Category Archives: Golf

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The Worst and Best of Times

It was the worst of times…then 7 days later, the best.

Last week, Kyle Stanley from Gig Harbor suffered a legendary meltdown. Stanley, a 24 year old PGA pro had a 5-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. In fact, he still had a 3-stroke lead standing on the 18th tee. A waterlogged triple-bogey later, he found himself in a tie with Brent Snedeker, who won in a playoff.

Those meltdowns can have long-lasting effects on any player, much less a young guy looking for confidence.

Stanley showed what he was made of only a week later. On Super Bowl Sunday, Stanley was 8 strokes down. Stanley made five brilliant birdies in the last 6 holes to win his first PGA Tour event. Certainly, most of the sporting world was watching the Super Bowl. Regardless, of the lack of attention, Stanley made a huge statement that may define his future success.

It takes a lot of courage to be a professional athlete. Courage most of us who never have had the opportunity can even comprehend. What Stanley did in his “bounce back” showed a tremendous amount of courage and intestinal fortitude. Maybe it’s easier to do when you’re 24 years old, than if you’re 34 or 44. Doesn’t matter. He could have let that memory linger on for years or decades. He let it last less than week.

It definitely was, for Kyle Stanley, the best of times…

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

PGA Recap – USA Golfers Blow Another Chance at Major

I feel terrible for Dustin Johnson.

The ruling of grounding his club in a sand trap penalized him 2 strokes and cost him a chance to compete in the playoff with eventual winner Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. I thought it was a horrible situation. The “sand trap” in question was outside the ropes; had been trampled on by the crowds; and quite frankly didn’t even look like a sand trap! Even Sir Nick Faldo in the booth said he wouldn’t have thought it was if he was playing it. Unfortunately, the local rules which were clearly disseminated (or not so clearly for Johnson) stated that anything that even looked like sand in this unique course with over 1,200 sand traps, was to be considered sand. I’m only thankful Johnson didn’t make the 5-footer for par that would have won him his first major for about 7 seconds before even worse tragedy.

In the end though, Johnson can only blame himself. He needed a par to win and to make par on the brutal 18th hole, you need to put it in the fairway. He didn’t. Not only that, he was way right outside the ropes. This was his opportunity. He didn’t have to be long (which for him he could have gone with a 3-wood); just straight. Opportunity lost.

The other American in the fray, Bubba Watson, is a great story. Known as an erratic, long-hitter, he reminds me of the Kevin Costner character in “Tin Cup,” a little. He played a tremendous final round and found himself in a 3-hole playoff with Kaymer. After taking a 0ne-stroke lead after the first hole, he watched Kaymer make a terrific birdie on 17 to square the match. Watson held an advantage after the drives as aymer had a poor lie. All Watson has to do is work the ball up the right side (his lie wasn’t great either) and put the pressure on the German. Instead, he goes for the oin, comes up 30 yards short, and plops it in the water. Kaymer plays smart in and wins the tournament. Opportunity lost for Watson.

Martin Kaymer from Germany takes the PGA. Loius Oosthuizen from South Africa took the British Open. Graheme McDowell from Ireland is the US Open champ. Only Phil Mickelson can raise the USA banner in majors this year with his dramatic win in the Masters. Americans were all over the leader boards but made terrible gaffes when the pressure was on in most. A learning experience for many of them. This is now truly an international game with golfers from China, South Korea, and all over the globe competing as the best in the world.

Next up – the Fed Ex Cup finish (led by South African Ernie Els) and the Ryder Cup. Should be a fun end of the season. Let’s hope the American can find a way to keep their composure under pressure.

P.S. Tiger Woods was bad over the weekend again, but not as bad as the previous week. Expect hi to be named to the Ryder Cup team by captain Corey Pavin. He’s too good in match play where spectacular once in a while is rewarded more than in medal play.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Don’t Look Now, But…

The Mariners are 4-1 under new skipper Daren Brown. What if he goes 30-13? Is he a consideration for the permanent job? I know it’s early, but just saying…

My call for the PGA championship….Dustin Johnson. He learned from a horrendous U.S. Open Sunday. He’s a big hitter and if he can find his putter, watch out.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

PGA Championship – Moving Day

Saturday is “moving day” in the Majors. They are out early finishing the 2nd round due to fog delay yesterday.

  • I’m watching Ernie Els park his Mercedes and walk out with his cadie. Funny that his caddie is Dan Quinn, who is a former NHL player and a tremendous golfer who competes on the celebrity tour.
  • My picks will probably make the cut, but I’m liking how Matt Kuchar is playing. He has had a fine year – currently #7 on the Ryder Cup list. I also like Dustin Johnson. This guy has been solid at the other Major championships. He might be due. Brendon De Jonge just shot a -6 for the 2nd round catapulting him into contention.
  • Tiger has rebounded and stands at -3 for the tourney. This could e an interesting weekend if Tiger goes low today.
  • Whistling Straights appears to be just a brutal course. The 18th hole is a treacherous 500-yard Par 4. If it comes down to 4-5 players in the last 3 groups on Sunday, that hole will play huge factor.

