Hooks Cuts Golfs Winding Trail

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  • With Phil Mickelson bagging the Tour Championship, is there any doubt now that the current schedule is dead? The only entity in sports more suspect than the Tour Championship is the BCS, but in that case at least theyre fighting to get in, not stay home.
     
  • Tiger and Vijay miss the cut at Disney, Vijay misses again at Tampa, and Phil says no to Atlanta. Is this some grand conspiracy to convince Ponte Vedra that theyre not kidding when they say the seasons too long?
     
  • While were on the subject of fall sports, if it werent for gambling the NFL wouldnt be half the behemoth that it is. And when the Philadelphia Eagles no-showed our Big Break Challenge crew in early September, I lost respect for them on the spot.
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  • Tiger against Daly in San Francisco proved that with the right stars, golf can compete in autumn. Then again, its a short list were talking about: Tiger, JD and Phil. And Tiger has to be in the mix against either JD or Phil to pull in viewers.
     
  • Standing on the sidelines of a pre-season game, it occurred to me that golfers might be in better shape than football players, in particular the linemen, many of whom appeared grossly overweight.
     
  • World ranking oddities: Howell and Clark are 18 and 19, respectively. But its David and Tim, not Charles and Darren. How is Henrik Stenson 30? When will Aaron Baddeley play better than 176? Shaun Micheel is 223, Rich Beem 236 and Craig Perks 370. David Duvals 736, below Wilhelm Schauman and Kalle Brink.
     
  • Jason Gore is a charismatic poster boy for The Nationwide Tour, but the Q-School still produces as well. A pair of 2004 Q-School graduates, Sean OHair and Lucas Glover, will play in The Tour Championship this week. There are no 2004 Nationwide Tour grads in the field. In fact, eight 04 Q-School products are in the top 100 on the money list and just two from the 04 Nationwide Tour.
     
  • Legends are still legends and good players are good players, not great. Tom Watson came from six back to beat Jay Haas at The Charles Schwab Cup Championship, prompting a stunning dose of the truth right from the lips of Haas himself. He said, When you go down the list of great players, it seems I lacked a little bit of what they had.
     
  • Player of the Year on The Champions Tour is no easy choice. Dana Quigley became the oldest at 58 to win the money title. But he won only twice, compared to four victories for Hale Irwin. Watson played 13 events, less than half Quigleys total. Yet Watson by far earned more per event'well over $100,000---than any other player and he won a major while Quigley and Irwin did not. Plus, Watson won the finale, in some respects more important than a major given the million-dollar annuity that was at stake. This is a judgment call, and Hale and Dana may have been better over the long haul, but in the championship game, Watson came up with a huge fourth quarter with everything riding. Quigley, who lost two majors in playoffs, will probably get Player of the Year. But Watson was the player when it really counted.
     
  • One 65 giant was kicked out of the game for arguing with the official. The coach later forfeited with three minutes to go because the play was getting too physical. A college football game? Pistons-Pacers pre-season affair? The 65 giant was a father, and the game was my 7-year-old sons basketball contest against a team of girls. Seriously.
     
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