1:15 pm Update: Lanny H Golf projects Rory McIlroy WILL make cut! Using some of our newly-gained political prognosticating skills, we are able to project that Rory McIlroy of N. Ireland will make the cut. This is based on analysis of the field, the difficulty of the course, and the number of players ahead of him who still have many holes to play. This is good news for Rory McIlroy fans.
Rickie Fowler finished his round in solo first.
11:40 am Update:
Today’s topic is very appropriate because Rory is on his way to missing a cut. If you follow the golf media at all, watch for what I wrote about. If you have any “made cuts” dinosaur sightings, I’d love to hear about them.
Rickie Fowler currently sits atop the leaderboard and will surely be among those in the hunt this weekend.
By the way, for those who said going Tiger-Free was a mistake, this website has more traffic than we’ve ever had in our existence. If that sounds like we’re repeating ourselves, it’s because we are. Every year for five straight, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, our new Tiger ‘n’ Trump website has not fared so well. People just aren’t interested in Tiger Woods, despite all those so emotionally attached to him. Witness:
I find the total lack of interest funny as hell.
Morning: As I wrote about at the Tiger ‘n’ Trump website, for fifteen years, golf reporters insisted Wood would win 25 majors, “blowing away” Jack’s record of 18. Woods’s chase ended at 14. Oops. Nor did he reach Sam Snead’s total win record. Double oops. Straw-grasping has led the media to claim “making a cut” is the new “winning a major.”
Of course, with no-cut events and limited-field events both counting as “making cuts,” it’s kind of silly, but hey, when you are grasping at straws, you come up with a straw. Then, too, there’s the curiosity of making cuts never having been anything anyone cared about until now. It was one of those stats like, “He’s gone 132 holes without three-putting.” You think, Gee, that’s swell, and move on.
None of this would matter except that the golf media is using this to discredit the game’s top players. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth both won professional tournaments as teenagers. (Jordan also finished T-16 at the Byron Nelson at age 16 — age 16! — and T-21 at the US Open at age 18.) Both Rory and Jordan won full-field majors at age 21. Jordan won two majors at age 21.
Let me be blunt: Tiger Woods did none of those things. None. The media, though, wants you to think Rory and Jordan and the rest of modern era’s players are somehow inferior to Woods. So what do they do? They dwell on “made cuts,” a stat seldom mentioned by the media until Woods failed to get close to Jack. Now it’s their mantra.
Spieth and McIlroy are hammered whenever they miss a cut, but they don’t see making a cut as some big goal. They are not journeyman players trying to make enough cuts and money to be in the Top 125 and get a card next year. If you finish 25th or miss a cut, either way, you didn’t hoist the trophy.
Okay, the media grasped the straw of made cuts in order to prop up Woods. We all know that. But let’s delve into the matter a little deeper.
OWGR Made Cuts Woods Spieth Year 1 21 22 Year 2 24 27 Year 3 23 23
Fact: Jordan Spieth made more cuts in his first three years than Woods. Yeah, that’s right: Jordan played more weekends in his first three seasons than Woods.
How can that be? Woods was known for seldom missing a cut, but Spieth misses cuts “all the time.” Well, it’s simple: Jordan Spieth plays more events.
If the golf reporters were honest with themselves — uh, yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen — they would recall how they criticized Woods for not playing enough events, as well as for not playing a wider variety of events. Woods played a very limited number of events a year, and he targeted the wide-open, hit-it-anywhere golf courses where a long hitter would have to suck really badly not to make the cut. That’s assuming the event even had a cut.
That last point is not a small one. The “extra” tournaments Spieth plays each years are not WGC no-cut events. They are actual full-field, half-the-field-is-going-home-Friday, big boy tournaments.
Consider: Jordan Spieth played the RBC Heritage the week after winning the Masters, and he played the John Deere the week before the British Open (where he was chasing Bobby Jones and the Grand Slam). Jordan is obviously not afraid to play when the tank is running low. Jordan played well in both those events (he won the Deere!), but he was obviously exposing himself to the possibily of fatigue and a missed but.
Consider: Woods never played more than 24 events in a year. Jordan has averaged — AVERAGED — 28 events a year his first three years. Spieth played a full five events more per year than Woods in a comparison of their first three years. The golf media, rather than praising Jordan for this, instead lambastes him for the occasional missed cut. And, count on it, every time Jordan misses a cut, the golf media will roll out their Making Cuts More Important Than Winning Majors routine.
Of course, no one ever got a tickertape parade for making a cut.