Mania This and Mania That

Golf Digest’s Jaime Diaz has in interesting proposition: that pre-1997 Tigermania paved the way for the Barack Obamamania we’re experiencing leading up to the 2008 Presidential Election. He writes:

Obamamania really isn’t all that different from Tigermania pre-1997 Masters. Woods was still mostly promise, although there was a certainty and presence and sense of destiny to the young man, the kind Obama increasingly has demonstrated in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Both manias reflect an America willing to trust its gut more than its head. But tellingly, with Woods there was no second-guessing, and the same seems to be true with Obama.

Without getting too political here on, if Obama is elected President, he will have a lot to live up to. Tiger has far exceeded the pre-1997 hype with his incredible on-course success. On top of that his image and influence reach far beyond the course and affect many reaches of life. By default, Obama will have the reach if he were to take office. The tough part would be backing it up with results.

When Reality Bites

David Brooks writes in an article titled, When Reality Bites, that the Democrats are basically screwed on two major issues.

1. Their proposal for immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
2. Their conflicting proposals of fiscal discipline and new programs.

Removing the troops from Iraq would be a huge mistake. Thomas Barnett’s idea of a large peacekeeping force has always made sense to me.

The only way the Democrat’s domestic spending proposals seems possible is if they take the money that would have been spent on military in Iraq and use it here in the U.S.

Still, good luck bringing home the troops without messing up the world.

(via NYT)

Looking Ahead to the Presidents Cup

It’s safe to say that the 2009 Presidents Cup will be different from any we’ve experienced to date.

The first big change is the venue. Harding Park, a municipal course owned by the city of San Francisco, will host in 2009. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virgina has hosted on the four occasions the Presidents Cup has been played in the United States since its inception in 1994.

Second, each team will have new captains. Freddy Couples will lead the U.S. against Greg Norman’s International team. They’re shaping up to be very different personalities than the former captains, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. While Freddy and Greg are capable and deserving of the roles, they don’t possess the same golfing gravitas that Jack and Gary do.

When asked who he was considering as an assistant captain, Freddy’s response was:

I’ve mentioned Michael Jordan as an assistant, assistant, assistant. Lately I’ve mentioned Robin Williams and the reason I say that is as Greg mentioned earlier, we’re not on any teams when you’re in the locker room. And you have people come in when you’re in the team room, I think, first of all, I love Michael Jordan, I’ve been around him. He does some things in Santa Barbara. A lot of our players know him. He’s at these events. So that’s why I bring his name up because as a team player, there’s no one any better. And I think that’s what’s the fun part.

Now the challenging part is when you’re sitting around and you’ve got nothing but time, I would like a guy like Robin Williams there to keep us loose, and that’s why I say that. Whether they are there or not, I don’t know, but I do have a great friend in mine mind to play as my teammate and hopefully pick some good guys and get some good pairings. (Link)

Possibly topping that off was Greg Norman hinting that he might select his fiancée as his assistant.

We’ve got the Ryder Cup this year, a couple FedEx Cups, eight majors, seven WGC events and about 60 PGA Tour events before the Presidents Cup is set to be played. But it’s shaping up to be an interesting tournament already.

The Quiet Justice

“Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments.”

He says:

One thing I’ve demonstrated often in 16 years is you can do this job without asking a single question.

If part of my grade in law school is based on oral participation, shouldn’t a Supreme Court justice be required to speak up every so often?

I Picked the Winner

I was scared watching the first round of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. Tiger Woods looked like he was going to confuse his number one world ranking with the timing of his exit – an upsetting first-round loss to the lowest ranked player in the tournament. But, when you’re a maker of golf history, as Tiger Woods tends to be, you don’t confuse such things. Instead you tease those with lesser ability. You lure the television audience into thinking they’re seeing a historical upset, then just before it’s too late you turn it on. You light it up. You blind them with your ability.

That’s just what Tiger Woods did in his first round match against the formidable J.B. Holmes. Then he beat Aaron Oberholser 3 and 2, took two extra holes to squeak past another Aaron (Baddeley), defeated K.J. Choi 3 and 2, and disposed of the defending champion Henrik Stenson 2-up. All of the matches were close. All of the opponents gave it their best — and came up short. Two had already won on tour this year, an accomplishment possible only when Tiger Woods is not in the field.

The final match was over as soon as it started. When I woke up Sunday morning, Tiger was already two up and they’d only played four holes. The lead would only grow throughout the day until the point where Stewart Cink, eight down with seven holes to play, gave Tiger Woods a conciliatory fist-bump when Tiger’s birdie putt to tie Cink’s lipped out. Tiger closed out the match 8 and 7 on the next hole. It was the largest margin of victory in the history of the event. Only fitting that the record was set by Tiger.

With 63 PGA Tour victories, Woods has now surpassed Arnold Palmer to take fourth place alone. He’s chasing Sam Snead with 82, Jack Nicklaus with 73, and Ben Hogan with 64.