Tag Archives: PGA

Weekly Nickel 8-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Dustin Johnson (pictured above) hopes to repeat as champion of The Barclays this weekend.

By Josh Kramer

In terms of preseason football, this week is as real as it gets.  Roger Federer continues to cruise as we gear up for the US Open, while Venus Williams continues to demonstrate some amazing fight.  The dog days of August baseball lead into September meaning manager firings, call ups of hot-shot prospects, and heated pennant races.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be entertaining in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Start your engines folks as we head to Bristol.  After an exciting Sunday on the track at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR heads to Bristol for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol.  The Chase is right around the corner with just three races remaining before the real party gets started at the Geico 400 on September 16th.

4.  In the golfing world, The Barclays will be the name of the game come Thursday.  After a fun event in Greensboro, the PGA Tour heads to Farmingdale, New York for the The Barclays.  After skipping out on the Wyndham Championship, Dustin Johnson will look to become the first back to back winner at The Barclays since Ernie Els accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1997. Continue reading

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Who You Should Want to Win on the PGA Tour

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Despite not playing this weekend at the Masters, golf expert Peter Schmidt says Dustin Johnson (pictured above) is a definite player to keep an eye on during 2012.

By Peter Schmidt

It is common golf etiquette that one player never roots against or jeers on another player. In a game that prides itself on its gentlemanly nature, a sign of negative disapproval is seen as a lack of integrity and honor. It is because of this that golfers shake hands, tell each other “nice shot” even while competing against one another, and wait their turn politely.

However, this is 2012. We, as a race, love to pick sides and cheer for and against our favorite teams and athletes. Sometimes this can be difficult with the PGA Tour because there are always so many fresh faces and it is so difficult to differentiate many of the players. In order to remedy this situation, I would like to present you with who you should and shouldn’t be cheering for this year at the Masters and for the remainder of the PGA season. I left out some of the more obvious players like Tiger, Phil, and Rory because I am sure even the casual golf fan has developed an opinion on these guys. I will split it up into three categories to help you pick which type of player is right for you: The John Daly’s, The Rocco Mediate’s, and the Payne Stewart’s.

The John Daly’s

These are the kind of guys who play the sport with reckless disregard. They are so villainous that they may have an alcoholic drink named after them someday. They are out to earn championships and will cut throats to do so. If you are looking for the bad guys, here they are.

Dustin Johnson. The towering power hitter just does not care what you think about him. He tees it up and is hoping to hurt the ball. He has had a few encounters with greatness (2010 US Open where he choked, 2010 PGA where he cheated, and 2011 British Open), but has yet to reach the pinnacle of his golfing career. He is the gunslinger out to cash checks. He oozes arrogance and although he is not playing at the Masters this weekend, he will surely have an impact on the tour. Plus, he is sponsored by Taylor Made’s Rocket Ballz, which just sounds devious (or childish). Continue reading

American golf in the woods?

Photo courtesy of currentlyhot.com.

By Josh Kramer

Tiger Woods has been in the “woods” for nearly three years now.  The once most iconic figure in all of sports (yes a golfer) has hit rock bottom.  Today, arguably the greatest golfer of all time finished off the 2nd round at a +10 clip and missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods is now 35 and does not look to be close to regaining his old form.  Could the days of the dominant Tiger we once knew be over?

We all are more than aware that American tennis has struggled for a good five plus years now following the retirements of Sampras and Agassi.  Well now, the other lifelong sport, which is typically dominated by American players, is not looking so great.

Americans are in the midst of their longest drought at the majors (6 without a title).  Luckily for golf, there are four Americans ranked in the world top ten at the moment.  In addition, Tiger could play the worst round in the history of golf, and he would still get more attention than the leader on that particular day.  Tiger is as close as any athlete has ever come to being bigger than the game itself  (Brett Favre and LeBron James should take notes).  In tennis, there is just one American cracking the top ten.

The top of the leaderboard is littered with American hopefuls.  Eight of the top ten at the end of Round 2 are Americans.

Will an American come out victorious come Sunday?  Or has American golf gone into the “woods” with Tiger Woods?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

How could Steve Williams be surprised?

Photo courtesy of the orlandosentinel.com

By Josh Kramer

The biggest news in the golfing world since Darren Clarke’s triumph at Royal St. Georges pertains to none other than golf’s biggest star Tiger Woods.  It is refreshing to see that things are somewhat back to normal.  I was getting a little tired of hearing about golf without hearing about Tiger Woods.  There is a reason why the “Golf” page on ESPN.com has a “Tiger Tracker” section.

When the casual golf fan thinks about the life-long sport, Tiger Woods is still the first name that comes to mind these days despite all of his recent troubles.  Well lately, all the attention has been focused on the “young” version of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, and others.  Golf misses Tiger just as much as Tiger probably misses golf (or at least winning).  So what if the guy has not won a Major since he put on the gutsiest effort the majority of the world has ever seen on a golf course, winning the 2008 US Open on basically one leg.  The guy has not won a PGA tournament since 2009.  But any Tiger news, whether it is on or off the course, always captures the attention of not only the golfing world, but the entire sporting world. Continue reading

Stars younger than I

Photo courtesy of golf.com. Rory McIlroy (pictured above) is one of the young stars making major headlines in the sporting world.

