IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A SAD HOLE IN ONE?
Nice swing. Cool looking flight-path. Good work on the camera. Jordan Spieth even goes on for a T2 and a great payday. It's a good bet that Spieth, only 19 years old, will soon be playing the big events. Hole-in-ones (Holes-in-one?) are typically exciting but there is something sad about this hole in one.
It is always a bit sad to see the opposite field events to the two WGC events (this year, Doral and Firestone) and The Open Championship. They sort of have the feel of spring training baseball game after a rain delay or maybe two non-playoff teams playing out the string at the end of the season. It's also a bit sad to see former US Open and Masters winner Angel Cabrera grinding it out at an opposite field event ... perhaps even sadder to still see someone still wearing pleated pants (although probably a wise choice on his frame). Finally, it's sad to see that the PGA even had to add WGC graphics to the Puerto Rico Open highlights (or sadder, they couldn't be bothered to get it right).
The one happy thing is Spieth. He's the only player other than a certain Mr. Woods to win the U.S. Junior Amateur more than once. He does not have his PGA Tour card right now and is playing on the Web.com tour. It is possible that even at age 19, he is the best player not on one of the PGA Tour or European Tour. This season becomes interesting for Spieth who clearly is good enough to be on the PGA Tour.
If he was a PGA Tour member, Spieth would be 52nd on the PGA Tour Money list despite having only played 3 events (and thus only 5 more sponsor exemptions left this year). Only Puerto Rico Open winner Scott Brown is higher on the money list having played fewer events (2). With $373,000 so far this year, he's already more than halfway to what was 125th on the money list in 2012 (Kevin Chappell at $647,510). Spieth tees it up in Tampa this week without using one of those exemptions because of his top 10 finish this week. It would be great to see a win giving him a card and ticket to Augusta.
Anyway, this video will ultimately feel less sad if Spieth and Cabrera pair up some time in the near future at Augusta and someone come up with a hole-in-one at the 16th. You read it here first.
IS THIS EASIER OR HARDER THAN A HOLE IN ONE?
Here's some good camera work showing Tiger's getting his ball stuck in the tree at Doral last week. It does make one wonder whether there are more hole-in-ones each year on the PGA Tour or balls stuck in trees.
THIS COULD BECOME MORE THAN A GIMMICK
This looks fun. Imagine your local course setting up a three or for hole glow-golf game for $20 and a few cocktails. Aside from the lawyers, how could this not work?
As for the video, you're probably thinking that Ben Crane is used to playing in the dark with his reputation of being a slow player. Unfortunately, there is no good video online of that awesome incident with Rory Sabbatini several years back (if you recall, Sabbatini was so frustrated with Crane at the 2005 Booz Allen that he played out of order, putted out and stormed off the green before Crane was even done the hole). If you need to know what a decent guy Ben Crane is, here's a clip of him talking about the incident with Rory. He explains how it helped him and improved him as a person and player!
Crane is clearly a gracious and reflective guy in that he looked inwards after Sabbatini flipped out. Keep in mind Rory Sabbatini is the kind of guy that would get mad at a kitten for being too cute (originally, I was going to say he could get mad at Mother Theresa for curing a person of cancer ... but that appears to be in question). If you want to read about the kind of guy Sabbatini is (in this own words no less), there's the excellent interview with Jason Sobel (back when he was at ESPN.com) that had this nugget about the Crane incident:
You know, I think if you spend your life looking behind you, you forget what's happening at the time. I'm a guy that lives in the moment and looks to the future, and that's the way I am. It was never a situation about Ben Crane; it was a situation about slow play. The way I look at it is I didn't play ahead of him, he just decided to play behind me.
Lovely. Most people would think they are doing something right if they make Sabbatini angry.
For the record of course, we can all agree they still have to speed up play on the PGA Tour.
Of course Tiger used to hit greens in the dark without the help of glowing balls back at the peak of his powers in 2000.
[as an aside, if you look closely AND if the video was in high-def AND if you could freeze it without being blurry, one could see yours truly in the crowd across the water at the 18th at Glen Abbey on shot #2 on this list]
MICKELSON LOOKING GOOD
In case you missed it, here's the clip again of Mickelson explaining how to hit the shot off the cart path.
It is notable that even with Tiger streaking, Johnny Miller still likes Mickelson at The Masters noting that he could have even won at Doral last week if he had putted better.
LIKE WATCHING A CAR WRECK
It turns out people were harmed by Rory McIlroys' WD from the Honda Classic last week ... the sports television viewing public that had to watch Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless talk about golf. Granted, we were not forced to watch but it is kind of like saying we are not forced to glance over at a 6 car pile-up.
There is never any reason to listen to Smith or Bayless about much of anything, never mind golf. But believe it or not, these two even got in on the McIlroy withdrawal from the Honda Classic.
This only came on the radar because it wasn't even close to the most uncomfortable moment on the air last week for these two. Perhaps this was the most uncomfortable moment for anyone last week.
Here's hoping Rory learned his lesson: never do anything notable enough that we ever have to listen or watch these two talk about you.
Everything else you do Rory is fine.
MORE ON RORY
By the way, I came across for the first time a pretty good documentary/fluff piece on Rory by the BBC earlier this year.
There is some pretty good home video of Rory as a kid swinging.
There are also good clips of his last second arrival for his Ryder Cup match, Christmas home videos and the somewhat uncomfortable hug Tiger forces on him at the Ryder Cup. It is possible he too is a little wary of Tiger's overt friendliness.
It also reminds us of his struggles in the middle of last season before going on a tear to finish the year. Don't worry abot the change in equipment, McIlroy will be back winning soon.
AS IF YOU NEEDED A REMINDER
Just to get the juices flowing, here's last year's promo ... I recommend watching in HD.