Golf ClichÃ©s Love Em Hate Em
You know, like never up, never in, those sorts of clichs. There are some we love and some we hate. We hear them from our friends, our playing partners. We read them in the prints and we hear them from the electronic media as well.
I want to hear from you. Keep them to about 10 words or less. Send them to me in e-mails. Let me know the ones you hate. Or the ones you love. In a Comebacker in the near future I will list the best of the best and the worst of the worst in this space. And, of course, I will Comeback on our readers choices.
Meanwhile, without further ado, heres this weeks Comebacker starting out with a couple of follow-up items to the Annika retirement:
Paul writes: Annika will be sorely missed. She is the epitome of class AND dominance of her sport. She is the reason the LPGA competes well with the PGA on non-Tiger weeks. I hope you are right and she does return!
Strangely enough, if Annika starts a family and if she comes back after, say four or five years off, it could be the same time Lorena Ochoa is leaving to start a family of her own.
Al writes: I cant believe you say she respected all her fellow competitors since she lambasted a young star to be , Miss Wie, when she was a child trying to live up to the media promotion of her. I thought Sorenstam was very mean in her assessment of Michele (sic) and the injury she suffered. I hope Michele (sic) haves (sic) a very successful career and wish Sorenstam much happiness in having her family, but given her age difference she could have been more supportive to a young aspiring player.
In the case referenced, Wie did not respect the women of the LPGA. Annika told it like it was. There is not a mean bone in Annikas body.
Tim writes: Garcias ball striking ability is unquestioned. His sportsmanship was, and still is, abysmal. He will win more tournaments and maybe even a major or two but, in my humble opinion, he has lost as a sportsman. I, for one, will not cheer his victories.
There is a lot of sentiment like Tims still out there on Sergio. I believe Garcia is maturing. Its just happening a little more slowly than some people would like. Theres still good Sergio and bad Sergio. Think of it this way, if youre an American golf fan: When bad Sergio shows up at the Ryder Cup its a lot easier and a lot more fun rooting against him. I just think were seeing a lot more of good Sergio these days and thats a good thing.
Boris writes: Sergio has been given a raw deal. As a very young player at a certain PGA Championship that Tiger won, he acted as young men tend to do (cocky and sure of himself). He challenged Tiger, and all of a sudden he is the next person to take down Tiger. The media tried to make him out to be an equal challenger to Tiger, but no one (at least not yet) is a challenger to Tiger, and that is the raw deal. Sergio is a good player who will win maybe fifteen PGA Tour events and maybe one or two majors, but he is not the Tiger killer that people erroneously thought. Could the media have mistaken youthful arrogance for greatness? He is like the lion with a mighty roar, but he is missing some teeth, so he is not as effective is he sounds.
Sergios roar at The PLAYERS was both toothy and loud. That said, he will have to win a major championship before anybody should think about bestowing the mantel of greatness upon him.
Helen writes: All I can say to anyone who has something bad to say about any athlete is WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES. Then you can make detrimental and characteristic criticisms.
You wont catch THE COMEBACKER walking a mile in Ian Poulters shoes.
Connie writes: Colonial was great to watch, and I for one, did not miss Woods for a minute. Golf is still great to watch regardless of who is playing because someone always wins and for that week, and for that tournament that person is number one, AND that is important. Sergio at The PLAYERS was wonderful...he won...he was number one that day. Why cannot a win be acknowledged for what it is and who it is without your ruining it with thoughts about Woods?
Woods is, and should be in our thoughts in any serious conversation about mens golf. Anybody who has a problem with that might want to take up bird watching.
John writes: Beth Daniel was an outstanding golfer and is an incredible individual. However, she does not have the vocal chords as an announcer/analyst. Her voice is weak, nasally and annoying.
First of all, thats the voice God gave her. Its what she says that should matter, not how it sounds. Howard Cosell had a nasal voice, too. But he usually had something to say that meant something, even if you disagreed.
Robert writes: I believe the following could easily replace Sanders, Elkington, Kim, Parnevik and Player in the best dressed category. The replacements would be Ben Hogan, Fred Couples, Arnold Palmer, Bernhard Langer, and Grace Park. Ben Hogan was very particular about his clothing and always conservatively well dressed. Fred Couples, Arnold Palmer, and Grace Park always look great and Bernhard's clothing has a European flair that actually fits.
Just curious, what do you think about the clothes Marty Hackel wears? (Remember, style is in the eye of the beholder. I like Martys style but wouldnt dare wear some of his choices. Thats what makes the fashion world go round). The cargo pants Langer wears wouldnt be allowed at many exclusive clubs. The outfits Natalie Gulbis wears, I think, look terrific but also wouldnt be allowed at many exclusive golf clubs. And while were on the subject, why do many exclusive clubs allow the so-called cart girls to wear shorts at a length that would be unacceptably short for women members? I think I know the reason. Nevertheless, this is a double standard.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.