Bob Arum, Boxing, College Basketball, Don King, FIFA World Cup (2010), Geno Auriemma, Golf, NASCAR, Oscar De La Hoya, PGA, PGA Tour, Sports

2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was An Unmitigated Disaster ….. Part Two !


2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was An Unmitigated Disaster ….. Part Two !

The alphabet brigade still remains and the sport of boxing now is no better of than it was four years ago ! The pre-eminent fighter in the world isn’t a heavyweight nor does he happen to be North American. It is in fact a Filipino, Manny Pacquiao (52-38 KO’s 3-2) who is now a multiple world champion in eight different weight categories and quite rightly considered to be the best pound for pound fighter on the planet . He hasn’t been challenged mentally or physically by an opponent in years and it’s safe to say that without Pacquiao, the sport of boxing would become an elephant’s graveyard. Having made tens of millions financially from an immensely successful boxing career Manny Pacquiao’s skills show no signs of diminishing as evidenced in his ferocious beating of his last opponent Antonio Margarito in a fight that the referee Laurence Cole should have stopped to save the Mexican American fighter from further punishment. Margarito had welts over both eyes and a broken right orbital bone that had swollen to the size of a golf ball in their title fight that ended in a unanimous decision loss to the famed fighter.

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With Pacquiao now perhaps leaning closer towards retirement , that one last big pay day that he’d hoped for in a super fight against arch rival Floyd Mayweather isn’t about to take place anytime soon. Especially not with Mayweather now facing legal troubles and the possibility of serving up to 35 years on a litany of felony charges ____ in prison courtesy of the Federal Court system within the Bureau of Prisons . Through his promoter and matchmaker Bob Arum , Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Shane Mosley in mid 2011 in a bout that will no doubt garner Pacquiao another lucrative payday but in all honesty at the end of the day the padding his fight resume’ against an over the hill Mosley is absolutely meaningless and an insult to boxing fans out there. But that’s now the state of the sport where the fans rarely get the fights they really want to see , instead we’re given that constant drivel of hapless and less than capable fighters and then we’re asked to pay at times in excess of $45-00 for the privilege of seeing such a spectacle even with an undercard of up of these upcoming bouts. Is it any wonder that the sport is now considered to be on its last legs ? So much so, that now mixed martial arts events by promoters such as Bellator , Strikeforce and UFC are now all the rage and capturing a larger slice of that once desired male demographic from within the sport of boxing. The sport itself is now finding a captive and receptive audience amongst female fans as well .

The boxing heavyweight scene has become a de-facto who’s who of rather marginal East European boxers who’ve essentially carved out a niche market for themselves . Atop of the heap are the Klitschko brothers , Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who between them share four of the five recognized belts ratified out there. The lone none European heavyweight title holder is the Englishman David Haye who’s not really known on the North American continent, albeit that he was at one time the cruiserweight champion of the world . Another weight category created by the international governing bodies of the sport not only to create money but in large part to counteract that great divide from light heavyweight to heavyweight division where the fighters are now extremely larger.

If the sport is to remain prominent with its fans then the various promoters out there who control the dominant North American market will essentially have to be proactive making the most lucrative fights possible , rather than rehashing old fighters and serving them up as one big spectacle with a rather mundane story line as a prelude to what more often than not turns out to be a complete embarrassment. Consider this, an aging Evander Holyfield is still of the belief that he can regain the heavyweight title while slowly approaching his fifth decade. Given that the fighter now is merely fighting to stave off bankruptcy, legal entanglements concerning alimony and child support payments it’s easy to understand the reason behind this charade. In the meantime promoters such as Bob Arum ( Top Rank Inc ) , Don King ( Don King Productions ) and Oscar De La Hoya ( Golden Boy Promotions Inc ) continue to foist upon us fights that in large part don’t really capture the public’s imagination. If this situation continues then the sport will most definitely meet a slow and painful demise.

College Basketball saw the re-ascent of Duke (Blue Devils) to the top of men’s game having won their fourth NCAA National title with coach Mike Krzyzewski at the helm for all four . The program is now the most preeminent there is within the game and that’s with all due respect to the legacy achieved under the late John Wooden with the UCLA Bruins . The Blue Devils’ 61-59 victory over the Butler Bulldogs had the nation perhaps wanting the underdogs to win but that wasn’t to be the case as the team led by Kyle Singler would go on to a heart warming victory in the tournament. For Butler , coached by Brad Stevens , this placed his program firmly on the map and one that’s now admired nationwide. It’s safe to say that Stevens now hope that his team can repeat that feat this upcoming season .

For Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils’ program it’s pretty much safe to say that they’re now the pre-eminent college program in the country in terms Duke’s legacy under their esteemed coach. Krzyzewski to my mind would do the famed Wooden proud . Inasmuch as we can remember his feats over the years the lack of recent UCLA success would suggest that the Bruins while still remaining competitive still have something a mountain to climb to get back to the summit of the game they once ruled with such dominance. Duke now sits atop of the national rankings unbeaten at 11-0 while also leading the ACC .

In the women’s game the U Conn Huskies remain dominant under the tenure of their coach Geno Auriemma and having surpassed the astonishing feat of the UCLA Bruins’ 88 consecutive wins the Huskies are now sitting at 89 wins and counting . The unthinkable may well happen with this team reaching the century mark and perhaps along the way successfully defending their NCAA Women’s Basketball title this season . Stoutly led by standout players Maya Moore and Tiffany Hayes it has to be said that there’s the belief that this team may not be seriously challenged in their quest in attaining both feats. And inasmuch as Auriemma has bemoaned the fact that his team and in particular the women’s game gets very little respect in the eyes of the public and press apart from the loyal Huskies’ fans up and down the country. I do believe that the coach ought to be simply thankful that he and the team are getting some ink in the print media and from the ever watchful eye of cable networks such as ESPN . Womens’ basketball doesn’t really resonate amongst the mainstream in the way that it does with the men’s game either at the collegiate or professional level. The NBA reigns supreme and meanwhile the WNBA struggles to capture a meaningful audience via its programming on either ABC or ESPN. Suffice to say that the Nielsen’s ratings barely garner a blip on the scale when the women’s basketball games are being televised .

It’s safe to say that soccer’s 2010 FIFA World Cup staged in South Africa captured the world’s attention and in particular that of the USA , with the team having qualified for the event. FIFA Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter and the Executive Committee having chosen the country to stage the world’s most popular sport and second most watched televised sporting event behind that of the Summer Olympics sought to broaden the appeal of the game globally and within the continent of Africa itself. For the country itself, it meant a sense of pride given its most recent history of apartheid under successive white Afrikaan’s regimes until the the successful election of Nelson Mandela as President and then his thoughtful process of peaceful reconciliation amongst the masses.

With the country now being led by incumbent President Jacob Zuma there was much indeed to feel proud about but given the fact that Blatter and a number of his hierarchy remained naive , somewhat intolerably silent concerning the sexual assaults , and murders of several female soccer players in the years leading up to the staging of the event , I found it somewhat insidious in the fact Blatter chose to remain silent on this very issue while speaking out about racial bigotry and violence being espoused by fans in the direction of the male players who happen to be of ethnic minority. How is that any different and less heinous than a female being raped, attacked or murdered by males within their country merely because of their alleged sexuality if they happen to be a lesbian ? As unthinkable as this might have appeared to be it was an occurrence that happened with increasing regularity in South Africa albeit that during the staging of the event nothing was reported to any such event having taken place.

Long admired as the masters of the glorious game Brazil was viewed as one of the prohibitive favorites for the tournament alongside Spain , France , Italy and Argentina . The United States coached by Bob Bradley were seen as one the outsiders that very well have been in a position to pull off a major upset. Though not endowed with a world class outfielder they did however possess one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Tim Howard . The player himself makes his home in the rough and tumble world of the ultra competitive English Premier League (EPL) in England. Other than Howard the face of US soccer over the last decade has been their multi faceted and well respected striker Landon Donovan who played alongside former English international David Beckham for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS here in the United States.

