Category Archives: Golf
Trivia and tacos
Today’s trivia adventure comes from the Taco Bell at 1730 Vine Street in Hays, Kansas USA.
That’s right. I am a little under 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) from The Golden Q, where I normally play trivia in Hays. If you read my blog post from last Wednesday, you know The Q is undergoing a massive renovation which has closed its kitchen until next Tuesday, and the air conditioning and televisions are not functioning.
Buzztime updated its app last week. The questions now appear on the screen with the answers. The only drawback is clues are not given for Lunchtime and Countdown, meaning it’s all or nothing, unless lightning strikes and you figure it out in the middle of the question. For Late Shift, the game which runs from 2200 to closing, and others like it, the wrong answers wipe out. The app still cannot handle the hour-long games Tuesday through Saturday meaning if I want to play SIX Wednesday and Thursday at 1930, I have to be somewhere, which means Salina this week.
I had to come to Hays today to get my eyeglasses adjusted. Dr. Jones did it herself. I also had to get the correct case, which wasn’t a big deal.
Nickole Byers in Ellis called me while I was driving to Hays. I called her back and she wanted information on tournaments for the upcoming school year in case we wanted to print programs for them. Therefore, I stopped at Taco Bell to work.
I decided I would see how far away Buzztime could pick up the signal from The Q so I could play.
It worked. I’m about ready to leave to go home because I am dead tired. I didn’t get a lick of sleep last night, and it wasn’t because anything was wrong; for some reason, I couldn’t fall asleep even after taking Seroquel. I think I’ll be in bed very early tonight, because I would like to wake up early tomorrow, go to Wichita to get my car cleaned, then come back to Salina for trivia and a haircut with Amber.
I understand why Wimbledon instituted a tiebreak in the deciding set of matches when the score reaches 12-12. The All-England Lawn Tennis Club does not want marathon matches such as 2010, when John Isner and Nicholas Mahut needed 138 games to decide the fifth set, with Isner prevailing 70-68.
That’s right. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT games. It took 11 plus hours over three days to complete.
Back to yesterday, when Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled for the gentelmen’s singles championship.
Federer choked away two match points in the fifth set. Lo and behold, it got to 12-12.
Djokovic won seven of the 10 points in the tiebreak and won his fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam.
Djokovic also won the first and third sets by tiebreak after it was tied 6-6.
The 12-point tiebreak was introduced to Wimbledon in 1972. From 1972-78, the tiebreak was played in all sets EXCEPT the decisive set (third for ladies, fifth for gentlemen) when the score reached 8-8. It was pared down to 6-6 in 1979 and remained that way through 2018.
Through 1970, all sets had to be played out until one player had a two-game advantage. In 1971, an ill-conceived tiebreak was used; it was a maximum of nine points, period, meaning if it were 4-4, it was a sudden death set point.
I’m not a tennis fan. I haven’t followed the sport much since the heyday of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and later, Steffi Graf and Boris Becker.
If it were up to me, I would say no way to tiebreaks in all Grand Slam tournaments, at least in the decisive set. And for the championship match, it would be no tiebreaks, period.
This is akin to the four major golf tournaments eliminating the 18-hole playoff when two or more players were tied after 72 holes.
- The U.S. Open was the last to eliminate the fifth round, going to a two-hole playoff starting in 2017; the last 18-hole playoff was at Torrey Pines in 2008, when Eldrick Woods defeated Roccco Mediate in 19 holes.
- The last 18-hole playoff at The Masters was 1970 when Billy Casper defeated Gene Littler; Augusta National adopted sudden death in 1976, and it was first used in 1979. The Masters uses sudden death for one reason and one reason only: to make sure 60 Minutes is not delayed too long on CBS should the tournament run past 1900 ET (1800 CT). It’s the same reason why NFL games which kick off at 1505 or 1525 CT on CBS have fewer commercials than the 1200 CT kickoffs on CBS or all games on Fox and NBC.
- The Open Championship last held an 18-hole playoff in 1975, when Tom Watson bested Jack Nicklaus at Carnoustie. The 18-hole playoff remained the tiebreak format for the Royal & Ancient through 1985; in 1986, it changed to a three-hole playoff, and later, four holes.
