Tuesday, April 29, 2008
According to FORE RIGHT'S anonymous source, the SAT coaches are sick and tired of the Tour's continued use of the term "island green" to describe the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass when it's "obviously" a peninsula green. Said the source: "An island is completely surrounded by water, while a peninsula is a piece of land that projects into a body of water and is connected with the mainland by an isthmus. The 17th is clearly the latter, not the former," then added, "Latter meaning the last thing mentioned and former meaning the first thing."
The SAT coaches are blaming the PGA Tour's actions for a dip in English test scores in their region, specifically citing an analogy question from last June's SAT that read, "ISLAND : NOTHING :: PENINSULA : _____. "The answer was obviously 'land,' but most of our students picked 'sneaker.' 'Sneaker.' That's just stupid."
The coaches plan to bring awareness to their cause by staging a sit-in on the island green during Thursday's round, a sit-in they point out will be easy to pull off since they won't need a boat to get there.
Monday, April 28, 2008
My interview with the Golf Channel is set to air on Golf Central during their Tuesday night show which airs at 8:30 and 11:30 Eastern. It should also re-air Wednesday morning at 7 and 7:30AM EST. Enjoy! And if you don't enjoy, don't tell me. Tiger's injury still has me feeling a little fragile.
I can take two positive things from this:
1) If Daly can rehab from stomach surgery this fast, I like Tiger's chances to be back before the U.S. Open.
2) For as sycophantic as this reporter is, at least he resisted the urge to ask to see his scar.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune, Immelman said after the first round, "I felt like I was playing in another man's body." Course before the Masters, Immelman's other stroke play finishes going backwards were T40th, T48th, T65th, MC, MC, MC. I think he just forgot what his actual body feels like.
And for the record, if he doesn't come close to another victory this year, it will totally add weight to the theory I made to my friend Mark during the Masters that Gary Player clearly gave Immelman some secret South African youth potion during their Tuesday practice round.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
A couple of people who read my recent ESPN piece didn't realize the joke about Tiger watching the video of Rory Sabbatini being harassed by a kangaroo is a real thing, so here it is. If it wasn't a real thing, that would have been the strangest joke I'd ever written. Anyway, it's worth a view. Or two.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If you haven't seen any or all of the new Crowne Plaza commercials featuring Phil, check them out. They're legitimately funny.
Phil has been making me laugh a lot lately, my favorite being after Friday's round at the Masters when he was asked why he thought so many left-handed players were doing so well (Phil, Steve Flesch, Mike Weir...). Phil's answer was (best I remember): "I can tell you why. Bobby Jones actually wanted to play golf left-handed but just couldn't find the equipment..." As everyone, myself included, thought, "Wow, really?" Phil broke and said, "I'm just kidding, I have no idea why left-handers do well here."
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Tiger Woods with David Lee Roth in Las Vegas. Here's what I'd like to think they're saying:
David: "'Easily within reason'? You realize I lost $200 on the Masters!"
Tiger: "I bought your last 3 solo albums. Let's call it even."
Colin Montgomerie walks down the aisle after his wedding on Saturday in Scotland. Probably didn't need to mention it was in Scotland.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The change was first noticed by Stewart Cink early Tuesday morning when his 2nd shot to the par-5 15th hit the top of a tree, clanged against it, and ricocheted 70 yards left and out of bounds.
Verizon, the event's sponsor and one of the nation's leading telecommunication companies, lauded the move, saying their tournament may not have the strongest field of the year, but it does have the best cell phone reception. "We dare a fan to show us a spot on this course where he can't make or receive a phone call."
While Verizon was busy selling fans on the move, tournament director Steve Wilmot was working on the players: "Every golfer has heard the expression that trees are ninety-percent air. Well these fake trees are actually ninety-TWO percent air. Which means at least two-percent more birdies."
That of course doesn't count actual birds, seeing as the radiation given off by the towers is not hospitable for nests.
As for the original trees, some of which were over a hundred years old, Wilmot had an answer for that too: "We didn't destroy the firs, we just chopped them down." He says they plan on "sticking them back in the ground" after the tournament.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
1) According to the AP Story, Tiger's coach Hank Haney was not aware of the surgery till Tiger called him to tell him. Wow, really? Can you imagine any other sport (or any other athlete) where that could happen? "Hey, Francona, it's Big Papi. Hey, fyi, just had surgery on my knee." "You WHAT?!" "No big deal. It was just kind of bugging me. I'll be back before the All Star break."
2) I wonder if he would have done this if he'd won the Masters last week. I mean obviously from his last surgery back in December 2002, he indeed returned within that 4-6 week window and then proceeded to win his first event back, but would he risk something going wrong during rehab if it would have jeopardized a Grand Slam year?
