From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for June 2010

Tiger Woods plays the blame game with Steve Williams

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If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a golfer who places blame on his caddie for mistakes made during a round. Like most sports, the golfer is the one making the final commitment to the shot. The caddie is merely a sounding-board to bounce ideas off prior to the shot.

Don’t like his suggestion? Then hit the club you feel gives you the best chance to knock it close. Then take your medicine and own up to the errant shot if things don’t go your way. Tiger Woods is pretty good when it comes to doing this. While Steve Williams probably has a bigger say in the club selection, Woods has never been one to place the blame directly on Williams after a round.

But after Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open, Woods left the entire sports world with a couple of cryptic quotes that gave some the impression that Williams was partially to blame for three critical errors that cost Woods a chance at the trophy.

Was Tiger calling Stevie out? Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Jonathan Wall

06/22/2010 at 4:49 pm

St. Jude Classic faces an uphill battle for survival

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There’s a battle brewing behind the scenes on the PGA Tour and it’s one that could force a long-time tour event to make a decision on the viability of continuing as a tour stop in 2011.

We’ve already touched on the issues plaguing one of the oldest stops on tour — the Verizon Heritage — just a couple of months ago. The tournament, like a number of other events, is without a title sponsor for the upcoming year.

That sort of news has become the norm on tour this year, as countless tournaments prepare for an uncertain future in a volatile market. Like the Heritage event, the St. Jude Classic is facing a similar situation. The event, which has been a staple on tour since 1958, is facing an uncertain future without a title sponsor for 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/22/2010 at 2:16 pm

Fast and dry the name of the game at Pebble Beach

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If there’s one thing the USGA loves more than anything else, it’s dry conditions leading up to the week of the U.S. Open. Even better is a forecast that doesn’t include any precipitation to speak of during the tournament week.

Pebble Beach’s already small greens will get even smaller if the winds start to pick up over the next four days. But things could get even more interesting with the news that the course will remain dry through the weekend (weather forecasts are calling for clear skies).

Phil Mickelson is already concerned about the conditions for Thursday’s opening round: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/16/2010 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Pebble Beach, U.S. Open

4 U.S. Open pairings to watch during the first two rounds

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If there’s one attribute that’s absolutely essential for any player hoping to walk away with the U.S. Open trophy this week, it’s an ability to be extremely patient. While it’s easy to live by the mantra “grip it and rip it” most weeks, the country’s open championship doesn’t afford you that luxury.

Four-foot wide fairways and rough up to your knees is the norm for the tournament that’s know as “golf’s ultimate test.” There’s a reason why the winner looks physically and mentally drained by weeks’ end. It’s because the course has most likely left him battered, bruised and ready for a week-long vacation.

Unlike the PGA Championship and British Open where no-name winners are the norm, the U.S. Open is particular when it comes to crowning a champion. Pebble Beach appears to be extremely choosy as well.

Just look at the names of past U.S. Open champions at Pebble Beach: Tiger Woods, Tom Kite, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Now THAT’S a list. Judging by the list of names, it’s safe to assume that we’ll be adding another future hall of famer to the list of champions to win the championship on the famed course.

As we prepare for Thursday’s opening round, here’s a look at four groups to watch during the opening two rounds. Most, if not all, of the players listed in each group have the pedigree to win this week. It’s just a matter of finding out who’s able to be extra-patient and grind out pars. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/16/2010 at 3:38 pm

Posted in Pebble Beach, U.S. Open

Slow play plaguing Pebble, U.S. Open … and it’s only Wednesday

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Pebble Beach is home to a number of number of things, most notably a backdrop that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet, as well as this week’s U.S. Open.

But the course is starting to gain acclaim for something else this week: slow play. We’re not talking about slow play during a tournament round, but rather during the practice rounds leading up to Thursday’s opening round at the famed Monterey Peninsula course.

Tiger Woods spoke of the trouble he had getting in a full round yesterday. “It was long and slow,” Woods said after he cut Tuesday’s practice round due to slow play. “It was just going to be very slow on the back nine.”

Wood wasn’t the only one complaining about the pileup on the course. Geoff Ogilvy, another former U.S. Open winner, decided to practice on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last week to beat the crowds on the course. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/16/2010 at 9:56 am

Posted in Pebble Beach, U.S. Open

“Tiger will have a second career, but personally I think his best golf has definitely been played”

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I find it hard to believe I didn’t see this interview in the New York Post on Saturday, especially considering how critical Johnny Miller was of Tiger Woods prior to his return to Pebble Beach, site of the most dominating U.S. Open victory in the history of the game.

Miller has always been outspoken, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to see him talking critically about the world’s best golfer. He has no problem taking off the gloves and having a go at the players in the field when he’s in the booth.

Prior to the start of Thursday’s first round at Pebble, Miller took the time to speak with the Post about Woods. And let’s just say he was far from complimentary with regards to Tiger’s game. And he also had a dig at Phil Mickelson’s golf career!

This guy just doesn’t know when to quit. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/14/2010 at 11:15 am

Robert Garrigus goes from first to worst in a matter of minutes

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There was a winner and a loser in yesterday’s sudden death playoff at the St. Jude Classic. And then there was Robert Garrigus.

You see, Garrigus had a moment yesterday that would have made even Jean Van de Velde cringe in disgust. On the 18th hole at the TPC at Southwind with a three-shot lead over Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood, all Garrigus needed to do was find ground and putt his ball up the hole for his first tour victory. Simple.

Only it wasn’t so simple Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

06/14/2010 at 10:52 am