published Monday, June 20th, 2011

5 at 10: Rory McIlroy, Atlanta Braves pitching and the search for the next '5 at 10' contest

We're back. We're rested. We're not tanned (but we're not burned either, and when you have fair skin, that's the most you can ask).

Thanks for the kind wishes and the participation last week while we took the tots to the sand and shore of the Redneck Riviera. A good time was had by all.

Now, back live from the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...

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    Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, poses with the trophy after winning the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, June 19, 2011. McIlroy shot 2-under 69 Sunday to close the four days at Congressional at 16-under 268, shattering a U.S. Open scoring record held by four players, including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A historic Open

Rory McIlroy opened up a can on the golf world this weekend, dominating the U.S. Open like no other player in the 111-year history of the event. It was awesome in its awesomeness.

Words can't describe how one-sided this was — although Johnny Miller and the rest of NBC's talking heads certainly tried. And to be fair the extra gabbing was needed since Sunday's final round was not your normal Sunday at a major: It was more Will Ferrell movie marathon — still entertaining, but not a lot of drama.

That said, here are the 5-at-10's three thoughts this morning:

— Was it us, or did McIlroy look eight years older rather than eight weeks older since his Masters' meltdown. And not just in his approach and maturity. Dude seriously looked aged and in a good way. Don't know if this is the start of a big-time run (that's what we think) or just a big-time win, but wow, he has the look (and the swing) or a guy that is going to have to be answered for in the foreseeable future.

— It was an amazing win, we all agree on that, right? Can we all agree not to start the, "Rory's the next Tiger Woods," talk? Have we not learned from the next-Jordan talk? Let's just let Rory be Rory and enjoy the show.

— That said, the 5-at-10 would have given all the extra money we've made from our family-oriented- Intertube-web-based-sports column to hear or read what Tiger Woods was thinking Sunday. Woods had to be watching, right? He had to be thinking, "Hey, that's what I used to do/should be doing," right? How will he respond with the appearance of Rory as a real rival — something that he has really never had with the possible rival flirtations with Phil Mickelson?

  • photo
    The final leader board showing Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland as the winner is reflected in the water at the 18th hole after the final round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, June 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Wide Open U.S. Open challenge results

Thanks for the late charge of participation in our Wide Open U.S. Open contest. Our contest structure still needs some tweaking — it felt like there was too much penalty for a player missing the cut (stupid Adam Scott cost the 5-at-10 a shot).

Anyhoo, there were four entries that had five golfers play into the weekend. Here are the results:

  1. Mrs. 5-at-10 —96 points — Phil Mickelson (54), Rory McIlroy (1), Davis Love III (11), Steve Stricker (19), Brandt Snedeker (11)
  2. wc777 — 114 points — Rory McIlroy (1), YE Yang (3), Paddy Harrington (45), Phil Mickelson (54), Brandt Snedeker (11)
  3. SportTalk's Quake — 117 points — Graeme McDowell (14), Rory McIllroy (1), Lee Westwood (3), Luke Donald (45), Phil Mickelson (54)
  4. SportTalk's Dr. B — 165 points — Luke Donald (45), Phil Mickelson (54), Steve Stricker (19), Dustin Johnson (33), Matt Kuchar (14).

Now for the even better news, the Mrs. 5-at-10 has offered the Braves tickets back into the prize vault, so we need another contest, stat. Any thoughts?

  • photo
    Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, is pushed in the pits after he ran out of gas and was struck by another car on the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Michigan international Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Sunday, June 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Kendall Newberry)

NASCAR is making our head hurt

OK, the 5-at-10 has heard the phrase "fuel strategy" about 12 times too many.

NASCAR should be going fast and turning left, not going as quickly as you can but trying to save gasoline. NASCAR should be, "If you ain't cheatin' then you ain't tryin'" and "If you're not first, you're last," not "how many more laps can we get on this tank?" NASCAR should be racing to the finish line not lining up enough fuel to cruise to the race's finish.

NASCAR has become too dependent on fuel gauges rather than speed gauges. What's next a hybrid? If that's the case, supercharge one of those mini-Coopers and let Dale Junior get behind the wheel of that baby, make two pit stops and sprint to a third-place finish. (Hey, gas mileage is important, but it's going to take more than that for Junior to get a win.)

In its heyday, NASCAR strategy was simple: "Go faster than everyone else." Now we got calculators and engineers and math whizzes trying to calculate MPGs as much as RPMs.

Let's get back to "How fast can we go in this car?" rather than "How far can we go on this tank?" guys.

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (49) works against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game in Atlanta on Monday, May 2, 2011. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Baseball crazy days

Holy hanging sliders and Eddie Harris putting snot on the ball, the 5-at-10 heads south and baseball goes crazy.

— Jair Jurrjens is as good a pitcher as there is in baseball right now. Justin Verlander has better stuff. Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee have more plus-pitches. CC Sabathia has more offensive help. But Jurrjens' numbers are awesome — an NL-best 2.11 ERA and nine wins.

