From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for April 20th, 2010

The Jerry Rice train wreck is coming to a Nationwide stop near you

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With one swing of the club on Thursday afternoon, Jerry Rice changed the Nationwide Tour landscape as we know it. The event in Hayward, California, was his first foray into the professional golf landscape, and boy did it show in his game.

Rice, who claims to be a single-digit handicap, looked out of his league playing against a group of guys trying to grind their way to a spot on the PGA Tour. Before the tournament Rice was quoted as saying he’d be happy if he shot “his jersey number” in the tournament. That didn’t happen in the first round, as Rice shot an 83. His second round, a respectable 76, allowed him to save face.

After the tournament was finished on Sunday, media outlets across the country came in with mixed views on his first tournament appearance. From the Nationwide’s perspective, the event was a huge success. Officials at the tournament stop claimed interest in the event had increased from last year. The same could be said for the attendance numbers at TPC Stonebrae. Other claimed Rice’s debut was a big mistake.

While the Nationwide surely enjoyed an increase in notoriety for the week, the way they went about gaining the spotlight was very questionable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jonathan Wall

04/20/2010 at 5:09 pm

USGA’s decision to broadcast U.S. Open in prime time will only benefit the game

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The idea might sound crazy at first but maybe it’s time the USGA considered the idea of moving the U.S. Open to the West Coast on a permanent basis. Fantastic weather conditions and a picturesque backdrop for television make courses like Pebble Beach the perfect stage for one of the game’s most respected championships.

While moving the major championship to the West Coast is a crazy idea on paper — it would keep some of the greatest courses in the country from hosting the U.S. Open, and that’s never a good thing — if you gave television a choice, they’d probably take it in a matter of seconds.

Why? ratings, of course. After running the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in prime time television to rave reviews — as well as the third-highest ratings in U.S. Open in history — the tournament has once again been handed the same prime time slot for this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

04/20/2010 at 1:27 pm

Ochoa announces retirement from golf; since when did the LPGA become the WTA?

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Update: Ochoa has confirmed, via her website, that she’s retiring from the game on Friday. She’ll give more details at the press conference later in the week.

The world of women’s tennis is one that’s full of uncertainty. One day, Kim Clijsters is winning grand slam titles in her early 20’s; the next she’s announcing her retirement from the sport. Tennis is one of those sports where a player in their mid-20’s is considered over the hill when you compare them to the 16 and 17-year-old kids running around the courts.

The LPGA has never been that way. Players like Laura Davies and Nancy Lopez are the epitome of great golfers playing into their mid-40’s and 50’s. Hell, playing golf is a sport that’s supposed to be played when you’re old and cranky. It gets the men and women out of the house and saves millions of marriages every year. After all, nobody wants to be stuck doing yard-work at that age, right?

But the times of superstar golfers playing into the twilight years appear to be over. Last year, Annika Sorenstam announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 38, an age where most players on the PGA Tour tend to come into their own. (Just look at Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh.)

Now, Lorena Ochoa, just 28-years-old, is rumored to be retiring from the game on Friday. Could this become a new fad on the LPGA Tour? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

04/20/2010 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Lorena Ochoa, LPGA