Post by Richard Kaplan
Jack’s Memorial Tournament
I managed to see (in between neck-jarring naps) the exciting finish to Jack’s Memorial tournament, where Swede David Lingmerth beat the more-fancied Justin Rose on the 3rd extra hole of the playoff, and after he made a few huge putts under pressure. He was very solid against one of the World’s Top 10, and fully deserved the victory.
Jack’s Muirfield Village course was exceptional as always, and comparisons with Augusta are always expected.
Rose had plenty of chances during the round, plus an awful opening few holes, so it could’ve been a runaway win for him, but still puts him in the front line for a favorite’s spot at Chambers Bay next week. His shank from the fairway bunker on the 72nd hole was unbelievable, as was his incredible up-and-down for the par and the chance to play off against Lingwerth.
Jordan Spieth finished fast with a 65 to finish just outside all the main action, nevertheless another sign that he’s gonna be hard to beat in the US Open.
How embarrassing must Saturday’s 85 have been for him?
From 5 wins and Player of the Year 2 years ago to now finding himself at #181 in the rankings is just beyond any normal comprehension. Teeing off first with a marker, hitting 4 balls into the water, and capping off the 85 with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the par 4 18th hole in front of the huge gallery must have been so draining that I can’t even begin to imagine what mixed emotions he’s going through at the moment.
And from 14 Majors up to 2008, to winless ever since, and right now seemingly so far away from even contending, let alone winning, is exactly the rock bottom that he now finds himself at.
The question is this: is he still digging deeper, or can he start hauling himself back out of the hole?
I started thinking about Seve, and what happened to him when his game, and in particular his driving, went off, and how he turned to the quirky and eccentric – some would say a genius – Mac O’Grady for help. Mac was a Tour player in the 80’s and 90’s, and was also a very good golfer standing on the other side of the ball, so much so that he wanted to enter the annual end-of-year Teams Championship on his own, playing 1 ball right-handed and the other ball left-handed. He fought long and hard with the Tour when they denied him an entry. He started teaching, and was known to be one of the earlier proponents of stack and tilt, a method that has never really stuck with golfers of any ability. Seve, meanwhile, never straightened up his driver, and slowly but faded away into the golfing wilderness.
Do you think Tiger will find a swing that can hit the ball straighter, and if not, do you think he’ll continue struggling like this for much longer?