Bill Dwyre in the L.A. Times makes up for Saturday's Phil Mickelson column (Phil remembers the names of his pro-am partners!) with a succinct indictment on The Classic Club course, which frequently delivers winds like Sunday's.
Many said it was the worst wind they have experienced, and those were the former mountain climbers. The weatherman put the winds at 15-20 mph, with gusts up to 40. Mostly, there were gusts.Now keep that number in mind when reading the next bit. First, Larry Bohannan in the Desert Sun:
It was an ominous question at best.And here's where it gets fun...
"Are they going to play this course again next year?" Phil Mickelson asked after his windy Sunday round on the final day at Classic Club in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Yes, Phil, they are going to play this course again. They own the course.
"Who?" Mickelson asked.
The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, came the response.
With that, Mickelson turned and walked away to sign some autographs without a response.
Mike Milthorpe, the Hope tournament director, said he certainly hopes Mickelson and other players won't make decisions about whether to play in the Classic in the future simply on one horrible day of weather.I wonder where they would get the idea that it blows?
"I don't know that (Mickelson) questioned the course," Milthorpe said. "He may have questioned the conditions. It's a tough day today, no ifs, ands or buts. If anything, he may have just questioned the day."
Milthorpe said Classic Club isn't fighting a bad perception about wind among the PGA Tour players. The perception, he said, comes from media reports about wind and the so-called wind belt on the north side of the freeway.
The trees lining the railroad tracks? The thousands of wind turbines? The fact no one in their right mind would build anything out there until the last few years?
That biased, negative, liberal elite media!
Last year's final round, for instance, was described as a blustery day, making it tough on the final groups down the stretch. But Milthorpe said the official tour report on the final day listed a wind speed of 17 mph.
Tod Leonard in the San Diego Union Tribune offered this:
Perhaps because he knew he would get queries, Milthorpe said he checked with the other three courses in the Hope rotation yesterday and said the wind conditions were similar.
“The perception is the media's perception,” Milthorpe said. “We had firemen gauging the wind today, and it didn't get above 25 mph. We got a tour report from last year for this golf course and the winds Sunday were 17 mph. But if you listened to the commentators and what the media wrote, it sounded like it was huge wind.”
They say the camera adds 10 pounds. Maybe it adds 10 mph too?
Either way, you have a new 7,600 yard course that is so massive in scale that the amateurs clearly don't enjoy walking and playing it.
You have a final round that took just under 6 hours (based on my TiVo calculation) and an event that drew only one player in the world top 30.
Those short, harmless little old desert courses like Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes and El Dorado aren't looking so bad are they?
Oh that's right, they're dated because the guys are working out too much. I keep forgetting!
Reader Clive forwarded these comments in Tod Leonard's piece that I missed. They come from Mark Calcaveccia and Nick Watney after Sunday's wind event and would seem to refute the notion that the wind severity was a media-driven concoction.
Calcavecchia is in his 26th full season on the tour, and he said after shooting 3-under 69 yesterday that he couldn't remember playing in wind conditions so severe.
“The good news is it wasn't raining,” said Calcavecchia, who jumped 28 spots to tie for eighth in the final round. “If it had been raining, it would have been like the round at Muirfield (in the 2002 British Open, when Tiger Woods shot 81). It probably wasn't as windy there, but it was raining and it was colder.
“It was pretty nasty (yesterday),” he said. “It was close to having to call it out there. Nick Watney's ball caught a gust of wind (on the green) and it rolled down a hill. I had a 4-footer on 6, and it was a right-center (of the hole) putt. The second I hit it a gust blew it six inches off line. It was unbelievable.”