Hello. Welcome to another edition of Dialled In, where once again Monday morning is taking its toll on us after another late night of watching sporting drama of the highest quality.
I was lucky enough to live in Philadelphia for a year or so back in 2007, so I know what that Super Bowl win will mean to the city and its sports fans on the whole.
But I’m not here to talk about the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots – you’ll find my thoughts on that over at National Club American Footballer – I’m all about another event that involves hundreds of thousands of drunken sports fans packed into a stadium to cheer/hurl abuse at the favourite/least favourite players: the Phoenix Open. (Still bizarrely sponsored by Waste Management rather than, say, Coors.)
How many people have said to you down the years: “Oh, it’s the tournament with the stadium hole?” I’ve lost count. If something is bringing in viewers and more golf fans – however casual – then that must be something that is replicated around the world. I’ve always said that. I’ve had meetings where I’ve said it.
How about a stadium round Augusta’s par-3 12th? Or extending the Old Course Hotel round the entire 17th hole?
Before you all start angrily heading for the comments section, that wasn’t entirely serious. But more tour courses should certainly start looking into how much it’ll cost.
Incidentally, if I was going to attend a tour event in the US outside the majors, then this would be the one. But then I see things like this…
…and worry that I’d just spend the week being annoyed at, well, people.
Onto the golf itself and is anyone else starting to think Rickie Fowler just doesn’t have the mental fortitude to get it done at the majors?
A few weeks back we discussed in Alternate Shot whether or not this was going to be his year to break his major duck. Now I’m wondering if any year will.
Five years ago I put a small amount of money on Fowler winning at least four majors by the time he was 30. Now, he reaches that milestone in December, so it is technically still an achievable feat. But will he win even one? The bookies are not getting any more of my hard-earned on that front.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Fowler. I want to be his mate and I want to see him lifting trophies regularly – particularly the big four – but his record of getting over the line is a real concern.
This will be the 6th 54-hole lead/co-lead of Rickie Fowler's PGA Tour career. He has won 1 of his previous 5 attempts.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) February 3, 2018
Make that one in six, as Fowler’s final-round 73 at Scottsdale dropped him back to a tie for 11th, six shots behind the pair that tied for 1st, Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie.
It’s nice to have the backing of my colleagues on such subjects…
I talked myself into backing Rickie Fowler in Phoenix, despite the obvious concerns over his Sunday shows. I think this is a mind thing for him now and I may have to steer clear for a while.
— Steve Carroll (@SteveCarrollNCG) February 5, 2018
It’s hard to believe that won’t affect him going forward. If that’s a mental block he can’t shift, are we going to see him start changing his tactics on a Saturday to be more conservative?
And his best mates picking off all the top titles, including majors, it can only add even more pressure.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of Fowler, probably best you don’t search his name on Twitter this morning.
Not many players shank it as much as Ian Poulter. It’s part of the reason we love him, in a way. But…
Out of all the places to hit a shank, 16 at Waste Management might be the worst. pic.twitter.com/XNmLG4QVAw
— Skratch (@Skratch) February 3, 2018
Never a truer word tweeted.
Question: How do you turn an eagle putt into a bogey?
Answer: When you roll the ball off the green and into the water.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 1, 2018
We’ve all been there. Right? Oh.
Now was that more or less frustrating for Ollie Schniederjans than having to spell out his name every time he phones his bank?
In the same way I can’t go the week running up to The Masters without watching that Tiger Woods chip from ’05 on repeat, I’ve spent the last four years watching Phil Mickelson’s almost-59 at the Phoenix over and over…
Five years ago today, Phil shot 59.5 at the Phoenix Open and Bones just could not handle it. pic.twitter.com/ICTT3ZsK9x
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) February 1, 2018
This is such a great angle of it too. There are so many people you can watch it a hundred times and see something new every time.
Over in Malaysia it was another cracking win for Shubhankar Sharma at the Maybank Championship, but it was Eddie Pepperell, as usual, dishing out the best advice…
Dear @galvingreen, unfortunately Gavin Green signed for Adidas at some point. But please, don’t miss the opportunity to sign the Malaysian Amateur Galven Green when he turns pro. Give him what he needs.
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) February 2, 2018
That’s enough from me. I hope you enjoyed this week’s Dialled In. Goodbye.