Extras  Members  Newsletter 
 
June 21, 2007
Volume VI, Issue 10
 
Fringe Clippings
 
I can’t get one good job and this guy has two…
 
Bob Ford must be pretty good. Not only is he the head golf professional at Oakmont Country Club, site of last weeks U.S. Open, but he does the same thing at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. Wait! That’s two courses ranked among the top 10 by Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Courses. One is a venerable U.S. Open venue, where Bobby Jones won a U.S. Amateur and the likes of Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Ernie Els and now Angel Cabrera have won U.S. Opens. Seminole is an exclusive course that is closed in the summer and known for, among other things, being the place where Hogan used to practice on his way to Augusta for the Masters.
 
Wanna bet if she was cute?
 
Phil Mickelson’s trip to Oakmont ended early with his first missed cut in a major in eight years, but it won’t be forgotten by Karen Cotullo, a waitress at What’s Cooking at Casey’s in Oakmont. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mickelson visited the restaurant during the week prior to the Open when he was practicing. Before leaving, Cotullo got Mickelson to sign a plate and some other items. He also gave her a $100 bill as a tip. Now if he could just hit his driver as well as he tips.
 
From most to least…
 
Oakmont Country Club staged its eighth U.S. Open, the most of any venue in the 107-year history of the championship. Next year the tournament goes to a place that has never held the tournament. Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego will be the site of the 108th U.S. Open. If the venue sounds familiar, that’s because the annual Buick Invitational is played there, although only the South course will be used for the Open.
 
Don’t cry for me Argentina…
 
Congratulations to Angel Cabrera for winning the 107th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. He struggled less than anyone else during the tournament and was rewarded with the lowest total and a well deserved victory. No doubt the celebration is still going on in Buenos Aires. There is no truth to the rumors that, feeling empowered by Cabrera’s victory, his countrymen have refocused their attention on the Falklands.
 
Euro Drought, go figure…
 
Until a European golfer wins a major championship, this will be brought up each time one of the four big tournaments rolls around. But it is simply amazing to think that the continent that continually abuses the United States in the Ryder Cup cannot produce a single player that can win a major. It hasn’t happened since Paul Lawrie won the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie – where the championship returns next month. That’s nearly eight years.
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Dude, where's my par?
 

Limitless are the boundaries of the mind. Endeavor to be your own man, on your own terms. Never settle for second best. And lest we never forget, par for the course is still only par.

What in the name of Moe Norman were "they" thinking when they decided it would be a good idea to measure all golfers by the average number of strokes a professional requires to complete a hole? I suppose those capable of linear thought will suggest that there must be a standard to measure by, but I submit to keeping score by expletives (not to mention I am not sure I am capable of linear thought). I realize that the non-swearing variety out there believe I should be able to maintain a handicap index without swearing, but phrases like "Fudge" and "Cheese and Rice" just don't work for me.

Par is the standard and always will be. But how do we achieve par? Furthermore, how do we get past the mental stumbling block of assuming it is achievable for us Average Joes nursing a single malt morning haze?

The answer is really much more simple than one would think. Use your noggin, my fellow challengers of the links. You have a handicap (or an average score) by which to judge yourself for each game. If you regularly fire a score between 85 and 92, then you know you will probably make a few pars, some more bogeys and the occasional "Frosty." Par is a panacea for you; it is very much not the norm. By knowing and being comfortable that you do not have to make par on every hole to achieve success in your round, you have eliminated a great mental foe.

For your next round try playing a game within your game. Decide how many pars you will score, how many bogeys you will score and how many "slide rule assisted" scores you will allow yourself. Like the book says, "Golf is not a game of perfect." (Did Yoda write that?) At any rate, the success or lack thereof that you achieve will reflect a better distinction of what your "par for the course" truly is.

Good luck with this advice and remember, when all else fails there will always be Baywatch reruns to cheer you up.

 
 
Reading the Line
 
Tiger’s impeccable timing…
 
So the day after Tiger Woods narrowly misses a spot in a U.S. Open playoff, his wife, Elin, goes into labor and delivers the couple’s first child, a girl named Sam Alexis. Here is hoping Mom and Baby are doing splendidly. But, how ironic. What if Woods had been in a playoff that was to begin the Monday after the Open? Would he have forfeited his spot to be on hand for the labor and delivery, thus giving the trophy to Angel Cabrera? Is it maybe better that Woods was unable to deliver himself on U.S. Open Sunday, when he could manage just a single birdie and had only three during the final 36 holes? It’s amazingly similar to the situation faced by Phil Mickelson in 1999 at the Open when his wife, Amy, was about to deliver the couple’s first child. That situation was far more public, however. Everyone knew Amy was close. Mickelson was ready to leave at a moment’s notice. After Payne Stewart beat Mickelson by a shot, Amy Mickelson had the baby the next day.
 
He has conditioned us to expect 100% perfection…
 
Wow, Tiger couldn’t close the gap at the U.S. Open. Is he in a bit of a slump? Has he lost focus? It’s amazing how some of us think these things. Heck, even the commentators speculate as much on the airways. But when you realize that he is 1, 1, 2, 2 in his last four majors, it makes you realize that his number 1 ranking is more than a couple of lucky victories in an obscure rating system.
 
The side show has been cancelled for the moment…
 
Finally, thankfully, Michelle Wie has received some good advice and made a sound decision. The 17-year-old former phenom who has endured nothing but negativity since last summer when she was on the verge of her first victory at the Evian Masters has decided not to play in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic. Good for her. That would have been a disaster. Wie just finished 35 strokes behind the winner at the LPGA Championship. She is obviously nowhere near the form needed to compete on the LPGA Tour, let alone in men’s events. A broken wrist suffered earlier this year should be allowed to heal. So should her psyche. She’s only 17. There will be plenty of time. Giving it a rest is a good idea.
 
 
 

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