"It's 65 degrees in February. How can I
squeeze in 9 holes between dropping off the
kids and taking the FGW to the doctor?"
|Mmmm . . . perpetual cheese.
|"Dude. Losing is soooo lame."
By the time they reached the 10th hole, the drama was gone as Mahan was up by 4 and on his way to a 2&1 victory. My guess is that most people tuned-out during the back nine. The fact that the Daytona 500 was rained-out probably didn't help because those two events would have been ideal channel surfing partners. (Of course I have no idea what most people did and I'm just describing what I did. It was 50 degrees outside and I had my first two hour window of freedom in a week so I went and played nine holes which, in the words of Chris Farley, "was awesome").
So how can we fix the match play tournament to make it more watchable on the weekend? I'd start by cutting the field to 32 players to improve the chances for better matches later in the tournament. This year that would have meant potential final 8 matches of McIlroy v. Schwartzel, Westwood v. Quiros and Snedeker v. Dustin Johnson. (No offense to Martin Laird, Peter Hanson and Mark Wilson but if you asked 20 people on the street who they were, 17 of them would say the original Beach Boys). Making the field smaller and taking away one round would also mean that you could start the tournament on Thursday instead of Wednesday which would make the following plan more feasible.
Once the finalists are determined on Saturday (using the old format), have the highest ranked players who didn't make it pick two teams from the remaining 30 to play against each other Ryder Cup style on Sunday with the winning team splitting $2M and the losing team splitting $1M. You'd have to pay them something extra to stick around for Sunday and you could generate the extra prize money by cutting the earlier round payouts and by televising the drafting of the teams on Saturday night. It would be golf's version of an All-Star game and it would give them something to cut to in between shots of the Match Play final instead of an interview with a suit from Accenture comparing the level of excellence we've seen on the course this week to the level of service provided by Accenture employees everyday. (And yes, he really went there).
I'm stealing hockey's idea for the draft because I got caught-up in there's a few weeks ago and it was unexpectedly entertaining even though I hardly knew any of the players. If the NHL found a way to get me to watch something related to hockey that didn't involve me being at a game, then they are definitely on to something. If anything, this concept would work better for golf because the NHL guys who were picked late genuinely didn't give a crap whereas golfers are more sensitive and we'd get to see guys like Francisco Molinari and R.C. Bello get more and more agitated every time they get passed over by Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
"Don't worry folks, the plow
will be by to take off your
rearview mirror by tomorrow."
*Luke Donald is also a painter who specializes in renderings of famous courses where he has almost won majors.
**Rather than try to describe the Golf Channel show Pipe Dream to you and try to make some sense of it, I'll just give you their description and let you try to make sense of it. "Follow one homeless man's quest to play on the Champions Tour. Tune in to see if Mark Burk can turn his life around and get a fresh start." I should add that part of the reason that Burk is homeless is that he was convicted of terrorizing his ex-girlfriend, super model Beverly Johnson, who not surprisingly threw him out of her mansion. Burk has apparently been unsuccessful in his attempts to find lodging in the mansion of another super model so now he wanders in and out of homeless shelters carrying a set of golf clubs. You have to admire him for refusing to lower his standards by settling for a dental assistant with a two bedroom condo.
***In match play golf, you compete to win each hole and your score is the number of holes you have won versus the number your opponent has won. For example, if you've played nine holes and you've won 3, your opponent has won 1 and you tied the other 5, you are 2 up. The match is over when one player is up by more holes than there are left to play and the final score is recorded as the number of holes the winner was up and the number of holes left to play. So in the case of Mahan v. Kuchar, Mahan was 6 up when they finished the 13th hole and won the match 6 & 5 because there were only 5 holes left to play.
|"Did you just call me a 'bitch'?"