Morning: I opened up a box of Cracker Jack and found Sawgrass at the bottom.
Leading score after 36 holes: -15.
Leading score at the 2016 Hawaiian Open at the notoriously easy Waialae Country Club?
Oh, but pointing that out is “negative.” Instead we should cheer Sawgrass and the Players and pretend the tournament is a major and not played on a Cracker Jack course. And, by all means, we must pretend all TPC courses aren’t a crass way to suck money out of amateurs who want to “play a course the pros play.”
I had the GC live coverage on while I wrote this. Completely out of the blue, some asshole announcer starts blathering about Tiger Woods. No context whatsoever. I turned it off. Screw it. It’s a runaway event on a piece of crap course; they were lucky I was even watching. These days I have a Pavlovian response: I hear Woods’s name, and I am reminded that CNN is likely covering Donald Trump, a vastly more entertaining proposition than non-major golf, so I change channels. See ya at the U.S. Open, Golf Channel.
Buh-Bye: I’m watching the action at Sawgrass. First weekday action I’ve watched since the Masters. Suddenly, out of left field, Johnny Miller starts wondering if Jason Day hits the ball higher, lower, or the same as Tiger Woods. Holy shit, guys. It’s time to move on. I moved on to CNN. Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency is already more compelling than golf. When Johnny Miller serves up that shit, it’s no contest. Buh-bye. I’ll check the leaderboard tonight.
Over the ramp, off the clown, and through the dragon’s mouth:
Have you ever seen that happen on No. 11 at Augusta National? No, you haven’t.
That’s from the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union.
11:09 Update: Rory cards a 29 on the front.
10:51 Update: Rory -7 through eight holes. My “tough love” articles seem to work magic! But, alas, I still fear I will jinx him. Over/under on bogeys coming in: three-and-a-half.
Morning: Rory off and running, opening with four straight birdies. I’m sure I jinxed him, though. Over/under for bogeys the rest of the round: four. Roberto Castro, OWGR #122, is not in this 144-man field.
Tim Finchem’s pride and joy (his bar is low) begins today. He calls it a major, but it is unclear if he is making that claim for the PGA or the PPA. Add a couple of windmills and a mechanical alligator with moving jaws, and you could make a compelling case for the latter. Of course, the Goofy Golf course is not the only attraction. There is also a conference room available for tearful Oprah-style apologies. The only way this gem could be improved is to make it a four-man scramble with a shotgun start.
If the Olympics must disrupt golf this year, wouldn’t it have been best to cancel this non-major “major” and replace it with another non-major “major”? Jettison this joke of an event and move everything up to create a free week for Brazil’s Zika Virus Open.
Lanny H's Annual PGA Tour Pro Survey Q: Would you rather miss the cut at the Barbasol Championship or be within one hundred miles of a mosquito while receiving a gold medal in Brazil? 100 percent: Barbasol 0 percent: Mosquito Q: Where would you display the Olympic gold medal? 17 percent: At a pawn shop when I hock it at age 60 to feed my oxy addiction 83 percent: At the bottom of the Ohio River
Is Finchem the worst commissioner in sports history? The evidence continues to mount. Rather than admit the idiocy of professional golfers playing in the Olympics, Finchem continues to push for players to expose themselves to the deadly zika virus. Finchem should publicly free players of any obligation to go to Brazil. Consider: Women’s soccer star Hope Solo is going, but she doesn’t want to. And Olympics soccer is a huge deal for her; it is nothing for Tour golfers.
I’m starting to think NBC/Comcast is the most corrupt corporation in the world. They use their networks to influence political elections; they urge young world-class athletes to expose themselves to disease to fatten their bottom line; they falsify news to push narratives. And then there is Golf Channel, golf’s equivalent of Pravda.