3) Amazing how easily this news completely made the golf world forget about Masters champ Trevor Immelman. Immelman should find some reason to have surgery later this week -- something that makes his triumph at Augusta even more impressive. I'd go with a double eye transplant, mentioning casually on his website that he played the final round 80% blind. Then again, check out trevorimmelman.com -- he should really just post the news on Tiger's site.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Tiger: Tiger started the 3rd round of The Masters 7 shots behind leader Trevor Immelman. After Woods' 68, he now stands just 6 back, a move up the leaderboard that will find Tiger in the lead by next Saturday's 10th Round.
Seriously speaking, I think -12 wins this golf tournament. For Immelman, that means a 71. For Tiger, it's 65. His ball striking remains great and his putting was better, but to have a chance tomorrow he must summon the putting powers that saw him pick apart Augusta in 1997. By my count, Tiger had 8 putts on the front nine for birdie and 1 for eagle. He made none of them.
The good news is that after his round, Tiger went to the putting green and worked with coach Hank Haney till he was confident they'd pinpointed the problem in his stroke. Look for a low number tomorrow.
Underneath Augusta: After the twenty-minute downpour that delayed play today, patrons stopped next to the first tee to look at two strange square vents that were blowing air out from under the course like a subway grate. Since I'm not a scientist, I could only say, "that's weird." But Lane, one of the guys I'm staying with in Augusta, guesses that the force of all the water being forced down the drains on the course was in turn forcing the air down below out. Sounds good to me.
Augusta's Worst Job: Behind #16, a worker named Jessie spends his day sitting in front of a port-o-potty marked "Players Only," making sure no one else goes in. Guessing he's not experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of Augusta that people usually connect with the Masters.
Wed. Question Update: On Wednesday I said I didn't understand why Paul Azinger and Ian Baker-Finch were allowed to play in the Par-3 Contest. They are considered "Honorary, Non-Competing Invitees," which includes past winners of the other Majors as well as the U.S. and British Amateur. But it doesn't include all of them. And just because you're an honorary non-competing invitee doesn't mean you're actually invited. Still confused? Me too.
Friday, April 11, 2008
My friend thought maybe it was just a bad banana. The way I see it there are two problems to this theory. 1) If it was a bad banana, he would have gotten a second banana. He didn't. 2) There are no bad bananas at Augusta National.
The only conclusion I could reach is that he knew some of the good players behind him really like the potassium-rich fruit and by putting one out of play, he was in turn increasing his own chances of playing well.
Any other theories out there?
Tiger's Round: Putting, putting, putting. He hasn't really been hot with his Scotty Cameron blade since the Match Play (putt on #18 at Bay Hill aside). If/when he figures it out, hold on.
Stevie's Jumpsuit: For all those ladies out there, I'm pretty sure Stevie was not wearing a shirt underneath his white Augusta jumpsuit today. And for most of the day it was not zipped up very high, giving him a Tom Selleck-y kind of look going. But by the time he reached 18, it was back up again. See, where else are you going to get this sort of attention to detail!
Prediction Recap: I don't really know why I picked Sergio Garcia to finish 2nd in my Wednesday night post. I apologize to everyone who naively thought I really knew something about golf.
Favorite Overheard Quote: (while crossing #5 fairway) "You know, even a goat couldn't get anything off this grass."
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I'll let it slide, especially since he sunk his chip on Firethorn (#15) for eagle. That one I don't think I could have improved on.
Tiger's Round: An even par 72 was just okay. A 70 or 69 was totally within reach, but he couldn't take advantage of #2 and #3, two holes where an up-and-down from just in front of both greens would have netted him 2 birdies.
Course Conditions: Augusta National couldn't have played much easier than it did today. No wind, sunny... But when the course is 7500 yards, "easy" is sort of an unfair label no matter what the weather's like.
Fantasy Golf: Come on, everyone picked Brian Bateman in their Masters pool, right?
Just don't tell your boss.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Craziest thing I saw at the Masters today: When I grabbed some napkins out of a napkin dispenser, the end of the next napkin left in the dispenser was sticking out, as I think they're designed to do. A concessions worker waited till I was done, then neatly tucked the end of the napkin back in.
Best Moment: On #9 of today's par-3 contest, Palmer knocks it inside 10 feet, which netted me a quarter from my friend Rob. Gary Player then knocks it inside him, which netted me fifty cents. Jack Nicklaus moves them both aside and sticks his shot to within a foot. I won a dollar but even better was able to witness the Nicklaus magic one more time.
