Abu Dhabi Doo!

Jordan’s win yesterday sets up a fascinating battle with Rory McIlroy in Abu Dhabi ten days from now.

abumatchupNo one has forgotten Jordan Spieth’s 2015.  No one is likely ever to forget it.  The first two legs of the Grand Slam.  A botched R&A resumption of play away from the the third leg.  Youngest U.S. Open winner in nearly 100 years.  Runaway Masters victory.  Gutsy, improbable win in a spectacular Valspar playoff.  So many wins I’m unable to recall them all right now.

But what about Rory McIlroy?  He hurt his ankle playing soccer, end of story, right?  That’s all many people will remember.  But let’s look back.  His year started in the Arabian Desert.  Second at Abu Dhabi, won at Dubai.  Mediocre Florida swing against high expectations.  A disappointing 4th at the Masters.  Disappointing, as he was going for his third straight major.

His next outing was the WGC Match Play, which he won.  You remember: he scuttled a Saturday night trip to Vegas (for the massively-hyped Mayweather-Pacquiao yawner), instead watching the fight while eating pizza with the press corps.  Earlier in that week, Rory had been three-down with three to go against Billy Horschel.  He holed a 20-footer on No. 17 just to get to No. 18.

After a T-8 at The Players, Rory won at Quail Hollow.  After two somewhat shocking missed cuts in Europe and a disappointing T-9 at the U.S. Open, Rory injured his ankle.  It’s easy to write off the rest of Rory’s year under “recuperation,” but it’s enlightening to take an objective look at what happened after that.  He finished between T-4 and T-29 in his first seven events after his return from injury.  Then, in his last outing of the year, he won the DP World Tour Championship at Dubai.  (Rory has four wins in Dubai, but they are split between two different courses; more on that in four weeks.)

Okay, here’s a point worth making:  Until Jordan’s win yesterday, Rory had the more recent win.

Rory’s routine in recent years has been to go through a little bit of a “training camp” in the UAE before playing Abu and Dubai on the Euro Tour.  I assume he is doing the same this year — Jordan being in the Abu field should certainly give him extra incentive — but I have not heard anything yet.  (Here’s a recent exclusive interview with Sports 360.)  The desert swing will also give Rory a chance to compete with his new, surgically-improved eyesight.

Abu Dhabi is going to be huge.  It’s not hyperbole when I saw, to me, it will be bigger than the Super Bowl.

***

Dinos of the Day:  I was really looking forward to reading Stephanie Wei’s wrapup from Hawaii.  However, after providing two days of great journalism, Wei reverted to full Dino Mode.  Completely unreadable, so don’t.  Save your time.  The other Dino is Rich Lerner, whose every fossil excavation during last night’s broadcast reminded me to change back to the NFL playoff game, or to the Clemson-Alabama pregame.

Yabba Dabo Doo?  Use the time you saved from skipping Wei’s piece to read Mark Schlabach’s superb offering on Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s head coach.

David Bowie’s Best Album:

David Bowie’s Best Stage Personna:

You have to admit this is pretty cool.  Kate Moss wearing the vintage Ziggy Stardust outfit:

zsmoss

If Bowie’s Ziggy costumes seem a little goofy, or perhaps desperately attention-seeking, consider the clothes worn by today’s “serious” women newscasters on cable news.  Or Holly Sonders, for that matter.  Someone could do a nice song parody — using CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and HLN newsbabes as background video — by changing “Suffragette City” to “Beaver Shot City.”

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2 Responses to Abu Dhabi Doo!

  1. HennyB says:

    What a great start to the 2016 season! I for one really enjoyed the tournament. There is so much talent on the PGA tour right now its incredible! I was happy to Patrick Reed on top of his game once again. He is a force to be reckoned with that’s for sure. I think 2016 is going to be one heck of a season. We are going to see some great golf. This is my prediction: Spieth, Reed, Mcilroy, Fowler, Day, Walker, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson (and you know Louis Oosthuizen will be hanging around) are going to be slugging it out week after week. I don’t think there are going to be any runaway victories at any of the majors this year. I think we are going back to old school golf just like in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s where the top names are battling it out and winning by one or two shots. The Masters cannot get her fast enough!

  2. Ken says:

    I rather like the title of this post.

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