Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #26
Click play to listen to Greg’s Podcast, or read below.
You’ve heard the expression “hit it where you can hit it again.” Well I’m not sure the leading teams in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans had heard that expression. It seemed nobody wanted to win and in fact after 72 holes there was a tie at the top to be settled by a sudden death playoff. I’m not a big fan of team competition in professional golf, the Ryder Cup being an exception, but I was looking forward to a playoff that would feature a string of birdies that would necessitate 5 or 6 extra holes to determine a winner. But, the playoff was anticlimactic when Louis Oosthuizen sent his first ball on the water on the 18th, the first playoff hole. The problem is the format was foursomes, otherwise known in Missouri as alternate shot. That meant Oosthuizen’s partner, Charl Schwartzel, was hitting 3 from the tee. Spotting the Mark Leishman Cameron Smith team 2 shots. The Leishman, Smith duo played the 18th ultra safe after the splash, made things interesting by hitting the bunker on the left and hitting a 3rd shot to the fat of the green, impossible 3 putt territory. Schwartzel made a bid for par but came up just short and the team could not get up and down giving Leishman, Smith a 2 shot victory. Smith is now 3-0 in playoffs on the tour, and a 2 time winner at New Orleans.
Alternate shot is the most difficult format in golf, you don’t see many birdies and occasionally like on the back 9 at the Zurich Classic a bogey can tie or win a hole. I would propose changing the format to all best ball, where the best score on each hole counts. Scramble is the main tournament format in Missouri, but on the pro tour in that format par would no longer mean much. So I believe best ball is the way to go for this annual team event.
Well, don’t forget to practice your putting! I was able to beat a golfer half my age over the weekend by out-chipping and out-putting him, and next week I’ll tell you how I was able to go from averaging 21 putts per 9 to 13.
Hit ’em straight!