- The PGA Championship eliminated the 18-hole playoff in the 1970s, first using sudden death, then changing to a three-hole playoff in the late 1990s.
Winning a major tournament in tennis and golf is supposed to be among the most difficult tasks in sports. Not to to detract from Djokovic’s thrilling victory on Centre Court, but if there weren’t tiebreaks, would the Serb win? Who knows?
That said, I am on the other side of the fence as far as overtime in gridiron football and hockey.
There should be no overtime, period, in the regular season in those sports. If a team cannot get the job done in 60 minutes, it doesn’t deserve another chance. Better to have ties factor into a record than some convoluted tiebreaker based upon net points in conference games (NFL) or “regulation and overtime wins” (NHL).
Football and hockey are physically draining sports. Bruises, sprains and other injuries are a way of life. Why expose the players to more risk when it’s not necessary?
College and high school football should do away with their stupid version of overtime, which was foisted upon us in 1971 by Brice Durbin, then the Executive Director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, and later Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations.
The “Kansas playoff” is ridiculous. Starting from the 10-yard line slants the playing field so heavily in favor of the offense. Any team which can’t make three yards per play for four plays doesn’t deserve to win. Not allowing the defense to score on an interception or fumble is just as asinine. Why should the team which turned the ball over deserve a chance to stop the team forcing the turnover? If the defender runs 95 yards the other way, then that team deserves to win.
The NCAA version of overtime, also adopted by Missouri, Texas and other states, is little better. The 25 is still too close.
In 1972, my future high school, Brother Martin, played Monroe Neville to a scoreless tie in a state semifinal in New Orleans. At that time, the team which advanced was determined by first downs, and if that was tied, penetrations inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
That didn’t work for the Crusaders and Tigers, who each had nine first downs and one penetration. Louisiana High School Athletic Association director Frank Spruiell suggested the Kansas overtime to break the tie.
The coaches, Martin’s Bobby Conlin and Neville’s Charlie Brown, told Spruiell to jump in the Mississippi River. The Crusaders and Tigers got together four days later in Alexandria and played it over again. Neville won 8-0 and went on to defeat Bossier Airline three days later for the title at Monroe.
To be honest, first downs, penetrations and other statistics such as yardage, third down conversions and time of possessions are more appropriate ways to determine a victor than the Kansas playoff. The Kansas playoff is a crapshoot if there ever was one.
The last time I was in Kansas City, I watched nine innings of a Rays-Twins game in Minneapolis.
I missed the first nine innings driving from Hays to Kansas City.
Eighteen innings? Are you kidding me?
Major League Baseball should do what the Japanese Leagues do and limit games tied after nine to a maximum of three extra innings. If the game is still tied after 12, the statistics count, but the game is thrown out and doesn’t count.
Teams play 162 games a season. What would a few ties hurt? Not a darn thing.
What is the American aversion to draws in sports? There does not have to be a winner in everything.
I’m still at Taco Bell. That’s all for now…at least on the blog.
Tiger won! Not really, but some would have you believe otherwise
Did Brooks Koepka win the PGA Championship? I couldn’t tell. By the homepage of ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, and many newspapers, Tiger Woods won, even though the scoreboard I checked showed Woods two shots behind Koepka.
The drooling love affair with Eldrick Woods has gone on since the weekend of April 10-13, 1997, when he won The Masters, the first of his 14 major championships. When Tiger was forced off the course by injury following the 2008 U.S. Open, and again by various injuries earlier this decade, fans on message boards bitched and moaned and said they would not watch golf until Tiger was playing again.
It’s not as if golf is going to die without Eldrick Woods. Koepka has won three of the last six majors. Jordan Spieth is only a PGA away from the career grand slam, and Rory McIlroy will wrap it up if he wins The Masters. Dustin Johnson is the top ranked player in the world, with Justin Thomas a close second. Phil Mickelson is still chasing the career slam, needing the U.S. Open.
