The Masters


2013 PGA Championship Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 12th, 2013
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipFedEx CupPGA ChampionshipPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods

2013 PGA ChampionshipBoring

There’s your attention-getter. Think of the four majors. The Masters is ALWAYS exciting. The U.S. Open is ALWAYS intense. The Open Championship (British Open) is ALWAYS interesting because of the style of golf and the history.

After the conclusion of the PGA Championship I was asking myself, “was this boring or what?” But I couldn’t figure out if that was because the course didn’t produce excitement, like Augusta National does or other “Open” venues do. Is Oak Hill boring? Was it the setup?

It dawned on me that perhaps it wasn’t the course that made the tournament, especially the final round, seem boring. It was the play. Hear me out before you block me from your social networks…

The final pairing was perhaps one of the best pure ball-striking pairings possible. Jim Furyk is a methodical dart thrower who is not long but is extremely accurate. Other than perhaps the 16th hole in last year’s U.S. Open I’m not sure Furyk has missed a fairway, or if he did, it would be only by a foot or two. Jason Dufner was deadly accurate. You could literally see his ball landing on, and finishing on or near the middle cutline of the fairway. You know, the place where the mowers split the fairway.

With both players in the final group so accurate, there were no wild shots and therefore no chances for brilliant recovery shots. No drama.

Maybe It Wasn’t Boring

Then again, I just started recalling all of the absolutely brilliant approach shots Jason Dufner hit. It seemed like he had some kind of wedge into every green. Dufner’s approaches were so dialed in, they almosted landed in the hole on numerous occasions. Most of them were intentionally flown past the pin where they’d spin back to easy birdie range. Those were really amazing shots under the pressure of a major.

The most excitement of the final round may have been when Dufner nearly missed a putt which was easily less than 12 inches. No wonder he takes his time over those.

Furyk’s Slow Play

Jim Furyk needs to take 5-Hour Energy just to get through his pre-putt routine.

Furyk’s routines are completely out of hand and impossible to watch without losing my sanity. Don’t get me wrong. I really like Furyk, but he’s the poster child for slow play. His pre-putt routine is awful. He reads the putt, gets over it, takes his putter back like he’s going to hit the putt, stops, backs up, does it again, walks the putt off, does it again, asks Fluff (caddie) for a read, rinse, repeat. 47 minutes later he hits the putt… OMG. I can’t wait to see the 24 handicapper with the tattoos and the wife beater shirt doing that at the muni course next weekend because he saw Furyk doing it.

Jim: Speed it up, please.

Tiger Woods

After Tiger Woods’s dominating victory at the Bridgestone, golf scribes and the regular clueless media awarded him the Wanamaker trophy before the tournament started. Good thing they decided to play the tournament to find out who the real winner would be.

Another year goes by where Tiger doesn’t win a major. With five victories on the season, one can only conclude that not winning the majors is now a mental issue. He may be getting in his own way, putting too much pressure on himself. Who knows.

Think about where Tiger has won (majors or regular tour events). He’s dominant on certain courses and other courses he avoids. Horses for courses. If he had his choice, he certainly wouldn’t choose to play Oak Hill. It isn’t exactly Firestone Country Club to him.

Phil Mickelson

Honestly, I didn’t expect Phil to contend this week (thus I didn’t pick him on my fantasy team). This has been one of Phil’s best years and I thought he’d have a bit of a Scottish hangover after winning the Scottish Open and the Open Championship, aye?

Rory McIlory

I was happy to see Rory McIlory getting his game back. I really feel professional golf needs him and I certainly want to see him at his best. When he’s bad he’s bad, but when he’s good nobody can beat him. I dare say not even Tiger.

Who Else?

Many players were in the running this week. Jason Day seems to have a knack for great play in majors. Henrik Stenson could be the best player in the world right now, without a win on the season. He finished 3rd this week at the PGA, 2nd at the Open and 2nd last week at the Bridgestone.

