After watching the struggles of both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (among the other great golfers) at the 109th US Open, it can be said that this was the year of the initiate, not the veteran. Lucas Glover, who had only won once in his career on the PGA Tour astounded and amazed the crowd with his steely gaze, focus and lack of emotion while both Woods and Mickelson fell short of the basic skills needed to get the job done.
One can almost compare Glover to the lovely Natalie Gulbis who has also had a single victory but who, along with Michelle Wie, failed to qualify for this year's U.S. Women's Open and may be watching from the sidelines. Will either be offering Twitter commentary? Not likely!
What separates golfers who qualify from those who don't?
When John Daly missed qualifying for the U.S. Open, he remarked that his feet were tired and the greens over in Europe were much slower than those in the States adding, "talk about not even sniffing a putt!" Solid putting, therefore, is the single most important part of any player's golf game.
Glover, who had missed the cut in three previous Opens acknowledged that his lead "can be attributed to putting and patience" and is currently "ranked seventh in putts made from between 15-20 feet."
Now, considering why Michelle Wie, for example, did not qualify for the Women's U.S. Open, she revealed that she was swinging really well but "just couldn’t get anything going, and some of the putts didn’t drop."
Should the USGA bend the regulations to assist the LPGA (and NBC) retain a slipping fan base or are the rules the rules? Originally, the policies stated that the top thirty golfers would be admitted to the U.S. Women's Open but now only the top ten automatically qualify. Well, the USGA says that it is for the good of the game...
You certainly wouldn't need to bend the rules at the U.S. Open to accomodate Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson because of the excitement factor of the entire field but, for the U.S. Women's Open, it could be the difference between increased ratings and hearing crickets chirping in the distance.
Would it have mattered if Gulbis and Wie played in the U.S. Women's Open? Not likely as both missed the cut last year. Michelle's quintuple bogey on the ninth hole at Interlachen said it all.
Golf for Beginners also discusses a weight shift drill which will allow you to stop that 'reverse C' and point your club more directly at the target.
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