There are a lot more marketable players out there today than there were 50 years ago, when it was Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and a whole lot of good but not great players who really didn’t move the needle. Lee Trevino took Palmer’s place among the big names in the late 1960s, and once Player and Nicklaus passed their prime, it was wide open, even though nobody had the star power that the Golden Bear and Arnie had.
People were scalping tickets for as much as $2,000 in St. Louis for Sunday’s final round at the PGA. That’s enough to buy season tickets for the Cardinals or Blues. Kopeka and Adam Scott were the final pairing, and both played with far smaller galleries than what Woods and Gary Woodland did.
Eldrick is part of a cadre of athletes American media drools over. The others are Serena Williams, LeBron and Tom Brady. Baseball doesn’t have a specific athlete, but the Red Sox and Yankees get all the headlines, with the Cubs getting them to a lesser extent. The NHL has not had that problem as much, although the national media couldn’t stop peeing in their pants about the Vega$ Golden Knight$.
I don’t watch very much golf, simply because I’ve had enough of Mr. Woods. I don’t watch any tennis. Haven’t since the late 1980s. I’m sick of the Williams sisters on the women’s side, and the men’s side is the same people over and over and over: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic. The NFL holds little appeal these days, at least the AFC does. And don’t get me started on the NBA.
In sports I actually watch, Liverpool flexed its muscles Sunday by thrashing West Ham 4-0 at Anfield. The Reds appear to be well-positioned to be Manchester City’s chief challenger for the Premier League championship. City opened with a 2-0 victory at Arsenal, ruining Unai Emery’s first match as manager of the Gunners. I didn’t watch the Liverpool match, simply because I knew West Ham had zero chance. I instead streamed Southampton-Burnley, which ended 0-0 at St. Mary’s.
Now there are no Premier League matches until Saturday morning. I’m stuck between bad MLB and NFL exhibitions until then if I want to watch live sports. Of course, there’s the Little League World Series, which I absolutely refuse to watch because of the “mandatory play” rule.
I’m now on to season three of The O.C. UGH. I hated season three, simply because there were so many characters whom I despised: Dean Hess, Charlotte Morgan, Taylor Townsend (the evil version; she makes a 180 in season four), Veronica Townsend (god I love Paula Trickey, but Veronica was downright mean, which shows Trickey is a tremendous actress), the scuzzy loan sharks who beat up Jimmy Cooper, Johnny Harper, Casey, Seung-Ho (the sexually obsessive boyfriend of the equally sexually obsessive Taylor) , the “Harbor Heckler” (an unnamed character who is so cruel to Seth and Taylor that I want to climb through the screen and squeeze his testicles until they pop, then go Lorena Bobbitt on his penis) and of course, Kevin Volchok and all of the lowlife scum associated with him, particularly Heather, the evil bitch who does all she can to make Marissa’s life a living hell at Newport Union.
Then again, I wish Volchok would have found the heckler and beat the living crap out of him. If it were possible to hate a character more than Volchok and Oliver Trask, the heckler was that character. He and Felix Tagarro from One Tree Hill always make me extremely nauseous.
The only bright spot I could think of that season was Dawn Atwood (Daphne Ashbrook) putting her life back together. Josh Schwartz and the rest of The O.C.‘s production staff should have brought Dawn back in season four so she could rescue Ryan from his deep depression caused by Marissa’s murder.
Not to say season three was 100 percent bad. Just saw the scene where Seth scratches his face with his middle finger, flipping off Taylor. Priceless.
Three slow days
Saturday was fantastic. The final day of my stay and I wish it could have gone on forever. I got to spend almost 10 hours with Brittany and Raymie, and five with Liz. If I did not drive back to Russell the next morning, I would have stayed until closing time at 1 a.m. There will be a weekend for that coming up.,
I miss Brittany, Liz, Raymie and everyone else already. I’m sad I didn’t see Lisa, but I will very soon.
