The L.A. Open

I don’t care what corporate sponsor has title. It’s still the L.A. Open to me.

More times than I can count I have ruined an opportunity to play in this event. The qualifying was often for two spots and once when it was for four, I butchered my chances to get in. Notice I didn’t say choke. I only did that once. The other times, I butchered it…but those are stories for another day.

I just Dream of Jeannie and an opportunity to play Riviera in a Tour event.

On to the golf.

Riviera is the way golf is supposed to be played. Small greens with subtle slopes, narrow fairways with trees, difficult rough and opportunities to recover after bad shots.

No man made waterfalls, no rock piles in the middle of the driving areas, no windmills, no clown’s mouth and no dinosaurs buried in the greens.

I don’t know how that putt by Allenby on 15 stayed out. There must have been a bad lip on that cup. I know it was a tough uphill putt and past the hole was nasty, but at least get a 30 footer within 10 feet. Your average 25 handicap watching could have done as well.

I know I have made fun of Ryan Moore in the past, but I love the fact he didn’t let some swing nerd change the way he plays. I guess the outfits and soft bottom shoes match his swing…so good for him. I wish he would win more and get the public behind the “Anti Scratch Swing” movement. Perfect acronym…ASS.

Freddy was aloof the few times I met him, but I still love his game and root for him every time he plays well. How many manufactured swings do you see among the top older players…or among any of them? Allen Doyle anyone? The answer is almost zero and it’s why you see guys like Watson, Norman, Couples and others with natural swings still do well.

As you get older, a forced “perfect” swing won’t work as your body starts to wind down. The older guys weren’t into doing that, but I also don’t expect many younger guys to do well as they get older…if their swing is a forced cookie cutter version.

I have never been a huge fan of Baddeley’s game in the past, but you can’t argue with how well he held up on the back 9. Especially after that disaster at 12. He came right back with a great shot and putt at 13. I like him more than I like his game (not that there is anything particularly wrong with it). However, I really like the way he is swinging at it right now. Very simple and not manufactured.

Which brings me to my weekly criticism of Peter Kostis. For the second week in a row, he did his job. Saturday he showed how Fred Couples’ swing works and why it works. Sunday, he gave the viewers a simple guide on how to see if their club is on plane using Aaron Baddeley’s swing. I hope he keeps it up. I won’t have him to make fun of, but the golfing public will be educated properly…and I can always find someone else to make fun of. The telecasts will start being on NBC soon and I will have Johnny Miller to provide me plenty of material.

Nice final round by Eric Crompton. I believe the low round of the week taking him from DFL to 25th. A nice check for a guy with a great story. The fact I can’t beat a guy who has had two heart transplants is not lost on me. Maybe I can have 1997-2008 lobotomized.

I am a big fan of 18 at Pebble, but is there a better combo of finishing hole and amphitheater than 18 at Riviera?

Apparently the 18th at every Trump golf course.




  1. Wally

    Great Post. Monte it would be really nice if you showed us in a video where the callouses on the hands should be. Thanks

  2. rojoass

    Compton , as I said in another article, is amazing.

    I would love to play Riviera. It reminds me of the course I learned to play on back in Florida.
    I spent 10 days at pebble with 3 buddies & maybe it was the time of year but I couldn’t wait to get my a$$ outta there. 7 through 10 were cool & 18 surely but other than those I was “oh well”
    We enjoyed spyglass & mp more than the pebble.

    OK Freddie. I actually sat & watched nearly all of the last round. Freddie comes across as trying to be a little too cool. OK like” I’m not gonna put too much pressure on myself” & let’s just see what happens. He didn’t really appear to be trying. Kinda like he was just gonna lazy his way around….being Mr. Cool & maybe he would win.

    • hank

      i can’t agree with you more about Pebble. Why is this the best public course in the USA? I have no idea. Look at #1… extremely boring hole. I’d rather spend for greens fee/caddie fee/accomodation for a day at Bandon Dunes, then pay the same just for the greens fee at Pebble.

  3. S.

    You write, “The fact I can’t beat a guy who has had two heart transplants is not lost on me.”

    It’s even better than that. He overcame Ledbetter.

    Kostis, “he showed how Fred Couples’ swing works and why it works.” Huh? Let me guess…spine angle? I didn’t see Kostis’ explanation, but if I had to bet money on it, one way or the other, I’d bet that he was wrong.

  4. Mike from Canada


    You forgot to mention the best thing about Baddeley’s game, it’s something I wrote on here a few days ago. Baddeley is a great putter and one of the big reasons for that is the way he gets setup, takes one look at his aiming point and then as soon as his eyes get back tot he ball he pulls the trigger.

    I’m going to putt like that the entire summer. It could only make you better, right?


      • S.

        Shocker: he’s kind of average.

        T90 this week putts/round. Last week T103. I never would have believed it if I didn’t look it up.

        T89 this week in driving, 288.3 So, at least Baddeley’s game is balanced.

    • rojoass

      Mike I too like Badds approach to putting. He does his homework before he ever gets over the ball. Then like you said it’s 1 look & go. I copied that a few years ago & had real good success.I have actually been doing that on all shots & it seems to keep the demons at bay. It’s as if they don’t have time to tap you on the shoulder & whisper “don’t go over there”.

      Don’t remember why I quit doing that putting other than I usually don’t get demons putting.

  5. Mike from Canada

    S – I haven’t looked up the stats, but if your GIR is high then usually your putts per round are high. Guys that don’t hit as many greens have more one putts. I wonder if Baddeley’s GIR % was high and that’s why his putts per round are high.

    • S.

      GIR at Northern Trust was T 11. Last week 26th.

      • Mike from Canada

        That would explain the high putts per round. How about putts per GIR?

      • S.

        Clarification: Year-to-date is T 11. Northern Trust was 26th. Gotta read the fine print.

  6. s.

    Embarrassing admission. If you go to and click STATS, it says “year-to-date statistics through Northern Trust.”

    However, where it says THIS WEEK and LAST WEEK. Those are for one week only, not year-to-date through that week. So, my “clarification” above is bunk.

  7. s.

    FINAL ANSWER: At All the STAT columns and ranks must be year-to-date cummulative.

    If you want to know how a player stacked up with the field for a tournament, you can go to LIVE SCORING, SHOT TRACKER. If you click round 4, hole 18, you get the option of COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE and SELECT MY OWN STATS.

    Baddeley’s putting at Northern Trust was 1.917 and the field was 1.783.

    His proximity to hole was 40′ 6″, and the field was 36′ 9″.

    The field out-drive him 273.4 to 262.

    The field also beat him in driving accuracy 58.63 to 42.86.

    But Baddeley beat them in scrambling 83.33% to 63.80%.

    And, his GIR was 66.78%, and the field was only 59.74.

    (Now, I’ll go stand in the corner with a dunce cap.)


Leave a Reply

Share This