Mixed Bag of Random Thoughts


If anybody had asked me, I would have told them that:

  • It's nice to see Jim Furyk back in the mix. He is a top 10 machine when he is healthy. And he has five of them already this year. Furyk also has moved into 19th place on the Presidents Cup point standings. That's good news for the U.S. team.

  • I can't remember when the last time was that I saw somebody using a pay phone.

  • Wayne Levi is the Jim Furyk of the Champions Tour. In eight starts this year Levi has seven top 7s and a top 14. That is outrageously consistent.

  • Another player who is quietly making a mark this season is Natalie Gulbis. Her T3 at Kingsmill last week was her best finish ever on the LPGA. She ranks eighth in putting; eighth on the money list and 20th in driving distance. Her instructor, Butch Harmon, told me recently he is expecting 'big things' from her this year. The last hurdle she must clear before winning: A nagging tendency to let one or two bad holes ruin a round or a tournament.

  • Ten years from now our children and grandchildren will be mocking us for having to wait for our computers to 'boot up.' Think about it for a second. A television switches on right away. Why not a computer?

  • Quail Hollow, the current home of the Wachovia Championship, will host a major one day. But it won't happen, I am told, until the club's current contract with the PGA Tour and Wachovia expires after the 2010 event. Best bet for Quail Hollow is a PGA Championship or a Ryder Cup. Don't expect the U.S. Open to go there mostly because Pinehurst is so close to Charlotte and the USGA considers Pinehurst one of its showstopper venues.

  • Symmetry is a beautiful thing. The top four players in the world have all won three times this year. Ernie Els has yet, however, to win in the United States. Don't be surprised if that ends this week.

  • Conspiracy of Fools, a detailed account of the Enron collapse by a New York Times reporter, is scarier than anything Stephen King has ever authored.

  • Tiger Woods will think twice before he tries to move a fence again.

  • The bad joke going around is that the only more inconsistent driver than Tiger Woods is his caddie, part-time auto racer Steve Williams. Williams may not be terribly lucky on the track or user-friendly to fans and media but he is tougher than nine miles of detour and he is all business on the golf course.

  • Harmon and Johnny Miller are both picking Retief Goosen to successfully defend his U.S. Open title next month. Hard to argue but I just can't get it out of my mind how well Phil Mickelson chipped and putted around those green complexes at the '99 U.S. Open.

  • My pick for Pinehurst: Woods.

  • Whatever happened to 'The Sopranos'?
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