Monday, September 24, 2012

Best and Worst PGA Tour Golfers to Watch

Best Player to Watch
There's nothing like the "oh no" moment when the television camera in the tower focuses on a slow and annoying golfer playing in a PGA Tour event.

Watching one of these agonizingly methodical pros work through a seemingly endless pre-shot or putting routine drives me crazy. These guys really know how to ruin good televised golf.

Here's my list of  favorite players to watch and some of the worst culprits of slow, hard-to-watch golf:

BEST-Mark Calcavecchia--The ultimate shotmaker, "Calc" is also a fast player. In 1992 in the final round of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, he played a round with John Daly in 2 hours and 3 minutes.

BEST-John Daly--I've followed Daly on the course for years and he never, I mean never, stands over a shot for more than a few seconds. Better still, love him or hate him, he's exciting to watch with his exaggerated driver swing that goes way past parallel and his phenomenal wedge play.

BEST-Rickie Fowler--You gotta love Fowler. Put a stop watch on him and he typically takes less than 15 seconds to hit a fairway shot or a putt. (once he steps over the ball). In a world dominated by technically obsessed pro golfers, Fowler is a feel player brimming with confidence. I find myself wanting him to succeed and rooting strongly against slow players.

WORST-Jim Furyk--I like Furyk. He's one of the classiest guys on Tour. In fact, he generally plays at a steady pace on the fairways, but once Jimbo reaches the green he goes into slow motion. The worst is when he stands over the ball about to pull the trigger only to step away and reevaluate. When Furyk gets to the green, I'm heading to the fridge for a brewski.

One of worst slow play culprits
WORST-Sergio Garcia--Right behind Kevin Na as one of the slowest players on Tour, Garcia has actually improved somewhat over the years. Back in 2002 at the U.S. Open at Bethpage he was heckled unmercifully by the rowdy crowds put off by his endless waggles. He solved that problem but still takes way too much time before hitting a shot or putt.

WORST-J.B. Holmes--You never like to bum kick a guy that's come back from brain surgery, but Holmes is one of the slowest players on Tour. That said, I still like to watch the guy because he's got serious game.

BEST-Dustin Johnson-He's the ultimate lock-and-load guy who plays fast in the fairway and on the green. You've got to follow Johnson in person on the course to get a true appreciation of his athletic ability. He's got tremendous flexibility and it's a joy to watch this guy off the tee.

BEST-Rory McIlroy--Fortunately the World No. 1 is a fast player. To be sure, I never get tired of watching that beautiful, natural swing of McIlroy's. Just think, we've got another good twenty years of watching Rory.

BEST-Phil Mickelson--I enjoy watching Mickelson play because he respects the game on so many levels. He's a relatively fast player on the greens and there's nothing like watching Phil hit a "hero" shot when he's in trouble ala his 6-iron on the 13th hole at the 2010 Masters.

WORST-Kevin Na--You're the champ, big fella. Na has the reputation as the slowest golfer on the PGA Tour. He takes forever on the fairway and the green. You sometimes think he goes through his endless pre-shot routine just to jack with fans. Who can forget Na at this year's Players Championship with his never ending waggles. Five, six, seven waggles.....just hit the freakin' ball will ya. Glaciers move faster than this guy.

WORST-Tiger Woods--You can't argue with success (14 majors and 74 PGA Tour victories), but Woods likes to take his time. While it was tolerable when he was dominating, now it's just annoying. This guy grinds over shots with the best of them. He analyzes every shot like it's his last and while that may be good for his game, it's boring to watch over four days.


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