Grouchy Golf Blog

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 11:52 AM

Wie, Me and the British

Last week, Michelle Wie made her 3rd attempt to make the cut in a PGA event. Her previous two attempts were at the Sony Open in Hawaii on a course that she's very familiar, Waialae Country Club. However, this time around, she played at the John Deere Classic on a course that she's not familiar, the TPC at Deere Run. Therefore, I didn't have high expectations for the 15 year-old phenom. But, as usual, she impressed me after firing a 1 under first round score. I flipped on the TV to watch the 2nd round, and was in sheer amazement as Wie shot 3 under over her first 5 holes. Can you say, "en fuego"? She even hit some shots reminiscent of a certain PGA player named after a ferocious feline.

I was so inspired by Wie's start, that I ditched work to play some twilight golf at my home course. If a 15 year-old girl can play this godforsaken game, then damn it, so can I! The Golf Gods must have been in a generous mood that day, as I played some of the most unbelievable golf of my life. I didn't drive the ball particularly well, but I hit 8 of the first 10 greens in regulation. I have never, ever hit my irons so well. Short irons, middle irons, long irons, you name it, they all seemed to find the green like Ben Affleck finds bad movies. I carded two birdies and stood at 2 over after 10 holes. For a ten-ish handicapper like me, that's like Wie shooting 3 under over the first 5 holes of a PGA event. But like Wie, my wheels were bound to fall off. The bogey train picked me up at the 11th hole and gathered steam with a bogey, double bogey, and another double bogey. I finished the last 8 holes at 8 over. Wiediculous!

But after many such disappointments, I've learned to accept the cruel ways of the Golf Gods. I still shot a respectable 82 and hit 10 GIRs. Similarly, Michelle Wie should be proud of her showing at the John Deere Classic. Although she barely missed making history, she can hold her head up high. She finished ahead of 54 professional men, including 6 shots ahead of a former #1 in the world and British Open champion (I won't mention his name, to save him from the embarrassment).

Speaking of British Opens, the mother of all British Opens, the Open Championship at St Andrews, will be played this week. The British Open is usually my 3rd favorite major behind the Masters and the U.S. Open. But it is something truly special when it is held at St Andrews, the birthplace of golf.

So, who's gonna win it? We all know that Tiger is the favorite in any tournament that he plays. But I think that he's as close to a lock to win that any mortal golfer can be. Not only has Tiger been playing well in the majors this year, but he simply dominated the last time he played at St Andrews in 2000. Now that he's even longer than he was back in 2000, look for Tiger to crush the field if he can find his putter. If he doesn't, then I hope that Thammanoon Srirot wins. Who? I have no idea, but at least it would give the engraver, who has about 10 mins. on international TV to engrave the champion's name on the Claret Jug, a real run for his money!

Oh, and congrats to Sean O'Hair on winning his first PGA event. Sean, please don't send your dad his 10% cut. The "iron-asshole bastard" doesn't deserve it.

P.S. Mega-props to Jamie, Chris, Erin, Bob, Craig, Shawn, and Brian from the AOL Internet Radio Show, "Sports Bloggers Live" for taking my call during their British Open Preview. If you have Real Player, you can hear the British Open Preview featuring 2 established, well-known and respected golf writers and then myself.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle Wie is one of the best young players I have ever seen or met in my life. I personally thing that Michelle will make a cut on the PGA tour and possibly get on the leaderboard if she plays well. Heck if she plays the best she can, maybe even win?  


Anonymous Wedgehead said...


I think it's about time for Vijay to make some noise. Long and straight, just like the PGA last year.

I love those days you mentioned. It seems it is always thte irons that bring it together. You don't have to drive or putt the ball in perfect fashion, but if you're on the grenn in reg, the difference between 2-putting or 1-putting for par really shows on the card.

Grouch, I ended up in Redondo, right by the pier. My first venture to the links will be this thurs, my b-day. Any recommendations?  


Blogger Golf Grouch said...

Hey Wedgehead,

Redondo is a little farther south than I'm familiar.

However, I have played a great value track around there called Links at Victoria (310) 323-6981. Another one that I've always heard about, but never played is Los Verdes Golf Club (310) 377-7370.

I recommend trying Los Verdes first since it is closer and has ocean views for less than $30! Supposedly one of the best deals in all of LA. Let me know how it goes.

If you really want to spend the big bucks, then there's always Trump National (310) 265-5000. But there's a reason why Trump is rich.  


Blogger Storm Trooper said...

Golf is a sin.  


Anonymous Wedgehead said...

Hey Grouch, thanks for the recommendations.

Los Verdes it was, as it was the closest and I was yet to have ventured into the Palos Verdes area. The course was pretty nice, I had set in my mind it may be a dirt track with those kind of rates. It was foggy, so the views were a little less then usual. The course played nice and set up well for a draw. The only downfall was slow play (they routinely send out 5's), and some jerk in front of me picked up my best shot of the day.

I wasn't playing so well but on one of the finishing holes, a long par 5 doglegging left along the Pacific ocean, I hit my best drive of the day. A nice long draw tracing the fairway in a stiff left-to-right wind no-less.

As we left the tee box, two carts come screaming out of the trees way to the right. Seems these knuckleheads were so far to the right we all hit right past them thinking it was clear. I immediately knew it would be a problem as my ball was well up the fairway a good 100+ yds past the 4 Koreans I was playing with. I tried to tell the guy driving my cart (he offered me a lift a few holes in) to pull ahead to my ball, but he didn't understand. I jumped out and hastily walked up to the groups ahead of us looking for my ball. They were playing a scramble, and I knew it could be confusing. Sure enough, they take off and I yell. 1 hears and stops, the other goes all the way to green. I give him "the where's my ball?" hand motion and he says "Titleist 2 with a blue dot?", and I say "YES!"

He says he'll get it for me and zooms up the green where he pulls up to the other cart, now 225 away from me, gets my ball, and yells "Here's your ball!" He drops it, and hits it back down the fairway about 165 yds!

Thanks pal. Whaddadick.

I don't care if I did hit "hypothetically" "into them", who the hell picks up a marked, un-blemished PRO-VI from right smack dab in the middle of the fairway? Even the most un-ettiquated duffer has to know that A; that IS a 4-dollar golf ball and B: that is one hell of a shot by that guy coming down the fairway right behind you, and he deserves proper replacement in the general vicinity of where it was picked up.

Hit it back to me??? 60 yds short??? Dick.

Sorry about the long rant, but maybe an article about "when/when not to pick up a ball" is in order for more serious grouching.

It was a pretty good track though, and I will be back alot earlier in the morning next time. If you can beat the crowds there, it is a superb deal indeed.  


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