Friday, June 17, 2005

Answers you seek, within you will find them: I'll give it a try, though.

Wire to wire: Leading wire to wire is rare, particularly in majors. I think out of his 18 professional major titles, Nicklaus won something like 4 or 5 of them wire to wire, and there aren't many who even approach his ability. So who cares who's leading after Rd. 1? Because it's still the only way to tell who's got the best chance to be in the hunt. The saying goes, you never win the tournament on Thursday, but you can lose it. They're just trying to get in position and try to improve a little every day. Whythe media breathlessly reports anything, though, you'll have to ask them. It has nothing to do with golf, though. Or sports. They're just naturally breathless.

Course setup: There's nothing wrong with making the course play hard, and specific holes play really hard, but there's a point of diminishing returns for enjoyable viewing, and the USGA is attempting to entertain viewers either at the event or on tv. When the best in the world are playing, I want to see a tough course that still rewards good shotmaking. If I wanted to watch someone five putt, I'd play golf with Eno. I don't want to see a train wreck. It may be fair that everyone on the train dies, but it's no fun to watch.

Daly: He only wishes he could win once a year. I think he's got maybe four or five wins in almost 15 years (two of them majors, though, so that helps). Despite being exceptionally talented, Daly has struggled in many ways. He's popular because he's an everyman, blue collar, red-neck, who pounds the ball nine miles and, most importantly, is friendly to the fans and never forgets that they've made him successful beyond what his record would have earned him. He's done a lot of things wrong in his life, on and off tour, but he never fails to get another "second" chance.

Tiger: He's the furthest thing from a robot, at least as far as his game goes. He's all over the course, hitting drives into the worst possible places, then hitting miraculous recovery shots. He's also a walking mouthful of cliches and as personable as a robot in his relatioship with fans. Can you blame him? If he stops to speak to one person or sign one autograph, he could literally be there for hours. Would you stop to chat with someone and risk offending four or five hundred when you walk away? Probably not. Mickelson handles it better, but it's an impossible situation for both of them. And Mickelson comes across as a dope, with his aw shucks smile and over the top politeness, but he gives more real answers and insightful comments to reporters in a minute than Tiger will in a year. He pays for it too, since not everyone wants to hear an untested sound bite.

Why see it live: I can't answer for everyone, but for me it's to see the course. They look totally different live than on tv. And I can't get out of work to watch tv. But as far as actually seeing the event, tv coverage is much better than trying to watch it live, so I almost never attend these things on the weekend when it will matter.

1 comment:

Razor said...

Thank you. I never thought about going there to see the course. Then again, I know as much about golf as moon landings.

I did watch a bit of the final round yesterday. Goosen - what the hell happened to him? I was personally pulling for Gore, if only to see him doing the post-match interview, cheeseburger in hand.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Golf may be tremendously difficult, but a sport, it ain't.