Chip Shots from the Weekend…
This weekend the PGA Tour looked more like an episode of Judge Judy than it did a golf tournament. Scott McCarron, in a less than classy move calls out Phil Mickelson for “cheating.” McCarron is on the Players Advisory Council which is supposed to help the players and the tour. Do you really think that was a good move Scott? I would hope that a player in his position would know better than to use the word “cheater” when talking about a fellow player. That happened on Friday and Scott hasn’t been heard from since. Do you think maybe he got a call from Tim Finchem telling him to shut up? I bet the next time we hear from McCarron, if we ever do, he won’t be using that word again. Oh yea, McCarron missed the cut.
Cheers to Phil for handling the situation with more diplomacy than was given him. Now if he could just hit some fairways. He was tied for 75th in driving accuracy, so much for turning his weakness into a strength.
The golf at the Farmers Insurance Open (Torrey Pines to me) was much less interesting than the Phil/Scott debate. Ben Crane hung on to win by a stroke and he didn’t even know it. He’s not a scoreboard watcher and it was his playing partner, Ryuji Imada that informed him he had won. If any of his close competitors had made at least one shot coming down the stretch instead of throwing up on themselves it might have been a different story. Crane has two reputations: one he is the sincerest, nicest man on tour, the other he is one of the slowest players on tour. He has made an effort to speed up but I could hardly tell. I counted five re-grips, six waggles and four head turns over one shot. I don’t want to say watching him play is like watching grass grow, but I swear I saw some blades move while he was putting.
The European Tour had another banner week. The leader board was dotted with highly ranked, popular players. Robert Karlsson sizzled with a 65 to come from behind to beat Alvaro Quiros and Lee Westwood in Qatar. Westwood had a difficult week. He cracked his driver face and needed a replacement and lost his temper at least twice on the course. On the 18th on Saturday after hitting a fat shot from the rough he took a massive swing in anger that tore a huge divot from the rough. On Sunday he was so frustrated that after his putt on 17 veered past the hole he flipped his putter in anger onto the green.
If you didn’t catch any of The Nationwide Tour’s Michael Hill New Zealand Open you missed a good show. The golf was good, Robert Gates hung on to win after his six shot lead dwindled to one but the star of the day was the course. The Hills Golf Course in Queenstown, New Zealand stole the show. With mountains as the backdrop, severe natural wastelands bordering some holes and the wind blowing at 25 mph it looked to be as exotic a course as any of the pros play.