Step 1: Call your shot. Step 2: Drain it. (Geoff Shackelford)

Hunter Mahan says the Byron Nelson Championship is too easy for him (Devil Ball)

Inside the field at the Byron Nelson (PGA Tour)

A look at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, TX (PGA Tour)

Power Rankings, the Byron Nelson edition (PGA Tour)

My boy Fred Couples had some lesions removed (PGA Tour)

For the first time in 14 years, Tiger is out of the top 10 in the WGR (Golf)

Some rumors to help pass your Tuesday (Golf)

10 rules to hit more greens (Golf Digest)

For Ill… 2011 Hot List: Hybrids (Golf Digest)

Sergio Garcia’s current streak of 47 straight major appearances looks like it will end at the British Open (Wei Under Par)

Europe’s best players honor Seve (Wei Under Par)

Jose Maria Olazabal offers his thoughts on Seve (BBC)

Tiger drops to 12th and Ryo jumps to 49th in the WGR (Devil Ball)

Golf and politics (Geoff Shackelford)

How to play golf Pt. 5 (Golf Digest)

So what’s happened today?

David Toms has taken over the lead at -10. At the moment Nick Watney, who had the lead at the start of the day, is one stroke back. As I’m typing this, Bubba Watson just hit a drive 341 yards and Sergio Garcia toyed with danger on 17. But don’t worry, 17 got the better of Paul Goydos (Sergio smiled /2008′d). Speaking of Sergio, will his putter be his friend or his enemy?

David Duval opens with a -2/70 and follows it up with a +4/76; he missed the cut.

Defending champion, Tim Clark withdrew after 10 holes with an apparent elbow injury.

Geoff Ovilvy also withdrew with a left shoulder injury after 9 holes.

Rickie Fowler started the day at +5 with a 77, managed to shoot -4/68 while fighting the flu. But his hat stayed on forward. Let’s not get sand in our vagina’s.

Rory Sabbatini is the worst at basically everything.

Phil Mickelson eagled 16. He is currently sitting at -2 after back to back rounds of -1/71. Today Phil was disappointed with inconsistency today. He shot a 31 on the front and the big 4-0 on the back. Speaking of a disappointed Phil, he’s had some things to say as of late. When asked about his performance in the first round, on the 13th hole, Phil had this to say:

“I don’t know what to say. I don’t know if it’s the set-up or the design, but I just don’t agree with that, I thought the question was would it stay up on top and be by the hole or was it going to roll down in the low area? I didn’t know it could possibly go in the water. I think when I design golf courses, I try not to screw the player like that. I try to keep it a little bit fair. I don’t know what I could have done differently. I’m disappointed with myself and my focus throughout the round today. I can do better than that. There were some low scores out there this afternoon today, and I felt like I should have been one of them. But I’ll get out here tomorrow morning and see if I can put it together.

Matteo Manassero, the 18 year old Italian is the youngest player ever to make the cut. He had rounds of E/72 and -2/70.

Hunter Mahan, I hate you too. But not as much as Rory Sabbatini. I’m a beard kind of guy, but shave that shit bro. You look like you molest collies.

I can’t find video of this yet, but Michael Bradley has apparently thrown his driver in the water. Some fans dove in after it, and some how he is using it again.

KellyTilghmanGC: Fan climbs down lake wall to rescue Michael Bradley’s driver. If Bradley birdies & makes cut on number, he should slip fan some $

A very hearty thank you to friend of TG, and a man of considerable influence, JayV for going through the effort of writing this comprehensive review.

I don’t envy Corey Pavin.  In the next few weeks, he is charged with making the decisions as to who will be the four captain’s picks for the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team.  It has been a long time since a captain has had so many worthy selections to choose from, and there are going to be a lot of good players sitting at home.  We’ll do our best to decipher the situation that currently faces Pavin.

Much was made of Paul Azinger’s decision to change the selection process for the victorious 2008 U.S. Team.  Azinger made adjustments to the process that limited off-year points to only the majors, and also slimmed down the automatic qualifiers from 10 to 8.  Many analysts acted as if these changes were the major contributing factor to the Americans’ success.  In reality, Azinger’s tinkering only kept one player off the squad: Woody Austin.  He and Hunter Mahan would have been the 9th and 10th qualifiers under the old qualifying scheme, and Mahan was a captain’s selection anyway.  If all these analysts think that the inclusion of J.B. Holmes or Boo Weekley over Austin was the main reason for the Yanks’ success…well, that’s just absurd.

However, the adjusted process is likely to have an even bigger factor in 2010, as it very well may turn out to be the thing that keeps Tiger Woods off the team.  Under the pre-2008 process, Woods would already be a lock based on the points he would have earned during his 2009 campaign.  Not so under the new system.

