It’s Presidents Cup Week – 2019

Well, here it is. It’s Presidents Cup week. I admit it, I’ve been just a tad harsh about the Presidents Cup. I’ve used the term second-rate and afterthought among others to describe the event. It will never be the Ryder Cup but it’s still newsworthy in the world of golf.

Upon completing the Hero World Challenge the United States team departed The Bahamas to head to Melbourne, Australia to get set for a few days of practice at Royal Melbourne Golf Club before the event takes place. Of course, the International Team was already assembled in Australia as the Emirates Australian Open was played last week (won by Matt Jones).

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Personally speaking, it is my opinion that the event itself will be a “bloodbath” in terms of the results. Unless something miraculous happens, “Divine Intervention” or otherwise I expect the American team to win in a rout. Honestly, as a golf writer, golf lover, and golf fan I just hope that we see some good golf and some close matches Are there any matches to really pay attention to?

Well, I guess that all depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Of course, when Captain Woods is on the course playing that will garner a ton of viewers. It goes without saying right?! Gee, thanks for pointing that out Captain Obvious… Or in my case is it Oblivious? Either way. You know that native Aussie’s Adam Scott and Marc Leishman are going to be the sweethearts of the fans (Cameron Smith as well) because both are Aussies playing in their “home and native land”. Speaking of “home and native land I’ll have an interest in anything that Adam Hadwin does during the week. Honestly, I still select Corey Conners between the two golfers… Or both. And then there’s Patrick Reed.

Oh Patrick! Everybody and their “proverbial” uncle have weighed in on last week’s controversy, debacle or whatever you want to refer to it as. If he intended to cheat than you know what… bad on him. But, I suppose if he can look at himself in the mirror with a clear conscious than good for him. Was he looking for a slight advantage to use the rules of a waste bunker to his advantage? I think that’s a clear yes. You could suggest that he set a precedent in 2015 at the same event in the same situation. In that event, no penalty strokes were assessed. Hey, if his teammates aren’t in that much of a lather about it, than why should we be? It’s over!! If anything, Patrick’s “demonic ways” (I use that term tongue in cheek) will fire up the Australian galleries and could breathe life into what is otherwise a pretty mundane event.

It could be great from a viewer rating point of view. That’s all that matters right? It’s a business.

Gimmes 

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Photo Credit: Presidents Cup

  1. With little fanfare last week was the Junior Presidents Cup. Won by the American Team 13-11. Let’s hope that the big boys are as entertaining. Congratulations to Canadian  from the Canada National Junior Squad LAURENT DESMARCHAIS on his selection to the the team.
  2. Isn’t it funny? Patrick Reed is the scourge of the Earth. Yet, fans rooting for the American team love Patrick in these events. He is after all… Capatain America.
  3. I’ve seen comments on social media suggesting that the Aussie fans will be extra hard on P Reed asking and hoping for them to be classy. Seriously, like the American fans have been classy on their side of the pond during Ryder or Presidents Cup. Folks, it goes both ways.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

Patrick Reed and the 2019 Hero World Challenge

As I have passively sat and watched the 2019 Hero World Challenge from the lovely Bahamas I have a couple of quick thoughts.

  1. It’s an event that is hosted by Tiger Woods.
  2. It’s played on a golf course (Albany Golf Club) that was designed by architect Ernie Els.
  3. Both Woods and Els just happen to be Captains for the 2019 President’s Cup.
  4. Because of points 1 and 3, this event feels more like a team scrimmage for the U.S. Team as they jet-set their way to Australia for the President’s Cup.
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Bunkerlicious (Photo Credit: ernieels.com)

Look at who’s playing and who isn’t? Other than a smattering of U.S. players and a couple of Euro’s thrown in for good measure (Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, and Henrik Stenson) it’s hardly a “World Challenge”. To be fair, the guys from the International Team who may play in this event are playing in this week’s Australian Open. At the root of what I feel it truly is the Hero World Challenge is an exhibition event. Yet, here we are. Somehow, some way, a little bit of controversy seeps its way into the event. We know what I’m talking about.

Patrick Reed and the waste bunker incident. Or as I call it “TrapGate”. Just because Patrick Reed’s name is on this already makes golf fans (and observers) want to gather in an unholy mob and lynch the man. For the most part, the golf world “hates” Reed. Much can be said of the reason why this is the case. You could suggest that Reed, himself, has done it well… To himself. The brash claims of being a “Top-5 player in the world” early in his career (he wasn’t far off) and his past while attending university (accusations of stealing and cheating from his teammates) has never helped his cause.

