A big golf weekend this weekend with the British Open completed and of course the inaugural LPGA Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in East Bumble F*%K Michigan someplace. With all that going on I thought, why not get in a quick nine holes of golf.
1. It was a great win for Shane Lowry, without a doubt, but goodness gracious you'd think he invented Guinness the way NBC and the golf world is carrying on about it. Holy cow, an Irishman won a tournament in Ireland! Americans, Koreans, Japanese, do it every week. Enjoy the win but keep it in perspective. There was no parade when an American won the U.S. Open that I remember.
2. Watching the rain, wind, and cold at Royal Portrush reminded me of most of our April outings with the Pigbodies Golf Association in Chicago every year. Nothing says golf like rain blowing at 30 MPH sideways stinging your eyes while your hands lost any feel back around the time you left the bathroom before teeing off. Good times!
3. NBC was also over the moon about the format for the LPGA event this week. Teams of two players playing against the field in foursomes and four ball over the course of four rounds, you know like Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup tournaments. Yes it was entertaining but it's not like the golf world invented a new way to play golf. If you really want to add drama, make it like some corporate outings where you have crazy rules like you can throw a competitors golf ball once per round, or give them string and they can move the ball as far as they have string. Or my personal favorite, suggested by the great Tom Barnicle, play tackle golf. Now there is a ratings winner.
4. Back at the British Open, at one point while it was sleeting sideways today and everyone had on three layers of clothing, American Patrick Reed is out there in a short sleeve golf shirt like he's in Florida and it is 86 degrees outside and sunny. As Dan Hicks, lead anchor for NBC golf, sees this he comments to David Feherty that Reed looks insane. Feherty simply says, "he appears to have some harbor seal in him." An absolutely great line.
5. Speaking of crazy things. There were multiple rounds in the Dow event this week where real life LPGA pros, playing in a format where you either count the best score of each player or you take turns hitting a shot, actually shot over par for a round. Now, I don't want to be judgemental but if you are a touring pro, and you cannot break par every round with this format then I believe you should lose your tour card. I've played in corporate outings where 75% of the players have never played golf before in their lives and the worst score was even par. This really is shameful for the LPGA.
6. Brooks Koepka continues to find ways to antagonize the golf world as he is suddenly the "it guy" for the PGA tour, especially in major tournaments. Today he shot a three over par 74 and more or less accepted responsibility for his own bad playing but couldn't resist taking a shot at another golfer for his slow play, who was in his twosome. Speaking of J B Holmes who had a miserable day today, Koepka said, "What I don't understand is when it's your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it, that's where the problem lies. It's not that he takes that long. He doesn't do anything until his turn. That's the frustrating part. But he's not the only one that does it out here." I think he can expect one less holiday card this year.
7. Good news. Tiger Woods can't tie his shoes anymore because of various back issues, and he missed the cut this week in Northern Ireland, but he announced that he, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, and Jason Day will play in a skins game next year before a regular PGA tour event in Japan. According to an ESPN report, the one-day competition will take place at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Japan on Oct. 21, the Monday before the PGA Tour’s inaugural Zozo Championship, which Woods is also committed to play. Thank goodness, I was starting to worry about him running out of money.
8. The LPGA is fascinating right now as they are truly the only global league playing professional sports. I'm pretty sure they have more countries represented than any other sports league and the players have names as wide ranging as Yu Liu to Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras. My hero's are the Golf Channel announcers who have to say their names every week.
9. Speaking of the Pigbodies, this time of year always reminds me of our fabled overnighters where we descended on some poor resort in Wisconsin and put another bartender through medical school. I'm reminded of one particular trip to Oconomowoc that was completely out of control. As me and my foursome were standing on the first tee waiting to tee off, our first group was just coming down the ninth fairway, when suddenly Dennis Wright veered sharply left onto our fairway and proceed to alternate shots, with club tosses, until he was standing about 10 yards in front of us. His face was beet red and he had been shouting a constant stream of four letter invectives all the way down the fairway. He looked at us, smiled, and calmly said, "golf, a gentleman's game indeed." Chopped another one and tossed his club towards the ninth green. We laughed for five holes.