The Masters teed off at 0630 (0730 EDT) this morning in order to beat anticipated heavy rain in Augusta. I was not watching.
Why bother? Tiger Woods is going to win and every talking head and writer is going to pee their pants and drool all over themselves about Tiger being the greatest golfer who ever walked the earth.
Francesco Molinari would win his second major in less than a calendar year if he holds on. But if you want to read about it, I suggest finding an English-language version of an Italian newspaper, because all the coverage from American journalists will be about Eldrick Woods and his greatness.
Tiger is one reason why I do all I can to avoid watching SportsCenter these days. Tiger is part of a privileged class that can do no wrong. The class also includes Tom Brady, LeBron, Serena Williams, the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Warriors, Alabama football and Duke, North Carolina and Virginia basketball. ESPN doesn’t give a crap about the NHL, so nobody is listed here, although NBC is strongly biased against the Canadian teams (especially the Canadiens–you can figure out why) and in favor of the Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, Kings, Ducks, Golden Knights, Lightning and Panthers, even though the last team in that list sucks most of the time.
Tiger is a great golfer. I won’t deny it. However, I get nauseous whenever he is referred to as the “Greatest of All Time”. No. Not for me. The problem is people today have ridiculously short memory spans. I bet many people under 40 would have no idea who Jack Nicklaus is, even if they watch golf regularly. On the other hand, someone who couldn’t tell the difference between a golf ball and a tennis ball knows about Tiger Woods because he’s been forced down America’s throats for over 20 years.
I don’t begrudge anyone who is a member of Augusta National. Good for them. Congratulations on your success. However, I have no earthly desire to join a country club of any kind. Not my thing.
LSU and Missouri wrap up their baseball series at 1200. The home team won yesterday 4-1, its first win over LSU in Columbia in eight tries, and just its second in 17 games all-time. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I recall LSU won seven consecutive series vs. Arkansas when the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992 until the Hogs finally broke through in 1999. Arkansas swept twice within four years (2001 in Fayetteville, 2004 in Baton Rouge).
However, my stay in Columbia is not over. I’m not departing until Tuesday. I have work that has to get done tonight and tomorrow, and the rest must be wrapped up by 1200 Tuesday so I can make the two-hour drive west to Kansas City. It also means more White Castle. I had waffle sliders for breakfast. Great as ########################################################################
Max Scherzer’s number 31 was officially retired before yesterday’s game. Of course, the honoree was with the Nationals in Washington, so his parents accepted the honor.
The Royals must have been stuck on stupid when they did not draft him #1 overall in 2006. Instead, they took Luke Hochevar, who was drafted #1 overall by the Dodgers in 2005, but did not sign, so he spent time in an independent league before re-entering the draft in 2006.
The 2006 draft was the last act of Allard Baird as Royals general manager. He was fired the previous week and Dayton Moore was hired as his replacement, but Baird was allowed to conduct the draft. Had Moore been in charge, it may have been very different.
Scherzer would not have been with the Royals right now, because he would have been too expensive to control. However, he would have come to Kansas City quickly and allowed the Royals not to spend a lot of money on Gil Meche, and maybe Zack Greinke would have stayed. Who knows. But Hochevar definitely was a big-time miss when Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw were available.
Speaking of the Royals, maybe they need to play Cleveland more. They have beaten the Indians 8-1 and 3-0 so far and can sweep the series today. Prior to that, Kansas City lost 10 straight, getting swept in three by the Tigers and four by the Mariners.
As I drove to Columbia Thursday, I got a glimpse of the upper deck at Kauffman Stadium during the game. I estimated there were maybe 80 fans in the entire upper deck. Attendance has slacked off since the 2015 World Series championship.
The Brewers were swept in Anaheim by the Angels, but can sweep the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine today. That’s baseball.
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 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.