Saturday: Memorial Semi-Live Blog

[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.

*****

NBC staffers refuse to travel to Brazil for Olympic coverage over Zika virus fears

*****

  • 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.)
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18 Responses to Saturday: Memorial Semi-Live Blog

  1. Ken says:

    Solid if unspectacular starts for Jordan (-2) and Rory (-1).

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, and Day was -6 in his distraction-free grouping.

      Rory and Spieth had their chances to go low wrecked by Slimey Tim Finchem making them a “marquee group” to try to suck people into buying the online stream. For free, the stream was fun. For a price, it’s too much of a hassle.

    • lannyh says:

      I should add that the PGA Tour basically NEVER paired Woods and Mickelson together (Thurs and Fri). Yet Rory is stuck with Day or Spieth almost every time out.

      • Jaybird77 says:

        I’d venture a guess that one or both of Woods and Mickelson went to Finchy and demanded they not be paired together unless scores dictated as much. None of the top 3 are selfish enough to do such a thing so Finchy does it when he can.

      • Sports-realist. says:

        Totally agree that the CONSTANT spieth/day pairings actually takes away the interest of the best players playing on the weekend together…..BUT we should always remember that some people in charge are BAFOONS….we’ve all heard of NBC and the golf channel, and their pathetic approach, so no surprise…

  2. Jaybird77 says:

    DJ is leading and I think that’s great. DJ has had a solid career, but given his talents, I think he has horribly underachieved. He should be in the conversation with Jason, Jordan, Rory and Rickie, but isn’t.

    Would really like to see him get a W this week and a major somewhere later in the year.

    • Ken says:

      I used to think he would win a bunch of majors. I don’t anymore. But someday he’ll win one, and it will be a 6+ stroke runaway.

      • Jaybird77 says:

        Agree. He has all the talent physically, just doesn’t seem to have it upstairs.

  3. Ken says:

    Mickelson playing well. In a perverse way, I can see him feedng off the controversy.

    • Sports-realist. says:

      insider trading really isn’t a big secret anymore…MOST millionaires know somebody that know somebody, who can tell them how to make more money…..Politicians are the biggest group to abuse this, since they can set policy, ect, ect, ect…..Much of the Kennedy family wealth was from insider trading….
      Sports figures get to know ALOT of rich and powerful folks in all walks of life, so it really doesn’t surprise me….

  4. Ken says:

    I’ve said it before. I don’t like the manufactured pairings. Those should all be random.

    Thomas is a nice player. I don’t think he’s so talked about in the sense that he’s now vastly overrated because I don’t usually hear him being praised that much as a player. I just hear the “Jordan’s buddy” thing being played to death. Maybe they’re the best of friends, but who cares?

    • lannyh says:

      Certainly Rickie was in vastly more commercials, and then the whole “he’s a motorcycle-riding cool guy” stuff. I wouldn’t claim they are even in the same ballpark, just that I catch a whiff of it in the media coverage of Thomas.

  5. Kris says:

    I thought Feherty was annoying until I heard McCord. It’s not amateur night at the comedy club, it’s a golf tournament. I came to be entertained by the golf, not by your blathering. I’m sad that Terry Gannon is replaced when they switch over to network TV. Everyone needs to see how great he is.

    Jason Day was supposed to be a marquee pairing with the number 1 player in the world, the defending champion and a popular veteran. I think it would have been more fair circus-wise if it was Mickelson instead of Furyk. But Rory’s tied with Jason and Jordan is only 1 back of them, so I guess they’re all in equal shape now.

    • lannyh says:

      Ah, Lingmerth won last year. I did not recall that. Makes a little more sense.

      I would love to go through Jordan’s past pairings and see how many he had with Thomas, and how he did in those. My recollection is that he did poorly for the most part, but I could be completely wrong. I’d also like to see how many times Rory has been placed in such “marquee” groups. You could expand his to be DJ, Day, Spieth. And Jordan’s first full year, I think they stuck him with Woods every time out, or at least it seemed like it. (He was something like 10-1-2 vs Woods.)

      I think the best pairing for Thursday and Friday is two boring players who play quickly.

      • Kris says:

        I forgot about Jordan getting paired with Tiger constantly a couple years ago. I remember John Cook complaining that Jordan was being put in the featured groups before he’d earned it, which was hilarious seeing as Jordan was generally outplaying the big names he was paired with. I honestly think marquee pairings only came around so they could save on camera crews. I completely agree with you on the best pairing for the player and the fans at the tournament. The crowds aren’t 8 deep if there’s only one person most people have heard of.

  6. Sports-realist. says:

    Cassius Clay was a coward….When you are drafted and you don’t follow the draft, you are a traitor to the country…..If EVERYONE did what Ali did, USA would be controlled by Mexico or some other country these days…..Just because he had a loud mouth and boxed, doesn’t mean anything….He liked to ENJOY all the freedom that America had to offer, but certainly didn’t follow the RESPONSIBILITY of it……The media has always kissed his rear, mostly due to his skin color…..But what did he REALLY do for ‘social activism’? Not much…..Just exaggerated media bs……

    • Jaybird77 says:

      (Mic Dropped)

    • Ken says:

      I don’t totally agree. But I do think he was one of the most overhyped people and athletes ever.

      Just like Michael Jackson declared himself the “King of Pop,” Ali declared himself “The Greatest.” Neither was correct.

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