Sunday, August 7, 2011

Adam and Stevie

Quite an interesting weekend on the course. Tiger fires Stevie, who takes up with Adam Scott. Tiger, as we all know, hasn't won anything in a long time, let alone played.

Low and behold - at today's Bridgestone Invitational, Adam Scott, with Stevie on the bag, takes home first place - his first World Golf Championship title. Steve must be feeling a tag bit smug. He's obviously a good caddy; so good for him. Good for Adam; who is charming and adorable.

Tiger is still figuring things out. He finished 18 shots back with his long-time friend on the bag. Who knows underneath it all what compelled Tiger to fire Steviie - but they sure had a good long winning run. Tiger's losing streak had nothing whatsoever to do with who was carrying the bag for him. It was probably the one thing in his life that didn't seem broken; but hey, what do I know.

I thoroughly enjoy Tiger Woods doing well in golf, don't get me wrong. It will be good for golf for him to return to the golfer he once was. When he's "on" he is a thing of beauty to watch. I look forward to seeing him play and once again enjoying his time on the course; and yes, winning. But I'm also happy for Stevie and Adam.

(Getty image-PGA)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Open

Two years ago I was mesmerized on the couch as Tom Watson amazed the world with his grace and stamina. The last hole and succeeding playoff had me in despair.

This year, I haven't watched much of it at all, but am cheering of course for the Americans. Dustin Johnson has a powerful swing and never seems to quite make it to the finish line - but he's been in the top 10 for many tournaments. Is this is moment? Can someone please get him another style hat. Just once I'd like to see him with a more traditional hat; although I suppose it is what helps me instantly recognize him.

Rickie Fowler, still so young, and yet, a force with whom to be reckoned, is playing fantastically. For a young man with style - both in swing and in his daily garb, he is a joy to watch.

Lucas Glover has a shot at one of 3 Americans ending the day under par. Martin Kaymer has surprised us before. And you can never count out Davis Love III. He may be the Tom Watson of the group by virtue of his experience. Speaking of Tom Watson, he ended Saturday at +4 - actually one stroke ahead of darling Rory McIlroy. Go figure. With Mickelson at even par - and my favorite American - you just never know; the man might catch fire today...but probably not. It hasn't been his year.

The favorite of course is Darren Clarke - whom I had never even heard of before this tournament. The local favorite from Dungannon offers the crowd a blazing smile and an unassuming air. But his odds are slim. According to an article on The Open site, the 54 hole leader has gone on to win a Major in the last six championships only twice. Tough going, but you never know.

It should be a great day for golf. Because in golf and especially The Open; you just never know.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

LPGA and The Founder's Cup

Great the the LPGA is doing something charitable. Who can fault anyone for donating a purse to charity, right? But wait, it's not the entire purse. The inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, to be played at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa the week of March 16-20, 2011 has a total "mock" purse of $1.3 million.  RR Donnelley isn't coughing up the purse; they are covering tournament operational costs.

Here's where it gets tricky, though. Players aren't going to pocket any money winnings, but they will be credited for official winnings in their annual talley. The winner will be "credited with" $195,000 in official money, and a big handshake.  All the other players who make the cut will be credited with whatever their portion of the winnings are, too.

However, total tournament proceeds, which are projected to be $500,000, will be donated to the LPGA Foundation. So what happens to the other $800,000 of the "mock purse"? So RRDonnelly is covering the behind the scenes operational costs and they are donating all "proceeds" to the charity. As of their last publicly reported quarter (9/30/10), the company had over $780M in cash and cash equivalents on their balance sheet, a current ratio of about 2:1, and projected annual revenue of $9B. The company earns a profit and pays a dividend to shareholders. They could squeak out another $800,000 to support the LPGA here, dontcha think? Or perhaps they could rally some supporting players to the table.

This disparity is not lost on or sitting well with the players either. Creamer, Kerr, Wie, Petterson and Pressel have not yet committed to the event. While supportive of honoring the great champions of golf that founded the game, Creamer and Kerr have been vocal in their concerns about format and handling of the proceeds and the fact that player input was not requested.

Aside from all that, in my opinion, you never see the PGA players doing these type of events. Why should the women? Men would never play for a "mock" purse. The PGA players send their wives out to play for charity events. And raised $100K in doing so at the Honda classic. Oh sure, their PGA hubsies caddied for them, but it was all in fun, as you can see, with Will MacKenzie assisting his wife on the green. The guys didn't play.

LPGA Founders Cup Information