Sunday, April 20, 2008
Oh well...life with Monty - never a dull moment I'm sure.
On the morning of his wedding to multi-millionaire Gaynor Knowles, Colin Montgomerie played a round with some of his 340 guests at the Loch Lomond golf course in Scotland.
Although most of the wedding and golfing events were very hush hush, those thought to have been invited included singer Robbie Williams, Hugh Grant, Open champion Padraig Harrington, Sam Torrance, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey.
Apparently Monty asked his guests to wear kilts to his wedding. I'm not sure how many complied, but with the winds howling, I hope they didn't go "au natural" under those skirts. I for one would look away if he bent over to line up a putt :)
Montgomerie, 44, and his new wife, 41, have been together for two years - she a widow and he divorced from his first wife Eimear in 2006 after 14 years - the cause of which he admits was his obsession with golf (or perhaps his obsession with golf majors). I can't imagine what it would be like to have him come home after losing major after major after major.
Well, apparently the new Mrs Montgomerie has a little more influence over Monty that the old - rumour has it that she banned him from taking his clubs on their honeymoon.
On her wedding day, the second Mrs Monty teed up as golf widow
ANDREW ALDERSON Chief Reporter
The Sunday Telegraph
20 Apr 2008
AFTER CONCEDING that his obsession with golf helped to end his first marriage, Colin Montgomerie might have been expected to turn his back on the sport when he tied the knot a second time yesterday. Not a bit of it. On the very morning of his wedding...read more...
Monday, April 14, 2008
But the stage today goes to a wonderful young man who proved that he is a Masters winner, even if he didn't take home the green jacket. There is no doubt in my mind that Brandt Snedeker will win a major in the next 2 years. I think he is that good and that deserving.
Not only did he prove this week that his game is ready, Brandt Snedeker is probably the most likeable player you could ever want to meet.
That always-present smile of his (even after a rough break or bad shot) is what keeps me glued to the TV when he's playing. His sportsmanship makes me want to point the kids his way and say, "Hey guys, come see a real sports hero!"
Golf has always been considered a "gentleman's" game, but with the swearing on camera, the smashing of clubs, the temper tantrums, the spitting in cups, the trash talking in press conferences and in the media, some of us have started to wonder 'where have all the gentleman gone?'
But then you watch Brandt play...you watch him smile even after a bad shot...you watch the way he treats his fellow competitor on the 18th hole at Augusta...you watch him in the post round media centre and you say..."Yes, golf is still very much a gentleman's sport and here he is...right here."
Brandt had a great week - he just had one tough afternoon. But did you see the other scores out there from players who have been in the game a lot longer: Flesh shot +6, Paul Casey +7, Jim Furyk +5.
And what about those veterans who didn't even make the cut? Sergio, Ernie, Freddie, Luke, Steve Stricker - I was shocked at how many of the so called greats of the game never made it to Sunday.
“Pretty phenomenal, to be (on the Nationwide) two years ago, struggling to be a professional golfer, and to be here, crying like a little girl in front of a bunch of media and 100 million people,” Snedeker said. “I’m sure I’ll be getting ribbed for the next two months about this.”
Brandt, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You gave it your all and you should be proud of yourself. I hope the media and other players are as gracious and honorable as you are and give you a hug, not a ribbing. I know you'd do it for them.
As this reportered shared, "As Snedeker pulled his visor down on his forehead and held a towel to his red-rimmed eyes, a Masters official ended the press conference by thanking him for a great week."
I wonder who that Masters' official was. Whoever he is, he just proved to me that maybe there really are a lot more gentlemen left in this game than I thought.
‘Just a rough day’ for Snedeker
JOSEPH PERSON NEWSPAPERS
14 Apr 2008
MCCLATCHY AUGUSTA, GA. For three days, Brandt Snedeker strode around Augusta National with a smile that was as omnipresent as his wavy blond hair and white Bridgestone visor. But the lasting image of Snedeker from the 72nd Masters will be one of the...read more...
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Don't know what the Webby Awards are? Well, this really says it all...
"Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video, and Mobile Websites."
The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to work that scores in the top 15% of all work entered into the Webby Awards. With nearly 10,000 entries received from all 50 states and over 60 countries, this is an outstanding accomplishment! GFW...Top 15% - That deserves a "WOW...Well done!" don't you think?
The awards are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization that includes David Bowie, Harvey Weinstein, Arianna Huffington, AKQA Global Creative Director Rei Inamoto, Matt Groening, Jamie Oliver, Internet inventor Vinton Cerf, and RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser.
