A BOGEY Never Felt So Good

Jordan Spieth

It was the most impressive bogey you’ve ever seen. Ever. Perhaps it was the most important bogey of Jordan Spieth’s career as well. Spieth carried a 3-shot lead into Sunday morning at the 2017 Open Championship. With only Matt Kuchar (#18 ranked golfer) in the rearview mirror, it was Spieth’s tournament to lose. After a bumpy start, his lead quickly evaporated on the front nine. Spieth, however, saved his magic tricks for the back nine….

Sunday at a Major does something inexplicable to a golfer. It toys with their emotions and puts their feet to the fire. Or it just sends them on the craziest roller coaster ride known to man. Jordan Spieth surely threw up in his mouth once or twice on Sunday’s roller coaster. It was probably like that Tower of Terror ride at Disney World. Yeah, please drop me, unexpectedly, in the dark, like 300 feet, while vomit rises into my brain!! Thanks Walt!! Anyway, back to Mr. Spieth’s Sunday afternoon….

Spieth bogeyed 3 of his first 4 holes. His birdie at the short, par-4 5th hole was crucial, as it kept him from completely unraveling. He would add another bogey at the 9th hole, and to the unforgettable back nine we go. After a string of pars, Spieth stepped up to the 13th tee. He proceeded to hit a tee-shot so far right, it almost left the country. Upon locating his ball, Spieth was forced to take an unplayable lie. This means Spieth would take a 1-shot penalty to be able to remove his ball from this treacherous lie. By rule (Rule #28 to be exact), he was allowed to place the ball on the same line of his original lie and the hole, as long as it was placed no closer to the hole. After what seemed like 14 hours of deliberation, Spieth walked back to a driving range!! He was then able to hit a blind shot (pictured above) up near the green. After a chip and a vital putt, it was this bogey that saved the tournament for Spieth. Then, the magic happened….

It was a sight to behold. It was one of those phenomenons you’d need to see to believe. Well, for now, you can believe me. I’m a trustworthy kind of guy. Before we get to the greatness of Spieth, we must recognize that his past failures were a major (see what I did there) contributor to his resiliency on Sunday.

Imploding at the 2016 Masters may have been the best thing that ever happened to his career.

Anyway, here’s what Spieth did on holes 14-17: birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie. Allow that to sink in for a second….

That’s what they’d call 5-under in the span of 4 holes, aka a dagger in the heart of Matt Kuchar. And it’s not like Kuchar choked under the pressure. He went 2-under over the same stretch of holes. Kuchar, gracious in defeat, said, “Sometimes you have to just sit back, and tip your cap.” And tip our caps we shall. Because Jordan Spieth’s performance yesterday was as good as it gets.

At just 23 years of age, Spieth is becoming the superstar golf has been longing for. He is now just a PGA Championship away from the career grand slam. He’ll get that chance at the 2017 PGA Championship. Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina will play host to the year’s final Major from August 10th-13th. By the way, Spieth’s 24th birthday is on July 27th, so I guess he just gave himself an early birthday present. Keep your eye on Spieth, as I feel he has all the tools to become the face of golf for years to come.

 

Did you watch the 2017 Open Championship?? Was it the most exciting round of golf you’ve ever watched?? Give me your opinion in the comment section below.

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The U.S. Open Often Surprises Us

xander

The U.S. Open is the most difficult golf tournament of the year. By definition, it is an “Open” tournament, meaning a larger number of players can qualify as compared to other Major tournaments throughout the year (such as the Masters). The player pool consists of the top 156 golfers who either qualified automatically or played their way in. Automatic qualification is based on the following:

  •  Players who have won a U.S. Open in the last 10 years
  • Players who have won The Masters, The Open Championship (British Open), or The PGA Championship in the last 5 years
  •  Players who finished in the top-30 on the money list on the PGA Tour
  • Players who finished in the top-15 on the money list on the European Tour
  • And players who are ranked in the top 50 in the 2 weeks leading up to the U.S. Open

Those who did not qualify automatically must win an 18-hole local tournament as well as a 36-hole sectional tournament to gain entry.

* Oh yeah, just to be eligible to earn a spot in the U.S. Open, you must own a handicap index of 1.4 or better.

This means a player will shoot, on average, 1.4 strokes above par. In other words..they’re really freakin’ good at golf.

This format welcomes surprise success stories, such as Michael Campbell winning the 2005 U.S. Open. This year, although still early in the tournament, we are stumbling upon another completely unknown golfer. Allow me to introduce Xander Schauffele. Who?! Exactly. I’ll give you a hint – he’s the guy in the picture up there. Xander would be the 352nd ranked golfer in the world. His full name is Xander Victor Schauffele, and he is from La Jolla, California. He is 23 years old, and owns 1 professional win (2015 Northern California Open).

So why are we talking about this kid??

Because he is currently tied for 5th (-5) toward the end of the 2nd Round of the U.S. Open. There are currently a handful of unknown players littered across the leaderboard, but none are playing better than Xander. You can check the current leaderboard here. Only time will tell if he will climb into the spotlight over the weekend. For now, he can briefly enjoy making his 1st cut in a Major Tournament.

While the 1st 2 rounds of the U.S. Open have welcomed low scores, the majority of the top golfers are struggling. As of now, only 6 of the top-30 golfers in the world are in the top-45 of the leaderboard. Following today’s round, only the top-60 golfers will make the cut and advance to the weekend.

We could be looking at an interesting leaderboard come Sunday.  

Who do you think will win The U.S. Open?? Give me your prediction in the comment section below.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY EVERYONE!!

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!