Category: Golf

The fist pump. The impossible shot. The roaring of the crowd. Tiger charging. This is what makes golf exciting to me. Tiger Woods chipped in from the rough on 16 en route to a victory at the Memorial Tournament. A shot that if it went long would go into the water. If it was short at all, it’d be a terrible lie. And yet, there was Tiger nailing the perfect shot that Jack Nicklaus said was one for the ages.

Is Tiger all the way back? Of course not. But now he’s won twice this year. Now he’s playing with some confidence. Now, when he’s having is good days, it’s like the old days. And by that I mean no one can match him. He’s got the swagger back. The confident strut. Was there any doubt in anyone’s mind the last four holes who was going to win? It’s been a while since I’ve had that feeling. With Rory McIllroy struggling as of late, golf needs someone to step up and be the face of the sport. So why not the one who was the face of the sport for the last 15 years or so? The other golfers should beware. Tiger’s back to being competitive. And that’s very bad news for the rest of the field.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Final Masters thoughts

Congrats Bubba Watson. The final round of the Masters was fun, drama filled and very entertaining. Phil Mickelson’s early collapse to his late charge that just fell short. The two hole playoff culminating in one heck of a shot by Watson to get in position to win. Holes in one. A double eagle by Louis Oosthulzen. Some old questions resurfaced. Like is Tiger Woods now regressing or did we all just jump on the bandwagon? What about Rory McIllroy? Is the Masters just not his major? Lee Westwood. When will he win a major? Will he win a major? How about Luke Donald? Once again, parody has ruled golf. But is that really a good thing? We love the underdog story. But, do we love the underdog when there is no favorite for them to tackle? Would the Red Sox’ World Series in 2004 been as great if there was no Yankees for them to beat? Would tennis be as popular as it is without Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic trading blows?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Masters Round One Thoughts

As the second round of the Masters gets going, round one has the potential to set up both Rory McIllroy and Tiger Woods to be competitive. That’s very good for golf. The biggest disappointment? Luke Donald. His five-over par round was, to be frank, pathetic. This is the world’s number one player and he has yet to win a major. And, unless something drastic happens over the next three rounds, that ain’t happening at the  Masters. But, the leaderboard could be very fun to watch this weekend. Lee Westwood (currently the co-leader), Sergio Garcia and even Fred Couples are in the mix.

Looks like a fun filled Masters.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Some Masters thoughts

The Masters begins this Thursday at Augusta. And this just might be, at least heading into it, one of the most anticipated Masters since I’ve been alive.

Tiger Woods win proved he can still get it done when he needs to. And, coming just weeks before the Masters, a tournament he’s taken fourth in the past two years, shows that he is primed to contend for a major that always seems to get the best out of him. Rory McIllroy, who also won recently, is looking to avenge last year’s collapse. You can’t tell me that people won’t be rooting for a Tiger-Rory showdown on Sunday. Then there’s Luke Donald, still looking for that major. Phil Mickelson, always a fan favorite will attract large crowds.

Then there’s the question of the unknowns. With so much hype, would any of us really be surprised to see some dark horse come out and win it? What I’m hoping for is the Tiger-Rory showdown. I’ve said it before, but if golf could ignite a Tiger-Rory rivalry, it would be can’t miss TV. The greatest player of my generation regaining his swagger. The new kid on the block ready to prove himself as one of the game’s top players. Having them battle back and forth on the back nine. Now, the question is, and I’m glad to be able to say this again. If I give you either Tiger and Rory or the field, which would you take? I know most will take the field, but golf’s a lot more fun to watch when you can pose that question again.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Looking ahead to the Masters

This year’s Masters tournament at Augusta is going to be ripe with story lines. But, make no mistake. The golf world is hoping (or should be hoping) for one to pan out. First, there’s Tiger Woods. This is a tournament that when Woods was struggling still finished in the top five. Now, after his first official PGA victory since 2009, he looks like the guy who can compete for majors and close the deal once again. Then there’s Rory McIllroy. Last year, he collapsed big time. Can he get his revenge of sorts this season?

Can Sergio Garcia finally win a major? Which unknown players will make a charge at the title and can they do it when it matters most?

There’s plenty of story lines to go around. The funny thing is, only one really matters to the world at large: Tiger and Rory. McIllroy has three top three finishes this year on the PGA Tour, including a win at the Honda Classic. Woods, who has been close to winning, finally got his victory and appears to be playing some of his best golf in a while. In short, both golfers are playing extremely well just in time for the year’s first major. Can you imagine the ratings, the interest, the drama, tension and excitement if it came down to McIllroy and Woods? The greatest of a generation against the up and comer. The past and present colliding for one epic final round. If you’re a golf fan. Heck, if you’re a sports fan, this has to be the final paring you’re desperately hoping for.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

This was almost the perfect scenario for golf on Sunday. Rory McIlroy had the lead in the final round of the Honda Classic, a chance to become the No. 1 player in the world was at stake. Then, a couple groups ahead of him, cheers and more cheers. Former No. 1 player Tiger Woods in the midst of a final round 62 to get to 10-under for the tournament, including finishing birdie-eagle on the final two holes. I desperately wanted a Tiger-Rory playoff. The drama would be perfect. It’d be one of those events I’d stop whatever I was doing to tune in.

Alas, Rory held off Tiger for a two-shot victory. Good news for golf, McIlroy needs to be the No. 1 player and he needs to hold on to it. He’s been playing very well and very consistently, excluding the collapse he had at the Masters. He has the charisma and the image to be golf’s new golden boy. Even better news for golf? Woods looks close to putting his game together. Sunday showed why you can’t forget about him. He gets on a run like that for a tournament, the other players better just get out of the way. Woods still transcends the game, he can still draw in the viewers. How do you get more people to watch on Sunday? Woods and McIlroy neck in neck, battling for a tournament, or even better, a major. Roger Federer had Rafael Nadal. Mohammad Ali had Joe Frazier. Sports are that much better with rivalries. Think of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady facing off in the playoffs.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

My thoughts about Jeremy Lin

Full disclosure for those of you who don’t know, I am Asian. However, I’ve been appalled at the reaction to Jeremy  . Look, I’m not going to proclaim he’s this superstar. Let’s not forget, he’s only played a couple of games. He’s yet to prove himself over the course of a season. But, the reaction from people is ridiculous.

Let me begin with Jason Whitlock and his tweet: Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight.

Then, there was his apology: I then gave in to another part of my personality – my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It’s been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother’s Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.

Stand up comedian? Look there are jokes that maybe you can make with friends. Then there are things like this, completely unprofessional, ignorant and downright stupid. By the way, him bringing Richard Pryor into this is an insult. Pryor rarely crossed the line. His jokes were, I don’t know, funny. Remember all the controversy Don Imus got into after his comments about the Rugters women’s basketball team?

And Floyd Mayweather. He tweeted: Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.

While I’m not ready to claim Lin is the next Kobe Bryant…but how many players have outscored Bryant on a consistent basis? How many players scored 20 point and seven assists in their first four starts after not even playing in the D-League?

Oh…and yes, him being Asian is part of the story. Almost like say an African American golfer winning the Masters at a course that had a history of being racist and going on to dominate a “white man’s sport”.

How many Asian superstars can you name? Exactly. So, yes, him being Asian in a country where there aren’t really any Asian superstar athletes or pop icons is a big deal. I’m fed up with all this ignorance and stupidity. Whitlock should be fired. There’s no place for that kind of bigotry in a professional workplace. His attempt at “comedy” proves that he’s incapable of having good professional discretion and should not be writing for a prominent sports site.

Mayweather, I have never wanted you to fight and lose to Manny Pacquiao so badly as I do now. The same boxer you told to “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice.” Yes, his history with racist comments didn’t begin with Lin.

If Manny had told you to “eat some fried chicken and cook some corn” how would that have been received? I’d wager there’d be a huge uproar.

Whatever respect I had for you is gone. The funny thing is no one will pay attention to this issue for long. Why? For precisely the reason that there aren’t many Asian Americans out there to speak out. Here’s one that’s not afraid to. I realize my readership pales in comparison to Whitlock’s or even Mayweather. But, I hope both of them read this somehow. Grow up. It’s statements like these that prove all too well that bigotry is alive and kicking.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

What would be more impressive?

With Novak Djok0vic’s five-set thriller over Rafael Nadal, he has now won three-straight majors. The only major he failed to win last year, the French Open, is up next. With a win there, he would hold all four major titles and still have a shot at a calender-year slam. Tiger Woods also accomplished that feat in golf, holding the “Tiger Slam”.

So, which feat would be more impressive? Tiger didn’t have a main rival at that point. He was clearly the dominant player in the sport at that time. Yet, in golf, he’s facing so many more opponents who could have the weekend of their lives to challenge him for a tournament. Novak has to face the likes of Andy Murray, Nadal and Roger Federer. But, Federer is simply not young enough anymore, Murray’s never won a major and Nadal’s been fighting injuries.

While Djovokic’s rapid rise to dominance is shocking to me, I have to go with Tiger. Just the fact that any player could have a good weekend while Tiger couldn’t afford a poor weekend. Djokovic can get away with not playing his best in the early rounds.

Which do you think would be more impressive?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Can Tiger win more majors?

Here is a link to a Yahoo Sports story saying that those who are writing off Tiger Woods are dead wrong.

The article brings up some fair points. Jack Nicklaus also had a three-year stretch without a major and went winless when he was 39, only to win two majors the next year. He points how the media is quick to judge, which is also true.

But, the  article is wrong. The only reason Woods has any chance of winning another major is that golf has become a game of random players having the weekend of their lives at a major. Tiger could do that too. But, though Tiger is just 36-years old, he won’t be having a Ben Hogan type run as he increases in age. Here’s why.

Rory McIlroy will figure out how to be consistent. And when he does, watch out. Woods simply can’t put four rounds together anymore. It’s been too long, he’s made too many comeback attempts to say it’s all due to rust. He simply lacks the consistent swing and game to make him a consistent major contender. Also, whatever damage has been done to him mentally we’ll never know, but I’ll guess it’s great. Think about it. To go from the unquestioned dominant player to shooting 10-over par? That’s enough to make anyone want to give up. Woods is competitive, but frankly, dropping that far from where he was has to have a big impact on his psyche. No longer is he the intimidating force. He’s just another lost golfer looking for his lucky weekend.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

What a finish. As a sports fan, it doesn’t get much better than this. Keegan Bradley trailed by five strokes heading into the 16th hole. Thanks to a collapse by Jason Dufner, Bradley forced a playoff and won the PGA Championship.

It was thrilling drama to see whether Dufner could pull himself together, whether Bradley had enough time to come back and what would happen on the final hole. But, once the playoff came around, we all pretty much knew Bradley had the tournament in the bag.

As I said, as a sports fan it was great fun. But, at the end of the day, I won’t remember Bradley or Dufner. I won’t remember the crowded leaderboard. In the end, it was just a forgettable golf tournament to me.