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June 20, 2004

How do you spell Retief?

Is this guy using an illegal putter or what? Seriously, hole after hole he was dropping putts from everywhere. It was unreal. Phil's putter did not lose the US Open; Retief's won the US Open. I am not exactly thrilled with a foreigner winning the US Open, but this guy kept his composure and got the job done. There was a stretch on the back nine when I thought for sure he would crumble. Somehow he hung on to win, congrats to you Mr. Goosen.

Now here's a problem I had with the TV coverage. With about an hour left in the tournament they show a tourney summary. I usually like these things. How does this one start? With Tiger friggin Woods. I couldn't believe it. He was never in contention! Who cares? WTF? All of the networks really need to remove their heads from Tiger's ass. I know there are a lot of people out there that like Tiger and want to see him, but I can assure you this was not the time they wanted to see him. Watching him struggle was amusing, but not what I wanted to see.

A word to all networks: Your viewers are going to watch the leaders finish their rounds regardless of whether you show Tiger or not. Next time, show only the leaders.


Anonymous said...

First, it's your blog - you can say what you damn please but note that you come off as someone who just took off their wife beater t-shirt, hood and just washed the gasoline off their hands from a cross burning.

Tiger Woods is the current number #1 player in the world and I know your world is kind of narrow but all the highest rated telecasts are when Tiger Woods is in contention or winning. The Masters this year, down 20% from the last time Tiger Woods won.

I'm not saying you have to like Tiger but you have to explain why you dislike him or you just come off as a bigot or racist - hey, maybe that's that's your intent - but if you're going to be unPC, you can't go half ass.

Sure, Nicklaus was great and is still the greatest golfer but he's RETIRED and until Tiger is retired, you have to get him his due. NOBODY has ever won 5 tournaments a year for 5 YEARS IN A ROW! Just think about that - how many golfers after an ENTIRE career has 25 wins? He's basically ahead of Jack in every category. He has nearly as many wins as Tom Watson, perhaps the 5th best golfer of all time and Tom played on the tour for like 25 years! He hasn't missed a cut since 1997! His rookie year. Even if you discount some of the non-cut tournaments - NOBODY else playing right now has managed a streak of more than 30 and sometimes the second guy is at 9 ... Every other top 10 golfer this year has missed a cut. It's pretty easy to pack it in - hell, anything below $400k for a wknd for him is probably less money than he can make going to a corporate event but he NEVER packs it in - at least not since 1997.

Until Tiger showed up, if someone won ONE tournament in 25 tries in a season, people patted him on the back - hell, Davis LOve, supposedly one of the GREATEST living golfers once went 2 years without winning a tournament - that was golf before Tiger showed up. Is that the mamby-pamby sport you want to go back to?

Golf was ALL about laying up - that was the mentality of the players. Gotta keep my tour card - if I can get 20th place, I can play again next week - the tour was full of LOSERS.

Just watch The State Farm Bureau Classic ... Joey Sindelar lining up for a 3 foor putt to win ... oh, he missed ... Kirk Tripplett will try a 7 footer to win it - oh, he pulled it right. Guess it's playoff time.
That was pretty much the tour between 1988 and 1997 - it sure was whitebread and it sure was dull but if that's what you want - white and dull - just say so - don't dance around the issue.

Not only has Tiger raised the bar so these other guys could shoot for something - without Tiger, how many more years would Phil have wandered around before winning his major? And if anything, he's the perfect guy to bring golf into the 21st century - he's got respect for the game - he's not Alan Iverson who couldn't pick out Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or Doctor J if they were punching him in the nuts ... he knows all the rules and respects the history - he's always at Jack's, Arnie's and Bryon Nelson's tournament even though he could skip a few of them - just the fact he knows who they are are pretty amazing for an athlete today - who usually say things like JOhn McEnroe who?

Again, I'm not saying you have to like him or fawn over him but you have to respect what he's done and how he's gotten here. Even though he's clearly having an off year - he still has one win and a couple top tens after 10 tournaments - certainly not great by his standards but his standards are so much higher. Hell, if it were Fred Couples (another supposedly great golfer), he could call it a great year ...

Before Tiger, if you won once a year or a major - that was like winning the triple crown - Tiger changed all that. Maybe you gotta see beyond his skin color - maybe you don't like his personality and he's certainly being an ass about his swing clearly out of whack but you are way out of line to knock Tiger.

