Another week of golf, another win by No. 297 in the world golf rankings. At Riviera, it was James Hahn. At PGA National, it was Padraig Harrington.
There won’t be a three-peat at Doral this week. Steve Webster of England, the new No. 297, is not in the 74-man field.
Neither is Tiger Woods. Guess which one’s absence golf writers are going to spend more time discussing in their pre-tournament stories this week? That is, when they’re not busy focusing on tournament darling Koumei Oda of Japan. (No, you’re not supposed to have heard of him.)
Moving on to the Van Cynical Mailbag:
Van Cyclical, What are the chances of Paddy Harrington winning again this year? — Leslie Lynch King via Twitter
You can’t win again until you win the first one, Lynchmob. So Paddy’s chances are looking up. Hey, the guy won three major championships. Vijay Singh kept racking up wins into his mid-40s. There’s no reason Harrington can’t win again this year. His chances of winning a second time after hitting a ball into the water on the 71st hole and making double, however, are not very good at all.
Sickle, Is the line for the media parking shuttle at the Honda Classic below 100 people yet? And are they all sober? — Darren Carroll via Twitter
Turns out it was way faster to hoof it the mile and a half from the parking lot to the PGA National clubhouse than it was to wait in line for the so-called media shuttle, Ansel. I don’t know who was in charge of choreographing the clubhouse traffic patterns at the Honda Classic last week, but I’m guessing it was the same person who came up with the idea for Left Turn On Red. What a cluster-flub.
Van IceSickle, What are the odds of a tour player rinsing five balls in a final round, including a triple bogey and two doubles, yet finishing one out of a playoff? — Ken Reiners via Twitter
Sounds like an ordinary day at the office for Phil Mickelson, Reindeer. I think Lefty may have to sue Ian Poulter for trademark infringement.
Van Cynically, Why doesn’t the PGA Tour follow the NFL, MLB and NBA and announce fines and suspensions? Why fear transparency? — Mr. Fairway via Twitter
Transparency is what led to the death of the Invisible Man. True story. You preach to the choir, Fairlawn. The tour doesn’t want to tarnish what it perceives as its perfectly shiny image. The one place it should announce fines, though, is in the slow play department. Publicity is the one thing that might actually speed up some of the tour’s repeat offender turtles. Hell, I’d run the slow-play fine standings on a weekly basis if they’d let me. People would love to see those.
Cynic Man, Will The Donald rename the Blue Monster’s closing holes at Doral the Trump Trap? — Paul R. Wilkinson via Twitter
No but here are the official nominees for Doral closing-stretch nicknames (Please cast only one ballot): Donny’s Den; TrumpTastic; The Don of Iniquity; The Spanish Inquisition; Ivanka’s Back Porch of Doom; Trumplestiltskin; Comb-over Coffin Corner; and the Trumpettes of Terror. He also wants to call them Trumpducks instead of Dump Trucks, patent pending.
Van Simulator, Why are the announcers who call the Euro Tour so much better than those calling PGA Tour events? — Lionel Mandrake via Twitter
It’s the accents, old chap. They’re jolly good. Now be a good fellow and pass the crumpets.