The Golf Season is flying by and The Raptor is wrestling with the permutations that have developed as a result of Zack Johnson's big win at The British Open last week. For starters, Johnson did not seem to possess the pedigree to win the tournament and become the Champoion Golfer Of the Year.
This tournament was Jordan Speith's to loose and he battled to his last shot to keep the dream of a Grand Slam alive and he has nothing to be sad about. Save for some bad weather and a few missed putts, Speith could have been raising the Claret Jug instead of Johnson. However, a number of questions came up during the tournament. With that being said, Zack played a great final round and knocked in a crucial birdie at his 72nd hole to get into a playoff with Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.
The Raptor thought for sure that Tiger Woods was going to be a factor in this tournament all the way till he "fatted" a wedge into The Swilcan Burn whilst playing his first hole on Thursday. What to do about the Woods collapse? Most of the Golf Pundits are laying down some deep thoughts on this subject. Many if not all seem to think that Tiger needs to restore his relationship with instructor Butch Harmon and relearn a winning form. Others think he needs to seek counseling on his troubled life which includes a failed marriage and a propensity to have sex with any thing available. The most recent rumour is that Woods has begun an affair with another PGA Tour Players wife who may have parted ways with her once chubby hubby. There does seem to be a connection here between Woods and the Lindsey Vonn breakup but this may be pure coincidence.
The Raptor is looking deeper into the subject and would like to understand the structure of the most important person in Tiger's game...Caddie Joe LaCava. LaCava came on board under mysterious circumstances when Woods spilt ways with longtme caddie and pal, Steve Williams. The Raptor has noted that Woods has a recent propensity to leave it short and this was evident at the 2012 US Open contested at The Olympic Club and The 2013 British Open which was played at Miurfield. In both instances, Tiger seemed to be continually coming up short on what were seemingly easy iron approach shots. Then Woods shows up at St Andrews this year and commits the ultimate sin with the Burn. It just dosn't make sence that Tiger couldn;t have punched a 9 iron and avoided the hazard. But the pundits keep saying Woods is scared blah blah blah. Well maybe he is.
Most high profile caddie's enter into a player relationship with a goal of making some money. LaCava's wallet must be hurting big time after two sesons of zero point zero winnings. Maybe LaCava is un concerned about the extrra income and is content to lug the bag and nothin else - he never seems to get too involved in the shots.So for what it is worth, Tiger needs a new looper,,,maybe local legend, Danny Haight is available.
Also, in question in this present season is the Dustin Johnson Story. Johnson is pictured here with the WGC HSBC Trophy from 2013.
This win occurred before his "layoff" in the summer of 2014 which involved some soul searching on Johnson's pattern of hedonism. Now #5 in the OWGR, Johnson sure looks excited over the victory. Now fast forward to the US Open of 2015. After dominating the event for three rounds Dustin stood posed to cozy up an eagle putt on the 72nd Hole and set up a playoff with eventual winner Jordan Speith. The Raptor has watched the putt several times and Johnson did not appear to consider a tap in birdie and rather was trying to win it right there. While he didn't charge the putt..Johnson didn't seem to give it much care and after walking off the putting surface with a three putt par, Johnson walked off the premises with out considering that he was elligible to attend the awards ceremony.
The Raptor can recall Adam Scott attending The Open Championship Award Ceremony after putting himself out of the Championship in 2012 and he was able to come up with a win the following year at The Masters....Dustin Jhnson could learn something from these close calls but it is unlikely...look for future dissapointment.
Also facing an uncertaintain future is Rory McIlroy. McIlroy looked so good in winning at Dubai, the Wells Fargo and at the WGC Match Play that he was the clear favorite to go back to back at this year's Open Championship. Then in an unfortunate circumstance McIroy injured his left ankle whilst participating in a sandlot football game with his home boys. This is not the first time that McIlroy has been sidetracked by misfortune.
Consider his tabled relationship with tennis super star Caroline Wozniacki. Rory was seen as a globe trotting playboy during this short stint and it seemed to hurt his game. McIlroy was also involved in a high profile court battle with his management firm which could not have helped. The Raptor noted an extremely hot blonde named Erica Stoll sitting next to him subsequent to the WGC Match Play while he was viewing the big fight. She is purported to work for The PGA of America. C'Mon Rory! Shape up forget about the party and start playing like you mean it
The Raptor can relate to Rory's injury since I suffer from foot injuries myself. As he is a young lad, he should be able to recover but there is nothing to guarantee that he will return to Championship form. I can think of other good players who were relaxing such as David Duvall, Davis Love, and Brandt Sneds who were skiing or cruising on a Segway and suffered some injury which may have affected the career.
Athletes and Golfers in particular have fleeting periods of greatness. Nothing is forever. McIlroy had better cease the enjoying of youth and concentrate on the golf. It is not helpful for his contemporaries to pooh pooh the incident. These people should know better. He has made a good living in the almost 10 years he has been on the stage. It's not just about the fans either. He has a caddy, an entourage, parents, investors, sponsors, tournament officials and a whole slew of other interested parties who rely on him to be there.
The PGA Tour now has several young players such as Justin Thomas, Speith, Ollie Schneiderjans, Patrick Reed, Harris English, Morgan Hoffman, and Brooks Koepka who are poised to develop promising careers. Over on the Euro Tour, British Open 3rd round leader Paul Dunne, Matt Fitzpatrick Thongchai Jaidee and Danny Willet are also playing well. Think about all the players I didn't mention particularly the recent winner of the Canadian Open, Jason Day. And don't sell veterans like Tiger, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson short. They are not tremendous sloch's...yet. McIlroy and Johnson need to wake up - sooner than later they will be struggling if they don't.