Backseat Driver


Tiger Woods makes the cut, noteworthy only because hes never missed consecutive weekends on Tour as a professional, and yet Buick officials, who have benefited the most from his celebrity, will be slamming trunks, perhaps for forever.
During the dog days of summer the line between those making the cut and those heading home early is tough to distinguish.
Made Cut
  • Phil Mickelson: Golf is never better than when Mickelson is playing well and there couldnt be a more encouraging sign coming from Camp Lefty than his commitment to next weeks WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and probably next months PGA Championship.
    Mickelson wouldnt be playing unless his wifes treatment for breast cancer is going well and, as he proved earlier this year at Bethpage, he shouldnt be dismissed as a favorite at Hazeltine National.
    Besides, theres only a single member of Butch Harmons stable that currently holds a major, Stewart Cink, and to a competitor like Mickelson that just wont do.
  • Erik Compton: What could have been the years most inspiring story ' after, of course, that 59-year-old crashing the kids party at Turnberry ' was put on the DL when the double heart transplant patient broke his right hand in June.
    We hear the cast is off and Compton recently told a friend he has his V back (broad shoulders, narrow waist) after spending his down time in the gym. Expect to see Compton version 4.0 in the Fall Series which is good news for all those who like good comeback stories.

    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • Golf in the Olympics: Still not sure if golf in the Olympics is in the games best interest, but thats a Cut Line for another day. With the support of the games biggest hitters (Tiger Woods, Augusta National, PGA Tour, et al), golfs gold medal future is now in the hands of others.
    The 15-member executive board of the International Olympic Committee will recommend the two sports that will be added for the 2016 Games on Aug. 13 and a full IOC vote later this year will make it official.
    Among the games competing against golf for inclusion are karate, squash, roller sports and rugby sevens which begs the question, do they really need to vote?
  • Buick: Or maybe we should call out the car czars. Either way, the embattled auto manufacturer is one step closer to being out of the golf business after this weeks Buick Open at Warwick Hills, a run that spans a half century.
    Maybe even more concerning is the fate of San Diegos Buick Invitational, which has become something of the unofficial start to the Tour season in recent years and as close to a lock in the Woods sweepstakes as one gets, non-major championship division.
    When a pair of scenic layouts and the games alpha male arent enough to keep a sponsor happy, perhaps it is time for the folks in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to panic.

    Missed Cut
  • Greg Norman: While our initial guess is that the Great White Sharks comments regarding his ex-wife last week were the result of journalistic nudging more so than some sort of deep-seeded desire to throw stones, the episode still reeks of revisionist history.
    A reporter recently asked Norman if he had new wife Chris Evert in his life 20 years ago would all those majors have gotten away from him?
    Chrissie would have instilled a different thought process and I would have said the answer would probably be yes, Norman said.
    Last we checked, ex-Laura never chipped in on the Aussie or hit any of those 78 final-round pops at the 1996 Masters. It was good to see a rejuvenated Norman last year at Royal Birkdale, but blaming the ex for all ones missteps is bad form, and a bit of a clich.
  • Major Scheduling: If its Thursday on the Champions Tour that must mean theyre playing a major championship. Or so it seems.
    The five major concept is hard enough to wrap ones arms around, but playing three consecutive in the middle of the summer just devalues the product. Timing and scheduling is always a concern, but the Tradition ' played Aug. 20-23 following a two-week break ' can be slotted in earlier in the year with a week or two between the Senior Open Championship, played last week in England, and the U.S. Senior Open, this weeks Grand Slam.
    These guys may be in good shape, but theyre still 50-plus. Give them a chance to get their second, or third, wind before sending them back out.

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