Posted Nov 19 2009, 05:13 PM by Cathy Erickson
We've hit the downward slide into November, and normally we're may-be following Q-school (and if you aren't you should - there are some Great stories there!) - but good heavens, all you have to do is browse some golf news...like Tees2Greens very own Golf International posts...and you'll see some big time golf stories...and it's November!!
First, and what I think was the best news in November, is that Michelle Wie finally broke through and won her first LPGA event at Lorena Ochoa's tournament last week. It wasn't a slam dunk...she earned it by playing well in the final round and making a fantastic bunker shot on the 72nd hole to set up a birdie and the win. I saw a blurb on TV where a few players were spraying her with some kind of beverage after sinking her putt. It struck me that a small gesture like that really means that Michelle has truly been adopted by the LPGA family. After reading for years that Michelle was considered an outsider or not liked, it great to see that Michelle is finding her own. I've got to think the Solheim experience was a great stepping stone...both figuratively and literally - I read in her interview transcript that she wore her Solheim Cup shoes in the last round. Now that is cool. Do I think Michelle is the "savior" of the LPGA tour? No, but I think if she can keep this up going into 2010, I think women's golf in the US is going to get a boost. Congratulations Michelle!!
Tiger and several other high ranked players jet-setting in November has also gotten a lot of press - China, Australia, and now Dubai - and we're seeing Phil and Tiger taking titles in November! I wonder who is next? I thought the articles about how China loved Phil and thought Tiger was cold were very interesting - people can say what they want about Phil, but I personally appreciate what an ambassador he is for the game. The crowds loved Tiger down under, but there were also some grumblings about Tiger thowing a club...do we just accept that because he's, well, Tiger, or can we take a stand and disapprove of that behavior, no matter who it is? It's too bad Tiger didn't have enough free time to play the longest course on the planet!
I think we also have to make note of the controversy brewing about the PGA Tour Drug Testing - Doug Barron, a journeyman golfer on the PGA and Nationwide tour failed a drug test earlier this year and has been assessed a 1-year suspension. He apologized and accepted responsibility at first, but now, after a failed injunction to participate in the 2nd round of Q-school, I don't think this story is close to over. At first, the media made it sound like Barron had been taking a certain drug for a long-time medical condition and failed to ask for a waiver...but now we're finding out he did ask, but the advisory panel denied it - basically saying that he should not need the drugs...huh, an advisory panel is now making medical decisions for golfers? I think most folks will agree that Barron was not taking drugs to "enhance" his play or to get an unfair advantage - he's just trying to feel as good as normal will allow. I'm hoping that the PGA Tour will reconsider their decision and realize that this "example" of no tolerance for drug use is not appropriate.
And then there was the news that Rory McIlroy is going to become a member of the PGA tour next year after saying several times earlier in the season he had not intention to...I don't know if that really means we'll be seeing more of him that we already would have, but I think it's great news for golf fans!
And of course there is all of the Q-school action going on...I was happy to see Erik Compton currently sitting at T14 after the first round at the second stage. There are some great stories on the quest for a PGA Tour card...be sure to read Sam Johnson's post this week and find out about all of the all-stars and young guns that are competing at 6 locations this week.
One person you won't be seeing is Ricky Fowler...he got his card by some great finishes in the Fall Series!! I think it's going to be fun to see him on tour next year. Will Jamie Lovemark join him? We'll have to wait and see. I was sad to see David Duval fall below the top 125, but I'm sure he'll get plenty of exemptions next year, so it's doubtful that we'll see him at the final stage of Q-school in December.
And don't forget about the Shark Shootout coming up soon! I'm thinking I read someplace that Greg Norman would not be playing in his own event after having shoulder surgery, but I could be making that up. But what I do know is that some of my very favorite players will be there! (Hint...first name starts with an S, followed by STRICKER!!)
Finally, and most importantly, after being inspired by reading that Heather at www.realwomengolf.com is still getting some final rounds in in Ohio, I put my clubs back in my SUV and snuck over to my local course today - I only had about a half hour of daylight and our greens are covered with straw, but I lugged my clubs and a bag of balls over to one of the fairways and hit about 30 shots...it felt SO GOOD! The best part was, I wasn't out there by myself...on the fairway one over from me there was a dad with 3 young boys hitting golf balls, too - it was great to know that I'm not the only who thought that 46 degrees meant "go hit golf balls"! I could tell my driver was happy to be on the course, too.
Phew! That was a lot...and I know I'll think of more after I post this, but I still need to untangle some christmas lights so I'm off to the garage. Be sure to check in to see what Sam finds out at Q-school - I'm expecting photos of the Minnesota boys in Texas!
November is a great month for golf!
Filed under: Greg Norman, LPGA, Sam Johnson, Q School, Michelle Wie, Steve Stricker, TIger Woods, Shark Shootout, PGA Tour., Doug Barron, November
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