[Brandel Chamblee not handling this well. Just delivered a Woods apologia regarding Spieth smashing the aggregate majors record score. I had to tweet a reminder to Brandell about the Rock Ishii ball. Like with Oberholser, I referred Chamblee to Nobilo, who can fill him in on the details.]
Speaking of Class…
JORDAN, RORY, JASON — EASY AS 1, 2, 3
(IN THE WORLD)
RECORD-SETTING DAY SHOOTS 20-UNDER
JORDAN SETS AGGREGATE RECORD FOR MAJORS
JORDAN CLIMBS TO WORLD NO. 1
EURO SEVEN SHOW THEIR STUFF: GRACE 3RD, LAHIRI T5
6:50 pm Update: Thumbs Up to Jordan and Jason’s Class; “That’s our game” — D. Feherty.
3:41 pm Update: Just Sayin’
Two of the top four are Euro Seveners. Just sayin’. Four of the seven made the cut. Just sayin.’
2:00 pm Update
And now the coverage moves to CBS. Only forty-five minutes until the leaders tee off. I’ve almost been avoiding golf coverage today. I think I have done so because I know how intense it is going to be.
12:30 pm Update
- The tee times are earlier today, which is nice. One hour and twenty-one minutes earlier for the leaders. Two hours and 15 minutes from now. TNT live coverage started an hour-and-a-half ago. I’ve had it on, playing softly. I am not watching much, but it adds to the nice anticipatory vibe here in the Lanny H Golf operations center.
- If Martin Kaymer wins, it would certainly heal the wound left last January at Abu Dhabi when he lost a ten-shot lead thirteen holes from the finish line. I really like Kaymer’s mental outlook, and he’s quite funny, although his subtle humor is generally wasted on the golf media.
- CBS Radio is doing live coverage on the radio. It’s not bad. It sure beats nothing when you have to leave the house during the television coverage. I heard Spieth discussed quite a bit on a national general sports radio show this morning. I meant to catch ESPN Sports Center this morning to see if they led with golf, but I totally forgot.
- Nick Faldo’s comments about Lahiri’s Buddhism were interesting yesterday. I would have liked to see them pursued further.
- Notah Begay signed off from Live From this morning by telling viewers Jordan Spieth had a chance to “do something Tiger Woods has never done — win all three majors in America.” Spieth has already done a boatload of things Woods never did. Winning a PGA Tour event as a teenager. Winning two majors by age 21. This win would mean three majors almost two years earlier than Woods won his second. Like Nantz said yesterday, these guys really need to stop pushing the old stories of golf.
Oberholser Responds: Give Oberholser credit. Twice I’ve contacted him with questions, and twice he’s responded. And both times with grace and courtesy. Even when — this morning — my comment had more than a little snark in it. Anyway, his response was quite an encouraging surprise:
The “still have to putt” argument is obviously a specious one. Consider an opposite analysis. If you gave a pro every putt within six feet, would pointing out, “You still have to drive,” make his advantage of gimme putts any less?
Nevertheless, put aside that obligatory Tiger Woods apologia and consider that Oberholser clearly states the year is tainted: “[The Rock Ishii transformational golf ball has] always been my argument against the year.”
(Also, note that he answered in five minutes — during the show!)
- Golf Channel keeps championing Woods’s 2000 season because “he won by such great margins.” He had a distance and accuracy ball none of the other players had until the next year. Google Rock Ishii, you fools! When Nantz spoke yesterday evening about some not being able to let go of the old story, he meant Golf Channel. (I just tweeted Oberholser, suggesting he ask Frank Nobilo about the ball Woods used in 2000. Or to google “Rock Ishii.”)
- David Feherty seems to be getting better. Less intrusive, less annoying. He doesn’t try to force his comedy routine on us the way he once did.
- I had Morning Drive on the entire two hours, but it was muted 90 percent of the time. It’s so darn phony, I didn’t want it ruining my anticipatory good mood about today’s final round.
- They just announced the Morning Drive senior producer is leaving. No offense to that guy, but maybe the new guy will make some changes.
- I can’t pull against Jason Day. I kind of want to see Jordan Spieth win. You can drop the “kind of”; I want to see Spieth win. However, there is no way I pull against Jason Day. He’s a great guy, and I’ve been a fan for a long time. Add that to the vertigo episode at Chambers Bay, and I simply cannot root against him.
- I hope the winner comes from the final group. If not, I’d like to see Grace or Lahiri get the “W.”
- One of the GC hosts last night said something like, “The Tiger Woods Era has definitely ended.” Gee, you think. Sports Illustrated had a “Golf’s New Era” cover showing Rory McIlroy more than four years ago. This past April, their cover said, “The Spieth Era Begins Now.” We’re already two eras beyond Woods; Golf Channel has just noticed?
- Golfers’ improvement and degradation falls into channels. An up channel when young; a down channel when aging. Here’s something I wrote last winter about Woods’s downtrend channel. I mentions this because Woods has spent much of this year recovering from his back surgery a year ago. His back will continue to improve, and I expect next year he’ll have a “good year” by his current standards. I mention this because when it happens, the golf media will totally jump back onto the “Tiger is Back!” bandwagon. They won’t treat it as an against-the-trend uptick in a downtrend channel.
- Oh, I almost forgot. The first place I saw the factoid about Nicklaus being aged 52 before missing three consecutive cuts in majors was from a commenter right here. Last night, Golf Channel put up a graphic showing not only Nicklaus, but several others. I think they had Watson, Player, Palmer and a couple of others. Those guys missed three consecutive cuts for the first time in their 50’s. Woods did it at 39. They then went on to discuss how Woods was far more physically beaten up at age 39 than any of those other guys. They strongly suggested Woods’s 39 was equivalent to the other guys at 50. Due to the bulking up (they didn’t mention PEDs) and his stressful swing (which they labeled “swing changes”).