To the drunks at Sawgrass: The 00’s called, and they want their tee shot screaming back.
Rahm: 42-40 = 82. Ouch.
Shaping up for a fine Sunday. Si Woo Kim seeking to become the youngest winner at the Players — by nearly two years! Poulter playing well. Vijay fell apart; it happens. Tough day for HVIII, too, but not a catastrophe. Graeme never got going, either. Cantlay something of a surprise contender. I guess the betting public will take Sergio and Oostie, if things stay like they are. But Stanley playing very steady. JB Holmes scrambling like mad and staying there. Still plenty of golf yet today, so this summary could change.
Pat Perez has an incredible round going. He’s -6 on the day, when the next best is -2. Made the cut on the number and is now T10.
Rory, Rickie, DJ all with early birdies, each sitting T35. Graeme McDowell teeing off right now. Leaders still three hours away, but with 12 under-par scores to 18 over-par scores (and the overs are bigger numbers than the unders), par might be 73 or 74. Meaning a good subpar round early might go a long way.
Overall: I found the golf/broadcast more enjoyable Friday. Not sure of the reason. I’ve always had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward Mike Tirico, but I think now he is the best Special Features Host (for lack of a better term) in golf. He has a pleasant voice and he speaks quickly, so his obligatory charity money pieces don’t drag on and on.
Rory’s Back: I blame the problems on Nike, really. Nike wanted to push the “athlete” aspect of golf because that’s what they did with Tiger Woods. So Rory goes from the chubby, double chin great golfer to the “chiseled” (starved and distracted) golfer. Who deadlifts great weights — which he gleefully sends to social media — to protect his back. Uh, huh, how’d that work out? Let’s summarize. Nike, Woods, Rory. Nike, out of golf equipment business, “Thirty Majors Woods” fell well short of Jack. Rory struggled with Nike gear change, became “ripped” (to fit Nike’s image) and curse word-y, and stays injured half the time.
Weight Training in Golf: Is there any golfer who is into heavy-lifting who hasn’t suffered from injuries? On the other hand, consider Mickelson, Jimenez, Stricker, Langer. Were any of these guys ever “ripped”? Mickelson used to be laughed at by Woods fans for having “man boobs.” Who’s laughing now? Also, I think some work out without thought for their body types. Mesomorphs are the best body type for weights. Woods, an ectomorph, got injured. Rory, an endomorph, got injured.
Ball Toxie: What the heck did Feherty say? Did he refer to the caddy as a “ball taxi” with an Irish accent, or am I lost at sea on that one?
Interloper: I’m pretty cool on Dan Hicks, but his use of “interloper” for Kyle Stanley (and similar golfers) was absolutely perfect.
Hicks and Duval Is A Keeper: Not a bad team at all. I was a Johnny Miller fan when he played. I was a Johnny Miller fan from the day he picked up a mic. I was a Johnny Miller fan for 20 years of broadcasting. Then, during the Tiger Woods scandal, he completely lost his spine. It was sad when John Madden went, and it will be sad when Johnny Miller goes, but there comes a time.
A Good Graphic? The split-screen 3D Follow (I think they called it) is darn nice.
Seasick: Did anyone else see the handheld camera video of Mickelson when he missed the par-3 green and chipped (and saved par)? Looked like the cameraman was standing on a bass boat during a hurricane. I had to look away; I was literally getting dizzy.
Vijay: Pretty cool to see Vijay up there. I know it’s only the halfway point, and he may shoot 80-80 on the weekend, but it’s entertaining right now.
Two Brit Open Winners: Duval and Leonard are pluses. Leonard’s voice seemed too nasally to me until I got used to it. The problem with many of the older guys is not that they are awful, really, but that their schtick is so tired.