Depending on who’s doing the talking, the advent of statistical analysis in sports like baseball has been either one of the greatest developments ever or one of the worst. Regardless of your stance on the matter or whether you think a computer wrote the book Moneyball (like Joe Morgan), the newfound love of numbers has helped people look at things like sports, business, and politics in a whole new light.
(Golf = sexy.)
So it was only a matter of time before the whitests and male-est of professionals - numbers crunchers - met up with the whitest and male-est of sports, golf, to look at a good walk spoiled in a whole new light. The results are actually pretty interesting.
There aren’t many occasions where you’d have the inclination to utter the phrase “wow, that is one tough golfer,” but Erik Compton is giving us a few reasons to do just that. Compton looks like a pretty average guy, but the fact that he’s playing in the PGA’s Honda Classic this week is downright miraculous.
You see, the 29-year-old Compton is on his third heart. Yeah, third. He had his first heart transplant when he was 12. He then had a major heart attack in 2007, but was able to drive himself to the hospital. That’s right, he drove himself to the hospital after experiencing a major heart attack. After another transplant last May he’s back in the game. And while he’ll never be able to hit the ball like he used to, he wants to show the world that transplant recipients can still do the things the rest of us can.
You have to hand it to PGA golfer Ryan Moore. He may not be winning a lot of tournaments, but he’s performing with class. And, by doing so, he’s performing a lot better, too.
(No PING, no problems.)
In his fourth year on tour, Moore — the former UNLV All-American and U.S. Public Links and U.S. Amateur champion — had been heavily sponsored by Ping since starting his professional career, but decided to stop using sponsored clothing and clubs this year to help him, “go back to playing golf because I loved playing golf.” As reported in USA TODAY, the results have been mixed, with Moore improving on the course while turning heads with his choice of apparel, whether the reviews are good or bad, as you can see from the quote below:
I’ve never really been that much of a fan of the game of golf. I don’t really play too much, which is best for everybody, and the only time I generally watch it on television is during a major tournament like the Masters or U.S. Open. Of course, ever since Tiger Woods left the tour to have surgery on his knee, I haven’t watched at all.
I’m probably not the only person who has responded this way, either. Tiger is a huge draw for casual golf fans worldwide, and there’s no doubt the PGA has missed his presence on the tour when it comes to attendance at tournaments and sponsorship money. Which is why they’ll no doubt be happy to hear that Tiger’s knee is just about healed and he’s getting ready to return pretty soon.
Now that poor play has overcome Americans’ penchant for beer-gutted “everymen” who make Joe Sixpack seem athletic and cultured, John Daly will be taking his act to the European Tour. Having outlasted most of his PGA Tour performance exemptions and now relying on a dwindling few sponsor invitations in the States, Big John needs a continent where his novelty act still carries some weight.
(Will this repair our international image, or should we have sent a gift basket?)
Europeans, long known for their tolerance of boorish American slobs, will surely be dazzled by their new import. Seeing a man who can break his weight in kilograms on the links will no doubt delight Britons, Spaniards, Germans, and the like. Some factoids about Daly’s current golf game after the jump. Read more…
Tiger Woods is about six weeks into his recovery after undergoing knee surgery following his mind-boggling U.S. Open victory in mid-June. Since the operation, however, he’s basically gone underground, only surfacing to promote his PGA Tour event, the AT & T National, and yesterday, to talk to ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt.
Woods admits to being months away from returning to competitive golf, but he’s making progress; according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, he’s now able to ride a stationary bike, and although he’s physically able to putt, he says he has “absolutely no interest.”
Which is also how he feels about watching golf, too.
The LONDON INDEPENDENT has the irony of all ironies today, as Colin Montgomerie claims to the Brit publication that The Masters apparently discriminates against guys like him (see fat, pigheaded, white guys).
(Kids excited to be so close to Bill Parcells stunt double)
Because he did not meet the Masters qualifying criteria this year, Montgomerie was not issued an invite to Augusta. But three players ranked below him were, and they all have something in common. Read more…
The NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE reports today that “noted New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme was setting up his cooking tent on the practice range at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament Tuesday about 9:30 a.m. when he felt a sting in his right arm, right above his elbow.”
(That’s one way to fire up a skillet)
“Prudhomme shook his clothing, and a .22 caliber bullet fell from his shirt to the ground, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.” Read more…