Going Low & Oh No!!! (The Ups & Downs Of Golf)


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , , | Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010

Going Low

Steve Stricker had a record setting tournament at the John Derre Classic. On a weekend that saw Paul Goydos shoot a 59 at TPC Deere Run, Stricker defended his title giving himself a boost of confidence going into the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Stricker nearly matched Goydos' effort with a 60 in the first round. He went on to post a 66, 62, and 70 to finish with a four round total of 258, four shots clear of the previous mark set by J.P. Hayes in 2002. Goydos also bested Hayes' mark by a two shot margin, but it was not enough to catch the red hot Stricker.

Stricker and Goydos displayed superb ball striking. They were both dialed in. Every shot into the green was spot on. This course normally plays a little easier than some of the other tour stops but these two professionals were on a mission to make history.

As always putting was a factor. Goydos only needed twenty two putts to finish the first round. When his ball striking faltered a little bit in the second round, he had much tougher putts and the ones that he holed the previous day did not fall.

It was an amazing display of golf. With his second place finish, Goydos earned his way into the Open Championship. Many of the experts think that he could do well there if he continues his stellar play. Stricker was already on his way to the third major of the season. St. Andrews demands good ball striking. Errant shots find deep fescue grass and nasty pot bunkers. Precision golf is needed to win this tournament.

Oh No!!!

With the ups in golf there has to be downs and the downs came in the form of Charles Barkley at the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic. Barkley made his way across the boarder to take his game to the beautiful Georgian Bay Club in Clarksburg, Ontario, Canada and frankly, I don't know what to say.

It seems as though the announcers did not know what to say either because after every shot attempted by Barkley, there was silence for about fifteen to twenty seconds. Sir Charles has not improved at all since his time with Hank Haney. He still has the hitch. He still drops his head. He still lets his club fly after every shot and yells, "God bless my mother!" Ms. Barkley has to be the most blessed person on the face of the planet. I wouldn't be surprised if she calls her son and says, "I need a blessing from God today son. Are you playing golf?"

I can't understand it. Haney kept on saying that it is a technique problem but I'm leaning toward the other opinion that it is all mental. They showed side by side frames of Barkley on the driving range and on the first tee. Polar opposites. On the range, he swings freely. He looks like a golfer. Once he steps onto the course, he loses everything. It is as if he has never swung a club before in his life.

Barkley needs to improve or he is in danger of not being invited to any more Pro-Am events. His slow play surely held up the groups behind him and it is probably even tougher to be in the same group with him. It has to be an uncomfortable situation for his playing partners.

I really want Barkley to get his game together. Charles was known as an in your face basketball player. No one had more confidence in himself than "The Round Mound Of Rebound." His ego could not be checked. After his first round this weekend, I have never seen someone so humbled.

I give him all the credit in the world for sticking it out. I believe perseverance always wins out in the end. Still...it is so hard to watch. Good luck Sir Charles. To the rest of you, have a good round and always hit your target.

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