Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ridiculously Late Weekend Review, Part 2: Golf

El Pato Es Campeon Del Torneo Estados Unidos

In perhaps the first recorded instance of a duck beating a tiger at anything, Angel Cabrera held off Tiger Woods to win the US Open on Sunday. Cabrera hails from Argentina and is nicknamed El Pato {the duck} because of the way that he walks.

Saludad el campeon

I have really liked Cabrera since he came to my attention several years ago at the Masters when he birdied 6 holes in a row thereby setting a record at The Masters, and he has often played well there over the years {so I suppose it if no surprise that he did so well on Oakmont's greens, which are the fastest in the world and even more sloped then those at Augusta National}. When Brain and I were at the 2002 PGA Championship in Hazeltine, we watched Cabrera at the practice range and marvelled at his game and talked about how we wouldn't be surprised to see him break through in big time tournaments. It doesn't get much more big time than the US Open, so congratulations to him. Once he took the lead on Friday I really wanted him to win, but after Saturday it looked like he was out of it, then he came back on Sunday by being the only player in the field to shoot under par {69}. He is only the 2nd Argentine to ever win a major {Roberto diVicenzo won the British Open and also "won" tied for first after regulation at the Masters in 1968 before being disqualified losing outright because he signed an incorrect scorecard} and he is also the first South American to ever win the US Open.

Fathers Day in Monterey/Carmel

For the first time since 1995 and only the 2nd since 1987, I did not watch the final round of the US Open. But this year I had good reason, as my Dad was in town and we got the opportunity to play Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Like Pebble Beach Golf Links, it is ridiculously expensive, but we were fortunate enough to basically get 1/2 price greens fees thanks to a hookup from our 3rd, a longtime friend of my dad.

Spyglass was amazing. Many people say that it is harder than Pebble, and with a rating of 75.5 and a slope of 147 from the tips it is one of the most difficult golf courses in the world {we played one up from the tips, which was 6534 yds with "only" a 73.2 rating and slope of 144}. Although it was very challenging, I would definitely say that it was fair. The first five holes are right on the ocean, then the course turns inland for the last 13 holes. It was beautiful and pristine and challenging, especially with the stout breezes coming off the ocean, but as I said it was very fair and if you play well you can definitely shoot a good score there. I hit it to 8 feet on the first hole, proceeded to miss my birdie putt, and then miss 3 more putts inside of 8 feet in the first 5 holes, and then generally went on to play like shit.

Kanu hit it to 8 feet on #1; it was mostly downhill after that.

I had one of those rounds where you cannot figure out what is fucked up with your swing all day and you really hack it around, and then on the 17th tee you figure it out and stripe it on the final two holes, and on top of that, I never could quite figure out the fast poa anna greens- I think I 3 putted 6 times and had 4 or 5 lipouts. Always frustrating, especially so when you are playing at the nicest course you have ever played in your life. At least the one time the camera was turned on me, I hit my best drive of the day and striped it out about 270 on 18.

3rd hole, Spyglass Hill

View behind 4th tee, Spyglass Hill

18th hole, Spyglass Hill

I double bogeyed 5 or the final 6 holes and limped home with an uber-shitty for me 96 {46-50} but still had a wonderful time; it was such a nice experience and day that I was too tranquilo to get upset about playing so poorly. And getting to share this with my Dad on Fathers Day was definitely special.

Worth missing the US Open for

After golf we went over to Spanish Bay and had cocktails on the patio behind the clubhouse, which overlooks 17 mile drive and the ocean, then hit up Carmel for dinner.

As clubhouse patio views go, this is up there

After dinner we went down tot he beach at Carmel By-The-Sea, which is a beautiful beach overlooking a half moon bay with the oceanside holes of Pebble Beach Golf Links to the right and Carmel Bay and Point Lobos to the left.

Looking north: Pebble Beach

Looking south: Carmel bay, Point Lobos

We were about 30 minutes before sunset, and it was a perfect scene with which to end the day: muy tranquilo for sure.

A great day all around. Belated Happy Father Day to all the dads out there, and I hope that you had a wonderful day as well, whatever you got into.


moin said...

Golf courses always have the best views. Mayhaps I should take up golf.

One slight correction, Roberto wasn't disqualified at the Masters. He signed a scorecard that mistakenly gave him a par on one of the holes instead of a birdie and he finished 1 shot behind the eventual winner. Had he signed the correct scorecard, there would have been a playoff, so there's no guarantee of him winning it either . But he still officially finished in 2nd place.

Kanu said...

Thanks for correcting me, but we were both wrong- he would have finished tied with Goalby and they would have played an 18 hole playoff the next day if he hadn't signed his incorrect scorecard; as it was his erroneous score stood and he finished 1 shot behind even though it was 1 shot more than he actually shot:

DC Trojan said...

Not a golfer myself, but well aware of the appeal of that area, as my mother played Pebble Beach (the links course, I guess) last year and thoroughly enjoyed it... as we heard more than once.

BTW, nice work representin' with the Barca polo shirt on the golf course.

Kanu said...

Well, it was the final day of the La Liga season, so I had to represent and try to work the mojo.

It worked {Nastic 1-5}, but unfortunately I didn't have a Mallorca shirt, hat, umbrella, or golf towel ;)