Knee Jerks – Double Dose

Dubai

Dubai wrap – As the father of two children under the age of five, I often find myself watching European Tour events on weekend mornings. As exciting as Stephen Gallacher is as a golfer and a person (ahem) , I have a few other takeaways from the Dubai Desert Classic:

  • The youth movement in Europe was on full display on Sunday.  Emiliano Grillo, a 21 y/o Argentine holed out a 40 footer for eagle on 18 to take post a -15 and take a lead to the clubhouse. Gallacher birdied 16 and 17 to take the lead back, but that putt was clutch.
  • Had I walked into a Vegas casino I Friday I probably would have laid whatever disposable income I had on Rory winning one (if not multiple) majors this year, but after watching the last three rounds I think I’ll hold onto my cash….for now.  Maybe it was a stomach virus, maybe he’s not all the way back, either way, the game is better with him in contention.
  • Brooks Koepka, 23 y/o from the US, made some noise this week and finished the tourney strong with a T3.  The long ball hitter and fellow American Peter Ueihlen are making headlines (see Golf Channel) by competing in Europe rather than in the states despite the fact that they have all the talent to do so.  The rationale is that they are being exposed to more elements, terrain, etc, and this will better prepare them for the Majors as well as the PGA Tour when they choose to join.  Does anyone believe this is anything more than an elaborate plan to travel the world?
  • Did anyone know that the European Tour paid so “poorly” compared to the PGA Tour?  If I asked you what the winner of the Dubai Classic won this week as compared to the Waste Management Open what would you have said? $ 750K, $900K?  Nope, $400  That’s half of what “Walrus Jr” took home at a middling event in Phoenix, AR this weekend. I’m not sniffing my nose at $400K, but I never appreciated the difference in payouts between the two tours.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

  • Is it possible to get the shit end of the stick genetically but also hit the lottery at the same time?  Ask Kevin Stadler.  I don’t think I need to go into any further detail.
  • Bubba simply needs to be better.  It’s one thing to be out of contention and go quietly into the night, but he absolutely needs to win that tournament.  Nobody near him made a move on Sunday and it was there for the taking.  If he’s not going to finish that off, I’m not sure his winless streak (hasn’t won sine the 2012 Masters) ends any time soon.
  • Last week we featured Graham DeLaet and this week he did not disappoint. There were a few tense moments on Fridayafternoon where I wasn’t sure he would make the cut, but he battled back all weekend and finished T2.  Very impressed.
  • I was impressed with Phil this weekend, he clearly wasn’t 100% but went out of his way to say his back wasn’t an issue. Maybe it wasn’t, but he didn’t play great and had a built in excuse, but chose to take the high road, which I respect.  At this point I think it takes a little more to get Phil’s blood boiling, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be ready to go at Augusta in April and Pinehurst in June.

CHRIS

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