Hey all,

The crew is cruising the West Coast without me but I’ve been trying to keep in touch with a few of my buddies. Without El Tigre the tour has had to create some more excitement and they aren’t doing it on the course.

Coming down the stretch the last three weeks with a chance to win the tournament three non-winners Bubba Watson, Tim Clark, and Michael Sim all chose to lay up on par fives essentially playing for second and the money, not the win. Phil or Tiger wouldn’t have given a thought to the lay up area. Thanks for some boring golf and yesterday’s winner Ben Crane didn’t even know he won the tournament, his caddy had to tell him. Don’t know about you guys but I love that spontaneous celebration when the putt drops.

The only excitement has been off the course, kind of like what NASCAR does to draw attention to their sport. It seems like some driver is always bad mouthing another about rules infractions so the PGA Tour thought they’d try it. Scott McCarron, a member of the Tour Policy Board, publicly accused Phil of cheating, using wedges that are technically legal but not within the spirit of the game. It’s gone back and forth with the media stirring the pot almost antagonizing Phil to action. Hopefully we’ll get back to some exciting golf inside the ropes soon.

I’m not going to try to explain the groove controversy, why certain wedges are illegal and the others have been grandfathered in, because I don’t quite understand the process and implications myself. This mudslinging may alienate an already edgy golfing public who has been pounced on the last few months. The caddies I’ve talked to definitely indicate the crowds are down, the excitement isn’t there, and they don’t see it getting better soon. As much as every body hates to admit it the PGA Tour isn’t going to be the same without you know who.

This week the tour is at Riviera with the strongest field of the year and a small cramped locker room. McCarron and Mickelson share the same row of lockers, watch out for some fireworks. Remember Scott carries a long putter — hmm, didn’t players insinuate that was stretching the rules years ago — and may have to use it in self defense if Lefty gets feisty. Hopefully NASCAR won’t be that big of influence, but maybe a fight in the locker room is just what the tour needs to get the blood flowing again.

I’m heading for Florida and the Champions Tour next week for some sun, networking, and job hunting. Not much else going on but did Tweet a bit with Daly. He’s kind of lost soul, I offered my services, and he said he’d keep in touch. Many players have lost weight and had trouble regaining their form, give John time he’ll be fine.

Take care.

Mark

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