Friday, June 30

Should Mickelson and Montgomerie Bunk Together?

Monty dropped out of the French Open this week due to fatigue.

This from the Associated Press:

"Montgomerie pulled out because he is exhausted following his loss at the U.S. Open earlier this month, French Open spokeswoman Stephanie Joyeux said Wednesday.

"The 43-year-old Montgomerie had been scheduled to take part in the 100th anniversary French Open in his eighth straight week of play."

Also citing fatigue, Phil has been dropping out of events, too.

Maybe Lefty and Monty should sleep it off together. Bunk beds. They could flip for the top bunk. Just a thought.

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, June 28

Overheard on Tour: Colin Montgomerie

"There's no way I would swap my eight European Order of Merit titles for one major win. My consistency is one of my best attributes and I think my career certainly reflects that."
--Colin Montgomerie

(From a Golf Magazine interview before the U.S. Open.)

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, June 26

I'm 3 of 100 on America's Greatest Public Courses

How many of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses have you played?

Alas, I've only played three. But at least I'm not shut out.

They're listed here at GolfDigest.com.

I've Played:
#74: Kapalua Plantation (Kapalua, HI)
#89: Torrey Pines (La Jolla, CA)
#99: Semiahmoo (Blaine, WA)

Spectated on:
#13: The Homestead (Hot Springs, VA)

Drive-bys:
#1: Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, CA)
#2: Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, NC)
#9: Spyglass Hill (Pebble Beach, CA)
#62: The Links at Spanish Bay (Pebble Beach, CA)

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, June 23

I'll Take Four Masters Tickets, Please

I received my Masters Tournament Practice Rounds Ticket Application in the mail recently. Maybe 2007 will be my year.

If I'm lucky enough to be randomly selected for tickets, I'm calling my dad in California. Probably my brother, too. That makes three -- who else wants to go?

The Armchair Golfer

P.S. I'm only 306 miles from Augusta. What a road trip that would be.

Monday, June 19

U.S. Open Leftovers

75 Holes Played Since Membership

OK, it’s Monday night and I’m late to the game. Last night I was going to make my final post on the U.S. Open but I backed off more times than Jim Furyk. I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I felt kinda numb and disoriented after watching that train wreck of a finish.

Meanwhile, today bloggers and MSM have been pecking away about the U.S. Open like vultures going after a fresh carcass. I want a piece of whatever is left, so here goes.

Phil Mickelson
Question Phil’s decision-making on 18 all you want, but in the end the law of averages caught up with him. Johnny was right. You just can’t miss all those fairways on Sunday and win the U.S. Open. The golf gods won’t allow it. Not even for Phil, who they like.

Colin Montgomerie
Middle of 18th fairway, 170 yards, perfect setup for Monty’s fade. Clank. Double bogey. I guarantee Monty will lose more sleep over this than Phil.

Ian Poulter
Sorry, but pink isn’t a winning color at the U.S. Open. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Jim Furyk
I would have bet Jim was going to drop that par putt on 18, which would have gotten him into a playoff. Furyk is clutch, but this time it didn’t happen.

Kenneth Ferrie
Superman belt buckle wasn’t enough. Nice try, though.

Geoff Ogilvy
The truth is, this guy hit it better than anyone the last two days. And he converted clutch pars on 17 (chip in) and 18 (up and down) when it counted. Give him credit. He’s got some serious game.

The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, June 17

U.S. Open Day 3: Mickelson in Perfect Position

68 Holes Played Since Membership

Can Phil win three straight majors, including his first U.S. Open?

Well, he's right where he wants to be -- tied for the lead and playing in the last group on Sunday.

Whoever wins tomorrow will be keeping it on the short grass and have nerves of steel on those bumpy greens. It will be fun to watch.

Happy Father's Day!

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, June 16

U.S. Open Day 2: ‘Greens Are Poor’

Darren Clarke shot 72 on Friday and made the cut at 145, just six shots off the lead. Not that he’s happy. He’s rather disgruntled, actually.

"The greens are poor, basically," Clarke told the Associated Press. "They are poa greens, and they are very poor."

Darren, tell us how you really feel.

"They are jumping about, and with the combination of slope and the speed, it makes it very tough to hole putts on," he added.

Still, Clarke is in the hunt. What will it take for him to win?

"Just hole some putts, but I don't know how I'm going to do that."

The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, June 15

U.S. Open Day 1: Stricker Rallies to Card 70

Steve Stricker, a former Tour star who has toiled in obscurity, made a courageous comeback Thursday to post an even-par 70, just one stroke off the pace set by Colin Montgomerie.

Stricker started his round bogey, bogey, double-bogey, and had to sink a long par putt on the fourth hole to stop the hemorrhaging. He then carded five birdies on the final 14 holes.

"You know you are just thinking about breaking 80 at that point," Stricker said.

Only competing in six Tour events last year, Stricker hopes to earn back full-time playing privileges.

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, June 14

Heeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!!

NBC has signed golf analyst Johnny Miller to a long-term deal. Miller will do 14 events next year, up from nine this year.

Here are a few Johnny quotes as reported by USA Today sports television writer Michael Hiestand.

On the NBC crew ...

"It's a joy to work with these guys. If I have to take a pee, I know they can do without me."

On Michelle Wie's attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open ...

"If you're good enough to get in, I don't care if you're an orangutan."

On Wie's chance to win on the men's tour ...

"Wie (along with Adam Scott) has one of the two best swings in golf. With hot putting, she could win on the men's tour -- no doubt."

On Winged Foot's greens ...

"They're crazy. The first is the weirdest green in history for an opening hole. These greens will flat-out bite you."

The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, June 13

U.S. Open: A Tough Crown to Defend

49 Holes Played Since Membership

You might not want to pick Michael Campbell as your 2006 U.S. Open winner.

Since 1991, only Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen have finished better than 40th in trying to defend their Open crowns.

Goosen finished tied for 11th in 2005 after holding the three-stroke lead after 54 holes. Tiger finished 12th in 2001 after winning in 2000. He was tied for 20th in 2003 after winning in 2002.

This makes the consecutive U.S. Open victories by Curtis Strange in 1988-89 all the more impressive. Curtis was the first to repeat since Ben Hogan in 1950-51.

The Armchair Golfer

Source: USGA

Thursday, June 8

Nike Ball Goes Far

31 Holes Played Since Membership

I had never played a Nike golf ball until a few weeks ago when I got a complimentary sleeve for playing in a scramble.

The other evening when I played a few holes, I hit two balls off the ninth tee -- one a Nike and one a Maxfli (I think). It seemed like I hit them about the same, but the Nike ball was a good 20 to 25 yards ahead of the other ball.

Can that be right?

I know it's not very scientific, but the Nike ball seems to have a lot of juice.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, June 5

Good ‘Ol Boy Carl Pettersson Bags Memorial

Day 2 without playing golf

"I guess I'm not your typical Swede. I'm 30 pounds overweight, and I don't wear crazy clothes," Carl Pettersson told USA Today after winning Jack’s tournament by two shots.

Yeah, definitely not your typical Swede.

Carl also claims to eat grits, dip snuff and listen to country music. Don’t doubt it for a minute. He played junior college golf in Alabama and college golf at North Carolina State.

The Armchair Golfer