The PGA Tour finally made its way to Torrey Pines, and yet I felt like I was watching a mixed member guest.
Truth be told I was watching college basketball most of the day, but every now and then I flipped over to see how some of the best in the world were tackling a course that was playing over 7,500 yards. Let’s just say it was not always pretty, and I often found myself saying, "Tiger wouldn't have done that."
Maybe it is unfair to continuously compare some of these guys to Tiger, but that's the way it is going to be. When you grow accustomed to the best you expect the best.
It's kind of like watching football on HD-TV for the past however many years it has been around and then going over to your buddy's house and watching the game on a 52-inch non HD-TV.
Sure, the TV is big, but you can easily notice the difference. Immediately you keep telling yourself that you are not getting the best product and you are being cheated.
It seemed like every time I flipped the golf back on I was being cheated.
No, really. It was that bad at times.
Robert Allenby raced up the leaderboard and found himself five under on his round through 13 holes. This was kind of like hearing about a 13-handicapped shooting even par on the front nine.
He immediately implodes and goes five over through his next four holes, highlighted by a triple-banger on 17. That was kind of like the so-called three handicapper shooting 50 on the inward nine to cost his partner all of the Calcutta money.
Oh, way to toss in a meaningless eagle on 18 Allenby. Maybe that will get you a scat. I'm sure if the tournament was on the line you would have dribbled one into the drink. But since the pressure was off you almost jarred it from about 250.
The move up the leaderboard was great. The epic collapse, not so much. Yeah, Tiger wouldn't have done that.
How about Ruji Imada, the leader after three rounds. This guy goes out and posts a 75 to fall all the way back to T-9.
As if that wasn't bad enough his late round anti-heroics were spectacular. On 17 he has a chance to stay within two shots of Ben Crane and give himself the opportunity to tie it on the par-five 18th.
Nope. He goes bogey on 17 and then tries to go for the green in two on 18 only to find out that hitting a three-wood off the heel isn't the best approach.
Fore, left! Fore, way left! I hope they pass out hardhats for patrons in the grand stand the next time you go for a green in two.
Tiger wouldn’t have done that.
Then there's eventual champion Ben Crane. On 17, he can essentially seal the deal with a par. The only problem is that he is staring at a knee-knocking five footer with little to no movement. He yanks it dead left and lets a couple players back into the mix.
Okay, no big deal. He played 18 well and eventually found himself below the hole with two putts to win the tournament.
The pin was almost in the water, so to be below the hole and on the green took quite the effort. This guy somehow found a way to do and yet he still struggled to wrap up the victory. His first putt was woeful and came up about three feet short and was never online. Nice putt, Nancy. Was your skirt in the way?
He gathered himself and rolled in the putt to seal the win, but still, Tiger would not have done that.
And then there was the epic failure of Michael Sim.
This guy belts his drive about three bills right down Broadway and only has 240 yards left to the green. You know what he does?
He lays up with a seven iron.
Yep. With a chance to tie or win the tournament this guy lays up.
Look, I know there is trouble short of the green and I know if you bail out long and right you are facing a tough up and down. But would the best players in the world, namely Tiger do this?
Tiger probably pulls out three iron, jumps out of shoes swinging, chips, putts, and ties for the lead.
And don't tell me about Tiger laying up on 18 on the same course in the U.S. open. He drove it into a bunker. He was forced to layup.
If I was out there I'd be going for it. Odds are I'd cold top it or hit one farther left than Imada, but I'm not going to let my you know whats go crawling up inside me.
The guy is a Tour pro for crying out loud. He has the ability to hit a three wood 240. Hell, he probably only had to carry it 220. He's got that shot in the bag so don't act like he can't pull it off.
And plus what do you learn about yourself in that spot? The next time you are faced with going for it in two are you going to remember the time you were a coward?
Sim slaps one down the fairway and he is sitting pretty in the middle of the fairway. Now I don't know much about this Sim character so I have to assume he is a great wedge player if this is the route he decided to play.
I remember Zach Johnson, David Toms, and Payne Stewart laying up to win majors and all of them were exceptional with the wedge in their hands. So I can only assume this guy knows how to wield a wedge.
He knocks his approach up there only to see the ball come racing off the front of the green because he can't execute a simple dead-arm shot. If your strategy was to lay up, you better know how to pull off the shot. And don't tell me the green is tough to navigate and that it takes local knowledge to be aware of the green's slope in the front.
How many rounds did he play there, including practice? Either you or your caddie needs to do homework next time.
But not all is lost with this poor decision. He can still chip it in as his ball appeared to be sitting up fairly nicely on the upslope and below the hole.
Every now and then you get to play with someone who insists on the pin being pulled and you want to say, "Why? You're not going to scare the damn cup anyway."
Well someone should have said that to Sim. His chip shot went straight up in the air and rolled maybe six inches forward never giving him a chance to tie for the lead.
And when he put his club back in the bag it looked like he was using a wedge. Yo, Sim ditch the wedge. Maybe an eight iron would be the play to make sure you get it to the hole.
Thankfully though after watching Sim's debacle on 18 I was still left saying, "Tiger wouldn't have done that."
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