I won’t be at my usual post on Monday, July 21, as I’m spending my day in — of all places — the lovely city of Philadelphia, attempting to qualify for the United States Mid-Amateur at an awesome golf course named Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
I’ll return to the air tomorrow, ready to chat Orioles, Ravens and maybe even some leftovers from the British Open.
There’s not a whole lot to say, actually, about what transpired at Royal Liverpool. What Rory McIlroy did — sleeping on the lead for three straight nights — was as impressive of a victory in major championship golf as we’ve seen in a few years. His wire-to-wire win doesn’t yield much in the form of discussion, point-counter point, etc. He played superb golf and was the justifiable winner.
I do think the back nine lacked the sort of drama necessary to rank Hoylake as one of the rotation’s best courses for the Open. The 16th and 18th holes are essentially par 4.5’s, and, honestly, should probably both be played as par 4’s in the tournament, reducing par on the course from 72 to 70.
Rickie Fowler certainly looks like he’s on the verge of a career-breakthrough. His second consecutive runner-up finish in a major championship bodes well for him down the road. His Butch Harmon-rebuilt swing has held up very well under the extraordinary pressure of major championship golf and the fact he’s contended at both of this year’s “Open” championships shows he can play on a variety of courses.
As for the other big story, Tiger Woods, the great one sputtered on Friday with a second round 77 before slightly redeeming himself over the weekend with a 2-day total of +4. That he made the cut not quite four months after major back surgery is a positive step for Tiger, but playing the weekend isn’t the sort of triumph Woods is after these days. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson — who has repeatedly said if Tiger is healthy he’ll be a captain’s pick for this year’s event — would be nuts to add Woods to the U.S. team based on the way the 14-time major champion is playing right now. I realize a lot can change in two months time, but there’s just no way Tiger is one of the best twelve American players in the game.
In fact, if Woods had any pride in the event itself, he’d tell Watson NOT to add him to the team. He’d get far more out of that then he would going over to Gleneagles and stinking up the joint for three days and scratching out 2.5 points in the four matches he plays in the Ryder Cup.
Tiger, though, will never do that.
He’d never intentionally remove himself from a competition of any sort. Which is why Watson needs to do it for him.