Phil Mickelson after winning 2010 Masters - click for more Masters photos
Welcome to the first post of probably close to one billion here during 2011 Masters Week!
I had a hard time getting interested in the Houston Open until the final round yesterday, with the Masters looming. Phil Mickelson and Scott Verplank had quite a duel, which for most of the round was spectacular. Phil finally separated himself on the last few holes for the three shot win over Verplank and Chris Kirk. The rest of the field wasn’t even in the same zip code at -13 to Phil’s -20.
Should Phil play Augusta on every course?
My first thought about the Houston win is that perhaps Phil should play “Augusta” shots on every course. He’d said he’d be hitting shots and practicing for the Masters, rather than playing more appropriate shots for Redstone Golf Club. Net result is a 3 shot win.
Bloggers and scribes write themselves in circles about whether or not Phil is ready for the Masters
A couple of weeks ago, golf bloggers and scribes were saying that Phil wasn’t ready for Augusta. Then after shooting his 63 on Saturday at Redstone, they said he “peaked too early.” Trying to follow some of them makes my head spin. They change their tune every day. The fact is that even if aliens invade our planet, Phil will always be ready for The Masters. His length combined with his short game which is perfect for the course will almost always put him in contention.
Mickelson passes Tiger Woods in world ranking
The win has moved Phil’s world ranking up to #3 and for the first time since 1997 he is ranked higher than Tiger Woods. Woods has dropped to #7. Should Mickelson win the 2011 Masters, he’ll attain the #1 ranking in the world, provided that Martin Kaymer finishes worse than 2nd. At least that is what I’ve read.
Irrelevant Department – Phil now #2 in FedEx Cup Points
I don’t expect Phil Mickelson to win the FedEx Cup. That being said, he’s now up to #2 in FedEx Cup points behind Mark Wilson, who will also not win the FedEx Cup.
The Cost Of Privacy
The NYPost is reporting that Tiger Woods’ yacht “Privacy” is for sale with an asking price of $25 million. The article reports that TW paid $20 million for it and he’d be lucky in this economy if he got that back. Apparently Elin got the yacht in the divorce and gave it back to Tiger because she didn’t want to fork out the $2 million per year it would cost to maintain it. Wow. Them’s big numbers.
Shall We Take Up A Collection?
I’ll throw in the first buck. Let’s take up a collection and get 20 million people to pitch in and buy the thing! We can have a hell of a party, but it would hard to fit that many people on the thing at one time…
Apparently Tiger is downgrading. His new boat is a diving ship he purchased for about $3.1 million. The name of that one is “Solutude.” I get it.
Leave Me Alone
At this rate, in 4-5 years Tiger will be buying a row boat for $323.04. That row boat will be named, “Leave Me Alone.”
Tiger Woods iPhone Application - click for more TW images
The timing of releasing a Tiger Woods swing iPhone application couldn’t be any worse. Tiger’s swing has been anything but consistent of late. Golf pundits and TV talking heads have criticized and critiqued the swing until the cows came home. Tiger’s swing coaches old and new are trading body blows in the press and on Twitter.
Let the jokes begin. I’ll go ahead and start it off…
Tiger Woods iPhone swing app features:
- The block right
- The smother hook
- How to spit in Dubai
- How to properly drop F Bombs
- How to drop your head three feet in your downswing
- How to throw clubs over the gallery
- How to say “it’s a process”
- How to take a proven winning swing and overhaul it for two years
- How to increase your hearing so you can hear lens shutters in your back swing from 500 yards
- How to abandon the stinger
- How to lay off the club too much in the back swing
Bonus caddy feature:
Hopefully I’ll be getting my hands on a promotional copy soon so I can post a review…
Just listened to the Arnold Palmer presser at Bay Hill. I say “listened” because for the life of me I can’t get these live video feeds on PGATOUR.com to work. They only play audio. I’ve upgraded my Flash player a million times, and even recited Shakespear backwards in Latin with a lampshade on my head, but still no video… A rant for another day (probably tomorrow).
Arnie answers questions about Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, Tiger, Mr. Woods, The Masters, Tiger Woods, TW, Bay Hill, Eldrick and of course Tiger Woods
You just have to love the press right? Well, no. 24/27ths of the questions they asked Arnie were about Tiger Woods. Arnie did his best to politically correctly (huh?) dance around the personal stuff to basically say that you can never count Tiger out of the tournament. Translation: Tiger is playing poorly, but may find it.
Wisely, Arnie didn’t bite on any of the Tiger swing change questions.
Bites from Arnie not about Tiger
Of course, Arnie had to get in a Sam Saunders comment or two. Saunders is his grandson who he is doing the best he can to help out with his pro golf career.
Arnie’s comments on the course, Bay Hill, were probably the most useful of the bunch. He mentioned that the greens would be very hard and fast. Putting will be tough. Hitting greens without the ball running off into collection areas or roll-offs will be difficult. Arnie also mentioned that they’ll be penalizing errant drives as well as equally rewarding good drives with the size of the fairways and the depth of the rough. Translation: Arnie doesn’t want it to be just a bomber’s festival.
The Transitions Championship is this week. There has been a lot of press about Sergio Garcia’s return and how exciting that is. Unless he’s undergone a complete brain transplant, I’m not sure the prospect of Sergio’s return is all that great to me. Time will tell if he does come into the game with a better attitude and actually enjoys it. He was tough to watch last year, dragging his wrists on the fairways and all slumped over. Very depressing.
Garcia is already playing his 2nd round, and has gotten himself to -6 which is one shot behind the current leaders.
Despite the fact that the Transitions Championship is this week, it seems that there’s been more coverage about the fact that Tiger Woods has committed to playing Bay Hill next week. News flash: Tiger playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational isn’t news. Tiger ALWAYS plays Bay Hill. You can set your clock by it. And more big news is that Tiger has officially committed to play the Masters. Oh really? I thought he was going to skip The Masters and rest up for playing the Texas Open the following week.
Phil Mickelson has confirmed Bay Hill and the Shell Houston Open on his schedule as a tune up for The Masters. Some golf scribes are already saying that Phil isn’t physically what he was due to the arthritis, and that we’ve seen the best of him come and go. They say he won’t win the Masters. I don’t think you can use the tournaments prior to the Masters as a gauge any more. Phil gets so geared up for Augusta and loves that tournament/course so much I think we won’t know the state of his real game until then. And I hope he wins another one.
It is cool to see the comments on Twitter by some of the players who are about to be playing their first Masters. I felt so happy for Jhonnatan Vegas when he Tweeted and shot a picture coming down Magnolia Lane. I doubt he’ll really tear up Augusta for his first time, but he does have the game to do it.
So I’m mentioning all these super big guns on the PGA Tour and the next highlight is Fred Funk? That’s because I just finished an interview with Fred. Stay tuned for that interview coming up soon.