Tuesday, July 24, 2007
But Open week also was marked by a couple other noteworthy events. First, Seve Ballesteros announced his retirement from competitive golf. Love him or hate him – and I loved him – Seve is one of the outstanding players in the last 20 years. I once followed him years ago at the Kemper Open when it was played at Congressional Country Club. I swear he didn’t hit a fairway on the back nine off the tee. Not only did he miss, but he missed badly. He put on an incredible display of shotmaking and imagination, hitting low hooks and fades from under the trees and shot a remarkable -2. Simply astounding. But in recent years his skills deteriorated and it was sad to watch a great player struggle, reminiscent of seeing Johnny Unitas and Willie Mays at the end of their careers. Farewell to Seve and thanks for the memories.
Meanwhile, Gary Player grabbed headlines with allegations that he knows of professional golfers who are taking performance enhancing drugs. Player is so well-respected in the game that his comments must be given serious consideration. My problem is that he failed to name names, which is not surprising, and failed to offer up any other specifics. His comments put him in the spotlight, which he has never shunned, but did little to convince me that they were based on fact. It’s inevitable that the PGA Tour is going to have to institute a drug testing policy sooner rather than later. But that’s the world we live in today and Tim Finchem needs to make drug testing a priority, just as the LPGA has done.
Finally, former Open champion John Daly made a brief appearance on top of the leaderboard before fading into oblivion. But he did have the best quote of the tournament when he said his diet of “caffeine, plus nicotine equals protein.”
Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Richie Karl.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Jean Van de Velde.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Ty Tryon.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The judges approved several goofy inventions that I doubt many real golfers would purchase. For example, one guy had a golf bag that included a small, canvas fold out seat attached to it. Another guy had an electronic timer that beeped in one-minute intervals so players could keep track of the time elapsed while searching for lost balls. At least they didn’t approve the guy who came up with a notched tee that broke in half at impact and could be re-used on par three holes. They did approve an innovative golf travel bag with an extra set of fold out wheels as well as a device that allows players to check their stance and ball position. Of course, there are the usual nut jobs but their entertainment value is limited. The other problem with the show is that none of the panelists are very compelling personalities and the unctuous Vince Cellini, host of the “Big Break” shows interviews the contestants back stage.
Hitting range balls while wondering what ever happened to Bob Lunn.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Mr. Fairway attended the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. this week. Here are some random observations:
--Marshals were instructed to make every effort to accommodate children and service personnel. On Friday at the par three 7th, a marshal gave more than a dozen kids in the gallery a special viewing spot at the back of tee so they could watch Tiger close up. The marshal started bringing kids to the spot several groups before Tiger reached the hole.
--The new par three 10th hole is a nice addition that allows the old 17th hole to become a spectacular finishing hole. The 11th is no pushover. One forgettable pro hit his bunker shot into the pond in front of the green and had to go back across to the drop area.
--Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen continues to struggle, shooting 73-75 to miss the cut. He bladed a shot from heavy rough into the water on No. 6 and made a DB.
--John Daly continues to be a gallery favorite but he doesn’t look like he’s having any fun. Hard to smile when you have a public fight with your wife and you shoot 74-77.
--If you have a chance to attend a PGA event, pay attention to pace the pros putt on their putts. Unless they have a severe downhill putt, the ball almost always is rolling at perfect speed around the hole.
--I also enjoy watching the tempo of their swings and their balance. The ball sounds different coming off the club face when they hit it.
Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Tom Shaw.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Hitting range balls while wondering what ever happened to Sandy Lyle.