When Can I Pick Up My Jaw?

So…just out of curiosity, have you seen any good golf lately?

As Penny, the hot blonde chick from “The Big Bang Theory” would say, “Holy crap on a cracker!!!”

The 2012 Ryder Cup was everything I was hoping for, and more…a hell of a lot more. 

When commenting frequent flyer Svenny wrote in a few days ago and said he thought it would come down to a 2-point Euro win, I replied that I thought it would either be much tighter than that…or a complete rout.

Little did I know that I’d actually be correct with both of those predictions.

The reason this article is a wee bit tardy is a pretty good one.  For personal reasons, I had to delay my enjoyment of the Ryder Cup on a 24-hour delay.  Friday play was viewed Saturday. Saturday play was watched on Sunday.  And Sunday action wasn’t seen until Monday night.  Thank the Great Pumpkin for PVRs.

And, during that whole 4-day period, I did my absolute utmost to avoid all e-mails that could contain golf info, all websites, newscasts, TV shows and anything else that might touch on the results before I got a chance to see them.

And the plan worked flawlessly…right up until 7:03 Monday morning.

At that point my wife and I were driving into Ottawa for an appointment…when she casually took a slug of her coffee, reached over and turned on the chick radio station she listens to for her daily hit of fluff “rock. “

The radio was on for a grand total of 4 seconds…but that was more than enough to torpedo my entire, incredibly diligent media hermit strategy. 

As fate would have it, during those fateful 4 seconds, the big-mouthed announcer (on a chick station, remember) blurted out “and the Europeans stunned the Americans with an unbelievable comeback in the Ryder Cup yesterday…”

To her credit, as soon as she realized what they were talking about, she lunged at the radio to turn it off…but of course the damage was done. 

Holy crap on a croissant!

We DID Need Another Brookline!

When I wrote about my anticipation for the Ryder Cup in last week’s column I titled my article “We Don’t Need Another Brookline.”

The Brookline I was talking about was Brookline the Ugly; absolutely the lowest point in professional golf.

This was the tournament where the disgusting behaviour of “golf fans” hit a new all-time low.  And, truth be told, the behaviour of quite a few of the players was equally revolting.  Players were taunted, poor shots were cheered mockingly, celebrations were outrageously overdone, “fans” yelled during backswings and heckled players up and down the tees, fairways and greens. 

It was 3 days of the worst, most discouraging behaviour you’ll ever see in professional golf.  And to this day, Tom Morris Senior and Junior are still spinning so hard in their graves that they’re changing the climate on the Scottish coastline.

What I didn’t realize at the outset of this year’s Ryder Cup is that we actually DID need another Brookline.  And this time, I’m talking about the one monumentally positive thing that did happen in that playing of the bi-annual meeting of Europe and America; the incredibly unlikely, odds-defying, heroic comeback!

Europe needed 8 points out of 12 to retain the Cup, playing against a team that had mostly waxed them for 4 straight rounds of competition.  Down 10-6 with only the singles matches left (which overwhelmingly favours the Yanks), this was one impossible task.

And then the impossible happened!

And even though those 4 lousy seconds on Monday morning ruined the surprise of the final outcome for me…I was still totally absorbed and riveted to my seat watching it all unfold Monday night! 

When you’ve chewed your fingernails to the elbows, when you already know the outcome…that’s some serious dramas folks!  Or maybe I just need to up my meds?

From the opening tee shots (“by the way, has anyone seen Rory yet?”), to the closing concession, it was sports drama at its finest.  And the players from both sides, plus the fans of Chicago, were really magnificent for putting on such a fantastic spectacle for us to enjoy.

We Now Return to Ho-Hum, “Regular” Golf

Going from the PGA Playoffs to the Ryder Cup to the Shriner’s Doohickey just feels so anti-climatic doesn’t it?  REALLY worthy charity…but as far as compelling golf goes, it just doesn’t stack up.

For me it seems a lot like I imagine the World War One boys must have felt when they left the European theatre of operations and finally returned to their dreary plows and factory jobs.  “How do you keep them down on the farm…after they’ve seen gay Paree?’

And to make it even less compelling, there are no bona fide 800-pound gorillas in the field this week.  None of the 24 golf gods from the Ryder Cup…and just a sprinkling from the Tour Championship. 

The superstars have called it a season.  See you in Hawaii in January!

For a lot of TV viewers, it probably feels kind of like lunch bag letdown.

But saying that is unfair to the guys in the field, who are all extremely talented in their own right…and who DO have a pile of compelling storylines to follow, if we’re willing.

This week is the start of the “Fall Finish” on the PGA Tour.  And in modern-day golf language, “Fall Finish” loosely translates to “you have just FOUR more tournaments left to keep your card buddy…so you better step on the gas NOW!!!”

