If you haven’t noticed, it’s been awhile since we dropped any type of somewhat serious golf analysis. I recently moved overseas to Holland, and have been trying to get used to a new country, continent, culture, time zone, and language (Mijn Nederlands is nog niet zo goed, maar Ik ben het aan het leren.) It’s been a lot harder to keep up with the day to day golf news, and even harder to keep up with coverage with a faulty slingbox, lack of DVR capability, and a full slate of European cities that I’m spraying my own #TourSauce in over the weekends. I figured the best way to get caught up would be a mailbag, so let’s go.
@NoLayingUp What are your top story lines going into 2015? Rory at Augusta? The rise of players under 30? Tiger playing a full schedule?
— Atch (@tomatchison05) December 8, 2014
For as dull as the first half of 2014 was, it finished with a fury (Brad Pitt style). Think about it. Through June we had a list of winners that included Steven Bowditch, Seung Yul-Noh, and Scott Stallings (remember him?). Gerry Lester Watson, Jr. won the Masters over the prodigal son, Jordan Spieth, and Martin Kaymer boatraced the field at the US Open. We couldn’t buy a storyline. Enron investors circa 2001 think the timing of the launch of nolayingup.com (January 2014) was terrible.
Then came the summer of Rory. Rickie and Sergio went toe to toe with him at Liverpool, and Phil joined Rickie trying to Val-halla at him in Kentucky at the PGA. Horschel’s putter finally thawed out, and he balled out on his way to $13.4 million in a three week stretch. Brooks Koepka won in Turkey. And while the US got predictably pounded in the Ryder Cup (cut to a shot of the ’04 and ’06 US teams saluting Tom Watson’s effort), Patrick Reed brought himself from being a meme to being the man. Reed even managed to light a fire under Spieth’s ass, and he came to life with two wins to close the year….. (leaning back)…. JEEEESUS! I’m strutting into the new year like this:
For 2015, there’s some obvious potential storylines that I’m going to skip over (although I’m not taking any of these for granted): The Rory Slam, a healthy Tiger (?), a healthy Jason Day (?), Spieth slaying the dragon, Fowler bursting through, Horschel’s emergence, Phil’s US Open bid, the last season with the belly putters, and the Presidents Cup. Just skipping over those eight things has me amped for 2015.
The guy I’ve got my eye on is Patrick Reed. We wrote back before the Ryder Cup that public perception could change on Reed if he had the bust out week that Fil and Tron predicted. If going to 3-0-1, destroying Ian Poulter’s soul, and spraying #TourSauce at a level never seen before in the history of man won’t do it for you, then you are never going to be a Patrick Reed fan. Which is fine, I get it. We need more guys like him in golf (I know, HOT TAKE) that break the mold, yet aren’t rabbit eared, soul-less frauds (looking at you, Gerry). I got a few questions about Reed being a “villain,” and I’m not sure I see it that way. I feel like he’s a guy that is now going to draw some eyeballs when he’s on the leaderboard, and is going to raise more discussion than the robotic Webb Simpson or Matt Kuchar snoozefests. Of course, you’re reading from a guy who may or may not have completely overreacted on Ryder Cup Sunday and put a decent amount of money on Reed to win the Masters at 100-1, so take anything you just read with a grain of salt.
(Sidenote: Can we please stop saying “Top 5” to absolutely everything he does?)
@NoLayingUp If you had enough money and the time to do it, could you play all of the PGA Tour Pro-Ams in a season? Would they let you?
— Todd Currie (@ctdcurrie) December 8, 2014
The easy answer here is yes. Then the more I started thinking about this, I started realizing that this is LITERALLY the #TourSauce dream! This is the one chance for amateur golfers but professional saucers to show what they’ve been working on. Instead of yelling fore to the carts in the adjacent fairway 40 yards left of your target that you just missed, you can pull out the Wayward Drive Point, and even offer up The Apology and a signed glove to the unsuspecting mother of two that you just clocked with your Titleist.
The dynamic of the Pro-Am guy always fascinates me. In my (viewing) experience, you can count on one of three things from the wealthy white guy teeing it up next to the completely uninterested pro:
- (Insert fancy club) Logo Shirt Guy – This guy can not WAIT to tell you the story about how he got on this course, as well as what he did on (insert the most famous hole of the course). He expects the pro to be impressed that he plays the same courses as the pros (he’s not), and and he’ll throw in as many references to it as possible throughout the round (“these greens are faster than Pine Valley”). He’ll also mention all top 100 courses he’s played, and the ones he’s barely missed out on. He’ll take his round wayyyy too seriously, and act shocked at a bad shot approximately 41 times in 18 holes.
- Clueless Guy – This guy’s company was obligated to buy a spot in the pro-am, and even though this hack has no idea what he’s doing, he can’t pass up the chance to build on the ego. He’ll usually be wearing something like this, and is going to put a lot of people’s lives in danger.
- The Full #TourSauce Guy – I love watching the Pro-Am at the Memorial to see what exec goes for the white pants, wraparound shades, and the casual hat tip after tapping in for a double bogey to the applause of the one person from his firm that’s obligated to follow him around and take pictures of him annoying the shit out of Jim Furyk. If I’m out there, this is the bucket you’ll find me in. You can bet I’m busting out every possible move, down to calling in a rules official for a routine drop.
Side note: I’ve talked about this with my buddies before. If you wore a golf outfit (down to the shoes) at a PGA Tour event, and put a glove in your back pocket, how many autographs do you think you would sign by the end of the day? How fun would it be to ruin the value of the flag that the 45 year old autograph hound has been sticking in every pros face as he comes off the 18th green? Kids would flock, as they don’t care who the pro is, they just want the autograph. I’m daring someone to try this, and I want to hear the story.
@NoLayingUp if there was a College Gameday type show for golf tournaments, what would the signs say (the signs held by fans)?
— Brett Coburn (@CoburnBrett) December 8, 2014
GREAT question. I should give this more thought, but here’s a quick run:
- BUBBA LISTENS TO NICKELBACK
- ZACH JOHNSON PEES SITTING DOWN
- JORDAN SPIETH EATS CHICK-FIL-A ON SUNDAYS
- IAN POULTER USES THE SHAKE WEIGHT
- WEBB SIMPSON DRIVES A MINIVAN
- IF RICKIE FOWLER IS SO COOL THEN WHERE IS HIS TRIBAL TATTOO
- LUKE DONALD DOESN’T LAY DOWN TO SLEEP, HE LAYS UP
Worst college gameday sign would be this:
You rented a PLANE and this is the best you could think of?
@NoLayingUp What kind of coat will Rory wear to the Super Bowl?
— Ashley Mayo (@AshleyKMayo) December 8, 2014
If the Super Bowl was in April, this would have been the perfect place to drop a “The Green Jacket” line and just drop the mic.
Maybe I’ve been living in Europe too long already, but I didn’t think this was THAT bad. That being said, I feel like Rory is pretty plugged into the social media scene, and he’s going to recover from this mayhem way faster that this guy responds to fashion trends:
To answer the question, I think you can count on Rory wearing a team issued oversized jacket of whoever the favorite is. As Brendan Porath points out…. Is Rory new Drake? The Heat, Broncos, a former world #1 tennis player, and now the Eagles. If we see him rubbing elbows with Nick Saban any time soon, I think the title will stick. Rory seems to like being a celebrity, and I don’t blame him. He also seems to have a decent amount of street cred (no, I don’t know what that means), so I’m just gonna let him be.
@NoLayingUp What is the origin of "Tour Sauce?" Something said with buddies? Did you land on it after some debate?
— Adam Stanley (@adam_stanley) December 8, 2014
Excellent question. #TourSauce has been brewing for several years with my old foursome in Chicago. We’d spend our weekends playing 36+ holes a day, and as a result, we became all too familiar with each other. We’re all single digit handicaps, and had some pretty great matches. To antagonize each other, we started doing ridiculous moves that would only make sense if you were playing in front of a gallery. What started as a joke quickly turned into a a side competition that began to snowball. A “good shot” compliment after a green in regulation was met with a hat tip or a crowd wave, rather than the standard verbal “thanks.” Whenever someone would back off a shot, someone else in the group would act like a marshall and yell at an imaginary patron to put their camera away. We’d mark a ball on the green, and toss it to our opponent to clean as if it was a caddie. Basically, it was this on every hole:
How's the divot tap, @Scott_Langley? #TourSauce https://t.co/Gr8AJ44xpA
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) August 31, 2014
It went on and on. Tapping down imaginary spike marks, wayward drive points for the imaginary marshalls, follow through club throws, extended conversations with your “caddie” (teammate), etc. We just kept one upping each other, until one day it peaked. We were trying to find our buddy Leif in downtown Chicago on some random street where he needed picked up from (don’t ask) on our way to play Dubsdread at Cog Hill. We’re on the phone with him, and ask him what he’s wearing so we know what to look out for. His response:
“You can’t miss me.”
He’s wearing the full Rickie Fowler outfit. Head to toe. Orange Puma pants, orange Puma shirt, orange Puma hat, white Puma belt. HE’S 28 YEARS OLD.
When us NLU guys started the website, I knew I had to get this down on paper. So I did. Fil pointed out that we needed to name it, and just threw out “#TourSauce.” And that was that. We put it up on on the website as the first big feature that we published, and it took off. At the time I think we had like 700 followers, so it’s pretty entertaining to see what it’s become since then.
@NoLayingUp Asked @Adam_Sarson this yesterday. Who wins a major first, Matsuyama, Spieth, Fowler or Reed?
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) December 8, 2014
I’ve got Spieth in my bet with Sarson against Matsuyama, so I’m going to stick with Spieth over Matsuyama. I don’t buy the “Fowler needs to win some regular tournaments before he wins a major” argument that makes no sense, but for some reason I can’t picture Fowler winning a major in 2015. It’s really, really, really hard to play as well as he did in the majors in 2014 (SCALDING TAKE). That kind of success is obviously not guaranteed going forward (DON’T BURN YOUR HANDS). And the fact that he didn’t get a win out of such fantastic play was more a reflection of luck than it was a lack of ability to close. But for my major winners in 2015….
@NoLayingUp Who wins the 4 majors this year?
— David Kateeb (@DKateeb) December 8, 2014
Masters: Patrick Reed – Completely irrational overreaction to three hot days in September. Biased choice due to the outstanding wager. But this is all the way at the bottom, and no one is going to read this anyways, so I’ll just go ahead and say that Patrick Reed birdies 18 to win the Masters by one and runs over and shoves Billy Payne to the ground. (For those scoring at home, I’ve gone from suggesting that Reed should potentially remove himself from the Ryder Cup team to predicting that he’s going to win the Masters.)
US Open: Jordan Spieth – Spieth be with you. Love his game on tough courses, and I think he’s ready to make the leap.
British Open: Bubba Watson – Bringing myself back to reality as I realize that Bubba’s length will play really well at St. Andrews. He’s already desecrated the grounds of Augusta National twice, so he might as well ruin the home of golf for me as well.
PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy – Almost won at Whistling in 2010. He’ll get his third Wannamaker Trophy in August.
Thanks for sending in questions. I’ll try to get to Part II later this week.