Monday, August 8, 2011

Yin and Yang

When you’re passionate about something – like golf or anything else – there are going to be times when you’re disappointed. Hopefully, though, you can find enough reasons to remain excited to balance out the disappointment.

I went to bed Sunday night greatly disappointed about a few things … but I woke up Monday morning excited about some others:

Adam Scott's Sunday victory was
overshadowed by his caddy's ego.
Disappointed that caddy Steve Williams stole the spotlight from Adam Scott, the deserving winner of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, with his narcissistic, post-round remarks. Williams, the former caddy for Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd, carried the bag for Woods during 13 major championship victories, including the “Tiger Slam,” in which Tiger won all four majors in 2000-2001.

In his 33 years as a looper, Williams has been on the bag for 145 professional wins. He counts those as 145 victories, and I suppose that’s fair ... even though he’s never hit a single shot or made one putt. On Sunday, he took a shot at his most recent former boss minutes after Scott’s win at Firestone saying, “That was the best win I’ve ever had.”

Right. Winning the Masters by 12 shots in 1997 probably wasn’t very exciting for Williams. Pummeling the field at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots when his player was the only one under par must have been boring.

Williams is an ass. Always has been. Sunday afternoon was just more proof.

Since the days of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Jimmy Demaret, the job description for caddies has been simple: Show up. Keep up. Shut up.

Quite disappointing that Williams forgot that last one. But, on the exciting part, Williams’ shots at Woods probably are good for golf. People will be talking about this for weeks. I’d just rather the focus be on the players and the actual golf.

CBS deserves some of the blame here, too.

I’m disappointed in CBS for shoving a microphone in Williams’ face right after Scott finished a bogey-free final round 65 to beat Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald by four shots. CBS knew what it was doing: Since Woods, who finished T37 at 1-over par, wasn’t around for any late-tournament drama, the network went for the next best thing.

Williams’ catty comments made up for the lack of a late-Sunday Tiger Woods charge.


Williams should have said, “Adam Scott hit all the shots, made all the putts. He deserves all the attention. I’m just happy to have been a small part of it.”

What’s done is done, however. And like you, I’m excited to see what will happen next. Woods won’t let this pass. That much we know. Will Tiger and Adam Scott get paired together at the PGA Championship this week? How fun would that be? Can we possibly get a Presidents Cup singles match between Scott and Woods? That would be juicy.

On the amateur side of things, the USGA and U.S. Walker Cup captain Jim Holtgrieve late Sunday selected three more players for his 2011 team. I was disappointed that Dallas teenager Jordan Spieth wasn’t one of them.

Expect Jordan Spieth to be one of
the final players added to the
2011 U.S. Walker Cup Team.
Instead, three-time U.S. Mid-Am champion and 2009 Walker Cupper Nathan Smith, Western Am stroke play medalist Chris Williams and Porter Cup champ Patrick Rodgers were named to the team.  

They’re all deserving, no doubt. But in the case of Williams and Rodgers especially, they are no more deserving than Spieth, the two-time U.S. Junior Am champ and Western Am quarterfinalist.

Disappointed that Spieth hasn’t yet made the team. But I am excited to know that there are three spots remaining for the 2011 Walker Cup team. I fully expect Spieth, along with Fort Worth’s John Peterson, to grab two of them.

Lastly, to blanket and erase any and all disappointments, I am excited to report that I’ll be Chasing Birdies in the Rocky Mountains later this week.

I’m headed to Keystone Golf Club to play some golf with high school buddies Jason, Jeff, Brett and Andy along with a few other good friends from Denver.

Surely there will be some stories to share from mountains. Stay tuned.

- Mark

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