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Posts Tagged ‘PGA/LPGA’

Did You Ever Know That You’re My Heroooo

Posted by Matt on June 26, 2008

I have made it clear around these parts over the past year about what I like and what I dislike. For instance, I don’t like the Shitsburgh Steelers, the Louisville Cardinals, or Andy Katz. Conversely, some of what I do like consists of Ric Flair, Erin Andrews, beer, and this guy, John Daly. I have explained as to why I like Long John so much and why most every other blue collar golf fan likes him, too (link). He carries all of the traits that golf’s elitists hate, he’s been sponsored by Hooter’s, and he’s friendly to his fans.

But if that is not convincing enough of John Daly’s awesomeness, you’ll find no better video evidence than here. If you’re not a believer now, you’re a lost soul because at a pro-am tournament in Grand Blanc, Michigan Long John proceeds to tee off using a 24 ounce Budweiser can. And not just any Budweiser, Kid Rock’s tall boy (and I believe Kid Rock goes on to drink it).

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Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Tiger Woods Is Inhuman

Posted by Matt on June 18, 2008

The legend is growing by the hour, only days after the man they call Tiger gutted out a one stroke, playoff victory over Rocco Mediate in the U.S. Open that included 91 holes of golf.

Woods had arthroscopic knee surgery on April 15, 2008 and had not played a full round of 18 in two months when he laced up his Nike golf cleats on Day One of the championship of this great nation. After grinding out a victory while wincing along the way, speculation began to rise regarding the severity of Tiger’s injury.

But then came the news. The news that Woods would be ending the season to undergo a third operation on the notorious left knee. Surprisingly enough, that wasn’t the surprising part.

Woods said on his Web site that he will have surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament. He also wrote that he needs time to rehabilitate a double stress fracture of his left tibia, which he said was discovered just before the Memorial Tournament in late May.

And he revealed that he originally ruptured the ACL in 2007 while running at his home in Orlando after the British Open. He said he decided not to have surgery at that point, and he went on to win five of the next six events he entered (through his Target World Challenge in December).

If Tiger Woods’ domination was not demoralizing enough already, the revelations that came to quiet the critics of the legitimacy of his pain is salt to the wounds of all those unable to conquer the number one golfer in the world. Woods has won 11 of the last 14 events that he has entered worldwide, including a streak at one time of nine in a row, while finishing second twice and fifth once in the only three events he entered in that he did not win during that stretch.

Tiger won the U.S. Open a mere two months after arthroscopic knee surgery and a diagnosis of a double stress fracture in his left tibia a month later, as well as while playing on an ACL that has been ruptured since late July of last year. Yet a wounded Woods could not, and would not, be stopped. Not even by medical professionals.

“The week of Memorial [two weeks before the Open], I thought there was no chance he could play,” Haney said in a telephone interview from his home in Texas. “The doctors told him he needed to be on crutches for three weeks and then three more weeks of inactivity, and then you start rehabbing.

“But Tiger looked the guy in the eye and said, ‘I’m playing in the U.S. Open and I’m going to win.’ Then he started putting on his shoes and told me we’re going to go practice. It’s just incredible.”

Woods, bum knee and all, was even bold enough to privately predict a victory in the U.S. Open with a truncated training regiment and a disbelieving swing coach.

Haney said the extent of Woods’ preparation for the U.S. Open was hitting four or five practice balls at a time before heading back to a golf cart.

“He couldn’t walk,” Haney said. “The 50 balls I’m talking about him hitting included the first 15 warm-up wedges. You’re talking about 30 full swings a day.”

“Tiger has such an incredible pain tolerance,” Haney said. “When he said he was going to play, I knew he was going to play. The thing that concerned me most was, was he going to be able to walk? Was it just going to deteriorate so much that he wasn’t going to be able to swing at all?

“And that didn’t take into account the issue that he hadn’t had any preparation. He didn’t get to play. He didn’t get to do anything. That was the concern. But Tiger has such an incredible pain tolerance.”

“In my mind, I honestly thought he was just going to give it his best effort, his 100 percent best effort all the way up until the tournament. I knew he wasn’t going to bag it two weeks before. He was going to hope for a miracle until the last possible point that he couldn’t make it. In my mind, that was the most likely scenario: He just would try until the end and then come to the realization that he couldn’t go. When he canceled out of the Memorial, he was in real bad shape then. He couldn’t have played in the U.S. Open then. He couldn’t even move.”

