From the Rough

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Archive for November 2010

Somebody swapped Rory McIlroy’s shampoo for a bottle of household bleach

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This was the hairdo Rory McIlroy showed up with for this week’s European Tour event in Hong Kong.

Surely this wasn’t done on purpose, right? I mean, I thought the frosted tips looks went out with ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys? I guess I was wrong.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

11/16/2010 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Rory McIlroy

PGA Tour players prepared to ‘backtrack’ on ‘designated event’ proposal for 2011

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Well this could get ugly. After coming to an agreement earlier this year on a one-in-four (or five) format that was supposed to be implemented in 2011, it appears that the proposal will be “voluntary” next season.

As Golfweek’s Sean Martin reported yesterday evening, the proposal will be decided upon during meeting on Nov. 15-16. During that time, players from the PGA Tour policy board will come to a final decision on whether or not to add the one-in-four to the mandatory rules for next season. At this point, it doesn’t look promising like a promising addition to next year’s schedule.

“It’s been passed, but I think we’re going to backtrack on it,” Davis Love III, a Policy Board member, said when asked to respond by Golfweek. Mixed reviews from players and tournament officials led to the decision, Love said.

“Designated events” would’ve required the PGA Tour’s top players to play one or two of a handful of pre-determined tournaments that have struggled to attract stars in recent years.

The proposal likely will be voluntary next season, but it might be implemented in 2012 if players do not expand their schedule to support weaker events, sources told Golfweek.

You have to wonder what Tim Finchem is thinking about the possibility of waiting another year for the one-in-four. Even if the policy is voluntary next year, how many players do you really think will try and play an event like (insert your own small tournament) next season? More importantly, how many of those players will be the top 5 or 6 in the OWGR? I’m guessing maybe one or two at the very most. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/16/2010 at 12:07 pm

Golf Channel’s PGA Tour pitch? Controversy sells in 2011

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Take a look at the Golf Channel’s commercial promoting the PGA Tour’s 2011 season (sorry, this was recorded on my iPhone). No, this isn’t somebody’s idea of a joke; this is the actual commercial that ran across my television screen, on Sunday afternoon, during the Children’s Miracle Network Classic (that’s a mouthful).

So, what do we make of it? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/15/2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Tiger Woods

It’s official: Sergio Garcia is still a head case

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It’s been a year to forget for Sergio Garcia. While Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and a host of European players made their move on the world rankings this year, the 30-year-old Garcia has plunged into golf oblivion the likes of which he’s never seen before.

Besides the obvious dip in form and a world golf ranking of 70, Garcia also joined Colin Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup team this year … as a vice-captain. Suffice it to say, it’s been one of those seasons where Garcia probably wishes he could hop into The DeLorean time machine and travel to the start of the 2011 season. While he has shown shades of greatness in recent months, he’s followed up good rounds with bad, which has only heaped more pressure on the Spaniard.

The biggest problem of all isn’t Garcia’s game; rather, it’s his mental game that’s turned the once confident Garcia into a total head case. Case in point: the 6-under 65 Garcia fired during Friday’s second round of the JBWere Masters. Instead of going into the interview room with confident thoughts, Garcia was already second-guessing himself to the point where you know he’d fall on his face in round three.

“It’s slowly getting better,” Garcia said, “but I can go out there tomorrow and shoot 75.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/13/2010 at 3:03 am

Posted in Sergio Garcia

Arnold Palmer questions Tiger Woods’ decision to tinker with his swing

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Arnold Palmer was always a one-swing kinda guy, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he had something to say on Tiger Woods’ decision to tinker with his golf swing for the umpteenth time in his career.

As Randall Mell reported earlier today on the Golf Channel, Palmer finds the decision almost comical: “I just sort of giggle,” Palmer said. “I think Tiger has a basically sound swing, and he should stick to it. Always changing, it just takes away from something that is really very good.”

While it’s Woods’ decision to rework his swing, you have to wonder if all these changes are necessary. Woods has been a notorious tinkerer over the years, causing headaches for a number of world-class teachers, namely Hank Haney. It’s a wonder he can still function with so many swing thoughts going through his head. Current coach, Sean Foley claims he’s merely simplifying Woods’ swing and thinking; it’s too bad the results haven’t added up to anything. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/12/2010 at 2:15 am

Tiger Woods searches for new sponsors in China

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You just knew there had to be an ulterior motive behind Tiger’s decision to play in Shanghai last week. While he obviously wanted to make a splash in one of the biggest golf markets in the world, his main reason for going to China was to find asponsor to replace Gatorade, Accenture and AT&T — three of Tiger’s biggest backers before his private life became public at the end of last year.

“We’re certainly considering Chinese companies as they are certainly considering (me),” he told reporters during his hit-and-miss performance at the $7 million WGC event.

“We’re looking at, and are considering all opportunities as we always do. That hasn’t changed.

“It’s just a matter of finding the right fit and believing in the company and making sure that I can help them and we see eye-to-eye in that regard,” he added.

Woods appeared to be on a charm offensive in Shanghai after his former clean-cut image in the family-oriented country was tainted by headlines about his extra marital affairs.

Given Tiger’s popularity in the country — fans in China could care less about his extra-marital affairs — and the rise of the golf in the country, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Woods land at least a sponsor or two in the coming months.

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/10/2010 at 8:10 pm

Posted in PGA Tour, Tiger Woods

Has the PGA Tour lost its luster?

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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for the PGA Tour’s brass. First, there was the whole Turning Stone ordeal that ended with the upstate New York resort leaving the tour schedule in 2011. While the Finchem obviously couldn’t open up a date for the event — the dates two weeks before and after major championships were already booked with long-standing events — the departure of another tour stop meant there was going to be another hole in the Fall series schedule.

And with at least nine tournaments still sponsor-less in 2011, the last thing the tour needed was more negative publicity. As much as Tim Finchem has tried to paint a rosy picture of the tour’s future, it’s clear there are some major question marks out there that need to be answered.

Namely, what kind of ammo is the tour going to bring to the table next year when they meet with network execs to discuss a new television contract? That, along with the sponsor questions and a lack of interest in the FedEx Cup, have left golf’s biggest tour in a very precarious position.

The fans and the sponsors aren’t the only ones noticing the change in the tour landscape. Players have started to question the importance of having full-time status on the PGA Tour. And when the players start to waffle on the richest cash cow in the sport … well you know there’s something wrong with the way things are being run. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

11/10/2010 at 7:13 pm

Posted in PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy