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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

January 24, 2005

Guess Who Won?

The Foggy Bottom Open (also known as the Buick Invitational) wrapped up yesterday afternoon after a grueling Sunday in which the leaders played 30 plus holes on a 7,500 yard tract. Given the weather delays, and being up against the football games, I did not see much, but some things stick out after Tiger Woods victory.

He is starting to play at a high level (3 wins and a third in his last 4 starts)

He still can’t hit the fairway (less than half the time this weekend)

He is putting very well right now

He got lucky

He did not get lucky in winning the tournament as he played well enough to win, but he almost gave it away on the last hole, when trying to fly the pond fronting the 18th green he hit it thin right into a 5 yard wide fairway. 2 yards to the left and it is wet (virtually assuring a playoff as his best case scenario), and two yards right he is in the rough and the lie would dictate the play (meaning anything could happen). It is luck like that that helps golfers win tournaments. There is virtually no scenario where a golfer will play 4 rounds of golf where he did not need a good bounce and get it. A kick out of the rough, a good bounce off a tree, a perfect lie in a bunker, stopping just short of a divot in the fairway are just some of the examples of luck that is needed.

A player who had bad luck was Charles Howell III. During his three-hour tour he played a great round of golf, and was two strokes off the lead standing 96 yards from the pin on 18. According to him it was the perfect distance, and he proved it as he flew the ball into the cup. Most of time this is a very good thing, but not today. Like a finger jumping back after a static electricity shock, his ball flew out of the cup, and landed in the pond fronting the green of all places. A tough break for a good player who has is game going good to start this year.

One final note on this weekend’s tournament. Don’t think that conditioning makes a difference in golf, think again. Tiger Woods is one of the best-conditioned golfers, and it paid off this weekend. He had the best back nine score on Sunday afternoon of a day where they had to play nearly two complete tournament rounds. I can’t help but think that his conditioning paid extreme dividends in this weekend’s tournament.

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