I don’t know if there is a better way to describe what we witnessed this week. He played about as perfect as anyone can play four round of golf. I can’t help but think that part of his success this week was his visit to Haiti last week as a representative of UNICEF. Did it help him to further put his 80 in perspective knowing how blessed he had been already in his career? He hit 62 out of 72 (86.11%) greens in regulation and when he didn’t he pretty much always drained the long par putts. How many times this weekend did it seem like he hit the big putt? It really is scary because he had his share of misses.
I absolutely loved the way the crowd got behind him. There is no doubt in mind that him handling the disaster at The Masters so well earned him a ton of fans this weekend. The chants of “Lets go Rory!” were amazing. I have watched a lot of golf over the past 16 years but this was just something else. I don’t think even the gallery support for Phil Mickelson when he finally won a major was as great as the support McIlroy received this week.
Hopefully this is the start of many more major titles for him. While it may be unfair to tag him as the man who will eventually break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, his success in his young career so far will only make those comments more frequent. Will he start to play more on the PGA Tour? How much pressure is there on the Tim Finchem and the PGA guys in the coming weeks to get him to play on the tour since Tiger is on the downside of his career and Mickelson isn’t getting any younger. As of right now McIlroy is only scheduled to play two more tournaments in the US and that would just be a shame.
The countdown is on for the coronation of Rory McIlroy. NBC goes on the air at 1:30 PM Eastern but McIlroy won’t tee off until 3:20 PM. There is rain in the forecast but hopefully it stays away.
I didn’t get to watch his round live yesterday but caught up late night courtesy of the DVR. There is no way McIlroy blows this. This is not the same situation as the Masters. Yes, he had a four shot lead going into the final round there but that lead was gone by the time he was on the 2nd hole because Charl Schwartzel was shooting lights out. The lead is just too big here. He showed yesterday (I believe it was the 3rd hoel) that he would play it safe when need be when he just chipped out to the fairway.
“Oh, Paddy, Paddy, Paddy,I’m still looking for my first one. That’s all I can say. I’m looking for my first one. I’ve put myself in a great position to do that (Sunday), and then we’ll see what happens from there.”
He said all the right things including but if there is a guy on the tour today who will chase down the record (or come close) it will be McIlroy. Yes, everyone talks about him shooting 80 but lets not forget that coming into this US Open he had played in eight majors and already had three 3rd place finishes. In those eight majors he has four top 10 finishes and 6 top 20. Keep in mind that he is just 22.
I absolutely loved the “Lets go Rory” chants yesterday. To me his is the anti-Tiger which is one of the biggest reasons so many (including me) have become big fans in such a short time span. The way he handled his letdown at The Masters can only be described as classy. Even in the aftermath of the disaster at Augusta I thought he would return to greatness. He is great with the media and even better with the fans. By the way make sure you follow Rory McIlroy on Twitter.
I know we’ve been here before. Sergio Garcia was hyped up as a potential Tiger rival (and the thought wasn’t crazy at the time) but I don’t think Garcia ever had the mental makeup for it which is a shame because I absolutely loved watching him play.
By the way, Oakley which sponsors (and dresses) McIlroy is busy selling shirts that he is wearing here at the US Open although like pretty much everything else they are available for cheaper on Amazon.
Kevin Na shot a 16 on the par 4 9th hole at the Valero Texas Open today. Yes, you read that part right, he shot a 16. I just saw this on Sportscenter and am trying to find the ESPN highlights online. If one of you finds it please send me the link. In the meantime watch the clip from the PGA Tour.
Tee shot right. Went down and found ball and declared an unplayable lie.
Went back to the tee box and hit another tee shot which went right in to the woods. Then hit a provisional left (Abandoned provisional). Found second tee shot on the right and played it.
Played ball in the woods and hit a tree and the ball hit himself and took a one shot penalty.
Took unplayable where ball came to rest.
Hit ball in woods.
Hit ball in woods (Left-handed and missed ball).
Hit ball in woods (Left-handed and advanced ball).
Hit ball in woods (barely moved the ball).
Hit ball in woods and did not get out of the trees.
Hit ball in woods and advanced to the rough.
Hit ball from woods in to rough.
Played from rough to the fringe.
Played from fringe on to green.
Made putt from 5 feet, 10 inches.
One of the craziest sights I have ever seen in pro sports. Na, finished 39th on the PGA Tour money list last year and 19th in 2009. Have to be impressed with him going out and having a pretty decent back 9. He gave an interview to PGATour.com after his round.
