Monthly Archives: August 2015

PGA Championship 2015

The major golf tournaments have been really exciting this year. Although as with most sporting events on TV I only watch bits and pieces of the game or match here and there and hopefully catch the end if it seems exciting. Who has the time to watch four days of golf? I would rather be out playing golf or another sport or getting work done or work in the garden, whatever.

Day’s Day

In any case, Jason Day played lights out. He was just unstoppable and set an all-time record for the lowest score in any major throughout  history with a 20 under par. What a way to win your first major! He has been so close so many times and has been so frustrated.

On the last tee, he closed his eyes to visualize the shot. It is something he does fairly regularly to help him visualize what he is going to do. I can understand this because I often close my eyes to be able to concentrate better on the music when I am at a symphony concert. (No, I am not sleeping.) He hit it 308 yards and then finished it off ending the day with a 67. Over the four days he hit 68, 67, 66, 66. How is that for consistency.

He has been making strong efforts throughout this year. He could barely stand for part of the US Open due to headache induced vertigo. He fought through it and managed to finish. Then, he came so close in the British Open. He left the final putt short (so in actuality it was the next to last putt) and missed a playoff by 1 shot. He was not a happy camper and practiced even harder. In the PGA championship he was just in a zone the entire time and unstoppable.

DJ Dusted Again

Once again Dustin Johnson was in the thick of things but once again he couldn’t hold on, ending in a 3 way tie for seventh place.

Spieth the New Tiger?

But perhaps the most amazing player of the year has been Jordan Spieth. He won the Masters and then won the US Open. Then in the British Open, he was in it until the very end. Despite bogeying different holes, he kept coming back with birdies. Unfortunately he mishit his tee shot on the last hole and got a 4 when he needed a three to make the playoffs. His playing partner Louis Oosthuizen did manage to make a 3 and made the playoffs, only to lose by 1 to Zach Johnson.

So Spieth wins the first two majors of the year, then misses the playoff by one shot at the British Open and then is close all the way through the PGA Championship, finishing second. That seems like a pretty dominant year and we would be surprised not to see a lot more of Spieth in the future.

Phelps Regains Dominance

Michael Phelps is back! Phelps went through a rough stretch. He seemed to have lost focus and was no longer dominant as a swimmer. He had retired and came back and then retired and came back again, but without the same drive that took him to such heights originally.

Punishment

He also collected two DWIs or DUIs (whichever you prefer). The last one was this past fall and the powers that be in the swimming world decided he needed to learn a lesson and banned him from major competitions for 6 months. We wonder how many other swimmers who have had similar problems have met similar punishment? It is most likely part of what comes along with being famous and very visible.

Rehab Seems to Have Worked

However, Phelps may end up thanking them. He went to rehab and he seems to have come out focussed and with a passion for swimming again. He has been training like he did in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics and hasn’t done since. However, that training hadn’t been translating into performance in the swim meets he was allowed to take part in. Either his turns were off or something else would go a bit wrong.

But it was also because he wasn’t tapering and was probably tired at some of these meets. Tapering is when you shorten your practices and ease up some as you approach a meet. This allows your body to recover and you have more energy for the meet.

Sending a Long Distance Message

So they just had the World Swimming Championships in Russia. At the same time they had the US National Championships in San Antonio. Normally this would have our top swimmers but this year it was like the JV team because the top swimmers were all in Russia. Except for Michael Phelps because of the ban. But, they felt his presence all the way from San Antonio. On the women’s side, Katie Ledecky was in Russia and she made quite a statement as well. She won five golds from 200m to 1500m which is unheard of to win at such different distances.

There are three events that Phelps is likely to swim in the Olympics, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 200m IM. In all three Phelps put up the best time in the world this year. First he swam the 200m butterfly in his best time since 2009 and faster than the gold medal winner at the world championships in Russia who had won the event earlier that day.

In Your Face

Then there was the 100m butterfly. Chad le Clos won this event at the world championships in a very fast time and then mouthed off, saying Phelps could keep quiet because le Clos’ time was faster than anything Phelps had swum in the last 4 years. le Clos had also been a surprise winner over Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 Olympics. Wrong move. Don’t taunt Phelps. A few hours later, Phelps put up a faster time than le Clos.

To make it a trifecta, after the 200m IM was swum in Russia, Phelps went out and beat that time as well. Not only were the wins impressive, but so was the rest of the factors that go into leading up to a win. You can’t swim multiple events and go all out every time because there is a lot of swimming over the swim meet. You don’t just swim in the finals. You have to swim in preliminary heats in order to get to the finals and you have to do that in all the events you are swimming in. So you can’t expend all your energy in the preliminaries but you still have to swim fast enough to get to the finals. For the first time in a long time Phelps managed all these aspects very well.

The swimming events in the upcoming Olympics is starting to look very interesting.

 

Amateurs

What do 1090 AM radio, Baltimore Used Appliances, and Pat’s Pub have to do with sports? We usually talk about the major sports and major sports teams, but what about going down past the minor leagues, past college, past high school to when we were really young, to elementary school.

We had different local businesses sponsoring our local little league baseball teams. The team I played on was the 1090s, sponsored by 1090 AM radio station which broadcast all the Orioles games and probably the Colts games as well. Continue reading Amateurs