Monday, March 30, 2009

Tiger Wins

I guess Tiger Woods is fully recovered from knee surgery. Woods, who made clutch putts all weekend, rammed home a 15-footer on the 72nd hole Sunday to win his second consecutive Arnold Palmer Invitational title and his first tournament since last summer's U.S. Open. Woods started the day five shots behind Sean O'Hair, who looked totally lost on his way to a final round 73. Give Woods his due. He made great shots down the stretch and his putter bailed him out again and again. The victory assures that he will be the odds on favorite for the Masters in two week. On the down side, I'm getting a bit tired of his fist pumping histrionics. To use the old school adage about not showboating in the end zone, act like you've been there before. Yes, it was an emotional win but it's not like he did the impossible. The field wasn't really that strong and everyone on the planet knew Tiger would win again. Tiger's club slamming is getting old, too. Yes, it's bad luck to have two balls plug under the lip of the bunker, but there's no reason to be flipping clubs or slamming them down in disgust. Time for Tiger to show a bit more maturity.

Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Chuck Courtney.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daly Loses Defamation Suit

A Florida judge threw out John Daly’s defamation lawsuit against Mike Freeman of the Florida Times-Union for a column that equated the bad boy golfer’s off-course adventures to the “thug life.” Freeman’s 2005 column contrasted David Duval and Daly, asking, “How does Daly not fail the scoundrel sniff test with fans despite possessing Thug Like qualifications. Look at the Daly blog. Domestic violence accusations? Yup. Three different kids from three different moms, making him the Shawn Kemp of golf? Yes. A former wife indicted for laundering illegal drug profits? Roger that.”
Daly sued for defamation of character, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring and supervision. After Daly’s attorneys acknowledged the characterizations of Daly were true, the judge granted Freeman and the newspaper a summary judgment dismissing the suit. The judge said Daly failed to prove that any of the underlying facts were false and said the columnist was protected by the First Amendment. Daly, who is serving an undetermined suspension from the PGA Tour, is playing in Europe.

Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Chris Couch.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Tiger Day

Ever wonder how hard Tiger Woods works to prepare for a golf tournament? If you tuned into the first episode of “The Haney Project,” the Golf Channel’s series on Tiger teacher Hank Haney’s attempt to fix Charles Barkley’s lunge (that really isn’t a swing), you got a hint. As Haney and Barkley talked about the long road ahead of them, Haney asked Barkley if he was ready for “a Tiger day.” According to Haney, here is typical Tiger practice day:

6 a.m. Wakeup
6:30 – 8 Workout/weights
9 – 11 Hit balls on practice tee
11-11:30 Practice putting
11:30-12:30 Play nine holes
12:30-1 Lunch
1-3 Practice tee
3-4 Short game practice
4-5 Play nine holes
5-5:30 Hit more balls
5:30-6 p.m. Practice putting

That might be more practice time than most amateurs put in over the course of a month, or more. Mr. Fairway doubts many of Tiger’s fellow competitors have that kind of a work ethic.

Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Danny Ellis.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Haney and Charles Barkley

Mr. Fairway checked out “The Haney Project” on the Golf Channel the other night. This is the weekly show about Haney, Tiger’s teacher, trying to fix the golf swing – if you can call it that – of former NBA star Charles Barkley. If you’ve never seen Barkley swing, check out the video clips on You Tube. Barkley’s swing, which he describes as “a speech impediment, a stuttering problem,” looks like he is killing gophers. He dips and pauses before hitting weak shots dead left. “My golf game sucks,” Barkley tells Haney when they meet. “I haven’t gotten a ball above my head in 10 years.” Haney called the challenge of fixing Barkley’s swing “the project of a lifetime.” The initial show was entertaining, with lots of clips of Barkley’s train wreck swing, including an impression by Tiger himself. But Haney puts Barkley through his paces, hitting ball after ball after ball, all teed up on the practice range, and then breaking down the video. To his credit, Barkley appears determined, focused and eager to learn. Looks like an entertaining series.

Hitting range balls while wondering whatever happened to Charles Courtney.