So while in a waste bunker in his Friday round on the Par 5 11th hole he was observed ‘improving his lie”. “Fluffing” if you will. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let the video evidence present itself. I know, many of us have already seen it. But even TMZ covered it. TMZ!!!

There’s no doubt in watching it, that the lie was improved. As the commentators said, twice in fact. I have a question out of this. Or maybe two, and a lot of you are going to be pissed-off at me about one of them. But before I continue, did he set a precedent? Same event back in 2015, no penalty. BTW, great sleuth work to DZ Golf. I thought I saw this before from him.

  • How do we prove the intent? Do we assume that he was cheating because he’s done it before? If we were to dredge up his past? Would we hold his past against him because he’s simply Patrick Reed thus sentencing him as such?. Only one person knows if this was his intent and that’s Patrick himself. That said, I will say this. My father had a saying that I use as well.

“If it looks like a ducks, acts like a duck and swims like a duck. Chances are it’s a (insert expletive here) duck”

  • What if it wasn’t Patrick Reed? What if it was Tiger Woods? Would we be willing to make the same accusations? He had clear intent and he was cheating. After all, and dare I say it his past isn’t exactly sterling. By the way, I’m not even talking about the off of the course stuff like “cheating” in a different way and DUI. Wasn’t it the same event that he got away with “the strike that wasn’t” in 2018? Had it been Reed in that place would he have gotten a penalty? I almost need to insert here that the answer is nearly an emphatic “YES!”. 

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Golf fans, in the end, he accepted a two-stroke penalty as handed out by PGA TOUR rules official Slugger White. He admitted and accepted responsibility. Maybe the intent was truly there and deep down inside he knew it. Could it have been two two-stroke penalties? I think the possibility exists but it wasn’t what was doled out to him. He took his poison. Let it go and move on. If it were Tiger or some choice other players, you know you’d let it go. Many of you are calling for him to be replaced by Kisner or Brendon Todd. It’s not going to happen. Besides, what about Na?

Like it or not, golf and more notably the PGA TOUR has a double-standard. Now there’s a new slogan for the PGA TOUR. “The PGA TOUR. The double-standard in golf”. There’s some marketability.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

#patrickreed #ernieels #tigerwoods #sluggerwhite #albanygolfclub #heroworldchallenge #pgatour #untilthenexttee

 

The Pick’s Are In – Tiger Woods’ Picks

The night before Captain Ernie Els selected his Captain’s Picks and for the most part there weren’t any serious surprises. Although, this writer still takes Corey Conners over Joaquin Niemann every time. Especially considering, when we’re talking about a difference of one spot in the OWGR and the year that Conners had. Uh-oh… Here I go again. Stop it Alex. Oh no, now I’m talking in the third person. Hey! Speaking of which.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Last night, from the cozy confines of The Woods in Jupiter, Florida Tiger Woods took to the camera and made his Captain’s Picks for the U.S. Team at the upcoming President’s Cup set to take place at Royal Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. I actually tuned in to catch the picks being made and I prognosticated my picks just before he made them. Apparently, the stream, however, was on a bit of a tape delay. My predictions were…

To be totally honest, I don’t know what made me think Fowler (perhaps past success in team events) but I know why I selected Na. The guy (love or hate him) had a seriously good campaign in 2019. As much as I was gung-ho on Conners for the International team I was more than that about Na for the American team. As we now know, when the dust settled the picks were Tony Finau (totally off of my radar), Woodland (well-earned with a good year and a Major title), Patrick Reed who apparently mended the right fences after the Ryder Cup fiasco and Tiger Woods himself.

We all know that Patrick Reed is the guy who can get under an opponent’s skin so he has value there along with a solid resume of winning points for his team. Maybe, I was watching the wrong golf but was his 2019 that good? Of course, I understand that the OWGR isn’t based solely on the current year.

But then there’s the somewhat curious pick of Tiger picking himself and then talking about himself in the third person. Twitter was abuzz about it. Honestly, it really wasn’t that comical and actually, you get used to it after a while. I get it though. He won The Masters, just finished winning his 82nd event at the ZOZO and ultimately is ranked 7th in the OWGR. ranking alone, yes he should have been there. But then Paul McGinley had a great point.

