Friday, September 10, 2010

SI's Farrell Evans live blogged the second round of the BMW Championship. Leaderboard | Photos | Course Profile | TV Schedule 6:00: So long until perhaps the Tour championship.  You'll see me here for the Ryder Cup, where you can get  play-by-play from Wales. This weekend could be the crowning of Kuchar as the star that we all thought he would be when he won the US Am in 97. Don't be surprised to see Tiger in the middle of his swing change struggle on the weekend. Take care and putt everything out.
5:52: Charley Hoffman just made a double bogey at the 18th to finish a 6 over 77 for the day. He's playing with Kuchar who toughed it out for a 1 over 72 to finish in a tie for the lead at 6 under with Wi. Kuchar might be the best player in the world right now. Remember I'm the guy who believes that the best player in the world changes every week.
5:43: Retief Goosen has been in 11 greenside bunkers in two days of golf at Cog Hill. Amazing. 
5:40: Reader Mike Z has a nice scenario: 
"I'd argue that if Kuchar wins this week, and Stricker wins next week, Stricker would be Player of the Year. Assuming he stays in the top five, a win next week would give Strick the FedEx cup. Three wins, the FedEx cup, and a very consistent year (except for the slow spot when he was injured) would be very hard to overlook."
5:31: This from Paul Azinger on Cog Hill: "They ruined another good course."  Zinger is talking about Rees Jones, who got the charge to revamp the course in 2008. Most notably Jones made the green complexes more difficult, the bunkers deeper, and more tee boxes to allow a wider range of setups.  
5:25: Cink should take the difficulty of Cog Hill in stride. The players have been feasting on easy courses all year. I don't know what bothers him most about the course. It's a heavily bunkered course. I don't know when I've seen so many guys hitting bunker shots around the greens. 

5:19: Stewart Cink just tweeted this about Cog Hill: "It's too hard for the average player. And anybody good enough to play it knows what a wreck it is."  This is probably news to Kuchar who just made another birdie to take the outright lead at 7 under--his fourth birdie in his last seven holes.
5:11: If Kuchar wins this week I think he is the favorite to win player of the year. I don't know who else could lay claim to it based on the stats. Dustin Johnson has a compelling case but he has not been as consistent as Kuchar by a very wide margin.
5:05: Matt Kuchar is having the season of his career and the luck you need to have his kind of year. At the par 5 15th he hit his hybrid into the greenside bunker, but it had enough juice to jump onto the green. He made a routing to two-putt to get into a tie for the lead at 6 under.
4:56: Marc Leishman is in the clubhouse at 5 under after a six  under 65 today.
4:53: If Spiccoli played golf he might have looked like Charley Hoffman. It's not that Charley looks like Sean Penn. He certainly doesn't, but there is something about the hair that reminds me of the character from Fast Times.....
4:44: It's fun seeing tour pros hit hybrids into long par 3s. Both Hoffman and Kuchar missed the green with hybrids at the 14th. It's true that hybrids are easier to hit than long irons, but it's harder to control flight and distance with them. Yet I have a bag full of them. Still it's almost orgasmic to hit a purely struck 1 or  2-iron. Few players know that almost surreal feeling nowadays.
4:37: Kuchar is walking dead but staying at the top of the leader board. He made a lengthy birdie putt at 13 to get to 5 under and one back of the leader. It's really slow on the golf course right now. There are lots of long par putts being made. It seems unfair to TV watchers and folks straggling along on the course after Kuchar and Hoffman to have both Phil and Tiger playing at the same time. Most telecast guarantee that you'll get to see at least one of the stars in the TV window. It's nothing against the guys playing but it would be nice to see Tiger or Phil on the course.
4:29: I was chatting with Arnold Palmer the other day and I hope that at 80 years old my memory is still that good for both old and new details. I mean the guy can remember the wind direction from Amen Corner at the 1963 Masters. It's amazing. 
4:23: Kuchar just made a bomb at the 12th to get to stay at 4 under. He's limping around the course with flu symptoms. 
4:13: Marc Leishman is at 3 under. Before the Fedex Cup last year I don't think anyone had ever heard of him. He tied for second here last year to get to the Tour Championship.
4:10: Luke Donald just hit it stiff at the par 3 12th. He's practically playing in his hometown—he lives in Evanston where he went to college. To me he's an American player. It's hard to think of a guy that lives in the Midwest as an international player. He's now at 5 under and a shot back of the leader.
4:07: The FedEx Cup is sexy for its star power but I'm looking forward to the Fall Series, where the working class of the tour fight to make the Top 125. 
3:57: No one is tearing it up today. Six-under might survive as the lead. Phil and Tiger don't figure to play much of a role this week. Maybe it's Charlie Wi's turn. He's got a habit of getting on the leadboard and somehow bowing out before it's done. He's a big stack and tilt guy. I'm not sure his swing is what Tiger is going for. 
3:47: Ryan Moore, who wore a tie yesterday, has a hoodie on today with a tie. I don't think I've ever seen that combination. It works for him. He's 4 under par and in 58th on the FedEX points list he needs to have a big week.
3:45: Kuchar made a birdie at the 9th to get back to 4 under and two back of Wi--stopping the bleeding.
3:41: In case you're wondering the boys are trying to play their way into the Tour championship, which is a great money bag for the fortunate 30 who make it for the no-cut field at East Lake in Atlanta. Forty guys won't make it out of Chicago.
3:38: Dustin Johnson, who is 3 under for the tournament and even par for the day, is a good candidate for player of the year, despite his gaffes at the U.S. OPen and the PGA. Who has been more exciting or interesting to watch. Maybe there should be an award for the most exciting player of the year.
3:35: Reader Kevin Barton just reminded me that Goosen won at Innisbrook last year. Sorry for the omission but the tour is turning into a handful of events that people care about and the rest are designed to help players get into those handful of top events.
3:30: Charlie Hoffman just made a birdie at the 8th to get to 1 over par. He should have been picked just off the basis of how well he's played over the last month and a half or so. He beat a great field last week to go with a fourth seventh, and a 10th place finish in his last six events.
3:26: The conditions are a lot tougher than they were yesterday at Cog Hill. It's windy and scores are up. Through the years I've played Cog HIll a number of times and it's arguably the best public facility in the championship golf that the players see every year. It's a more realistic course than Bethpage, which is too hard. The Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill has a better finishing hole (par 4 480-yards) than the one at Bethpage, where Lucas Glover was able to hit 6-iron, 8-iron to finish off the Open last year in pretty boring fashion.
3:19: Paul Casey had a solid round today of 69. He's probably licking his wounds after being left off the Ryder Cup team. At 4-under with him is Ian Poulter who did make the team.
3:12: Rickie Fowler. He's obviously the surprise pick of the Ryder Cup. He's four over for the day. I guess we shouldn't be mad at a guy for being picked. What was he supposed to do—Decline the invitation? I hope he's not putting too much pressure on himself to play good this week.
3:07: Retief Goosen is one back at 5 under, playing the 16th hole. The South African always looks smooth and under control, but I can't remember the last time he won a golf tournament.
3:05: First round leader, Matt Kuchar, is going backwards. He's four over through six holes. Apparently he's sick. Charlie Wi had a 69 today and he's in the lead at 6 under par. 
3:00:  Welcome to the second round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in Chicago. Tiger is off the golf course after shooting a 1 over 72 for a two-day total of 3 over, which forces him to play well on the weekend he wants to play in the Tour Championship in two weeks.

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