Final Day Prez Cup — Saturday Night into Sunday Morn — Semi Live Blog: Spieth Spectacular Edition

10:15 pm Update: The Rout is On?  The leads are not huge at this point, but the U.S. is off to a strong start.

7:35 pm Update:  Looks like coverage has begun.  Pregame is on right now.  I think the weather is interfering with promoted hours of coverage.  At any rate, coverage is on now.  Four people are going over the matches one-by-one.  I have not heard a weather report yet.

Time Update:  Good news (and bad).  Good news.  The sun has risen over the Presidents Cup!  Not much longer now!  Bad news.  Weather looks awful.  Rainy.  They should push it off until tomorrow, if you ask me.  It’s always something.

The Longest Day

Is time running backward?  Even with football to fill the time, this day is passing slowly.  The sun will rise in Incheon four hours from now.  I guess that’s something.

Does Morning Drive Regular Geoff Shackelford Hate Jordan Spieth?

In the month of October, Geoff Shackelford has mentioned Jordan Spieth three times at his blog.  Once he gave a link to a DiMeglio article about the somewhat surprising DJ-Spieth pairing.  Another time he mentioned Spieth in passing when writing about Tom Gillis (“Gillis, who lost to Jordan Spieth in the John Deere Classic playoff, did not have to…”).  The third time, Shackelford presented a Jaime Diaz article claiming Jordan’s golf skills would have a short shelf life, adding that it was “hard to disagree” with that contention.  Anyway, that’s it.  That’s all he could find to write about Jordan in the past ten days.  This is odd.  VERY odd.

By the way, if Jordan Spieth’s golf skills are not the type to last long, how is it that he was making cuts at PGA Tour events as a 16-year-old and is now winning majors six years later?  And consider Jim Furyk: He won at least one tournament in 13 of 16 consecutive years; I guess he stayed good so long because he’s a bomber off the tee?

Woods wins a major young, and he’s projected to win 30.  Spieth wins two majors young, and he is a flash-in-the-pan.  Uh, huh, that’s some solid journalism…

The reviews are in:

  • Jordan Spieth is unconscious with every club, carrying US late at Presidents Cup — SB Nation
  • Spieth on Fire — The Malaysian Star
  • Classy Spieth turns tables on Day again at PGA Presidents Cup — Yahoo
  • Superb Spieth keeps US noses in front — The Gauteng (South Africa) Citizen
  • Spieth wins hole with sand shot after calling it — Golf Channel
  • Jordan Spieth inspires USA to keep hold of slim one-point lead in Presidents Cup — London Daily Mail
  • Presidents Cup: Jordan Spieth & Dustin Johnson keep USA ahead — BBC Sport

Geoff Shackelford, on the other hand, seems hopelessly mired in the past.  His only offering since noon Thursday… “Wrap: Mickelson Wrong Ball, Wrong Ruling Antics.”  I guess Geoff missed yesterday’s Spieth Spectacular.  Probably busy preparing a Tiger Woods bit for Morning Drive on Monday.

I’ts 4:17 am.  Do you know who SI’s Sportsman of the Year is?  Yes.  Yes, we do.  It’s over, folks.  Jordan Spieth clinched it by calling his shot — a holed bunker shot — channeling the spirit of Babe Ruth.  After coming back from 3-down to win in the third round with DJ, Jordan returned to his partner of yore, Patrick Reed, and won handily in the fourth round.  Night had fallen by the final hole, but the luminance of Jordan’s game allowed the players to complete play.

After holing the magical bunker shot, Spieth pointed to assistant captain Davis Love the Third — you remember Love as the 51-year-old who handed media darling Tiger Woods his tail at the Wyndham, depriving Damon Hack of his “Story of the Year” — to say “I told you so.”

How did Dan Hicks put it?  “Is there any more this guy can do this year?”  Answer: No.  No, there isn’t.  The only thing left now is for Sports Illustrated to name Jordan 2015 Sportsman of the Year.

Singles Pairings:  First off, I have to point out that Golf Channel’s attitude during the captain’s match selections was consistently inappropriate.  They were impatient and constantly asked, “What is taking so long?”  They don’t seem to understand that what you do in life matters.  They are so used to just babbling nonstop nonsense which has no consequence whatsoever.  To them, I guess, the only goal in life is to “entertain.”  But, hey, no one is forcing them to cover the match selections; if they think it’s “boring,” don’t freaking show it.  Are they incapable of focusing for five or ten minutes?  First graders have longer attention spans.  What’s odd is that Golf Channel hosts go on and on about nothing damn near 24/7, repeating their same old cliches, but when they actually have something worth showing, they suddenly develop ADD.