By Grant Freking

In lieu of Father’s Day I thought I might come up with an interesting list of the best players in each sport. That is the best players in a sport that I am older than. That doesn’t make me their dad, but it does make me feel old. It also means I can refer to them as “kid” or “young fella.”

Baseball

Jason Heyward

The right-fielder for the Atlanta Braves is off to a slow start this season but he’s also been injury riddled to begin 2011. However, Heyward did finish second in the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Voting behind San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. Make no mistake about it, this 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound athletic freak is the future of the Atlanta organization. Continue reading

“If You Were a Professional Athlete”

Newly acquired Phillie's ace, Cliff Lee (pictured above), has helped demonstrate to me why the MLB would be the best professional sport to participated in.

Recently, I was involved in a discussion with some of  my fellow sports fanatics regarding professional sports, and which would be the best one to play.  Now obviously, none of us have a shot of being a professional athlete.  Those days are long gone.  But every guy can dream a little right?

So the discussion, which rapidly got very heated centered around the topic of, “If you were a professional athlete, which sport would you want it to be and why.”  Oddly enough, we all had differing opinions.  Is there no ideal professional sport to play?  Or is there..

The following is a G Rated version of the main points brought up in our recent discussion and my ultimate list in order of preference.

5. Professional soccer was immediately thrown out.  Does anybody really want to play in the MLS?  Sure, soccer is the world’s most popular sport.  But this is the United States my friends.  Soccer has been the next big thing for 30+ years now it seems.  Will it ever become the “current” big thing?  Plenty of players in the MLS make just $40,000 a year.  Then you have your Landon Donovan’s, who make a little over $2 million a year.  In actuality though, the League minimum is $33,000 a year.  The League average salary is $138,000.  Also, take note that this number is highly distorted due to players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry making far more than the rest of the League.  On average, players on the practice squads for NFL football teams make over $80,000 a year.  Next..

4.  A few of the guys in the room said golf.  They had no real tangible reason other than you get to travel the world and staying in peak shape is not essential.  Typical response of a lazy couch potato right? But I think my friends failed to realize a key factor on the PGA Tour.  There is no League minimum.  There is no minimum salary.  So if you sustain a major injury or a major funk, you could come out making piss poor money.  Maybe you get to travel the world, but on whose penny?

3. Then there was talk about the most popular League in American sports, the NFL.  The NFL looks great.  Who does not love to sit down on Sundays and watch the NFL?  And in this game, you only play one game a week.  This is where the numbers start getting better.  The League minimum for a rookie is $285,000.  For a second year player, it is $360,000.  By your 5th year, it is $595,000.  But I also realize that the average NFL career is only 3 years for a reason.  Guys like Ray Lewis, James Harrison, and Brian Urlacher are mainstays in this League.  Fear of injury and a lack of guarantees would sway my vote away from the NFL.  But if you remain healthy, the money is very good.

2.  Then you got the NBA.  As a rookie, the League minimum is right around $470,000 (wow).  By year 2, it has already skyrocketed to around $760,000.  Sorry, NFL, but this money is better.  And injuries are less prevalent.  Granted the average NBA roster carries only 12 active players a game (can have up to 15 guys on the roster).  In the NFL, 53 players can be on the roster, with 45 active guys on gameday.  So sure, this might be why NBA players rake in higher salaries at least from a minimum standpoint, because there are less of them.  The NBA gets my nod over the NFL without question.

1.  My winner though, by the slimmest of margins, is the MLB.  Did anybody just witness the recent Cliff Lee bonanza?  Guy turned down a $150 million dollar contract.  Alex Rodriguez was making $33 million in straight salary last year.  I mean give me a break.  Sure baseball is a grind nearly every day for over 6 months.  162 games is a lot of games.  Sure I have a bias in that baseball is my favorite sport out of all of these to play.  But lets take a look at some of the numbers and facts.  Number one, injuries are less frequent in the MLB, than the NFL or NBA.  Guarantees are much more secure regardless of injuries.  The average MLB career lasts 5.6 years.  An average NFL career is right around 3 seasons.  The average NBA career is just below 5 years.  So the MLB average career length is the longest of the big 3.  The league minimum in the MLB is $400,000.  Which is slightly less than the NBA league minimum for a rookie, but more than an NFL rookie.  But here is the most eye-popping stat, that separate the MLB and NBA from the rest of the pack.  The average MLB player makes $3 million dollars (average Yankee made $7.6 million this past year).  And in the NBA, the average salary is around $5 million.  So I guess my case is flawed in the straight money aspect.  But who ever said it was all about the money?

Okay, so it is a toss-up between the NBA and MLB I guess.  My nod goes to the MLB because I enjoy playing baseball more, but it is very close.  Also my apologies for the lack of mention of the NHL.  If forced to choose though, I would place it in 4th behind the NFL.  The average salary is much better than in the MLS or on the PGA Tour, but the injuries are just far too prevalent.  Plus, does hockey’s popularity in the US compare to that of baseball, basketball or football?

What are your thoughts?  If you were a professional athlete, what sport would you want it to be?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze