Here’s The Thing – The Masters Wasn’t Great

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
PSDC Funnyman And Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Birdies and Bogeys: 2015 US Open First Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

tiger-woods-us-open

In the wake of my short four-day vacation, one in which I was fortunate to watch my beloved Blackhawks win the most coveted trophy in sports, I settled in early this morning to watch the Championship for another revered piece of hardware, the 115th US Open golf championship.

All golf fans know the rotation of the networks for the majors. CBS has The Masters. ESPN the British Open. Recent years have brought us the emergence of Turner Networks in golf with their coverage of the PGA Championship. Though Charles Barkley and his awful swing has yet to emerge as an analyst. It might seem disingenuous to hear the round mound of rebound refer to anything in golf as “turrible.”

And we know, that every year, sure as the last day of the Open falling on Father’s Day, that the US Open is broadcast by NBC. I also know that ESPN broadcasts the first two rounds. So imagine my surprise, when at the appointed time this morning, I found Sports Center on ESPN. OK, I’ve got it. Golf Channel has the early coverage. Turned to said network, no Open. [Read more…]

Birdies & Bogeys: Jordan Rules, 2015 Masters Final Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Young Jordan. He really is quite something. He saw every challenge, such as it was. He never blinked. Mr. Spieth may or may not be someday regarded with the same reverence as Hogan, Nelson and Palmer. But one thing is certain. At the age of 21, Jordan Spieth can compete at the highest level of golf.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

As Sunday’s final round came to the end, Spieth, with finality, saved a par on 16 after a wayward tee shot, the gallery (sorry Augusta) erupted and from their feet sent the new champion on his way toward the 17th tee. [Read more…]

Birdies & Bogeys: Moving Day, 2015 Third Round Masters Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Another fairway. Another green. Ho hum. The Jordan Spieth coronation continues unimpeded in this 2015 Masters. His urgent call for his ball to obey after each vicious strike becoming familiar by now. Begging each shot to become even more perfect than what it inevitably is in flight. Fairways and greens. The only way this young man from Texas loses the 2015 Masters is if the golf gods wrap their spindly fingers around his throat and clench the life out of him.

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Coverage of Saturday’s third round began with the modern version of the triumvirate of golf, McIlroy, Woods and Mickelson charging early, birdies dropping like rocks. What an exciting final round it could be with those three charging toward the top, if it wasn’t for this snot nosed little 21-year-old prodigy who doesn’t seem to know any better. He has parred every hole he should par, birdied the par 5’s with regularity. Two bogeys in his third round, the second and third of his tournament, were the only hiccups. Charley Hoffman got within three, Phil tickled the top of the leaderboard for a moment. That notwithstanding, Spieth charged on with his birdie on the 16th hole opening a seven-shot advantage over his closest rival. It is indeed surprising when a shot veers even a little bit away from his intended target. Golf is not this easy yet young Spieth is making it seem so. He doesn’t bomb the ball with the likes of a Dustin Johnson, isn’t likely to be miraculous around the greens like Mickelson. He doesn’t have the silky smooth putting stroke of his mentor Ben Crenshaw. But he does command all facets well, and the lack of weakness in his game is what serves him well and consistently over the course of this tournament. All hail the boy king!

Other highlights from Round 3, along with a bogey or two: [Read more…]

2015 Masters Golf Tournament Preview

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Welcome everyone to the 2015 golf season. Oh I know that the PGA has been teeing it up since January in Hawaii, but this is the real opening to the season. Masters week. The first of the four majors of the year. Hello friends.

Tiger-Woods-To-Miss-The-Masters

The storylines abound as they do every year in southeast Georgia. Tiger is back after missing last year with a back injury and the past two months of this season with the yips. Bubba Watson is back to defend his title. Can he repeat and win his third in the last four years? World No. 1 Rory McIlroy tries to complete the career Grand Slam. Jordan Spieth, barely old enough to drink, is playing the best golf of anyone on the planet. Two-time champion Ben Crenshaw is competing in his last Masters. Yes, the dramatics abound at Augusta National Golf Club. And the sports world pays attention. It’s the culmination of perhaps the greatest week of the year in sports with the NCAA basketball championship and the beginning of baseball season. After being majorless since August, this is a special week indeed for golf fans. [Read more…]