Both England and the US were drawn in the grouping for the divisional round (Group C) of the tournament and I was of the opinion that while both countries qualified on merit I could see neither going beyond the quarter finals of the competition. Neither team was really endowed with a great deal of talent and that’s in spite of the jingoistic fervor being shown by the domiciled US fans whose broad base and knowledge of the game of soccer ranks up there alongside Sarah Palin’s geopolitical knowledge when it comes to world affairs. It’s safe to say that when a US fan is trying to tell you that the US’s offensive capabilities are vast based on the fact that other than Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan’s international experience , then I’ve truly got to ask the question why the interest ? It’s not as if the game itself has found a long term foothold amongst the masses. US Soccer President Sunil K Gulati and MLS Commissioner Don Garber are still struggling to get the game to resonate with the fans domestically. Broad based coverage of the MLS domestic league are as such scheduled around the wishes of ABC/ESPN to televise the games as and when they see fit and the appeal of the teams playing in the chosen fixtures. The talent is still developing and one would be naive to think that the US is now a major powerhouse on the international soccer stage. Gaining respect, albeit in small steps , nonetheless their showing in the tournament was filled with some success but it all ended too briefly merely from the fact that as a team they were lacking creativity on offense and in the midfield where much of the work needs to be done in order to be effective. they showed little signs of real creativity. Think of it as Brady marshaling his teammates as they seek a third or fourth down in the red zone .

The plight of the English team was certainly no better and the complacency showed in the true lack of effort by not only the players but also on the part team coach Fabio Capello and his coaching staff. To add insult to injury Capello left off his final squad the talented young striker and midfield player Theo Walcott who the coach described as ill equipped to deal with the rigors of international play. Bearing in mind that Walcott had been performing well for his club side (Arsenal) in the Premiership (EPL) I found the coach’s statement completely asinine and without merit ! But somehow he found time to include a veteran such as Peter Crouch whose best years were far behind him. It’s no wonder that once the wheels on the bus started to deflate no amount of excuse could be made for the poor showing of the team in the World Cup. Thankfully the woes of both England and the US team weren’t as embarrassing as that of the heavily favored French squad that argued vehemently with and against their coach leading to dissent after their lackluster effort in a game (2-1 loss) against South Africa . The internal turmoil would not end there with one player being sent home after his profanity laced attack against the coach. Overnight this became a PR disaster of seismic proportions for the French Soccer Federation as well as the French government whose Health and Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot offered her sincere apologies to the South African government and to FIFA after the televised events that took placed involving coach Raymond Domeneche and several French players. The French squad would soon exit the tournament with their tails between their legs after their unmitigated disaster in failing to qualify for the latter rounds of the Word Cup.

Teams who were excelling as the tournament progressed , did so by sticking to a game plan and playing with a great deal of dexterity. The raucous crowds attending the games came from all corners of the globe and with many of them having found a new to toy for their accompaniment in creating a cacophony of noise …………..the vuvuzelas became the instrument that would create some uproar amongst the purists of the game. South African natives themselves are use to the noise created by the instrument and it has become a way of life with the regards to their use at sporting events be they small or large.

Holland , Germany , Spain and Brazil would excel over the course of the tournament but once it became clear that the Brazilian team wasn’t what many had come to expect, their fate was soon to be sealed. In large part that was due to complacency in taking lightly the challenge of opponents who they thought were beneath them. The World Cup Final itself pitted Spain , the number two ranked team in the world at the time against their European counterparts Holland . And after ninety excruciating painful minutes of regular play the game went into overtime. Rarely were there any really scintillating moments throughout the game and the thirty minutes of overtime proved to be fateful as Spain’s Andres Iniesta would prove to be his country’s hero in scoring the only goal ( 1-0 result) that would lead his side to winning their first World Cup title. A billion followers of the sport of soccer can’t be wrong but I do feel that this event while proving to be a success in terms of its staging on the African continent for the very first time , it somehow left little to suggest that the game itself can take a real foothold here in the United States. The final game itself while creating some suspense it was on the whole something of a boring event in of-itself. While no doubt Dutch and Spanish fans may well wholeheartedly disagree with my statement , I can’t help but wonder if they had it do all over again would they willingly sit and watch that events unfold in front of them given that they knew what the end result would be ?

It’d be safe to say that the events surrounding Tiger Woods’ fall from grace would play a significant part to his season on the PGA Tour in `2010. Woods for all of his sexual dalliances , inappropriate behavior and his then less than contrite apology simply dug himself a whole that not even Harry Houdini could’ve escaped from. Far be it for me to say but Tiger Woods’ performances on the PGA Tour circuit lacked all the drama we’d come to expect from the world’s top golfer. If anything there was more excitement to be had in listening to the ingenues who came forward to state that they had sex with the player. From escorts to , hostesses and porn stars , females came out of the woodwork like termites from a piece of rotting wood. And along the way many of them parlayed their notoriety to gain some financial well being . Rachel Uchitel and Jamie Jungers were but a few who made their stories public and if you just happen to curious enough and something of a voyeur then in due course there will be sexually explicit movie detailing Woods’ exploits that will be marketed by one of his paramours through the distributor and purveyor of adult entertainment _____ Vivid Entertainment . Curious to see whether not the actor portraying Woods will be using as much wood as he laid to those noted conquests ? ‘Four …….. nine iron being used ‘.

Fourteen Majors and some seventy plus wins worldwide and it’s easy to see why Woods has been the most dominant golfer over the last decade plus and of his generation. A career Grand Slam and all the acclaim in the world made him the marketer’s dream , and the titans of Madison Ave in conjunction with international sports management agency IMG made Woods the most marketable athlete on the planet , the first to earn $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) in endorsements and career earnings. And when you’ve made that sort of ‘bank’ you probably do feel impervious and would like to think that you can do anything possible. What Woods seemed to forget is that there’s a cause and effect , for every action there is a reaction. It was only a matter of time before the veil came down on the charade that has been Tiger Woods’ persona. And it’s asinine to think that Woods tried to apportion much of the blame on the media after the sordid allegations became public knowledge ! What the hell did he actually think was going to happen , he’d be given a free pass ? Nigga’ please ?

Winless on the Tour in 2010, Woods’ play veered from at times being brilliant to downright horrendous over the course of the year, in which we saw him withdraw from The Players’ Championship and could only garner two top ten finishes in any of the four Majors (The Masters , The PGA Championship , US Open and The British Open ), with that occurring in The Masters and U S Open where in both cases he finished joint tied four fourth place. Uncharacteristically also Woods would withdraw The Players Championship held at the TPC Sawgrass , Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida.

Tiger Woods would also lose his world number one ranking as he would be passed by Englishman , Lee Westwood atop of the World Rankings . Westwood has yet to win a Major but he’s been very consistent worldwide on the PGA and European Tour events.Woods’ goals no doubt for 2011 will be regain the form that saw him with regularity on the Tour and at the same time refocus his efforts on being a better human being and a parent. As to whether or not he can surpass his idol Jack Nicklaus , garner the four Majors needs to equal Jack’s feat and then add another to make it nineteen, remains to be seen. He’s still young enough to do it but it now all comes down to his will and composure as to whether or not he can achieve that feat.

The Ryder Cup notwithstanding Tiger Woods’ contributions on the PGA Tour in 2010 can be best described as being mediocre . But to others at the lower end of the totem pole on the Tour I bet at times they wouldn’t mind being in Woods’ position without the sexual pecadilos I might add and all of the intrusiveness of the paparazzi that comes along with it !

