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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Some Stuff Happened Friday

A number of things happened Friday which I'd like to mention but none of which compels me to write a full post about them -- including a neat putting tip from Jason Day. So, just to make sure you're aware of them all, let me just give each a brief mention.

First off, the legendary Italian golfer Constantino Rocca played his final competitive round on Friday at the 72° OPEN D'ITALIA. (The ET puts it all in caps so I will too.) For American fans, Rocca is probably most famous for his duel with John Daly at the 1995 Open Championship. He retired on Friday at his home tournament. I think that's a pretty cool way to go out.

Constantino Rocca

We also learned that Tiger had another microdiscectomy on Wednesday to relieve some pressure one of his discs was putting on a nerve. The word is that it was completely successful, he'll make a full recovery and hopes to play again in early 2016.

This little bit of news explains the occasional awkwardness we saw between shots at the Wyndham -- you know, the ones he blamed on age. Given that he had already committed to the tournament next month -- an appearance that he's had to cancel -- he really must have thought that was all it was. I just hope he doesn't try to come back too early, the way he did last time. Perhaps this was a side effect of that.

Although the first day of the Solheim Cup isn't officially finished as of this writing, I've seen enough to make me ask a question: Why are the US teams, both male and female, struggling so much at fourballs? Since that's basically how they play golf every time they tee it up -- they play their own ball, after all -- it doesn't make sense that fourballs would be such a problem...

Unless they're all just trying too hard and making bad course management decisions, the kind that they don't make during regular tour events. I'm beginning to think that may be the best explanation for their struggles. And, as with most things in golf, I think it's cyclical. The Euro players struggled with it until the late 1980s-early 1990s and now it's the US players turn. Like everything else, it will right itself in time.

In the "what do I know about golf?" department, Jason Day tied the all-time 36-hole PGA TOUR scoring record at the BMW... after I didn't make him a favorite and said that I didn't think the course fit his game. Of course, I didn't figure on so much rain making the rough a non-factor. (That still doesn't make sense to me but the scores bear that out.) I also didn't count on Jason being mentally sharp after expending so much emotion over the last couple of months. Apparently he's doing a better job of managing it than Jordan Spieth has.

Finally there's the putting tip from Jason Day I mentioned. I'm guessing you saw that bomb he dropped on the 18th green (after all the other bombs he's made this week). Well, Jason told GC that the key is simply that he was trying to make the putt instead of lagging it close. He said that sort of putt is such an unlikely make that he figures he might as well try to make it.

That sounds a lot like Jordan Spieth's "aim small" approach to his long game. It would appear that picking small targets is the way to go if you want to score better, folks.

And that's my wrap-up of interesting Friday trivia. Now let's see how the second day of the Solheim Cup goes...




  3. US is now 6-0-1 in head-to-head match play vs Eur/GB&I when Alison Lee competes. Next Solheim Cup is in hometown of 52-year-old Walker Cupper Mike McCoy