[Note: If Lanny H wins the Nobel Prize for Literature, there will be no column tomorrow.]
Pairing Nonsense: Sang Moon Bae, playing in his home country is not playing Thursday? What the…? Spieth and Reed not playing together? That was the most interesting aspect of the most recent Ryder Cup. Are they thinking they can publicize this as, “Think about this pairing and recall Chambers Bay”? Still, splitting up Reed and Spieth is nothing compared to sitting Bae. Maybe there’s more to the story, but I can’t imagine any reason to sit Bae outside of the Korean government mandating it. It is incomprehensible.
Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits, A Dollar: Okay, here are the Lanny H Golf officially-approved teams to cheer for tomorrow:
- Jaidee/Lahiri over Fowler/Walker — I love Fowler and Walker, but we gotta go with the two Euro Seveners.
- Spieth/DJ over Lee/Leishman — Spieth needs to have great results to cement his SI Sportsman of the Year award.
- Day/Bowdo over Mickelson/Zach — It would be hard to cheer against Day and Bowdo in any event, but inside trader/outside whiner Phil Mickelson being on the other side makes the choice an easy one. Sorry, Zach.
- Bubba/J.B. over Scott/Matsuyama — Nothing against Scott or Hideki, but Bubba and J.B. don’t get near the acclaim they deserve, and we need the U.S. to get the point so they can win the overall title (for Jordan). Besides, I’ve really become a Bubba fan the past couple of years, after he seemed to perfect his craft. It’s like he suddenly thought — perhaps it was the kids — “I’m not going to be able to do this forever, and if I bear down, I can consistently earn a lot of money out here. Why should I let up and let other guys pocket money that could be mine?” Consider that, for his entire career, he was in the top ten only after his first Masters win and for a few months afterward. However, in early 2014, he climbed into the top ten and has not left it since. In fact, for most of that time, he’s been in the top five.
- Kuch/Reed over Oostie/Grace — I know Grace is a Euro Sevener, and I know Oostie is a great guy, so I might well have taken them if not for the fact that Kuch and Reed need to get the point to help with Jordan’s push for SI Sportsman of the Year.
Wednesday Daily Commentary:
- Hole 19 Golf adds their voice to the chorus calling for Jordan Spieth to be Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
- Is it possible that the Presidents Cup opening ceremony is more boring than Golf Channel’s coverage of Tiger Woods on the driving range? It’s a close call.
- I have watched some of the Live From coverage, but it’s hard to pay attention. How much more can they say about these players we’re already intimately familiar with?
- Honesty From the Media? I’m sick and tired of hearing how Jason playing Jordan would be “exciting,” and that “that is what people are clamoring for.” However, Rich Lerner (I think it was), laid it on the line to someone who said it would be wiser for Price to NOT match Day versus Spieth. He pointed out that this event was for entertainment, and that journalists need something to hang their hat on, something with which to try to rope in viewers.
- The New York Times is also calling for Day vs Spieth, saying it would “add drama.” Does that mean there is no drama otherwise? Me, I just saw Jason and Jordan go toe-to-toe at a major, so a repeat at an exhibition isn’t going to float my boat. I do think they will pair them, however, and I think the golf media will play it up like crazy. But, hey, it’s not like the NFL and NBA and the rest don’t overhype crap. Maybe Lebron James can host a live show on ESPN — call it The Decision — and show Haas and Price deciding whether or not to match Day-Spieth.
- Shane Ryan, in his book “Slaying the Tiger,” painted Rory McIlroy in an erroneous fashion. He kept trying to make Rory — a good-natured guy who tries to win golf tournaments — into some kind of cold-blooded golf assassin. I think he did this as an editorial decision, and made it a central part of the book’s overriding narrative. It led to some incongruent passages, such as when he wrote that Rory was “pure aggression” with “eyes burning, stride forceful, resolute with a dash of fury,” then, two holes and a dozen sentences later Ryan tells us, “Rory could be seen laughing with Fowler.” I thought the Ryan’s book was great, but I admit that his depiction of Rory was annoyingly off-base and a distraction.
- Team Competition: It occurs to me that a team competition that would generate a lot of interest? Sponsor matches! Let the Titleist boys play the Callaway boys play the Nike boys…
- Here’s a YouTube video of Jack describing the Presidents Cup course, the Jack Nicklaus Club Korea. It’s pretty darn decent. Jack doesn’t waste any time.
- From Shane Ryan’s book, two sentences worth repeating: “This is where the actual language of the Tour’s bylaws gets tricky: They have to announce a suspension, but they don’t have to announce a positive test that doesn’t result in a suspension. In other words, if Tiger Woods got caught doping, and commissioner Tim Finchem decided that it would be bad for business if the news went public, there would be no suspension, and we’d never know.”
- My interest in the Presidents Cup, I must admit, has to do with Jordan Spieth playing well, the U.S. side winning, and SI having no choice but to name Jordan Sportsman of the Year.