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The Raptor  

Your Bridge To The Greatest Generation

The Weekend Update Page - 2015 to 2016 Created 03/14/2016 Modified 05/06/2016

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Update -07/28/2015

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Weekend Update -07/28/2015

 

Good Evening,

It is unfortunate but The Raptor is yet again reporting the loss of an old friend. Let's raise a glass and toast the passing of KKK who resided in Ft Lauderdale, FL and was a classmate of The Raptor in high school, where he was a National Merit Semifinalist and at Penn St Behrend where he played quite a bit of nine ball in the Student Union.  After a successful career as a operator of an illegal poker machine empire here in Erie, K migrated to the Sunshine State and lived a good life. 

The Raptor can recall some outrageous activities when K was around such as road trips to big concerts in Cleveland (World Series Of Rock - Pink Floyd) and Buffalo Stadium (The Who) and a total wipeout at the Ted Nugent - Great White Buffalo Tour here in Erie.  Those were great times but today is another sad day.

The Raptor has published a sum up of the recent British Open along with some quality ranting on other subjects in the golf world - check out www.theraptor.com for the whole story.

The Raptor had another great 4th of July weekend up yonder at WWGC and was dressed in style for the occasion

 
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The Golf Season will be winding down quickly now that August is upon us.  Speaking of raising a glass, The Raptor is inviting everyone on the roster to stop by this Friday up yonder at Whispering Woods Golf Club for a July 31st Asphalt Bar and Grill Happy Hour which will run from 6 PM to 9PM

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 You can check out the new lawn furniture and enjoy a cold adult beverage from the Tiki Bar.  There is no golf associated with this invite.  It's just a way to enjoy the summer before its too late - bring a friend and say hi! If you are thinking of stopping by let me know so the staff has a heads up - it would be pretty cool to see a couple of hundred folks having some fun

Take care...The Raptor

 

Weekend Update - 06/18/2015

 

Good Afternoon,

One of the associates on This Weekend Update recently revealed to The Raptor that he saw these threads as a "rant"  The Raptor didn't know...believe me when I tell you this,  The Raptor is trying to provide some useful content to substitute for the dizzying number of emails we receive from Facebook telling about the new photo just uploaded....anyhow while saddened and disappointed over this sudden realization we shall press on and strive for some good, timely content.

Instead of a post similar to the one sent out in the run-up to The Masters, where The Raptor attempted to use some levity and tongue in cheek commentary to trigger the conversation, The Raptor will instead concentrate on the big trouble going on up yonder at Whispering Woods Golf Club aka WWGC.  It seems that during the first two months of 2015 operation, about 50 of those green plastic buckets have disappeared from the WWGC Driving Range.  This brings up a question about highest and best use of a range basket. 

The Raptor envisioned a couple of scenarios.  First, it is disingenuous for WWGC Management to suggest that The Heavy Range Users are Range Bogart's.  With that being said, it's possible that some other bad actor has made off with the buckets.  Maybe it's another range operation such as the one over by The Airport.  Or maybe the Management at Downing needed to spruce up their high quality practice facility.  Perhaps a farm that offers public strawberry and apple picking has grabbed the buckets.  Regardless of who the real Bogart is what it boils down to is a Pound of Flesh.

There is always someone who isn't happy with the deal regardless of how good it truly is.  So WWGC Management has designed perhaps the best playing deal an avid golfer can ask for.  Unlimited access to the course with cart included for $2,000.00 per year.  Unfortunately, The Driving Range is not included and this seems to stick in the craw of many serious players.  The Good Bogart will hit tee shots towards the right on hole #10 so they can saunter through the woods that separate The Range from The Course and pocket perhaps 15 to 20 range balls.  Do this 3 times a week and its almost a bucket...  Another good Bogart trick is to drive down to the back end of The Range under the guise of some hard practice.  While there, The Good Bogart can utilize one of those ball tubes to suck up a bucket or two and avoid feeding the meter.

Range Bogart's will invariably back their vehicle up to The Range for quick access to the trunk while hitting a partial bucket.  There is a sign or two asking them not to do this but again, when extracting a Pound Of Flesh, rules are meant to be broken. After making a few furtive glances around, The Bogart  can quickly prance over to the trunk ala The Grinch and conceal the forbidden fruit along with bucket in a accessory bag borrowed from the wife.  The Bogart should be careful here to avoid developing Bogart Neck Syndrome,  If unsuspecting juniors are practicing, The Good Bogart will engage them with the intent to place a time burden on the kid and get them to leave a handful of unused balls which The Bogart can scarf up in a heartbeat.  Finally, The Good Bogart needs a good partner, one who can run interference and keep a sharp lookout for The Authority aka Steve K.

