Thursday, October 10, 2013

Creep of the Week

Last Sunday, the final round of a new LPGA-sanctioned tournament took place somewhere in deep China. It's notable because it featured: the hometown favorite overcoming a one-shot deficit by making eagle on the 72nd hole to win outright; a mishit shot that got not one but two stunningly good bounces to wind up a few feet from the hole; an epic display of grousing and sore losing by the runner-up, and the subsequent obliteration of her twitter account.

(Not the most timely post admittedly; then again this event was so far away, and so severely tape-delayed, this all could've happened last month for all you care.)

This is how runner-up Stacy Lewis described Shanshan Feng's win immediately following the round:
“I kind of just feel like it was just taken from me. You’d like to win on a good shot but obviously it wasn’t a good shot. It’s very frustrating…I mean I played well.”
Whoa. That is something Woody Austin says. Not Stacy Lewis--you are better than that. You are not only the top American woman in this goddamn game, you are golf's poster girl for rising above adversity.

So Feng mishit it. In that situation, it took considerable guts to go for the green in two on a water-guarded par 5. You know it, I know it, even the most dumbass of golf fans knows it. The contact might have been far from perfect but it wasn't a terrible shot. Feng managed to do a couple things right--it cleared the hazard and went right at the pin. At worst it's a shot that came up maybe 10-15 yards short of the intended landing. A really bad shot would've ended up in the water, of which there was plenty on that hole. Am I right or am I wrong here.

Lewis though, carried on as if Feng hit a low thin slice that skipped over water, glanced sideways off a hard object and by miracle ended up near the hole.

Anyways even if it was a lucky shot, this tournament, no different from most others, played out over four rounds of stroke play. Stacy Lewis made 267 strokes that week--a very good total, but I'm willing to bet that not every one of those was well-struck.

After a few moments to cool off, she fired up the twitter to put some more perspective on things.
Congrats to Shan Shan on the win, crazy shot at 18. Very disappointed in fans in China this week.
Twitter tweets are cheap. They are free, actually. So there's no need to be economical with them. There's really no point in trying jam together two disparate thoughts in one post--unless of course you are trying to take a dig at someone.
Between all the cameras and cheering when I missed putts. It was just really hard to have fun out there. On to the next.
Okay, we can all appreciate some candor and losing sucks and what have you. When you put it like that, it does sound like a rough time out there. But on to the next! That's right girl-friend, now we are just going to put all this ugliness behind us, look onward and upwards to better things, right?
"Btw what (sic) till you se the shot on 18 that won it! Let's just say it involved a rock and the flag stick."
Wait, I thought we decided to move on!

If by rock you mean the Earth, then, okay sure. But looking at the video, there's no rock. There couldn't be. The ball landed in the rough grass just short of the green. On a nice course like this, in an LPGA tournament, the idea that some rock would be lying hidden right there, in a common area of the hole where lots of chip-shots would be played, strains credibility at best.

After most likely getting lots of blowback, she decided to delete the account altogether, but not before firing off one last passive-aggressive message.
For those whose (sic) were actually supportive on twitter, sorry to say I will be signing off of here. I'm sorry I say what I believe.
That's no apology. If it's meant as one, no one's accepting it. She might as well have busted out that old passive-aggressive classic: "I'm sorry you were offended."

Now don't get me wrong, I can be a fan of bitter, spiteful ranting in the right context. I don't even really have a problem with sore loser talk or thinly-veiled xenophobia per se. I can even let slide the ungrateful, sneering attitude directed at the host, which supplied Stacy with a nice $165,043 consolation prize.

None of this is really about being nice. I don't care about that. It's about integrity. Meaning what you say. If you're going to offer congratulations to her opponent, do it sincerely or don't do it at all. If you're going to criticize then stand by your criticism and deliver it straight, not try to cloak it with fake warm sentiment.

It's also about perspective. I get annoyed by the Chinese as much as anyone but in this case you have to cut them slack. They are extremely new to this sport. They will figure it out in time. Or maybe they won't, and they'll keep cheering missed putts. If they do, that's simply a cultural difference we'll have to accept. On top of that, they were cheering on one of their own in a big official pro golf tournament, and how often do they get to do that? They were understandably impassioned. Which by the way is more than can be said about American LPGA galleries, which are pretty much an endangered species at this point.

And lastly we can't not point out Lewis's truly awful communication skills and what a poor example that sets for young kids. I joke around as much as the next guy, but of this matter I'm not joking around here. The continual degradation of language is a serious issue.

I am not a Lewis hater. To her I am indifferent at best, and believe me I have misgivings about giving out this award to some scrawny, pasty chick, but given the scope and magnitude of this particular post-tournament hissy-fit, the misdirected ire, the wanton disregard for standard written English, I didn't really have much choice now did I.


  1. I could not have said it better; Stacy needs to work on her attitude and grammar.

  2. Think about it. Eagle to win. Not par or birdie. No guts, no glory. Excellent!!!

    I'm trying to remember the last time I hit a bad shot that turned out pretty good...uh ...let's see...well, more often than I care to admit.



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