When Earl Woods says that he used to tell Tiger he’ll never find anyone more mentally tough than he is during the newest Nike commercial, it is hard not to believe him. When Tiger says he’s taking the rest of the 2008 season off for rehabilitation yet swing coach Hank Haney says he’ll be “better than ever” upon his return, it is hard not to believe him. Yet it is hard not to believe that the ten month hiatus is actually to allow Woods to fly back to his home planet of Krypton, recharging his powers.

Because in this world, Tiger Woods is inhuman.

Linkage: ESPN.com & ESPN.com

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

“…The Most Important Thing In His Life Is Getting Drunk”

Posted by Matt on March 12, 2008

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World renowned swing coach Butch Harmon — the man who helped kick start Tiger’s career — has reportedly dropped client John Daly because, well, apparently Long John likes the sauce. Shocking, I know.

“My whole goal for him was he’s got to show me golf is the most important thing in his life,” Harmon said from his golf school in Las Vegas. “And the most important thing in his life is getting drunk.”

Now if you were to build a shrine here at TNB, Ric Flair would be flanked by our namesake, Erin Andrews and, undoubtedly, this guy. Despite his shortcomings, I am a John Daly fan and I’ll freely admit it. He’s had his problems but doesn’t back away from them and I like Daly because he’s a a man’s golfer, because of his unorthodox style, and because he just seems like a nice guy to his fans and charities.

But apparently what makes Daly so popular among the blue collar fans also makes him quite unpopular among golf’s elitists. Last weekend, on a sponsor’s exemption in the PODS Championship at Innisbrook, Daly spent a two-and-a-half hour rain delay at the Hooters Corporate tent only to emerge with Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Jon Gruden as his new caddie, finishing with a 77 on Thursday and an 80 on Friday to miss the cut.

Not phased by his poor performance, Long John spent his off day on Saturday not practicing, but boozing at Hooters’ “Owl Nest” at the event and signing autographs for fans that included a John Hancock on the backside of a lovely co-ed. Listen, I get it, golf is the “gentleman’s game.” But anyone who watched the movie Happy Gilmore knows that shenanigans like Daly’s (or Gilmore’s) can garner quite the cult following. Blue collar fans — myself included — eat this stuff up, building Daly up to be a lager-than-life superhuman a la Saturday Night Live’s Bill Brasky character.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions about the man but I am most definitely a fan. If you get the chance to assume an easy ‘beach read’ this summer I highly recommend Daly’s autobiography, My Life In and Out of the Rough, and if we ever have a book club here at TNB, John’s book would undeniably be a charter member.

Linkage: NBC Sports

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Tiger Must Have Skipped The Honda Classic

Posted by Matt on March 3, 2008

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Tiger must have skipped the Honda Classic because somebody else won and that somebody was Ernie Els. Easy E finished one stroke ahead of Luke Donald thanks to a Final Round 67 to take home the win which, surprisingly enough to me, was Big Ern’s first on the PGA Tour in four years. Obviously Els participates overseas a lot and the past four years has seen Tiger rise to dominance unknown to man, but as renowned as Ernie is, four years is quite a long time between wins and all it took was Woods taking a weekend off. Els pocketed a cool $990,000 for the win and obviously has Tiger to thank for not showing up.

Linkage: ESPN.com

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Poulter: “I was misquoted.”

Posted by Matt on January 31, 2008

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Poulter:

Yesterday, before Dubai Desert Classic:

“Don’t get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven’t played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger.”

Today, 5-strokes off the lead and tied for 43rd after First Round of Dubai Desert Classic:

“I was misquoted.”

Link is below.  You decide.

Linkage: ESPN.com

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Ian Poulter Has Dug His Own Grave

Posted by Matt on January 30, 2008

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The douche pictured above is some British golfer named Ian Poulter. Never heard of him? Good, neither had I.

On the cusp of the Dubai Desert Classic in the gorgeous UAE, Poulter decided to light a fire under the ass of a guy who just throttled the field by nine strokes at the Buick Classic last weekend by saying he was the only one that could challenge Woods on the tour and that Tiger would win the Master’s but when it came to the U.S. Open, “You can put me down for that one.”

