[Very sad to hear about Muhammad Ali’s death. I’m not sure young people today can understand what a big deal he was. What a mark he made on the world. Contrast how outspoken Ali was to today’s sports stars, who mostly avoid controversy at all costs. The world was bigger and more intense in those days: Ali, The Beatles, Dylan, Joe Namath and the dawn of the NFL’s dominance. And the draft. Want daily life to be more vivid? Try living with the possibility of being drafted (or your kids being drafted) hanging over your head.
Muhammad Ali was front and center during those times, proclaiming to Howard Cosell and the world, “I am the greatest!” And he was.]
Moving Day: Keep an eye on Kuchar. He’s coming in off of three straight Top Six finishes. The top four players have created a little separation from the rest of the field. Should those four stumble, Rory and Jordan, who are only two and three shots, respectively, out of 5th place, are already in the hunt. However, should Kuchar, Grillo, Steele, or Woodland put together another good round today, that will force the chasers to go very low. Jason Day, whom I failed to mention, is tied with Rory.
Two names we have not heard from in a while: Zac Blair and Keegan Bradley. Harold Varner III is halfway to posting one of his best finishes. Since joining the Tour last fall, he’s climbed steadily from #433 to #183.
Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson are currently the #3 and #4 ranked American players. I bet they wish the Olympics restricted entrants to only two per country.
By the way, why the hell is the OWGR website displaying Woods as the first image when you pull up the rankings? He’s not even in the top 500. The complete cycle: Woods, Day, Rory, Els, Vijay, Westwood, Luke Donald, Kaymer, Adam Scott, and — bringing up the very rear — Jordan Spieth. While I’m at it, let me check the PGATour.com Players page… the top billing still goes to “Tour Eligibility Ranking.” I suppose they are waiting for Woods to carry the water on a par-3 before restoring him to the feature position.
Evening Wrap: McCord is the a-hole in the theater who talks during the entire movie.
3:45 pm: I just turned on the GC live coverage. McCord won’t freaking shut up. He just won’t freaking shut up. He is the absolute worst announcer in sports. There is no one even close. He talks unceasingly and says nothing.
A ball is struck. “That one sounded good.” Well, if we have the sound on, we heard it — if you weren’t running your motor-mouth. If we have it on mute, we didn’t hear the shot or your comment.
McCord adds absolutely nothing. He’s never amusing. He could read the dictionary and be just as relevant and witty. In fact, I wish he would read the dictionary. At least I might learn something.
When I turned the television on, Rory was standing in the fairway about to hit a shot. I wasn’t sure who it was, being unaware what Rory was wearing today. I thought it might be him, but I was listening for confirmation. Not once did anyone say anything like, “Rory McIlroy, 9th hole, second shot.” But they yapped the whole freaking time. Nonstop.
Then while Rory was putting, and about to make a bomb, McCord asks, ostensibly, Faldo a question. It took him a mere 10,000 words. Faldo tries to placate the fool, and thereby talks all over Rory’s bomb. In Europe, the focus would have been on the putt, not on McCord desperately trying to be relevant.
Honestly, the others today are okay. Sir Nick, Terry Gannon (the best in the biz). Can’t beat those guys. If someone would lock McCord in his hotel room, the broadcast would have a chance.
- In golf, you can bet on man vs man outcomes. I wonder if Phil Mickelson and his “associates” took advantage of those to pay off gambling debts. It would be very easy to hide a “bad round” in the third or fourth round when you are out of contention. Far easier to hide than insider trading.
- Hey, do you think Mickelson will withdraw from Memorial again citing “mental fatigue”?
- Making Rory and Jordan play in the “freak show” group almost assures they will be playing for a top ten, not for the trophy.
Just checked the scores. Rory (3) is -1. Spieth (2) is E. Justin Thomas (30) is +4. My point is that, if you insist on making artificial “marquee” groups, just stick all three of the Big Three in it. But, better to put each top player in a comfortable group. Day got a real break being with Lingmerth and Furyk.
- Lanny H Golf has been sued by the Association of Small Water Algae for referring to Tim Finchem as “pond scum.”
- There has been a golf tournament at Doral for over 50 years. No more.
- NBC is in full panic mode over Donald Trump’s potential election. Their opposition is both blatant and ham-fisted. Tim Finchem lacks both morals and spine, so when NBC says “jump,” he says, “How high?”
- There is something seriously wrong with NBC. Their political agenda tops everything, and golf fans can certainly attest to the fact that the Golf Channel’s coverage of Tiger Woods always reeked of Political Correctness.
- Has the PGA Tour outlived its usefulness? Arcane rules for maintaining membership. Coverups concerning drug use and suspensions. Oh, you can add gambling and insider trading to that list now.
- Tim Finchem will have the same legacy as Alan Greenspan and Carly Fiorina. Mistakenly labeled “genius” for holding a visible job during the easy-money dotcom and housing bubbles.
- Can someone please explain the Memorial pairings? I oppose the grouping of top players in the first two rounds because it is a distraction that lessens the chances of those players being in contention on Sunday. Explain this week, please: Day (1), Lingmerth (48), Furyk (29). That’s a great pairing for Day; low key, giving him a good chance to get off to a hot start. Rory (3), Jordan (2), Thomas (30). Well, that goes against my idea of separating the top players, and it also sticks Rory with two long-time friends, as well as, quite frankly, sticks Jordan with his “good buddy.” (Has that Spieth-Thomas crap jumped the shark, or what? I was a huge Justin Thomas fan when he joined the Tour. Now… not so much. There is plenty to like about Thomas, but the Tour and golf media come up with some ill-conceived “angle,” then beat it into the ground. If Rickie Fowler was “overrated” last year, that mantle has now been passed to Thomas.)