Ian Poulter had fans lining up down the block for his autograph outside the Nevada Bob’s in St. Andrews, but he won’t be Mr. Popular among American Tour players after taking some shots at the state of the U.S. game in Lawrence Donegan’s article in The Guardian UK on Monday.
"The American guys who have won all the tournaments over the past few years are getting older," said the world No 8. "Phil [Mickelson] is 40 – can he do what Vijay [Singh] did in his 40s? He's strong enough; it's whether he is hungry enough, I guess. "The talent [in America] to replace them is very young and needs a bit more experience, so we have a 15-year window. The Americans have a gap and that gap is being filled by European guys right now, guys who are in their late 20s, early 30s and who are doing the job right now.
Poulter has a point about the dearth of top U.S. players in their prime. Five of the world's top 10 are from the UK., and Team Europe will almost surely be the favorites at the Ryder Cup in Wales this fall. But he’s wrong to question Mickelson’s hunger. Just ask anyone at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. A Method to his madness Waggleroom Blog’s Ryan Ballengee has the inside story behind Tiger Woods’s switch from his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport putter to the Nike Method putter. And no it wasn’t just the money, though we’re sure it helps.
The putter switch was actually first rumored at the Masters, when speculation was abundant that Woods would switch to the Method in his first event of the year. Woods did not make the switch then, clearly still confident rolling it with the Cameron on Augusta National's speedy greens.
Actually, the whispers of the shift began prior to the season – at least within the Nike Golf camp. Reps from the company were hopeful, but not quite expectant, that Woods would make the switch to the Method. Two primary reasons they gave for the switch were the success of Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover in winning '09 majors with the stick before it hit the marketplace, and slo-mo video shown to me of Woods putting with his Cameron and the Method at the Nike Golf facility in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Nike putter was drastically "hotter" than the Cameron, which comes most into play on slow to mid-pace surfaces.
Sergio Garcia takes inspiration from Spain’s World Cup win Sergio Garcia wasn’t hard to spot at St. Andrews during his practice round on Tuesday. Amid the all high-performance golf shirts and sweaters, Garcia was wearing a Spain soccer shirt as he cheerfully signed autographs and posed for pictures.
Slumping Serge has been in a dark place the last couple years as he’s fallen from second to 44th in the world. His agent recently said that Garcia might even decline a Ryder Cup invitation because of his poor form. The Telegraph UK wonders if Spain’s World Cup and his pal Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon win might help the soccer-crazed Spaniard get off the schneid.
"Winning The Open would be awesome – the icing on the cake. I'm going to do my best – I love this tournament and the crowds and I'm hoping I can get back into my form.
"The successes we have had definitely helps. You are on a high and happy for your country, but at the end of the day I have to go out there and perform myself."
Stray ShotsStuff we saw while waiting for our pint of McEwan's Tartan Ale to settle…Steve Williams calls Tiger's putting "substandard." (Via The Guardian UK)Zach Johnson, others Americans are fighting jet-lag at St. Andrews (Via The Canadian Press)
Generally positive reviews from players about the lengthened Road Hole (Via The Scotman)