3:30 pm Update: It was frustrating to watch Abu Dhabi this morning. Fowler played well, but the other two members of what ETP dubbed “The Big Three” did not. I suppose we might have some evening coverage tonight when play resumes, assuming no fog. I have not seen anything from Golf Channel, so I’m just speculating.
Interestingly, the Abu event is not all that far from twice as strong as the PGA Tour event. Abu is 375. Hope Desert Classic is 222. There were only three “regular” events in the U.S. last year stronger than Abu. If I were king, I’d throw out the FedEx playoffs and all the WGC events except the Match Play. Golf would be better for it.
Ironically, Anirban Lahiri is playing the US PGA Tour this year and is in a far weaker field than if he had stayed on the Euro Tour. How’s your theory holding up, jalnichols?
8:45 am Update: Rickie Fowler, the lowly OWGR #6, is giving a lesson to #1 and #3. De Chambeau powers forward, -2 on the day, but he’s been noticeably absent from the coverage. I guess it’s a front nine/back nine conflict. He’ll get plenty of airtime tomorrow, you can be sure.
6:45 am Update: Rickie has gained a shot, Jordan has lost a shot, and Rory is even on the day. Rory is T-6, Rickie and Jordan at T-22.
If you are looking for something to read during commercials, don’t forget National Review’s just-released, much-in-the-news hatchet job on Donald Trump. It can be read online here. It’s pretty sad when a political party trashes their top candidate. We’re going to get our First Golf President, and it is tearing up the entrenched power elite on both sides of the aisle.
5:10 (to 5:40) am Update:
I woke up thinking I missed most of the front nine of Rory and Jordan, but, alas, they won’t tee off for nearly an hour. A fog delay pushed back tee times 2 hours and 45 minutes (according to Euro Tour website; I think it is 2 hours and 35 minutes for Rory/Jordan/Rickie group) so I’m watching Rory and Jordan on the practice range. The broadcast is in sync with the scoreboard, so it’s safe to look at the scoreboard (i.e., the broadcast is not on delay, so the scoreboard won’t ruin anything).
Incredible! Jordan is signing autographs on way between practice range and first tee!
Rory and Jordan would have known about the delay first thing in the morning, so their routines will have more or less been normal on the day. They are teeing off at 2:40 pm; sunset is 6:00 pm. You can do the math; they ain’t gonna make it. On an empty course they might, but as it is they’ll probably have to stop around No. 16, even with the big sky and low horizon. If the price of oil had not declined so precipitously, the hosts would probably be constructing lights on the final holes right now.
The European Tour Productions team seems happy to have Jordan playing in his first regular Euro Tour event. They are also having fun with Rickie’s new golf shoes (and “pants with elasticated bottoms”). Bryson DeChambeau tees off ten minutes behind Rory/Jordan/Rickie, but he’s on a different nine, so it’s hard to say how much of him we’ll see today.
Rory, Rickie, and Jordan have all teed off. All wearing white pants, a trend the Euro Tour seemed to embrace before the U.S. Tour. Jordan is in a sand trap, Rory in the first cut, Rickie in the fairway. Here we go!
8:30 pm Update:
- Has Steve Elling abandoned golf.blotspot.com? There’s been nothing new for a month.
- Posting Reminder: Folks, remember, if you want your comments to post without going through an approval process (a process I’ve lost interest in, so infrequently bother with it), the procedure is simple. Pick a name; pick an e-mail address (a fake one is fine); write a post that gets approved. End of story; everything after that will post. If you come on here and use different information every time, don’t whine to me. (Anyone who whines is obviously a regular.) The rules here are beyond lenient; at this point, if you can’t follow them, the problem is yours, not mine. There are a thousand golf websites out there begging for comments; this is not one of them.
First Look/Thursday Evening:
- Golf Channel listings show live Abu coverage from 2:00 am-8:00 am EST. They (European Tour Productions on Golf Channel) generally don’t go that long uninterrupted, but I’ll assume it’s accurate. (To give credit where credit is due, GC has gotten really good at prioritizing LIVE coverage in the past couple of years.) Expect them to focus on Rory/Jordan/Rickie when they tee off at 3:05 am EST. If you are an early riser, the viewing gets progressively more convenient each day. Well, that is assuming Rory and/or Jordan is in the final group come Saturday and Sunday!
- Euro Sevener Anirban Lahiri tied for the lead at the Bob Hope Desert Classic. Euro Sevener Branden Grace is T-3 at Abu. jalnichols, how about an apology?