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The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

I spent way too much time watching the TV last week, the one PGA TOUR event that I really like, played on the one course built to challenge the Tour players (and constantly “improved”), turned out to be OK but not great entertainment.
Was it because Tiger wasn’t challenging? Not really, I enjoy the young and restless players, and I cheer for most Europeans as well. Phil is a very popular deserving winner, in fact his whole team did well and should all be congratulated. Does Phil pay his team like World Series winners, everyone gets a share?
Was it because the TPC had changed from March to May? Maybe, Mother’s Day is not a great day to finish a tournament on – I wonder how the ratings were? It was also on TV so many hours, and it wasn’t exciting seeing great players on defence. Watched the final IIHC (Canada / Finland) and switched back to see the last group had only played a few holes so it seemed. I’ve always ranked the Players Championship right after the Open, just ahead of the Masters and almost in a tie with the US Open. Now I think it’s tied for 4th with the PGA.
Was it the speed of play? It didn’t bug me as much as it seemed to bother the NBC people. By the way, does HD mean some cameras are HD? TVs were going crazy trying to read the signals.
Was it because the hype led me to expect fast and firm tournament conditions? Maybe, in a state with the worst drought conditions in 50 years, the TPC still played soft. If that course ever dries out it will be a real test – can you imagine the whole field backed up on the 17th hole waiting for someone in the first group to hit the green? Could happen on a windy day! Pete Dye’s wife warned her designer husband Pete that might happen, so he made it easier!
Was it the greens? Ernie Els said they were horrible. They were excellent a month before the event. They are very boring, even with pins stuck on the very edge of greens most 10 foot putts were dead straight (although players didn’t think so).

I enjoyed Johnny Miller and think the youngster Sean with hair lost the tounament on 16 when he was two strokes behind and played safe. His bad luck on 17 (the first shot was a good shot with the wrong club – blame the father-in-law-caddie) was unfortunate but that only cost him big money, he’d already given Phil his tournament.

Anyway, not sure why I didn’t enjoy the tournament. By the way, I get over 400 stations and could not find the LPGA final round. Some of the most exciting golf in the world is now being played on the LPGA and it is not on TV. Why is that? Survivor’s ending 3 hours later also sucked, good thing the Detroit Annaheim game was good!
[photopress:Sandy_Somerville_1934_US_Am_Champion.jpg,full,pp_image]
Sandy Somerville winning US Amateur 1934 -what other tournaments did he win?

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hmmm….interesting referring to Mickelson’s entourage as the “hole” team. I wonder if it was just a spelling mistake or reference to Phil’s “A” personality?

  • 3putts: the mind sometimes types what you are thinking – I do think that Phil is improving as a person, I just wish he relied more on himself than his “hole” team. In the Bahamas we call them remoras, the fish that suck up to sharks, maybe leeches are closer. It’s normal in boxing to be surrounded by teams, Phil has brought it to golf.
    Somerville, didn’t he also win an Olympic golf? Why isn’t there a Sandy Somerville course in Canada? in London Ontario.

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