Tuesday Book Review Part 3/Prez Cup Preview

Full Disclosure:  There was a funny line in yesterday’s edition of Tour Confidential.   Mark Godich, Sports Illustrated senior writer wrote, “The PGA Tour won’t want to hear this, but the Presidents Cup truly is an exhibition. Which makes it the perfect event to develop young talent for the Ryder Cup.”  Uh, Mr. Godich, the Ryder Cup is also an exhibition.

Follow the Media:  Shane Ryan, in Slaying the Tiger:  “[P]layers enjoy certain protections from the media, especially on the television side.  Fans take their cue from the broadcasts, and have followed suit in fabricating saints from the raw material of mere athletes.  It takes a lot to lose this security blanket — to stand exposed before a press that typically goes out of its way to accommodate.”  Like when a player getting loaded on drugs, driving his car into his neighbor’s tree and passing out in the street, combined with a creepy sex scandal and links to a doping doc is referred to as “Tiger’s auto accident.”

The Truth Hurts:  From the Daily Mail:

There is also the small matter of a Ryder Cup next year but, asked if he [Rory McIlroy] would prefer to win the Masters or the Ryder Cup, there is no hesitation: ‘Masters.’  Some may find that unpalatable, especially as McIlroy had to prove he cares about the competition he once referred to as an ‘exhibition’.

Dovey Mountain Breakdown:  The World Match Play was moved from Dove Mountain because “the stars” wouldn’t play there.  In 2014, the final year at that venue, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott did not play.  But here’s the thing:  Tiger Woods was injured and would play only two more events before getting back surgery; that’s why he did not play, as he had played every event at Dove Mountain until 2014.  Adam Scott’s singles match play record is 17-21; he went 0-3 in 2015; is his presence really a big deal?  Then there is Phil Mickelson, aka Whiny Little Bitch.  He was the lead Dove Mountain/Match Play basher, got his way with the venue and format change — then still didn’t play.  The reason?  We’re not supposed to mention it, but he was busy trying to stay out of prison for trading Dean Foods on insider information.  One other thing: By February of 2014, the guard had already changed.  The Day vs Dubuisson was a key day in the transition.  Woods, Mickelson, and Scott have won a combined one tournament since that last Match Play at Dove Mountain.  They are OWGR #311, #24, and #14, respectively.  In 2015, their combined OWGR points gained comes up to 1/3 of what Jordan Spieth alone earned.  1/2 of Jason Day.  Fewer than Rickie Fowler.  Fewer than Rory in his “disappointing year.”

The Sun Has Setted:  I didn’t really give it all that much thought at the time, but Notah Begay’s recent comment about Woods knowing “the sun is setting” on his career was pretty damned harsh.  Consider that Notah is pretty much a mouthpiece for Woods, so Notah was probably instructed to used those very words.  Consider also that Woods has always pushed happy talk even when it did not match reality.  The media expects that, and aids him.  Then, too, consider that golf is a sport where, almost always, your career doesn’t die, it fades away.  (Look at Ian Baker-Finch; the narrative may be that he fell off a cliff, but he faded away.)  So, to use the phrase “the sun is setting” instead of “dominant days are behind him” or “on the downside of his career” must have raised a few eyebrows at Nike.  Of course, it might just be planned bar-lowering so, next year, Damon Hack can describe a Woods T10 at the Barbasol as “the biggest story of the year.”

He Swings and Misses:  Shane Ryan wrote of the Players, “by the world rankings, even stronger than the other [sic] majors since there are no amateurs here.”  Huh?  Although it ranked second this year (due to the scheduling of the Match Play the week before), it is not stronger than the PGA Championship or British Open (or U.S. Open, I need to check that one).  It is stronger than the Masters due to Augusta’s smaller number of players.  The Players is weakened by not having the top Euro Tour players.

