Monday, March 10, 2008

Florida Swing = Choke Swing

I was redesigning part of Golf News Net today and I wound up checking out some old commentaries that I had done in 2007. I did a commentary last season on the epidemic of chokejobs in the Florida Swing last season. Mark Wilson practically backed into his 2007 win at the Honda because of late faltering by Boo Weekley and Camilo Villegas. Calc managed to pull away slightly at last year's PODS Championship, but it really was not a case of him blowing the field out of the water. He held on by a shot over John Senden.

Flash forward to this season, and we have a case of much of the same. Given the incredibly testy winds at PGA National in the 2008 Honda, it is no surprise that Els won by surviving more than thriving. Then we have Stewart Cink pulling a case of his namesake by blowing a 54 hole lead after a great Sunday start. It really seems like playing like crap is a trend on this new Florida Swing.

A couple of others were pointing out things that led me to synthesize this position.

First, Brian Murphy at Yahoo! Sports:

Surely, you’ve noticed the trend by now. Every week Tiger does not play on Tour, we witness somebody endure terrible heartbreak at his own hand. These are truly tragic figures in the Shakespearean sense – characters whose demise is brought about by their own doing.

If it’s not Justin Leonard shooting 72 in the final round of the Hope to blow the lead, it’s Vijay Singh making a hat trick of bogeys at Pebble to blow his lead. If it’s not Aaron Baddeley missing three chances to put away Tiger in the Match Play, it’s Ernie Els taking a four-shot lead on the back nine at Dubai and sliding it through the paper shredder of his psyche.

Mark Calcavecchia chipping into a hazard at PGA National … Phil Mickelson making an 11 at Pebble.

I’m feeling their pain. Can anybody loan me a DVD of Nicklaus-Watson at Turnberry? I need a pick-me-up.

Not a bad suggestion.

Then Geoff Shackelford weighed in on the mediocrity of it all.

It is difficult to make a positive case for these two courses at this time of year when the tournaments can be very painful to watch. It may not even be the courses, though. (Calc's was a course thing, in my mind.) It may very well be the PLAYERS.

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