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picksbigwagon

observations from today's PGA

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I have never been to a professional golf event so I was like a kid in a candy store this morning. First thing I noticed was how quickly you got on the bus, arrived at the course and wallah, you were standing inside the gates wondering where do we go next.

Our first stop was to get the little tv/computer link thingy from american express. It was awesome keeping tabs of golfers and trying to find out where every one was and how they were doing. Then off to the shop for gifts. Man that place was huge, but I got a lot of Xmas shopping done. I got to see all the players I wanted to see (KJ, Anthony Kim, tiger tiger tiger).

Hunter Mahan bounced his tee shot on 10 off of the hospitality suite we were sitting in so I was less than 6 feet aqway from a a hot under the collar hunter when he clanged his second shot short and left on the 10th hole.

I loved my time out there today but I was amazed at how quiet it was out there. 30+K people out there and it was quiet, unless tiger was around, then it was loud. You kind of feel sorry for the other golfers out there. No one cares they are there, they just want to see tiger. My wife left around 1 not feeling well and as she was leaving she ran into Anthony Kim at the main score board. he gave a kid his golf glove and some autographs tosome kids. I asked her if she talked with him or got anything sigend she said no, but she let a few kids get in front of her so they could.

Hazeltine looks like an awesome place to play a round or two, so if anyone here is a memeber, I am willing and ready to play. I'll buy the beers!!!

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Great perspectives, picks. Sounds like you had an exceptional time!

As for the cheering, I always played my best golf when it was just me or me and a couple good friends, when there was no one around to yell and cheer and distract us from our search for perfection.

That's just me, and no matter what my handicap I was never more than an amateur golfer in love with the game.

I hated tournaments, because it felt like competition with other golfers pulled me away from my competition with the golf course. I so much love watching the tour on TV, and would love it even more like you got to see it in living color. Those guys are so amazing in their ability to handle all the hoopla and still shoot dead solid golf!

And I'm turning into the anti-T.W. The more he dominates, the more I want someone else to step up and skin the Tiger. I think that's partly the intense media magnifying glass. Nicklaus was dominant in his day, and I rooted for him every single time out. But today it feels like full-contact golf. I think that just means I'm getting old.

I sure envy you your time on the course among the best players in modern history, picks. Sweet hours spent! gringrin

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Steve, I was amazed with the guys lugging their cameras around (with press credentials) all day. I have no idea what the professional descriptions of them would be, but I will just call them $5000 super zooms. A couple of those guys looked like they need to get in a little bit better condition, although round is a condition I guess.

I ran into a couple of my students out there, scared the tar out of one of them. He was walking by with his dad and I just reached out and grabbed him. He jumped 5 feet in the air. At least his dad and I had a good laugh.

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Picks, cheapest of the so-called "pro" telephoto lenses out there would have been a shade under $4,000, and ranging up to about $7,500. You could buy a lot of golf clubs for that much Canon. winkwink

The kid you made jump is gonna pay you back double in the classroom later. They always find a way to do that. gringrin

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Generally speaking, golf isn't demanding in either focal length or aperture, so you can almost always get tack sharp images at the $4,000 (or less) end of the range. But folks who shoot pro golf also tend to shoot action pro hockey/baseball/football/soccer (which make serious demands on gear), so they drag that gear with them to the golf course.

If you can't run with a 12-pound lens, 2-pound camera and 30 pounds of other gear, you can't be a high-powered sports photographer. Might as well just settle for high school sports, which is like shooting toddlers! winkwinkgringrin

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I don't know about anyone else but I sure felt myself rooting more for the guy out there that was smiling, having fun and celebrating his shots.

I don't know what it was, but to me it almost seemed as if Tiger was kind of disrespecting Yang by the way he was acting.

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I think you guys have the wrong impression. Tiger is a good sport. Talks afterwards whether he wins or loses and he always has something good to say about who he was golfing with. He's competitive. He wants to win every time. Yang flat out played better. But I'd say Tiger is far from a "bad sport."

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I've never disliked either of these guys, but after watching them make their birdie putts, and then toss there balls to 2 different kids sitting under the ropes at 11, Harrington and Els are up toward the top of my list. Padraig even stopped, took a couple steps back and told the older gentleman that grabbed his ball, that he tossed it to the kid. Pretty classy by those 2.

On a side note, why do people scream, howl and get so obnoxious when Tiger makes a bad par. He misses his birdie putt badly, Vijay makes a heck of an up and down out of really thick, nasty stuff, and everyone thinks Tiger's par is the greatest ever. Vijay showed how good these guys can really be, and he got some clapping. I just don't get it.

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I think you guys have the wrong impression. Tiger is a good sport. Talks afterwards whether he wins or loses and he always has something good to say about who he was golfing with. He's competitive. He wants to win every time. Yang flat out played better. But I'd say Tiger is far from a "bad sport."

For the most part I think Tiger is a good sport. However, he does get a little bit longer leash because he is Tiger. If Anthony Kim or John Daly or Steve Stricker would react the way Tiger does sometimes with the small fits of rage and banging his clubs, people would say "Kim needs to grow up" or "Daly has to get his life in order" or "Stricker needs to be more professional." For the most part, Tiger is a phenomenal player with unbelievable expectations. He can do things that the best in world don't even attempt, but with that comes extra scrutiny sometimes and more leeway other times.

I was at the PGA yesterday. Spent the entire day in the 16th Grandstand. I can't believe how a short Par 4 can mess with the worlds best. The wind was tough out there and lots of guys were bailing out to the left of the green. Didn't see a single long putt made all day. As soon as Tiger hit is Birdie putt there, the whole grandstand knew it didn't have a chance.

The PGA was a great experience. Sure, you get to see less action at a golf event than any other sporting event, but the experience is really unexplainable. Hats of to Yang for going toe to toe with Tiger. He's the only one who has been able to track Tiger down on Sunday with a lead in a major.

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One of the things that helped Yang was he was more aggressive in his approach to difficult situations. Fortunately for him, his game was spot on yesterday. Unfortunately for Tiger, he had trouble sinking his puts again.

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I agree with Yang being more aggressive. I haven't seen the highlight yet, but on 16 yesterday he went right at the flag and ended up about 10 feet right of the flag. It was cut on the right hand side, near the water and of all the players on Sunday, I think there were maybe 4 that ended up right of the flag. He was definitely more aggressive than most of the players.

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don't take my post the wrong way, I like Tiger and think he does great things, but I hate "gamesmanship" whether it is golf or cribbage. It just rubs me the wrong way. Always has, Always will.

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