The week in golf hasn’t even really started and yet it’s already been an exciting week. Let’s take a quick look at recent happenings.
This week has been a pretty eventful one so far in the world of golf. The guys on the PGA Tour are getting set to play in their unofficial “Fifth Major” as play is a couple of days away in Ponte Vedra, Florida home of TPC Sawgrass and it’s famed Stadium Course. A golf course that has a pesky little Par 3 that can be the site of some serious carnage. A hole where championships can be won (and lost) and where the hazards of gulls lurking make us think of that incident involving Steve Lowery back in 1998. The field is always star-studded as it should be. This is simply “their” championship and to be blunt I think that “The Player’s” is more of a tougher exercise of golf than the last major of the year… The PGA Championship.
When looking at the field it’s really difficult to look up and down at the roster and pick out a clear-cut favourite. It really is difficult to not look at a guy like Dustin Johnson and not make him a pick. Making that pick is quite easy. You could look at our most recent champion at The Masters (Sergio Garcia) and pick him. After all he won it in 2008… in front of a relatively hostile crowd as far as I can recollect. Former #1 in the Official World Golf Rankings and defending champion Jason Day is a guy who hasn’t played all that well this year (ranked 104 in FedEx) but you just never know when he will come through and win a tournament. Ironically enough all of these players have something in common. Who knows… maybe another former #1 has the mettle to win this week. Rory McIlroy. Now the burning question does he have the mettle or metals? The perfect pun and segue.
TaylorMade Golf announced today that it has signed the 28 year-old from North Ireland. On the heels of the announcement in January when the brand announced the signing of Tiger Woods at the PGA Show. Now the “Golf Goliath” has reportedly spent $100 million to make the signing. With the signing McIlroy will be playing 13 TaylorMade clubs and play the TaylorMade Golf TP5X golf balls. Is it totally shocking that Rory went this route? I would say no…. not really after all he had put the 2016 M2 driver and fairway wood into play last year. As of this week he will be playing the 2017 M2 driver, M2 Tour fairway wood, a set of “Rors Proto” MB irons, and Milled Grind wedges. For a little while there was some thought that he would choose Callaway Golf since he had been testing the Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero driver and prototype Apex MB irons. I speculated that maybe PXG would be a brand in his wheelhouse seeing that Nike Golf was out of the golf equipment business and that Bob Parsons has really deep pockets with even longer arms. But TaylorMade it is. Much like when he left Titleist for Nike was there maybe just a little influence from Tiger?
As exciting as that news is for the golfing world I am far more excited some other news that surfaced this past week. To sum it up… John Daly. Over what seems the last lifetime has there been a more lamented golfer than Daly? In a word no. Say what you will about Tiger Woods and his microscope but the fact is that if Tiger has been under a microscope than Daly has been under the Hubble Space Telescope. Golf fans have been very unkind with their views of him. People had written him off because of his drinking, gambling, smoking and everything else that is perceived as unhealthy by society. People wrote his golf game off throwing around words like “embarrassment” for his blow-ups on certain holes in tournaments or the video of him on YouTube golfing with no shirt on. For those that took part all I have to say to them is that it must be nice to be so perfect. I never gave up on JD and I have always been a fan of his. I was really excited to meet him this past January and it was one of my personal highlights from the PGA Show. There is no doubt that the talent was still there I mean to have a swing like his and hit a ball the way that he does how do you dispute it? A talent like his simply does not disappear. I have often said that I am looking forward to turning 50 from a golf standpoint. More to the point I have said in jest that turning 50 is like “golf’s vasectomy”. It’s a new lease on life and when JD turned 50… you knew that he was going to win on PGA Tour Champions. This weekend that was exactly what he did. Powered by a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, PING i200 irons, TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges, PING Crossover and G (Utility and Fairway Wood respectively) and the Vertical Groove driver all shafted with Nventix Nunchuk shafts. Daly would win the Insperity Invitational in Texas for his first victory in 13 years. The class and love that John showed as he knelt down and kissed “Arnie’s Umbrella” logo was a moment that will be forever etched into my mind. The celebration was one for the ages and so well-deserved. To that end… John all that I can say is… Welcome Back!!! #perseverance
Until The Next Tee!