The Shriner’s Hospital For Children Open – Derek’s Picks

Davis Love III – No, I’m NOT taking him.  I wondering why the hell he’s in the field this week?

Hats off to him if he can actually get his cranium into playing golf this week…but I’m stunned that he’s still listed in the field the week after the Ryder Cup. 

No matter if his team won or lost that event, can you honestly think that his head is going to be in this tournament?  I can’t.

 I guess that’s what separates stars like Love from guys like me…after last weekend, I’d be curled up in the fetal position with my blankie for about three months!

Ryan Moore – He might not be an 800-pound gorilla, but Moore is one of the heftiest competitors in the field this week, in terms of talent.

And even though he has no horses-for-courses mojo going for him at this event (only one top 10 ever, that I could find – T7 in 2009), I still like his chances this week.

That feeling is based pretty much entirely on what he did the last time he played.  Dial the clock back 2 weeks and Moore was in the hunt for the Tour Championship.  As a matter of fact, he turned around a pretty crappy 2012 season when he got smoking throughout the Playoffs – finishing T24, T10, T10 and T3 in the four events.

Given his most recent form, I think he’s definitely worth a flutter this week.

Nick Watney – Again, maybe not an 800-pound gorilla…but he’s certainly at least a 200-pound orangutan with a sore tooth and a bad attitude.

After a pretty brilliant 2011 season, Watney’s 2012 campaign was up and down like a toilet seat.  Only 1 win and 4 top 10s.  Most of the guys in this week’s field though, would kill for those results.

And the win, was during the opening round of the Playoffs…meaning it was achieved under some pretty good pressure…and fairly recently.

Given the also-rans that make up a large part of the field, I like his chances, despite the fairly disappointing season he’s had.  This is maybe his one last chance to turn things around and set up some good vibes for 2013.

Robert Garrigus – Garrigus scored no fewer than three second-place finishes in 2012.  Sprinkle in 4 more top 10’s and he’s one of the legitimate stars in the field this week.

And two of those top 10’s happened on the closing weeks of the Playoffs; where he finished T4 at the BMW and followed it up with a T10 at the Tour Championship.  That’s some pretty serious golf from a guy most would have described as a “journeyman player.”

Given the season he’s had, Garrigus just seems to be on the edge of getting a win to me. I think this week might present his best opportunity of the year.

Scott Piercy – A guy you probably had never heard of 2 years ago, Piercy has rapidly proven himself to be one of the up-and-comers on the PGA Tour. 

With 3 top 5 finishes in 2012, including a win at The Canadian Open, and a first-place finish at Reno-Tahoe last year, he’s got a pretty good story to tell.

And every time Piercy teed it up in the Playoffs, after missing the cut in the Barclays, he got progressively better: T64, T37, T15.  If he only had another 3 or 4 weeks, he might have won one!

Since his recent play has been on the up-tick, I’ve decided to give him a shot this week over Kevin Na and Charley Hoffman, who both have better results on this track.  Time will tell if that was a good move.

And now that I’ve had my say, let’s head down to the dartboard in the basement…

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

Miguel Angel Carballo

Rocco Mediate

Kyle Reifers

Vaughn Taylor

And that’s all for this week folks.  As always, thanks VERY much for reading, for writing in your comments and for playing along with my nonsense…and enjoy the tourney!



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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • “… Down 10-6 with only the singles matches left (which overwhelmingly favours the Yanks), this was one impossible task.”

    au contraire Sunshine … you’re well aware there are some awesome UK/Euros out there golfing but we don’t hear much of them from the US tv commentation. I was so thrilled for Molinari considering the pressure from the great crowds following(and cheering for) the fornicator.

  • So what is the “au contraire” about Pat? Historically, singles matches have overwhelmingly favoured the US…so that can’t be it.

    Maybe you’re misreading what I was doing here…which was setting the stage for the final day and showing how much the fantastic Euro team overcame.

    Coming back from 10-6 down has only been done once before…and that was by a home team. What the Euros did last weekend was truly remarkable.

    And it fairness to your “fornicator” I thought it was very gracious of him to concede Molinari’s final putt for the halve.

  • ok, but surely I do remember times when the Euros have come from behind the US’rs in the singles in the UK and that it wasn’t “one impossible task” … damn my memory but I shall think on this and get back to you, altho I don’t know why ‘cuz you know what you’re talking about and I usually don’t, right? Am I digging my hole deeper? I bow to your knowledge.

    Oh and for the record he is not “my” fornicator … ok, slightly gracious but also saving himself too.

    p.s. I’m still thinking of a reply to The Masters – that’s on my “to do” list.

    p.p.s. Am I still allowed to read your columns?

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