Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A U.S. Open at Augusta National?

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One of my golf buddies recently suggested the U.S. Open be held one time at Augusta National Golf Club. He knew the odds, but thought he'd ask: Why not?


I liked the idea, but the fact that the course closes for summer might be the first reason that it will never happen. That's a tradition that has been there since the course was built. That might be the press release, but I think much more would be involved. 


Don't get me wrong. I'd love it if the U.S. Open was held at ANGC.

But The Masters folks are not going to let anyone – the USGA particularly – take over their golf course. Heck, they won't even describe the new members hut near the 13th hole.

So far, I've come up with two "major" obstacles, and as i said, I WANT it to happen.

ANGC's armour might have softened in regard to online coverage, and that they will have a lottery for tournament tickets and practice round tickets for 2012. That's huge news – the first time in 47 years – that "live" tournament tickets will be offered ... even if it's a lottery that will include this solar system and four others.

Convincing ANGC to do anything requires the most silver of all silver tongues. The legendary Daniel Webster, who beat the devil, might come up short if he's asking that ANGC do the following:

1. Allow an outside source to change even a blade of grass.

2. Have an a SECOND tournament in their sanctuary, and that it will not be run by the club.

3. In essence, give up control and cash, as well as allow "someone else" to sell daily passes to their kingdom in a manner that would defy the normal ANGC stance, which is similar to the Cuban government in regard to issuing passports and visas to its citizens – a slow process that's not likely to happen.

What does ANGC gain? They don't need another tournament, and my suspicion is that they don't want. it. But that's my opinion.

With all that said, the idea of growing rough and converting par 5s, keeping the pace of the greens, and forcing the field to focus on a brutal golf course in June heat .... that process will not identify the best player ... it will identify the player who survived. As the US Open usually does. Let's say that's true. What does the USGA gain? 

Perhaps the dynamic would be similar to asking Roy Williams and MIke Krzyzewski to co-coach the US Olympic team. I think the staff meetings would be more interesting than the games.  

Or asking Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dali to work on the same painting. 

The most exclusive of all Good Ole Boy clubs, which has more cash than China, would politely decline, imo, with the longest, slowest Southern drawl that one could imagine, turning phuck you into a five-syllable word.


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Monday, April 11, 2011

Quite A Sunday (Charl's Charge)

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As for the course setup this year at The Masters, I liked it, even though in the tweaking, ANGC leaned this year toward lenient, rather than penal. I'd insist, however, that the way Sunday was set up that that be the mold. It was exciting, and there were plenty of good scores, as there were also tragedies. Congratulations to Charl Schwartzel, whose four--birdie run to finish his final round was as good as it gets. Excellent stuff.

Random thoughts:


  • Charl's chip-in on the first hole turned a certain 5 into 3, and I agree with Egr that that was the shot of the event. In a tie for second, Charl's second shot on 3, and Tiger's second shot on 8. Great golf.


  • Charl's wife reminded me of Drew Barrymore as cast in Sex and The City 3. Mrs. Charl has a sultry look that mixes promise with pain .... good pain, though.


  • Why is Jason Day staying in an RV? I guess I'd stay anywhere with a bedroom in regard to Mrs. Day, but I would also like room service as an option. "Oh waiter!"


  • I truly feel for Rory. It will take an amazing amount of patience and will to recover from that back nine. I'm certain that those images will haunt him for months. But he's got a large support group, and I think he will bounce back quicker than most. Nick Watney, for instance, used his experience in the final round of the PGA to help him win at Doral. I suspect Rory will do the same.


  • It was nice to see a lot of activity on the golf thread. And it's obvious that Tiger's reemergence was the catalyst. We now have two very vocal camps – one wishing the very best for the former WNO, and the other hoping for eternal damnation. To each his own.


  • I wonder how this will change Charl's schedule.


  • It would be stunning if Tiger decided to add to his schedule, and even more so, if he pulled a Davis Love and entered an event that didn't truly suit his long game: The Heritage. Obviously, the next time we see Tiger will be where Rory will defend his spectacular 2010 victory at Quail Hollow.


  • Perhaps Tiger will now focus on his putting. That's the final hurdle, imo. And the first change I'd make is to bring that Scotty Cameron out of retirement. That putter was pretty good for Tiger, as I recall.


  • The next three events – Valero, Heritage, and New Orleans – will pass slowly, at least for me. I love The Heritage, and maybe with its position a week later in the schedule, as well as its financial troubles, will help attract a stronger field. I covered that event the year Greg Norman won. That was fun.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What was that?

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A truly uninspired, boring basketball game is all I got.

What a sheite fest.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

UKarma Chameleon

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With no apologies to Boy George, whatsoever.


