5:30 pm Update: Rory Serves Notice
Rory to Tour Players: “I didn’t go anywhere.” Rory is T6, finishing a relaxing round at 3-under, and it could easily have been more. In the process he thumped OWGR #1 Dustin Johnson and Japanese wunderkind Hideki Matsuyama.
Mickelson played well, Furyk like crap, so I’m not sure how to judge my theory of old dogs on a new course. Rickie, Justin Thomas, and Rahm all continued playing well. Pat Perez on the first page, upsetting the Woods fanatics.
Roberto Castro, a perennial favorite of mine is in the hunt. He may be the only Tour player who is as smart as I am. (Among the gals, though, I can’t hold a candle to In Gee Chun.)
Well, lookie here. Jason Dufner and Martin Kaymer. In case you forgot, that’s three majors since Tiger Woods last won one.
In the Sneds vs Eurotrash jalnichols Special, Sneds is currently getting spanked bad.
2:30 pm Update, Stray Thoughts:
- I’m out of touch mornings, so it’s not a problem for me, but these limited fields mean no early action on Thursday and Friday.
- Rickie Fowler, Sergio, Garcia, and Justin Thomas appear to be the group of the day, at least through six holes.
- Looking at the distant skyscrapers, hazy day or smog?
- Rory playing fine. Makes solid par putt. I know he’s glad not to have a Nike putter in his bag, but I don’t have any idea what else he’s using.
- Brooks Koepka, Last Year’s Model? He was the trendy name for the Twitter brigade for a while.
- Mickelson told Feherty Woods made golfers rich, due to prize money. Did Feherty point out that money went up in ALL sports, sometimes by a greater amount?
- This coverage is atrocious. Gannon there, but no Sir Nick or Duval. I’ve seen more fairway shots at Putt-Putt tournaments. We are getting putts and par-3 tee shots only.
Sunrise: “I got to play with the president of the United States and the best golfer in the world” — Rory McIlroy on his past week, playing first with President Trump, then later with Dustin Johnson.
“Woods has already retired”
Well Before Sunrise: No idea what the course looks like. No idea of the condition. Nada. But I know this: NBC is covering the event, so it will be spoken of glowingly. Why do I say that? Because, in their convoluted way of thinking, praising Mexico equates to criticizing Trump. Makes no sense, I know, but their target audience is the Lowest Common Denominator, and they communicate in a language only one rung above caveman grunting.
Rory is back. Funny, but with this event being in an odd location and just two days beyond February, I keep thinking it’s the Match Play. It will be interesting to see which golfers best chart their way around this virgin territory, but, with today’s ready access to information, maybe everyone knows how to play every course. Still, it will be intriguing to see if old dogs like Furyk and Mickelson struggle, as they generally play courses they know inside and out. The old jalnichols Sneds vs Eurotrash battle will be especially of note as this will be a new course for Snedeker, Grace, and Lahiri. Uh oh, it’s just Grace. Lahiri not playing. He’s flying home to India for the Indian Open. Not sure if any of the others from the original Euro Seven are in the field.
A limited-field event with no cut. One can’t help but think of… Tiger Woods. He of the Ultimate Golf Record of Consecutive Made Cuts — with about a third of them being no-cut events.
Anyway, speaking of Tiger Woods, I noticed something of interest the other day: He’s ranked #711 in the world. But if you look at the numbers, more than half his ranking is based on finishing 15th in an 18-man field (with one player WD’ing) in a Silly Season event for which he didn’t qualify and needed an exemption to participate. 59 percent of his ranking points come from last December’s Hero Challenge, where he finished ahead of two players and a third who withdrew.
Without that, he’d be #1095. When the 2015 Masters rolls off completely in a couple of week, it’d be #1196. The OWGR ranking only goes to #1887. Anyway, I guess the Executive Summary for all this is that Woods has seven completed tournaments in the past two years. Add in four MC’s and a WD, and that’s it. Twelve events in two years. And in the next 26 weeks, nine of those will roll off. Maybe that explains his push to play four of five weeks.
Perhaps the real Executive Summary is that Woods, at this point, realistically speaking, hasn’t been on the Tour for a year-and-a-half. And no one would be shocked if he doesn’t play anytime soon. Call it what you want, but Woods has already retired.
One last thing: How the heck did Roberto Diaz get in the field? He’s ranked #472 in the world. I get it that he’s from Mexico, but is this a WGC event or isn’t it?