The 2013 edition of the British Open moves to Muirfield Golf Club. The story lines for this year's event look great. Phil Mickelson is peaking with a win last week at the Scottish Open, Graeme McDowell is also riding high with a win at the French Open and of course there is always Tiger. There are certainly some questions around if Tiger is going to be his best this week after sustaining the injury at the U.S. Open. Let's see what the staff expects for this year's event.
Hank Haney should really learn to keep his mouth shut. In a recent tweet, Hank Haney shared the idea that Tiger's reason for struggling at the 2013 United States Open at Merion Golf Club was because Tiger did not prepare well enough before the tournament. Hank went on to say that he has seen Tiger prepare in the past when he was Tiger's coach and in his opinion it was not enough preparation for Tiger to win the event.
Beyond the fact that Hank really has no direct knowledge of what it takes to win a major tournament, Hank should have refrained from making any comments about his former pupil. For starters, he has no first-hand knowledge of what Tiger did to prepare for Merion. Yes, he's watched Tiger prepare for majors in the past, but he has no idea what Tiger did at Merion. None.
This year's version of the U.S. Open moves to a very historic site - Merion Golf Club, site of the now famous Hogan two-iron into the eighteenth green. The U.S. Open has not returned to Merion because of the concern that the golf course was going to be overpowered by today's equipment, but now the wait is over, and we get to see how the USGA sets up the course for the players.
Despite his recent hiccup at the Memorial, Tiger is the clear favorite at this year's event. Matt Kuchar, the winner of the Memorial also comes in very hot and will sure to be a factor on Sunday as well. Rory McIlroy has been very quiet this season, but that might just be the quiet entry he needs to make a big impact on the tournament.
The big unknown this week seems to be the weather. There has been quite a bit of rain and the last time we had that at a U.S. Open Rory ran wild in the nations capital breaking all sorts of scoring records along the way. Lets see what the staff of The Sand Trap thinks will happen at this years event.
The U.S. Open heads to Merion Golf Club this year for the first time since 1981. The second major of the year comes around the halfway point during what has been one of my favorite seasons in a while.
We've seen Tiger Woods return to near top form, winning four of his first eight events, though he's still yet to win a major since the broken-knee victory at Torrey Pines in 2008. Three of the wins have come at courses where he's traditionally dominated (Torrey, Doral, Bay Hill), though he threw in a win at Sawgrass and a missed cut at Murfield for good measure.
There's also Phil Mickelson, who won in Phoenix early on but was virtually non-existent at The Masters, Rory Mcilroy, who is winless in Nike clothing, and of course Adam Scott, the winner of the season's first major.
We'll also take a look at the future of short courses in major championships, and the USGA needing a good week.
In Billy Casper's book titled "The Big Three and Me," Casper talks about his time on Tour and how when a new golfer came onto the scene it was extremely rare that they had a great swing combined with ability to handle pressure. He mentions that sometimes on the range they would see someone with the most beautiful of swings and how he would think to himself "surrender now." Usually, though, it would come to pass that under pressure that golfer would struggle and that beautiful swing paired with a shaky putting stroke.
Certainly you must admit that the PGA Tour is full of great swings whose trophy case does not match up with their beautiful swings. The players who have both are extremely rare - maybe once-a-generation type players we are talking about here. For my generation I have been lucky enough to get to watch one of these greats, and his name is Tiger Woods.
Thanks to all the TST members that submitted these questions and thanks to Marty for the great answers. Marty Jertson is a senior design engineer for PING Golf. Jertson is also a PGA professional and has qualified for the 2011 and 2012 PGA Championships. Jertson went undefeated, 4-0 at the 25th PGA Cup in 2011, as the U.S. team defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 17½-8½.
As with most stories there are two sides to be told. This case is no different, especially since the two sides were separated by fifty yards. The scene of this controversy was The Players Championship in the delayed third round in the final pairing of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.
On the second hole, Garcia, away and hitting his second shot in the fairway was distracted by the gallery that was gathered around Tiger's drive in the left pine straw. Several seconds prior to Sergio's swing, Tiger pulled his fairway wood out of this bag and the crowd reacted favorably to his choice to go for it. This favorable cheering distracted Sergio and caused him (his own words) to miss the ball way right into the trees on the right. Sergio bogeyed the hole.
I have to admit that I did not get to watch the final round of the 2013 Masters Toonamint live. I was flying on a plane to Asia, but my DVR caught the whole thing and I was able to watch every minute. Ever since the 2007 Masters where Zach Johnson won with an over-par score, the Masters tournament has done a wonderful job making exciting back nine drama.
This year's event was no different with the event in complete doubt leading up to the playoff. Although I knew the outcome, watching it unfold was still quite compelling. I am very happy to see Adam Scott take his first major especially after his falter down the stretch as the Open Championship last year. It would have been easy to let that event damage him and cause him to falter again coming into the final holes at Augusta.
Tiger Woods should have withdrawn from the 2013 Masters.
Yes, it was more than he had to do, because the rules state that he was able to finish out the tournament, but withdrawing would have been the right thing to do.
On Saturday morning I got to my club as I do for most Saturday mornings for breakfast with my regular group. By that time ESPN and Golf Channel had already been talking about the drop. One of my good friends came in and I told him of the ruling and he immediately said that when he was watching the event he had told his wife after Tiger made the drop that it was not a correct drop. Sadly I did not get to see it live that day because I was working but I certainly saw the replay on all of the sports channels.