UKarma Chameleon (Calipari looks within)


There's a lost look in your eyes all the way.
If you listen to my lies, would you stay?
I'm a coach waiting for conviction,
I'm a coach who doesn't know
anything but  contradiction.
You come and go, you come and go.


UKarma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Staying would be easy if your colours were like my dream,
Blue, white ... and green, blue, white ... and green.


Don't see your best game every day
You used to be so smooth, I heard you say
that my cash was an addiction.
When you heard ka-ching, the love was strong.
So if you go, that's gone forever.
You string along, you string along.


UKarma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Staying would be easy if your colours were like my dream,
Blue, white ... and green, blue, white ... and green.


Every game is survival,
you're my player, not my rival.
Every game is survival,
you're my player, not my rival.


I'm a coach waiting on conviction,
I'm a coach who doesn't know
anything but contradiction.
You come and go, you come and go.


UKarma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Staying would be easy if your colours were like my dream,
Blue, white ... and green, blue, white ... and green.


UKarma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Staying would be easy if your colours were like my dream,
Blue, white ... and green, blue, white ... and green


Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.


Staying would be easy if your colours were like my dream,
Blue, white ... and green, blue, white ... and green.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

An Almost Shining Moment

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Half of The Final Four will not make it to Monday night. The season ends Saturday in Houston for two teams, a door slamming shut almost before it was opened, unleashing a numbing sadness that will be felt in two locker rooms and by their fans as if a close friend or relative has passed. It's over. What might have been. If only. What if? Could we have? Should we have? Why?

Meanwhile, two other sets of fans will be celebrating New Year's Eve Saturday night, with Christmas coming two days later.  Monday night we will have a new national champion, and I'm hoping it will be Butler or VCU.

Why?

In my opinion, one of the teams that will play Monday night will reveal more about what needs to be changed, than what is right about college basketball. If you're a fan of Kentucky or UConn, you might want to move on from this page – it's only going to get worse.

Scream, SOUR GRAPES, all you like. That's fair.

Yes, this post is sour grapes, but not because Kentucky beat UNC last Sunday. Kentucky played a terrific game and deserved to advance – there's little doubt that Calipari is one of the top shelf coaches. If you don't believe me, just listen to ESPN. It's as if John Calipari has reinvented recruiting, that John Calipari is a genius at picking up the best available talent each year and blah, blah blah. Mindless drivel.

Every year there are a number of high school athletes who know they will play just one year at the college level, and some of them look for the best way to showcase their talent. The marriage of Calipari to Kentucky, one of the legendary college basketball programs, not only for its success but also questionable ethics and racism, has provided a trampoline for those who wish to bounce to the league as soon as possible. It's all about One And Done.

The One And Done Era is a failed experiment in my view, because it allows certain schools to operate as a minor league training camp. A shrewd coach and a willing admissions department can give a questionable student a pass into the school. And because only two semesters are needed, it's not hard to keep the kid eligible. Crib courses and the ancient dodge of an incomplete almost guarantee that the player will retain eligibility.

But what if the One And Done became  Give It Two  ...  as in a two-year minimum. Changes everything. A player would actually have to go to class. Imagine that. And a "university" would no longer be an immediate extension of the NBADL.

As for whatever is going on with the UConn men's basketball program, this is not the best year for that team to be in a Final Four spotlight. It's impossible to gauge anything in regard to an NCAA investigation, because there's no standard, no accountability, while abundant hypocrisy and foot dragging rule. The NCAA is much more about perception than it is about reality, and the fact that its rulings are not consistent supports that point of view. What we do know about UConn is that something surfaced, and the NCAA "investigated" and eventually slapped Calhoun's wrist. What really happened?

Well, we don't know, and we're not likely to find out.

So, the stage is set for late Saturday night, where either Kentucky or UConn will move on to play for the national championship. It feels as if Tony Soprano will be elected Mayor of New York. And he ran against another mob boss.

CBS will not paint it this way – there are too many products to sell. Besides, Nantz and Kellogg, like most of us, sense that the survivor of the UConn/UK game will win Monday night.

Butler is a gritty, overachieving team that compared to VCU is a bunch of slackers. VCU is the shock of the season, the Mason of 2011. And hats off to Shaka Smart and his players. They've had a great run, and I'm certain Richmond is on fire with excitement.

I wish the Butler/VCU game was for the national championship, not so much because neither Butler or VCU deserve to lose, but rather because UK and UConn don't deserve to win.

I don't have case-making, earth-shattering evidence about either UK or UConn, just a growing sense that both are doing whatever it takes, rules or not, to be successful ... granted it's a sleazy, seedy success, but it's still succe$$, no matter how you spell it. Just Sell It.

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