Have you seen…Kann is a hack

mulligan, 06 May 2005, Comments Off on Have you seen…Kann is a hack
Categories: Uncategorized

The World’s Worst Swing contest over on the Golf Channel? It’s painful. Right now, I think it’s between Pat Diederich and Alan Matusevich.

By the way, Kraig Kann is about the worst golf writer out there. I have never read anything of his that is the least bit insightful, and he is a tool on TV. His tone might be described as “ingratiating fifth grader bully”. If I was Hewett, I would knock his teeth in. Jovial ribbing is one thing, condescending insults are another (if you have seen him on TV, you know what I mean). His most recent column is a parody of an opinion piece, in which he gives us a “six pack” of players who we should watch this summer. Here are the players: DLIII, Wier, Furyk, Haas, Howell III, and Sergio Garcia.

Three of these players are Major winners. Haas is 51 and, while playing well for the last few years, is headed to the Senior tour. Garcia has been “one to watch” since he came on Tour. And Howell III is another in a long list of “can’t miss” youngsters who are, well, missing.

Further, every one of the players (with the exception of Haas) is described thusly: “(Player X) played well, has not been playing well, and I believe that he will play well this year.” Super insightful. And, most likely completely wrong, based on the statistics that Kann offers in his column.

Let’s look at the facts. Four of the six players mentioned (Wier, DLIII, Howell, and Garcia) are ranked in the second half of the top 150 players on tour in putting. Wier, Howell and DLIII are all way outside the top 100 in this statistic. For Wier, putting woes compound the problems of a short hitter in the modern game. Wier’s putting is nowhere near the level that it was when he won the Masters.

Garcia is still working on swing changes, and if you watched the first round of Wachovia on Thursday, you might have noticed that his 66 could have been much lower, except for the missed short putts, and could well have been much higher, as Sergio was constantly having to make 4-6 footers to save par after ramming his first putt by the hole. In other words, his distance control was terrible on the greens. His length takes some of the pressure off the flatstick, but how much longer are we going to call Garcia “up-and-coming” and “young” (as if youth in Golf was a positive). Brash and emotional is fun to watch, but it doesn’t seem to win as many tournaments as one would expect from that much talent.

DLIII, in case you have been living under a rock, HAS A BAD BACK. He has for a number of years, but it is affecting him more as he gets older. A bad back does not mean that you can’t go out and shoot a low score, but four low scores in a row, a requirement to win on tour these days, ain’t gonna happen. Also, have you noticed how much DLIII’s backswing has shortened up in the last 2 years? In 1998, it was still past parallel. Now, every shot looks like a three-quarter punch. Oh, and he is having putting problems. Not a good combo.

Furyk is ranked behind Wier in driving distance. This puts too much pressure on putting (even for Furyk, ranked 10th currently) to compete consistently on the PGA tour. However, if I was forced to pick from this group a player who was going to return to form, I would be hard-pressed to choose between Garcia and Furyk.

I’ve got news for you all: Howell III can’t putt, can’t control his iron distance, and can’t make birdies (ranked 116 this year). Yes, he can bomb it, but so can Hank Kuehne. Howell won the Michelob against a second-rate field, and has not shown any real consistency for the past few years. What makes Kann think that anything will change this year?

You might have noticed that every statistic that I have cited here comes from Kann’s article, an article that argues that these players (with the exception of Haas) are about to have a return to form. These exact same statistics show why these players are NOT going to have great years: Terrible putting (Furyk excluded), short hitting (Garcia and Howell excluded, and while Love is considered long, he is ranked 108 in accuracy), not making birdies, and inconsistency do not paint a picture of promise.

Am I saying that none of these players will win this year? Of course not. Garcia might win this week. But Kann’s article does not help us understand why he might, and doesn’t give us any insight into why these players should be the ones to watch. In fact, Kann’s arguments are exactly opposite of what objective analysis of the evidence would conclude.


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