First off, I want to be the typical Neanderthal male sports fan and give a shout out to the Golf Channel for hiring Holly Sonders. Wow is she something to look at. She doesn’t look like a golf commentator, she looks like one of the revolving conquests for Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men.
Another shout out to the R&A and USGA for finally changing the worst rule in golf. If you incurred a penalty and had no idea when you signed your scorecard, you were disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard if it was discovered you incurred that penalty.
Now you still receive the penalty, but if it is judged by the committee that you were reasonably unaware you committed an infraction, your score will be changed, but you will not be disqualified for signing an incorrect card.
What a great round by Rory McIlroy. He will win the masters someday, but I don’t believe it will be this week. First, I don’t think he is ready to win a major yet and second, no one who goes low the first day at Augusta ever wins.
Quiros is very intriguing. Long, has flare and personality and a great golf game. IMO, he and McIlroy will shoot 72+ tomorrow. They will however, still be in it as long as they keep it around 72 or 73.
I am curious to watch Gary Woodland in person. I picked him as a dark horse before the tournament and what I saw today only reinforced that in my mind.
In spite of Phil’s nasty bogey on 18, he shot the round he needed to. I know it sounds hypocritical to say Phil shooting 70 has him in position, and Tiger’s 71 is a non factor, but it is just my feeling they are going in different directions right now. Phil is at or near the pinnacle of his talent/mental game. In other words, his maturity and mental game has increased more than his physical talent has decreased due to age. While Tiger is at the low point in both of those areas relative to the rest of his career.
Tiger doesn’t birdie par 5’s anymore. I don’t mean this literally, but it used to be a par 68 every time he teed it up and now, it’s just another birdie opportunity for him. Until he starts playing the par 5’s well over 50% under par, he will not be the Tiger we have grown accustomed to.
On a much smaller level, I understand what he is going through. One year, I was second on the Nationwide Tour in birdieing par 5’s…and that was my best year playing golf. As my swing, pitching and putting started to give me trouble, I stopped birdieing par 5’s and my game went downhill.
I used to think I had 4 chances to birdie a par 5. If I hit a huge drive in the fairway, it became just another par 4 I had a mid/short iron into. If I hit a good second shot, it was just a two putt away. If I hit a good pitch, tap in birdie. Even if all those failed, I still had a chance to make a putt.
As I struggled, I found I had 4 chances to screw up making birdie.
I see Tiger in that same situation and until par 5’s become his meat and potatoes again, he won’t be the Tiger we are used to…he won’t even be the Tiger who can win big tournaments. As usual, I am not comparing myself to Tiger, I am using a frame of reference from my experiences.
The shot he hit on 15 as ESPN came on air is all you needed to see to know his feel is terrible. He almost holes a shot from 85 yards for eagle, yet turned away in disgust as it left the club. Results are not as important to him as getting a feel is and that is why he won’t win. Been there done that.
Which brings me to a few editorial comments. I like watching Tiger play, he is amazing when he is at his best. When he plays well, it’s good for the popularity of golf and I like what is good for golf. I am sure I have my share of annoying habits on the course, but there is one thing he does that just makes me want to reverse peristalsis. Not the club throwing/slamming, cursing, womanizing or spitting.
It’s that incredulous, weak kneed response he has to have on every putt that doesn’t go in. I mean every single putt, all day long, every round of the tournament. If it’s for the win or tie on the 72nd hole, fine, but he has shown this shtick for going on 15 years and enough already.
In conclusion, I give you Holly Sonders.