Byron Nelson Round 3 Recap

Adam Scott is playing well. His swing looks as Tiger-esque as ever and he seems to be steering the ball around the tight launch corridors of the newly renovated TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas course in Irving, Texas quite well. His three-shot will be enough for him to win today. The course is playing too difficult for anyone to catch Scott.

A few things surprised me about the Tournament:

1) The course was really green.

I had only seen pictures of the course from pre-tournament when the fairways looked to be as hard as the runways at DFW and the was more brown grass than green. The course looks great, and consequently, makes for great TV viewing.

2) The players were bombing it.

The telecast followed Ryan Moore and Adam Scott for most of the afternoon. They were just punishing the golf ball. Guys were reaching a par five with short irons. Fun to watch after what the Masters gave us.

Despite the long bombs, this Championship is turning out to be one of the toughest tests of golf of the year. What used to be thought of as a birdie extravaganza is now playing as tough as a Major. You just don’t see eight under leading at a typical PGA Tour event after 54 holes. 18 maybe, but not 54.

3) Sergio Garcia is in the Hunt?

Sergio shot the second lowest round of the tournament yesterday – a 65 – despite hitting only two of thirteen fairways. It would be nice to see him regain some confidence via results. He’s taken quite beating since his immature actions after losing the 2007 British Open.

With that said, if Sergio is in the hunt at four under, then a heap of other guys are too:

Bart Bryant, Kevin Southerland (no relation to “24″ star Kiefer), Charley Hoffman, and Ryan Moore are all tied at five under.

Sergio Garcia, Dudley Hart, and Jesper Parnevik are at four under.

The best Scott may have to do to win today is shoot one or two under. It’s going to take a great round on a tough final day from one of the other guys to catch up to him.

One Shot to Impress

Imagine that you are in the following situations with only one swing – one shot – a single attempt to impress. What shot do you hit?

Your significant other is watching you hit balls on the range for the first time?

You’re on the first tee with your potential boss. He just duffed it.
Modest 2 iron

Tiger Woods, strolling by casually, is watching. He needs a pro-am partner.
Smooth 6 iron.

You are leading by one at THE PLAYERS Championship teeing off on 18.
Hard driver.

Your golf pro starts hitting balls next to you on the range.
Smooth 7 iron.

Your best ball partner shows up after you talked up your (rusty) game all week at the office.
Hit the putting green!

Phil Mickelson shows up at the practice green next to you and starts hitting flop shots.
A higher flop shot!

You’re having a chipping contest with your dad in the back yard.
Low sand wedge.

It’s interesting to think of when you want to impress, show off skill, or ensure a solid shot. What would you do in these situations? Do you have any good ones of your own?

EDS Byron Nelson Championship’s Many Names

Episode #2 of The Yug Show was filmed yesterday, but due to technical difficulties I wasn’t able to post it. Here are the show notes:

Good morning, golf fans. It’s Wednesday, April 23 and this is the Yug Show with Chris Rogers. The EDS Byron Nelson Championship starts tomorrow. It is the PGA Tour’s eighth longest running event going all the way back to WWII 1944. When Byron Nelson won the inaugural iteration of this event, it was titled the Texas Victory Open. Personally, I would rather win something by that name than the current one. I’m sure the money is better now, though!

Since Nelson’s victory in 1944, the tournament has had the following names:

* Dallas Open
* Dallas Invitational
* Dallas Centennial Open
* Texas International Open
* Dallas Open Invitational
* Byron Nelson Golf Classic — In 1968 the tournament was the first PGA Tour event to be named after a professional golfer.
* GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
* GTE Byron Nelson Classic
* Verizon Byron Nelson Classic
* CURRENT: EDS Byron Nelson Championship

I can just imagine the tournament organizers sitting in a room for hours debating whether Open or Invitation should come first in the name. Whether it should be a Classic or a Championship. Classic, of course, has a retro air to it. Championship clearly not retro, but rather more weighty.

After all of this, the current sponsors are upset with their position in the PGA Tour schedule, which isn’t drawing the top players. They’re threatening to withdraw their sponsorship.

So, who will the next sponsor be if EDS bails?

Surely the title will have Byron Nelson in it. But Classic or Championship? Open or Invitational? What about the Byron Nelson Open Invitational Classic Championship?

I’ll preview the actual tournament and players tomorrow morning. Swing hard and putt well.

Lorena Ochoa – A New Tiger?

There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding Lorena Ochoa’s dominance of the LPGA Tour and claims that she is the next Tiger Woods.

The Streaks

Lorena Ochoa has won four tournaments in a row on the LPGA Tour. Just this past weekend, she shot four rounds in the sixties for a nineteen under total of 296 at the Ginn Open. That was good enough for a three-shot win. She’s also finished second, first, first in her last three Major championships.

Tiger Woods’ win at the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational was his sixth worldwide win in a row, however these wins did not come in consecutive weeks. In fact, only his end of 2007 wins in the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship were back-to-back. Further, Tiger’s Major finished for the past year have been second, second, twelfth, first, second.

Time Will Tell

There is no doubt that Lorena is red hot right now and has had more recent success than Tiger, but only time will tell if she truly is the next Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam.

What would make Ochoa an instant household name is success on the PGA Tour. No matter how you slice it, the PGA Tour is the dominant grounds of professional golf competition. Michelle Wie’s attempts to make a PGA Tour cut are evidence of this. When Ochoa tees it up in a PGA Tour event, makes a cut, and wins we can start calling her the next Tiger Woods. Until then, she’s the next Annika.

Boo Wins Verizon Heritage

In case you haven’t seen, heard or read, Boo Weekley won the Verizon Heritage by three shots. The final leaderboard showed Boo at -15 with Anthony Kim and Aaron Baddeley tied for second at -12. There was no one close to Boo on Sunday, and despite being put on the clock for slow play on the 10th hole, he won the winners share of $990,000 and 4500 FedEX Cup points.

More entertaining than yesterday’s final round are the headlines titling the win. So far, I’ve seen:

* Boo Boo (link)
* Back-to-Back Boo (link)
* Boo Week
* Boo Knows Hilton Head (link)
* True Boo (link)

Boo’s Huntin’ For A Win

“Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekley … is a fat guy who plays on the PGA Tour.” (Wikipedia) How eloquent.

Boo is stepping into the role from which John Daly has so ungraciously exited – that of the blue collar golfer who is more NASCAR fan and full-time sportsman (the fishing and hunting kind) than elitist golfer. The golf course is just a job that keeps him away from his family and fishing rod.

There’s no doubt he is an exceptional player. He has played in the last four Majors and made the cut in every one. He won the Verizon Heritage last year after chipping in twice in a row, and is looking at a repeat victory this year. Boo is leading by three going into the final round of the this years Verizon Heritage. With only one bogey in his last 40 holes and rounds of 64 and 65, his chances to successfully defend look solid.

Tiger Woods Succumbs to the Utah Blade

Not really. But he did have arthroscopic knee surgery.

My only question is, would he have had the surgery if he won the Masters?

The knee has been bothering him since the middle of last year. Obviously he didn’t want to have it during the month he took off leading up to the Masters. Why not during his longest break from competitive golf?

Was he worried about his performance in the unofficial Tiger Woods Challenge?

Could he not get an appointment until this week?