Monday, 13 April 2009

Final Day at The Masters - Part One - Covering the Tiger and Phil Show...

It was the final Day at the masters I think we’d all been waiting for. No one enjoys seeing a Trevor Immelman or a Zach Johnson processing to victory, I’m fairly sure their families would have preferred someone else to win. We want high drama, the big names putting on a show, a nailbiting finish where any one of six might win and this year delivered that in bagfuls. The pairing of Tiger and Phil off out a few groups before the leaders was always going to be intriguing simply because of the love to hate relationship the pair share but the golf the pair produced was nothing short of electrifying. Tiger apparently “had the worst practice session of his life” from his post match interview, a fact Wayne Grady confirmed, telling how he’d never seen the great man hit so many snap hooks. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when his first drive was a good 100 yards off the target line really. But Tiger being Tiger he held it together and scrambled a par there and kept in the mix with a glorious eagle on seven.

Mickelson had no such woes. For once completely uninhibited by the presence of the world number one, he really let loose on the front nine to match the record of 30 shots, six under par for the nine. There was a litany of great shots, he played the sort of golf that you feel he really should play all the time, super aggressive and demanding all of his skill. From a tricky lie, with trees just in his line on six he hit what Peter Alliss called one of the best shots he’d ever seen in his life. I’d concur with that assessment. I love to mock Phil for his flaky nature but on the front nine he truly won me over, I was rooting for him.

It was easy to forget there were two groups coming behind in the early stages, nothing was happening for any of them, - Perry, Cabrera, Campbell, Furyk, all were going backwards or staying where they were. I loved the stat they were showing throughout the day, Tiger and Phil’s combined scoring against the final 2 groups – at the turn it was the dynamic duo of the top two -9 for the day, the final four +1. They were reeling them in hand over fist and a comeback win of an epic scale was on the cards.

Somehow though the air went out of the sails as the big two turned the corner, Phil who had glided along like he was on rollerskates, looked to be wading in treacle for a hole or two. As he stepped on to the 12th tee he had an audible discussion with his caddy Bones over club selection, “It’s a nine iron but we’ll need to just add some to it to get there” said Bones, Phil nodded and went for it. Except he didn;t really go for it and hit it a tad right and the agony that has hit manys a marauding Masters challenger hit Phil square in the face. It was truly gutting and looked to have taken him out of things but he made his bogey. News of Rory Mc’s back nine 30 and Geoff Ogilvy’s five birdies in a row kept alive the hope it still might be on. Another score to be posted was that of John Merrick who got in early at eight under, a great performance from the first timer. He’s lucky not to share the looks of his namesake too...

Perry was the steadiest of Eddies making par after par after par, for a bland scorecard at halfway but one which held the lead. Cabrera had dropped back somewhat, an almighty shank on eight not helping his cause at all.

Meanwhile Phil was racking up the “if only that hadn’t happened” moments on his back nine, a lovely approach on 14 gave him yet another birdie chance but it lipped out, having been halfway in the hole, and he stayed nine under. Tiger’s ball had spun horridly back of the green but he go up and down to stay -8.

They strod on to 15 then knowing they needed to make something happen. Tiger ripped one long, the birdie’s of the first three days not enough for him, he needed eagle. Phil, still playing majestically knocks his past him, unrelenting in just outshining the No.1 all day. The 6 iron approach from Tiger is a delight, around 12 feet for eagle. Phil, once more turning the screw on Tiger in their personal battle hits it to a few feet. Micko’s back in business, Eagle is preparing for landing. Pesky old tiger though has his eagle attempt first, and misses right. Phil tries to learn from this but looks for a lesson that wasn’t there and pushes the tiddler for eagle by the hole left. It’s back to the good old days when Phil was ripping up Augusta to be undine by two footers. Birdies would have to do for the great pair.