4/15/11 EDIT: I can’t find the SportsCenter clip from last night with John Anderson and Scott Van Pelt anchoring but here is one with Stan Verrett and Neil Everett.
This is great news. Despite not being a Tiger Woods fan I am a fan of this series and have bought a couple of these games in the past. Part of the appeal for me is playing real courses like TPC at Sawgrass and Pebble Beach through the game. Adding Augusta National to the list is a great step forward. Heck, it is the closest most of us will ever get to playing one of these courses!
According to the ESPN article the game goes on sale March 29th just before the 75th Masters tee off.
Augusta National Chariman, Billy Payne had this to say,
“Our desire to help grow the game of golf throughout the world is sincere, and it is that commitment that first led us to EA Sports more than three years ago, EA Sports, Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour have developed an extremely successful franchise that responds to one of the popular entertainment choices of kids today.”
“We hope our inclusion will foster an appreciation for the history and traditions of the Masters and inspire the next generation of golfers. Equally important is its ability to help further the mission of the Masters Tournament Foundation with the entirety of its proceeds.”
According to the ESPN article, 100% of the proceeds that the Masters receives will be given to the newly established “Masters Tournament Foundation”
Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the Tiger Woods saga. Has your view of Tiger Woods changed in the past year? Has he already been forgiven by the court of public opinion? I figured I’d share three of my posts from the past year on this topic.
Watching the US Open today I remembered a name I haven’t thought of in years. July 18th 1999 is a date that will be remembered by golf fans for a long time to come. It was the final round of the 1999 British Open, held that year at Carnoustie. A French journeyman by the name of Jean Van de Velde held a 2 stroke lead going into the 72nd hole. Under normal circumstances that is a relatively safe lead in golf. What followed was disaster.
I ended up searching for the video on Youtube earlier today after I saw Dustin Johnson throw away his lead on the 2nd and 3rd holes of the US Open at Pebble Beach. It is also appropriate since Frenchman Gregory Havret is currently in 2nd place at the US Open. By the way, has a Frenchman won or been those close to winning a major since Carnoustie? I can’t think of one.
When you get the chance go back and watch both of these clips. For anyone who watched that live or has seen clips of it since it really is hard not to feel bad for the man.
If you’re like me and like to root for underdogs and usually latch on to one or two at every sporting even, why not pick Erik Compton? He is a 30 year old professional golfer who has gone through two heart transplants. Yes, you read that correctly. Two heart transplants.
Just got done watching the Tiger Woods speech. It was pretty much what I expected it to be. Completely scripted. Don’t get me wrong, there was some powerful stuff in their about “feeling entitled”. Him taking an extended break is definitely important. I understand the need for a written statement but couldn’t someone at Team Tiger get him a teleprompter or two?
Notable in her absence was his wife Elin. Good for her. Tiger’s mother was sitting in the front row though and was used as a prop by Tiger at the end. Did someone want to tell Tiger that no one cares about his charitable work today? What did speaking in front of his “friends” accomplish? He’s going to have to answer questions sooner or later, why didn’t he just start that process today? Did you notice the dramatic shift to looking at the camera when he was speaking to “his fans?” Who directed this? I seriously want to sit in one of these P.R meetings one of these days. What goes through these guys heads?
I don’t understand the Tiger Woods apologists though. I don’t understand the, “50% of married men do this” attitude either. This isn’t a man who just had an affair (not saying that would make the situation right), this was a man who did this as a hobby. There is a big difference. I don’t understand the people who say, “this is a private matter” either. Sure, parts of it is. But he does need to come clean in public. You lose the “privacy” argument when you have your name plastered on billboards across the world. You lose the “privacy” argument when you have your own clothing line. You lose the “privacy” argument when you appear in advertisements around the world. You lose the “privacy” argument when you are the cover man for a video game franchise named after you. You lose the “privacy” argument when you make a living off of your name.
I don’t agree with the paparazzi standing outside his kids schools but Tiger Woods does need to come out and answer questions. I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for Tiger Woods. As I wrote previously, he brought this on himself.
I truly believe he cost himself a shot at Jack Nicklaus with this break he’s having to take. The Majors were lined up perfectly for him this year. Courses where has dominated in the past. One of the biggest advantages Tiger has had over the years is intimidation. Golfers have been afraid to play him and it has showed down the stretch of big tournaments as they have melted one by one. That aura is gone now. We’ve seen golfers and the golf media FINALLY speak up against Tiger. How will he handle the galleries? He had temper issues in the past and that was with with really friendly galleries. How will he handle comments from the galleries now? As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or .