More Than A Pair Of Pricklies

They’re playing the Valero Texas Open now, and although I can’t get out to the course to watch, I’m always entertained by the way where I live is presented and discussed. It isn’t just Texas – when I lived in Florida I was equally entertained by all the palm tree and gator shots.

First, a short note to the Golf Channel folks. That was a rat snake, not a rattle snake, that you showed on Thursday. I’m no herpetologist, but it didn’t have rattles or the correct markings. To your credit, you noticed the lack of rattles, but then you suggested it might be a baby rattler. It was at least 3 feet long, guys. I don’t know about the baby snakes where you come from, but even in here in Texas, the home of “Where Everything’s Bigger,” they aren’t 3 feet long.

Don't hit it anywhere that looks like this. Trust me. I know.

Next, it’s always fun to see players hitting out of the kind of rough I deal with every day. Kevin Na was the best example with his 16 last year. Yesterday, it was fun watching Justin Leonard punch one out of the rocks and bang his club into a little live oak on the follow through, but that was Justin Leonard. He’s no stranger to Texas or the Texas Open. The best thing about that shot was that guy watching him. He was leaning in the crook of the tree about 3 feet away from Justin. Why didn’t Leonard ask him to move?

And on the subject of the tournament itself. I know this isn’t a major, and it isn’t the biggest event on the PGA tour. But it’s a tournament with a long and honorable past. It started in 1922, was the first tournament Ben Hogan played as a professional, and has been won by the likes of Snead, Nelson, Hogan, and Palmer. So when Jason Sobel said that Lee Westwood playing in some rinky-dink Malaysian event that wasn’t even the biggest tournament in the Far East this week was the same as Matt Kuchar playing in the Valero Texas Open, that’s just wrong. (Sobel said this on Morning Drive this week.) And thanks, Gary for arguing and saying the field at the Malaysian event makes the Texas Open look like the U.S. Open.

Finally, and this isn’t specific to this event, does it drive other people a little crazy when announcers keep using new sponsor names when they talk about historical tournaments? The Texas Open was Hogan’s first pro appearance, not theValero Texas Open. Sam Snead owned the Greater Greensboro Open, not the Wyndham Championship. I have nothing against sponsors attaching their names to tournaments. The money and publicity they provide makes an immeasurable contribution to the game. But let’s maintain a little historical accuracy.

And with that, I close this rant. Thanks for listening, and have a nice day. I need to go saddle up my pony and check the fence line. I’ve got some coyotes hassling my livestock.


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