Thoughts on the 2015 U.S. Open

It was a pretty crazy week, wasn’t it? So much happened at Chambers Bay that instead of trying to wrap up just the final round, I’m going to post some thoughts in point form and we’ll see how long it gets. Also, please make sure that you read both Kyle Porter and Shane Ryan on Sunday’s crazy finish. They’re both more than worth your time.

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U.S. Open: Ten Best Winning Storylines – theScore

My last preview piece for theScore, looking at the ten best winning storylines for the U.S. Open: Part One and Part Two.

U.S. Open Course Walkthrough – theScore

My second preview piece for theScore is a sponsored article for Johnnie Walker, and it takes a look at Chambers Bay and how it’s pretty much a mystery to everyone playing there this week.

The full article can be read by clicking on this link.

U.S. Open Betting Preview – theScore

It’s U.S. Open week, and once again I’m helping theScore with some preview material for the event. The first piece is a quick betting preview, where Gino Bottero, Justin Bourne and myself select a favourite, someone from the middle of the pack and a long shot that we think has the best chance of winning. My three picks are Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter.

Full article can be found by clicking this link.

Shane Ryan, Paige Mackenzie and the role of a journalist

Patrick Reed (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Patrick Reed (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

(Disclaimer: Shane Ryan sent me a copy of his book, “Slaying The Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour”. I have not finished it yet, and while that fact does not change my view on the below article, I felt that it was worth mentioning.)

As you may have heard, there’s a new book out this week from author Shane Ryan titled “Slaying The Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour”, which as I’m sure you can tell by the title, is about the new wave of players on tour as golf finds itself in the post-Tiger Woods era. Just to give you a little background, Ryan is not a golf writer by the most standard of definitions. In fact, before an excerpt of his book was released about Patrick Reed, Ryan was definitely known more for his writing about other topics than anything he had ever done on golf, but for most of 2014, he followed the PGA Tour as they went around the United States and the end result was this book.

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The World Golf Tour idea

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Rory McIlroy at the 2015 Irish Open. (Photo courtesy: Northern Ireland Executive)

 

Last week was a pretty standard one as far as golf tournaments go, with the four biggest tours in the world (PGA, European, Web.com and LPGA) all having events at various locales on the map, but a few things stood out while watching the coverage:

  1. Royal County Down, obviously, is a treasure that should be seen more often.
  2. TPC Four Seasons is the complete opposite of that.
  3. Potentially because of the first two points above, the field at the Irish Open was far more compelling than at the Byron Nelson.

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2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play: Records for all 64 players

Match play at the professional level is pretty much impossible to predict. Why? The players are all so good in the pro game that the difference between Rory McIlroy and George Coetzee over one 18-hole sample is pretty much non-existent. Just like we see every March with the NCAA Tournament, upsets happen at a pretty regular rate in the WGC-Match Play, but unlike March Madness, the top seeds in the match play seem to get dumped early with regularity. None of the number one seeds in the last two years have advanced past the second round, with three of them going home after just one match.

This won’t be the case in 2015 though, as the event has a new sponsor in Cadillac, a new spot in the schedule and thankfully, a new course as Harding Park is taking over from Jack Nicklaus’ Dove Mountain, a course known for tricked out greens and snow delays in February.

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Punch Shots: Ian Poulter on Wentworth, Bones speaks and tape delayed coverage

 

Phil and Bones after winning the Open.

Phil and Bones after winning the Open.

Punch Shots is a collection of stories that I didn’t get around to earlier or didn’t fit into another article. I’ll give a link to a larger story and have some quick thoughts below.

The last Punch Shots: Lee Trevino on Phil, Lydia Ko and Butch would help Tiger

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Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and eras

Jordan Spieth, alone on the range.

Jordan Spieth, alone on the range.

Sports fans love to debate. Check any message board or Reddit thread and you’ll see that somewhere, people are having an argument over why their team is better than someone else’s or why Miguel Cabrera is better than Mike Trout (he’s not), or even why their favourite sport is superior to someone else’s, as if there’s some kind of definitive ranking that needs to be picked apart. The reason that shows like Pardon the Interruption and First Take exist is because the formula just works. Even if the organized debate doesn’t always come across as genuine as the conversations you’ll see on Twitter, it’s so easy to put two people in front of a camera and have them discuss the merits of James Harden versus Steph Curry for the MVP.

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Jordan Spieth wins the Masters

Spieth gets the green jacket.

Spieth gets the green jacket.

Jordan Spieth won his first major championship on Sunday at Augusta National, taking the 2015 Masters Tournament.

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