Appreciation and Annoyance

By Brian HewittApril 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker continues to field the debate on whether or not Trevor Immelman was a worthy champion at the Masters Tournament earlier this month.
 
Plus, The Comebacker appears to be getting under the skin of at least one reader.
 
Without further ado:
 
Sue writes: Brian, I think you are a complete idiot.
 
The Comebacker
And exactly what does that have to do with golf?
 

Connie writes: After reading The Comebacker, it is amazing to me that golf enthusiasts can be so narrow minded. We all have favorite golfers and when mine is either not playing or playing and not faring so well, I am pleased to be watching others and enjoy their shotmaking. These men are called professionals for a reason. Let's lay off of the criticism and give the guys their due. There are a number of golfers who have won only one major. Is there a problem with giving them their due for the one they have one? Many professionals will play their whole career and never win a major, and why should that take anything away from the work they do to compete. In Immelman's case, he was fortunate to even be on the course with the health issues he has had in the past year. Congratulations, and I would not be surprised to see him win another. The world of golf ought to be about ALL professional golfers not just a select few.
 
The Comebacker
Connie, I think you are a complete idiot..No, no, just kidding.Actually I think Trevor Immelmans health issues could have turned out to be a helping factor. After waiting for biopsy results, the pressure of trying to compete in the Masters cant possibly feel as intense.
 
Tom writes: Ill get to the point. Even though I appreciate the tremendously deep talent pool on the PGA Tour, I have definitely become a victim of what I call Majoritis Tigris..No, it probably wasnt the most exciting Masters of recent times, but a great tournament nevertheless. We all know the reasons for the final outcome and a simple hats off to Mr. Immelman.Dont get me wrong, I still genuinely appreciate the quality of golf played by these guys; but I think I have become so jaded by the emphasis placed on Majors, and Tigers flair for the ridiculously absurd, that my expectations for non-major events sans El Tigre have evaporated. Knowing that there will never be a fifth major, and that Tigers schedule will only get skinnier from here on in, I eagerly await the next prodigy/phenom to follow in his footsteps and rekindle my fervor for the everyday events. Someone please step up and save me from the doldrums!
 
The Comebacker
So with Tiger now rehabbing his knee after recent surgery are you suffering from Minoritis Tigris?
 
Ed writes:It just dawned on me what Trevor did in The Masters. There is a maneuver called 'an Immelmann' named after a German, WWI fighter ace. This is where you fly level to gain speed, then pull up into a steep climb until you are inverted, roll the plane back to horizontal and proceed the other direction. It is done to get another fighter off your tail. Trevor made that move on Tiger last week who was too far back to shoot him down.
 
The Comebacker
It never dawned on me that this Masters was all about aviation.
 

Canada Boy writes: I think I may have figured out why Brandt Snedeker had a rough Sunday and didn't win The Masters---three words--Toronto Maple Leafs. I noticed his caddie was wearing a Maple Leaf T-shirt under his white coveralls. As a die hard Leafs fan, I am well aware that we have not won the Stanley Cup since 1967. Once I saw that T-shirt, I knew Snedeker was not carrying around a particularly effective good luck charm. And those high paid analysts thought it was the Sunday pressure.
 
The Comebacker
Good thing, I guess, Mike Weir isnt a Maple Leafs fan.
 

Chris writes: Heres to Trevor, a classy kid with a future ahead of him. Sorry folks, until Tiger becomes impervious to bullets, leaps buildings in a single bound, and has to start wearing a size larger to conceal his red and blue suit and cape, he is going to lose every once in a while. As my friends constantly reminds me why one day I shoot well, and the next day I suck (a 25-handicap), thats golf.
 
The Comebacker
Or Tiger himself has said or more than one occasion, Welcome to golf.
 

Dale writes:NO, NO, NO, a thousand times - NO - to Olympic golf. This will be just another snafu that'll be nothing but problems for EVERYONE. The OLYMPICS are nothing but more corruption, stealing, more hassle about drug testing, and a lot more, ALL unpleasant disputes. - NOBODY needs it. Let's call it FINCHEM'S FOLLY
 
The Comebacker
I take it, by the use of all those capital letters, Dale doesnt think golf in the Olympics is a capital idea.
 
Larry writes: When watching the PGA (TOUR), I know for a down home fact that I could never play to that level but now and then when I am watching the LPGA I feel maybe I could hit a shot or two the way they play. After watching Lorena and those young ladies play recently, cancel the maybe thought and insert no way. What wonderful golf we are privileged to see now.'
 
The Comebacker
Indeed, these women are good. Especially Lorena.
 

Jan writes: Without Tiger teeing it up, theres a Tiger-esque feeling being generated by Ochoa. It makes me wonder if we arent going to ascribe Elvis-esque attributes after Tiger leaves this life for the next, refusing to believe hes really gone, spotting him on this or that golf course. Perhaps his ghost will visit Augusta National every April. Is it possible to go even one hour one simple broadcast hour without mentioning Tiger Woods? But back to Lorena momentarily she is amazing shes closing in on Nancy Lopezs record lets highlight that and leave Tiger out of womens golf.
 
The Comebacker
Im guessing if Jan had to use one adjective to describe Tigers incipient course design in the Middle East, it would be arabesque.
 
Shawn writes: I'm curious, why there hasn't been any talk of Lorena playing in a men's event? With her recent great play she seems to have been crowned the queen of the LPGA.
 
The Comebacker
She seems disinclined to play on the PGA TOUR. The marketing experts say she could raise her profit margins with the wider exposure a start on the PGA TOUR would provide (like it did for Annika Sorenstam) But unlike Annika, Ochoa doesnt feel the need to measure her skill sets against those of the best men.
 

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Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.