Hi, I’m Tiger Woods’ Brain

By Joe Hines
PSDC Rock Star

Golf is a funny game. Everything seems fine physically, you practice great. Every ball you hit on the range is flush. Drawing and fading the ball at will, it’s child’s play. Roll in one eight footer after another on the practice green, the hole looks like a bushel basket. Then you hear the announcement…

“Next on the tee, Tiger Woods.”

tiger-woods-hiatus [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 Ryder Cup – Day Two

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Ryder-Cup-2014-Logo

The morning four-ball matches on day two of the Ryder Cup was some of the best golf I’ve ever witnessed. The first match out, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson finished their match against Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson with 10 straight birdies yet only won 3&2. Kuchar and Watson were seven under par and got beat. Incredible golf. Cup veteran Jim Furyk was paired with Hunter Mahan and played extremely well, pouring putts in from everywhere to take care of the Euros Jamie D0naldson and Lee Westwood. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: Opening Day Ryder Cup

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The opening morning four-ball matches didn’t quite go as the European side might have scripted. American captain Tom Watson surprised many with his pairing of Ryder Cup rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Speith to take on European rookie Stephen Gallacher and ringer Ian Poulter. The kids came through with a resounding 5 & 4 victory, turning the tables on the highly favored European squad.  Phil Mickelson and BFF Keegan Bradley teamed up for an exciting 1-up victory over world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and the third ranked serial choker Sergio Garcia. They were able to pull out the match when both Europeans made a mess of the 18th hole, and Mickelson managed to stay standing to win the hole. Bubba Watson, who has become my new player I have no use for, and Webb Simpson, who seemed to be caught up in Watson’s vortex of negativity teamed up to get pantsed by Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn. The four morning matches finished with the US leading 2 1/2-1 1/2. A small victory for the US in a competition they were expected to be resoundingly trounced. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: PGA Championship Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Wow! That was fun. What is often thought of as the majors afterthought turned out to be the most compelling of the year. Like heavyweights exchanging blows, the likes of McIlroy, Mickelson, Fowler and Stenson traded punches for 18 thrilling holes in Sunday’s thrilling final round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club.

Rory McIlroy held off his challengers and won his second straight major, third straight tournament and fourth overall major championship. He has become as David Feherty said on the broadcast, The Quiet Assassin. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 PGA Championship

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Welcome to coverage of the Rory McIlroy machine. McIlroy continues to roll on at the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club outside of Louisville. He is your leader halfway through this year’s tourney after winning convincingly at the British Open and the WGC event at Firestone.

The pre tournament buzz centered around whether Tiger Woods would play, waiting until Wednesday evening before saying he would indeed play. However no one ever said anything about playing well. He had become an afterthought after failing to make the cut in two of the three events he’s played in since his March back surgery. His physical limitation was apparent watching the second round, watching him wince as he took swings and his discomfort even apparent on short putts. His press time total of 7-over par was dix shots more than the plus-1 necessary to play the weekend. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 British Open Third Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

History was made this morning across the pond, when weather concerns compelled the Royal and Ancient to start the field from split tees, and earlier than is typical of a British Open third round. The weather never became much of a factor, other than a few showers that managed to swell the umbrella concession at Hoylake when spectators were left unprotected.

rory-mcilroy-british-open-dominant

The golf itself was riveting on the second nine. Second round leader Rory McIlroy came back to the field a bit on his first nine, playing unevenly and allowing Rickie Fowler to actually even the tournament after nine holes. But then, like big foot swatting aside a fly, McIlroy floored it. He had two back nine eagles to rocket ahead once again, and carries a six-shot lead into tomorrow’s final round. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 British Open Second Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The second round of the 2014 British Open is in the books, and the vague feeling of familiarity is almost certainly that of the 2010 US Open held at Congressional. You remember? The one where Rory McIlroy lapped the field enroute to the championship? This year’s British is beginning to take on that familiar air, with McIlroy stretching his first round lead to four at the end of today’s second round after firing a pair of 66’s.

A true international leaderboard highlights the halfway point, with a dozen countries represented. The only real threat to McIroy minus-12 so far is Dustin Johnson who shot a second round 68 to keep him in sight. Rickie Fowler and a pack at minus-6  lurk further down the line. [Read more…]