The Good Bogart and Partner can develop a year in - year out scheme where one player is a Range Member and the other is a Range Sponge.  Then The Bogart and Sponge can split the fee and save about $100.00.  These savings can be parlayed to fund their budget for wife beater tees and boxer shorts.  The irony here is that while WWGC Management tries to figure the next logical move in operation of the facility they are forced to include a line item in the budget for "Chicken Chit" 

Happy Fathers Day and Fourth of July Gang...see you in a few weeks...BTW Tiger just bogeyed the first hole - can it be the start of another 80?

The Raptor

www.theraptor.com

 

Weekend Update - 06/10/2015

 

Good Afternoon,

As The Raptor has just tuned into TV coverage of the 2015 US Open Golf Tournament he feels compelled to use this forum to report the loss of another golf buddy and friend.  The sad news started to develop on Sunday Morning May 24th at about 8:30 when I received a somewhat mysterious text from another golf buddy.  He texted "Did you hear if Dr. Ianiro was the guy in the tractor accident?"  The Raptor got the confirmation a couple of hours later that Dr. Goffredo Ianiro had in fact passed as a result of the tractor accident.

What terrible news.  The Raptor has just seen Dr. G a couple of days previous when he checked out my left foot which he had so handily fixed up in January with some minor surgery. This is a major loss in a lot of ways.  Not only did Dr. G provide The Raptor with foot care, he also had hundreds of other patients who relied on his cheerful disposition to get them through the healing process.  The Raptor first met Dr. G in 2007 up yonder at WWGC.  He being one of the early members who showed up in late May of that year to live the dream. 

During 2007, Dr. G played quite a bit and we used to find ourselves playing after work with a few others.  Dr. G liked to play his tee shots with a 3 iron...perhaps not trusting his driver in those early months.  If you think it is easy to loose a ball now, back then it was a given.  The Raptor recalls one match where about 12 of my golf balls were lost.  Fortunately, they were mostly balls I had found the day before. Dr. G had a unique putting style,  He would look at the hole while executing a putt!  The Raptor can't recall how effective that method was but, Dr. G swore by it.

On one sultry day in season #1, a match was set up between perhaps the most unique group of players ever conceived.  Included in the foursome were The Raptor, Dr. G, The Master Craftsman and @Iacas.  Playing the par 4 ninth hole,  Dr. G was behind the rest of the tee balls of the group, having used his trusty 3 iron for the drive.  One player in the group, The Master Craftsman was towards the left side of the fairway after hooking his drive.  He parked his cart about 50 yards forward of where Dr. G was preparing to play his approach and The Raptor started to realize this was bad.

Dr. G hit a hooking low line drive which somehow was able to traverse clean through the golf cart that The Master Craftsman and @Iacas were crouching behind.  The ball struck The Master Craftsman clean in the chest and dropped him to the ground like a sack of flour. There he lay, groaning  while we circled around him wondering if he was still alive.  Dr. G, being a medical man, helped him up and we moved up to the Asphalt Bar and Grill to access the injury.  All ended well, but Dr. G played sparingly after that.

Dr. G began caring for The Raptor in 2008 when a nasty infection materialized and he had continued to provide care all the way to his passing.  Dr. G was proud of his Italian heritage and would entertain me with his stories of growing up.  It was revealed in one anecdote that he was an excellent soccer player and served for a time on an Italian National Team prior to his emigration to the States.  We enjoyed chatting about golf during my visits to his office and talked a lot recently about a proper lesson plan so his kids could enjoy golf the way he did.  Dr. G talked a lot about spending time on his farm.  He even talked about how he so enjoyed hopping into his Bobcat to dig something up.  Wow! How ironic.

To sum up, it's another tragic loss of someone who had so much to offer.  Dr. G will be missed. 

