lot of respect for him. I liked the way that Vijay stood up for Fuzzy Zoeller after Zoeller’s infamous “fried chicken” remark about what Woods would serve at his Masters dinner. Woods gave Fuzzy a grudging pass on the remark that really didn’t do much good and left Zoeller hanging. Vijay stood up and said that Zoeller said something inadvisable but was no racist; it was a harmless joke.

  2. Ken says:

    Much as I’ve always like watching Mickelson, I think he’d annoy me if I ever got to play with him. I don’t care about playing for money and it sounds like Phil can’t play without some sort of side bet going on. (On tour, he has that in common with a lot of guys.)

    I like to go out and play golf. I’m not a serious guy on the course. I got my temper under control a long time ago and can shrug off bad shots (years ago my temper was embarrassing). I’ll talk and have a good time. But I’ve never felt this need to gamble on course. It doesn’t add anything for me to be involved in betting. I just like to play the game. No one would ever describe me as uncompetitive, but with golf I’m more focused on my score and beating the course. I’ve never really cared that much about what my partners are shooting. This is probably one reason why, while I’m a decent player, I’m not a guy you want on your scramble team. I’m more concerned with what I’m shooting that whatever goofy-golf team that I’m on; I hate scramble formats.

  3. Ken says:

    Regardless of whether it was PED-enhanced and helped by a ball that no one else was using, Woods’ results were truly tremendous, no question. If it turns out that he was on PEDs, then his name should be wiped from the records books. But nonetheless, he put up astounding numbers in the early 2000s.

    Even so, even though he was so great, the golf media did manage to overrate him. They obsessed over everything he did. No one hit it further (wrong). Shots that “only Tiger could hit” (wrong). No one bounced balls off club faces before Tiger (wrong). No one pumped a fist or displayed any emotion before Tiger (wrong). No golfer was ever in any sort of good physical condition before Tiger (wrong). No golfer was an athlete before Tiger (wrong on multiple levels).

    As great as he was, they still overrated him. No human could be what they built him into. The one about shots “only Tiger could hit” was especially bullshit. Golf is a game of repetition. All the top players can hit all the shots. Some are longer than others, but power aside, the top players can do it all. The difference is being able to do it often and under extreme pressure. Woods did that better than the others. When you’re talking about shots that “no other player can hit,” the guy who fits that description more than Woods is Mickelson. Some of Mickelson’s short game shots, like the flop shots, are to me as close to things that “no one else can hit” as anything Woods ever did. Even then though, it’s more a question of being willing to try them under extreme pressure rather than other players not being able to do it. In practice, a lot of guys can probably hit the Phil flop shots. In terms of raw physical ability to hit a golf ball, Mickelson is the most talented player I’ve seen in my time of watching golf (late 70s on). He falls short on the game management and mental side which is why he has “only” five majors and is considered by many to be an underachiever. His talent was so obvious that five majors and 42 wins seems like less than what he could have done.

  4. Sports-realist2 says:

    Eldrick’s restaurant? Bet they serve fried chicken there………..BAM!!!!!!!!

  5. Sports-realist2 says:

    ……Seriously, is the restaurant just a way for Eldrick to have a brothel? How many COUGH, uh women will be lining up to work there, for the, um, ability to um, SERVE??????? Just hoping for their, um, BOSS, might show up?
    ……Eldrick will show up in dark sunglasses and sit in the corner booth with dim lighting..
    …..I’m sure Charlie Rymer will be there every Friday night in his short skirt, but even Eldrick has some taste…I think….

  6. DanishDude says:

    The European Tour has today announced that, due to a date clash with next season’s Alstom Open de France, it will not sanction the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

    Read more at http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/news/newsid=267262.html#rG8Gvuq3GlMYGJUb.99

    • DanishDude says:

      Sorry, I see this is old news…

    • lannyh says:

      I thought it was cool that they did it. The French Open is an important event, and all this running roughshod over the REAL golf events to make room for the gimmicky Olympics is asinine, in my opinion.

    • Kris says:

      I wonder what that will do to the strength of field and world ranking points offered at the WGC. How can it truly be a World Golf Championship if it isn’t sanctioned by the European Tour? They should make it a full field event with a cut and call it the Bridgestone Championship. Maybe they could use this as impetus to get rid of the WGC Bridgestone and put a WGC somewhere in South Africa or something. It’s not right that 3 of the 4 WGCs are in the US.

      • Loyalty says:

        Didn’t realize 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the first Open de France. Pretty easy decision to draw attention to it and hopefully get some of the bigger names. That said, one would think those loyal to the Euro Tour would use that alone to play this time around so I don’t think non-sanctioning the Bridgestone was necessary. But it certainly doesn’t hurt.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        I feel the same way about MAJORS…Why not ROTATE the PGA Championships around the world? Oh, I know $$$$…case closed….But they should rotate it…..Everyone gets the Masters and the US OPEN being in the USA, but the PGA Champ could be and SHOULD be all over the world….

      • Ken says:

        If the money is bigger at Firestone, the big names will mostly play there. The Frech Open, despite being a national open, isn’t that big a deal. And money talks.

        The PGA should stay in the US and be a major. Golf is more global than ever, but the US PGA Tour is still the big leagues of pro golf. It’s the deepest, richest tour. That’s why the rest of the world comes to play the US tour and you rarely see American players heading to Europe or the other tours, except for young, cardless players trying to establish themselves.

      • Loyalty says:

        The PGA is put on by The PGA of America so it definitely makes sense to keep it stateside. Now, as someone else mentioned, I can get on board with moving a World Golf Championship (WGC) outside the states. You already have the HSBC in China(?) so why not put another one some where else?

  7. JoseWales says:

    Here’s your good friend Shackelford’s latest article… for Golf Digest …about…Tiger Woods.
    Keep drinking the kool aid.

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