Back on 12 one of the oddest occurrences I’ve seen was delivered by the 367th ranked player in the world Todd Hamilton. Only too aware that a top 16 will be required to get back next year, his Masters invites courtesy of being open champ a few years back now spent he was hovering on that line on 5 under when he plopped it in the aqua at 12. Then, from the drop zone, he chucks it high and it catches on the fringe at the far right corner and spins furiously and somehow gathers the backwards momentum to make it all the way to the hole for the unlikeliest of pars. Kudos to Todd, I’m not looking forward to seeing him again next year but I will enjoy that clip every time I see it. It was one of the many shots, most from Phil that will make the final rounds highlights package a particularly stuffed one.

Speaking of shots you won’t tire of seeing, the mandatory playing of “that chip”TM from Tiger on 16, you know, the “IN YOUR LIFE, have you ever seen anything like that” Nike advert one. They showed that and you just wished he would do something amazing again. To do the amazing chip once more he’d have to hit a stinking tee shot first of course but he obviously wasn’t in the mood to muck around and stiffed it to about 3 feet. Phil pars and they’re both now ten under, easily a position to post a good target for those coming behind.

Perry had his pop at repeating Tigers trick of stopping the ball on the lip for the advertisers to get a good look at the logo, but failed to fully execute by making it magically drop into the hole on 11 to make it 11 straight pars to stay 11 under. Nothing was happening for Cabrera and El Pato’s waddle seemed that of a lame duck trudging to 12. From nowhere though he stiffs his nine iron approach (he had enough to get there with a nine, unlike Phil) to a few feet to get himself rolling. Perry from the back of the green got the putt he had been searching for, not a solid four foot par stroke, he’d had about 11 of those already, but a nice long read for birdie. It seemed his year now, surely.

Coming up 17 Tiger and Phil both needed good drives, only one of them got what they were after. Tiger with the look of a man not enjoying himself at all had hit it left and blocked his path with trees. He has no option but to layup and that kisses his chances goodbye really. To rub salt in the wound, Phil from the fairway produces a real gem and has another chance at birdie. Tiger nips his pitch away cleanly but it doesn’t grab and runs well past. Looking defeated and mightily pissed off because of it he can only make bogey. Phil though has his tiddler for a nailed on birdie, except Phil has rediscovered his art of missing the crucial short ones. He pushes it right again, the horror, the horror! He should be 12 under if you conut those two teeny misses, probably 13 under if he’d muscled up more on his nine iron at 12. As it is he stays 10 under and will be ruing those for a while.

Up 18 then and having not had any fun whatsoever on the last all week, Tiger is back to playing in the trees up the right. We’ve seen him there before, and seen him pull off some miracles. Rememeber when he popped it out right, on to the 10th fairway and had us all scratching our heads only to play an unsighted shot with no yardage book for guidance (as strictly one is not meant to do such a thing) and pops it stone dead to take par. On another day when his dander was up, he may have repeated some of that magic, not today. Seeming more mortal than I have ever seen, he tried to thread the needle between two trees, but as would happen to us non golfing gods, he went and tonked it off a tree trunk and was out on that 10th fairway again, but not through design but by ricochet. The heroics of past years were not repeated, he ends up short right and it’s a bogey, bogey finish to Tigers Masters. Still, no one could suggest he’s lost his hunger, that man clearly wants victories, bad, but he has the look of someone trying so damn hard, he’s forgotten to enjoy himself.

Big Phil from the huge white expanse of the fairway bunker up the left tried to hit the Sandy Lyle shot, and for all the world thought he had, skipping out of the bunker to see the result, telling caddie Bones, “I think that I got it” – Bones is less impressed, “It’s short Phil” and so it is. A pitch and two putts and Phil having started as well as anyone ever has in a final round at Augusta , finished rather limply with 37 shots on the back nine. Still, what amazing golf he played and as he pointed out in his post match interview, it’s not too often he gets the best of Tiger but he was very gracious about it. He was also philosophical about the small putts he missed. It was stark contrast to the sour faced Woods, who’s PR has become lapse of late. At least he didn’t say he “putted like a spaz” again...

