June 23, 2006
Volume V, Issue 11
Aint no Privacy for the big dogs
Which golfer's accommodations at the U.S.Open included a luxury master suite, five guest rooms, a theater projection room, a swiveling 50-inch plasma TV, a gym, an eight-person Jacuzzi, three personal watercraft and two oceangoing kayaks? Why of course it was Tiger’s. He stayed aboard his $20-million yacht, Privacy, docked at a marina in Mamaroneck, N.Y. The ship is also specially equipped with six large helium tanks to mix with oxygen so Tiger can pursue another love, scuba diving. Let’s hope it was some comfort to him after he missed a cut for the first time in 10 years at a major championship and his first time as a pro.
At least with Votaw, you had a chance for a date
Even though he dated one of the players, by all accounts former LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw did a great job and should be credited with steering the LPGA to a strong position. Alas, all may not be well with the recent change of command on the good ship LPGA. Have they sprung a leak? Since Carolyn Bivens' recent assumption of the helm from Votaw, LPGA officers are donning life vests and abandoning ship like mice skittering off a sinking vessel. In the last several weeks three LPGA executives have gone AWOL, making a total of seven defections since Bivens arrived on-board. One of the ship-jumpers is Deb Richard, senior vice president of golf, who was reported to have said that she had "lost faith in the leadership." Among the players who have expressed concern, Juli Inkster told Golf World, "I have faith in Carolyn, but I don't think there is a person out here who isn't troubled about three people quitting on the same day."
He took a licking but kept on ticking
Jay Haas, 52, played his first U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 1974 as a 20-year-old amateur. Many things about that week stand out, including the fact that he made just one birdie in 72 holes, but was still low amateur at 27 over par. Undeterred, he kept on competing and now some 32 years later he has amassed an amazing record. Haas, who made the cut at this Open, set a new PGA Tour record for making the most cuts on tour. His making the U.S. Open cut was the 591st of his career, one more than Tom Kite. Congratulations and keep swinging.
If hed looked at that putt any longer, hed be in traction
Golfers often have a difficult time living up to the idea that they are athletes. And the way Jim Furyk hurt his back recently does not help. Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who agonized forever over a 5-footer on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, put his status for the tournament in doubt when he hurts his back -- at his bathroom sink. "I went to take Aleve in the morning and I was in kind of in bad posture,'' he said. "I tossed my head back in a quick motion and it seems that I probably pinched a disk or pinched something in my lower neck. I kind of felt all the muscles on the left side of my upper back just tense up and tighten and it made it real difficult for me to turn my head to the left.'' Furyk was fine at the U.S. Open, where a par on the last hole would have put him in a playoff. He looked at the putt from every angle, backed off twice, then missed.
Hey Mulligan man
The first-tee do-over is a big part of casual golf and has come to be referred to as a mulligan. But where did the term originate? Many believe right at Winged Foot. David Mulligan is given credit, and an explanation can even be found on the USGA website. A Winged Foot member from Canada who joined the club in 1937, Mulligan was said to have hit a poor drive on the first hole and re-teed it again. His playing partners decided that the shot Mulligan called a "correction shot'' deserved a better name, so they called it a "Mulligan."
Rules and more rules...
Larry hits his first tee shot into the woods and then proceeds without comment to hit another tee shot which lands in the fairway. While walking to his second shot Larry spots his first shot which must have taken a lucky bounce off a Georgia pine and landed in the playable rough. Is Larry allowed to play his original tee shot?
No, Larry can not play his found ball!
According to USGA Rule 27, if a player does not tell his playing partners that his second ball is a provisional it is considered to be the ball in play and the original ball in considered lost.
The player shall inform his opponent in match play or his marker or a fellow-competitor in stroke play that he intends to play a provisional ball, and he shall play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.
According to USGA Rule 27-2, "If he fails to do so and plays another ball, such ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1); the original ball is deemed to be lost."
Wow, what a great U.S. Open...
Ups and downs, unpredictable, real sports drama, it had it all.
Cruise control does not work at this level…
First there was the drama of Tiger. His performance just goes to show that practice and ability to focus are critical. These are usually things he is able to do better than almost any other golfer. Obviously the past several months have had their impact on his practice and concentration. No matter how good you are, cruise control does not work at this level.
Colin Montgomerie had the low round and the U.S.Open lead after day one.
David, how bout one more for the Gipper…
Then there was Duval’s 68, on day two. You had to hope this would be a miracle weekend for him and he would once again be back on the scene in a very big way. His six shots off the winning +5 earned him a respectable tie for 16th and over $99,000, but the second day 68 shows he still has game.
Some unknown guy from England has the lead on Saturday, but it is still anybody’s to win. Or as it turned out, lose…..
You want to yell at the top of your voice, “No, No, go with your first instinct!”