That's quite an impressive list of judges. Hmmm...I wonder how many of them golf :)
"The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standards for the Internet," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. "Golf For Women's Official Honoree selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators."
I couldn't have said it better myself. I love it when blog posts just write themselves :)
Congratulations everyone at GFW! I am so happy for you and I'm honored to be even a tiny part of your blogging team.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
It's great to see a win be so much more than just a trophy and a huge check. Wagner's post round interview was pretty funny...He was in shock and just kept saying, "I don't believe it; it's a miracle." I thought it was just great. I hope he never gets jaded and that every win means as much to him as today's victory. I love the innocence of the "first time".
But...the story of the weekend (outside of the LPGA first major), was the story that was in the Daily Mail (see below) that had Paul Azinger bashing Nick Faldo.
Reporter Ian Stafford posted some pretty brutal comments from Azinger about the European Ryder Cup Captain Faldo in this article. I'll provide some highlights here, but you might want to read the whole thing for yourself and then decide if you think it's just "tabloid crap".
According to Mr. Stafford...
"Nick Faldo has tried to redefine himself," says Azinger. "I’d say he is both who he is and who he was. Some people have bought it. Some have not. But if you’re going to be a p***k and everyone hates you, why do you think that just because you’re trying to be cute and funny on air now that the same people are all going to start to like you?"
"The bottom line is that the players from his generation and mine really don’t want to have anything to do with him. He did what he did as a player and there are relational consequences."
What Stafford says, is that Azinger holds a big grudge against the "Faldo who was" and shared a number of stories about past transgressions that continue to grate on him. Stafford makes it look like Faldo is the lifetime nemesis of Azinger. Apparently Paul even tries to get "dirt" on Faldo from his potential Ryder Cup players, in particular, our favorite man to bash...Colin Montgomie.
‘I love that dude,’ America’s captain pronounces. ‘We’re all scared of him when he plays in the Ryder Cup. What he’s done is amazing. Monty’s become famous for it in the United States and he’s never even won a major. Americans don’t particularly like him but there’s nothing wrong in being the villain....
....I was due to play with Monty at Bay Hill until I pulled out but I would have had five hours alone with him and I would have said: “ C’mon, you’ve gotta give me some stuff”. I hope he plays against us, but I’m worried he won’t. He and Faldo don’t seem to get along and there’s no way Faldo will award him one of his two wildcards."
Well, as much as this article has been called "tabloid news" by the Golf Channel analysts who said today on the Sprint Post Game show that "all's well" between the two captains, I'm not so sure...
These "dudes" have been battling for years and sparring can sometimes lead to deep seeded antagonism that rears its ugly head when the pressure it on.
There is no argument that the American Ryder Cup team has struggled against the Europeans for the last 12 years (losing 5-1)and Azinger is under enormous pressure to win one back. I bet it keeps him up at night and I'm sure his nightmares are filled with past images of Nick Faldo rubbing his face in it.
I think this is just the start of some mud slinging debates over the Ryder Cup and I, for one, am looking forward to all of it. Hey, it gives me something to write about and it will be a nice diversion from the Clinton/Obama battles.
Every player from mygeneration wants nothing to dowith Faldo. They all hate him
From Ian Stafford In TAMPA, FLORIDA
The Mail on Sunday
06 Apr 2008
PAUL AZINGER spots a stingray cruising effortlessly through the clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, swings his driver over the fine Florida sand, as if aiming to chip a golf ball on to the fish’s back, and laughs in a self-mocking manner. ‘I... read more...
Friday, April 4, 2008
Timothy Carroll is a writer for WSJ and he shares his passion for golf and his quest to improve his game in a humorous self-depricating way. With almost 1,000 golf books, he spends his winters reading every self-help golf book I've ever heard of and many I haven't (although I've made a list for next winter's hibernation period).
If you want a laugh...you really should read this article. One of my favorite parts is when he talks about his wife's lack of appreciation for his book fetish:
"Kim asked me once in our almost two decades of marriage if we really needed all of these golf books. I think she was surprised by the forcefulness of my answer. She hasn’t broached the subject since."
It is good to know that "Five Lessons" is high on his list of books - It's my favorite and it sits by my bed too for those nights when dreams of eagles and birdies keep me awake.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monty's quest for the coveted green jacket was dashed again this week when he was not invited to play at Augusta. That didn't suprise him, given his ranking of 75th in the world. He expected 3 of the 24 players below him to be picked, and if that happened, he'd be jealous inside, but he'd take it like a man.
But when 3 international players (China’s Liang Wen-chong, Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh (ranked 111th, 93rd and 80th in the world respectively)) were invited to play because of TV rights, he could not help himself. The "Big Monty Muzzle" came off big time!