I left Kansas City at 7:30 Sunday morning. I stopped at the Topeka Hy-Vee, and again at the Quik Ship in Salina on I-135 and Crawford to use the restroom and get a frozen Pepsi. Got home right at noon, in time to eat salmon with my parents for Father’s Day. It was delicious, although I was sad to leave my friends. I didn’t get to see Alexandra Mullinax, who didn’t come back from her vacation and back to work until Sunday night.
I watched the U.S. Open most of Sunday evening, simply because there was nothing else on. Jordan Spieth did the unthinkable, bouncing back from a double bogey on 17 to birdie 18 and eventually win the tournament win Dustin Johnson choked with a three-putt on 18. He had an eagle putt to win and missed, then missed a short birdie putt which would have forced an 18-hole playoff Monday. Louis Oostheizen shot 67 Sunday to move into contention, but he ended up tied at 3-under with Johnson and Adam Scott, he of the illegal putter (at least as of January 1) and the arrogant caddie, Steve Williams, who was fired by Tiger Woods.
I like the fact the U.S. Open has refused to let go of the 18-hole playoff if it is still tied after 72 holes. To me, it is the fairest way to determine the champion of a major tournament.
The Masters stinks in this regard, because it has been sudden death since 1976 (the first sudden death playoff was 1979, when Fuzzy Zoeller defeated Ed Snead (?) and Tom Watson in two holes). The last 18-hole playoff was in 1970, when Billy Casper won by five strokes over Gene Littler.
The sudden death playoff is fine for minor tournaments, but it absolutely sucks for a major. Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros found this out in 1987, when Larry Mize chipped in from 43 meters (47 yards) on the second playoff hole to win the Green Jacket.
The PGA Championship was the first major to use a sudden death playoff, when in 1978, John Mahaffey topped Jerry Pate and Watson at Oakmont on the second hole.The sudden death playoff was used five more times, the last in 1996, when Mark Brooks left Louisville and local hero Kenny Perry hearbroken by winning on just one hole at Valhalla. Perry would redeem himself in 2008 when he helped the United States win the Ryder Cup on the same course.
Beginning in 1997, the PGA adopted a three-hole format, which was first used in 2000 at Valhalla, when Tiger topped Bob May. It has been used three more times, most recently in 2011 when Keegan Bradley bested Jason Duffner at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
The last 18-hole playoff at the PGA was in 1967, when Don January topped Don Massengale by two strokes at Columbine Country Club, not too far from the site of the Columbine High School massacre 32 years later.
The Open Championship did not move away from the 18-hole playoff until 1985; however, the last time a fifth round was needed to determine a champion was 1975 in possibly the most famous golf tournament ever played.
Tom Watson and Jack Newton were tied through 72 holes at Carnoustie, as each finished at 9-under par 279. The playoff of July 13 was played in a driving, blustery rain, not unusual for the east coast of Scotland in mid-July. With the golfers tied at 1-under heading to the 18th, Watson, the native of Kansas City, hit his second shot to within 25 feet of the hole, while Newton’s approach found the front left bunker. Watson made par and Newton could not, and Tom had the first of his eight major championships.
The Open Championship did not test out its four-hole playoff format until 1989 at Royal Troon, when Mark Calcavecchia won by three strokes over Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.
Watson was involved in the most recent playoff at the Open Championship, bowing to Stewart Cink only 46 days shy of his 60th birthday. Tom had the lead going to the 72nd hole at Turnberry, but he bogeyed to give Cink new life.
Not much has gone on since Spieth’s victory. It’s too hot to do anything anyway. A little work, some Shark Tank, some college baseball, and some The O.C., where I am beginning my review of all 92 episodes, which I have done every summer since 2010.
I have an appointment with Crista Thursday at 9. Looking forward to that.
Today is the 43rd anniversary of the signing of Title IX, the infamous amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act which guarantees women the same opportunities as men in education. That has been largely interpreted to mean women deserve as many sports as men at colleges and high schools.
Tomorrow is a much more tragic anniversary, at least as far as New Orleans is concerned.
Better to be away on Saturday
I’m up earlier on Saturday than usual, but that’s not unusual for the road. When I’m at home, I have the terrible tendency to sleep all day.
The third day of The Open Championship is almost complete. There was a double tee off from the first and tenth holes due to a forecast of heavy rain, which is very rare for a major championship.
The only major championships which use a double tee off are the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, and the double tee is only used on the first two days, prior to the field being cut. The Open Championship usually does not need a double tee off, since there is usually 18 to 19 hours of daylight in July. The Masters only tees off from 1 and 10 if rain is threatening or time needs to be made up.
Rory McIlroy still leads at 13-under, but Rickie Fowler is challenging. He got to within one stroke before a bogey at 13 set him back. Sergio Garcia was at 9-under and Dustin Johnson still at 8-under. Tiger is currently 1-under for the day but 1-over for the tournament.
I’m going to Buffalo Wild Wings earlier today. I’m going to eat lunch there, but leave earlier, probably around 8, maybe earlier. It’s back to Russell in the morning.
Rory runs away
So much for the prediction Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be playing in the final group Sunday at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy will be playing in the final group, barring a major collapse tomorrow.
Woods, meanwhile, will likely be on his plane back to south Florida by time Rory is on No. 5.
McIlroy has taken total command of The Open, firing yet another 6-under par 66 to go to 12-under, leaving him four shots ahead of Dustin Johnson and six ahead of six others. McIlroy and Johnson will have the last tee time Saturday.
I can’t stand Dustin Johnson. He’s a foul-mouthed jerk who somehow snared Wayne Gretzky’s gorgeous daughter, Paulina. Why do beautiful women fall for jerks? Lindsey Vonn, I’m looking at you.
Maybe Rory dumping Caroline Wozniacki, the Danish tennis pro, was the best thing he could have done. He seems to be focused like a laser on golf right now, and barring the unforeseen, he will be the toast of the United Kingdom come Sunday evening.
Ms. Vonn won’t have to worry about her man under pressure this weekend. Eldrick is a mere 14 shots off the lead, and he will barely make the cut at 2-over. There are 16 players tied at 2-over, meaning Tiger will be in one of the first eight groups tomorrow, all of which will tee off by 5 a.m. Central.
ESPN has to have mixed feelings about this situation. Sure, McIlroy is one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour and has worldwide name recognition, but his large lead may prompt some to not tune in. The situation was much worse at the U.S. Open last month, since Martin Kaymer had a big lead early, and Kaymer has nowhere near the name recognition as Rory.
Major League Baseball resumes tonight. The Royals are in Boston. The Brewers are at Washington. The Dodgers are at St. Louis. It used to be there were four-game series following the All-Star break, but due to the stupid unbalanced schedule, there are only three-game series after the break. At this rate, the break will extend to a full week in the near future.
Tiger’s back. UGH.
Tiger Woods shot 3-under par in the first round of The Open Championship earlier today at Royal Liverpool, leaving him three shots behind leader Rory McIlroy, and immediately, everyone who considers themselves a golf expert immediately proclaimed Tiger will be playing with Rory in Sunday’s final grouping, and some went as far to predict Tiger will win his 15th major.
I had this sinking feeling Tiger would come out strong. This is is first major in nearly a full calendar year, he’s always played well at The Open, and he won the last Open contested at Hoylake in 2006.
Tiger Woods is a foul-mouthed womanizer. I don’t know what Lindsey Vonn sees in him. Then again, she dumped her husband to be with Tiger, which I’m guessing she did just to have kids without having to get pregnant, because now she’s stepmom to Tiger’s daughter and son he conceived with Elin Nordgren, his ex-wife.
Phil Mickelson’s hopes of repeating as Open champion are down the drain. He shot a 2-over 74 and is eight shots back. He’ll be on a plane back to the United States by this time tomorrow, if not earlier.
The pressure right now is all on Rory McIlroy, who has the pressure of expectations, but now also has the pressure to keep the Claret Jug in the United Kingdom. Nobody else from the UK is close.
The second round tees off in less than two hours. It’s already a few minutes after 5 a.m. in the United Kingdom, and the sun will be up in a few minutes and not set until after 11. That’s what being above 50 degrees north in July will do for you. They’ll pay for it in the winter when there is less than six hours of daylight.