In the flying under the radar and flying without ever having been seen on the TV broadcast category, David Toms’s final round 67 jumped him up to a very respectable solo 7th. Did anybody see him during Sunday’s broadcast? I didn’t.

Ian Poulter, Howard Stern

I’ve never met Ian Poulter. For a long time I figured he was probably an arrogant chap who I didn’t care to meet. But the more I see his personal tweets, the more I respect the guy. He at least has the golf balls to call out these idiots who are yelling after golf shots, “get in the hole,” and “mashed potatoes,” etc. These people need to shut up. I wish the PGA of America had the kahunas to kick those people out.

Poulter’s comments on the subject even got a rise out of Howard Stern, who corrected Poulter for the spelling lf Babba Booey. Poulter then came back with an entertaining slam of stern citing that he has more twitter followers (1.5 million) than Stern (1.4 million). That was entertaining.

So cheers to Ian. I just might be the newest Poulter fan club member. He’s not a PR machine robot like some other players, if you know what I mean.

Bye Bye 2013

The majors are over for 2013. I’m already dying for the 2014 Masters, but then again I was dying for that one millisecond after Adam Scott made the winning putt in the playoff against the studly Angel Cabrera a few months ago.

FedEx What?

For the rest of the season all we golf fans will be hearing about is the FedEx Cup. That’s all fine but I don’t think many casual golf fans either care about it or even understand it still.


2013 U.S. Open Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, June 17th, 2013
Categories: Champions TourEuropean TourPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger WoodsU.S. OPENUSGAWeb.com Tour

U.S. Open Alternate Titles

Menacing Merion
Merion Massacre
Misfortune at Merion
Misery at Merion
Merion Comes Up Rose
Merion Mayhem
Mahan Misses at Merion
Mickelson Misses Moment at Merion
USGA Declared Winner At U.S. Open

Open Hangover

I didn’t feel too well after the U.S. Open finished yesterday. Either I was dehydrated from my early morning pre-Open round, or I was jacked up from the pressure and gut wrenching drama of the U.S. Open. How’d you like the Open? How was the course setup for you?

Course Setup

The “U.S. Open-ifying” of the course was exactly what I’d expected. I expected to see rough that produced bogeys or worse, and insanely fast greens. The USGA is looking for a winning score of even-par and that’s what they essentially got (+1). There is a lot of discussion, as there always is during the U.S. Open, about whether the setup was “fair” or “manipulated” or “tricked up.” If the goal was to produce a winning score of even-par, the USGA nailed it. Did they compromise some of the holes at Merion in doing so?

If the goal was to preserve some of the same shot values as those in the past Opens at Merion, they probably missed the mark. The par-3 3rd hole was playing at about 274 uphill, into the wind. Many players had to hit driver. There was no bailout or layup area. After scoring a double on the hole in the final round, Phil Mickelson turned to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis who was following his group and said, “274? That’s terrible. Can’t even reach it.”

The final hole was playing so difficult that none of the 148 who played it Sunday made birdie. None. The eventual open winner Justin Rose, navigated the final hole in par after hitting a brilliant 4-iron approach which went through the green to the back fringe.

No matter what side you’re on regarding the course setup, you might agree that the player who executed the best shots all around did win the championship.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was crowned the 2013 U.S. Open trophy by many in the media and many fans before the championship even started. Tiger’s play was below mediocre. His putting and chipping were downright awful. Before the Open, the “will Tiger break Jack’s major record” questions were nauseatingly once again being posed. After this open I can’t help but think that those who ask that question should forget that one and start asking whether or not Tiger will win another major, ever.

Despite going FIVE years without a major win and so many poor showings, Tiger is the favorite already to win the British Open Championship. I’ll take the field until further notice.