It's not like this hasn't happened before to the great Scot. In 2005, 67th ranked Shingo Katayama from Japan was chosen over the 51st placed Monty - again for the Japanese TV rights. You'd think Colin would be used to this by now.
According to Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, “These three individuals are successful, accomplished and talented golfers deserving of a Masters invitation. They are outstanding representatives of their respective countries. This is another component in our objective of growing the game of golf worldwide utilising the Masters brand. We think the interest in golf in each country will heighten when these players compete in the Masters.”
I watch a lot of European Tour golf and have seen all of these players. I'm quite happy that they'll be hitting US soil to show their off game - these guys are good!
But Monty does not share my enthusiasm...
"There has been no call from Augusta but I wasn’t expecting one. There areDon't get me wrong...I really do like Monty and think he is a very entertaining player to watch. I will miss him this year. But let's be serious...he's not a real contender and it is very unlikely that he ever will be. He's had his chances over the years - many of them. But he has not made the cut since he finished T14 back in 2002.
enough Brits in the field, so there won’t be a call. But if I were the only
person in the country, a la China, I might get in. It’s a strange way to make up
a field for a major championship – TV rights.
Let me tell you, I am not the only one who feels this way. In or not, I would be saying the same thing. It is the only one of the four majors you can get invited to. You don’t get an invite to the Open or the US Open or the US PGA. You have to qualify. But the Masters has its own rules. It would be easier to swallow if no-one was invited and the entry list was based on sporting and not commercial criteria.”
Things were looking up for a while for the Scot when he won twice at the Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year. He rose to 54th after that event and even Ryder Captain Nick Faldo who has had some run ins with Monty in the past was talking quite positively about him on the air.
Unfortunately, Monty hit a downward spiral after that, while his weight continued to skyrocket well above par.
Monty, take a tip from Lee Westwood who looking very buff these days. and Vijay, who understands that fitness is what's keeping him in shape on and off the course.
Monty, go get married, get fit, and then get back in the game! I'd hate to miss you at the Ryder Cup.
Monty has still to master art of diplomacy
DOUGLAS LOWE email@example.com
02 Apr 2008
WITH a record of missed cuts in his last four Masters and a best finish of tied eighth in a total of 15 starts, you might imagine that Colin Montgomerie would react to failing to make the field for next week’s showdown at Augusta National with a shrug... read more...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
...than to be one.
Below is a good article about Hank Haney and Tiger Woods. I really do recommend you read it. It made me like Haney a whole lot more...
Now...I have nothing against Butch Harmon, but he's so "out there" and there is a lot of media around him and Phil and it's almost a bit tabloid-ish to me.
Both are obviously excellent teachers, But, Hank Haney is different. Haney is unassuming and quietly confident which I really like. Harmon can shoot off at the mouth from time to time.
Anyway, I love the way Haney shared with the First Tee kids the meaning of not giving up and saying that he thinks Earl Woods is the greatest coach who ever lived. That's quite a compliment.
As he said to the impressionable younsters about Tiger...“He never, ever, ever quits. Athletes say they don’t quit, but they don’t define quitting the same way that Earl Woods defined quitting. They might not quit in their mind, but Tiger really doesn’t quit.”
Then he told them a story that he had heard from Tiger's dad...
On the day Tiger turned 17, he struggled early in his round at the Orange Bowl International and began sulking on the course. Tiger's father rarely raised his voice to his son (I think that was mom's job ;)), but Earl made an exception after that round. He said to Tiger, "You can’t act like that on a golf course! Golf doesn’t owe you anything. This tournament doesn’t owe you anything. The only one who owes anything is you owe it to yourself to try your best every time you play."
Apparently, Tiger didn’t say a word that day or the next. But after two days, he came up to his dad and said, ‘Pops, I heard every word you said. I promise you, I’ll never quit again.’
And he never has.
I guess this kind of sums up Tiger - you can always take him at his word (even when you may not always like what he says).
I am embarrassed to say that I not only have quit when the going got really tough, sometimes I didn't even get started. Sigh...time for some self discipline I guess...
Funny...I suddenly feel a New Year's Resolution moment coming on.
He’s the man who teaches Tiger
By STEVE CAMPBELL SHELL HOUSTON OPEN
The Houston Chronicle
01 Apr 2008
For somebody who never made it on the PGA Tour, Hank Haney sure has his fingerprints all over golf history. Haney is the swing instructor and a trusted lieutenant of Tiger Woods. He is one of the few allowed inside the Sultan of Swoosh’s inner circle.... read more...