Archive for the ‘Golf on TV’ Category

Phil is “The Man”

July 27, 2013

Four years ago my heart was broken when Tom Watson lost the Open after hitting two perfect shots on the last hole.  Last year Ernie soothed some wounds and last Sunday Phil Mickelson made me realize more than ever that golf is a game of fate, and when it is your time, you can’t stop whatever is going to happen from happening.  A month removed from a crushing defeat at Merion, Phil came from 5 back on Sunday to win going away.  After his bogey on #11 he was still four shots back – then the wheels fell off everyone else’s train and he didn’t miss a shot.  Birdie at #13 after a perfect tee shot, birdie at #14 with a long putt, then a fantastic up and down on #16 when a pitch hit just a hair heavy would have left the ball back at his feet.  The guy has nerves of steel.  Then, by his own admission, two of the best 3-woods he had ever hit to the 17th, setting up a 2-putt birdie.  It was all over, except it was Phil.  Would he go all Winged Foot on the 72nd?  No.  A pure hybrid off the tee, then an iron that came five feet from landing in a bunker, but instead bounded up 15 feet from the hole. It was the bounce Tom Watson wanted in 2009.  Then, like Watson on the 72nd at  Pebble in 1982, Phil rolls the putt into the dead center of the cup.  He was the Champion Golfer of the year, and his exploits will now live alongside those of the greats, so dramatic was his charge on the closing holes.  That is what makes the game so great and why I love it’s history so much.  Champions rising to the occasion and forgetting past mistakes.  Good for you Phil.  Well done!

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Poor Michael Bembenick shoots a 103 in Web.com Event

July 2, 2013

Much has been made about assistant club pro Michael Bembenick shooting 89-103 in last week’s Web.com Tour event.  The Golf Channel message board has been cruel, ESPN claims he took a spot from someone else and that he held up play.  Personally, I think the guy had guts for finishing and signing his card after such humiliation.  I mean, really, he showed me some character. 

Sure he should not have been in the field, but a lot of sponsor exemptions shouldn’t be in fields – Michelle Wie comes to mind when she was playing in all those men’s events a few years ago when she told the world “I wanna be like Tiger.”  Poor girl can’t play a lick now, but that’s another story.  And remember when Jerry Rice got an exception in a Nationwide Tour event a couple years ago and shot in the high 80s?  Or Bernard Langer’s son in a European Tour event on 2007, when he shot in the 90s?  So give me a break, it happens.

And the pace of play thing that Micheal Collins of ESPN mentioned – I’m not sure how long it took him but I guarantee you one thing, I can play 18 and shoot 150 in less time than some of these PGA TOUR guys can shoot 75 (meaning less than 6 hours).  So give poor Michael a break.  And another thing ESPN – just because he had a couple bad days doesn’t invalidate his teaching skills.  You think Hank Haney could light it up if he teed it up next week?  Some of the world’s best players have been lousy teachers. 

Adam Scott’s Redemption

April 16, 2013

I was pulling for “El Pato” Cabrera in the last round of the Masters, but you have to give credit to Adam Scott for making birdie putts down the stretch to win his first major in another stunning playoff. (As an aside, I knew he’d make his putt because no Masters sudden death playoff has ever gone more than 2 holes, which in itself I find incredible). After losing last year’s British Open in such a dramatic and gut-wrenching fashion to Ernie Els, Scott can now rest easy, knowing he has the stuff to win down the stretch. No more “what ifs” for him. And what a contrast in styles of the two players. I love Cabrerra. He lumbers down the fairways like a guy looking for a beer and a sandwich at the 19th hole, but goes after that ball with a ferocity reflective of his hardscrabble life growing up in Cordoba, Argentina. Scott, on the other hand, is the pretty boy with the chisled body and mechanical swing that’s as powerful as it is pretty. I only hope he can keep winning. Don’t be Stewart Cink buddy, that is, win your major and disappear. Win some more, or at least challenge, and you can do that even with the short putter when the anchoring ban takes effect. Scott is still young, and if he wins a couple of more majors and at least 15 tournaments, I’ll get over him denying Angel of his third major.

ESPN and the British Open – Help!!

July 23, 2012

It was a dramatic finish at the Open, but ESPN still has problems bringing it together. I love Paul Azinnger but Mike Turcico never knows when to shut up and Scott Van Pelt tries to be too cute.  Oh for a Jim Nantz or Dan Hicks to provide the play-by-play! And poor Paul Azinger erroneously claimed that Tiger could have taken an unplayable lie and dropped outside the bunker on #6 with a one stroke penalty.  Wrong!  Nobody got in his ear and said no Paul, that’s not correct.  He stated this 3 or 4 times before someone finally set him straight.  And they posted Snedeker’s final score incorrectly, giving him a par on the last hole instead of a bogey.  Sloppy stuff. When Tom Watson – my all time favorite – made a 25 footer to make the cut on the number Friday, Turico talked the whole time as the ball made its way to the hole. Shut up already.  I love Azinger and Judy Rankin and Andy North, even Bill Kratzert isn’t too bad, but the rest need to go.  This is a major, not a Golf Channel event folks!