I’ve never been really much of NASCAR fan , way too many left turns ! And what the hell might I ask is boogity , boogity boogity ? Is that some sort of dumb ass ‘Redneck speak’ for I’ve got a hard on for Lil’ E ? Speaking of which can someone remember the last time that Dale Earnhardt Jr won a Sprint Cup Series race ? I guess not ! He’s way too overpaid for what modicum of talent he does have. For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year Jimmie Johnson has won the Sprint Cup Series Championship and along the way seemingly create an even greater divide between himself and his peers. The only drivers now ahead him with more titles on the sport’s pre-eminent circuit are Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr . Seven to be precise, is the total held by each of these all-time greats within the sport and it remains only a matter of time and the desire shown by Johnson if he chooses to emanate or even surpass those feats.

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The unfortunate thing here is that the sport has now reached its maturation point and whereas viewership and attendances are on the decline , the fan appreciation of Johnson’s feat isn’t being appreciated by all. Other than his own following I truly doubt that the vast majority of NASCAR fans like the guy to begin with ! It’s been suggested that Johnson has no character , he’s not really affable or he’s simply not rambunctious enough. Screw that ., the guy simply wins and he’s begun to make a habit with an ever increasing consistency ! As to NASCAR’s own hierarchy led by Brian France and Mike Helton , though they’ve now got a dominant face for their sport they’re still all too reliant Dale Earnhardt Jr to be the face that arguably reigns over their sport. Far be it for me to suggest but when you simply have a guy who of late has shown marginal talent at best in the practice of his craft, then why the hell is there a need to have him as the face of your sport ? You’ve got the most dominant driver of this era now within your midst and he’s garnering about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield jokingly said he could attain being a comic. What’s up with that ?

This now ends part two of this two part series concerning my own sporting observations concerning some the events that took place across the landscape of sports during 2010 . What events if any caught your attention over this calendar year and what wishes if any would you like see take place in 2011 as an event ? Simply chime in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support !

NB: Pacaquiao’s scheduled bout against Mosley is due to take place at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort in Las Vegas , Nevada on the 7th May 2011 .

Auriemma’s U Conn Huskies’ team had their winning streak snapped at 89 by the Stanford Cardinals team . The Lady Cardinals were in fact that the last team to beat U Conn in 2008.

NB: Click in the link provided to read Part 1 of this two part series . https://abritishman.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/2010-was-a-great-year-in-some-sports-and-in-some-ways-it-was-also-an-unmitigated-disaster/

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….


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Vida Guerra

Eye candy ………. Vida Guerra . Any takers ?

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Jesikah

More of the same ………………… or perhaps something more enticing ? Jesikah Maximus .

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Stephanie Kyoko

And still a little bit more just to simply entice you. Stephanie Kyoko courtesy of Smooth Magazine.

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Golf, PGA, Ryder Cup, Sports

And No Not Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining !


And No Not Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining !

There is nothing gallant about losing when the quest itself could have been avoided had the right preparations been in place for the team to actually strive for a win. But now these are and will be the rather asinine stories that will be written about the so called ‘gallant and bravura effort’ put forth by the US Ryder Cup team after their loss of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Golf Course in Newport, Wales , this past weekend. Rain delays prolonged the play wherein the singles matches were actually played on Monday instead of on Sunday on what was effectively had been a three day event being turned into a four day event.

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Slide show for your perusal.

Coming into the final day of the contest the format was for the four balls to be completed and for the singles match-ups to be played with the Europeans holding a 9 1/2 to 6 1/2 point lead over the US team. And for opposing captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin this was all about determining whether or not their strategies would reap the dividends in the match-ups made in these finals singles matches. A great deal of criticism has been leveled at Pavin and his handling of this US team and much of it has stemmed from the fact that so many of his players were rookies and all but one player had a winning record in the Ryder Cup format. That in of-itself would prove to be something of a crucial disadvantage for the team and no matter how one spins it the motivation and leadership expected from seasoned veterans such as Jim Furyk , Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods simply wasn’t there to make this competition worth remembering or a worthwhile endeavor on the part of the Americans.

Now the writers and US commentators covering this event will have us believe that this was by all means a gallant effort by this US team. But in all actuality nothing could be further from the truth . Albeit that there was some inspirational play by Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler in their singles matches, the writing was already on the wall in terms of the inevitable outcome of the event. While the Europeans’ lead wasn’t an insurmountable one , you simply knew that all they had to do was to retain that lead and then eke out the points needed to make the victory secure. Needing only to obtain 5 points out of a possible 12 to win back the Ryder Cup , Colin Montgomerie’s team went about their task diligently while the support of the European fans were there in droves to show their support for their hometown heroes.

Now while there has been criticism being leveled about both teams in the past as to the unsportsmanlike conduct in previous events this series of matches throughout this tournament has been played with a great deal chivalry by both sides. However one got the feeling that this US team could have done with a bit of boisterous support and some true grit being shown by not only their supporters but also from a number of players on this team. Instead what we got to see were but a few brief moments of heroics before this team succumbed to the inevitable and then with unabashed shame we saw the emotions of Hunter Mahan come to fruition , wherein he took responsibility for the team’s loss having not been able to secure a point in the finals’ singles match that would have led to Team USA retaining the Ryder Cup.

When it’s all said and done this wasn’t about how the Cup was lost but the fact that this US team wasn’t at all good enough for the task at hand. Although the spin-meisters will be in full swing trying to point out that this was a gallant effort by the team having come so close with the final margin of victory being a mere 1 point (14 1/2 – 13 1/2) the truth of the matter was the Europeans were expected to win and win they did.

Now in 2012 the Ryder Cup is due to be played in the United States at Medinah G&C, outside Chicago , Illinois___ and it will be interesting to see whether or not any changes will be made by the PGA as to how the US team is actually made up and what sort of input is made by the team captain as to who his alternatives will be . This much we do know Phil Mickelson’s record in the Ryder up format is not one to be admired as he now has the dubious distinction of having lost more games overall and has the worst points’ total of any American who has ever represented a US team as a member. And all this from the supposed number two player in the world ? This kind of puts into perspective the idiocy shown by such analysts as they sought to make light of this by pointing out what a tremendous effort was put forth by this team. Well there was little here to feel proud of , given the fact that there was no leadership forthcoming from the seasoned veterans on this team and a captain who for all sense and purpose who was completely out of his depth. But hey , this is the sort of stuff that the writers and analysts will tend to harp on about rather than trying to point out the reasons for the failures of a team . And you tend get the distinct impression that in reality the US are ”sore losers” when it comes to team sports where their dominance comes into question .

Now while the Europeans will bask in the glory of having won back the Ryder Cup in home soil at the same time you get the feeling that they will be out to rigorously defend the trophy in 2012 . The chances are that by then the US team in place to challenge for the trophy will be one that no doubt will be more determined to play with a great deal of pride and honor as to the thought of representing their country. It had been long maintained that a number of US players felt that this particular team event wasn’t a worthwhile cause because there was no prize money to be earned . But at the same time it is these same players who are now preening themselves like Cheshire cats at the mere thought that they will get the chance to participate in the Summer Olympics when the game makes a welcome return to the grandest of all stages in front of a worldwide audience of billions. Makes you wonder what all the fuss has been about doesn’t it ?

From my own perspective I do feel that while the biennial event has its followers and its popularity remains intact. It can only remain this way if the level of competition that goes with it is of the highest order . Over the years the level of commitment appears to be there but the telling ingredient that at times seems to be missing is that the play of the teams can either be exhilarating or just plain mediocre. Here it was a little of both with a certain amount of naivete and false bravado being shown by US team captain Corey Pavin as his team was convincingly outplayed from start to finish. History may well show that Pavin captained this team but what it will not show any in great detail are the mistakes that he made strategically. This cloud certainly didn’t have a silver lining and about the only thing did may well have been the rainbow that shone in part after the torrents of rain that fell over the Celtic Manor course that essentially dampened the ardor of the US team and its resolve in trying to retain the Ryder Cup.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on each frame you can view the picture in its original format.

Your thoughts if any on how the US team lost the Ryder Cup and do you feel that there needs to be a change in the format as to how the players are selected for the US team ? Criticism was leveled at Corey Pavin for having so many rookies on the team and the fact that only one player on the squad had a winning record in this type of format. Simply chime in with a comment as to your opinions if any on the event itself or perhaps the sport of golf in general .

NB Click on the links below to see the profiles of the respective teams and details for the 2012 Ryder Cup event .

Team Europe

Team USA

Player results at the 2010 Ryder Cup …..

Ryder Cup 2012 …..

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

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Courtesy of Smooth Magazine …….. Stephanie

Golf, PGA Tour, Sports, Tennis, US Open

If I Hadn’t Heard It I Wouldn’t Have Believed It Can We Have An Analyst Out There Who Actually Knows Something About The Sport They Cover ?


If I Hadn’t Heard It I Wouldn’t Have Believed It Can We Have An Analyst Out There Who Actually Knows Something About The Sport They Cover ?

Is it me but are the so called pundits and analysts covering sports as knowledgeable as they make themselves out to be or just complete assholes for want of a better word ? For months now we’ve heard that Tiger Woods’ place atop of the world rankings in golf is in imminent danger but to date that simply has yet to happen. Both Steve Stricker and Phil Mickeson have had the chance to supplant Woods at the top of the rankings. Instead we’ve seen both players seemingly melt like butter on a hot knife. As we all know that in spite of Woods’ off the course problems and a rather lackluster season we’ve yet to see any of the players amongst the top ten rankings mount a serious challenge to Woods’ decade long reign at the top of the world rankings. But yet we hear the continued talk that Woods’ place at the top is now at an end. Well until the likes of Mickelson, Stricker or Lee Westwood for that matter show that they have the wherewithal to supplant Woods then can we have these idiots simply shut the hell up ?

Stricker needed to finish no worse than fourth to supplant the world number one and Mickelson for all of his success this season has simply proven that being number one isn’t as important to him as being loved by the adoring public. The Deutsche Bank Championship the second of four tournaments of the Fedex Cup playoff system has shown that the PGA Tour’s playoff system though not the most desirable formats out there has become something of a token gesture. At the same time it shows how devoid the season becomes once they have been played. Mundane and meaningless tournaments scheduled to create interest in a sport where unless Woods is center stage then the game itself becomes something of a meaningless spectacle. PGA Tour chairman Tim Finchem knows this to be true much as in the same way NASCAR knows that their Sprint Cup format has brought about as much interest as flies hovering around fecal matter or the carcass and entrails of a dead animal.

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Slide-show gallery for your perusal.

And now with the Ryder Cup now approaching in October and to to be held at the Celtic Manor Golf & CC in Newport, Wales. The US Ryder Cup team with Woods onboard as a captain’s pick will have its work cut out for them when they face an experienced European Ryder Cup team captained by Colin Montgomerie . The Scots man’s opposing number Corey Pavin goes in with a US team with only one player on there that actually has a winning record within the Ryder Cup format. So on paper things don’t appear to bode well for the team but as we know games aren’t played on paper but on the field of play. So as they say anything can happen and so let the games begin, as they no doubt will.

Woods’ season as we know has been subpar even by his own lofty standards for which the vast majority of the players on the Tour they would be extremely happy with. But as we know Woods himself has been twice a winner of the Fedex Cup playoff format . The only other recipient of the $10 million annuity payout has been Vijay Singh . Less we forget that this format has only been in existent for three years and it now enters its fourth year. Somehow this all appears to be lost on the commentators covering the sport of golf. Granted, the game is all about what have you done lately but considering the likes of Stricker and Mickelson combined haven’t amassed the total victories of Woods on the PGA Tour worldwide. Can one surmise that until either golfer has actually shown that they have desire to dethrone Woods from atop of the ranking the fact of the matter is he is still the world’s top golfer even if his present form doesn’t show it ?. An eleventh place finish in the Deutsche Bank championship would suggest that Tiger Woods might be back on track but until victories are back with a consistent regularity the truth is he remains number one and the challengers out there are either going to have to play catch up or simply let the status quo remain as it is .

There’s no doubt about it but the days of US dominance within men’s tennis is now over. There hasn’t been a male winner of a Grand Slam singles’ title in over seven years. And with the failure of Andy Roddick to make it beyond the third round imply shows how dire the situation has now become for USTA . Praise and hype was heaped upon John Isner’s monumental Wimbledon feat in his match against Nicholas Mahut. But t the end of the day Isner’s Wimbledon heroics simply petered out against his next opponent. Teenager Ryan Harrison now remains the US men’s sole hope in at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York. The Billy Jean King National Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main venue for the finals of the last remaining Grand Slam tournament of the season.

While there’s no doubt that the popularity of the men’s game has been on the wane here in the United States the rest of the world has seen the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the men’s game. The two between them have won simply dominated the ATP Tour and have made the game all the more appealing for the fans worldwide. And in terms of sportsmanship the two have made that their mantra and it is a welcome pleasure for the fans.

Now say what you will about the state of the men’s game here in the US but if the country’s greatest claim that the Davis Cup international men’s team competition is of vital importance as to the popularity the sport. If the country’s sole hope in men’s tennis is now wrapped itself around a meaningless team tournament then it suggests that the fans haven’t really a great deal to be entirely happy about. Andy Roddick now remains a lost cause and the likes of Sam Querrey and Isner are seen as the young US lions on the rise within the sport. It gives us food for thought as to where the game is now heading and how the USTA will go about making it their top priority to have US males rise amongst the rankings and be counted amongst the elite of the game. Spain now remains a dominant force in the men’s game having Nadal as the top ranked player at the US Open as well atop of the ATP men’s rankings . The country also has a ten players ranked inside the top 100 in the world and if that’s not enough to suggest how dominant they have become . It shows how far and dire the state of US men’s tennis has become and the lack of talent being developed in the lower echelons of the sport. However you’d be hard pressed to hear the likes of John or Patrick McEnroe and Mary Carillo suggest that US men’s tennis is in dire need of resuscitation. They simply rally around whatever might take their fancy at a given moment and make that their rallying cause-celebre and rallying cry of the moment. Simply wishing it to be so rather than facing the realities are entirely two different things. Unfortunately the days of McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and their successors in Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are long gone and it it may well be several years before we see a US male player of their profound talents rise to dominate the game in the way that they’d done.

These are now lean times for the USTA and in particular for the state of US men’s tennis. It seems highly unlikely that we’ll see US male crowned champion at the tournament in Flushing , New York. Whereas on the women’s side Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki it would appear are on a collision course to meet in the women’s singles finals. But that is very much predicated upon what happens over the next four days and should the two top ranked players meet as predicted in those finals. The two have been playing a consistently high level and their play so far in the tournament has given us every reason to believe that should the two meet in those finals the fans could be in for an exhilarating spectacle.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

If as an avid sport’s fan how do you see the state of golf on the PGA Tour and that of Woods’ plight ? Do you ultimately see Tiger Woods being dethroned from atop of the rankings ? And in men’s tennis where do you see the state of US men’s tennis as it now stands ?Will there be a US male winning a Grand Slam tournament within the next five years or do you see it taking ultimately longer than that ? Do you tend to find the on air analysts far too opinionated and condescending for your liking ? If so which of them gives you the impression that they simply are way in over their heads and why ?

