Posted March 10, 2014

So Doral’s Blue Monster Played Tough — Get Over It!

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Donald Trump surveys the damage during the difficult second round of the Cadillac Championship at his revamped Doral Blue Monster course (Getty Images).

Donald Trump surveys the damage during the difficult second round of the Cadillac Championship at his revamped Doral Blue Monster course (Getty Images).

After Friday’s second round, Tiger Woods was asked to describe Trump National Doral’s Blue Monster in one word. “Tough,” was his response. A handful of players had harsher assessments. A few of the television broadcasters were tossing out the “u” word — “unfair.” Credit goes to the game’s best competitors, however. Publicly, they were in accord with Tiger, who added that for the most part, it was fair. Personally, I’ll side with Brandt Snedeker, who remarked that the greens were probably a little too firm and fast given the conditions. Still, he wasn’t griping, he was observing. The course was hard, really hard, but fair. The way NBC/Golf Channel’s talking heads were groaning, however, made it appear that these kind of conditions had never been seen outside of majors. Poppycock.

I’m a history guy, so let’s pick a year at random. Let’s go back to 1979, 35 years ago, in the wooden wood days. Here’s a glimpse at what happened that year.

Andy Williams San Diego Open at Torrey Pines. Fuzzy Zoeller wins — by FIVE — with a six-under-par 282. Only five players broke par for 72 holes. The next week at the Bing Crosby Pro-Am, Lon Hinkle shot 77 in the final round at Pebble Beach — and won in a playoff, at four-under-par 284. Only seven golfers broke par for 72 holes. At Riviera for the Los Angeles Open, Lanny Wadkins wins at eight under. One week later, the Florida swing started at Bay Hill. Six under makes the playoff. Only five players finished better than one under for four rounds.

Have I made my point? OK, here’s more. Lanny captured the Players Championship, at five under, 283, at Sawgrass Country Club — FIVE shots clear of Tom Watson. They were the only two golfers at par or better. In a Masters tune-up, Raymond Floyd triumphed at the Greater Greensboro Open, with a six-under-par 282 total. Only five players finished in red figures. Then came the infamous Memorial event, that was admittedly plagued by rough weather. On Day 2, Tom Watson shot his legendary 69, two better than anyone else, and nine shots ahead of the day’s scoring average. Of the 105 golfers in the field, 42 failed to break 80. Watson won the event with 285, three under par, three clear of the runner-up, Miller Barber, who himself was three clear of third-place Bob Gilder. Best players in the world, two guys broke 291.

Had enough? Not yet. Lee Trevino grabbed the Canadian Open trophy, with a three-under-par 281. No one else broke par for 72 holes.  Two weeks later, Larry Nelson edged Ben Crenshaw for the Western Open title in a playoff, after both had tied at 286, two-under-par. Only four golfers total beat par; a fifth golfer, Bruce Lietzke, matched par. I counted eight other regular (non-major) Tour events in 1979 where the winner failed to reach double-digit under-par totals.

Donald Trump had to be a happy man on Friday. He likes hard golf, and his Blue Monster, aided by Mother Nature, bared its fangs and chomped down.  However, as brutally difficult as it was, it was hardly unfair — and as 1979 shows, it was hardly unprecedented.

9 comments
Serge_Storms
Serge_Storms

Tough yes but if everyone is playing the same course it's not unfair.  The paycheck is based on order of finish, not score.  It's not like the players have to pay for all those balls they hit in the water.

D14
D14

let me add...it got a little tiresome watching announcers and "reporters" kissing Donald's butt.

D14
D14

it is a slippery slope from hard to ridiculous. 129 balls in the water is ridiculous. Play should have been suspended.

kelprod1
kelprod1

Nothing unfair about it and all players played the same golf course.

Teeshot6950
Teeshot6950

There were a lot of rules that came into effect for one reason or another.  But they all come into effect because someone was crying over the way someone else was playing.  All had the same opportunity to play the same way and were playing the same golf course.  Too much wind, play it.  Ball plugged in the wet fairway, play it  Ball laying behind a rock, play it.  No one says putting has to be done on a carpet.  They didn't have mower that could cut to 1/16 of an inch 100 years ago, play it.


tommyrogo
tommyrogo

How come you don't about the only player to NOT bogey a hole on Friday?  Jonas Blixt shot 18 pars to accomplish this.  That's pretty awesome!

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

By taking an exaggerated stance the other way you become a talking head also.  I watched on Friday and the "unfair" didn't come up on many holes.  Hitting the ball in the front to middle of green and watch it slowly roll into the water does seem unfair.  

So you are one writing head disagreeing with the talking heads.  WOW!!

And in your history lesson above, you didn't mention the "one ball rule" came into effect as the golfers were using different ball upwind than downwind!

Teeshot6950
Teeshot6950

Spoiled brats, GET OVER IT !  Everyone is playing the same golf course and is subject to the same "rub of the green".  Try playing by the rules as the original game.  Don't touch the damn ball until it's in the hole.

craigvn
craigvn

Stupid article, high scores is not the problem. Unfair is when good shots are not only not rewarded, they  often end up in a lake. Unfair is when luck is a major component of scoring well.

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