NORTON — The complaint I hear about golf these days is that there aren’t enough big names anymore. We can’t remember who won the last major because he’s not famous enough. The days of Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, and Trevino are long gone. Today it’s a succession of Orville Moodys (look him up). We think Sergio Garcia, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, or Rory McIlroy is going to be the next big thing, but none of them last. It’s still Tiger and everybody else, and Tiger never wins majors anymore.
Can you name the winners of the last four majors?
Bubba Watson (Masters), Webb Simpson (US Open), Ernie Els (British Open), and McIlroy (PGA).
The four before that?
Try Charl Schwartzel (Masters), McIlroy, (US Open), Darren Clarke (British Open), and Bradley (PGA).
Guys Not Named Tiger are giving it a nice go this weekend at the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. Going into Monday’s final round, South African Louis Oosthuizen has a three-shot lead over Northern Ireland’s McIlroy. South Carolina’s Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods are tied for third, six shots back.
Clearly, this course is too easy. Oosthuizen, who never has won a tournament in the States, made seven birdies in a row Sunday. Bradley — nephew of Pat Bradley, who was a Grey Ghost at Westford Academy — shot an 8-under 63.
Happy Gilmore probably would be good for 5 under at TPC Boston on Monday.
“It’s a good course,’’ Oosthuizen said Sunday. “If you play well, you can shoot good numbers around here.’’
“It’s all weather-related,’’ said Simpson. “I was surprised to see the scores so low the first two days with the wind we had. The greens are soft. Everything’s playing pretty good.’’
McIlroy, probably the most famous Guy Not Named Tiger (OK, I’ll give you Phil Mickelson, who hasn’t been right since he took batting practice at Fenway just before last September’s collapse), is having a great weekend.
After a pair of 65s, McIlroy shot 67 Sunday.
“You think, going out with a one-shot lead and shooting 67, shooting 4 under par, that you’re going to be in, might still be in the lead going into the last day,’’ said McIlroy. “But Louis put on a display out there for a few holes . . . it was great to watch.’’
How come nobody ever connects Rory McIlroy with Roy McAvoy of “Tin Cup” fame?
I called Ron Shelton to ask. Shelton majors in sports movies. He gave us “Bull Durham,” “Cobb,” “White Men Can’t Jump,’’ “Play It to the Bone,’’ and “Tin Cup.’’ Shelton said his “Tin Cup” co-writer, John Norville, came up with the name “Roy McAvoy.’’
The iconic film was released seven years after Rory McIlroy was born.
“It was just a name Norville plucked out of midair,” Shelton said Sunday, as he watched the Deutsche Bank Championship from his California home (Shelton said he loves the Red Sox-Dodgers trade, but is wondering when Adrian Gonzalez will start hitting). “It was a fluke. But I think Rory McIlroy should name himself ‘Tin Cup.’ ’’
Guys Not Named Tiger are more fun than Tiger.
McIlroy, a freckle-faced 23-year-old, made friends in the media zone Sunday when he whipped out his cellphone and pretended to be one of the throng interviewing Tiger outside the scorer’s trailer.
The notion of Woods doing anything like that is unimaginable.
Awash in Nike swooshes, Woods was stoic and deadly serious as he submitted to interviews. His favorite word was “getable.”
“In conditions like this, it’s obviously getable,” said Tiger. “The goal was to put up 15 and I was at worst going to be five back, and that’s certainly getable . . . With the conditions like this, we’re going to have to shoot some good numbers. It’s definitely getable . . . The back nine is certainly getable, as well.’’
I’m not sure how many “getables” McIlroy got on his cellphone/recorder, but Tiger used the word four times answering seven questions.
The Deutsche Bank is one of our great annual events. It marks the end of New England’s summer and always seems to be played in our best weather.
“The conditions are perfect and these guys are just good,’’ said Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas.
And it’s quite all right if the tournament is won by a Guy Not Named Tiger.