NB: Both Ryan Wilson and Sam Querrey the sole surviving players from the second and third rounds have been knocked out of the singles competition at the US Open. This has been the first time that this has happened where the country hasn’t had a male representative in the quarter finals of the competition since 1999. Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams are seeded number’s 1 & 2 in the women’s singles at the US Open.

For up to date results at the US Open click on the link shown. Results & news ….

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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Tammy

Video vixen Tammy Torres

Baseball, Golf, MLB, MMA, PGA Tour, Sports, UFC

As The World Turns ……… Soap Opera In Sports


As The World Turns ……… Soap Opera In Sports

Is it me but it appears that the none sensical fans in the Tampa Bay area try to act as knowledgeable when it comes to sports as their the politicians not only in the state legislature but also the ones now said to be pursuing high office at present ? Over the weekend the Tampa Bay Rays came within a hair’s breath of being “no hit” for the third time within the space of a year. Never mind the fact that Rays’ manager Joe Maddon seems to have taken on the mindset of a whining child who’s lost its pacifier. But what might be even more preposterous was the insinuation by Rays’ pitcher James Shields that having been given an additional rest day before pitching in the team’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays he wasn’t prepared. What the fu_ck is that all about ? And what the hell is Maddon and his coaching staff doing with these guys ? Are they professionals or are they not ?

Having swept in a three game series by the Blue Jays the Rays now finds themselves 2 1/2 games adrift of the New York Yankees in the AL East. Now I’m not about to suggest that the Rays are about to fold but this half assed belief that the division and the pennant was theirs for the taking was simply that …… half assed ! They’ve achieved nothing as of yet and have recently just learned how to win on a consistent basis . But the fans here within the locale have them as world beaters . Based on their play against the Blue Jays where they comprehensively outplayed . Any hopes that they might’ve had about sweeping through the postseason would be as meaningful as witnessing Sarah Palin assume the position of either Secretary of State or any political office within the federal government . Pretense is a wionderful thing but having the experience counts for something and at this juncture all that the Rays are giving their fans flashes of brilliance one moment and complete ineptness the next. Blue Jays’ pitcher Brandon Morrow was made to look like the second coming of Nolan Ryan as he struck out seventeen Rays’ batters in his team’s 1-0 victory . As he struck out the Rays’ batter it made you see how acute the frailties are on this Rays’ team. If the likes of Carlos Pena , B J Upton , Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria aren’t hitting and scoring runs then this team will find itself in a great deal of trouble against teams where offense is their forte’ and not a problem. And that’s inspite of the team’s strengths as a defensive presence.

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Slideshow for your perusal .

If the temperament and and psyche of the Rays can’t be put back in place where they’re playing to their strengths then Maddon and the Rays’ fans could very well see their season go up in flames .

OK so Tiger Woods does happen to be human aftter all ? His inept showing at the PGA Tour event the WGC Bridgestone Invitational from Firestone Country Club , Akron , Ohio. Woods belied his status as the world’s number one golfer by putting up such a poor display . That upon looking at the final leaderboard you’d have found it hard to believe that the player having finished in 78th place did in fact lose the tournament by thirty shots. Yes that’s not a misprint Woods finished in 78th place with an accumulative score of 298 __ 18 over par. It’d be remiss to say that Woods had a bad day at the office but part from his fourth place finishes at The Masters and US Open Woods’ presence and play on the Tour has been somewhat mediocre. And it’s pretty safe to say that should he not fare well in the final major of the season this week’s PGA Championship from Whistling Straits , Kohler Wisconsin then we may see Woods participate as part of the US team in the Ryder Cup . It mightn’t be out the realms of possibility to assume that Woods refuse an invitation were to have a poor performance at the PGA tournament . So erratic has been his play that you’d be hard pressed to believe that he’s the world number one and not some Sunday morning hacker had you witnessed his inept play at Firestone.

Off the course issues asides Woods’ mindset isn’t on his game despite his contention that it was’nt one of his better days . Were this a motor race he’d have been lapped by tournament winner Hunter Mahan at least twice , if not more . Mahan’s -12 under par 268 was enough to earn his second victory on the PGA Tour this season land him the $1,400,000 winner’s check . And any thought that one might have that Phil Mickelson was ready to take up the challenge of assuming the mantel of wrestling away the top spot from Woods atop of the Sony world rankings can be laid to rest. Mickelson’s appetite for that role is like that of an anorexic looking a for a morsel of food. They simply don’t want it nor do they have the desire or persistence to make it their wish. Mickelson merely lulls us all into the belief he wants the role but nothing could be further from the truth. And the world’s number two ranked player hardly made a dent in the lead that Woods has over him in those rankings. Needing to finish fourth or better in the tournament he tied with six other players for forty sixth place in this rarther lavish invitational field.

Those of you who know me from my days blooging within Fox’s blogging domain will know that I’m an avid martial art’s fan and boxing fan. Having served in the military I also taught self defense or in this case unarmed combat to members of the miliary whilst in the service. That being said with boxing now on the wane and some major marquee fighters unwilling face each other I’ve now become totally immersed in & MMA and the UFC . Over the weekend UFC held their showcase event UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland , California . Topping the bill was the middleweight title fight between Chael Sonnen and the champion Anderson Silva . To my mind the Brazilian , Silva, along with welterweight titlist Georges St Pierre are by by far the two most well respected and well rounded fighters in the genre at present . And they might just be two of the most popular fighters that UFC President Dana White has within the organization .

I’ve always maintained that if it’s ever your intention to talk bad about an opponent in a contest of athletic skills then you’d better have the sh*t to back it up when it counts most. In teams sports at times you can get away with it. But when it comes to an individualistic endeavor then there’s no one there to hold your hand or wipe your nose when the going gets rough. So for the idiot NFL and NBA players who think of themselves as warriors and call out an opponents , just simply shut the hell up ! You’re no more a warrior than Clay Aiken would be considered a candidate for the US Marine Corps . Have the time far too many of you talk so much sh*t that you don’t posess the pedigree to back it up !

In what turned out to be rather arduous battle in the octagon wherein Sonnen came to do battle and relieve Silva of his title . The challenger fall of his spirited and at times somewhat asinine remark about his opponent was left to eat his words. Though gamely outmaneuvering Sliva for much of the bout with his wrestling prowess. The one thing that Sonnen and all of Silva’s previous opponents have failed to understand is that no fight is ever over until that last bell is sounded . Sonnen got far too confident for his own good and Silva much like an anaconda stalks its prey simply waited for the challenger to make a mistake. And Sonnen would gladly oblige by allowing Silva take get him in triangle choke hold that would force the challenger to tap out in submission during their title bout. Sonnen to his credit after the bout was magnanimous in defeat but it paled into comparison with all of his pre-fight hype and contention that he’d take the champion down with ease.

tophatal …………………. 🙂

Lucy Pearl ………….. “Dance Tonight”

busty  female

Baseball, Golf, MLB, PGA Tour, San Diego Padres, Sports, Tiger Woods

Reasons To Be Cheerful ……… Tiger’s Back on The Tour …..Blah , Blah , Blah !!!


Reasons To Be Cheerful ……… Tiger’s Back on The Tour …..Blah , Blah , Blah !!!

Well it’s happened, what the whole world had been waiting for finally arrived. The return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour. In the world of golf his return was viewed with almost as much anticipation as the “second coming” of Jesus Christ. Some might even make comparison that Woods was crucified in the press and on the air to begin with. God knows the likes of Christine Brennan and Gloria Allred wanted to share their views on Tiger. Needless to say that both Dr Phil and Dr Drew Pinsky were looking to off their services to the famed but ailing golfer . When I say “ailing” I mean in terms of his sexual addiction.

