From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for January 2011

When will Tiger Woods get his mojo back?

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It used to be that playing with Tiger Woods on the weekend was an intimidating proposition for any golfer. The intimidation factor alone was enough to make a player fold like a cheap lawn chair.

But times have changed. On Saturday, during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Jhonattan Vegas not only match Woods shot-for-shot, he bested him by five shots, something that would have be unheard-of for a tour rookie.

But times have changed. Woods is no longer the black knight with the impenetrable armor; he’s come out looking more human after his personal problems came to light last season, and since then he hasn’t been the same player.

His four-shot collapse at the Target World Challenge was just another sign that Tiger just isn’t Tiger anymore. While he’s still in the midsts of reworking his swing, it’s clear golfers aren’t afraid of him like they used to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jonathan Wall

01/29/2011 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Tiger Woods

Could the Final Four really lure Tiger Woods to the Houston Open?

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Golf tournaments have always had their perks. From free food to luxury cars, tour events have gone into whatever-it-takes mode in recent years to make sure the biggest names in the game are in their field.

But recently, perks haven’t been enough for some events. A few have started to splash the cash, offering multi-million dollar appearance fees for some of the biggest names in the game. For tournaments that are struggling to survive, it’s become a dog-eat-dog world.

But what about the Final Four? While the perk doesn’t come with cash attached to it — could it be enough to lure one of the biggest names in the game to a place he’s never played in the past?

As Golf.com’s latest edition of “Truth and Rumors” points out, an article in CultureMap Houston posed the question if the Final Four being in Houston the same week as the tournament could be enough to lure Woods to an event he’s never played before: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/19/2011 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Elliot Saltman deserves a sucker punch from P.J. Boatwright, Jr.

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If P.J. Boatwright, Jr., one of the game’s foremost authorities on the rules of golf, were around today, I’m pretty sure he would have been one of the first people waiting outside the hearing room in Abu Dhabi to greet Elliot Saltman. With a sucker punch.

You see, P.J. wasn’t the kind of guy who took too kindly to people breaking the rules of golf. And Elliott Saltman will forever be branded a rule-breaker, after he was caught red handed at a European Challenge Tour event in Moscow, Russia, just last year.

His punishment? A three-month ban that was announced earlier today by a committee of eight European Tour officials. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/18/2011 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Padraig Harrington and a plastic surgery addict have a lot in common

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There’s something seriously wrong with Padraig Harrington. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this article by the Irish Golf Desk’s Brian Keogh, titled, ‘Harrington fingers his trigger.’ If the headline wasn’t funny enough, the article itself should be more than enough to get you rolling on the ground laughing.

What’s so funny? Get this: Padraig Harrington is rebuilding his golf swing. AGAIN. And he’s got 12 new swing changes in place. I wish I was kidding. After doing a complete overhaul a couple years back, Harrington is back at it again, reworking his mechanics for the second time in three years. It’s enough to make you sick when you realize this is the same player that won three majors…and then decided to do a complete overhaul.

Here’s the rundown of the changes in his swing, via Keogh: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/15/2011 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ben Crane has something the PGA Tour needs

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He makes millions, not billions. And we all know he’s not the biggest name in the sport. But if there ever was a face to plaster on a future PGA Tour advertisement, it would be Ben Crane’s. He’s golf’s everyman in every sense of the word.

Average in height with little athletic ability, Crane has something most golfers — including Tiger Woods — only wish they had: the ability to be funny. When Crane’s first video went viral, it was an instant hit, attracting fans who weren’t even interested in golf to wonder who the heck the bald guy was in the red spandex.

Well Crane’s back with another video, recapping his pre-round routine, and it’s just as funny as the first one. After watching it a couple of times, it got me wondering why the tour doesn’t consider putting Crane in the spotlight. A strong Christian with an obvious eye for what’s funny, the Beaverton, Ore., native breaks the mold of the stuffy, uptight golfer.

After Tiger-gate, the tour could use some good publicity to draw new fans. Why not use comedy to draw them in? I’m not saying Crane has to be funny on the course; but letting people see his other side allows fans to connect with him on another level. That’s something the tour needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/14/2011 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Justin Rose isn’t a fan of people stealing his thoughts

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Justin Rose wishes you, the golf fan, weren’t so quizzical. Honestly, he wishes you’d just enjoy his game and quit wondering what he’s saying or thinking during a golf round.

At least that’s the way he put it in an op-ed piece that ran in Sports Illustrated this week. In the article, Rose comes to the defense of those players who have no interest in being mic’ed for a PGA Tour round.

If you’ll recall, the Golf Channel went to great lengths — I use that term loosely — to make sure golf fans got an inside look into the inner thoughts of professional golfers by using portable microphones this year during rounds.

There was only one problem; the Golf Channel made sure the microphones were optional, thereby making it very easy for players to get out of wearing a microphone at all. Oops! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

01/12/2011 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized