From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for January 2009

Tiger Woods rocks the game of golf

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11295955Question: What happens when a unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well before the 1999 Phoenix Open, you probably would have figured the immovable object would have won the battle. After all, the object obviously can’t move.

But throw Tiger Woods into the equation as the all powerful unstoppable force and you have a new question on your hands. Woods, who was playing in the Phoenix Open at the TPC at Scottsdale, sprayed his tee shot on the par-five 13th hole well left of the fairway into the desert. The cameras caught the ball descending down to the earth, only to watch it take a bounce and ricochet off a large boulder. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jonathan Wall

01/31/2009 at 8:00 am

Is Rory McIlroy better than Tiger was at 19? Mark O’Meara thinks so

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Well I’m a bit late on this story, but I figure now is a better time as ever.

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to hear such tosh comments from a golfing great. After firing an opening-round 77 at the Desert Classic, Mark O’Meara, a very good friend of Tiger’s, made the comment that he thought 19-year-old golfer Rory McIlroy was a better golfer at his age than Tiger was at 19.

“Ball-striking wise at 19, he’s probably better than what Tiger was at 19. His technique I think is better. Certainly Tiger has developed his game and swing over the years and made modifications to be able to hit the ball pin-high, but Rory is already doing that and he’s 19, so he’s already a step ahead,” said O’Meara, 52, after his opening-round 77.

Everyone dreams of matching Jack Nicklaus in his prime against Tiger circa 2008 to see who would win. But what about matching McIlroy against 19-year-old Tiger? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/30/2009 at 4:15 pm

Mickelson flops in FBR first round

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Recall for a second the number of times in your life that you’ve built something up only to have the high expectations crushed in a matter of minutes. While Phil Mickelson’s round didn’t last a couple of minutes (the highlights definitely did), his opening round of the 2009 season was far from memorable.

There was a lot of talk during the off-season that Phil needed to get back to working on his short game after he took significant time to work on the rest of his game last year. You could see the strides he was making, most of all with the driver, but something seemed amiss. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time, but as the year wore on you could definitely tell he was spending less time working around the greens with Dave Pelz.

Like Tiger, Phil makes the first round of his season must-watch television. I say that because he always tries to tinker with his swing during the winter months. You expect some new wrinkle to the game. I can assure you that there was no new wrinkle in that first round. Call it rust or nerves playing in Phoenix — but there’s something missing from Phil’s game. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/30/2009 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Phil Mickelson

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Weekend in Review: Sleeper in Qatar; Collapse at the Hope

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Move along, there’s nothing more to see here.

With the exception of Steve Stricker’s monumental collapse on Sunday where he tripled the 7th hole and then quadrupled the 10th, most of the weekend’s action was pretty tame.

You had Alvaro Quiros winning the Qatar Masters by three, and Pat Perez swooping in for the win at the Bob Hope. Granted Perez did have to hit the green safely at 18 for the win, but the fact is, is that I just don’t consider the Hope a real tournament any longer.

For one, the tournament is 90 holes. And I’m sorry, but these types of tournaments just don’t grind my gears any more. I know there are some out there that enjoy seeing the celebrities, but if you really want to make a tournament like this, I’d recommend leaving it to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am or just to Pro-Am’s in general. It just doesn’t make much sense to me anymore.

This week brings the FBR Open, the return of Phil Mickelson to the field, and the return of 72 holes of golf. Hooray for tournaments that don’t have seven hour rounds!

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/26/2009 at 9:02 pm

Welcome to the big show, Mr. Ishikawa

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188291At 17 years of age I got the chance to experience: I got the opportunity to go to Augusta National and watch the Masters in person.

The experience was beyond belief, and for being just 17 years of age, I felt like there wasn’t anything in the world that could better the rush of seeing Amen Corner in living color.

Well apparently there is something that could beat walking the hallowed grounds of Augusta National, and that’s getting to play the course at the ripe age of 17. To my chagrin, that invite from Augusta never came. But for a young 17 year old hotshot named Ryo Ishikawa, he gets to live out every high school golfers dream by teeing it up with Tiger and the gang at the 2009 Masters.

You know sometimes life just isn’t fair. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/23/2009 at 5:31 pm

The Qatar Masters: A good golf trip spoiled

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r219453_860488Well that was fun!

I figured I’d take the time today to discuss the maiden voyage for two of the PGA’s best players and how this could be the wave of the future for the game of golf. Well that story will need to be tabled for another week.

Boo Weekley and Brandt Snedeker made a mess of their first start on the European Tour, as both missed the cut in rare fashion. Weekley, who’s already made it 2 for 2 on made cuts this year, and only missed five cuts last season, seemed to look out of place on the Doha course. Maybe it was the jet lag or the the lack of port-a-potties on the course; whatever it was, he didn’t look his usual self. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/23/2009 at 4:28 pm

So what’s Whisper Rock’s secret?

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whisperrock Just to give you an idea of how exclusive Whisper Rock Golf Course is, one doesn’t have to look any further than Google’s photo files to get the point.

In my attempt to find a photo to go along with this article, I spent the better part of 20 minutes (I kid you not) trying like hell to find a decent photo of the secluded Scottsdale course.

Google photos, the one stop shop for anything, brought up a total of ten decent photos. So I tried Flickr, the photo capital of the world. Well Flickr had the same number of photos of the course as Sergio Garcia has major championships — which would be exactly ZERO.

Yep, Whisper Rock is a pretty secretive course.

But what makes the course the biggest secret in golf? Golf World’s John Hawkins had the pleasure of going down to the course to answer that question for us, and boy does he ever shed some light on the subject. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/22/2009 at 1:34 am

Posted in Country Club life, PGA Tour

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