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Them’s the Breaks

Nov. 26, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Golf is an unpredictable and sometimes unfair game. Them's the breaks.

BrainThe next ten "Tip of the Day"s are being taken from an article by Dr. Bob Rotella for Golf Digest, titled "Inside the Golfer's Mind." We're paraphrasing, changing the language a little, and condensing his typical three to four paragraphs into one or two. This is tip two of ten: them's the breaks.

Golf is an unpredictable and sometimes unfair game: your opponent thins his approach, bounces it off a turtle swimming merrily in the water, and ends up three feet from the pin. Your drive, 30 yards past him, sits in a divot, hits the flagstick, and careens into the bunker. Them's the breaks - learn to love 'em. After all, they're a big part of the game you chose to play. (Golf, in case you were confused.)

Nobody perfects the game of golf. Sometimes a perfectly struck drive windsd up in a divot. Sometimes it's the divot you took yesterday. And sometimes the same thing happens to your opponent. Golf is a game of breaks, and it's the game you're playing. Getting mad won't help. Getting frustrated won't help. Roll with it - there's nothing you can do. Them's the breaks.

Play to Win

Nov. 25, 2004     By     Comments (0)

"Playing to win" doesn't mean trying to pull away from your opponent on the first six holes - it means putting yourself in a position to seal a victory with great play down the stretch.

BrainThe next ten "Tip of the Day"s are being taken from an article by Dr. Bob Rotella for Golf Digest, titled "Inside the Golfer's Mind." We're paraphrasing, changing the language a little, and condensing his typical three to four paragraphs into one or two. This is tip one of ten: play to win.

Playing to win doesn't mean playing recklessly - it means playing smart, controlled, and confident. As Phil Mickelson's 59 yesterday taught us, you don't need to be 300 yards down the middle of every fairway (he hit 5) to play well. You don't need to be two feet from every pin. Some of a player's best scores come when his ballstriking isn't at its peak.

Playing to win means holing putts. It means keeping yourself in the game. Playing to win doesn't mean trying to pull away from your opponent on the first six holes - it means putting yourself in a position to seal a victory with great play down the stretch.

Beer Truck Driver Earns Champions Tour Card

Nov. 25, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Ex-beer driver plus 14 others earn exemption status on the Champions Tour.

Beer TruckFormer California state amateur champion Mark Johnson, who drove a Budweiser truck for 18 years, fired an 8-under 64 on Monday to earn medalist honors at the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament. He finished the six-round marathon at 25-under-par 407 and won by two over Tom McKnight at The King & The Bear Course.

McKnight is a former amateur standout and went even lower with a 9-under 63 on Monday. Former PGA Tour event winner Brad Bryant shot a 5-under 67 and took third place at 22-under-par 410.

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On Architecture

Nov. 25, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Random quotes by some of the more famous golf course architects.

Donald RossAs beautiful as trees are, and as fond as you and I are of them, we still must not lose sight of the fact there is a limited place for them in golf. We must not allow our sentiments to crowd out the real intent of a golf course, that of providing fair playing conditions. If it in any way interferes with a properly played stroke, I think the tree is an unfair hazard and should not be allowed to stand. - Donald Ross, from "Golf Has Never Failed Me"

Every hole should be a demanding par and a comfortable bogey. - Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

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Mickelson Fires 59, Wins Grand Slam of Golf

Nov. 24, 2004     By     Comments (6)

Phil Mickelson misses a six-footer for 58, taps in for 59, and wins the 2004 Grand Slam of Golf.

Phil Mickelson IronPhil Mickelson, Masters winner, has joined the '59' club and won the 2004 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The event, which features each of the year's major winners, was played over two rounds at Hawaii's Poipu Bay Golf Course - no easy challenge at par 72, 7,081 yards.

Phil's round features birdies at 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 18 and an eagle at 6. He parred the other six holes. Phil had a six-footer for 58 on the last, but slid the putt just past the hole. He had a tap-in for the 59.

Members of the ultra-presigious "59 Club" now include the following

Al Geiberger           1977
Chip Beck              1991
David Duval            1999
Annika Sorenstam       2001
Phil Mickelson         2004

Phil ended up at -17. Vijay Singh finished second at -12, birdieing the last to secure that spot, while Retief Goosen finished at -11. Todd Hamilton finished with a 75 to end up at +1 for the tournament.

Is Phil's switch to Callaway finally starting to pay off!!!

P.S. A day later, ESPN and The Golf Channel provide coverage.

Posted in: PGA Comments (6)

Big Break II Round-Up

Nov. 24, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Two weeks since the last BB2 update, which means two golfers gone. David's gone after Double-D was able to hit it longer and straighter, and Colonel John's out after losing a one-hole playoff (which took three holes) to Kip.

bb2_david_teeing.jpgIn a way, it's a good thing that it took me so long to write up a summary of the seventh episode of Big Break II - in the week that I've been busy, there's been another episode!

Last we tuned into BB2, the field of men looking for the four Nationwide Tour exemptions had been whittled to five, and we had watched as my favorite - Big Mike - had his putter fail him against Kip in the elimination challenge. I fully expected David to get eliminated during that episode; how would he and the rest of the field fare over the past two episodes?

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Play it Down

Nov. 24, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Playing the ball down teaches you these things, and allows you to more easily face obstacles when they present themselves to you in tournament play.

Many golfers are tempted to play "winter rules" when inclement weather rolls around. Instead, we suggest playing the ball as it lies. Get creative - hit the shot with a little mud, or sitting down in some damp grass. Play out of the bare spot or off of the slightly soggy ground. See what you can do.

Playing the ball down teaches you these things, and allows you to more easily face obstacles when they present themselves to you in tournament play. Besides, posting a score two or three strokes over your normal score can't hurt your handicap too much. And if this tip helps you take another five bucks from your buddies, it was worth it.

He Cheated

Nov. 24, 2004     By     Comments (42)

Gary Player a cheat? What's the world coming to?

Gary Player cheated, so they say:

Recent conversation on RSG about Gary Player. What started off as a fairly innocent question - "Just how did he win all those majors?" - became colored instantly when someone dropped the hammer with two words.

"He cheated."

Gary Player, a common cheat? I didn't want to believe it. This same Gary Player

…is a firm believer in doing things the right way. He recalls a time when he could have gotten away with a minor rules infraction. Instead, he reported his innocent error and was disqualified from a tournament he easily could have won. "If I had not turned myself in, I would have had to live the rest of my life with the knowledge that I had cheated… Much better is the feeling I have today that even though I left a trophy and check behind… I still have my dignity and honor."

What's going on here?

Sorenstam Loses Exempt Status

Nov. 23, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Swedish sensation Sorenstam earned only $29,643 in her 7th year on tour, with 0 top-10s in 22 tournaments. What happened? Oh, we were looking at the wrong Sorenstam.

Swedish sensation Sorenstam earned only $29,643 in her 7th year on tour, with 0 top-10s in 22 tournaments. Coach Henri Ries says "I don't know what happened, she's a talented player." She did well at the University of Arizona.

Indeed Charlotta Sorenstam is talented, but apparently not as talented as her older sister. Charlotta finished 139th on the money list and is now non-exempt on the LPGA Tour.

By the by, here's another impressive statistic for the Sorenstam elder: 18 starts, 8 victories, and 16 top-10s. ESPN may be able to compare Annika and Tiger's last five years, but Tiger's 2004 can't hold a candle to Annika's sweltering season.

Posted in: LPGA Comments (1)
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