Sunday, October 29

New Meaning to Being in the Hunt

Play in the Chrysler Championship in Palm Harbor, FL, was interrupted on Friday by a, well, manhunt.

"Never had a manhunt out here," Brian Gay was quoted as saying. Gay was preparing to hit his drive when police appeared on the third tee. He let them go through.

The officers had guns drawn as they pursued a pair of juveniles accused of burglarizing a nearby house.

On Sunday, K.J. Choi cruised to a four-stroke victory with a closing 67. Meanwhile, journeyman Paul Goydos vaulted from 160th to 97th on the money list by tying for second place with Brett Wetterich.

The $466,400 paycheck was the largest of Goydos’ career and means he won’t have to return to Q-school. Sweet.

Finally, Ernie Els played his way into next week’s Tour Championship with spectacular par saves on the last two holes to salvage a closing round of 72.

"I’ll be the happiest guy there," the Big Easy said of making the elite Tour Championship field.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 27

Faldo Speaks About Sitting in CBS Hot Seat

Forget the Champions Tour. Nick Faldo will be announcing rather than playing golf.

Earlier this month Nick Faldo was named the lead golf analyst for CBS, replacing Lanny Wadkins. SI's Michael Bamberger recently quizzed the newest accent to CBS golf coverage.

Faldo talks about the CBS crew, his resemblance to Harrison Ford, and sheds light on the British slang term, "cat's lick." He also reveals who he thinks is today's best golf announcer. Yes, Johnny Miller.

How will Nick be different from Johnny Miller?

"Johnny's great, but I'll do it my way," Faldo told SI. "I think of it not as a golf broadcast but as entertainment, for three to five hours. I need to make sure I'm quick, informative, serious when that's what's called for, funny when that's the right tone. I'd like to offer a bit of instruction. You have to be sharp, and you have to be entertaining. Simple as that."

Read the Q&A here.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, October 23

Road to Louisville: 2008 Ryder Cup

It’s never too early to plan to attend a titanic golf event. And America needs our help. You might say it’s our patriotic duty. Who else wants to go to the next Ryder Cup matches?

The battle will take place on American soil, in Louisville, Kentucky, which is somewhat centrally located.

Here’s the deal for me: I have family in the area. My dad’s hometown -- Jeffersonville, Indiana -- is directly across the Ohio River. That’s right, I’ve got a place to stay. Several places, in fact.

Are you in?

Step one is to apply for tickets. You can fill out an online form or fax your information. Ticket information will be sent in early 2007, followed by a random drawing next fall.

More info here.

The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, October 17

Golf Mandatory at Chinese University

Communism ain't what it used to be.

At Xiamen University in China's southeastern Fujian province, students majoring in management, law, economics and software engineering are required to take a course in golf. You read that right.

"Golf is not only good exercise, but will teach students communication skills and benefit their future careers," the China Daily newspaper quoted the university's president Zhu Chongshi as saying.

More here:
Chinese university makes "elitist" golf compulsory

I had to cut class to play golf when I was in college, which made it considerably harder to get my degree in Economics.

But college credit for golf -- now there's an idea that can bring our two nations closer together.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 13

'Gray Lady' Takes on Michelle Wie

An article in The New York Times by golf writer Damon Hack does a post mortem on Michelle Wie's first year in professional golf.

With all that happened Wie’s first year -- firing a caddie, nearly winning a major, missing cuts playing against the men -- Hack points out how Wie’s career thus far resembles "Groundhog Day."

"She turned 17 on Wednesday but will start her second year in the same way she began the first: as a talented prodigy still looking for her first victory beneath the never-ending glare of the news media."

Wie states she wouldn’t change a thing. Ah, the optimism of youth.

Read the full article here:
Wie Has a Lot to Learn as a Pro (Including How to Win)

By the way, you gotta love a golf writer named "Hack."

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 11

Floyd County Wins State High School Golf Title

I live in a county of 14,000 people. The county seat, Floyd, is home to a mere 440 souls. And the entire county has just one stoplight and no four-lane roads. Think Mayberry.

(I joke that when my family moved from Seattle to Floyd three years ago the town's population grew by one percent.)

So, as you can imagine, high school sports are a big deal here.

Today, Floyd County High School and the community have something to be proud of -- another state high school golf championship (Group A). It's the third state title in seven years, not quite a dynasty but certainly a strong golf tradition.

Soon there will be another black and gold state championship banner hanging in the old gymnasium.

The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, October 8

Love Captures Greensboro Title

Davis Love fired a final round 66 to win the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro by two shots.

Davis has been in contention several times -- including at the majors -- but it had been three long years since his last victory. A nice ending to what has been a rather disappointing season for the 42-year-old Love who failed to make his seventh consecutive Ryder Cup team.

Does Davis have another major title in him?

I'd say probably not. Love is like Fred Couples, an excellent ball striker who can play his way into contention but can't close it out on Sunday.

I'd love to see it though (no pun intended).

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 4

Europeans Putt Well

In case you were still wondering, the Europeans putt well. This was reported by the Associated Press:

"For those who think the Europeans only make putts during the Ryder Cup, consider the following week at the American Express Championship.

"The 11 players from Europe's team accounted for 176 birdies and eagles, while the 10 U.S. Ryder Cup players had 150 subpar holes."

The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, October 1

Things Back to Normal in Pro Golf

Now that we have that weird Ryder Cup thing out of the way, we can get back to our regular scheduled golf programming.

Namely, Tiger Woods beating the field into submission -- this time by eight shots in another wire-to-wire, take-no-prisoners victory at the WGC in England.

No offense, Tiger, but I’m bored. Can you take some time off like Phil, play the final round left-handed (like Phil), or pretend it’s the Ryder Cup every week just to make it a bit more interesting?

You’re making it look way too easy, man. All the so-called competition want their mommies. No fair!

The Armchair Golfer