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Early Round Four - Mickelson is charging, Tiger's miffed, Steve Williams hates Phil even more now!

Okay, so like you all I am absolutely glued to the Masters coverage right now. It's amazing isn't it, the flowers are lovely aren't they?

No, I mean they are lovely, of course they are but Christ, what golf. Mickelson is on fire! It was always going to be spicy with him and Tiger going out together but it's been incredible form from Big Phil. 30 on the front nine, equalling the record, and in what style. Cracking stuff. I haven't seen Phil play like that ever, and certainly not in the circumstances. Will it lead to a backlash from Tiger on the backnine, he must be fuming seeing what Micko's doing, completely overshadowing him. He did just hole a massive Eagle putt but still, it's Phil who's one off the lead and has everyone salivating.

Wee Rory has just came in 31, how much would any of them give for a back nine like that? That should be Rory around 20th in the tournament, a damn good showing in my book.

And what will be going through the minds of Cabrera and Perry, those roars thet've been hearing will have sent chills to their very bones... They'll be chewing cloth alright!

Round Three - Perry and the Duck stake their claim

He tried his best to live up to my low expectations towards the end of his third round, but somehow Chad Campbell has held it together enough to remain in contention and fair play to him, when things looked ready to crumble, he kept his head and got in at nine under. His big square head. But still, do you see him putting in a thrusting challenge over the closing holes today?

He’ll have to do so because we have two players out front who could conceivably run away with it today. The huge hitting Angel Cabrera – one of the most underrated of recent major winners, has had three rounds in the 60’s to get to the final pairing alongside round two leader Kenny Perry. It’s a victory for fat men all over the world to see them two big bellies striding out together. Everyone’s been praising Mickelson for getting so trim and marvelling at his new biceps. Perry and Cabrera look like they’ve been hitting the burger van a lot harder than the gym and it’s doing them no harm.

While I’m at it can I just mention, I used to mock Phil for wearing shirts that looked like they’d come from the budget rail at Walmart. Now he’s gone for the tailored look, which put his new found triceps on display but also show that he still has a wee bit of a podgy torso, I sort of miss those shirts. They looked like the shirts they might hand out at Ford garages to the kids who wash the cars for them. He’s lost touch with his inner Ford car washer. He’s all fruit and yoga these days, stretching on the fairways like the worlds worst Madonna impersonator.

But yes, Cabrera with a three under 69 and Perry with a 70 are now the overwhelming favourites, it’s a rare thing indeed for the winner not to come out of the last group at Augusta. Perry will ge hoping to avoid any more Amen Corner wobbles though. Coming off a bogey at 11, he overhit at 12 and a horrid chip and two putts threatened a derailment of the good train Kenny’s journey to glory. But to mix my metaphors even further, he steadied the ship bravely.
Jim Furyk was looking out of it for quite a while until he got his mojo on the back nine, and put in a burst of scoring which sees him sitting in a prime position to pick up the pieces should the top two start to falter. A similar run in the final round and Furyk could be posting the score for the last group to chase. Steve Stricker has also stuck his hand up having had a quiet enough tournament over the first few days.

Ian Poulter put in an encouraging round of four under which gives him a sniff but he will need the leaders to come back in all likelihood, and maybe a repeat of his hole in on at 16 from a few years previous to mount a serious challenge. Lee Westwood is still playing well having rejuvenated his career last year and is nicely positioned on four under.
Tiger to come from behind in a major – that’ll never happen right? Probably not this time, he’s seven shots back. His moving day took a real step backwards as an errant drive and a poor bogey putt gave him a double bogey start. He did manage to get to post a 70 in the end and avoided a third consecutive bogey on 18 with the king of putt that’s deserted him most of the week. An indicative statistic is that he had the second highest number of putts of any player to make the cut. It just hasn’t clicked on the greens for him this time around. But then, if it clicks today, maybe he could just go real low and do something he’s never done before, be a successful hunter rather than prey that’s impossible to catch.

