Dateline: August 3rd, 2013.
Back story: Week two of golf camp wrapped on Friday. Relief is immeasurable. Scramble tournament this afternoon on one of my favorite courses, with some of my favorite guys.
Outcome: Perfect time to write a GTYSITIK piece on the state of golf as it currently stands.
Inbee Park~She’s on a quest to win her fourth major of 2013. Park has encountered some bad weather thus far, but so have the other competitors. Inbee is currently -1 on day three, -3 overall. Play is suspended. My question is, why? I don’t recall any event being suspended at The Old Course for this reason, ever: Play is suspended due to strong gusting winds. That’s what the LET has on its official site. I wanted the Patriots to go undefeated. I want superhuman success, so you know I’m pulling for Inbee.
The Grand Slam~I guess a grand slam in bridge (not a Perkins menu) involves four of something. If Inbee loses the British but wins the Evian, the LPGA’s fifth major, will she still have a Grand Slam for 2013?
The Glow Of Priority~The golfing world should continue to bask in the shimmer of Hunter Mahan’s selfless decision to abandon first place at the Canadian Open and return home for the birth of his daughter. I’m involved in a spirited debate on Twitter with a young woman on the merit of this decision. She says “bad call” while I say “good call.” As a father who knows the importance of connection with wife and children, I stand firmly at Hunter Mahan’s side on this one. Here’s a snapshot of our debate:
The Western & The Walker~The male amateurs of the world are focused on what transpires at The Alotian Club in Arkansas. Here are bullet points regarding the event and the summer of Walker (cup, that is):
- Patrick Rodgers: Pre-eminent amateur in the game. Professional career is more and more tempting. I hope he finishes at Stanford.
- Automatic Mid-Am spots: Thus far, a bust. No mid-am has come close to contending in a major summer amateur event (that means top-ten finish.) Nathan Smith, perennial member of team, is playing poorly.
- Jordan Niebrugge & Beau Hossler: These two are through to match play at the Western. If they can win one or two matches, it will go a long way toward catching Team USA’s attention. A win by either one should cement a spot on the team, but I’ve been wrong before.
- My current lists (Remember that three Young Ams and Two Mid Ams will be chosen after the US Amateur in August):
- Young Ams
- 1. Michael Weaver
- 2. Andrew Yun
- 3. Bobby Wyatt
- Mid Ams
- 1. Nathan Smith
- 2. Todd White
- 3. No one-these two guys are’t playing well.
The PGA Championship~As long as Oak Hill insists on providing a combined championship golf course/tree preserve, its winners will be random and unheralded. The East golf course is a fine tournament venue, but the constant interference of tree limbs makes shot execution and result an arbitrary endeavor. Therefore, your Shawn Micheels and Chad Campbells, rather than your marquee players, will challenge for this year’s Glory’s Last Shot. Nevertheless, I’ll be there in person and watching with great enthusiasm. It’s a major, after all.
The Local Golfing Climate~It is as diverse as golf in WNY has ever been.
- The work done at Harvest Hill has elevated it to top-three complete public courses. The prior absence of clubhouse and trappings held the course back. Now, it’s a great venue for play and events.
- Rumors continue to fly about private club mergers, sales and the like. Westwood will probably have a unique arrangement again in 2014, while other clubs seek to redefine themselves in the new America. The private club is no longer what it once was, a bastion of social and athletic activity for the entire family. Folks no longer spend entire summers “at the club.” As a result, private clubs have been re-examining their offering for a decade and have introduced creative new programming.
- The work being done by the Olmsted Park group is miraculous. Delaware Park’s greens are running fast and true. Probably the best bang for your limited golfing buck in the region. I haven’t seen Caz or South Park this summer, but I would doubt that their conditioning is far behind.
Matt Stasiak~His victory at the State Amateur has given him a 250-point lead in the BDGA points race over defending champ Raman Luthra. The BDGA individual, August 8th-10th, will be played over Luthra’s home course (Crag Burn) and the King is not ready to surrender his crown. Any finish of great separation between the two will likely determine the 2013 points champion…unless Daniel Yustin, currently in third place, takes the title.
BDGA Points Title~Conspiring against Yustin is the final points event on the schedule, the NYS mid-amateur in late September. Both Stasiak and Luthra will compete, while Yustin is not yet age-eligible (and who would want to be, when you’re young?) The mid-am will be played at Onondaga Country Club, near Syracuse, and will provide a marvelous site for the championship.