Golf continues to provide unexpected results. This past weekend was exciting, disappointing, and surprising at the same time. Many pundits are wondering if the last leg of the FedExCup playoffs will offer the same drama as the BMW Championship last weekend.
First, congratulations to Billy Horschel for winning the BMW Championship. His steady play of four, sub-70 rounds paved his way to the winner’s circle. His win resulted in an 18 position rise in the FedExCup standings to second place. If he plays well at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Horschel is in for a huge payday!
Keegan Bradley withdrew because of a moving ball controversy. “This is Bradley’s first career withdrawal on the PGA Tour, and it stemmed from lingering questions he had over an embedded-ball ruling he received on the 18th hole of his opening round. Bradley took relief under Rule 25-2 for an embedded ball in the grass face of a greenside bunker after conferring with a rules official, but a subsequent conversation with a fan cast doubt for Bradley over whether the ball was truly embedded.” (Golfchannel.com)
This type of controversy is hurting golf. After a discussion with a rules official, Bradley took relief and continued to play. That should be the end of the conversation. That is what rules officials are paid for; are they not? Regardless, the disheartened Bradley can now focus on the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland, on 23-28 September.
Phil Mickelson withdrew from the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship. He cited fatigue and the desire to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup. Having little chance to make it to the TOUR Championship, Mickelson chose to put an end to his poor golfing year. His decision has merit, but does highlight the challenges of a long and grueling golf season.
Sergio Garcia self-destructed on the 17th hole on the final day of the BMW Championship. Firing a triple bogey after a near flawless round caught everyone’s eye. The triple bogey was not the real issue, but the manner in which he did it caused golfing pundits to question his mental fortitude when the pressure is on. Having watched Garcia play poorly, I would have to disagree with the golfing analysts. It is possible his focus waned for a moment. As a result, two bad shots in a row. Garcia is still in the hunt to win the FedEx Championship and should not be counted out this weekend!
Rory McIlroy four-putting the 12th hole on two consecutive days was very surprising. After playing so well for the past 6 weeks, this momentary lapse in ….. well, I am not sure what to call it, was unforeseen. He is still the best player in the world and will continue to be so for many months to come. McIlroy might be thinking about the ‘what if’ after his two four-putts, but in the big picture all his putting woes did was give the media something to write about.
News of professional golfers challenges always appears to be ‘big news’. I agree that some of the stories are important and are considered real news. However, most stories are really just ‘the rub of the green’. It happens and has no real lasting effect on the golfing world. Personally, I would like to see more good news stories. Here is one of my favorites that lasted about as long as it took to write the article.
“Titleist staff members Todd Huizinga and Mike Russell defy astronomical odds and score back-to-back double-eagle 2’s on Carnoustie’s famed Par-5 sixth hole.” (Titleist.com)
It happened in 2008, but typifies the good news that most amateurs would love to read about. If you have not read the story, it is worth a look.
Reporting about golf can be difficult. Sometimes there is nothing exciting happening, yet media outlets try to fill their columns. I am not sure what the answer is, but personally I would like to see more good news stories than media hype trying to create an issue where one does not exist.
Do you have any good golf news to share?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!