The Locks

Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Jeff Overton, & Anthony Kim (more…)

First off…old man Penna’s least favorite golfer, Hunter Mahan, just shoved it up TP’s peehole with that 64 yesterday, and my oh my, does sweet shadenfraude feel good.  We’ve waxed eloquent on Mahan before, so I don’t think we need to get into his awesomeness again so why don’t we move onto a few of the more notable stories.

Phil imploded quite nicely after an unusual fast start at Firestone.  Normally, this wouldn’t be such a delight, but your fearless author engaged in a little gambling expedition, an expedition who’s success was predicated on the failure of Mickeltits.  Of course, that was negated by my retard ass taking Henrik fucking Stenson, but any victory, no matter how small, is cause celebre here in the 096 household.  Nevertheless, Phil blew a shot at getting to no. 1, which would normally mean the window was closed but…

OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO TIGER WOODS!??!!?

(more…)

4853512Until the upcoming season, there’s going to be some downtime…so in this feature, we’re going to be looking at the second half of the question, “who you got: Tiger or the Field?”  We’ll be looking at the handful of players we think have a shot to dethrone the man himself, examining the top guys as well as a few players going under the radar.

Two of golf’s up and comers, I felt like I had to include both Hunter and Sean together, not only because they grew up as friends in the junior circuit with over-bearing fathers pushing them farther than a child should be, and not only because they both have technically flawless swings and the ability to go outrageously low, but because their games are so similar that putting them together would save me time and effort…yes, I’m lazy, deal with it.  Mahan, at this juncture, is the most accomplished of the two, shooting a final round 65 to finish 6th at the 2007 Open at Carnoustie, appearing in a Presidents Cup and being the leading American in this year’s Ryder Cup, and, despite his struggles in 2008, O’Hair still pushed Mickelson to the brink in the 2007 Players and had some early season success, winning at the PODS Championship and following up the next week finishing 3rd at Bay Hill.

O’Hair and Mahan are, for better or worse, the epitome of the new breed of golfer…the child prodigy with extensive experience in the national junior circuit, the sports psychologist, the numerous swing coaches and trainers and, unfortunately, the tyrant father.  While Hunter and his father have reconciled their differences, Sean and his father, Marc, are still estranged, and their story is the cautionary tale that all sports-dad’s should learn, Marc even going so far as to lock his son out of the hotel room if he played poorly, forcing him to spend the night in the Mahan’s room.  Such is the strain that incurring six-figure debt in order for your child to compete in hopes of one day reaching the PGA Tour…it has the potential for the relationship to become tainted.

However, this isn’t about their parents, this is about their games. (more…)

Some highlights throughout the final round and a little recap of our stellar picks.

Fijianness

Fijianness

  • Vijay, in all his mighty Fijianness(yay for new words) had a great day shooting a final round 67. Vijay was able to birdie the 18th hole with a 10 foot putt to claim the victory over Steve Stricker. His final run for the lead was started on the back 9 with three straight birdies, which really set the stage for his victory.   What’s even more amazing was that Vijay took a good deal of time off after his win at the FedEx Cup. He was not only able to play after 3 months off but he was also able to win in a field that was made up of some of the best golfers out there.
  • Finishing third overall was Anthony Kim. He was the 54-hole leader coming into this round and still shot remarkably well, except for those two consecutive double bogeys on the 14th and 15th. The par-3 where A.K. hit his 7 iron short into the water was pretty disappointing especially after the 14th where he drove right into some bushes. Even though by now I totally realized I had no shot at K.J. Choi coming back. I was definitely pulling for A.K., but it seemed he didn’t have the gas to create a strong finish.

(more…)

Not an especially exciting day, but there was some good golf.  A few things I noticed yesterday:

  • Conditions were too soft, though, not much they could do about that.  There were numerous times where players would smoke drives down the fairway, especially on holes that were lower than the others, and the ball would stick in the ground and get a ton of mud on it.  The most glaring of these instances was on 18 (I think) where Fred Couples hit the fairway and Jim Furyk missed right and ended up on some dirt.  Furyk hit a career 4-iron to about 10 feet, a gigantic cut that had to be low enough to get under overhanging trees and then cut right onto the green.  Couples, who, on paper, was in perfect position, had his ball sink in and missed long and right.  Happened to Villegas as well.
  • There’s a possibility for a big number if you miss the fairways.  Anthony Kim knows all about that.
  • The wind is really playing tricks on the guys who aren’t used to playing in a SoCal valley, something Boo Weekley alluded to in his post-round interview which was later echoed by Hunter Mahan.
  • Mike Weir…what were you thinking?  Banking it off of a tree?  Seriously?  Yea, PGA guys are absurdly talented, but that was a little extreme, no?
  • Shot of the Day: Camillo’s 50 footer from the bottom tier for birdie.

Should be a more exciting second day…I know Anthony Kim is going to come out and shoot a ridiculously low number…he was right on the doorstep yesterday, but a couple errant drives and a few bad putts turned a solid round into a “meh” one.  Hunter Mahan looks good, as well.

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