Lane on … The Memorial Tournament’s 5 Things to Watch
May 29, 2013
So the 38th Memorial Tournament starts today with the ProAm. Often cited as a favorite of the pros, the Memorial Tournament is a pretty good one from a spectator’s perspective as well. It’s easy to see top golfers up close at our major minor tournament. Aside from the “don’t drive in Dublin” tip, here are some bits of advice I can offer you from my many years of experience attending this tournament.
- Watch how Tiger Woods walks from hole to hole. Years ago when I got to my first glimpses of Tiger as he played our tournament, I was struck by how he moved from hole to hole. When he was in the box or discussing a shot, he appeared animated and focused. But between shots, as he walked from green to tee, he would drag his wood behind him. It seemed so out of character with how he played and his persona that it took me off guard. So now that he’s grown up and experienced some challenges on and off the course, does he still provide a glimpse of someone different between shots?
- Watch out for Vijay Singh’s ball! For three tournaments straight Vijay hit a ball into the gallery close to where I was standing. It was a different hole each time. Once behind the green, where I can understand an overshot might occur. But twice more it happened along the fairway at places that, to me, did not seem likely places to put a ball out-of-play. Personally, I choose to believe he has it in for me. But just in case, pay attention to Vijay.
- Make sure you check out Guan Tianlang. At 14, he could be the next Tiger Woods. He’ll have his 10,000 hours in before even Tiger did. Actually, I’m assuming he already has. Again, watch for what he’s doing when he’s not focused on a shot. Its also worth watching how the guys play around him. The last tournament I saw him play in, he wasn’t really scaring anybody. But at his age, that could be changing fast.
- Pick the players you want to watch in advance. In addition to Woods, the defending champion; Singh, the wild thing; and Tianlang, the kid; I would check out Davis Love III, a classic master; Jim Furyk, with 6 top ten finishes in Dublin; and Keegan Bradley, probably the top contender at Muirfield with an anchored putter… that he won’t be able to use beginning in 2016.
- As for seeing the players you want to watch, there are two major strategies: stalking and camping. Stalking, or following a player, is preferred if you are really only there to see a particular player or two. Camping, or sitting at a single hole and watching players play through, is better if you want to get a feel for the field and how their play differs. If you prefer camping to stalking, camp out on hole 12. The hole provides a good test for the players, and it gives them a chance to display their skills so you can see the differences. Too bad Mickelson won’t be playing this year. I watched him hit into the gorse on 12 and chip out for a birdie one year. His practice/fun routine as a kid included lots of trick shot practice. You could really see how that sort of situation was one he was prepared for.
Don’t forget sunscreen AND an umbrella. Both are likely to be needed if you look at the averages. Also, I would take a mitt and follow Vijay. Who knows, you could come away with a game ball!
Author’s note: This tag within my blog is a response to the fact that I don’t see enough about our great city and its many cool things. So ridicule if you will, this is just my idea of what’s cool in Columbus or “Coolumbus”. And please, no responses regarding the rules of golf unless you really want to debate.
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