Amongst the usual clamor and sentimental nonsense affixed to any compelling happening in the world of sports, there surfaced a few interesting responses to Tom Watson's performance at The Open Championship, which concluded Sunday with (arguably) one of the worst playoff performances in recent memory.
Patrick Conley has has been playing golf since he was 12 years old and has now reached a point where he is asking for help. He typically scores in the mid to high 90s but he is absolutely mortified of his driver. On his best shots, his drives will go 280 yards; on his worst, they will slice off the planet and go only 230 yards. His goal, like many golfers, is to improve.
For a golfer that shoots in the mid-90s your first thought might be that he has a pretty darn good swing. Unfortunately, in slow motion, you notice some enormous flaws that are truly holding Patrick back.
Read on to see Patrick's swing and the fixes I've outlined for him.
Saturday, July 18 was both a good and a bad day for the "old" among us. The world's oldest man died (113-year-old Henry Allingham), sure, but Tom Watson provided the good by not only maintaining his lead in the 138th Open Championship, but by increasing it by dropping the tie at the top.
Watson is one of the few guys atop the Open Championship leaderboard with experience. The others, of course, are Retief Goosen and Jim Furyk, T4 and T6 respectively. And Goosen has that weird history thing working for him, too: fellow countryman Ernie Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and the British Open in 2002. Retief has won the U.S. Open seven years after each of Ernie's wins - in 2001 and 2004 - and 2009 is seven years after Ernie's victory at Muirfield.
The leaderboard to start the day:
1 Watson -4 T2 Goggin -3 Fisher -3 T4 Westwood -2 Goosen -2 T6 Furyk -1 Cink -1 T8 Molder E Jaidee E
Join us as we live blog the final round of the 2009 Open Championship (starting at 8:00am eastern).
The following news, as reported by a variety of outlets, but quoted here as it appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, has worked its way through the system of the of the golfing media, both formal and informal, over the past few days:
"A group of 15 players, including world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen, and top American stars Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, and Morgan Pressel, signed a letter demanding the resignation of commissioner Carolyn Bivens."
Good for them. Far from looking like rebellious children, the LPGA's stars look, now, like they give a damn about the fact that their Tour is coming apart at the seams.
Last August the USGA, golf's governing body in the United States since 1894, announced that they were enacting new regulations for grooves in golf clubs effective January 1, 2010. This change came after a fairly exhaustive study that was spurred on by the lack of correlation between driving accuracy and success on the professional tours of the world. In other words, the USGA didn't think "bomb and gouge" was the way golf should be played.
The rule applies only to certain clubs in the hands of certain players at and at certain times, so there is a lot of misinformation out there about what is really going on with this rule. This week, we take a look at it and set the record straight.
If you missed Jim Brown's appearance on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble, then you missed the Hall of Fame running back declaring the following about Tiger Woods, "He is a killer, he will run over you, he will kick your ass. But as an individual for social change? Terrible. Terrible. Because he can get away with teaching kids to play golf, and that's his contribution."
Every time I hear his name I think about about Sergeant Roger Murtaugh telling Riggs (played by Mel Gibson), "I'm getting too old for this…" But that's Danny Glover.
No, the subject today is the 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover. If you have been in a coma the last few days, his new title might come as a bit of a surprise. Still, it's true. Lucas Glover has won a major. What must Sergio think?
Glover is kind of a study in contrasts. This is his fifth year on the PGA Tour, but to most people it seems like he just dropped off the apple cart. Glover looks like a country boy who might be found fishing with Boo Weekley between rounds or hanging under the awning of the RV with John Daly. His boyish looks and aw-shucks mannerisms seem to reinforce that impression. It seems like every photo of Glover could be captioned "Opie Taylor grown up," and people would believe it.
We hardly think about them when playing golf unless one pops out or needs to be replaced, but the cleats on our golf shoes play an important part in our inventory of golf gear. Gone are the days of the familiar click clack of metal spikes. There is no doubt that the metal spikes of the past provided better traction than the plastic spikes we use now, but the damage they caused on putting greens and clubhouse floors, combined with some clever marketing from the early manufacturers, lead to the virtual extinction of metal spikes.
And so it is that we find ourselves with yet another thrilling Monday finish in the U.S. Open. Last year the force of nature known as Tiger Woods pushed play to Monday with a 12 foot putt nobody will forget. This year, the force of nature responsible for Monday's play is Mother Nature and the torrential rains that have soaked Bethpage Black, resulting in low scores and more than the occasional delay.
The leaderboard at the start of today's play looks like this:
Pos Player Total Thru --- ------ ----- ---- T1 Glover -7 1 T1 Barnes -7 1 T3 Mickelson -2 2 T3 Mahan -2 2 T3 Duval -2 2 T3 Fisher -2 1 7 Weir -1 3 T8 Woods E 7
Can Tiger Woods post a score of -4 or so? He'd need to go -4 on his last 11 holes. He'd be there now were it not for his double-bogey-par-bogey finish to his first round. Will Phil Mickelson's aggressive play nab him his first U.S. Open? Thus far his many birdies have been offset by bogeys and doubles. What about David Duval? Unless he shoots a final-round 85, you've got to consider this his coming back party regardless of where he finishes.
And finally, will either the untested Lucas Glover or Ricky Barnes manage to hold on? Stay with us as we live blog the final round of the 2009 U.S. Open from Bethpage Black.