Chris Smith. The Tour veteran returned to work last week in Mexico eight months after the death of his wife in a car crash. Forget results because the scorecard couldn’t begin to touch how meaningful this first step was for Smith.
“It’s great to be back out here but this might be my only chance to play this year. I’ve got way too much to do at home to worry about playing golf,” Smith told Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.
Smith, an original in a game often dominated by the status quo, once reasoned that most other sports assign numbers to players so why not golf? Smith took 15, while good friend Jerry Kelly opted for 13. We’d like to suggest a new number for the part-time player, full-time father – No. 1.
The free market. If the populace is prone to vote with their pocket books than consider last week’s Allianz Championship the ultimate market correction.
Officials at the Champions Tour event made general admission free, a risky move that resulted in a spike in attendance, from about 9,000 on Friday last year to nearly 16,000 last week, and concession sales that doubled over 2009.
By comparison, Northern Trust Open officials upped the ante for walk-up tickets by $20, from $30 and $50, and felt the pinch at the gate. Which brings to mind the old campaign slogan for President Bill Clinton: It’s the economy stupid.
Pastels. We normally leave the fashion to those with better credentials, that is to say anyone that doesn’t buy their coats off-the-rack, but Ian Poulter’s Tour breakthrough last week in Tucson was the perfect combination of style and substance.
We’re not suggesting a Sunday leaderboard should resemble a catwalk, but a little color – say something between John Daly’s Loudmouth pants and Steve Stricker’s muted earth tones – couldn’t hurt.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
TPC tabs. Whatever your take on the timing and content of last Friday’s “Hello, again, world” event held by Tiger Woods at TPC Sawgrass, give the world No. 1 credit for not cutting any corners.
According to the Jacksonville Times-Union, the Woods camp will pick up the tab for last week’s press event, including the cost of the room in the TPC clubhouse, about $5,000, and the overtime for an estimated 30 sheriff’s deputies to secure the property.
As for all that lost marketing that Accenture endured because of the timing of the Woods’ event, chances are that check is not in the mail.
Tweet of the Week. Actually, it’s not a Tweet just an observation of the list of folks @Rorsmcilroy (Rory McIlroy) is following. It’s a list that includes California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenager, Lady Gaga, Tony Hawk and Kim Kardashian. You can tell a lot by who a person is following, we’re just not sure what all that means.
Wednesday pre-qualifiers. The Tour started holding pre-qualifiers a few years ago in an attempt to weed out those players who had little or no chance to qualify via the traditional Monday qualifier, but an episode cropped up this week that stretches the reason of that rule.
Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient and one-man motivational dynamo, was nixed out of this week’s pre-qualifier for the Honda Classic because he’d missed the commitment deadline.
Shame on Compton for missing the deadline, but the truth is his playing record should exempt him from the Wednesday filter. Before being sidelined for his second heart transplant, he was a Nationwide Tour regular, he narrowly missed making it to the final stage of Q-School last year and tied for 40th last week in Mexico after winning that event’s Monday qualifier.
Flawed logic. Pundits who are demanding a pound of flesh by way of a Tour-mandated suspension of Woods for his actions are adding two plus two and getting five.
The arguments go that if John Daly and Jim Thorpe can be suspended by the circuit for their actions, surely Woods’ run-in with the Isleworth fire hydrant and revelations of his serial infidelity would qualify as detrimental to the game.
Missing, of course, in that logic is the fact that Thorpe (failure to pay taxes) and Daly (public intoxication) broke laws. Woods only broke hearts.