The most intersersting thing of all is the pairing he’s in, Tiger and Phil, prepare for fireworks!
What news of the Paddy Slam. Well, it doesn’t help when you’re looking to make it three majors in a row, you’ve got to play the par fives well. One of the golden rules is to try to avoid running up a nine. Always a good idea. Unfortunately on the par five second hole Padraig couldn’t keep this golden rule. Paddy slam banjaxed. (Banjaxed- an Irish term for royally screwed up). He didn’t let his head go down, and took encouragement from the record setting Anthony Kim’s run of birdies the day before – that’s positive mental attitude for you. He didn’t manage eleven though, just the four. Ah well, he’ll settle for three opens in a row come summer.

Sam's emasculation campaign brought to a end - BBC throws out wicker torture couch, Wayne Grady cries with joy

I’m glad to see there has been a change of furniture in the Augustsa BBC studio. For too long has the likes of Ken Brown and Wayne Grady been subjected to the emasculation of sharing the dreaded wicker sofa with alpha male Sam Torrance. Not content with putting them all to shame with a moustache unrivalled since the days of Magnum PI, Torrance has terrorised his co workers by taking the lions share of the sofa, spread-eagled with his legs akimbo, arm around the shoulder as his fellows sat cramped, knees together, crushed as much by their inferiority complex as Torrance’s room hogging pose.

It’s not Sam’s fault, a man needs ball-room, some need more than others and some have the balls to take it and they are usually the ones who need it. It’s become a sort of slang for someone who’s taking more than their share of the sofa in our house often hearing “Who do you think you are? Sam Torrance?” and occasionally it’s been used as a verb “Look at that poor chump, he’s getting well Torranced there”.

But his reign of terror has come to an end as the rest of them must have had a whip round, visited IKEA and got some individual seats where Sam can occupy as much space as he feels the need to without invading the personal space of those around them.

We can only hope that soon the BBC will ditch that other unnecessary lump of wood, Gary Lineker. For God’s sake there has to be someone in the BBC that can think of an intelligent comment to make about Golf to replace him with. Even Peter Alliss has come out and said that he’s crap. I‘m sure off air he often says it to his face. Each year I hope he’ll improve, now I just hope he gets removed.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

So long dark knight... that's the 73 year old South African one, Christian Bale will be back....

There were a few final Masters farewells to be made this year. Some teased us with the thought they might make the weekend. Greg Norman, having dunked it in the left front bunker on 12 promptly plonked it in the hole to bring back memories of great times for the great man and evoke images of last years heroics at the Open. It all went pear shaped however when he knocked up and expensive seven on 13 – a hole where others had been making hay all day with eagles galore. Once more he proved a gallant loser at Augusta, no tears from Greg but then Sharks don't cry do they.

Not his final appearance (I hope!) but the big Easy was in trouble again. Ernie with a peach of a shot on 16 gave himself a perfect opportunity to get back to one over yet missed his putt. The body language of Els makes it seem he’s already beaten before he starts. Ernie missed the cut in the last two years, still it was surprising to see him not make it again. I miss Ernie, we need him back – Golf needs Ernie!

Fuzzy Zoeller, produced one of the shots of the day on 16, shying it right at the pin and in the end there were tears not just from him but also from his daughter who was caddying for him this week and clearly enjoyed doing it. He kept the old shades on to hide them and it was a sprightly little run he made up the hill to the scoring hut to hide from the cameras that belied his bellies girth. Great to see.