— Albert Pujols hurt his left wrist Sunday. The highlights were not pretty. How it affects his future (his Hall-of-Fame production and his big contract talks during the upcoming offseason) is unknown. Several former slugging first basemen (Cliff Floyd and Derrek Lee come to mind) have lost a great deal of power after suffering wrist injuries. And if Albert is done for the rest of the year, who other than the Yankees or the Red Sox (two teams that have two pretty good first basemen already) would pay the nine-figure deal for a guy with an unknown future?

Sidenote: Where's all the hand wringing about safety for first basemen, like the lip-quivering angst the Giants tossed out because Buster Posey was trucked at the plate? Want to know why there's no outcry — say it with us, "It's part of the game."

— The Marlins, who are 1-18 in June and have had the worst month of everyone this side of Rep. Anthony Weiner, are reportedly going to to turn Jack McKeon as their next manager. Uh, guys, McKeon is 80. Yes, 80. He started his MLB managing career when Nixon was in the White House. Let's just move on.

  • photo
    The U.S. hockey team pounces on goalie Jim Craig after a 4-3 victory against the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics, as a flag waves from the partisan Lake Placid, N.Y. crowd, February 22, 1980. (AP Photo)

Today's question

With Rory's triumphant return, the memories of his Augusta collapse have certainly faded somewhat. That said, it got the 5-at-10 thinking about what a major golf title means in general and a Masters championship in particular.

Question for the group: Would you rather win a Green Jacket, the Heisman Trophy or an Olympic gold medal? Discuss. Or is there another title that carries more weight.

Until tomorrow.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
patrickd said...

How about this for our next contest.

We could take bets on if Sir Gooney's Golf on Brainerd Road will accept the USGA's offer to hold next year's US Open or if it will go to the course back near the Jukebox Junction stage at Lake Winnepesaukah.

June 20, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

NASCAR is one "Fuel Strateegery" accident away from putting Numbers on the Side of Toyota Priuss...the fuel strategy talk is getting old and frankly it ruins a race when you have someone coming down the final stretch then you hear DW say.."he's slowing down...he's outa gas"...that is not what I want to hear at all...SLOW shouldnt even be whispered during a NASCAR race unless its along the lines of..."Dang baby..get the lead out...I need a cold brewski..why you going so slow??"... and for the love of Pete Webber sunglasses inside a bowling alley..if I have to see the "highlight" of Brad Keslowski's tire blowing in front of the ESPN/TNT/CNN camera...i think Im gonna croak!!!

Rory...Well played sir...a tip of the hat goes to you and your performance...i hope you are here to stay..Tiger could use the motivation to visit the fountain of youth and uncover his A Game that his been locked away in Davey Jone's Locker...

as for the 5@10's question..." Gold Jacket Green Jacket..who gives a..."thank you Happy Gilmore..for that..A gold Medal representing your Country in the Olympic games has to carry more weight...esspecially in an individual event that the world watches..Wrestling...Swimming...Running...etc... but personally... World Series MVP and WWE Champion are at the top of my list in tie for #1....

June 20, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I'm gonna go with the green jacket. The Heisman was tainted for me by both Peyton getting robbed and Bush cheating to get it. The olympic medal would be nice to have but it doesnt carry as much weight for me. I think the one that you left off that I personally am training to acheive is the worlds strongest man title...hey what are going to say to a dude who can pull a Peterbilt with his teeth?!

June 20, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
patrickd said...

As for 'Today's Question': Depends on what sport the Gold medal's for. A gold medal, in and of itself, isn't enough to overtake a green jacket in my opinion. I'd take my day at Augusta over a bobsledding medal. If I get to chose to be on the 1980 USA hockey team or another such iconic Olympic moment, however, I'd have to save my moment at Augusta for another day.

June 20, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I think we can all agree that there is no Championship quite like the WWE Championship...I would hope to end the match with a flying leg drop ala Beautiful Bobby Eaton...I would call it.."The Saturday Night Sit Down Special" or "The Bo-Berry Telephone Booth"

Then I would raise my hands in victory with the title around my waiste...VICTORY!!!

June 20, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Gotta be the green jacket. Win it, you get to keep playing the tournament and you get to play as many practice rounds as you like there too. It means having to go to Augusta, but you still get to play the hallowed grounds. Glad you came back from the Gulf in one non oil slick drenched or lobster like fashion, big fella.

June 20, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

All Star break and Home Run Derby comin up soon..we could use that as the next contest. Either that one or "How many Red Snappers is the Oso gonna catch in 1 week 6 days while fishing with Capt. Bob from Capt. Adnersons?" contest...oh yeah baby....between that and the yellow fin shivering with anticipation...

June 20, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Oso...Im gonna say..25!

June 20, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Ooooooo...I like that number....guess i gotta give an under/over number shouldnt I? Did I mention i was slightly excited?!?!

June 20, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I would be too!

Ive been once and it was one of the better Fishing Memories of my life! We caught sooo much Red Snapper and should have been ilegal... and it sure did taste good!!!!

June 20, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...


Rory's performance was arguably the third-best golfing his ball of my lifetime.

Nicklaus at Augusta in 86; Tiger at Pebble in 2000; Rory & Tiger at Augusta in 1997 tied for third.

We go with the Green Jacket, too. If for no other reason than the cash that comes with it. Playing great golf is a profitable endeavor these days. Brian Gay has earned more golf cabbage than Tom Watson — and it's not that close.

Oso — agree that the Heisman has lost its shine. We see "Red Snappers" and PCB together and we're thinking about buying shots many moons ago at the bar.

PDavi — Agree that the sport makes a big difference in regard to the Olympics, too. Winning a gold in the decathlon and the "World's Greatest Athlete" tag would be cool.

EC — Our WWE move would the 5-at-10's "Bag of Nickles and Dimes" and overhand right that drops the opponent in one swing.

Contest details coming soon; keep the ideas coming.

— 5-at-10

BIspy — We got so, So, SO sunburned one time years ago that our eye lids were swollen shut.

June 20, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Bag of Nickel and Dimes ... I like it. Even better than the Camel Clutch. So this eyelids getting swollen shut thing. You didn't have some "help" in getting into that condition? And you can play good, even mediocre golf, and still sock away coin in this day and age of the PGA.

June 20, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Given the current state of college football, only cheaters are getting Heismans and them giving them back, or cheated and got away with it. The award is nothing more than a PR prize given out by sportswriters to their favorite guy. No good. Olympic Gold? C'mon, curling is an Olympic sport. Ever been to a bonspiel, they should get gold for being drunk and able to stand on the ice. No good either. uess it's the green jacket. You, a million eyes and all that pressure. You're on your own. That's the one.

June 20, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy —

We may have had a wee bit of help getting to the point where we were shirtless — with the super thin sunscreen with SPF 0 — all day on PCB. That was many, Many, MANY moons ago. And we all know I'm a man, now, I'm 40!

Whatsnottaken —

Welcome to the show. Agree completely, the green jacket would be the choice. In fact, we'd do everything possible up to changing our name to be introduced as "Masters champion 5-at-10."

Oso —

Here's hoping you catch your limit each day. And it's awesome that you mentioned Capt. Anderson's. Great place. The Mrs. 5-at-10 and I talk about how when we youths (or utes) we thought Capt. Anderson's was the FINEST restaurant on the planet.

It's a great place to eat, but our childhood memories of that joint were part Shangri La, part White House, part Taj Mahal and part "get the soup at Mendy's. It's the best, Jerry, the BEST."

It's like that big hill in the neighborhood you grew up in, the one that nobody would ride their bikes down. Then when you return, it's only a hill.

So it goes.

— 5-at-10

June 20, 2011 at 2:08 p.m.
eljefe said...

Allow me to defend the Gold Medal. No one said it was for curling. No one outside of Canada wants one of those. I will also concede the green jacket is a hallowed object. If the Golden Bear was presenting it to you ... magic. However, the Gold Medal in an actual sport has to be the number 1. With a bullet! Standing on the podium flipping some communist a not-for-family-based-intertube gesture while the National Anthem plays. Sorry Mr. Nicklaus I have to go with the Wheaties.

Now WWE Championship Belt that is tough to beat. Definitely wanted one of those. However, since I am so many miles away from EC he would surely lose his outrage before he arrived at my door I feel compelled to state the obvious ... IT'S FAKE!!!

June 20, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Couldnt agree more with that analogy there Cinco. Mrs Oso and I went last year...and we were both like "eh". But when I was a teenager down there with my family it was the place to go. Now, I'm lookin forward to fishin and Angelo's....which i guess thats the new hill in me anyways. And curling is a sport...thats some tough work sweeping that ice and pushin that huge puck around. EC....breath and count to ten before responding to El Jefe....he didnt mean it....

June 20, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

ElJefe —

Fair point. And the thought of hearing the Anthem with your hand over your heart as the flag is being waved is pretty awesome.

Oso —

Sidenote about this year's PCB trip. In addition to having wonderful beaches, PCB is the putt-putt golf capitol of the world. 5-at-10 Jr., who will be 4 in September, loved, Loved, LOVED him some putt-putt. Even to the point that we're going to have to create some putt-putt holes in the backyard at the 5-at-10 compound.

— 5-at-10

June 20, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
chas9 said...

Like Jay, I grew up loving Koufax and Drysdale, so I value the Cy Young award, but that wasn't one of our choices. Though the trophy's a classic, it can't be the Heisman for the reasons already stated, and because so many winners have flopped at the next level. And much as I prefer the college game, it's not the sport's best (see NFL). Growing up with Jim McKay hyping the Olympics as the red, white, and blue beat the cheating Commies was great, but it's not the same now. Besides, every four years they give out 388 gold medals (97 per year spread out), so a gold medal isn't the most exclusive award. Just swimming has 27 events (not counting relays), so who's the best swimmer, even? Okay, winning eight means something big. But there have been some really lame Olympic competitions, like spinning around twirling a long ribbon. I admire decathletes, too, but not many of us do. So much as I hate the rich man's sport of shooting golfs (it's boring TV), I have to go with the green jacket. And though most (if not all) of the elite cyclists are dopers, the best athlete in the world may be the winner of the Tour de France. I think he gets a yellow T-shirt.

June 20, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.
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