Real smart, Ian. Let’s see how that has worked out for people in the past:

2006 WCG-Accenture Matchplay Championships:

Steven Ames was paired with Tiger Woods in the opening round of the matchplay style tournament and was asked by one reporter what he thought about his chances of being the world’s #1:

“Anything can happen,” Ames said with a smile, “especially where he is hitting the ball.” –Steven Ames

Result: Tiger went on to crush Ames 9 and 8 (up nine holes with eight holes to go), which means they stopped playing after 10 holes because it wasn’t possible for Ames to comeback. This is the quickest anyone can be defeated in matchplay style. When asked about Ames’ comments after the match Tiger responded merely, “9 and 8.”

2007 Wachovia Championships:

Rory Sabbatini took a one stroke lead over Tiger in to his Final Round pairing with him but ended up losing to Woods by one. Rory had this to say about him after the round — despite losing — when asked how Tiger ‘looked’ on the course:

“…he looked as beatable as ever.” –Rory Sabbatini

Result – 2007 Bridgestone Invitational At Firestone: Rory Sabbatini again took a one stroke lead over Tiger in to a Final Round pairing with the best on the planet and, thanks to his previous comments, Sabbatini was embarrassed by Woods to the tune of 9 strokes on the day and an 8 stroke defeat for the tournament. Rory has since pulled out of the 2007 Target World Challenge, Tiger’s 16-man tournament to support his foundation, which gave Sabbatini a permanent seat on Woods’ shit list and caused quite a stir this past December.

2008 Dubai Desert Classic:

Nobody knows for sure what will happen but I don’t understand why the young players continue to insert foot in mouth. Poulter has now found himself in a similar situation and one can only hope the Golf Gods will smite Ian in the manner they did Rory — by giving him a lead but pairing him with Tiger on Sunday

Result: I’ll take Tiger by 10.

Linkage: ESPN.com

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Anna Rawson Is TNB’s New Favorite Golfer

Posted by Matt on December 5, 2007

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Apparently Anna Rawson (MySpace), pictured above, will actually be teeing it up on the links for the LPGA this fall meaning Anna has quickly become every man’s dream girl: an attractive golfer.

Anna will join other lookers such as Paula Creamer, Erica Blasberg, and Natalie Gulbis — who has now been dethroned as T.N.B.’s favorite golfer (sorry Nat, you can’t date Ben Roethlisberger and be in good favor on this site) — to form the makings of the most attractive LPGA field to date:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 18 Comments »

Just For The Record

Posted by Matt on August 6, 2007

Just for the record, my most recent blurb on Tiger Woods, When Will They Learn?, was written around 1:00PM EST today and has an official timestamp (was in the queue) of 4:30PM EST.

At 5:07PM EST, ESPN.com’s very own Gene Wojciechowski dropped this article: Dissing Woods hasn’t been the soundest strategy – it is a decent read in its own right.

Now I am not, by any means, accusing one of ESPN’s columnists for plagiarism so let that be known immediately; I am just having a little fun with an odd coincidence and, you could say, patting myself on the back a little too.

That being said, it was posted in the ‘Voices’ section of ESPN.com’s scrolling news box with the tag line of:

“When will guys like Rory Sabbatini learn: Don’t make Tiger Woods angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry. Gene Wojciechowski

Then reread my article and its title…coincidence? I think not.

I think Gene is a fan of “The Nasty Boys.”

Posted in The Nasty Boys | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

When Will They Learn?

Posted by Matt on August 6, 2007

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Elderick “Tiger” Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone by eight strokes at 8-under par and was the ONLY player in negative numbers for the tournament. Woods started his final round yesterday in the last pairing with then leader Rory Sabbatini who took a one stroke lead over Woods in to Sunday’s play. However, when will these hacks learn to not wake a sleeping giant?

During the 2007 Wachovia Championships this year, Sabbatini lost a one stroke lead to Tiger Woods in the final round of play but went on to say:

“…he looked as beatable as ever.” –Rory Sabbatini, on how Tiger Woods ‘looked’ during play despite Tiger’s victory

It was only fitting that Tiger was paired with Rory for the final round in which Sabbatini sported an oh-so-ironic one stroke lead going in to the final round of play. What ensued was nothing short of abuse; Tiger could arguably be charged with ‘Misdemeanor Assault.’ One nine-stroke-swing later and Sabbatini is mopping his tears up with Tiger Woods’ sweat socks.

You’d think they’d learn. I mean you just don’t open your mouth up against Tiger Woods or he will smite you like the hand of God. Just ask Phil Mickelson when he came out and spoke poorly about Tiger’s “inferior equipment.” Needless to say, Phil and family won’t be receiving a Christmas card from The Woods Family.

You’d think the entire tour would have learn this lesson after Steven Ames spoke ill about his pairing with Tiger Woods in the opening round of the 2006 Accenture Matchplay Championships:

“Anything can happen,” Ames said with a smile, “especially where he is hitting the ball.” –Steven Ames, when asked about his chances of defeating Tiger in the first round

This time, it was ‘Felonious Assault’ as Tiger went on to beat Ames in the quickest possible fashion in matchplay format: 9 and 8 (up 9 holes with 8 holes to go). Tiger missed a perfect matchplay performance by tying one of the holes with Ames and had he won that hole, it would’ve been 10 and 8 as opposed to 9 and 8. Regardless, the earliest you can win a match is after completing the 10th hole and that is just what Tiger accomplished.

Of course, not a peep out Ames after the match, or since, but rest assured that at least Steven has learned his lesson; now when will everybody else?

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Gary Player And Emmitt Smith Don’t Want You To Forget About Them

Posted by Matt on July 24, 2007

Legends in their own right, and their own sport, Gary Player and Emmitt Smith came out about two hot topics in sports today: steroids and Ron Mexico; respectively, of course.

That’s right, this guy:

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came out about steroids in golf; unfortunately for comic relief, however, Player did not take them himself.

Apparently Gary was nervous that the “youngins” around the world would forget about him and decided to disrupt the beauty and prestige that is The Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links by making public this quote, courtesy of ESPN.com:

Read the rest of this entry »

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British Open 2007 Preview

Posted by Matt on July 18, 2007

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Arguably my favorite Major tournament of the year, the best of the best in professional golf head across the big pond for the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links.

The last time The Open Championship was held at Carnoustie, Frenchman Jean Paul Van De Velde offered up one of sports’ biggest collapses in history and shows just how important being solid tee-to-green is at Carnoustie to keep yourself out of trouble. Phil Mickelson better rethink taking driver on the final hole like he did in the 2006 U.S. Open when he blew a one shot lead and foiled any opportunity of a playoff as well after a two shot swing with a double-bogey.

Van De Velde’s fall from grace at Carnoustie was even worse as he had a three-shot lead and squandered it after a series of ridiculous shots to force a three-man playoff where he would eventually lose to Paul Lawrie. Everybody knows the story. The field this year, however, will be Van De Velde-less as he is currently injured and was unable to earn a spot through qualification.

Moving on to this year, Tiger Woods has stated that during practice the course is playing “fair” which means “fair” for Tiger, “brutal” for everybody else. Woods has developed in to one of the best links players in the world and tied for seventh the last time The Open Championship was at Carnoustie. This may be a bit of a homer prediction as I am a huge Tiger Woods fan (he got me in to golf) and also may be a bit of an easy way out, but with the birth of his child successfully behind him, I think Tiger gets back on the prowl this weekend and takes down number 13.

Predictions:

Winner: Eldrick “Tiger” Woods (the best player in the world and, by his standards, is “due” for another Major Championship; has the strength to hit out of Carnoustie’s thick rough if in trouble)

Sleeper To Win: Jim Furyk (hard to pick the third-ranked player in the world a sleeper but a solid Thursday round the last time The Open Championship was at Carnoustie and he wins it in 1999; Furyk was also in contention at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and was in the mix until the end at the last Major played this season, the U.S. Open, finishing tied for second with Woods; Furyk is great tee-to-green and will put the ball in fairway and out of the long Carnoustie rough and this, as Van De Velde has shown us, is very important at Carnoustie)

Be prepared for more of this:

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Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Gilmore Finds Gator That Ate Chubbs’ Hand

Posted by Matt on June 26, 2007

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A few months ago, a conversation between Happy Gilmore and Chubbs went as follows:

Chubbs: Back in 1965, Sports Illustrated said I was going to be the next Arnold Palmer.
Happy Gilmore: Yeah? What happened?
Chubbs: They wouldn’t let me play on the Pro Tour anymore.
Happy Gilmore: Ah, I’m sorry. Because you’re black?
Chubbs: Hell no! Damned alligator BIT my hand off!
[Shows Happy his wooden hand]
Happy Gilmore: OH MY GOD!
Chubbs: Yeah, tournament down in Florida. I hooked my ball in the rough down by the lake. Damned alligator just POPPED up, cut me down on my prime. He got me, but I tore one of the bastard’s eyes out though. Look at that.
[Shows Happy a small glass jar with an eyeball in it]
Happy Gilmore: You’re pretty sick, Chubbs.

Well according to ESPN.com (pops), a Floridian golfer under the alias of “Bruce Burger” (with a name like Burger, you’re really testing those alligators), but whom we can only assume to be Happy Gilmore, found the very one-eyed alligator that took Chubbs’ hand. Here is how the even transpired:

[An alligator eats Happy’s ball]
Happy Gilmore: That Son of a Bitch. Give me my ball, come on, cough it up, you dirty bastard. I swear I’m gonna… give me the ball, alligator. Hey, you’ve got one eye…Chubbs! You took his hand.

Apparently “Mr. Burger” reached down to retrieve his ball when said alligator reached up and bit his hand in the same manner he did Chubbs’ over 40-years ago. And just as portrayed in his video biography, Happy Gilmore, the golfer proceeded to beat the ‘gator in to submission to retrieve his ball, and his hand, safely.

What the ESPN article does NOT tell you is what happened after the fact (I am sure it was for reasons of fear of repercussions from PETA and the law):

Happy Gilmore: [To Chubbs] You know that alligator that got your hand? Well I got his HEAD! [Happy shows Chubbs head of a one-eyed alligator, Chubbs, in fear, falls out a two-story window to his death]

It is a sad ending to what could have been a hero’s tale. However, with the “Beware of Alligator” sign at the sixth hole, I have to beg of Bruce Burger one question: What the hell were you doing?

The only defense that this guy might have against me is the fact that I saw all the signs, the ones in EVERY MAJOR SPORTING NEWS OUTLET, that pinned the Cincinnati Reds for dead last in the National League Central before the season started and I still force myself to suffer through Major League Baseball’s worst team, day-in and day-out.

At any rate, it is nice to know that life really does imitate art.

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Baddeley’s Breakdown

Posted by Matt on June 23, 2007

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We’re now a week removed from the weekend edition of the U.S. Open and we’re able to look back at what transpired now that the dust has settled.  Of course, we all know by now that Angel Cabrera won, and deservedly so, looking like a character that might celebrate the victory by chiefing a fat Cuban cigar while getting a lap-dance from some South American prostitute.

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daly2.jpg Uncle “Long John” would be proud.

But not only did Cabrera deserve to win it, but Tiger Woods did not.  He couldn’t make a clutch putt to save his life on Saturday as he hit 17 of 18 greens-in-regulation but came away with only two birdies to one bogey.  If my math serves me correctly, that means Tiger two-putted all but two holes for an astounding 34 putts in the Third Round.  The Fourth Round wasn’t much friendlier to Tiger as his play was a bit more sporadic and he never seemed to be able to turn the corner and start owning Oakmont. 

To his defense, however, Tiger didn’t play bad, Cabrera just played one stroke better.  I also won’t blame him as his wife was ready to explode with their first born and did so the day after. Thus, it is probably good that Tiger didn’t force a Monday playoff as he would’ve had to choose between Baby Woods or U.S. Open Playoff (maybe it was Earl from above that kept Tiger from making birdie on the Back Nine that would’ve forced the playoff so that he could see his daughter be born, and yes, I called child birth “exploding”).

But nonetheless, the finals came down to Angel and Tiger with a little Furyk thrown in the mix.  So we have to beg the question, what happened to Aaron Baddeley?  Aaron was the 54-hole leader by two strokes, at +2, and seemed confident, almost cocky, in the post Third Round interviews about his chances.  He was ready to go toe-to-toe with Tiger and beat him and he wasn’t worried about playing with Tiger in a Major, he’d done so in two previous.  Baddeley was saying all of the right things, but was the 26-year-old poised enough to do it?