While Na is no spring chicken at 36 years of age if you go by McGinley’s Tweet and the reason for the task force wouldn’t you get a kid like Matthew Wolff, or Collin Morikawa a shot as “Wild Card” picks? Now hear me out. The International Team has only won on one occasion with one draw for good measure. Wouldn’t this have been a good litmus test based on the reason why the task force was set up in the first place? The President’s Cup while being a competition is no contest. If It were the Ryder Cup, I actually support Tiger picking himself. But he actually let on that he would likely play in minimal matches.

Maybe just maybe Tiger picking himself was a two-fold situation. Partially driven by the PGA of America to boost ratings and maybe… Just maybe an ego thing? Another feather in the cap of “The Legend of Tiger Woods”. Let’s be honest here. Him just being there as a Captain will mean that he’ll be on camera a lot. The broadcasting agencies could introduce us to “The Captain Cam”.. Great for viewers looking to see him. But Tiger as a Playing Captain will entice viewers more. Just food for thought.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Els Adds CanCon But Not CoreConn

CanCon is the abbreviation for Canadian Content as used by Canadian radio and television stations.

The President’s Cup. The team golf competition that pits the best male professional golfers from the United States versus a team of professional golfers from the rest of the world (from anywhere but Europe). My opinion of the President’s Cup has always been the same. While I know that my opinion isn’t likely shared by many (and I’m okay with that) I have long felt that it was a second-rate event… Almost an afterthought.  To me, the event falls in third place behind the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup but not necessarily in that order.

The one good thing (for me) that comes out of the President’s Cup is that unlike the Ryder Cup there’s a chance that a Canadian will make the International Team. As a golf fan, who would ever forget the Weir vs Woods showdown at Royal Montreal in 2007? Surely not I. I felt a lot of national pride by watching the diminutive lefty take care of Tiger Woods. Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned “David vs Goliath” storyline? Just because I said how I felt about the event doesn’t mean that I ignore the event altogether. Going back to 2007 it was that match that salvaged watching the event. Bear in mind that at the time I wasn’t a golfer as I am now. That’s been an evolution in itself.

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Royal Melbourne. The venue for the 2019 Presidents Cup. (Photo Credit: Presidents Cup)

The 2019 President’s Cup will be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from December 9th to the 15th. The International Team is being captained by legendary silky, smooth swing Ernie Els and is led by the 17th-ranked (OWGR) Adam Scott. Joining him are fellow international stars Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Louie Oosthuizen, Abraham Ancer, and Haotang Li. The evening of November 6th was the night that Captain Els would make his 4 Captian’s picks. There was speculation over social media, some of which I took part in. See my prognostication below.

When the picks came out I was correct on all but one. From South America, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann made the team marking my only mistake on the predictions. I’m hoping that Els didn’t make a mistake in this selection. If it were me, regardless of my patriotism I would have taken Conners over Niemann and likely Hadwin. He has the hotter hand in 2019 and especially over the last two months or so. Don’t get me wrong I’m stoked for Hadwin’s selection but it’s the Niemann selection I’m not crazy about. Some people agree.

Ultimately, I hope it wasn’t a matter of pick adhering to political correctness and selecting a guy from South America to make that part of the world happy. Think of it as a “sort of” Participation Ribbon. Maybe there’s a little “homer” and “maple syrup” in my blood. I get it, Niemann currently sits 54th in the OWGR and Corey Conners 55th. But their recent results over the last two months sees the record of Conners blowing those of Niemann out of the water. When it comes to captain’s picks you have to go with the hot hand and that was Conners over Niemann.

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Niemann at the 2018 RBC Canadian Open.

Personally speaking, if I’m Captain Els I want to give my team the best possible chance at winning. I’m not suggesting that Conners is the savior here, I’m just suggesting that he’s the better, smarter pick. Especially seeing that Team USA is so top-heavy with talent and that’s not including their Captain’s picks who have yet to be selected. Out of the Top 17 spots in the OWGR 11 are occupied by Americans. Some of whom are likely Captain’s picks like Gary Woodland. Who at #16 is ranked higher than the top-ranked International player. Not including that we’ll likely see their Captain (Tiger Woods) being one of the said picks.

Folks, it’s going to be a bloodbath.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee