Tags: Vijay | Singh | Tiger

Golf Talk: Singh's Not Popular, Tiger Upsets Greenies

Friday, 05 Sep 2008 02:56 PM

By Anthony Pioppi

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  • Fans Root Against Singh

  • The Ryder Cup Runneth Overboard

  • Tiger Raising Ire of Bahamians

  • Mediate Not Chosen for Ryder Cup

  • Sluman Gets His Revenge


    Fans Root Against Singh

    Vijay Singh captured the second leg of the FedEx Cup, the Deutsche Bank Championship, at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., but he was not the fan favorite, according to Dan Shaughnessy writing in the Boston Globe.

    Even tournament officials would have preferred Ernie Els, Mike Weir, or Sergio Garcia to raise the trophy.

    "What is it about this guy? Singh is a tremendous player. He's the ultimate rags-to-riches story . . . He's one of only two players to displace Tiger at the top of the rankings since 1997. He's in the World Golf Hall of Fame, and in 2008, he's hotter than the Jonas Brothers. But golf fans root against him," Shaughnessy wrote.

    Shaughnessy describes Vijay as being "the fly in the punch bowl at the wedding reception."

    He says, "Vijay's victories are embraced the way Patriots wins are celebrated by football fans who don't live in New England. He's earned his reputation as Mr. Uncongeniality of the PGA beauty pageant."

    Shaughnessy recalls that, "Vijay is the one who ripped Annika Sorenstam when she played against men in 2003. He's the one who got into a dust-up with Mickelson over the length of Phil's spikes at the Masters. He's the one who was accused of cheating [a charge never proven] a couple of decades ago."

    He's the one who doesn't care much to interact with the gallery, which might explain why Shaughnessy says Vijay's never going to be a fan favorite.

    The Ryder Cup Runneth Overboard

    James Lawton, writing in The Independent, says the Ryder Cup has lost the intent of its founders, that of being a camaraderie-building event, not a blood-thirsty war that pits the United States against Europe.

    "The fear here, certainly, is that the current acrid build up to the contest in Valhalla, Kentucky, later this month is confirming one concern that was hard to shake in the euphoria that engulfed County Kildare [in 2006]," wrote Lawton.

    "It is that the Ryder Cup and its participants are beginning to take themselves far too seriously, and that something intended as a pleasant diversion, a meandering, agreeable walk among the flowers, and the reflections urged upon all pros by the great Walter Hagen, has been inflated out of all proportion to its true value in a game that will always be the ultimate test of individual, and not collective, nerve and skill. The new and debilitating element is a much wider and deeper level of rancor."

    Lawton blames European captain Nick Faldo for the bad blood.

    "Faldo — let's face it — has proved himself perfectly capable of causing dissension at a vicarage bun fight. But put him in charge of fellow golfers who, until the breakout of [Padraig] Harrington, so clearly belonged on a different, lesser planet and the capacity for friction, was as it has proved, almost boundless."

    Tiger Raising Ire of Bahamians

    A golf development project in the Bahamas that has Tiger Woods' name on it is being accused of disregarding negative effects that the dredging of proposed marina channel will have on the environment and a popular public beach.

    The Albany Bahamas development is a joint venture that includes British billionaire Joe Lewis, pro golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, the U.S.-based Tavistock Group, and Park Ridge Securities.

    According to the Bahamas-based reEarth.org, "Concerned members of the public have requested that the Bahamas government immediately stop the dredging on the beach. Local environmental groups have sent an appeal out to Tiger Woods urging him to stop the destruction of the beach and freshwater table, however, to date Woods has not replied."

    In a piece for reEarth.org, entitled, "Money, greed and Tiger Woods," Pierre Dupuch, the former minister of Agriculture and former minister of Consumer Welfare and Aviation for the Bahamas wrote, "There has been so much secrecy surrounding this project. Earl Deveaux, the minister of the Environment, the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, and the Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool Wallace are allowing the Tiger Woods developers to cut through our beach for mega yachts and block Bahamians from enjoying their own beaches."

    Mediate Not Chosen for Ryder Cup

    A fan favorite only made more popular by his unlikely second-place finish in this year’s U.S. Open, Rocco Mediate was thought by many to be a sure thing for one of Paul Azinger’s four captain's picks for this year’s Ryder Cup. He was not, and Mediate was not happy.

    Azinger notified all his four picks by phone, and Rocco was the only non-selection he called. But it wasn't the call he expected.

    “All he said was, ‘Roc, I didn't pick you.’ He didn't give a reason,” Mediate told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I'm extremely sad and extremely disappointed.”

    Azinger’s choices were Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, J.B. Holmes, and Chad Campbell.

    “I would like to say, there's a lot of players I could have picked that I didn't pick,” Azinger said.

    “I don't want to try to justify for anybody really why I didn't pick the guys that I didn't pick. There are a lot of guys who are really deserving to be on the team, and I have some really good friends who I would have liked to have picked that I didn't pick.”

    Mediate, who was 15th in Ryder Cup point standings, was baffled at his exclusion. “Without a doubt, this is some of the best golf I've played, the best run of golf I've ever had,” he said, adding, “Everything that I accomplished at the U.S. Open was overlooked, and that's very disappointing. It didn't matter what I did there.”

    Sluman Gets His Revenge

    Jeff Sluman holds the distinction of finishing second in a golf tournament twice in the same year on the same course.

    In 1992, he lost in a playoff to Mark O’Meara in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Then two months later, he was the bridesmaid again as Tom Kite won the U.S. Open at Pebble.

    Sluman exacted some revenge recently by capturing the Champions Tour’s First Tee Open where the second and third rounds were played over the Pebble Beach layout. The first round was held at Del Monte. Sluman bested Fuzzy Zoeller and Craig Stadler by five strokes.

    “I'm just happy I've finally been playing the golf I'd hoped to play coming out here,” Sluman said. “I'd been struggling, as you know. But I've worked hard, and I'm glad to finally feel comfortable out here.”

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