I love the majors. Looking forward to a lot of great golf…

PGA – Round Almost 1 Done

Fog made the start of the PGA a problem so the first round isn’t quite in the books. My picks – Bo Van Pelt and Jeff Overton – didn’t necessarily burn things up and both finished +1, which is 5 shots off the lead. Still in contention. Tiger and Phil were better at -1. Bubba Watson and a guy I’ve never heard from are tie for first. Watson is decent, but I don’t see it. If Tiger and/or Phil play well tomorrow, they may be the favorites going into the weekend. Should be fun…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Woods and Mickelson Not Ready for PGA Next Week

Who would have thunk it?

The WGC – Bridgestone Invitational is a minor major. It brings in the top 80 golfers in the world the week prior to the final major championship, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straights. This tournament in Akron is a huge event and Woods has dominated this course, finishing first 7 out of 10 total events; and in the top 10 in all of them. This weekend, he finished an untidy 78th place after a 77. A 77!

Actually, he wasn’t the only major player to be lousy. Woods is the world #1 and closely behind him is Phil Mickelson. Mickelson was in the hunt to win this tournament yesterday and then the sky fell in as he shot a 78 on Sunday to finish tied for 46th.

Woods and Mickelson carding a 77 and 78 respectively in a major golf tournament the week before a major. Crazy. Makes you think one of them might win it next week. My money is NOT on Tiger. He was lousy, horrible, find all the bad adjectives you want. I know there are people out there who are tired of Woods and thinks he gets too much press. Here’s the deal. Without him the PGA is nothing. He makes the whole thing go for non-golfers. I would watc anyway…most others don’t. He’s what Lance Armstrong is to cycling and Michael Phelps to swimming, only bigger. Mickelson for his part was set to overtake him as the #1 golfer in the world with a good showing. Phil started falling apart late in Round 3 and it continued on today.

These guys need to get their act together. Golf needs them, especially Tiger. Phil will rebound, maybe this week. Tiger will too, but maybe not until next year.

My early pick for the PGA? Two names – Jeff Overton and Bo Van Pelt. Overton has been really solid all year and is a long hitter. Van Pelt has also been good and finished tied for 3rd this week after a final round 67. Neither has won a major and this is becoming a trend. If I were to pick a big name to win the PGA, I will go with Phil. Lefty has won this championship before and knows how to get it done.

More on the championship later this week…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

I’m Baaack!

OK….I took a little vacation!

On Wednesday, I decided to do something I never had before….have an unscheduled surgery. Right out of the blue! My appendix and I are now parted and I’ve been convalescing watching lots of golf, Sportcenter, and reruns of NCIS.

Let’s talk golf…

Watching the US Seniors Open at Sahalee. Would have loved to be there in person, but this appendix thing got in the way. Friday was the day that the big names moved to the top of the leaderboard. Bernhard Langer leads by 2 shots, but big names like Loren Roberts, Tom Watson, and hometwon hero Freddie Couples loom. Langer looks tough. He won last week in the British Open and was terrific yesterday. He is a formwr 2-time Masters winner and knows how to play in championships.

My rooting interest is for Fred, but he needs to pick it up today. Loren Roberts is an excellent putter and will definitely stay in contention. Also watch for Tom Kite to make a run…he plays well in the Northwest.

At this point, I give the edge to Langer. Let’s see how “moving day” at Sahalee unfolds…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Louis Louis….

Wow…who would have thunk it?

If you would have heard that someone won the British Open by 7 strokes, the last name you would have guessed was Louis Oosthuizen. That’s because even the most ardent golf enthusiast never heard of the South African.

He took the lead on Friday on #7 ad never looked back. Unlike all the other big names, he looked like he was playing a round of golf with his pals on a cool Sunday afternoon. Instead, he was playing on the greatest course in the world on the biggest stage. At 27 years old, it’s odd that this talent hasn’t surfaced before. It will be fun to see if Louis is a one-hit wonder, or if he can parlay this into more wins and major challenges.

I three-putt on my predictions all weekend. Congratulations to King Louis on taming St. Andrews and the top golfers of the world. Last chance for a major championship for Tiger and the gang next month at the PGA at Whistling Straights…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Moving Day at St Andrews

FORE!!!!

One of my favorite things to do on British Open week is getting up early and watching The Open on TV. It’s my World Cup. It’s still windy, but looks playable. U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell is at -5 and in the hunt. The last two times players have won both the US and British Opens were in 2000 (Tiger Woods) and 1982 (Tom Watson). Don’t be surprised to see McDowell in contention tomorrow.

((Hey look – Phil finally makes a putt this weekend))

I love having Tom Watson and Paul Azinger in the booth with Mike Tirico on ESPN. As much as I loved watching Watson play as a leader last year, he is very goo as an analyst , and Azinger is brilliant.

As I watch this morning I can only think of one thing – I just love The Open.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved