Monday, September 21 2020


Spieth Wins Claret Jug

Update: July, 30/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

by Robert Bicknell

First, congratulations to Jordan Spieth on a great victory. Just when it looked like it might slip away, he went birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie… Poor Matt Kuchar never knew what hit him.

Now then, I think it’s about time for NBC Golf Analyst Johnny Miller to hang it up. Honestly.

When Branden Grace shot a record 62 in the third round of the Open Championship, most people would have heaped praise on the young man. Instead, Johnny Miller commented, “They did set the course up really easy today folks, but it’s still an excellent round.”

Earlier in the year, when Justin Thomas shot a record-tying 63 in the US Open, Miller commented: “Taking nothing away from nine-under par -- nine under is incredible with US Open pressure,” Miller said. “But it isn’t a US Open course that I’m familiar with the way it was set up.”

OK, while I did gripe that the USGA seemed to have taken sensitivity classes and Valium when setting up the US Open course this year (cutting back the rough… really?), the fact is that a 63 under ANY circumstances is an incredible score and to do it in a MAJOR is one heck of an achievement.

Justin Thomas played a hell of a round and deserves praise, but he won’t get it from Johnny Miller for the simple reason that Miller once shot a record 63 at the US Open in 1973 at Oakmont and that’s his sole remaining claim to fame, especially as he’s no longer relevant, and being humble isn’t part of Miller’s character.

Need proof?

In 2007, Miller said about his 63 at Oakmont: “It was the greatest ball-striking round I’ve ever seen and I’ve been around a little bit.”

Jeez… I’d bet he would kiss his own ass if he was still flexible enough.

Even Jack Nicklaus, tweeted praise at Branden Grace’s achievement, but we shouldn’t expect graciousness from Miller who commented during the 2008 US Open that “Rocco Mediate looked like someone who cleaned Tiger Woods pool…”

Yes, I think it’s time Johnny Miller retired with the same lack of grace and humility as he displayed for most of his career.


Well, another player was penalized for riding in a buggy to take a bathroom break, this time in the US Amateur. The previous violation happened in May at the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Many tournaments in the West have a local rule that doesn’t allow players to ride in a buggy during a tournament for the express purpose of going to the bathroom.

I have been trying to find the logic.

OK, so a player should, ahem, take care of “business” before teeing off in a tournament and, for the most part, they do. But there might come a time that, for some reason or another, nature doesn’t just call, but rather comes screaming and threatening to batter down the door.

Anyone who played in the old “India Open” can attest to this. As for me, been there, done that so I am fully aware of the ramifications of the situation. Grown men wearing diapers… haizz.

Also, in a tournament, you cannot expect a player to duck behind a tree like they do during normal play. Yes, some are saying “Ewwwwe!” but we all know you’d do it too in an emergency.

So why penalize a player during an event?

OK, imagine what would happen if Muhammad Ali told Joe Frazier to hang loose for a minute while he hit the can? The referee would say “no” and Frazier would grin like a madman while targeting Ali with vicious kidney punches just for laughs knowing the inevitable outcome.

During high profile events, organizers often put “pota-pottys” in strategic locations around the course. Some are even designated “players only” to ensure they are not occupied when a player really needs one.

But what if nature comes screaming and you’re halfway down the fairway and the group in front is just reaching the green. You have at least five – seven minutes to hit the can and get back into position as to not delay play.

Why not take a fast buggy ride?

Sorry, but this is one of those rules which just doesn’t make any sense to me, especially with all the weird things going on in the world, one thing is certain…

Shit happens. VNS


by Robert Bicknell

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