And granted the personality who actually commands the public’s attention when she’s ready to comment on this all . Well let’s just say when Oprah speaks “the whole” world tends to drop what they’re doing to listen. I mean let’s face if she says “Tiger is a douche-bag ” ! I can guarantee that at least 70% of the females out there will be in agreement with her ! Alas, Oprah has yet to make a public statement on the matter. However , the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club Billy Payne has admonished Woods for his behavior. I mean who better as a spokesperson for an establishment that up until forty five years ago would not have allowed a “minority” upon its “hallowed” golf course ? Never mind the fact that the PGA ,itself, did not allow African Americans to participate in their tournaments on the PGA Tour. I don’t know if this is Payne’s way of making amends but I for one doubt that he’ll be atop of Woods’ Christmas gift list on that particular festive occasion !

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Slideshow for for your perusal

Well “The Masters” tournament , itself, has started and the fans have thronged to see Woods , Phil Mickelson and the rest of the world’s best golfers contest the first “Major” of the season. And it’s widely being anticipated that the event will be the most watched golf tournament in history. I guess “sexual intrigue” and the fallout from it trumps competitive play ? The leader at present , midway through the third round is the Englishman, Lee Westwood at 11 under par. He’s closely followed by Ian Poulter , 3 shots (-8 under par) back and with Mickelson a further shot behind at 7 under par . Woods is contention and is presently tied for sixth place at 5 under par. He’s joined in that standing by fellow Americans , Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan .

There’s every reason to believe that Woods is capable of pulling of a win in the tournament . But with him having been away from competitive golf for five months and until recently only getting back to swinging a club. I seriously doubt that he’ll end up winning his 5th Green Jacket ! As good as Woods has been known to be , this may well be one task that is physically beyond him!. It’s one thing to be “laying the wood” to a bevvy of females but it’s another to think that you can simply shake off the rust and win the first “Major” of the year on the PGA Tour. As “gifted” and “special” a player as Tiger Woods is, he became fallible the moment he sought to lie , become a philanderer and sexual degenerate and an alleged sex addict. I know some might say that there are players on the “Tour” who wished they had half Tiger’s golfing talent at present, if only to enable them to remain competitive within the sport in general.

I’m looking at the standings within MLB (baseball) merely to see how the Florida Marlins (2-2) are faring. When I look to see also the standings in the NL West . Sitting atop of what one might describe as a lackluster division are the San Francisco Giants (4-0). Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that there isn’t talent there within the division. It’s merely that the talent is spread so thin amongst the five teams that makeup the division. The remaining quartet are the Arizona Diamondbacks , Colorado Rockies and last and “yes the very least” the San Diego Padres (1-3). And as their record would suggest the lowly Padres are an “organization” that’s in a great need of help. I don’t know that divine intervention would help ! But the saying “……. God don’t like ugly” ! Well it have to been originally affixed to the Padres for some reason ? One can pose the question are the Padres that bad a team ? Or are they really just a badly ran organization ?

PETCO Park home to the Padres’ organization is one of the better venues in baseball. Take nothing away from the fans but the stadium would be the envy of others around MLB. General Manager Jed Hoyer , Chairman John Moores and Vice Chairman & CEO Jeff Moorad , principal partner – are trying to get the Padres on a competitive and financial footing whereby they can be seriously be considered as contenders within the National League . Unfortunately, as a reality it has yet to take shape. And the Padres’ long suffering fans have got to be wondering what “must happen” for the team to start to have some semblance of success ?

Padres’ manager Bud Black and his coaching staff littered with years of experience face an uphill and daunting task, with what is in many respects a very ” young team”that is indeed short on experience. When one looks down the Padres’ roster you tend to first look at a recognizable name and someone who you could deem to be the vocal and inspirational leader amongst the players listed. You would be hard pressed to suggest as to who that might be . Would it be slugger Adrian Gonzalez , Scott Hairston , David Eckstein or even Jon Garland ? The more you assess the team’s roster the more unsure of what it is you will find. If this team is to contend then there has to be someone there who is willing to assume that role.

One of the biggest struggles that the San Diego Padres have had to contend with has been the very fact that they are viewed as a small market team. And as resourceful as the front office has been . When you’re forever viewed as an organization that operates on the cheap. Then it’s very hard to shrug off that perception “no matter how hard you try”. And all things point to the fact the Padres, of the 30 teams within major league baseball they are ranked twenty ninth out of thirty when it comes to the salaries paid to the players . Atop of the heap are the New York Yankees who will have a salary payout of $201, 449,289 for 2010. This is the one fact that when approached to discuss the imbalance that there is within the game concerning the salary structure of the teams Commissioner Bud Selig seems to be at a loss for words. He and the MLB hierarchy will always stress to you “that the game has never been in a healthier state financially than it is today”. If it is true then why is that they’re not prepared to have their finances opened up to for public scrutiny ? If anything one would like to think that the commissioner’s office as well as “the owners” would have nothing to hide ? Unfortunately , in the game of baseball there are somethings the game’s hierarchy would rather keep secret whereas there are other things that they’d rather present to us at face value . Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being conned by major league baseball (MLB) ?

NB For an update of The Masters leaderboard click the link provided.

Masters leaderboard link

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Picture gallery

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Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………..

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Today’s beat though not from the “streets” is a classic and a “goody” ! Sylk E-Fyne . …… “It’s About Romeo & Juliet ”

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Golf, PGA Tour, Sports, USGA

Did I Miss Something Here But Since When Did The PGA Tour Turn Into A Free For All ………. ?


Did I Miss Something Here But Since When Did The PGA Tour Turn Into A Free For All ………. ?

Now we all know that the PGA Tour is missing Tiger Woods, dearly and ‘The Tour’ essentially without him, becomes somewhat non-descript . Those who think otherwise, really do need to get their heads examined. Without Woods on the PGA Tour, is in essence like having a four course meal at a swank restaurant but then being told that the chef can’t prepare the ‘main course’ due to unforeseen circumstances . So the maitre-de’ would like to know if you’d prepare to accept a ‘doggy bag’ instead ? That in essence is now what’s being served up until Woods’ returns to the golf course from his self imposed exile.

Ben Crane walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo  appears  courtesy  of  the  Associated  Press/ Lenny Ignelzi  ......
Ben Crane walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo appears courtesy of the Associated Press/ Lenny Ignelzi ......

Now don’t get me but when a sport become so self reliant on just one major star to make its presence felt on the global stage. To me that signifies that there’s either something seriously wrong within the sport itself. Or the mere fact that the USGA and the PGA are seemingly at a loss as to what to do about the whole situation. Granted , PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem , feels that the game and Tour itself can proceed along without Woods at present. But with each passing tournament and the player’s none appearance and the likelihood that he won’t be returning for some considerable time. It has to be exacerbating for all concerned ! Losses are mounting up for a number of tournaments , wherein Woods had been expected to compete at the start of the season. And that doesn’t add in the ancillary losses that’ve been borne by a number of small and major companies that would service these tournaments, as well as the PGA Tour. Never mind the fact that the hospitality industry must be quaking from this all . But as we know there has to be a silver lining to it all. Well at least , that’s what Tim Finchem is hoping for.

Phil Mickelson is bent over in frustration after his eagle putt on the sixth hole rimmed out during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego.  photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi   .........
Phil Mickelson is bent over in frustration after his eagle putt on the sixth hole rimmed out during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi .........

