It's like school at Christmas
No class, I tell you. Just about to a man, PGA Tour professionals are a graceless bunch of crybabies. As I noted yesterday, they are notoriously thin-skinned, and apparently unable to grasp any golf tournament where a good performance doesn't result in a 66.
A selection of gripes:
"Seven is unplayable. The majority of the field is going to make four there which is ridiculous" - Ernie Els
"They look up at the scoreboard and they see all those little red numbers and they panic. They [the USGA] don't want 10-under to win their tournament and that's just the philosophy that they've had forever" - Jeff Maggert
"When are they [the USGA] going to grow a head? I have no idea." - Jerry Kelly
"I think they're ruining the game. They're ruining the tournament. This isn't golf. Period." - more Jerry Kelly
"I played some of the best golf of my life and I still couldn't shoot par" - Phil Mickelson
"I know you try to identify the best players. There's nothing wrong with it being hard and difficult. But just don't make it so it's out of control unfair." - Tiger Woods
Today, Golf World's Ron Sirak has a good piece on the pros' pompousness. Amazingly, I don't think the pros have any concept that, as fans, we LIKE seeing them get their asses kicked once in a while.
Maggert: you beat just about everyone in the field's brains in yesterday - what's your problem?
Lefty: par is just a number, man. If you won, would you care if your score was 295?
Mr. Kelly: anyone whose only wins are the Sony and the Western Opens, with scores in the 260s, should NOT be offering comment on the setups at majors.
Ernie: the guy you played with yesterday beat you by 9 strokes and won the tournament. Does it not register that, whether the greens are soft, hard, or marble, IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER - the point is to beat the other guys, nothing else.
And Tiger: when you won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, second place was +3. Any notion that the setup was "unfair" would have made you LAUGH OUT LOUD, partly because you shot 12-under, partly because you won by 15 shots, and partly because, you wouldn't have cared! You would have thought to yourself, "Great, all these other clowns are psyching themselves out, I'm going to go out and obliterate them." Now, you appear to have all the mental toughness of a kid quitting piano lessons. THAT is the difference with you now, not your swing.
I will be ignoring these princesses until the British Open, where I hope it's 8 degrees Celsius and blowing a damn gale.
(UPDATE 4:07PM): Pete McEntegart at SI.com says it better. Also, we should recognize amateur Spencer Levin, who managed to acknowledge the difficulty of the course without crying in his soda water - "I've never seen greens even close to that fast. That was as hard as it gets". That attitude actually sounds, ummm, professional.)