Hey, can anyone tell me if no. 18 is a hard hole?  I don’t think I heard Johnny Miller or Dan Hicks tell us once.  OK, I’ll lay off of them for a little bit, especially since it was such a beast (par 4’s averaging over 5 shots per hole are not common) and since they did a pretty decent job overall.


Howabout that playoff?  EXCITING!  Well, until JB hit his drive into the water and let Paul Casey coast to his first win on US soil.  This year’s Shell Houston Open was a freaking rollercoaster with as many guys making huge charges as there were bursting into flames.  Read on for the full recap.


Paul Casey: While I’m not a fan, I respect the man’s game immensely.  He’s a helluva player and has been so close so many times that it’s kind of shocking that he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour yet, but that monkey’s off his back now.

Sure he was a little shaky on 18 to win in regulation, but everyone was.  That was a par 5 (not a 5 par, Johnny) and a par was as good as a birdie.  Just solid golf all weekend long, and some incredible clutch shortgame shots paved the way…great tourney from Casey and he’ll be in the top 10 for sure.

JB Holmes: What a charge.  It’s a shame JB didn’t come through in the end, but how can you hate on a final round 69 in conditions like that?  And I certainly can’t blame him for trying to uncork a huge drive that was all of a yard from being dry, because THAT’S how you’re supposed to play.  It’s much better to lose by going for the throat than lose by playing overly safe, so you won’t hear me knock him for a slightly errant drive on a playoff hole that was about as difficult as they come.

Henrik Stenson: This is just a guess.  I mean he finished pretty high, but where was he in the coverage?  I can’t remember seeing a shot of his more than three times in the last hour.

Rory McIlroy: Kid’s good.


Fred Couples: Um…Freddie?  How can you show up to play and not even try to putt?  You realize you have to get the ball in the hole, right?  We get it…you’re a “free and easy*” guy who’s as “laid back*” as they come, but that doesn’t mean you can just hit putts wherever you like and expect to win.

I can’t think of a worse putting display then Freddie’s last two days of this tournament that wasn’t due to some US Open-esque atrocities like Shinnecock or Olympic Club.  It was PATHETIC.

*if you watch him on camera…unsubstantiated rumors persist that FC is one of the bigger jerks on tour.  Just saying…it helps your image when Jim Nantz was your old college roomie and can say glowing things about you at every turn.

Greg Norman: L.O.F.T.

Final Thoughts:

  • Great job by the superintendents at Redstone mowing everything from tee to green to simulate the cut at Augusta.  This was a pretty cool course, and I’m not going to slam 18 for being overly tough when the wind is going like that because it doesn’t matter what “par” is…who cares if it says it’s a par 4, the field had to play it as a par 5 and it provided some great drama even if it was tough as nails.
  • Pretty good job by NBC in their coverage.  Sure, I’d love to hear Johnny Miller stop talking about non-existent grain on greens like these, but that was my only real quibble with anything NBC put on screen this weekend.  See?  I can give props when they’re due.
  • Seriously?  Paul Casey has never won on the PGA Tour?  Even though I know it’s true, it’s surprising.  He’s in that third tier of golfers and has more than enough game to win a major.  One more kudos for Mr. Casey.

This coming week: Masters week baby!!!  Lots of stuff coming.