Worst Moment: Immediately after knocking it close, Nicklaus turns to Player and they exchange a fist bump. What was most disturbing is that they looked completely natural doing it, as if they've been doing it for years. And for all I know, they have. I feel like I saw Jack doing it at last year's Presidents Cup, which didn't bother me as much since at least one of the fist bumpers was under 60. Either way, it's a sign that golf needs to start looking for a new celebratory hand motion. We've done the high-five, the low-five, even the occasional forearm bash. I'm going to start pushing what I'll call the "Stevie." It's what happened when Steve Williams tried to high-five Tiger after the unforgettable chip-in on 16 for birdie back in '05. It was awkward and uncoordinated, which is why I can only credit Stevie for things going so wrong.
Here's how to pull it off:
1) Make the other person think you're going for the standard high-five.
2) Right before impact, move your arm an extra two to three inches closer to the person's head.
3) Proceed to make contact with no more than one finger (preferably none) using the lead thumb of your open palm, then wrap the remainder of your hand around the back of their hand and grab onto wrist briefly before abandoning the effort altogether.
Confusion: Can someone who was watching the ESPN coverage of the par-3 contest explain to me why Ian Baker-Finch and Paul Azinger were allowed to play in it? I mean, they're both Major champs, but not Masters champs. My best guess is that they're broadcasters, but still...
Official Prediction: Tiger over Sergio.
Funniest Masters-related Link: http://augusta.craigslist.org/tix/629971771.html
Most Pathetic Masters-related Link: http://augusta.craigslist.org/tix/631006447.html
More thoughts coming Thursday... and yes, I really am sitting in a Denny's parking lot.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Not exactly the most sophisticated Masters commentary, but that was all I could muster as I stood and looked at Firethorn for the first time in my life today. Firethorn? That would be the plant name attached to #15 at Augusta National. It seems like Jim Nantz is the only person who actually has all these memorized. Until now. I challenge everyone to get these straight by Saturday so you can throw in comments like, "Man, you should have seen the shot Tiger hit on Flowering Crab Apple yesterday," or "If Mickelson doesn't birdie Nandina, it's over!" I want some reports back on how the usage impresses/annoys your friends and family.
If you need a refresher course (you do), here they are:
No. 1 - Tea Olive
No. 2 - Pink Dogwood
No. 3 - Flowering Peach
No. 4 - Flowering Crab Apple
No. 5 - Magnolia
No. 6 - Juniper
No. 7 - Pampas
No. 8 - Yellow Jasmine
No. 9 - Carolina Cherry
No. 10 - Camellia
No. 11 - White Dogwood
No. 12 - Golden Bell
No. 13 - Azalea
No. 14 - Chinese Fir
No. 15 - Firethorn
No. 16 - Redbud
No. 17 - Nandina
No. 18 - Holly
(FYI, the reason they're all named after plants is, as I learned today, because the course was built on the grounds of a former nursery. A flower nursery, not a baby nursery, for those who are still confused.)
So look at this as your Masters homework for the weekend. If nothing else, you'll feel like that much more of a hardcore golf fan. And horticulturist.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
This week you'll undoubtedly find yourself with Masters on the brain, which your wife needs to know is completely normal for a man of your age. But it is important I warn you about other things posing as "The Masters"... here's a few to watch out for:
1) Yes, Augusta is considered a holy place, but please don't confuse it with The Master's College -- a Christian school near L.A. The apostrophe should have tipped you off.
2) Mention "The Masters" at your local muni, only one things pops into everyone's head. Mention it at your local video store, someone might hand you a copy of Dolph Lundgren's 1987 disaster, The Masters of the Universe. It looks interesting. It's not. Though to be fair, Dolph does have a Camilo Villegas kind of look going.
3) For all your Masters news, obviously the best place is www.masters.org. Just make sure you don't end up at www.themasters.org. That site got snagged by The Masters International Shooting Competition. The picture below is from their 2007 competition. I'm not sure if the guy is reloading or dying. Or both.
Be careful out there this week, everybody. And check back in throughout the next seven days for the latest real opinions and fake golf news out of Augusta.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
"A win for the ages!" - 1997
So go two of Jim Nantz's most famous calls from his years at Augusta. While many assume such legendary moments are thought of on the spot, in truth Nantz works tirelessly for months to find the perfect thing to say in the event any of the players find themselves in contention. In fact Fore Right has obtained a page from one of Nantz's working drafts for this year's Masters...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
According to the official report, the MOI [Moment of Inertia] of Daly's stomach is a startling 7350, far above the current limit of 5900. "The closest we'd seen to date came from Mark Calcavecchia," Rugge said, "but even he was just at 5400." Daly also was over the limit for TGZ [Total Gut Size]. When asked for the specific numbers, Rugge explained, "Honestly, we just eyeballed that one."
Neither Daly nor his stomach could be reached for comment.