Rory McIlory

I’m not sure if it is the gear change to Nike and/or the big money that came along with it. Perhaps it is a matter of focusing more on the hot tennis pro girlfriend. Perhaps it is just a case of sophomore-itis. Whatever the reason, Rory McIlory is not focused. Until he can refocus, he will not be a factor in major championships.

Steve Stricker

It was heartbreaking to watch Steve Stricker collapse Sunday. He was in a great position to win his first major. Hitting a shot OB and then shanking another OB was brutal. I felt terrible for him. That was perhaps part of the reason I didn’t feel well after the tournament was over. He’ll get more chances at major championships obviously, but this one was there for him.

Phil Mickelson

What can you say about Phil? Some people love him and some hate him. He put on quite a show for both of those groups. He’s the only player I can think of in history that can make two double bogeys in the final round of a U.S. Open and have a shot at winning it with 1-3 holes to go.

Hunter Mahan

In my own (very) small way I empathise with Hunter Mahan. His driving and ball striking was so good, but his short game was the weak link which cost him this major.

Jason Day

Jason Day is amazing. He’s always in contention in majors lately. His performance this week was just short of brilliant. Mark it down. He’ll win a major. Best shot for him would be the Masters in my opinion.

Charl Schwartzel

The Schwartz was definitely not with Charl yesterday.  He was in the lead for a moment, but then uncharacteristically melted down.  My golf buddies call that a “Chernobyl.”  I couldn’t believe how many putts he missed.  Charl had five bogeys and a double-bogey on the front alone.  That was tough to watch and very unexpected for a player who has such big golf kahunas.  Held the lead at one time, shoots +8 and ends up tied for 14th.

Luke Donald

This was a tournament well suited for a Luke Donald win.  Hitting that girl in the head with his drive (on a par-3, the 3rd hole) did Luke in.  He was visibly shaken by that event, though not as shaken as the girl, who was knocked unconscious.

ESPN Coverage

I throw up in my mouth a little bit, every time I hear that ESPN will be covering golf.  I’ve grown so tired of Chris Berman’s awful golf announcing that I had the sound turned off the first two days.  Nothing personal, but I don’t want to hear “underneath par” and “rumblin’ stumblin’ bublin'” ever again.  The shtick is old.  Really old.

I know a lot of people don’t like Johnny Miller’s commentary, but at least he knows about golf.

Final Thoughts

The U.S. Open is a great championship and I enjoy watching the drama. It isn’t the kind of golf I’d want to watch week in and week out though. I think most golf fans would agree. Is it the best tournament as far as excitement and entertainment goes? Not even close. The Masters blows it away.

Congratulations to Justin Rose. A well deserved championship to the player who clearly handled the conditions and challenges at Merion the best this past week.


Is Anyone Going To Challenge Tiger Woods In 2013? Bueller? Bueller?

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, May 13th, 2013
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods

the-playersHow did you like THE PLAYERS Championship? Always write “THE PLAYERS” in all caps, that’s what they do.   For a while there it looked like Sergio Garcia was going to have the best of Tiger, but three balls in the drink on the final two holes shot that down.  The other contenders were dark horses who made a threat, but in the end the one left standing was Tiger.  His performance was good enough.  He was playing solid and consistent, but not dominant.  The win was there for another player to take, but that didn’t happen.

Tiger Woods

2013

Tiger has reached four wins for the 2013 season already.  No other player on Tour has more than one.  Rory McIlory has none.  This is the quickest that Tiger has reached four wins in ANY of his years on tour, even is best year in 2000.  That’s a bit scary to me, because it doesn’t look like he’s playing that well.    Perhaps I’m just used to the version of Tiger a few years ago that dominated.  One could argue he might have a Masters win if not for a bad break on #15 in the final round where he hit the stick, then made an illegal drop.  If that ball doesn’t hit the flag, he probably makes birdie and takes the lead…

Rory McIloryBueller Bueller Bueller

Is there another player on Tour right now who could be a legitimate and constant threat to Tiger?  We keep hearing how “deep” the tour is.  Phil Mickelson isn’t a spring chicken.  Rory is anything but consistent.  Bubba Watson is still having Masters 2012 hangover.  Graeme McDowell just got over his U.S. Open hangover.  Who else is out there?  If players like Luke Donald and Lee Westwood haven’t done it by now, I’m not sure they will.  As I see it at this point, the best candidates are Brandt Snedeker and Rory McIlory.

