Help! Am I missing something or did Grantland leave a sentence or two out of the opening anecdote of this Bryan Curtis article? I read it ten times, and I can’t make sense of it. It’s like they left out a sentence such, “At this point, his agent insisted Jordan leave the stage.” Maybe an overactive editor?
Best. Day. Ever. Was yesterday the best day ever for professional golf? It started with a European Open win by Thongchai Jaidee — one of infamous Euro Seven mocked by jalnichols. (FYI: PGA Tour start Hunter Mahan missed the cut.) Then we had Spieth winning the Fed Ex Cup, as everyone knows. Then Esteban Toledo won the Senior Tour event. If you had let me choose the winners on Saturday night, those are the three names I would have picked.
ALERT!!! Geoff Shackelford will be on Morning Drive — in studio! — all week. A tryout for a permanent spot?
The Return of Loupe: I just caught the end of a replay of yesterday’s web.com event. Andrew Loupe won and regained his PGA Tour card. Asked what he had learned since his last try on the PGA Tour, he responded, “I learned a lot the past two years through failure.” Andrew Loupe then broke into a true and uncontrollable laughter. A moment later, he choked up when he mentioned it was his dad’s birthday and that this win was dedicated to him.
The Real World III: They also mentioned at the end of that web.com replay that Harold Varner III would be driving five hours after the tournament to spend the night at his parent’s house, then driving six hours the next day to the next tournament site in Jacksonville. Very illustrative of life on tour for the vast majority of players.
Calling My Shot: Golf Channel just teased a segment on Best or Most Memorable Shot of 2015. Off the cuff, I’m going with Spieth’s flop shot on the 54th hole at Augusta.
Shackelford Swings and Misses: Overall, Shack is doing fine. If nothing else, he’s putting the pressure on Rymer and Williams to up their games. However, when Williams brought up Woods’s 2000 season when “he won by 15 shots,” Shack said nothing about the Rock Ishii ball. Shack is one of the top crusaders for rolling back the ball, so it’s depressing that he struck out on this one. I said “swings and misses,” but the truth is he stood there with the bat on his shoulders.
Speaking of 2000: Tiger Woods did for golf what Barry Bonds did for baseball: They both eclipsed meaningful sports records by unfair advantage. Knowing that, it’s funny to read the New York Times report of Woods’s first Rock Ishii-ball major.
It was the largest victory margin in a major championship, surpassing the 13-stroke margin by Old Tom Morris at the 1862 British Open. The winning margin also broke the United States Open record that had stood for 101 years, surpassing the 11-stroke victory by Willie Smith in 1899.
And not a word about the advantage of the Rock Ishii ball.
As Woods walked to the green, he removed his hat to acknowledge the roaring gallery, and some fans dropped to their knees and bowed repeatedly.
Fans unaware of the Rock Ishii ball, of course.
Asleep At The Wheel: Nothing bores me more than Morning Drive’s tedious how-to-putt or how-to-drive or how-to-chip segments. They destroy the momentum of the program. Golf Channel has full-hour shows for instruction; we want information about the professional tournaments on Morning Drive. Can you imagine turning on ESPN or NFL Network after a full slate of weekend games and seeing segments on the best tee to use for kicking off, or how to grip a football for distance, or the mechanics of tackling? You want Mike and Mike to show you how to throw a slider?