1:15 pm Update
Gave it all back before he reached the turn… T33.
11:32 am Update
Three in a row!! T6.
11:15 am Update
Graeme McDowell seems inspired by my column this morning. Birdies first two holes! Sits T10 now.
Friday Morning Line
I knew Graeme McDowell had gotten married, become a father, and opened a restaurant. Those distractions, along with the inevitability of Father Time, explained to my satisfaction why his results were suffering — and, sadly, why I didn’t follow him as closely as I once did. He’s getting older and missing cuts right and left, I’m getting older and discovering new aches and pains right and left — to hell with it all!
Last night I took at look at his OWGR information and was pleased to discover things were not as dire as I imagined. McDowell, who once resided in the OWGR Top Five and has accumulated about a dozen pro victories, had a rotten 2015 and 2016, no doubt about it. He fell out of the top 20 for the first time in five years. By the start of this year, he had fallen all the way to #95.
He no longer qualifies for WGC fields. He had not missed one of those since the days when Tiger Woods was still winning majors, so you know that was a long time ago!
McDowell seems to have righted the ship this year. He’s steadily climbed from #95 to #85, and his results have been steadier than in the past two seasons. Perhaps we’ll see a Bubba Watson-type resurgence from Graeme. By that, I mean it has always been my theory that Bubba Watson upped his dedication and focus, thereby improving results, once he became a father. He realized his window for winning golf tournaments was limited, and that working his tail off now would help his kids in the future. In other words, win the money now because you won’t be able to a few years down the road.
That’s just my theory, but it’s human nature to think that way, and I would have to believe McDowell, who turns 38 this summer, realizes it’s time to make hay while the sun is still shining. Whatever the case, here’s hoping Graeme works his way back into the WGC events. A win this week would speed up that process.
[Of course, another angle is that it’s pretty darn nice to have talent and skill enough to weather such life distractions and still remain one of the top 100 golfers in the world.]
- DJ playing for first time since injuring his back in a household accident in Augusta.
- Neither Rory nor Rickie playing. This event was once a rising star, but it is fading fast. I’ll be curious to see what kind of fields the Byron Nelson (on a lame duck course — this year and next is it) and Colonial draw this year.
- DJ, Rahm, Adam Scott, Kisner, Grillo, Patrick Reed… those are the top draws that I see.
- I’d like to see Graeme McDowell get a good result, i.e., a win.
- Harold Varner III in the field. He’s playing in his home state, so maybe he can put something together.