Paul Casey won and nobody cares. After claiming his first victory since 2009, he went as far to say he hoped people weren’t angry at him for doing so. I’m here to say that I’m not angry Paul. (Trigger Warning) In fact, I’m almost happy you beat Tiger. Here are your highlights from the Valspar: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

The GOOD

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-HOT TAKE ALERT-

There are more than a few typo’s on OTC but what I said above is not one of them. I’m happy Tiger didn’t win the Valspar and I’m glad I waited until Monday to write this because it took me until late Sunday night to realize that. I’m one of the biggest Tiger fanboys you’ll ever meet, so why am I pleased he didn’t win? Keep reading…

Tiger Woods is the single most dominant athlete to ever live. Save all your Olympic swimming and boxing counterpoints, nobody cares. TW once made 142 consecutive cuts. The current “best players in the world” can’t even go a single season without missing a cut. Tiger missed the 17th cut of his career last month at the age of 42. Jordan Spieth has already missed 19 at the age of 24. Between 1999 and 2001, Tiger won 20 of 38 stroke play events he entered. A victory twice a month for roughly 2 years. The list of stats like this goes on and on and on.

The car crash scandal of Thanksgiving 2009 was more or less the end of the Tiger Woods era as we knew it. The fall from grace and implosion of his career was as shocking as it was abrupt. His life burned to the ground while the entire world watched. TW eventually returned and won a handful of tournaments but was never quite the same. By the time he pieced together a new life off the course, things started to fall apart on the course. His body and game were destroyed and once again, he was the responsible party. The many failed “comebacks” and visible pain he played through were tough to watch. The best player of all time stubbing chips, withdrawing from tournaments and literally on his hands in knees in agony from the back pain.

 

Like most sensible people, I didn’t have much faith that Tiger would ever win again or even play another round of competitive golf. One of the most entertaining and electrifying spectacles the sporting world has ever seen was over. I was too young to truly appreciate what Tiger was able to do in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The reality that I would never be able to genuinely witness his greatness in real time was incredibly disappointing. I spent many nights this winter watching Tiger highlights and tournament re-runs on YouTube. While I watched them I often wondered what it would be like to see Tiger win a tournament again. How would people react and feel if he ever put on another green jacket after all he (and his loyal fans) have been through? Pondering this seemed like nothing more than a wild fantasy. And then 2018 happened.

“Is Tiger back?” is a question that has been asked so many times in the last 5 years it’s become a joke. Then out of nowhere with a fused back and a new lease on life, we can legitimately say that the Big Cat is BACK. Like, very very BACK… for real this time. He performances early this year have been encouraging, but it still wasn’t realistic to think he would be in contention on the 72nd hole to win a golf tournament by early March. Which brings me to my point…

I wasn’t ready for him to win. The storybook career of Tiger Woods will never be replicated. His astounding dominance and subsequent fall from grace are only rivaled by the likes of O.J. Simpson, Pete Rose and Lance Armstrong. While people still desperately hoped that Tiger had one last trick up his sleeve, few if any people truly believed he did. The turmoil he has endured and determination he’s shown to find himself on the 72nd hole to force a playoff is super-human. It’s now clear that Tont will win again. When he does, it will rank among one of his greatest accomplishments, regardless of where it happens. Nevertheless, I want the anticipation to build just a little bit more. The Valspar was the perfect teaser for what is to come, but it wasn’t the right time. Narrowly missing a victory while flashing signs of his former self will make his first victory in this comeback all the more sweeter. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the perfect place to lift another trophy and this time I’ll be ready.

The table is set. Time for the Big Cat to eat. LFG.

 

The BAD

 

Tiger Breaks The Internet

PGA Tour Live is a streaming service for golf nuts which covers every PGA event in the morning / early afternoon hours prior to Golf Channel picking up cable broadcast. You can stream it on your phone, tablet or computer for $6/Mo or $40/Yr. It’s a great deal and you can sign up HERE.

Late Friday morning, Tiger became a PGA event Co-Leader for the first time in nearly 1,000 days. The traffic on PGA Live was probably at an all-time high before the putt dropped and once it did, the the service promptly shut down. The only people in the world who could see what Tiger was doing were those standing outside the ropes at Innisbrook. Tiger broke the internet and the internet was NOT happy.

 

Sergio Garcia: Masters Champ / Professional Painter

El Nino got a little carried away with the Valspar theme on Sunday. If the gallons of paint on the tee boxes didn’t give it away, Valspar sells paint. In case that wasn’t a good enough plug, they definitely slipped Sergio some cash Saturday night because he showed up wearing an all white painter costume on Sunday afternoon. Major rule violation. White on the top or the bottom, but never both. This isn’t Wimbledon, Serg.

(© Golffile | Dalton Hamm)

 

Valspar Trophy

I don’t know every trophy for every event on tour (future content to come on this). With that being said, the Valspar Championship is possibly the worst trophy I’ve ever seen. I don’t even need to describe why it’s so terrible, just take a look for yourself. Paul Casey is kissing a paint brush. A trophy (regardless of sponsor) should be a timeless keepsake which looks luxurious or cool in someone’s house. The Valspar trophy accomplishes none of those. It looks like a lifetime achievement award from Sherman Williams that you get when you retire. Gross.

 

The UGLY (A.K.A. Smylie’s Section)

 

Patrick Reed

Outside of devoted golf fan circles it’s not widely known that Patrick Reed wears red and black on Sunday’s as a sign of respect for Tiger. Like many people his age (myself included) he grew up idolizing Tiger. However… purposefully wearing the exact color combination as Tiger Woods when Tiger Woods is not only playing in a tournament, but contending? That’s a jail-able offense and I absolutely HATE HATE HATE it. The PGA needs to step up and ban this sort of behavior. Not only does it come off as weird and obnoxious… he looks even dumpier than he normally does when you compare the two side by side. This needs to stop immediately.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BgMgW-Nh2M6/?hl=en

 

Frownie Strikes Again

Smylie Kaufman continues his absolutely abysmal run of missed cuts and atrocious play. Shockingly, he shot a +2 on Thursday and it looked like he might actually get to play on the weekend… and then he remembered he was Smylie Kaufman and promptly delivered a laughably bad 82 (+11) to once again come in dead last. This included 6 bogeys, 1 double bogey and 2 triple bogyes. TWO. God help him because I think that’s the only chance he has left.

 

 

 

 

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