Padraig Harrington might be right. Consistency is overrated. Just ask Butch Harmon, Rory McIlroy, Peter Lawrie or even Australia’s Andrew Dodt.
First Harmon, who cermoniously announced last night that he was quitting Twitter after some unfortunate tweets about two players over a 24 hour period.
In a display of bluntness rarely seen in his Sky Sports punditry, he followed a critical tweet about Rory McIlroy’s opening 78 at the Memorial Tournament with an even more damaging comment on his pupil Nick Watney some 24 hours later before deleting both.
Watney was 15 over for two rounds when his coach got on Twitter and wrote:
“Wow N Watney +15, didn’t see this coming. Must be having some personal problems.”
He followed that beauty with:
“Or some physical problems he can’t shoot that high”
According to Alex Miceli in Golfweek, Watney was shown the tweet later in the day and sensibly, said nothing at all that would add fuel to the flames.
“Interesting,” Watney said coming out of the exercise facility at Muirfield Village. “No comment.”
Harmon posted again later:
“Don’t mean to upset all the Watney fans was just thinking out (loud). Nick is like a son to me I love him. He will be fine by the US Open.”
Harmon then logged on permanently from the Twitterverse with:
“Thank you to all of you who have chosen to follow me, but after a big mistake today I’m off twitter best to all . By By”
Whatever about Watney’s reaction or those by Watney fans or even Watney’s wife, one wonder what McIlroy and his entourage thought of Harmon’s tweet about the Ulsterman’s 78 on Thursday.
“Rory now +6 thru 12, not sure what’s going on in his head but he needs a change . Go back to basic’s and get rid of the posse hit the range.”
Harmon’s tweets contrasted greatly with his advice to the likes of Sergio Garcia recently - now also (sadly) deleted from Twitter - in which he lamented the fact that the Spaniard could be so naive as to be “baited” by the media into making controversial comments when a man of his experience should know better and simply say “no comment.”
“Remember Fuzzy Zoeller, not saying its right or it’s wrong. Just saying we ALL should think before we speak, especially to the media.”
Whether McIlroy got rid of his posse (His management? His family? His girlfriend?), the world No 2 was nine strokes better in the second round when play was eventually suspended as he played the 15th.
Birdies at the third, sixth, ninth, 11th and 13th and a solitary bogey at the eighth left him tied for 57th on two over, a shot inside the projected cut line after several weather delays due to storms.
We should not be undly surprised by the turnaround in McIlroy’s fortunes. His streakiness - both of good and bad play - is notorious. But rarely has he turned it around so quickly.
Speaking during a weather delay, when he still had the 12th to finish, he tried to explain the change in his fortunes to Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis:
“I went to the range yesterday and worked on a few things, just seeing my shots again, really commiting to what I want to do out there.
“I felt like yesterday I was sort of a little bit thoughtless. I was just hitting shots and not seeing the shot that I wanted to play. So I’ve really concentrated on that today and for the most part it’s worked well.
“I’ve hit the ball really nicely, held (sic) a few putts…”
Asked how what his round was doing for his confidence, he said: “Mmmm, it’s nice, just to know it’s in there. Yesterday as I said I was a little thoughtless out there and just going through the motions. I don’t know what it was, but today I’ve really committted to my shots and saw them and hit some good ones out there.”
Asked about his lime green pants, he added: “I’d better play well if I’m wearing something like this. I guess I put a bit of pressure on myself, which is always a good thing.”
McIlroy’s trousers were straight out of the Matteo Manassero style book and the Italian was certainly the man wearing the trousers at the Nordea Masters in Sweden.
The 20 year old Italian, who last weekend became the BMW PGA Championship’s youngest winner, had five birdies in his inward 31 for a 65 that left him 13 under for the week and two shots clear of Finn Mikko Illonen.
Of the Irish only Damien McGrane, who shot a five under 67 to share 27th on four under, and rookie Alan Dunbar, whose 69 left him joint 43rd on three under, made the cut.
Lawrie missed the two under cut by a shot but not before a sensational purple patch that featured on crucial and ultimately costly mistake.
With the damage done by a four over 76 on Thursday, the Dubliner bogeyed the fifth to go five under but then birdied the seventh and ninth and reeled off five birdies in a row to get to two under with three to play.
The weekend looked safe but he took a triple bogey six at the 16th to go back to one over before finishing birdie-birdie for a 67 that left him one shy of making the cut.
If anyone rememeber a player making nine birdies in 12 holes and the failing to miss the cut, my hat’s off but this must be some kind of record.
What was certainly a European Tour record was Australian Dodt’s achievement in becoming the first player to have two holes-in-one in a single round.
Dodt aced the seventh and 11th but remarkably still needed a birdie at the last to squeeze into the weekend, his 65 sneaking him through on the mark at two under after an opening 77.
“The shot at the 11th, my second, kick-started things,” said Dodt, who was given a box of champagne by the tournament sponsors. “I made a few more birdies in between, then a couple of bogeys and I was heading the wrong way when I got to the seventh, our 16th hole.
“It was an eight iron, felt a little bit heavy at the start, but right on line and it went in. I can’t get my head around it – I’m pretty proud to be the first one to do it.
“I had seven before today. The 11th I was pretty still and it was the perfect club for a six iron, little draw, and it was slam dunk straight in the hole.
“I didn’t putt very well today so I’m glad I was able to hole with a long club!”
Darren Clarke (72-73) missed the cut by three strokes on one over par with David Higgins well down the field on seven over (75-76).