With the world’s number one golfer absent from the Tour , it was felt that his closest rival in the rankings , Phil Mickelson would step up to the plate and lead the charge. Well, that’s akin to having Paris Hilton take you on a tour of the American Library of Congress and then finding out that ‘her knowledge’ of that edifice borders on that of Borat’s first cousin from Kazakhstan. Well, perhaps not quite that bad. But Mickelson’s dominance on the Tour is more often than not just fleeting. He has his throng of supporters but he also has a great many none supporters. If anything the one golfer that most fans seem more attuned to and seemingly have more sympathy for is not Phil Mickelson but ‘two time golf major winner’ , John Daly. But Daly’s accomplishments of late, haven’t been on the golf course but more so what he’s been doing off it. His slide down from the upper echelons of the sport , can be best described as one never-ending nightmare. From bouts of alcoholism , run-ins with law enforcement , claims of spousal abuse , to multiple divorces, to being on the verge of bankruptcy. This is how one could essentially sum up John Daly’s life as of late. As to his competitiveness on the golf course ? Well , let’s just say that if he’s even par for a round then he’s had an exceptionally good day. But the fact is , Daly is now more reliant from getting a sponsor’s exemption to participate on the Tour , than he is to be an actual entered contestant for an event.

Jim "Bones" McKay wipes clean the controversial Ping Eye 2 sand wedge being used by Phil Mickelson after Mickelson hit a sand shot with the club during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Saturday Jan. 30, 2010 in San Diego. photo  appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press / Lenny Ignelzi   ......

Jim ‘Bones’ McKay (caddie) wipes clean the controversial Ping Eye 2 sand wedge used by Mickelson after the player hit a sand shot with the club during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego , California. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Lenny Ignelzi …….

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Mickelson accepts apology, won’t use wedge

By Doug Ferguson , AP Golf Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Phil Mickelson won’t be using the Ping Eye2 wedge that led a fellow player to accuse him of “cheating,” even though he hopes others will use the controversial club to keep attention on what he calls a ridiculous rule.

“I won’t be playing that wedge. My point has been made,” Mickelson said on Wednesday on the eve of his two-time title defense at Riviera. “But if these governing bodies cannot get together to fix this loophole, if players stop using this wedge—which would stop the pressure of the issue—then I will relook at it and put the wedge back in play.”

The Ping wedge has grooves that no longer conform under a new U.S. Golf Association regulation, adopted by the U.S. PGA Tour. However, any Ping wedge made before April 1, 1990, is approved for play under a legal settlement from two decades ago.

Mickelson is among five players who have used the Ping wedge in competition this year.

Several players believe using the club goes against the spirit of the new grooves regulation, although Scott McCarron fueled the debate when he said of Mickelson and others, “It’s cheating.”

Mickelson hinted at legal action after saying he was “publicly slandered.” He said McCarron offered him a sincere apology late Tuesday, which he accepted.

“We all make mistakes, and we all say things we wish we could take back,” Mickelson said. “I’ve done it a bunch in my career. And the fact that it’s also not easy to come up and face that person, look them in the eye and apologize … I appreciate him being a big enough man to do that.”

Instead, Mickelson vented his anger at the USGA and its lack of transparency in developing the new rules for grooves. He has complained that he’s submitted wedges that fit the guidelines, only for the USGA to reject the club for violating the intent of the new rule.

“I’m very upset with the way the rule came about, the way one man essentially can approve or not approve a golf club based on his own personal decision, regardless of what the rule says,” Mickelson said. “This has got to change.”

The next step remains murky.

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In order to read Doug Ferguson’s article in its entirety
just click unto the link provided.
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Phil Mickelson looks on after hitting a bunker shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in San Diego. Mickelson is among at least four players at the tournament using a Ping-Eye 2 wedge that was made 20 years ago and has square grooves.  Such grooves now are banned on the tour because of a new U.S. Golf Association regulation this year that irons have V-shaped grooves. The square-groove Ping wedges remain legal, however, because of a lawsuit that Ping filed against the USGA that was settled in 1990.   photo appears  courtesy  of Associated  Press / Lenny Ignelzi     ........
Phil Mickelson looks on after hitting a bunker shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in San Diego. Mickelson is among at least four players at the tournament using a Ping-Eye 2 wedge that was made 20 years ago and has square grooves. Such grooves now are banned on the tour because of a new U.S. Golf Association regulation this year that irons have V-shaped grooves. The square-groove Ping wedges remain legal, however, because of a lawsuit that Ping filed against the USGA that was settled in 1990. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi ........

At the PGA Tour’s most recent event a controversy erupted that embroiled Phil Mickelson and Scott McCarron and wherein there were accusations of cheating on the part of Mickelson. These accusations specifically targeted Mickelson and were made by McCarron and directed at Mickelson. Mickelson clearly denies any wrongdoing on his part. But there is more to this all than meets the eye. It’s not so much that there has been an ongoing feud between the two players in question. But essentially what this boils down to are the rules of the game and the presumed etiquette of the players. Golf has always been a sport that is self governing as to the on course play and etiquette of its players. Unlike other sports where a player may well have flouted or unwittingly broken a rule. Then that player is required by the rules of the PGA as well as that of the USGA to either notify the officials that they’ve contravened or broken rule, therefore immediately disqualify themselves from further play , dependent upon the severity of the rule broken or that of an adjudication forthcoming from a tournament official.

The controversy itself erupted out of the use of what is believed to be an illicit club used by Mickelson at the Farmers’ Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California. The event itself is one that Woods usually would use as one the openers to his season. It carries with it a total purse of $5.3 million, with $954,000 going to the winner. Much of what happened is opened to a great deal of speculation and conjecture. But this much is known, throughout the tournament Mickelson used a Ping #2 eye club which is not normally used for competitive play by the USGA and the PGA. Though the rules itself are somewhat vague on this issue. Mickelson for his part knew of the regulations but states his reason for using the club (which gives the golfer an additional advantage in his putting because of the grooves aligned along the putting surface aids the ball in its trajectory and direction) – was in fact to bring this all to the PGA’s attention and that in no way was it his intention to be viewed as a ‘cheat’ . Now far be it for me to suggest but Mickelson’s argument doesn’t stand the ‘litmus test’ and there’s no veracity there whatsoever. If you know that there’s indeed an issue that needs to be raised concerning a specific type of equipment , you don’t intentionally go out to break the rules of the game to draw it the governing board’s attention. The appropriate thing to do , is to make the PGA aware of the situation and let them make a statement with regard to the equipment and whether or not its use will be prohibited.

McCarron for his part, was duly upset that Mickelson carried on playing throughout the tournament using the club in question. It constituted a heated debate between the two rivals which only added to the excitement of what was to be a somewhat droll tournament. The Farmers’ Open was won by Ben Crane, who carded a 70, -2 under par for the final round with an aggregate total of 275 for a -13 under par , with a winning margin of one stroke over Marc Leishman, who finished in second place. Mickelson finished a distant 19th, some five strokes behind the winner. His performance throughout the tournament was somewhat pedantic even by his lofty standards.

Though the tension between the two players , McCarron and Mickelson has simmered somewhat. It has brought some much needed attention to golf in the wake of Tiger Woods’ absence. Suffice to say, if you’re having more controversy off the course than the more exhilarating play that there ought to on the golf course. Then why not create some controversy on it , if it means garnering some much unwanted attention that call for player to be viewed openly flouting the rules of the game even if he states that he was trying to bring attention to something that’s wrong with the sport to begin with. By my way of thinking , all we need now is for Vijay Singh or Ernie Els or another of the Tour’s prominent golfers to be caught in a sordid sex scandal involving multiple partners and some farm animals. Oh shit, that’s already happened with Woods , hasn’t it ? Minus the farm animals that is . But then again, who knows what sexual proclivities that’ve yet to be unearthed concerning Tiger Woods ? For the moment however, we’ll have to put up with the likes of McCarron and Mickelson carrying on like adolescent schoolboys at it, in the playground leveling accusations at one another for the most mundane of reasons. It just goes to show how boring the sport can become when there’s not someone there that the fans can actually gravitate towards.