 

The Raptor

www.theraptor.com

 

Weekend Update - 02/12/2015

 

Good Afternoon,

Tiger Woods has been all over the news lately and on several fronts.  When we last saw Tiger at the Hero World Challenge in December 2014 he played poorly on a golf course he knew like the back of his hand and finished kind of last along with Hunter Mahan.  Apparently, Tiger had developed a case of chip yips.  Then, a couple of weeks later, Woods showed up at a ski race in Europe with a missing tooth. No one believed his "story" that the tooth was knocked out by a camera man.  It was with high hopes that Tiger's Army drooled in anticipation after learning Woods was planning to reintroduce himself to the Phoenix Open and give a fifteen thousand patrons the chance to raise the roof on hole number 16.  We all know how that worked out, don't we...

In actuality, Tiger is suffering from a syndrome The Raptor first identified up yonder at Whispering Woods GC which is refered to as The Look Of The Wounded Animal (TLOTWA)...

It goes something like this.  Most if not all the holes at WWGC are fraught with some sort of peril.  It could be OB, Ponds, Creeks, Bunkers, Heather or even animals such as Geese, Turkey and Deer.  After getting zinged with peril the average player experiences TLOTWA as the player perhaps watches a valued Pro V1 hooking OB on hole 1 or slicing into a back yard on hole 3.  Players can even get TLOTWA when they cold top a drive on hole number4 into the swamp.  Here is an example of The Look Of The Wounded Animal...scroll down please

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So Tiger went home after a missed cut at Phoenix to chip awhile to get rid of those yips and maybe catch a few more of Lindsey V's ski races.  He had TLOTWA.  In the mean time, two bit has been hacks like Chamblee, Olberhouser, Azinger, Haney and every other voice in America piled on with their opinion that they could fix Tiger in 10 minutes....really?  I don't think any of these TV types can lay out their wins resume without getting laughed out of the room

Let's face it, Tiger may live in a bubble and be able to compartmentalize what is swirling around him but he can't get stable while every one is piling on trying to "help" him.  The Raptor got into a somewhat confusing flame war with an Azinger sycophant after I called out Azinger on Twitter to leave Tiger alone and keep his opinions to himself.  Azinger seems to perhaps have a vehicle, not unlike this Update, where he can say anything on his mind and get paid for it.  Azinger possesses zero.zero credibility in this issue.  The sycophant stated that Azinger's Battle With Cancer gives him the cred...that Paul can help Tiger battle the adversity through his cancer experience.

If that is the case, Azinger should shut his yap.  Get in touch with Woods personally and help him.  Not push out opinion on a blog...jusy sayin.  Tiger gets up every day and puts his pants on one leg at a time.  One of these days he will figure it out.  In the mean time everyone should STFU and leave Tiger alone.  Colin Cowherd said it best...celebrate Tiger's accomplishments...he is a rare commodity.

Speaking of TLOTWA,  Phil Mickelson is in the same posture.  After recently missing cuts at Phoenix and Torrey, he is planning a few weeks with family in order to resurface in Florida.  Mickelson was big news in 2014, all for the wrong reasons.  He played badly all year after a sterling 2013 campaign.  Mickelson was under so much pressure to win the US Open in order to capture a career slam that he forgot to bring a game. He walked around Pinehurst like a zombie and continued all the way through the playoffs.  Lefty used a solid performance at the PGA to get Keegan Bradley a bid to the Ryder Cup Team.  Then, after freezing his stones off in day 1, he asked for the morning off in day 2, so Captain Watson sent him to the bench for the whole day!  Can you imagine!  Phil's johnson probably retracted turtle style when Watson gave him his decision.

The team played badly over the next two days possibly as a way to piss Watson off .Then, all of them showed up at the press conference with TLOTWA, and  threw Coach Watson under a bus.  Azingier...Pod System...Geeeeezzzzzzeeee.  Subsequently, the results destroyed the career of PGA President Ted Bishop who probably had the ultimate LOTWA after his Twitter War with Ian Poulter.  The Raptor has heard through certain channels that Woods, Mickelson, Watson, Bradley and Bishop have submitted applications up yonder at WWGA for the 2015 season.  They will be serving in the capacities of Driving Range Ball Retrievers, Beer Cart Refreshment Drivers and Counter Men.  The Woods will be in good hands.

Finally, we can't forget Robert Allenby who developed TLOTWA after his wine induced drunk fest in Hawaii.  How the hell can you get drunk in a wine bar?  That must have been some local native juice...what a doofus.

It's good to be back.

The Raptor