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

  • Sergio on winning a major: “I’m sure it’s gonna happen.” (Video by TaylorMade)

The quote above doesn’t come until the very end of a well produced video by TaylorMade, who has been sponsoring Garcia for over ten years now. It’s a pretty typical look at a player from the perspective of not only himself, but the company behind him as well.

I’ll say this though: considering that Sergio as recently as three years ago said that he wasn’t good enough to win a major, it’s good to hear that, at least on the surface, he’s more confident in his own abilities. In general, I feel like the public and the golf media, myself included, tend to get carried away with the importance of majors, but there’s no doubt that the majority of players today have grown up with the mindset that the four majors each year are of far more value than any other event, save for the Ryder Cup.

From the outside looking in, Sergio has always appeared to be one of the guys that felt like winning a major would validate his career and it’s almost been one of those things where he put too much pressure on himself to pull it off. As I’ve said numerous times, there’s no reason that he can’t win one of these things with the amount of talent he has, and if he actually believes it, it’s hard to envision him not getting one before he packs it in.

When Donald Trump announced that he had purchased Turnberry, I was concerned just like everyone else with what he would do to the course once he got his hands on it. There’s no doubt that the man loves golf, and having someone with his passion and chequebook isn’t a bad thing, but whenever classic courses get redesigned, everyone tends to be a little hesitant and with good reason. I’m happy to say though that I’m a fan of the proposed changes in the video below.

Even though I’m a fan, I’m sure that the changes to the 9th are going to be controversial.

Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck has a new podcast, and his first guest was Phil Mickelson’s caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay. It’s a great listen throughout, as Bones brings a ton of great stories to the table, the best of which surround the way that the caddies used to live from week to week.

poulter player

As he does from time to time, Ian Poulter caused a stink on Twitter earlier this week when he tweeted out the below story from Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail:

The gist of Lawrenson’s story is that the European Tour should be upset with Poulter, and by extension, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson over the three not appearing at Wentworth later this year for Europe’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship because of the way that Masters champion Jordan Spieth has handled his commitments since winning the green jacket. Now, I’m not aware of any prior controversies involving Poulter and Lawrenson but the way that Poulter worded his tweet leads me to believe that this isn’t the first time that Poulter has disagreed with one of Lawrenson’s takes.

The Usain Bolt comparison makes no sense to me, but Poulter’s overall point is a valid one. Yes, the BMW PGA is the European Tour’s flagship event, but people have to understand that these guys look at their tournaments as a business too, and Poulter playing at Wentworth with that record, is bad for business. There’s a reason that for years you could map out Tiger’s schedule before the season even started, and that’s because he tailored it to the events and courses that he liked and did well on. Poulter’s doing the same thing and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Spieth is a great young player and by all accounts, someone who doesn’t want to renege on his word. He’s also 21 years old, which is much younger than Poulter, Sergio or Stenson, so it’s a little easier for him to play a lot, plus, much like Poulter, he’s an active member of the PGA Tour. Poulter still plays in Europe, but the vast majority of his time these days is spent in North America. My guess is that once Spieth gets a little older, he’ll probably start to minimize his schedule a little bit.

Lastly, Poulter ended off his rant with a good quote:

Speaking of the European Tour, they’ve announced a new CEO in Keith Pelley, who has been working for Rogers Media here in Canada. Now, I come at this from two very different perspectives because I’m a golf fan who is very interested in the inner workings of the various tours, but as a Canadian who works in sports media, I was floored by the news. Bob Weeks for SCOREGolf has some background on Pelley, including his massive interest in golf itself and how the process went down between him and the European Tour.

Pelley has a history of building things up and then pursuing other challenges once the foundation has been laid, so on that level, it makes sense that he would want to take on something like the European Tour, who has struggled to keep pace with the deep pocketed PGA Tour in terms of luring big names to their events. After Pelley was able to negotiate exclusive national television rights for the NHL in Canada, my guess is that there really wasn’t much that was going to be able to top that and when the opportunity came to take a major position in the golf industry, it was impossible for Pelley to turn it down.

He’s got a lot of work ahead of him, but I like the move for both parties.

Interesting quotes in the piece linked above about Couples, who was passed over for Davis Love without any real consideration. I’m still a little surprised by the whole thing because of how badly the players apparently wanted Couples to lead them at Hazeltine, but I still think Love is going to do a fine job.

tiger winning putt 97 masters

Frank Nobilo is consistently one of the best things about golf broadcasts, and you can see why in this interview. He’s thoughtful, engaging and not afraid to state his opinion. Also, this gives me an excuse to post his back and forth with Brandel Chamblee from last year, which he also talks about in the interview. Good stuff all around.

This is obviously huge news for the tournament if Tiger commits, and it’s interesting considering his comments from after the Masters where he basically said that he was going to take some time off to work on things and he didn’t say when we were going to see him again. It’s also pretty interesting that he seemingly had a real conversation with Jack, which is something that he hasn’t really been known to have in the past. Maybe the smiling faces and hugging at Augusta are actually here to stay.

(I doubt it.)

  • On Furyk winning at Harbour Town

I didn’t get a chance to watch any of the tournament last week due to some personal matters, but I can honestly say that I’m happy that Jim Furyk was able to come away with the victory. He’s been too good for too long to have gone winless for nearly five years, and you have to respect the relentless consistency that he has, especially when you consider that you have to go back to 1985 to find the last year that Furyk’s current driving distance average of 272.7 yards last ranked in the top-10 on the PGA Tour.

Jim Furyk closed on a Sunday, and did it in a playoff after firing a final round 63. Impressive stuff.

  • Tape delayed coverage

Of course, even if I was home on Sunday to watch the final round, I wouldn’t have been able to watch it live on television. Due to the weather in the area, tee times were moved up and the whole thing was over before 3:00 ET when the CBS coverage was just coming on the air. This whole thing isn’t new, as there’s usually at least one or two tournaments a year that are plagued by bad weather, but it’s absolutely insane to me that in 2015, we can’t get a live television feed going for every event, regardless of time:

Now, I could have looked up an illegal stream of the event, as Sky Sports 4 in the UK was broadcasting live based on the feed from CBS which would later air on delay in North America, but I really don’t think I should have to do that.

No commentary needed here. Just read the story posted by Brian linked above.

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