He SAVED golf. The PGA Tour would be slightly above Arena Football without him - and when he's not in contention, it's the CHAMPION'S TOUR - just a bunch of old duffers. So ... even without him in contention - people would still prefer to watch him hack at it than Ben Curtis laying up.

NoThreePutts said...

First off, there has never been and never will be a racist remark in this blog. My dislike of Tiger has nothing to do with with his race or the color of his skin. Is he a great golfer, of course, I have never said he wasn't a great golfer, nor will I. Has he been great for golf, yes. Is the new breed of golfers a more powerful fun bunch of kids to watch, you bet. The fact is, I am not a fan of Tiger Woods. Just don't like the guy. It is quite obvious you are a big fan of his and that is nice for you.

The TV ratings did not change by showing a Tiger clip an hour before the end of the tournament today. The 20% increase in ratings when Tiger is in contention was irrelevant today. And I don't care what anybody says, this years finish to the Masters was the best Masters I've ever seen. Quite frankly, it was probably the best finish to a tournament I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...


You should know by now that any comment that even remotely smacks of "Tiger Woods doesn't deserve..." is going to be attacked by a few weak-minded people with no reasoning capability as evidence of "bigot[ry] or racist[ism]".

With that said, I agree with your analysis intellectually. However, when we consider the fact that Tiger happens to be the most popular figure on tour and TV ratings tend to go up every time his picture is shown or his name is mentioned, it is hard to criticize them from a purely business standpoint.

From a golf coverage standpoint, it can be annoying to watch the former #1 player in the world lead each historical segment even though he is out of the running. I agree that media fawning over Tiger is a well overdone crispy brown trending to black (no racial or other pun intended).

Since golf requires self-enforcement of its rules, I think most people who love golf intuitively understand the value of honesty and we should provide that same presumption to those who love the game. I think the previous poster has failed to give you that benefit of doubt, largely because he is attempting to view every comment about Tiger through the lens of social politics.

Anonymous said...

You know, amongst all this Tiger controversy I failed to mention that your analysis of Goosen's game was right on. That was perhaps the finest display of pressure putting I have ever seen.

I now must disrespect Mickelson a bit - a three putt from 5 feet by a professional golfer on any course is an outrage. Despite the dramatic top-to-bottom improvement in Phil's play from tee to green, we all know what part of a game wins $$$. Hint to Phil - if hitting fairways = championships, even Tiger couldn't see anything but Fred Funk's a$$.

Anonymous said...

What is this nonsense about not wanting a foreigner to win the US Open? Do you root for only Europeans to win the Open?

The best player in the world should win the US Open, and yesterday it was clearly Goosen. Compare that with the debacles in '96 when Steve Jones won after Lehman and Love flailed on 18 (never was a great player) or Bethpage when the setup was so in favor of a long hitter.

A great course with a repeat Champion playing great golf, you can't ask for anything more. Nationality should never be an issue.

Anonymous said...

There are enough valid points from all who posted to do away with any accusations of bigotry and racism.

Tiger sells converage because when he's on, Tiger is great to watch. When he's in +8, and been outgolfed by the low amateur, no one really cares. Show us the day's players.

I've been saying for several years that the winner comes down to who chokes the least on the final day. Last round, the leaders are tight, and everyone competes to see who can give up the lead the fastest. It seems no one is comfortable out of the pack.

I thought Mickleson may have finally grown a pair at the Masters. If he did, he dropped 'em somewhere at the Open.

Good Job, Goosen. You're just lucky Funk didn't catch you!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Tiger gets too much coverage, when he is playing like he did in 2000 he deserves it. He is struggling a bit now and who doesn't at times. Duval came out and had a bad time of it but you would hardly even notice from the coverage. As for Phil three putting from five feet, I would venture to say that most weekend golfers would struggle to be under a 100 on that course the way it was set up for the Open. Take out your putter and try to get the ball close to a mark on a sloping freshly waxed floor and you will get an idea of the challenge those guys were up against.

OnePuttLarry said...

Phil's 3-putt on #17!
I was pulling for Phil yesterday to win as I think he's a good role model for the young golfer. Had I been his caddy, I would have given him this advice before his putt for par on 17. "Phil, look, this is a downhill putt...if you're too firm and miss, you may be looking at a considerable putt coming back, so why not just lag your putt to the hole, heck it may go in, but if you do miss it, you'll have a tap-in for a bogey. We're leading by one stroke right now, if we happen to get a bogey here and most likely par 18 and agree that Retief will only par 16, 17, and 18, we'll still end in a tie and have a chance in a sudden-death with Retief! Whaddaya think Phil?

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