Ah well, some you win, some you lose. I guess that’s why the game is, what it is ? Played by self absorbed individuals who for the better part hold themselves to what some might deem to be holier than thou standards. But who for all sense and purpose are no different from any other ‘athlete’ who participates in a professional sport ? Cheating is cheating, and the rules are in place to be obeyed not to be flouted knowingly. As has been the case with Phil Mickelson.

Highlights from the final round of The Farmers Open golf tournament.

And even though McCarron has since apologized to Mickelson, one can’t help but wonder what episode will next unfold in this chapter between the two golfers ? Can we say <strong"……can we say a duel ? Pistols at dawn from 30 paces " ? Stranger things are known to have happened and will happen. Somehow I think, we've not heard the last of this ‘little hissy fit’ between these two golfers. If this is meant to be the excitement that we’re meant to be looking for , while Woods is away on his self imposed sabbatical from the PGA Tour. Then, I think that I’ll now devote more time to watching reruns of ‘The Andy Grffith Show’ ! There’s for more entertainment there to be had , that’s for sure ! Did Aunt Bee ever get her ‘swerve on’ during the series ? And how comes there were never any African Americans to be seen in the town of Mayberry , North Carolina ? Was it actually the domain of the Klan ? Inquiring minds need to know ?

Click here to see the PGA Tour schedule for the 2010 season.

‘Your Cheating Heart’ as sung by Elvis Presley, originally written and recorded by Hank Williams Sr.

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Actress, singer  , burlesuque  performer  and   business  entrepreneur  , <strong> Elise   Neal </strong>,  seen  here  in  her  King  Magazine  photo  expose' .
Actress, singer , burlesuque performer and business entrepreneur , Elise Neal , seen here in her King Magazine photo expose' .

Golf, LPGA Tour, Michelle Wie

Yes She’s Learning But She Still Appears To Be So Dumb ……….!


Prodigious   female   golfer    Michelle  Wie   if anything   is  proving   that  she’s   by   no  means   ready  yet   to  assume   the   mantle   now   held   by   Lorena   Ochoa  as  the  world’s   number  one   female   golfer.   Ochoa   in    turn  assumed   the  mantle   from  the  legendary     Annika   Sorenstam

Michelle Wie walks off of the ninth green during the third round of the LPGA State Farm Classic golf tournament in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, July 19, 2008.

Michelle   Wie  walks  the    ninth  green   during  the    third   round   of    the  State  Farm  Classic  in  Springfield , Illinois.     Wie   was  made   aware   of her   mistake   as  she   ended     the   third     round,  having   not   signed   her   scorecard at  the   end  of  Friday’s   second   round.   picture   courtesy  of   ap/photo/Seth  Perlman  ………………..

So  it should   come as   no  surprise that    Wie    was   disqualified   from   the   current   LPGA   Tour  event  the  State  Farm  Classic  in  Springfield , Illinois.   What  also   is  becoming   apparent    is  that   Wie   somehow   thinks    that   one   can   flout   the   rules    of   a  game   that’s   built   around   etiquette   and   abiding    by  the   rules  and    bye  laws   of  the   game.    Leading   the   tournament   with  -12  under  par   after   the   second    round.   Wie    inexplicably    failed   to  sign  her  scorecard   having  left    the   players’  tent   at   the   Panther  Creek Country   clubhouse   of   the    event.  

In this photo provided by the State Farm Classic golf tournament, Michelle Wie speaks to reporters just after learning she had been disqualified from the LPGA State Farm Golf Classic Saturday, July 19, 2008, in Springfield, Ill.

 Wie  speaks  to  the   press  after   finding   out   that   she’d   been   disqualified     on   Saturday   afternoon  having   finished   the   third   round   of  the   State Farm  Bureau  Classic   in  Springfield , Illinois.   picture   courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Lee  Milner   ……………..

This   has  been   the  second    time     that    Wie   has   suffered   the   indignity  of   a  being   disqualified   from  an  LPGA   tournament.    She’d  been   disqualified  once   before   in  her  professional    debut  at    the  Samsung  World  Championship  of   golf  event  in  2005.    Her   mistake   was   to   take   an  improper  drop.    Golf   prides   itself    on   its    members     knowing   the   rules    and   abiding    by  them.      However    in   Wie’s   case   she  either     appears  to  be   oblivious   to   them    or   she   just   doesn’t   seem   to   feel   that    the   appropriate    behavior    is  required    of    her   when    it   comes   to    the   game.   Some   might   say  that   there’s  a   degree  of jealousy   that   surrounds  Wie   and   the    fact   that    she’s    been   lauded   as  the   next   big   thing   on   the  LPGA   Tour.   To   date   however    Wie    hasn’t   been   able   to  produce   the   success   that  many    feel   that   she’s    capable  of   achieving.       She’s    yet   to   win   on  the   LPGA   Tour.      And    despite  her    high  profiled   visibility   on   the    tour  ,    many  of   the   highlights    of    her    career   has   encapsulated    by   marked controversy. 

Wie  attempts  a   bridie  putt   during   the  Sony   Open   in   Honolulu,  Hawaii   in  2006.     picture  courtesy of   ap/photo……………….. 

Wie   and  what   this    says    about  her    persona    leaves   the  LPGA   Tour    in   need   of  some    vibrancy.   Ochoa    has  proved   that   she’s   capable   of    being    the  pre-eminent    female   player   this   generation.    But   even   she   has   to    be  seeking   some    form    of  competition   on  the   tour    from  another   female   player   capable   of  challenging    her   dominance   on  the  LPGA   Tour.    The   likes   of   Natalie   Gulbis,    Morgan  Pressel,   Grace   Park,  In  Bee  Park   and    many  of  the   North  Korean    female   players   that   seem   to  be    propping   up    on   the  leaderboard  at   what’d   appear  to  be  every  other   event,   seems  to    be    the    norm    at  present.    If  the   game   is  to  survive   with  an   avid   following   then    Wie  must    prove   that   she’s    capable   of    playing    with  the   best   of   what   the  LPGA   has  to  offer.  

Michelle Wie

The   ominous  drop   that   said   it  all  ,  Wie  and  the   first  of  what   has  been   two   disqualifications  that  has  set   Wie’s   career   in   somewhat   of   a   tailspin.      picture   courtesy  of   getty   images/  Scott  Halleran  ……………………..

 With   this  incident  now   befalling   Wie  in  competition   one   has  to  wonder  what  else   can  go   wrong  with   her  at  this   juncture   that    won’t   create  a   stir    on   the  LPGA   Tour  ?   With   each  passing   incident   it   can  only  be  a  matter   of   time   before   many   will  begin   to  consider   whether    or   not   Michelle   Wie    just   a  phenom   whose  yet   to    live   up   to  her   potential . Or    indeed   just   another   put   upon     self   absorbed   young   athlete  who   can   no  longer  handle   real   adversity   when  it  comes  their  way.    When   so   much   is   foisted    upon    someone   with  such   a   prodigious   talent.   It  can  only   be  matter   of  time    before    we’re    able  to    assess   whether    or   not  they’re   capable   of   proving  themselves   at  all.    Though   now    playing   the   LPGA  Tour   only   part  time   while   she   attends    Stanford  University.      Many  of   Wie’s    obligations  with   regard to   playing    on   the   tour    will   come   through    sponsorship   exemptions   or  through    the   schedule   that   has  been  set   up   for   her    by   agent.    Wie’s   still   an   attraction  on  the   LPGA   Tour    but   for   how   long   will   the   fans   be  willing   witness   much   to   their   chagrin,   her   lackluster   performances    thus   far.      It’s  a   learning   process   but   it’d    appear   that   the  learing   curve    hasn’t  yet   reached   its  peak  for   Wie. 

 


 

abritishman  ……………………….