Well, evidently he wasn’t as Aaron triple-bogeyed the first hole of the Fourth Round and immediately relinquished the lead to Tiger Woods.  Anyone, including Aaron, who says playing with Tiger does not affect them are lying and I just wish I had a screen shot from the telecast to prove this theory. 

The scenery was the first green and Tiger had already putted out for par.  Aaron went on to miss several make-able putts, all while Tiger issued his trademark stare just off the edge of the green with every miss. At one point, a cameraman placed himself directly behind Tiger, focusing on Baddeley putting but with a completely motionless and out-of-focus Tiger fixated on the young Aussie looming on the left side of the screen.  That is the picture I want.  The scenario on the first marked the beginning of “Baddeley’s Breakdown” and goes to show you that one of Tiger’s biggest assets is not his game but his intimidation factor. 

That was the end of Aaron Baddeley before he even really started. The Australian went on to post a 10-over 80 on the final day of the U.S. Open, opening the door for the likes of Angel Cabrera, Tiger Woods, and Jim Furyk to chase the championship with ice water running through their veins.  This was a tough lesson for Aaron to learn but it further fuels the fact that if you are going to go out on such an extreme limb with your mouth before being paired up with THE Tiger Woods, you are going to have to back it up completely with your game the next day or you will be embarrassed. 

This is a lesson learned by many through Tiger’s use of tough love and my favorite example is the likes of Steven Ames, who said, prior to his match-up with Tiger Woods at the 206 World Golf Championships’ – Accenture Match Play Championship, in regards of whether or not he could defeat Woods:

“Anything can happen,” Ames said with a smile, “especially where he is hitting the ball.”

Woods went on to mercilessly beat Ames in the quickest possible fashion in matchplay format: 9 and 8 (up 9 with 8 holes to go, only tying one hole as a perfect game in matchplay is 10 and 8).

Tiger did not win the U.S. Open…this time, but he was still victorious in inciting “Baddeley’s Breakdown.”

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2007 U.S. Open Preview

Posted by Charlie Hustle on June 11, 2007

The U.S. Open is being held at Oakmont this year, and is being touted as one of the toughest tests ever. Vijay Singh was quoted earlier in the week that the winner would be at 10-12 over par.

The last time Oakmont held the U.S. Open, Ernie Els won at -5. Then the course was 6946 yd, Par 71.

Now? A 7230 yard, Par 70 monster.

The Breakdown:

Driveable Par 4s: 3 (2, 14, 17)

600+ yd Par 5s: 2 (Hole 4: 609 yds, Hole 12: 632-667 yds)

Ridiculous Par 3: 1 (Hole 8: 288 yds… against the wind, will be playing 300+)

Par 5 switched to Par 4: 1 (Hole 9… 477 yds dog leg, tight fairway)

Add on the infamous thick U.S. Open rough and lightning-fast greens, and we have quite the course.

Here’s the player breakdown:

Obvious Favorites:

1. Tiger Woods

2. Phil Mickelson (barring that wrist injury)

3. Vijay Singh

Famous Players That Won’t Make the Cut:

1. Ernie Els

2. Davis Love III

3. Justin Leonard

4. Colin Montgomerie

5. Jose Maria Olazabal

Players That Are Overdue But Will Fall Just Short:

1. Paddy Harrington

2. Sergio Garcia

3. Adam Scott

4. Charles Howell III

5. Camilo Villegas

Hot Unknowns That May Make A Splash:

1. Rod Pampling

2. Sean O’Hair

3. Ken Duke

Players That Should Make Top 10:

1. Rory Sabbatini (Long off the tee, putting has been very hot)

2. Jim Furyk (Hits the ball straight, great tee-to-green)

3. Thomas Bjorn (Always seems to show up in the U.S. Open/British Open)

4. Scott Verplank (Not many golfers are hotter than Verplank)

5. Robert Allenby (Just a hunch)

and the winner…..

Champion: Retief Goosen. Yes he is the 2-time U.S. Open Champion so this prediction would seem obvious, but Retief always flies under the radar. I ask myself 3 questions when picking a winner…

1. Who can recover from a bad first day with good driving and knocking it close? Goosen.

2. Who is the least likely to blow a gasket if they make a mistake in the rough? Goosen.

3. Who is the best putter on fast greens? Goosen.

So there’s your winner. Retief Goosen.

— Charlie Hustle

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