Another problem with the endless season…  Almost every week, the golf media is stuck in the position of magnifying an event that isn’t that big a deal.  I understand sponsors pay a lot of money, and the golf media is anxious to stir up interest, but there is a saying, “If everything is a big deal, nothing is.”  Maybe I just stole that from, “Everybody’s friend is nobody’s friend.”  At any rate, it’s true.  Maybe it’s The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

I’d like more coverage of the golf course and less faux excitement about who wins.  When’s the next time we’ll see this much coverage of an event at this course?  In fact, I’m going to go look for a good flyover or something right now.  I’ll add it later if I find it.

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12 Responses to Tuesday Book Review Part 3/Prez Cup Preview

  1. JoseyWales says:

    The best quote about Shane Ryan’s book was posted in Golf.Com from PGA Tour Pro Matt Every:
    ““And why is his opinion so fucking important?” Every continued, still chafing at the perceived dishonesty two weeks later. “I told you I don’t like Geoff Shackelford, and you can write that in your book.” He lowered his head inches from my tape recorder, speaking slowly and loudly for emphasis: “Fuck you, Geoff.”

    “That will go in the book,” I promised.

  2. Ken says:

    There’s a word for those players that talk about the Ryder Cup as the most important event of their careers.

    Liar.

    • Ken says:

      I’ve heard some guys say that it was the most fun. Or most intense competition. These may be true.

      Any player that says that Ryder Cup is up there with majors is lying. Or trying to hide their disappointment over not winning a major (Monty, Garcia, Poulter come to mind).

    • lannyh says:

      Ha ha! Yes, indeed.

  3. GoodTimes says:

    RC and Pres Cup may be exhibitions but they have their own entertainment values. One of the biggest reasons is you actually see emotion out of the guys. They show some personality. At times, even cut up with each other. Unlike regular events where it’s strictly business, very little to no emotion.

    You also get craziness. Poulter dropping bombs like they’re tap ins. Guys holing out when you least expect it, incredible shots that just make you shake your head.

    Exhibition or not, I still find it entertaining!

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t disagree that they can be fun for what they are, but I disagree that there is more emotion. They do more showboating of emotion, but it’s like they are playing a role they feel obligated to play. Not always, but Bubba blubbering on No. 10 at Augusta was pure emotion. Jason Day at Whistling Straits. Guys finishing with a birdie to finish T3 — and keep their card.

      I’m not saying these team things can’t be fun or entertaining, I just don’t buy into the idea that they are anything like the Cold War Olympics, which is how the golf media wants to present them.

      • GoodTimes says:

        I suppose that’s true, although, the media over blows everything so I guess I have grown to ignore the media hype and focus on what is actually happening.

      • Ken says:

        Guys bombing in putts happens all the time. But there is a level of excitement in these team events that doesn’t exist in a normal event. When you’ve got a team of guys depending on you (and the yahoos yelling “USA, USA”) and you roll in a long putt, you are going to emote more naturally. Heck I’m more psyched when I make a putt in a scramble rather than when I’m playing a normal round.

        Sometimes it’s fake. Remember the match in 2010 when, Jeff Overton I think, holed out from the fairway? He was yelling and celebrating. His partner was Bubba Watson. Bubba tried to join in the yelling and whooping it up and it was so forced and awkward that I actually felt sorry for him.

      • lannyh says:

        I well remember that incident. Overton’s behavior was totally inappropriate and childish and embarrassing. Bubba, in my take (which could be wrong, but I like it so much I’m sticking with it), was mocking him.

        Overton seems to have a bad attitude, and his behavior at the 2010 Greenbrier (I think) was unacceptable. I remember a year or two ago, Corey Pavin was “mentoring” Overton as part of a sponsor’s promotion. I hope Corey did some good because, to me, Overton was not a likable person.

      • Ken says:

        Maybe it was mocking. It looked so stupid.

        I hate the flag-draping aspect of this stuff. The “USA” chants or the “Ole ole” singing.

      • Ken says:

        Yeah I agree about Overton. He’s all but disappeared and I’m not sorry about it. Seems like the fake sort of intensity that I’ve always hated playing golf, baseball, or softball with.

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