April 10, 2011

mcilroy Thoughts while planning my Sunday around the Masters coverage that promises to be quite the final round for viewing:

Are we seeing the dawning of a new age of golf being unveiled before us? Rory McIlroy looks like the kind of golfer who could dominate the game for the next twenty years. He’s got a great swing, a great attitude, and seems utterly unflappable. While fellow 20s-ish sensation Jason Day was dealing with the same travails every golfer inevitably must face on their first trip to Augusta (after all, that’s how you learn), McIlroy, a veteran of two previous Masters, stayed with his plan and stayed in the present – qualities that show an incredible amount of maturity for his twenty-one years of age. What a pleasure he was to watch.

Sure, after Friday’s second round the story of the day seemed to be “Tiger is back”, but media types aside, we all knew Tiger could only be considered truly “back” if he were to put back-to-back great rounds together – something he has been woefully unable to do the better part of two years now. So what did we see of Tiger today after his blistering round of 66 on Friday? The same new Tiger we’ve come to see all too often: decent enough drives off the tee, decent-enough looking second shots to the green, but with little of that old devastating backspin, leaving him 8-12 foot putts that he more often than not either leaves short or misreads to the right. Not to mention the crappy bunker play – something he used to be beyond real at. Not having a rock-solid short game is putting a lot of pressure on Tiger to be consistently perfect with his approach shots – something he seems completely incapable of doing across multiple rounds these days.

Can we officially call Sergio Garcia a has-been? One would think after all these years Garcia would learn how to deal with adversity on the links, but after a sterling 33 on the front nine today, he let a couple of opportunities slip away on 10 and 11, and then proceeded to crash and burn. You could see by his body language after that double-bogey on 11 – after a bogey on 10) that he was done for the day. I spoke earlier of Rory McIlroy’s maturity; it’s clearly something that has eluded Garcia after all these years, preventing him from ever achieving the promise that he had shown in his early days.

Fred Couples is both a class act and a joy to watch play.

It would seem winning that tournament in Houston took a little of the starch out of Phil Mickelson’s game. He hasn’t been as sharp, and no matter who you are, all the energy a gold professional puts into winning a tournament that’s there for the taking is going to naturally affect you the next week. Even if you’re playing the Masters, how can you not experience a let down after a Tour victory?

Put me down as someone who never gets tired of watching K.J. Choi’s swing. I mean, how effortless it looks!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments (0)
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