On to the pairings…  I’m glad Haas didn’t go for the Day-Spieth matchup.  Why do people get caught up in the media’s bullshite narratives?  Is the play of Spieth and Day less important if they don’t play each other?  Either way, Spieth and Day’s matches are one of twelve, no more or less important than any other.  Golf Channel would have put way more emphasis on that one match than it deserved, and the quality of the coverage would have suffered.  If you are disappointed Spieth and Day aren’t matched, ask yourself why?  If you have a reason, ask yourself if that reason even makes sense?  Don’t get caught up in the media nonsense; don’t let the media lead you around by the nose.  Remember, the media guys pushing the idea that Spieth vs Day would be INSANELY AWESOME are the same guys who said Woods winning the Wyndham would be the “Story of the Year.”  On the other hand, Jay Haas is trying to, you know, win.

Oh, before looking at the individual matches, I have to say that Adam Scott is problematic.  He qualified for the team using a long putter, but shows up and plays with a short one.  He is hurting the Ints, and it seems unfair to the rest of the team.  Of course, the real unfairness was in allowing the long putter, then arbitrarily deciding it was illegal after Scott and many others adopted it.

  • Reed v Oosthuizen: Interesting matchup.  Did Reed get his mojo back after playing with Jordan?  Oostie, along with Grace, is 4-0.  This is a big match.  If Oostie rolls in this one, we’ve got a tie score on our hands.
  • Fowler v Scott: Fowler hardly lighting it up, but Scott is struggling with the short putter.
  • Dustin Johnson v Danny Lee: DJ playing well, so you have to give him the better chance.  A Lee win would be big.
  • J.B. Holmes v Hideki Matsuyama:  Toss a coin.
  • Bubba Watson v Thongchai Jaidee:  Bubba is playing well.  Euro Sevener Jaidee won’t roll over, although I thought I heard them say he was nursing a slight injury.
  • Jimmy Walker v Steven Bowditch: Neither is playing well.
  • Phil Mickelson v Charl Schwartzel: Mickelson has much better results, but I like Schwartzel’s play better than his results.
  • Chris Kirk v Anirban Lahiri:  Both are 0-2.  Rookie nerves?  I’m picking Euro Sevener Lahiri, but who knows.
  • Jordan Spieth v Marc Leishman:  I am taking SI’s 2015 Sportsman of the Year.
  • Zach Johnson v Jason Day:  Winners of the last two majors.  You tell me.  Jason might be the favorite in a four-day tourney, but in a one-round match, I rate it a toss-up.
  • Matt Kuchar v Branden Grace:  Euro Sevener was a monster long before his 4-0 here.  jalnichols won’t like this result.
  • Bill Haas v Sangmoon Bae:  This is the best final match possible.  Bae has played lights-out in front of the home crowd.  If Haas gets the W, it’ll be a nice story of winning for dear old dad.
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31 Responses to Final Day Prez Cup — Saturday Night into Sunday Morn — Semi Live Blog: Spieth Spectacular Edition

  1. Ken says:

    Calling your shot, from the bunker no less, is the stuff of legend. Tremendous. Like Watson in the US Open in 1982.

  2. Ken says:

    Not for strategy but for the spectacle, Spieth vs. Bae would have been cool. But Haas was right not to do that. Kind of cranking up the pressure on his son though.

    What is up with Walker?

    The GC crowd won’t like the absence of Spieth/Day. I’ve seen enough of that recently. Not sure how I’d do matchups. Strength vs. strength is good tv. But I think I’d match my best players vs. my opponents lesser ones. Try to guarantee points from them and then hope your own lesser guys can steal some points. When you have a deeper team, which I think the US does, this strategy should work.

    • lannyh says:

      Indeed Spieth-Bae would have been a spectacle. In a way, putting his son up against the crowd favorite who is playing great creates a bit of a “nothing to lose” scenario. On the other hand, if it stays close, being in that last match will be nerve-wracking.

      Agree about Spieth, Day, and Golf Channel. We had them paired in final group at the PGA, for one thing, which is hard to top. GC is just so darn simple-minded. They embarrassed themselves with their coverage of this morning’s “selection show.”

  3. JoseyWales says:

    “GC is just so darn simple-minded. ”

    and their TV ratings prove it…

  4. MediaSucks says:

    It’s not all that surpring. Jason and Jordan are arguably the two best players right now. Why wouldn’t golf fans want to see them go head to head? Now sure the media blows it up to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that’s what they do so it’s not shocking.

