Grouchy Golf Blog
Friday, July 06, 2007 at 12:04 PM
Mark Twain once remarked, "Denial is more than just a river in Egypt." Never has this been more evident than in Michelle Wie's comments during last week's U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. After posting a shockingly hacker-ish 82 after the first-round, Wie explained, "It's just a very fine line between shooting 69 and shooting what I shot today. It's really frustrating because my scores aren't showing the way I'm playing." Say "What?"Clearly, her over-paid sports psychologist has over-marinated the poor girl with the "stay positive" psycho-babble
. Her interview responses are so forced now that it sounds absolutely regoddamndiculous. Any golfer in his right mind will tell you that the line between 13 strokes is pretty friggin' wide. I didn't watch her round at all, but from what I've read, Wie's game is in total disarray. After hitting only four fairways and four greens, how she could have possibly thought that a 69 was in the realm of possibility is beyond me. I have shot a bazillion 82s in my life and never once did I think that any of them had a shot to break 70! Like my old boss used to tell me, "you can put as much lipstick you want on pig, but it's still a pig."
All of this comes shortly after Wie exited Annika Sorenstam's Ginn Tribute under a cloud of mystery thicker than Angel Cabrera's cigarette smoke. To top it off, the little ingrate had the nerve to refuse to offer an apology to "Ms. 59" for checking out early. Like a modern-day Dorian Gray, the image of Wie in the public eye has deteriorated from the once adorable and innocent golf prodigy and into the spoiled and disrespectful golf cretin
Is it too late to salvage Wie's once promising golf career? Of course not. But things must change drastically for the better. Her current path is a progressive train wreck and will only lead to self-destruction. Michelle needs to grow up and "find" herself far away from her helicopter parents. She needs "Team Me" instead of "Team Wie". What better place for this to happen than in college? She has already stated her intention to attend Stanfurd this fall
. There she can concentrate less on the game of golf and more on the game of quarters, century club, and beer pong. Who knows, it turned out great for Long John Daly.
Labels: Michelle Wie, U.S. Open
Monday, June 11, 2007 at 10:42 PM
Back in April, Tiger Woods played Oakmont Country Club, site of this week's U.S. Open, for the first time. Based on his experience, it sounds like we're in for a doozie! According to the world's #1
, "Overall, I'd say it's a lot harder than Augusta National...The greens were running about 10 ½ on the Stimpmeter, and they were plugged last week. I don't think they were designed for that kind of speed, so it should be interesting."
But what I found the most interesting was reading about the par-3 8th hole. From the tips, it plays to 288 yards! It will be the longest par-3 in major championship history. Are we going to be seeing players hit driver on this hole? Most of the field will let the big dog eat, but not Tiger Woods! During his practice round, he hit 3-wood and managed to reach the middle of the green.
"I refuse to hit driver," Woods said
, smiling. "It's against my religion."
If that's the case, forgive me Father, for I have sinned! I have hit driver on par-3s several times, but all on one course. Ironically, it is the site of next year's U.S. Open, Torrey Pines
South Course. On the back nine, there are two monster par-3s: the 221-yd. 11th and the 227-yd. 16th. While not as daunting yardage-wise compared to Oakmont's 8th, both of the tee shots on these holes face directly towards the ocean. As most of us know, ocean breezes can have a adverse affect on golf balls. The first time that I played Torrey Pines, a storm played with me. The blustery conditions forced me to hit driver on both of these hellish par-3s but it still wasn't enough! The gale force winds spade and neutered my normally 250-ish yd. drives to mere hacker-like 200 yd. drives. I guess it was the Golf Gods' punishment for my sins!
Labels: Tiger Woods, U.S. Open
Monday, June 13, 2005 at 9:10 AM
Right after the Masters
, the U.S. Open is my favorite PGA golf tournament. The reasons are many, but they all boil down to making the greatest golfers in the world look like us, common everyday hacks
. Who can forget last year's unbelievable playing conditions at Shinnecock? You couldn't get a golf ball covered in pine tar and tacks to hold the ridiculously hard and slick greens. When players finally did get their balls on the greens, they frequently putted them back off the green!
This year, the U.S. Open will take place at Pinehurst #2, the same location of the dramatic 1999 U.S. Open where Payne Stewart emerged victorious over Phil Mickelson. While the course appears open and forgiving, it proved to be a worthy U.S. Open venue.
Pinehurst #2 is a deceptively long 7,200+ yard par 70 track characterized by dome-shaped greens designed to reject golf balls much like the scalp of Golf World's Tim Rosaforte
rejects hair (but the chicks dig it Rosie!). Scott Verplank called the setup of the greens "borderline sadistic." They drove John Daly so mental that he actually hit his moving ball in frustration after twice failing to putt his ball onto the 8th green. He ended up scoring an 11 for the hole, wrecking his chances after contending for 36 holes. It even got to mild-mannered Jose Maria Olazabal. After an especially maddening round, he pulled a Russell Crowe and broke his hand trying to poke holes in his hotel room walls with his fist.
But the USGA still doesn't think that Pinehurst #2 is tough enough. For the 2005 U.S. Open, the USGA plans to lengthen the course and increase the speed of the greens from ridiculously fast to regodamndiculously fast. All of this adds up to a golf course that only the Devil could conceive.
So who will tame this golf beast from hell? Whoever can do the following are good bets:
- Drive the ball a mile - There are many par 4s that approach 500 yards. Relatively speaking, there won't be much of a penalty hitting out of the rough. With the crazy greens, the closer you can get, the better.
- "Flight" approach shots to the green - To have any chance at holding the greens, towering approach shots that drop from the heavens are a must.
- Exhibit short game mastery - Missing greens will be the norm. Short game wizards will have a huge advantage.
- Read the greens and putt accurately - There are no easy putts at a U.S. Open, and Pinehurst #2 is no exception. Can you say 11.5 on the Stimpmeter? That speed, combined with the shape of the greens, will provide a stern test.
- Be mentally prepared for psychological warfare- The setup of the course will drive golfers crazy. Odds are good for another Daly-like blowup. So count out Daly.
I guess all this means that Tiger will win the 2005 U.S. Open. But we all know about the absurdity of this stupid game. At 20-1 odds, I like the guy with the hottest wife on tour
, David Toms. He fixed his wrist, dumped his agent, and is back to playing some great golf. Toms is a proven major winner with the total game peaking at the right time. If he gets in a zone, he could pull it out.
Labels: U.S. Open
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