GOLF IS SUCH A FUNNY GAME
With the 108th US Open not much more than a round old, a fair number of stars are already in trouble, not the least of them being Sergio Garcia
With the 108th US Open not much more than one round old, a fair number of stars are already in trouble, not the least of them being Sergio Garcia, this year’s pre-tournament media favourite and the perhaps the natural successor to Phil Mickelson as the best golfer never to have won a major.
Unfortunately golf is actually two different games all rolled into one.
Hitting driver, fairway woods, utility clubs and a variety of irons is one side of the game – and a side the little Spaniard does very well.
But then there is putting which, if played in regulation, uses up as many as half the strokes in any level par round on a par 72 course.
Sadly some players have no consistency when using the flat stick, notably Garcia, who, when he has an off day with his putter, he binges – like he did at Torrey Pines on Thursday when he shot an opening 76 and slid eight shots behind the unheralded leaders he probably didn’t even know existed.
He was in good company, though.
Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen is alongside him and trailing behind are some of Europe’s finest Ryder Cup players including Padraig Harrington (78), the reigning Open Champion, Colin Montgomerie (79), the winner of more European Order of Merit crowns than anyone else, England’s Paul Casey (79) and Ian Poulter (78) and Sweden’s Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson (both 78s) .
Justin Rose (79), currently Europe highest World Ranked player and sure to make his Ryder Cup debut this year, is also down in the nether regions – along with defending champion Angel Cabrera (79) and 2007 champion Michael Campbell (78).
Any golf promoter worth his salt would give his eye teeth to include stars of this calibre in his field, yet all of them could be gone, even without any wind, by the weekend.
It says something about golf and what a funny, maddening game it is.
It probably brings greater peaks of agony and ecstasy than any other game we have ever played, which is why, once bitten, we keep going back for more.,
It also says something about Tiger Woods, who never seems to get himself into this kind of jam. He is human, of course, and he has missed cuts, but it is such a rarity you could probably count the number on the fingers of one hand.
It will be interesting to see how many of the above stragglers pick up their games enough today (Friday) to make it through to the weekend.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.
Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick leading race to become European number one
Rory McIlroy gave the Yorkshireman something to think about with a late blitz.