Gary player walked up the last a damn sight sprightlier than alot of the young uns did, he took his applause like a pro and with a smile on his face. Somehow I’ve always felt a bit sorry for him , with the idolisation of Nicklaus and more especially Arnie Palmer with hi own personal army of fans. In many ways Player was a bigger character and a much more engaging person to listen to. I remember during a recent masters when there was torrential rainstorm and BBC presenter Gary Lineker was hopelessly struggling to fill airtime. Gary Player walked in and just started talking and even creating his own questions to answer - funny, informative, entertaining - I could have listened to his little anecdotes all day. (Note to self, idea for TV programme - Gary Player talks). I contrast that with a golf video I was once made to watch in school when the bus that was supposed to take us to the driving range broke down. Jack Nicklaus was telling a tale of something hilarious that happened to him in a hotel once - we all laughed our ass off, but at him, not with him. Worst story ever.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, though he may not have received the adulation his peers did, his presence will be more sorely missed than Jack and Arnie will, cause they were great, but not as much fun.

A final thought, he's played the Masters on 52 occasions. It’s a pity he had to three putt the last, but Christ, after 52 years of doing it you’d be bloody knackered and all. 52 weeks, that’s a year of his life, what a year

McIlroy survives a kick in the sand - Harringtons challenge set back by a bad case of wind - Troubles for the Irish at Augusta

Right, so who's still kicking and screaming at the Masters after round two? Well, Sandy Lyle rolled back the years yesterday – a cracking round of 70 left him two under and like the young schoolboy he appeared to have regressed to, excited at the prospect of maybe getting a run out with Tiger. run of five birdies to get to three under – clearly been on the glucosamine and getting his fury at Monty off his chest clearly agreed with him. Pity he rounded it off with a five at the last but he was in good company there.

18 has been a costly hole for Tiger this year – 2 attempts, 2 bogeys – his second round par putt just lipped out of the left edge having looked good all the way. He’d done well to set up a chance to save par after finding the right hand bunker but it wasn’t to be. The ensuing post round interview was just as sullen and bad tempered as BBC stalwart Peter Alliss predicted it would be. There’s a creeping arrogance settling into Tigers dealings with the press and Alliss is not the only one to notice it. He needs to be careful with that. Things have not just been going right for him so far and he seems a bit miffed – like it should be and it’s not his fault. Saying that, have you ever seen him swinging better, he looks like a golfing Adonis out there. Poetry in motion, but fierce poetry, poetry with guns of steel.

In blustery conditions the scoring was not expected to be great. No one seemed to have told Anthony Kim that who went about posting a record number of birdies in 18 holes at Augusta. 11 birdies came Kims way thanks to some great iron shots and superlative putting. Having had a very average first day, this was anything but. He did have two bogeys and a one double to temper his score a little but he’d have bitten your hand off for a 65 at the start of the day. His new record tops that of Nick Price who had managed ten birdies in a single round.

Playing with him was the heir apparent himself Rory Mc. Things were rolling along nicely for the Holywood teenager and when he hit a trademark booming drive at 13 to set himself up with the most straightforward of eagles you could see (he made it look like a par four) he was as good as four under.

Things did not sail so smoothly from there on. Particularly costly was a hash of the 16th green. Four putts is not the way to stay in contention at majors. And by the time he got to 18 he was struggling. He hit it into the same right greenside bunker as Tiger had – the difference being that Tiger with calm authority played a lovely recovery bunker shot. Rory could only splash his ball four or five feet in front of him. His second bash duly came out flying low and was off the green on the other side. So it was when he finally drained it after seven shots he’d gone right back to the plus one cut mark.

But even that was not all for Rory. Twenty minutes or so later and rumours of an investigation into McIlroys round surfaced. It transpired that want seemed an innocuous if petulant kick at the sand in between bunker shots may cost him his place over the weekend. It could be deemed as testing the ground, a one shot penalty in the bunker, which would have been enough to make him miss the cut and would be a two shot penalty anyhow for signing the wrong card. After a chat with officials however it was deemed that he had not gained advantage by improving his lie and as a player is allowed to smooth over sand after a bunker shot as long as he does not affect his next shot, Rory was in the clear. It may turn out to work in his favour as he’ll be going out early with a bit of freedom to just go for it. Who knows what he could do.

Up the top end of the leaderboard I’m sure I was just as shocked as the rest of you to see Ghost of Open past Todd Hamilton lying 6 under. What the hell is going on? He’s getting ideas above his station once more. Bad enough that the likes of him and Ben Curtis started winning the Open and thus making for incredibly tournaments for us all. “Todd Who?” being the most commonly uttered phrase of that week. He can’t go mucking up the masters on us too. We demand quality winners – no more Zach Johnsons either –let’s have quality.

Mickelson, a quality winner here in the past, was running a bit slow. That’s until he turned up at 13 and made an ass of its par 5 status spanking an absolute monster to leave only a nine iron or so which he damn near put in the hole. Mickelsion claimed to be responsible for the lengthening of the hole after Hootie Johnson saw his drive there. The rest of the field will be hoping the Augusta officials were looking the other way. He’s not done himself any favours with some scrappy play but he still looks dangerous if things start to click. Not sure about his brown shirt though, a bit too close to um, well, you know, you’ve seen Reservoir Dogs.

Sergio truly is a quality player but he has thus far lacked the intestinal fortitude to got out and grab a major and make it his. Maybe being back with his old friend the belly putter has given him the stomach for it. Massively overhitting it on 12, he flops it short and into the water on 13 and with him finding Rae’s creek you had the feeling he could fall by the wayside. But not this time. He turned it around in great fashion to get himself up to four under. It was his first subpar round at the masters since 2004, an incredible statistic. I think it would be a cruel man who would deny Garcia and his swashbuckling approach to the game deserves a break and it sure would be fantastic to watch. But should he get close you know what that would mean. Harrington loves hunting Sergio and the Paddy slam would surely be on.

Harrington was coasting a bit yesterday before, as damn near everyone seemed to be doing he helped himself to an eagle on 13 with a monster putt. I think the pin position may be a mite less rewarding today. He then had a bit of a nightmare on the 15th with the wind rearing up to bite him on the bum. Metaphorically of course. A great birdie chance turned into a clutch par putt when having gone through his entire putting routine, he stepped back off the ball when the wind reared up to steady himself. He had another wee practice before a gust took his ball off on a wee wander. It was cruel luck but as he had addressed the ball already (though it was debatable if had really set himself he had grounded the club) it was a penalty shot. But if there’s one thing Harrington has turned into his meat and drink these past few years it’s clutch putts and he sauntered off the green not sore at losing a penalty stroke because the wind was against him but happy to have made the putt. Thats the mental strength everyone babbles on about when they mention his name.

Justin Rose, faced with a treacherous shot out of the bunker on 16, duly holed out where it could easily have run 30 feet on to the bottom of the green, a great shot. He had to spoil it by trying a gangsta style finger click in celebration, looking like an public school boy. But to be fair to the lad he did the same bloody thing on 17 to record two 0 putt holes in a row. He’s taken a different approach this year, avoiding the trap of taking the early lead to continually get worse during the week. Maybe Rose will do better building things up - maybe he will come into bloom if you will (apologies, had to be written).

Leading the way we have the evergreen Kenny Perry, who is a bit of a Benjamin Button, consistently getting better the older he gets. Now he hasn't got a Ryder Cup to qualify for he can get back to actually playing in Majors again. A flawless round with five birdies see's him top the leaderboard on nine under par. He has company there though...

I was wrong about Chad – he’s stuck around another day, who’d have thunk it. Still it’s got to be coming hasn’t it and when it does, I think it will be quite a big slide down the leaderboard for mini Jabba.

A tale of two Campbells...

Due to a lack of internet connection being back in the bosom of my family home in Ireland I am making this post after the second round but it was written just after the first. Clear? - probably not...

So round one is gone and who would have believed the largest head in golf would be sitting atop the leaderboards at Augusta. I speak not in terms of ego, how could Chad Campbell have a big ego but in terms of sheer physical size. That thing must have its own gravitational field.

Unfortunately I was on a flight home last night, which of course was delayed and was unable to watch the majority of the coverage. So I missed the footage of Jabba the Hutt’s baby brother racking up the impressive score of seven under par. But for every Trevor Immelman wire to wire win around Augusta there are about ten guys who’ve had a storming first round to implode in the second. I don’t know about you but somehow I see Chad becoming one of the unlucky ones.

My Dad always used to say it when the name appeared on the screen as a joke, last night my mother said it seriously, “Where’s that Jim Fukyr from”. Lucky that we were not watching in polite company. Bless. A good round from gentle Jim sees him in fine fettle.

Slightly more predictable was the Campbell down at the other end. Streaky old Michael Campbell. I’m sure there’s plenty of you out there who have a favourite player not taking part this week bemoaning the fact they’re not there – in my case big Darren Clarke. What the hell was the point in inviting him to the party, he’s bagged his jammy major, give someone else a chance! He hasn’t made the cut here in nine bloody attempts!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Gary Player, a truly great playist of the game, still knocking em dead at an age when lesser mortals usually are...

Ah the par three contest, what a joy it is, there's always some miraculous shots, holes-in-one all over the place a few cracking wee stories along the way.

Here's a link to the highlights of the pick of the shots from the bbc including a statement of intent from young whippersnapper Gary Player. Making up the numbers, a final farewell? I think Gary might have other ideas. Fair enough, he had just plonked it in the water seconds before but what a shot from the old master. It makes a mockery of the 10,000-1 you can get at the bookies on him for the championship, all that chat of he can hear the ball landing was just a rouse. And what a celebration, that's how you strike a pose.

Oh and look out for relatively young Old Greg Norman and his boilersuit clad caddie for the day, Chris Evert. Having inspired him to a top three Open finish last year, getting him back to the Masters, Chris still seems to be getting the Sharks juices pumping, as he was bagging a hole in one here as well. There's life in the old fish yet.

Rumours that Nick Faldo has been hitting on Martina Navratilova to acheive a similar effect are completely unfounded but amusing not the less...

And who's the unlucky so and so to shat on his chances before the tournament began? Silly ol Tim Clark - who can no longer win, not because of the curse that whoever wins the par 3 never wins the real thing but because even if he does well, he will get so pissed off listening to inane questions about the stupid curse that he will be unable to concentrate on golf anymore.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Big Phil teased with number one slot; Golfing Gods love a laugh at Mickelson...

And verily God let it be known "That Phil Mickelson shall ne'er be the Big Kahuna, it's a life as bridesmaid, ne'er the bride" and declared his work done and that he was happy with it...

I couldn't let it go by without mentioning it. If Tiger had got lower than second last week and Big Phil won this,he would have ripped the title of world number one from TW after sitting in his trailblazing backwash for the best part of ten years. Like it was ever going to happen.

It's crazy, it's like the golfing gods just enjoy taking the mickey out of him. They did finally allow him to get the old tag "best player never to win a major" from off his shoulders but to tantalise him so with the prospect of being world No.1 in such blatant fashion; to leave him sitting watching Tiger play last weekend thinking, if he just finishes outside the top two I can take it. It will be mine!

With a Tiger who was not exactly looking bad but wasn't back to his best, surely Phil would get his opportunity. But no, yet again its tough titty Phil, the door rudely slammed shut as he looked on helpless and then just to sink the boot in further, they go and make it windy at Houston and he misses the cut anyway. They know Phil doesn't do wind! Those damn cruel golfing gods.

David Duval even got to be number one for crying out loud, on a few occassions, though to be fair he's been paying that one off with the powers that be ever since. Still it will forever say in any article about Duval, former world numberone. Not best player to never be number one...

He shouldn't have got his hopes up anyhow. Everyone who is anyone knows that Rory McIlroy is the next world number one.