Colin, wow, you had to be hoping he would win. Ninety-nine trips across the big pond without a win, and you could just feel him on the brink of victory. But what about that final club selection hesitation on the 72nd hole? He had what should have been an easy shot to the green after an incredible drive. He had three minutes to practice his swing, and he did. Finally, it was his turn to hit and he took the club he had been practicing with, tossed it aside and reached for a different club. No practice swing, he just hit it and flubbed it. Doubt must have set in; he changed his mind at the last second and didn’t go with his “first instinct club.”
You want to yell at the top of your voice, “No, No, Don’t go with your first instinct!”
And then there is Phil, when he reaches for his driver on the 72nd hole, you want to yell, don’t go with your first instinct! And that is why 20/20 hindsight is so darn good. But really, Phil should have gone down 18 with a 5 iron or whatever. For goodness sake, all you need is a par, even a bogey will work. But says Phil to himself, "U.S. Open, it’s all mine, an easy par and I’m king. I’m going to show them a tee shot that they will talk about for years." And he did….
In reality, Phil played the last hole the only way he could because that was the way he played the entire tournament and it got him to the lead. He made shots out of the rough all day. He believed in himself. He played his game to what turned out to be a bitter end. He’ll be back. He’s very good.
Oh yes, Ogilvy, nice job making the fewest mistakes out there.
A second-guess for the ages
NBC's Johnny Miller questioned Phil Mickelson's strategy, wondering why he hit a driver off the 18 tee at Winged Foot during the final round of the U.S. Open. He had hit just two fairways all day, none on the back nine. With a one-shot lead, why not get the ball in play?
But Mickelson didn't carry a 3-wood, and figured a 4-wood would leave him too far back if it went into the rough. So once his drive sailed well left of the fairway and came to rest behind a tree, why not play safe and get into a playoff? Mickelson should have just fired his second shot to the right of the green or chipped out to the fairway and played for 5. But using a 3-iron, he cut it too much and clipped a tree, advancing only 25 yards. From there, Mickelson tried to hit a 9-iron to the green, but left it plugged in the bunker and had virtually no chance to get it up and down.
You know the rest. He made a double-bogey to cost himself the U.S. Open. "The biggest reason why this is so disappointing is that this is a tournament that I dreamt of winning as a kid,'' Mickelson said. ”I spent hours practicing, countless hours practicing, dreaming of winning this tournament. I came out here months in advance to get ready and had it right there in my hand, man. It was right there and I let it go.''
And there was nothing in Mickelson's notes that talked about how to deal with that.
A gift from the golf gods, but he had to put himself in the position to accept
The irony was not lost on Geoff Ogilvy. Like many of the growing number of aspiring Australian golfers on the PGA Tour, he looked up to his country's huge golf star, Greg Norman. But as Ogilvy noted after his U.S. Open victory, Norman never got the kind of gift Phil Mickelson handed him.
"I kind of feel bad that no one ever did this for Greg,'' said Ogilvy, 29, who was just seven years old and remembers watching Norman lose in a playoff to Fuzzy Zoeller during the 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot -- the first of four playoff defeats in majors for the Shark.
"He held his hand up a lot of times in the last few holes and no one ever looked after him. No one ever gave him the luck I got (Sunday) on the last few holes. I feel bad for Greg. Everybody knows he was pretty hard hit by it. If that was (Norman against) Phil, he would have holed out to win by a shot. Everyone in Australia has got a fair soft spot for Greg in the majors. Ironic that I ended up winning it in a way.''
Ogilvy got the break of his life when both Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie double bogeyed the par-4 18th to lose by a stroke. Jim Furyk bogeyed the hole, costing him a spot in a playoff, too. And then there was Padraig Harrington, who bogeyed the last three holes to lose by two.
But Ogilvy put himself in position for his good fortune making pars on the last four holes, one a chip-in from off the green on the 17th and the other a testy 6-footer for par at the 18th. He got lucky, but also helped make his luck.
Golf Warm Up What Do You Do To Avoid First Tee Blow ...
I hear many stories of what golfers do (and don’t do) before a round of golf. It’s comical…because many golfers tell me they pound 60-100 balls and still hack up the first few holes they play.
Why is this?
I can tell you it’s because they never properly did a golf warm up consisting of dynamic (movement) stretches to warm up their golf muscles first…before they started hacking balls.
Golfers are athletes…you may agree or disagree.
If so, don’t all athletes warm up by doing stretches first? They do! It’s a known athletic fact, you warm up your muscles, then do your specific activity.
Examples of a golf warm up would be arms circles, squats, side lunge stretches, toe touches without holding and many others.
Do these first, then hit balls. You’ll see a world of difference and maybe even BIRDIE the first hole!About The Author: Mike Pedersen is a recognized golf fitness expert and author. He is Golf Magazine's golf performance expert. For information on his Golf Fitness System, visit www.performbettergolf.com.