Pet Peeves Part III

By Brian HewittOctober 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
Back by public demand are more pet peeves. The volume of the response from The Comebackers golf community has been overwhelming. There is a lot on your minds. And its a good time of year for you to get whats on your mind off your chest (he said, mixing anatomical metaphors).
Without further ado, Pet Peeves III:
Emilio writes:: I understand how well Sergio (Garcia) has played this year, but for him to jump over Padraig Harrington to No. 3 after Padraig won back-to-back majors and three out of the last six majors ...The world ranking system needs to be looked into. I can see a case for Sergio and Vijay (Singh) to bounce around the world rankings, but is difficult to even see Vijay ahead of Padraig. I'm curious of what you think about the world rankings. Are they just numbers with no substance or are they worth talking about?
The Comebacker
The numbers are worth talking about. And like the BCS, there will almost always be a party that rightfully feels wronged. No system is perfect. But the Official World Golf Ranking could, at least, come up with a Web site that makes it results a little more accessible a little more quickly and a little more comprehensible. And thats just for starters.

Brooke writes:: The disgusting spitting on the green and the sucko ball retriever thingy on the end of the putter are definitely annoying. Let's add the jerks who dig the ball out of the hole with their putter (again, too lazy to bend over) and trash the edges of the cup. Also, a pox on the dimwits who tomahawk the green with their putters when they miss a putt. Let's hope Matt Garza of the Rays never takes up golf ' his pre-shot spitting routine would make the course unplayable!
The Comebacker
Theres no crying in baseball and there should be no spitting in golf.

Peter writes:: Pet Peeves ' when Johnny Miller refers to a shot as easy. I think the word he's looking for is straightforward. Golf is not an easy game. It's a difficult game. Also, when a commentator says a player is within two strokes of the lead when they're actually two strokes off the lead. To be within two strokes, they'd need to be one stroke off the lead. Small things, but peevish nonetheless.
The Comebacker
Reasonable points. One of my pet peeves, though, is anybody who thinks being on the hot side of the camera, attached to a live mike, during a golf telecast is easy.

John writes:: My pet peeve is people who talk for a living (such as sports announcers) being unable to speak proper English. The worst examples are: ' a/an: the use of an seems to be disappearing ' He hit a 8-iron. Good/well: I am a good player, and I played well, NOT I played good. Pronunciation of the: pronounced thuh all the time instead of thuh club, but thee 8-iron. The rule is: thee when followed by a vowel sound, thuh when followed by a consonant sound. The death of the adverb: many of you drop the ly from adverbs, e.g., He played fantastic. It should be He played fantastically. or He played fantastic golf. Even the ones who know well from good say, He played real well, instead of He played really well. There are other offenders, but these are the most grating. You, Johnny Miller, Renton Laidlaw, Warren Humphreys and Nick Faldo are pretty good. Most of the others are not Scottish as in: If it's not Scottish, it's crap!'
The Comebacker
The Comebacker will refuse to believe the adverb is dead until The New York Times tells him it is.

Bill writes:: Sorry if this has already been addressed but my pet peeve is going to the course driving range for a much needed practice session that I had to work into my limited schedule, trying to concentrate on my swing in an attempt to improve it and be barraged by self-important members that feel they have to multi-task and hit practice balls while they talk on the cell phone. I am sure you will think me too sensitive but I haven't learned how to stop my swing like Tiger or continue through undisturbed when one of these captains of industry increases the volume of their conversation just as I start the downswing on an attempt that I spent a lot of time preparing to make. I must be from the wrong generation but I grew up where you were more reverent on the golf course than you were at church.
The Comebacker
Bill is The Comebackers hero-of-the-week. And Amen.

Bill writes:: Drives me nuts when I hear an announcer say Phil just hit his patented flop shot or Tiger hit his patented stinger. If it were patented, then other players would have to pay a royalty not be able to use the shot because they aren't the patent holder. Makes no sense if you have a clue what a patent is.
The Comebacker
It is patently obvious that Bill is a little oversensitive on this one. And, hey, quit picking on announcers.

George writes:: I am happy to share my biggest pet peeve with you. It is the use of the word at ending a sentence. This happens quite often with the Tour announcers who should certainly know better. I have never seen a sentence that was not complete without the word at stuck on the end. I have found that all sports announcers and their guests on the TV programs are really bad about using quite a bit of incorrect grammar, but the golf announcers are well educated and should know better. Please share this information with all of them. David Feherty wrote a really good article in the October Golf Magazine about the redundancy he has found among the golf announcers. All of them should read it and make an effort to improve.
The Comebacker
I will gladly read the Feherty piece if you can tell me where its at.

Matt writes:: I have to complain about all of the complaining. (Redundancy has its own reward). I want to defend your colleagues in the broadcast booth. Sure they may overuse some of the following terms but I must insist that said terms do have merit. I'm tired of all of the whining about terms and those with the apparent inability to understand them. First, I have to address that the imagination of some players is superior to others. Have you ever seen Phil's backward flop shot from a severe downhill lie? Where do you think he came up with that one, in his pancreas? No, he used his superior thought processes to reason that it could be done and wealth of skill to create a method. Sounds imaginative to me. Makeable putts are putts you can hole reasonably often with little-to-mild difficulty. The alternative is a lag putt. Lag putts are used when the odds are that it won't go in. Finally, unforced error ... a bonehead risk taken for no good reason. Sergio hits his tee shot to 6 feet in a playoff. Goydos dunks his tee shot trying to match it. That is a forced error. If Sergio is in the center of the green and Goydos goes for the pin and rinses it then that is an unforced error. I think that people need to stop complaining and start searching for the deeper meaning. If that meaning can't be found, then by all means attack away.
The Comebacker
Thanks, Matt, for comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comforted. And Goydos hit before Garcia.

Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Getty Images

Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

Getty Images

Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

Getty Images

Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

Getty Images

Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.