Following the conclusion of THE PLAYERS last night, my dad texted me asking this question above.  I loved his quote about the players who are trying to beat Tiger, “They’re a bunch of look-alike swing mechanics swinging monkey wrenches in the clutch!”

Well said.

Comparing Tiger To Jack, For The Billionth Time

Man I get tired of hearing about whether or not Tiger will beat Jack Nicklaus’s major record of 18.  The times are quite different.  Jack Nicklaus had SO many threats, constant threats who were players with more than one major championship.  So many players in Jack’s era challenged him.  Think about who Jack had to beat on a weekly basis: Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Chi Chi, Ray Floyd, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros.

At Tiger’s current age of 37 he has major 14 wins, the same number Jack Nicklaus had at 37.  By my argument in the previous paragraph it sounds like Tiger has a good chance to beat Jack.  Majors are a different animal.  One bad break, like hitting the stick on the 15th at Augusta on Sunday, can make the difference between a win and T4.  Will Tiger break the record?  I’d rather watch it unfold than listen to golf’s talking heads pontificate about it over and over.


2013 Masters Tournament Final Leaderboard

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods
POS PLAYER SUNDAY TO PAR R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
T1
Adam Scott (wins in two hole playoff)
-3
-9
69
72
69
69
279
T1
Angel Cabrera
-2
-9
71
69
69
70
279
3
Jason Day
-2
-7
70
68
73
70
281
T4
Marc Leishman
E
-5
66
73
72
72
283
T4
Tiger Woods
-2
-5
70
73
70
70
283
T6
Thorbjorn Olesen
-4
-4
78
70
68
68
284
T6
Brandt Snedeker
+3
-4
70
70
69
75
284
T8
Sergio Garcia
-2
-3
66
76
73
70
285
T8
Matt Kuchar
+1
-3
68
75
69
73
285
T8
Lee Westwood
-1
-3
70
71
73
71
285
T11
Tim Clark
+1
-2
70
76
67
73
286
T11
John Huh
-4
-2
70
77
71
68
286
T13
Fred Couples
-1
-1
68
71
77
71
287
T13
Ernie Els
-3
-1
71
74
73
69
287
T13
Dustin Johnson
-2
-1
67
76
74
70
287
T13
David Toms
-5
-1
70
74
76
67
287
T13
Nick Watney
E
-1
78
69
68
72
287
T18
Branden Grace
-3
E
78
70
71
69
288
T18
Henrik Stenson
-3
E
75
71
73
69
288
T20
Jason Dufner
+1
+1
72
69
75
73
289
T20
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
+2
+1
68
74
73
74
289
T20
Bill Haas
E
+1
71
72
74
72
289
T20
Steve Stricker
+3
+1
73
70
71
75
289
T20
Bo Van Pelt
+2
+1
71
74
70
74
289
T25
Stewart Cink
-1
+2
75
71
73
71
290
T25
Luke Donald
E
+2
71
72
75
72
290
T25
Jim Furyk
+4
+2
69
71
74
76
290
T25
Fredrik Jacobson
+1
+2
72
73
72
73
290
T25
Bernhard Langer
+4
+2
71
71
72
76
290
T25
Rory McIlroy
-3
+2
72
70
79
69
290
T25
Justin Rose
+2
+2
70
71
75
74
290
T25
Charl Schwartzel
+1
+2
71
71
75
73
290
T25
Richard Sterne
-2
+2
73
72
75
70
290
T25
Michael Thompson
-5
+2
73
71
79
67
290
T35
Zach Johnson
