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Thursday, April 06, 2006

My piece on the Rawls Course on Cybergolf and Steve Czaban encore

Cybergolf.com picked up my piece on The Rawls Course at Texas Tech. Hats off the Jeff Shelley and team. Of course, I have to throw a flag on myself here - I forgot that Doak's first course, High Point is also in the same price range as The Rawls Course. See? That's the golfer in me...calling a penalty on myself;) I'm finishing a piece on the incredible Black Mesa which will be up soon too. Run don't walk to go play that place. Along with Tobacco Road and Bandon Dunes, it's one of the facilities that defines our generation of golf courses and is everrything right and true and bold about the science and art that is GCA.

Also break a leg to Sal Johnson, David Barrett and the rest of the Golf Observer team for the best Masters preview materials on the Web. There were a ton of great articles all week and with Sal and David on the groulnd, they'll have the best features and webcats all week.

Finally, right after I go and praise him on this site, Steve Czaban goes for a curtain call! His Masters preview is spot on:

How great is the Masters? Consider this…

The Tournament has been witness to the following “All-Time” moments and stories…

Greatest Pro Debut In Major History: 1997 Tiger Woods obliterates the field in the first major where he’s eligible for a paycheck.

Greatest Win By A Living Legend In History: 1986 Jack Nicklaus. The sport’s ultimate “turn back the clock day” performance.

Most Emotionally Freaky Win In Golf History: 1996 Ben Crenshaw. He buries longtime teacher Harvey Penick on Monday. Then somehow wins on Sunday, hitting flawless shot after flawless shot. This despite not even being competitive on Tour for years. Flat out spooky.

Most Horrific Collapse By A Popular and Elite Player In History: 1996 Greg Norman. Not just that he let Faldo catch him, it was a non-stop lowlight reel of things you just can’t do on Sunday at Augusta.

Most Dramatic Shot In Major Golf History: Tiger on 16, 2005. A 180 degree, U-turn, slow roller, die on the lip, and fall in for pivotal birdie chip shot on the course’s loudest, prettiest, epicenter hole. Awesome. Great react sequence too. Tiger crouches. Tiger agonizes. Tiger double fist pumps in joy.

Best Walk-Off Shot In Golf History: Larry Mize, 1987. Local boy angle made it even better. What a scene, with him leaping in the air, back arched like a bow, visor flying off his head. (Okay, technically, NOT a walk-off, because Norman still had a 30 footer that missed.)

Only Major Sporting Even In Modern History Televised On Network TV Without A Single Commercial: 2003. Thanks, Martha!

Czabe goes on and on...he only misses one category, Scott Choke's putt in '89 was actually six inches shorter than the one Doug Sanders missed to open the door to Jack Nicklaus in the '78 Open Championship at St. Andrews. That's even worse than blowing it at Augusta. Also close were those 18 inchers missed by Retief, Stewart Cink and Mark Brooks when they all suddenly didn't want the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills. That was some jive funk they were layin' down there with all the marbles on the line. Of course Van de Velde should also make any "infamous" and/or "freakshow" lists.

My pick this year? I'm not sold that everyone's out of it. For some reason, my intuition tells me take "The Field" this year. If Sergio could ever get the putter going, he's doing everything else right. I'm hearing he's "made an adjustment" in his stroke...it betrayed him over the weekend at Sawgrass, but he'll be a factor. All it will take to eliminate Phil will be one bad stretch. Tiger will be there late, but we're due for a strange winner and Augusta sometimes likes to "Feel Like a Stranger..."

***Insert cool jazz riffs***

You know it's gonna get stranger
so lets get on with show...

Feel like a stranger...
Gonna be a long, long crazy crazy week


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