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  1. #721

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    I just re-listened to "Perfect". You are so right about that song fitting this situation perfectly.

    It is also perfect for parents in many situations...for some reason, I especially could see it as applying to mothers who drag their little girls to all of those pageants. But it is at least as appropriate for all parents who put pressure on their children to excel at a sport, or to enter a certain profession, or to provide the family with heirs they don't want to have. Parents far too often decide what they want their children to be, and can get downright nasty when the children don't decide to do what they wanted. Don't ask me (or some others on this forum I have spoken to at length about this) how we know this so well.

    GH

  2. #722

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    Thanks Glenn for the stories - good to see some things never change when it comes to vicariously living.

    As an aside- I am well familiar with the Tiger 6 amateur story...because the year I caddied was the year he moved out of the juniors :-)

  3. #723

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    So today ended the Women's British Open, the first major played by the women this year. It was played at Royal Troon, which is well-known from the men's British Opens, but had never been used by the women. Without going into total detail, the women have had the policy for ages of not playing on courses that don't allow women to be members. Troon opened their membership to women 4 years ago, so the women played there this year. Others of the major courses for the men's Open are scheduled for the next few years, most of which had not hosted the women before.

    The winner was a fascinating story: Sophia Popov of Germany won. She was ranked No. 304 in the world coming into this week. She had been playing almost exclusively on 1 mini-tour, the Cactus Tour in the American Southwest, and also on the developmental tour for women, the Symmetra Tour. So just over 2 weeks ago, her ranking was just inside 400. Then, due to all the players who couldn't make it to the Marathon Open near Toledo, she managed to get a spot in that tournament (this is a regular LPGA stop). That tournament served as the last qualifier on US soil for the British Open. Anyone who finished in the top 10 who was not already exempt for the British Open got a spot. She finished tied for 9th. One stroke higher and she would not have qualified. Last week, despite the looming British Open, she played on the Symmetra Tour and finished 2nd. Then she came to Scotland.

    This was no fluke win. She was simply the best player there this week. She hit the fairways and her iron play and putting were also the best. She said after one of the early rounds that she had seen this tournament as a "bonus" for her, something she never expected to be playing in, and certainly something she didn't expect to do well in. Apparently, she managed to continue that low-pressure attitude to the end. She is now exempt on the LPGA tour for 5 years. This is probably the biggest Cinderella story in women's golf in a long time. I would put the win by Hilary Lunke in 2003 at the US Women's Open roughly on par with this one.

    One thing about this win...she didn't back into it the way I see so many major championships in golf won. By that I mean that someone wins because everyone else collapses at the end. We see that all the time in the majors in both genders. She came out and grabbed victory.

    Her career earnings to this point had been a little over $100,000. Today, she won $675,000. That and the 5-year exemption are complete life-changers.

    Anyway, another fascinating thing that I saw at this tournament. One of the contenders, Lindsay Weaver of the US, caddied for herself. I may be forgetting something, but I cannot recall seeing that at a professional tournament on any major tour ever. It is totally legal, but no one does it. She was tied for 4th after both the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but had a rough 4th round and finished 19th.
    Last edited by GlennHarman; 08-23-2020 at 03:12 PM. Reason: fixed a typo

  4. #724

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    More data: To give the numbers alluded to in the above note:

    Prior to today, Sophia Popov was 651st on the career money list for the LPGA, with $108,051. With today's winnings of $675,000, she jumps to #309 on the career list.

    I think it would be impossible to imagine a tennis player with similar prior credentials winning a slam. In golf, not so impossible.

    GH

  5. #725

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    Reminds me of the pga a couple weeks ago. A relative unknown wins and he also didnít back in but was clearly the best player that week.

  6. #726

    Re: [Golf] News and Discussion

    Now, more on caddying, this time from the PGA tournament that concluded last evening:

    The PGA is now playing the FedEx cup play-off tournaments, three tournaments in 3 weeks, the last of which is considered the "Tour Championship". The first one was in a suburb of Boston. It was pretty hot there the entire week.

    On the 9th hole of the final round, the caddie for Scottie Scheffler fell to the ground, clearly in some pain. It turned out to be likely nothing more than severe cramps, mostly involving his right leg. Still, he was unable to stand back up without much assistance and was ultimately taken off the course on a cart. He appeared to be fine other than the cramps, but I have no further follow-up. They found a replacement caddie almost immediately. I don't know who the replacement was, but one large group of possibilities would be the caddies of the players who had finished their rounds. Scheffler was in the next-to-last pairing, so many caddies had long been done for the day.

    The point that I want to make is that it is clearly the caddies who perform the most physically demanding task during a round of golf. They are carrying a large, heavy, awkward item. It has been estimated that, adding in the carrying of the bag to and from the car, the practice range, the putting green, throughout the round, then back to the practice range (often), and ultimately back to the car, they average about 7 miles per round. And the weight can be a bit all over the place. The average is said to be 40-45 pounds, but I am sure there are players who want sufficient contingency items to make that weight go up. But some examples of things in there: clubs, balls, tees, rule book, umbrella, wet-weather clothing, warm-weather clothing (both for the player and the caddie if bad weather is really likely), other extra clothing, food, towels, first-aid supplies...you get the picture that this can really add up.

    Also, it is the caddie who must retrieve and replace divots, rake the bunkers, and perform any other physically demanding tasks that arise, along with the very difficult task of being on-course psychologist for these often frail psyches.

    Prior to 1999, caddies had to wear long pants. Starting in 1999, they can wear shorts when the heat index is expected to top 100 (Fahrenheit). Though I believe that is still the rule (I couldn't find anywhere where the heat-index bit was changed), they are clearly not enforcing the heat-index part of the rule. Caddies on the PGA tour wear shorts when it is much cooler than that, almost all the time now. Players must still wear long pants for competition rounds, but can wear shorts any time at all except during the actual competition (so practice rounds, pro-ams, practice on the range, etc.). As in almost any other way, the LPGA has been saner about these rules. They have allowed even the players to wear shorts for ages, and I haven't seen any reason to believe that the viewers are offended.

    Anyway, my reaction to watching the event yesterday was not in any way a reaction of surprise. My surprise is that it doesn't happen far more often. These people (mostly men, but some women) are doing a lot of physical work in a pressure situation. Heat stress is a huge risk. Luckily the caddies know this and do the best they can to prevent it. But I'm surprised we don't see other injuries occurring. I remember a caddie breaking a leg some years ago during a round. And Justin Thomas' caddie had an injury during one of the tournaments of the last 3-4 weeks and has yet to return to work. It seems these incidents are isolated, but maybe we just don't see them. The caddies can earn a pretty good living (even getting rich if "on the bag" of a top player) on the PGA tour. So there is a big financial incentive to go on.

    It is a rare sport where the ancillary personnel endure more physical hardship than the actual player. But in many ways, golf is one of them. GH

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