Japan's Rising Son
June 2, 2014
By Dan Daly
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You take one week off and all of the sudden an otherwise non-eventful time for golf has more twists and turns than Days of Our Lives. Where do I even begin?
I guess I will start with today.
Bubba Watson was 5 holes away from having won at Riviera, Augusta and Muirfield Village halfway through the 2014 season. That's a career season for most Tour players. Even after a bogey on 14 a win still seemed like a forgone conclusion the way he was playing. He still had the very reachable par 5 15th ahead of him, a hole he had gone eagle, eagle birdie on already this week. Unfortunately for Bubba his drive ended up closer to Columbus than the fairway and a double bogey would prove to be the end of his chances to win this week. "The bad decision, trying to be a hero" Bubba said. Bad decision or just a really bad shot? I'm going to have to go with just a really bad drive. But hey, he is still an excellent father.
Adam Scott gets married, becomes World Number One, wins the Colonial in a playoff his first week back and then is tied for the lead with 5 holes to play at the Memorial? He's good but this was starting to get silly. Unfortunately for him, he reenacted the 2012 British Open down the stretch to settle for a share of 4th place. Like I said two weeks ago with Jiménez though, there may be something to this whole marriage thing. Don't believe me? Tiger ran into a tree and a fire hydrant Thanksgiving night 2009, got divorced a few months later and hasn't won a major since. I'm just saying.
As for the guy that actually won, if you have never heard of Hideki Matsuyama (or thought he was a pitcher for the Yankees) then you probably don't watch much golf. This kid is 22 and he is good, like really frickin' good. Anyone that reads the Weekly Waggle knows my love affair with Jordan Spieth…Matsuyama may not be quite as consistent as Spieth but this kid is that good, trust me.
As for the host this week, is there anyone better than Jack? Jack, Arnie, Watson and Johnny Miller were playing the opening round about a year ago at Harbor Shores, a new course Jack had designed. Johnny Miller was preparing to chip while ON the 10th green…over 100 feet from the hole. Nicklaus promptly stopped him, stating that he didn't want a divot on the new green. Jack asked Johnny to just putt the ball instead. Johnny claimed he had no choice but to chip it.
A quick follow up from my PGA Tour WAG's column. Of course I got all kinds of feedback on not only the order itself but who I left off the list. The one WAG I definitely missed was Keegan Bradley's current girlfriend. She is not unfortunate looking at all. Not sure if she would crack the top 5 but easily would have made the top 10.
I am also a huge supporter of an idea that was thrown my way in light of the article. The WAG's walk inside the ropes with the players at the President's Cup and Ryder Cup. This is something the PGA Tour should allow for all events. You want a way to increase TV ratings while Tiger is on the Disabled List? There you go. The ratings at the Colonial were down 12% this year despite the World Number One in a playoff with one of the more popular players on tour. You're telling me that if Adam Scott's new wife and Amanda Dufner are inside the ropes walking with them in mini-skirts you wouldn't have been a little more compelled to watch? If Paulina Gretzky was walking alongside Dustin Johnson no matter what he is shooting or where he stood in the tournament you wouldn't tune in for that alone? Put some thought into that Mr. Commissioner.
One name not on the list of WAG's was Caroline Wozniacki…obviously Rory agreed with me. I know this completely discredits my earlier theory about marriage and winning golf tournament since he won immediately after calling off his marriage but there is obviously an exception to every rule. Jiménez and Scott trump Rory, plus Wozniacki immediately lost her first round match as a heavy favorite…so there.
This next part is probably going to get me into a lot of trouble but I can't help it, I'm so dumfounded by the reaction to this story. I saw where an 11-year old girl qualified for the Women's US Open. I know everyone thinks that is such a great feel good story but I'm sorry, if an 11-year old can qualify for your sports biggest tournament against women who are twice her age, out of college and old enough to be her mom is that really a good thing? I read one article that said she hits her drive "just under 200 yards." Seriously? She is 11-years old, which is elementary school by the way, can't hit the ball 200 yards and qualified for the frickin' Women's US Open…and people think that is a good thing for Women's golf? Ummm, ok? I know she shot 74, 68 to qualify but doesn't that prove my whole point? Again, this is not a knock on this little girl at all, good for her, I'm just not sure "good for women's golf" is really the way I would spin that at all. The exact opposite in fact.
Congratulations to Nick Saban and The Alabama golf team on basically kicking everyone's ass for the last three years. Back to back National Championships and advancing to the National Championship match three straight years doesn't suck. Obviously Saban got bored winning football National Championships a few years ago so he tried his hand as the golf coach. It's the only plausible explanation I can come up with how Alabama is this good at golf. The man can simply recruit and coach better than anyone I have ever seen. In my 2013 PGA Tour Preview I wrote "Phil FIGJAM Mickelson will get "randomly" audited by the IRS at some point in 2013" after his comments earlier in the year regarding taxes. People laughed at me. Ok, so it's the FBI and Insider Trading (potato, potahto). Who's laughing now? It sure as shit isn't Mickelson.
I can tell you one thing, he clearly doesn't have any insider information on any of the courses on the PGA Tour this year. We are in June and ole' Lefty has as many top 10's so far this year as I do.
Finally, a story I know you have all seen by now because you have all emailed, tweeted and texted me about it. My man, John Patrick Daly confirmed recently in an interview on Yahoo's In Depth With Graham Bensinger that he managed to lose over $55 Million in gambling from 1991 to 2007. You can look at that one of two ways; that he is either the stupidest person alive or the most entertaining. I of course choose the latter. If you have enough money to lose $10K a day playing blackjack and slots then more power to you. All I know is that 99.9999999999% of the people blasting him won't make a tenth of that in their lifetime. He earned it, he lost it and instead of crying about it like anyone else in the world would, he simply said "I had a lot of fun doing it."
Here is the interview for those that haven't seen it. The blazer alone makes it worth watching.
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