Posts tagged ‘US Open’

June 6, 2012

Rory gets the Tiger Treatment from Damon Hack

Normally I don’t like to comment on pro golfers and the commentary that surronds them, but I couldn’t resist on this one.  If you haven’t read Damon Hack’s open letter to Rory go ahead and give it a quick read here.  I fully understand that Hack’s job is to report, find stories and generate traffic to his articles, but give me a break with this letter.

The glaring rips at Rory’s youth by calling him “bud” and “kid” are just poor taste.  The guy may be young but his game and his demeanor with the media and fans should garner a lot more respect that this.  Guys like Hack wonder why players are guarded around them and don’t want to open up (ahem Tiger).  Just look at this situation and you will know exactly why.

Three weeks ago all of the articles about Rory were praising his consistency, his poise, his new-found confidence due to his new girlfriend.  Now that he has hit a rough patch he has lost his commitment to golf, his consistency and the maturity he has been so praised for.  There is a reason Luke and Rory have been trading the world #1 spot for so long.  They both play well and they play well a lot.  Donald missed cuts this year, he struggled at the beginning of this year until he got back in the groove.

Hack continues his golden advice letter by claiming that Rory isn’t practicing enough.  I’m not going to vouch for Rory’s practice schedule because I don’t know what it is and I would venture a guess that Damon Hack doesn’t know what it is either.  It wasn’t that long ago that these same writers were scrambling around looking for someone to take over Tiger’s throne since he had completely lost his game.  Now guys like Hack are hell-bent on proving that no one can take Tiger’s throne because he is “back” and Rory is just a young kid again.

Stuff like this makes me think these guys have no idea what kind of sport golf really is.  It ebbs and flows, it’s about peaks and valleys, it’s about riding the highs and surviving the lows.  No one knows this better than Tiger and I would even argue Rory.  For the majority of Rory’s career he had under achieved since he hadn’t won with his god given swing.  Now that he has won he has also under achieved again after three poor weeks.  Give me a break.  Rory is going to turn it around and the same group of writers will jump back on his fan base and praise him like nothing happened.  If you don’t believe me, go read all the pieces that Rick Reilly has written about Tiger over the past two years.  One week he loves him the next he can’t stand him.  It is maddening.

The bottom line is that I firmly believe Rory will find his game and find it quickly.  He will contend in more majors than he will miss the cut and he will win on the PGA Tour again this year.  I also don’t believe Tiger is “back” and I don’t think he will ever be back to the old Tiger.  He is a new Tiger and he is still darn good.  I can’t wait to see how they all play in San Fran and over the next year.  If it is Rory that comes out on top I can’t wait to see the Hack job letter Damon will have for us then.  My guess is he won’t have one or have the guts to issue an apology letter.

June 17, 2011

Rory or Bust!

I am officially on the Rory band wagon for the US open.  Part of me feels bad saying that because I feel inclined to root for an American player in the US Open, but I honestly think it is Rory’s time.  I picked Kuchar earlier this week as my fantasy pick and he played well today to put himself in the mix, but I can’t imagine Rory giving another one away.  Especially since he has played so well.  He looks like the best player in the world right now.

I know everyone is expecting Rory to blow up over the weekend and give this tournament away, but I don’t see how that is possible again.  If it happens again it will be one of the most heartbreaking stories in recent golf history.  If he does win would it signify a new anti Tiger era?  Would this finally be the time that the young guns start taking over?  I don’t know why I feel so confident about this but I really think Rory will bring this one home in Tiger like fashion and the younger era of the PGA Tour will officially begin.

I can’t tell if I want this to happen more for people to start talking about other players besides Tiger or because I want Rory to redeem himself for his Augusta melt down.  I think it is more that I want to see him redeem himself.  How cool would that be if he came back in the very next major and got the job done?  I don’t know what else to say except Go Rory!

June 16, 2011

What’s a bigger story, Rory winning or Rory losing?

I keep going back and forth on what is the bigger story of this US open. Is it Rory winning or Rory blowing another major. The odds have to be against him to lose his lead over the next three rounds. Honestly, I would love to see him bring home a major and validate all of his talent.

Prior to the open the storyline consisted of “would Phil finally win one” and “would Watney, Johnson or McIlroy validate their past screw ups with a win?”. Well Rory put himself right back in the spotlight. I’m rooting for him but I think the golf media would rather see him lose his lead rather than hold on to it and become a serious name in the game.

The golf media has largely written off the young talent in the game because they don’t think Tigers shoes will ever be filled. I will say right now that the majority of golf analysts will side on the side of Rory blowing his lead rather than keeping it just because they miss Tiger. They miss the days of writing about how amazing he was. I for one am rooting for Rory to bring it home and officially usher in the new generation of golf post Tiger.

June 15, 2011

Van Sickle and Haney Miss Tiger Too Much

I knocked Rick Reilly yesterday for his single-minded view towards golf and Tiger, but it looks like Gary Van Sickle is following suit today.  Van Sickle published an article on where he sat down with Hank Haney to discuss the U.S. Open and Tiger’s practice habits.  Sounds interesting right?  Well Mr. Van Sickle made it through all of two questions about the upcoming U.S. Open before diving into the Tiger discussion.

Is Tiger not playing in the U.S. Open really a bigger story than the U.S. Open itself.  Take a second and think about that.  The U.S. Open is our national championship.  It is one of the most historic golf tournaments of all time.  Has it really taken a back seat because one player is not in the field?  How is this possible?

In his first two responses Haney says:

…you can make a case that anyone inside the top 75 has a chance to win the Open…When I was helping Tiger for six years and we went to the majors, we really thought there were 10 or 12 players who had a good shot. Now it’s 75 players who have a good shot. The number is huge and that’s a big difference for golf.” – Hank Haney

This is exactly what I have been trying to say all along.  Every week there is a feeling that anyone can win any golf tournament.  People need to snap out of their Tiger-phobia phase and understand that the parity in golf is incredible right now.  Has no one noticed that the European’s are kicking the American’s butts in world rankings?  How about that for a story?  Who in American golf will step up and defend our nation’s national championship?  The answer is not Tiger Woods.  I hate to break it to you, but he is not in the field and hasn’t played very well in over a year (minus the Masters).

The problem with Haney’s comment above is how he follow it up.  He goes on to say:

Well, it’s nice to develop other players and other names. If you’re not going to have a dominant player, the next best thing is having more stars, if you will, and more recognizable names. In the long run, sports with a dominant superstar or two who can compete against each other usually flourish the most. We may get there but right now, we’re in a place where we’re waiting to see who they’re going to be.” – Hank Haney

Hold on for a second.  Doesn’t this guy teach golf for a living?  Doesn’t he have multiple golf academy’s around the world?  Doesn’t he have his name on every teaching aid known to man?  This is supposed to be an ambassador for the game, someone who has spent his life teaching people that they can play the game and excel in the game of golf.  Now he is saying that it is nice to develop new names but the sport is better off when only a few players are dominating it?  I feel like I am taking crazy pills reading this stuff.

How about this for a response Hank, “I think the growth of the game in Tiger’s absence is amazing for the young talent emerging in the game of golf.  Obviously we all miss Tiger playing the great golf that we are used to seeing him play, but right now is an exciting time for the game.  Every week we have the opportunity to watch a new potential star emerge with a landmark win.”  I am not an expert of the golf swing, but even I know that is a much better response than what he said.

It makes me sick hearing everyone throw in the towel on golf because Tiger is hurt.  It isn’t the reality of the situation and I feel like a lot of genuine fans have been marred by their experiences growing up with Tiger.  Times change and maybe it is time for a few perspectives to change as well.