  5. USAUSA!! says:

    I don’t know. Neither team is going to win all 12 matches but the only one that raises an eyebrow for me, from a US perspective, is Holmes/Matsuyama.

    • lannyh says:

      You mean you think Holmes might be outmatched there?

      Looks like they are going to play through the rain (and cold), so, from a fan perspective of wanting to see golf tonight, I suppose that’s good.

      • USAUSA!! says:

        Not sure I’d say out matched, just feel better about Hideki having a better day today. Holmes is a bomber, though, so if the putter cooperates, he can definitely hang. Just not sure it will.

        I enjoy seeing the tour guys have to fight the elements from time to time. It’s good for them.

  6. RealGolfFan says:

    One line of thought is this is an exhibition so one would think the matchup people want to see the most, Jason vs Jordan would happen. Not so much which is kind of disappointing. Sure each match counts but again, as an exhibition, give the people what the want!

    • lannyh says:

      Fair enough, but they sell these team things as hugely important. Which are they, exhibitions or crucial battles? I would also say, speaking for myself, that upon reflection, I’m not sure I want Day-Spieth. Is that some big, magic thing? Why would I prefer that over the two of them playing other people? Together, GC might be tempted to obsess over them the way they do Tiger Woods when he is T-17 at the Wyndham.

      • RealGolfFan says:

        Like all sports, people generally want to see the best play the best. That’s why you get people pumping up Tiger/Rory (not a great example given Tiger’s form but you get the point), Jordan/Jason/Rory, New England vs. Green Bay. People would love to see the Cubs in the WS and Joker/Nadal/Feds will always draw more than other matchups.

        Again, it’s an exhibition, so am I more inclined to tune in to see Jordan vs Leishman or Jordan vs. Jason?

        Reed vs Louie – Like it
        Rickie vs Adam – Like it
        ZJ vs Day – Love it but not as much as Jordan vs Day

        All the rest are just kind of, Eh….

      • lannyh says:

        Well, my take is more like this… I like Jordan. I like Jason. I can pull for them both to win, or I can watch them play each other and not really care who wins.

        I mean, every week these guys play against each other. As well, most people bash the WGC Match Play, which has tons of great matchups. I stand by my view that the media hype about Jordan vs Jason is silly nonsense. The same media that pushed the idea that “Woods winning Wyndham would be the story of the year.”

        I would add this: Say this comes down to the very last group, only two left on the course. Would that be better with Jason vs Jordan than Bae vs Haas? I prefer the later, as it would be vastly more meaningful, holding far more gravitas, than Jason and Jordan who will still have nice trophies to comfort them when they return home.

      • RealGolfFan says:

        Well it would seem your hang up is you like both guys so you don’t want to see either lose, which if they played, one would lose. I too like both but seeing as they are the two best golfers in the competition, I’d love to see them go up against each other for all the marbles.

        I understand the notion of a “good for him, unsung hero” like Haas or Bae, but still, I go back to the “best on best”.

      • lannyh says:

        All the marbles was the PGA Championship. They played together in the final group.

        And this idea of “watching the best” seems to go out the window when Woods is in the field when we generally “watch the worst.”

      • RealGolfFan says:

        Once upon a time that wasn’t the case, but I agree, Woodsy has fallen into the playing golf swing, not golf, trap that others like Faldo did. Yes, yes, age has played it’s part but I feel confident if TW was less worried about technique, and more about playing the game, he’d be having more success. Oh well, we still have RickIlroy Jorson to keep us entertained.

  7. RealGolfFan says:

    Little Rickie getting his arse handed to him.

  8. Jaybird says:

    ZJ doing exactly what I expected him to do….dominate the longer hitter Jason Day

  9. Ken says:

    This is far from secure.

    Great shot by Holmes.

  10. Ken says:

    Looking very much like the choke at Medinah.

  11. Sports-realist. says:

    Seriously, does the captain talk, oh I don’t know, STRATEGY for the pres cup? The Americans wet their pants on that 312 yard short hole on the back 9…Most of the Americans went for it and seemed to put it in the water, while the internationals laid up and kept winning the hole……Johnson ended up winning his match, but Holmes ended up halving his(both put it in the water and lost that hole)….

  12. Sports-realist. says:

    the lack of adjustment on the 18th is really surprising…seems like the play is to go long, instead they all try to hit it perfect, and the americans SUCK at chipping, have you noticed?

  13. Ken says:

    Comes down to Haas/Bae.

  14. Bird says:

    Kirk? Was he in the event?

    On to Fry’s.

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