[I inadvertently deleted the “Wee Hours” section, when I added “Brunch,” so here it is again…]
In the wee hours…
Facebook Commenters at CBS (and elsewhere): Is there anything more inane than comments from Facebook people? They sound like the classmates who signed your high school yearbook:
- “We are pulling for you”
- “You are a class act”
- “Good to see you playing well”
- “Go! You can do it!”
- “Be true to yourself”
After reading a few, I start expecting to see:
- “Stay cool!”
- “Good luck in the future”
- “You made math class bearable”
- “I’ll never forget Ole Lady Smith’s biology lab!”
- “Don’t become a stranger”
Tiger Woods, Needle Mover? The traffic to this website last week — with Tiger Woods in contention from day one, his most competitive tournament of the year — was surprisingly light. It was the lowest in six weeks, and only topped three of the past twelve weeks.
Bryson DeChambeau: This is the guy who just won the U.S. Amateur. He plays irons that all have the same length shaft. I believe that would have helped me. The only one of them I have anything approaching confidence in iss my 7-iron. I would like to play a few rounds with them all that length.
I came up with an idea for a poll question you’ll never see from any of the Tigerstream™ Golf Media: Who will win more PGA Tour tournaments in the next three years, Bryson DeChambeau or Tiger Woods?
Grace vs Sneds: I have not outright pulled against Brandt Snedeker this year, but I certainly have pulled for the Euro Seven to outperform him. This week, I was able to pull for Snedeker with no reservations. The only Euro Sevener in the field was Branden Grace, and it was a new course for him, and he had outperformed Sneds by so much in the majors that this week wasn’t going to matter much. So I hopped on the Snedeker bandwagon after that second-round 61. You probably know the ending: On an easy course, Sneds shoots a Sunday +5. Winds up topping Grace by a single stroke.
I’m not dumping on Justin Leonard. I remember following him around at tournaments when he was the young hotshot Texas player with galleries shouting, “Hook ’em, Horns!” But those days are two decades behind us.
In 1997, Leonard won the British Open and finished T7, T36, and 2nd in the other three majors. (Who did he lose to that year in the PGA? Davis Love III.) In 1998, he climbed to OWGR #6.
Today he is OWGR #494. Now, ask yourself, do you think if Justin Leonard got his mind right, or got a new swing coach, or made changes in his personal life, that he would regain his form of the late 90’s? Do you think the golf media should cover Leonard’s every move, show his every shot on television, celebrate every birdie with “Justin’s back!”, put out headline news stories when Leonard enters the Bumfrack Open?
This year, Leonard has played 19 events, missing the cut 12 times. Three of his seven made cuts came in the Wyndham, Quicken Loans, and Greenbrier.
Do those tournaments sound familiar? They are three minor tournaments with weak fields. In fact, if you toss out the alternate-field events, they account for three of the six weakest fields of the entire year. Here’s why they sound familiar to you: they also account for three of Tiger Woods’s seven made cuts this year, just as with Justin Leonard.
Why do I bring this up? Because I kept seeing Justin Leonard’s name on the same leaderboards whenever the media proclaims, “Tiger is in the hunt!”
So, yeah, Woods was in the hunt, but so too has been Justin Leonard, a man whose prime is also twenty years behind him. Think about this: Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, and Justin Leonard all won a major in 1997. How about lately? They have now missed five, three, and two consecutive cuts in majors, respectively. Contrast: They all finished in the top fifteen at the just-played Wyndham.
Gary Williams complained about people referring to the lesser tournaments as having “weak fields.” He said that term was a “euphemism,” whatever the hell he meant by that. (Would he prefer people to call them “shitty tournaments filled with a bunch of has-been and never-was players”? What exactly is “weak field” a euphemism for that troubles him so much?)
Yes, “weak field” is relative, and anyone in the Wyndham could win your local club championship, but is Williams truly in denial about the differing strengths of various tournaments? Was Jason Day’s win of the 219-point Canadian Open really on the same level as his win of the 902-point PGA Championship?
Let’s do a side-by-side of those three 1997 major winners:
Woods Leonard Love Wyndham T10 T15 1 Quicken T18 T52 DNP Greenbrier T32 T37 T54
Fact: Woods, Leonard, and Love all played about the same this year. On one hand, Leonard and Love were covered like guys who were scraping by; Woods, on the other hand, was covered like he was Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlory.
Why were we told it was “win or go home” only for Woods (he went in at FedEx #187), and not for Justin Leonard (#191) and DL III (#186) and the scores of other players in the same predicament?