December 5, 2011
I will go ahead and say that this weekend got me FIRED up for next year on the PGA tour. Why? Because Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods all won and will all be headlining the PGA tour next season. I know they will throw in Luke Donald, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and a few others as a marketing ploy, but I am calling it right now that these three will be the story of next year.
I am not the biggest Tiger fan in the world and I will be the first to admit that I never believe any of the rumors that he is back. I truly believe that Tiger will never dominate the PGA Tour like he did earlier in his career. That doesn’t mean I dont’ think he will win and win majors. I think he will win next year and I am not sure if a major is realistic or not. With that being said, you can’t deny the electricity he creates. I know that he won the Chevron this weekend and not the Masters, but it felt like I was watching a major for the last two holes. He has the IT factor and there is no denying it.
The reason I say he won’t dominate is because too many young guys have grown up on the tour in his absence. They never experienced the aura of the dominant Tiger and they won’t be quick to back down when he is in contention. Rory showed us all that he has mental toughness after absolutely embarrassing himself on the back nine at the Masters only to freakishly win the U.S. Open. Westwood has been through a rebuilding of his game and has a huge chip on his shoulder of never winning a major. He will get one eventually. These are the guys who are going to challenge Tiger now that he is “back” even though I still don’t think he will ever be the Tiger of old.
I really think this next year on the PGA tour is going to produce some memorable golf. Just like this year brought a bunch of first time winners to the winner’s circle, next year is going to generate some genuine rivalries and match ups that hopefully last all of us viewers a large chunk of time. I, for one, can’t wait for it to get here and start all over again.
June 20, 2011
I spent some time today reading all of the wrap us from the U.S. Open. It is overwhelming how many comparisons came out between Rory and Tiger. I can’t say that I disagree with all of them, but I don’t want to brand him the “new” Tiger after one major win. I think he will win plenty more and be around for quite some time, but you never know. Golf is a funny game.
Even more surprising, to me, was the amount of people finally accepting the fact that the new younger crop of players are getting really really good. Jason Day hit his ball everywhere but the fairway on Sunday and managed to take home a solo second place. I feel confident saying that Day will figure out his driver and put together a heck of a career. He is talented beyond belief and he doesn’t get frazzled. No matter where he was on the course he was focused on his next shot. It was very impressive. It actually reminded me a lot of watching Phil play. His tee shots can get wayward, but you know he has some magic in his game that will get him to the green and in the hole safely.
The reason this surprised me so much was because outside of Rory, Chappel and Day there weren’t a ton of young guns playing that great at the Open. Let me re-phrase that; besides Chappel there weren’t any young American players playing well in the open. Davis Love III tied for 11th for crying out loud. Dustin Johnson was the only notable young American player on anywhere near the leader board and he finished T23 along with Gary Woodland and Bill Haas. Webb Simpson finished T14, but I don’t think we can consider him our next great hope for American golf.
Where was Mahan, Fowler, Bubba, Kim and Watney? Bubba was the only one to make the cut and he finished at +9 for the tournament. The rest of the contenders in the Open were older veteran American players and Europeans. Other that Rory and Day can we really sit back yet and say the younger players have taken over? I don’t think we can just yet, but Rory’s win certainly makes me feel confident that we will be able to say that with unwavering confidence very soon.
March 24, 2011
Round 1 at Bay Hill can only be explained as a day of Peaks and Valleys. High winds and tough playing conditions made it difficult for guys to go really low, except Spencer Levin of course. I picked Graeme McDowell as my fantasy pick to win Bay Hill earlier this week and he came out and shot an 80!! The funniest part his 80 is that he wasn’t the only one. 13 other players shot rounds at 80 or above. Brandt Snedeker, Boo Weekley, Jeff Overton, Jhonatthon Vegas and Ricky Barnes are all notable players who shot 80 or above.
The fact that so many good players failed to shoot good rounds makes Spencer Levin’s round of 66 that much more impressive. Under the tough playing conditions and the strong field of Bay Hill, I would argue that shooting 66 today would qualify Spencer Levin for possibly shooting the round of the year thus far. It was beyond impressive and fun to watch. I hope he keeps the momentum going and slugs it out with guys like Rickie Fowler over the weekend. Forget all the Tiger swing talk, I want to watch two young guns fight it out just like Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland did last weekend.
The valleys of the round today were the fact that so many players I wanted to see go low and contend failed to make a splash and the fact that Johnny Miller went to twitter to share his thoughts about the round with everyone. I honestly feel that Miller is the worst golf commentator in golf right now. He is negative, only talks about Tiger and acts as if he was the best player to ever live. With Spencer Levin and Rickie Fowler on the top of the leaderboard what did Miller want to tweet about? Suprise suprise Tiger Woods. Get over it Miller. I can’t stand hearing this guy talk about Tiger, Tiger, Tiger all round long. Golf is not fun when Miller blabs his nonsense about mistakes good players are making and how Tiger needs to go back to Butch.
I’m sure that won’t be my last Miller bash, but that is it for now.
March 24, 2011
With Round 1 under way there are a few things that are really exciting. The first story line has to be Duffner. The guy pretty much needs a win to get into the Masters and he is doing his part early. Obviously, there is a ton of golf left, but you have to love the fact that he knows he needs a win and is out there going low.
Am I the only one who wants to see Fowler bag his first win? The kid is downright fearless on the course and eventually that has to work to his advantage. He hasn’t been in serious contention since the Memorial last year and I would love to see him in the mix on the weekend. There is a lot of talk about young American talent in Golf right now and Fowler is always mentioned but still remains winless. The kid has more swagger than any player out there and a win would only embolden him more. I for one am ready to see that happen.
Lastly, take a second and look at the names on the leaderboard behind the leaders. Again, it is super early in the day and it is only round 1, but there are some serious names up there already. If this is any indication of the way the tourney is going to go I will be glued to the TV all weekend. It helps that it snowed last night here in Chicago so I doubt I will be missing any tee times this weekend. Perfect recipe for watching a great golf tournament.
P.S. my pick to win (Graeme McDowell) is not doing too hot. Looks like a bad start to my season of predictions!