I had a great time playing in the Ahmad Rashad Golf Classic, held in Westchester, New York on Monday, June 27. We played one of the great courses of all-time: Quaker Ridge GC. I’ve known Ahmad for about 30 years and have been a fan of his ever since he played football at our alma mater, the University of Oregon (back then he was known as Bobby Moore). He went on to fame in the NFL and as a broadcaster with NBC. This pro-am raises money for his foundation, and was very well-supported and well-attended by current and former professional athletes from the NFL and the NBA. It’s great to see athletes like Ahmad doing so much to give back following their playing careers.
I’m looking forward to next week’s U.S. Open at Congressional GC just outside of Washington DC. It is a BIG golf course….long and tough with difficult greens. Congressional has always given us great champions and I predict it will be the same next week!
We’ll all miss Tiger Woods at the Open. He is struggling with his game and his body right now but, having been through a few physical challenges myself, I think he is doing the right thing. He is 35 now and has to make the correct decisions about his body because at 35, what he does now will impact his game heavily over the next 5-10 years.
My early favorites are Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia but I want you to watch for an amateur named Patrick Cantlay. He could make some noise.
Fall is my favorite time of the sports year because that means the World Series, pro football and the start of the NBA season. But that all pales in comparison to college football. I absolutely love watching college football. And it’s been pretty exciting so far this year with my alma mater University of Oregon racing to the top of the polls. I don’t know how they’ll end up this year, but they sure are fun to watch! They have a very creative and innovative coach in Chip Kelly, a tough defense under coach Nick Allioti and some quick and exciting athletes on both sides of the ball. But the most interesting part of the team has to be the uniforms. Some people hate them, some love them (including me) but you can’t argue that they aren’t an interesting group! Go Ducks!!!
At least that’s my take…what’s yours?
Tiger is returning to the PGA TOUR in a few weeks at the Masters at famed Augusta National, which I think is another calculated and strategic move by Tiger and his inner circle. The security within the gates of Augusta National is probably tighter than that at the White House. No one can crash that party!
Tiger’s return isn’t simply back to professional golf. It’s about returning to society and to his millions of fans, on and off the golf course. I realize that many of his fans’ feelings will run the gamut, from positive to negative. But let’s remember one very important thing…. Tiger is human and he made a mistake. He didn’t put himself up on this pedestal, we did. As he attempts to regain his life, we need to let him get on with it and start to regain what he has lost. Golf seems fairly inconsequential at this point but it is how he’s going to get started again.
I’m excited to watch him swing the golf club, make putts and get into contention again. He is the type of player that invigorates everyone on the course….players, caddies, volunteers, officials and fans. It just seems like the picture is in High Definition when Tiger tees it up. I’m pulling for him.