+3
+3
69
76
71
75
291
T35
Martin Kaymer
-2
+3
72
75
74
70
291
T35
John Senden
+2
+3
72
70
75
74
291
T38
Rickie Fowler
+6
+4
68
76
70
78
292
T38
Robert Garrigus
+1
+4
76
71
72
73
292
T38
Brian Gay
E
+4
72
74
74
72
292
T38
Ryo Ishikawa
-4
+4
71
77
76
68
292
T38
Paul Lawrie
-1
+4
76
70
75
71
292
T38
Ryan Moore
-4
+4
71
72
81
68
292
T38
D.A. Points
+1
+4
72
75
72
73
292
T38
Vijay Singh
E
+4
72
74
74
72
292
T46
Thomas Bjorn
-1
+5
73
73
76
71
293
T46
K.J. Choi
+3
+5
70
71
77
75
293
T46
David Lynn
E
+5
68
73
80
72
293
49
Lucas Glover
+1
+6
74
74
73
73
294
T50
Peter Hanson
E
+7
72
75
76
72
295
T50
Trevor Immelman
+2
+7
68
75
78
74
295
T50
Jose Maria Olazabal
+3
+7
74
72
74
75
295
T50
Bubba Watson
+5
+7
75
73
70
77
295
T54
Keegan Bradley
-3
+9
73
73
82
69
297
T54
Sandy Lyle
-1
+9
73
72
81
71
297
T54
Phil Mickelson
+1
+9
71
76
77
73
297
T54
Scott Piercy
+3
+9
75
69
78
75
297
58
Tianlang Guan
+3
+12
73
75
77
75
300
59
Kevin Na
+9
+13
70
76
74
81
301
60
John Peterson
+8
+14
71
77
74
80
302
61
Carl Pettersson
+9
+16
76
70
77
81
304
CUT
George Coetzee
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Jamie Donaldson
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Martin Laird
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Matteo Manassero
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Graeme McDowell
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Larry Mize
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Ted Potter Jr.
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Webb Simpson
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Y.E. Yang
+5
0
0
149
CUT
Louis Oosthuizen
+6
0
0
150
CUT
Nicolas Colsaerts
+7
0
0
151
CUT
Ben Curtis
+7
0
0
151
CUT
John Merrick
+7
0
0
151
CUT
Mark O’Meara
+7
0
0
151
CUT
Ian Poulter
+7
0
0
151
CUT
Mike Weir
+7
0
0
151
CUT
T.J. Vogel
+8
0
0
152
CUT
Michael Weaver
+8
0
0
152
CUT
Thaworn Wiratchant
+8
0
0
152
CUT
Padraig Harrington
+9
0
0
153
CUT
Russell Henley
+9
0
0
153
CUT
Kevin Streelman
+9
0
0
153
CUT
Francesco Molinari
+11
0
0
155
CUT
Nathan Smith
+11
0
0
155
CUT
Steven Fox
+13
0
0
157
CUT
Tom Watson
+13
0
0
157
CUT
Hunter Mahan
+14
0
0
158
CUT
Craig Stadler
+14
0
0
158
CUT
Ian Woosnam
+14
0
0
158
CUT
Alan Dunbar
+16
0
0
160
CUT
Ben Crenshaw
+20
0
0
164
CUT
Hiroyuki Fujita
+20
0
0
164

 


Great news! Only 361 Days Until the 2014 Masters Tournament – 2013 Masters Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger WoodsU.S. OPEN

The Masters NEVER disappoints.  Never.  There isn’t a golf tournament in the world that can compare to the excitement and the historic shots.  Not the PGA Championship and certainly not the US Open.  The British would be a distant second place.  I will discuss more as to why the Masters is the best shortly.  I’m so spent after the Masters it is hard to post anything meaningful but lets give it a shot.

Adam Scott after wining the Masters on the 2nd playoff hole

2013 Masters Comments

Adam Scott

Adam Scott brought home a green jacket to Australia and finally took himself off the “best player to never have won a major championship list.”  Yes you could argue that Luke Donald or Lee Westwood might have held that position going into this week, but you certainly can’t say it about Adam Scott now.  Adam’s ball striking was fantastic this week.  Seems like he’s even gained some length.  The long putter served him well this week and those clutch putts, the first on 18 to take the outright lead, then the one on the 2nd playoff hole for the win, were clutch.  Congrats to Adam.  He finally did it.

Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera may be my favorite player right now.  I love the combination of power and touch.  He plays with no fear.  What is it with his ability to shine when the stage is the biggest?  Large golf cojones on this one.  The shot Cabrera hit on the final hole, knowing he had to make birdie to force a playoff, was easily the most clutch shot I’ve ever seen. Even more clutch than that damn 15 foot putt my opponent made on me last week to close me out on our $2.00 nassau with two presses.   You could tell how much Angel was enjoying the challenge too.  Cabrera is a stud.  How about the IRON off the tee on #10 in the playoff?  #10 is 495 yards people.  Yes it was downhill but still… and it was raining.  His iron went 292 yards, nearly as far as Adam Scott’s driver.

Tiger Woods

The odd bad break Tiger Woods had on the 15th hole Friday cost him the tournament in my humble opinion.  Had his shot not bounced off the flagstick and into the water, he would have had a short birdie putt which would have given him sole possession of the lead.  Instead he made bogey, which would then be turned into a snowman (8) after it would be deemed that he made an illegal drop.  “Drop gate” ensued the next morning or what I prefer to call, “the drop heard ’round the world.”  The only reason Tiger wasn’t disqualified was a new rule instituted in 2011.  That was the one break Tiger got this week.  This week Tiger missed putts he used to never miss, when he had to make them.  The ever nauseating and old “will Tiger break Jack’s record?” discussion continues, though each major seems to get harder and harder.

Phil Mickelson

Have we seen the last great performances from Phil at Augusta?  Phil finished tied for 54th place, with no rounds lower than 71.

Rory McIlory

Cue the “has the equipment switch hurt Rory McIlory’s game” tape aaaaand…. go.  Rory was never a factor this week, though he did make the cut.  Rory’s lowlight this week was a 3rd round 79… moving day.

Jason Day

I found myself hoping Jason Day would finally pull it out.  He had the lead at several points and by two shots on the final nine.  The tolerances at Augusta National are so fine that you just can’t afford to miss shots in the wrong place.  Jason did that.   He’s got a perfect game for that track and I expect him to contend there again.  I didn’t feel too bad for him when I saw him pick up his baby son after the round.  Made me think of my own baby Seve.  With him I wouldn’t care if I won the Masters or not.  Perspective…

Brandt Snedeker

I was hoping for a Sneds win too.  His putting is so good and his ball striking this week was great.  But the pressure was a bit too much for him.  He was close.  Just like Adam Scott, the more times he knocks on the door of a major win, the better equipped he will be mentally to overcome the pressure and win the thing.  Maybe next time.

Masters AugustaAugusta National Golf Club

Why is the Masters so good every year?  Look no further than the golf course and the way it is setup.  The Masters is geared for exciting finishes and Sunday charges.  It is not a US Open type of golf where the last person standing is the one who could somehow survive a four day on-course beating.  The course gives players many chances to hit heroic shots and penalizes them if they don’t.  That my friends, is what makes it so exciting.

Add the setup to the fact that this major is on the same course every year and has been since the 30’s.  Year after year heroic shots are etched into the tournament’s history, like Jack’s putt on 17 in 1986, Tiger’s chip-in on 16 in 2005 or Gene Sarazen’s “shot heard ’round the world” in 1935.  The golf course is like a living golf museum of historic shots.

Good News!

Only 361 days until the 2014 Masters!  I’ll be counting them down starting…. NOW.


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