Cut Line The One and Only


Golf’s silly season has never seemed so surreal. Tee times have been replaced by daily trips to and scorecards have been supplanted by dueling statements. Welcome to Golf 2K10.

There are no cuts at this week’s Chevron World Challenge or Q-School, although with 108 holes there will be those who wish there were, but if Perez Hilton and Gloria Allred have anything to do with it there will be no shortage of Friday angst.

Made Cut

Graeme McDowell. Even the most optimistic spin doctors would have a hard time polishing up the trash bin that was Tiger Woods’ withdrawal from his own Chevron World Challenge on Monday. The Northern Irishman, however, was a one-man marketing team on Tuesday at Sherwood.

McDowell was a last minute replacement for the host with the most and the Challenge is much more than a late-season money grab for him. McDowell’s currently 55th in the world and vying to break into the top 50 before the end of the year to secure a return to Augusta National next April.

“I had no shot before. Now at least I have a shot,” said McDowell, who opened with a 71 and was tied for fourth.

Almost enough to make one forget about “what’s his name.” Almost.

The Fantastic Four. Four players who earned 2010 Tour cards via their finishes on the Nationwide Tour this year have subjected themselves to the joys of Q-School in an attempt to improve their status for next year.

Although the practice used to be frowned upon by fellow pros, the reality of an ever-decreasing pool of available Tour starts makes the move, if not the 108-hole marathon, an easy choice.

The Tour also helped soften the blow, announcing that the motivated foursome will not count against the top 25 and ties who earn a ’10 Tour card on Monday. A “win-win” if you consider the competitive golf equivalent to elective dental surgery a win.

In-N-Out Burger. No disrespect to the Chevron World Challenge, Sherwood Country Club or Tinseltown, but the best part about an abbreviated week in L.A. was an overdue stop at this slice of fast food heaven just off Washington Boulevard.

Well, that and the flight home.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Golf media. Full disclosure here, the writing corps that covers the ancient game will never be confused for Woodward and Bernstein and much of what transpired over the last week seemed beyond the scope, if not the skill set, of the golf media.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas touched on the issue when he dubbed the golf media “Labrador retrievers.”

“Stick them in a tent, feed them, pet them on occasion and they’ll happily chase whatever ball you throw them,” wrote Thomas, who, for the record, has never been spotted by this scribe in either the Bay Hill or Disney media center.

We concede Thomas’ point, but in our defense we’ve never had too much practice at mud journalism. Give us a few more scandals so we can get up to speed.

Luke and Christian Donald. Tiger has Stevie, Phil has Bones and since he turned pro in 2001 Luke Donald has had his brother Christian on his bag and in his corner. That is until about five weeks ago.

Christian was on Paul Casey’s bag this week at Sherwood and confirmed he and Luke split about a month ago. Although the split opened the door for Christian to team with sixth-ranked Casey, he said there is still a chance the sibling tandem can reunite.

Let’s hope so. Breakups rarely work out. Exhibit A: Regis has never been the same since Kathie Lee hit the road.

Missed Cut

Tiger Woods. Regardless of his “transgressions,” his Wednesday mea culpa was three paragraphs too long and far too accusatory.

Rule No. 1 of crisis management: admit your mistake and ask for forgiveness. Save your lectures about privacy for your inner circle because as understandable, and justifiable, your wish for space may be the mainstream media consider you, and your family, public figures.

The public has an infinite capacity to forgive, but they like their clemency served with a portion of humble pie, hold the projecting.