7:15 pm Wrapup
Watched quite a bit of action today, but missed the last hour or two. I have quite a few comments to post in the morning. McDowell was -4 last I saw, and now he’s -1? All my favorites look to be too far back. I see Mickelson rinsed one at No. 17. Jordan going bye-bye. Okay, I’ll save my snide remarks about Sawgrass for in the morning, but if this course hosted a regular tournament, you wouldn’t have five Top 50 players in the field! I guess I’m for Vijay. I see HVIII is T9. I’d love to see him in contention late Sunday; that’d bring some headlines. Smylie, Castro, and Poulter(!) would make for good winners, too. Stricker. One thing this course has done is put a lot of unusual names near the top. That isn’t all bad.
10:40 am Update: The Players is NOT a Major
Okay, so I thought I’d check on live stream action. I see Rory is in a featured group. Great! I click to pull up the stream. I’m told I can have a ten-minute free preview if I give them a bunch of personal information. Screw that.
The Masters provides extensive and FREE video streams. I tried, but I can’t be an apologist for the “fifth major” any longer. The Masters is a major. The Players is a beggar with a tin cup.
Sunrise: Rory bogeyed his very first hole yesterday, got back to even by the end of front nine, only to double his first hole on the back. He made a lengthy putt on the final hole to get to +1, which was pretty much his only highlight of the day. Sergio’s hole-in-one was another highlight, but overall, it’s not much fun to watch favorite top players struggle when -5 is already in the clubhouse. For whatever reason, I found yesterday’s golf hard to watch. At least Graeme McDowell, whom we’ve had an eye on lately, put together a solid round. Maybe today will be better.
It feels like there is an element of rolling dice or spinning a spinner with this course. Like backgammon: There is skill involved, but also luck. We all know there is a fair amount of luck involved in golf, but over 72 holes, it usually more or less balances out. With this course, I’m not so sure.
Question of the Day: Is golf dead without Tiger Woods? This isn’t a joke. Or maybe it should be “because of Tiger Woods.” I can’t tolerate any non-live-tourney coverage on television. I turn on Live From to try to get excited about this week’s tournament, and, five minutes later, I turn it off. Did Woods cause all golf reporters to become one-trick ponies? Trump says “drain the swamp.” Is it time to “drain the golf media”?
Maybe there’s a surfeit of golf coverage these days, and golf is not able to provide enough material for it? Truth is, there is a surfeit of coverage in every sport. In every aspect of life.
Was there anything post-Masters that was noteworthy? This is supposed to be the week to fill the void between the Masters and US Open, but I will be darned if it has “captured my imagination.” It’s more like a forced march than a “fifth major.” I may have a personal affinity for the Texas tourneys coming up, but I can’t deny they are pretty much Barbasol Championships at this point. Can Memorial do what the Players isn’t? I would bet yes, but who can say. I thought this week had the potential to be special. Instead, once again, we gather most of the world’s top players at Sawgrass — and watch them play golf roulette.
Another theory is that the equipment arms race has finally destroyed the sport. Tiger Woods, hardly an old codger from the “olden days,” has said when he came up, you needed to be able to control the sidespin on the ball, but, now, that’s handled by equipment.