Spieth comes close to perfection

first_imgSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – The pursuit of the Greatest Major Season Ever isn’t supposed to be easy. “There’s a reason I have a receding hairline,” Jordan Spieth said, “and it’s because of that kind of pressure building up and that kind of stress. As much of a thrill as it is, it can wear you down.” He emptied the tank Sunday at Whistling Straits.  With one final chance to stamp his major season as the best of all time, Spieth embraced the moment and put on a memorable show at this PGA Championship – crouching and kneeling, begging and pleading, spinning and marching, swiping and fist-pumping, barking and cheering. It just wasn’t enough. Spotting one of the hottest players in the world a two-shot lead, Spieth could only watch in awe as Jason Day buried five years of frustration with a near-flawless 67 to bully his way into the major winner’s circle. “By far the best loss I’ve ever had,” Spieth said. Spieth lost to the lowest score ever shot in a major, 20-under 268. His own 17-under total is the best score in a major (relation to par) by a non-winner or playoff participant. Big picture, Spieth’s 54-under par cumulative score in the majors is the best all time, eclipsing by one Tiger Woods’ epic 2000 season. His 1,090 strokes in the majors are the fewest ever, five less than Woods’ gold standard. And he is the third player since 1960 to finish in the top-4 in all four majors in a season. Historic by any measure.  But it wasn’t until after the round that Spieth learned of the greatest consolation prize of all: His solo second was enough to overtake Rory McIlroy and ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Ranking, one of his lifelong goals.  “That will never be taken away from me now,” he said. Neither will one of the two best major seasons of the modern era.    This week there was considerable debate on where a three-major haul by Spieth would rank in the pantheon of all-time great seasons. It’s all a moot point now, of course, because Spieth fell short of earning the hat trick, and thus his major season will be slotted behind Woods in 2000 and Ben Hogan in 1953. But the conversation was interesting, and it served as a reminder of how close the 22-year-old came to reshaping our perception of major greatness. So while it’s easy to mourn what could have been, it’s worth celebrating one of the most impressive stretches of golf we’ve ever seen.   There was the runaway, record-breaking victory at the Masters. There was the taut finish at the U.S. Open, where Spieth was fortunate not only to avoid a loss, but also a playoff, after Dustin Johnson’s three-putt from 12 feet.  And then there was the gut-wrenching conclusion to the Open Championship, where Spieth had a tie for the lead after 70 holes and kicked away a chance to win. No one in the modern era – not Palmer, not Nicklaus, not Woods – has come closer to winning the third leg of the Grand Slam. All told, Spieth came within four measly shots of the single-season Slam. Only Nicklaus in 1975 (three) was closer. “You only get four (majors) a year,” Spieth said, “and to have an opportunity to win all of them is so cool.” Thing is, Spieth could very easily have mailed it in after St. Andrews. He could have showed up at the PGA, punched the clock, recorded another top 10 and been content with his two-major campaign. But his focus shifted to the winning this major, to making the most of this glorious year, the moment his last gasp from the Valley of Sin veered left of the cup. When he returned home to Dallas, he took only two days off and got back to work with swing coach Cameron McCormick. After a rusty start at Firestone, he closed with 66 and back-doored a top 10. “In our conversations where he confides in me, there was no letdown at all,” McCormick said. “Of course he would have loved to get into the playoff and win that tournament. That’s obvious. But there’s still a lot to play for.” Here he smiled. “Jordan is also very good at revising goals once he checks off a box, and he’s set some further goals for the rest of the season.” The PGA was next on Spieth’s list, and with a victory he could have become the first player to sweep all three American majors in the same season. His bid got off to a slow start, but a 71 in tough conditions kept him in touch with the leaders. No surprise there – he never trailed by more than five strokes after any major round this season. After his putter heated up, Spieth soared into contention with rounds of 67-65 and stirred hopes of even more history. With a back-nine 30 Saturday, he earned a spot in another final group, trailing the star-crossed Day by two. No player has put himself in position to break through more often recently than Day, but the Aussie showed the kind of audacity Sunday that had been lacking in his other close calls. Wailing away on his driver, he birdied four of his first seven holes to create some separation. The turning point in the final round came on No. 11, a reachable par 5 of 555 yards. Day belted a drive that practically waved at Spieth’s ball on the way by, bounded down the hill and settled 382 yards away. Walking up to their tee shots, Spieth whirled around and yelled, “Holy s—! You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Day smiled and flexed his bicep. A few moments later, he launched a wedge onto the green for an easy birdie, and when Spieth’s weak attempt from 6 feet peeled away at the cup, Day had regained his four-shot advantage. “It was a stripe show,” Spieth said. “It was really a clinic to watch.” Day got up and down out from the sand on 12. He stuffed an approach out of a deep fairway bunker to 10 feet on 14, then poured in the birdie putt. And after he gave back a shot on 15, he ripped a 4-iron to 20 feet on the par-5 16th to set up a stress-free birdie. “Each time he stood and took it back, I had hope,” Spieth said. “And each time after it came off the face, the hope was lost.” Spieth tried everything. He talked to his ball. Listened to pep talks from caddie Michael Greller. Made a few of the best up-and-downs of his life. Tried to will his ball into the cup. “To be honest,” Day said, “the kid just doesn’t go away.” But nothing worked, not this time.  Spieth’s goal at the start of the day was to shoot 68. That’s exactly what he signed for – and lost by three. Ever gracious in defeat, Spieth unabashedly praised his fellow competitor down the stretch. When Day made an unlikely birdie on 14, Spieth waited for him by the next tee and said, “I mean, wow, that’s impressive right there.” When Day nestled his long lag putt on 17 to within tap-in range, Spieth locked eyes and gave him a thumbs up. And when it was all over, when Day sobbed in his caddie’s arms and his young family spilled out onto the green, Spieth stood and applauded.   Later, while waiting in the scoring trailer, Spieth looked at Day and told him, “There was nothing I could do.” That helps explain why a legitimate run at the single-season Grand Slam only comes around every decade or two. It requires exquisite golf, yes, but also mental toughness, good fortune and timing. So much has to align, and in the end Spieth was four shots from perfection, from the Greatest Major Season Ever. “I’m tired right now,” he said. “I left it all out there.”last_img read more

Andrew Polec on Headlining Jim Steinman’s Rocktacular Bat Out of Hell in London

first_imgShows don’t get much more “rocktacular,” or so one assumes, than Bat Out of Hell – The Musical, the vaunted Jim Steinman hymn to youthful passion whose stage version is previewing at the London Coliseum prior to a June 20 opening. Drawing on an iconic back catalog of songs, director Jay Scheib’s production stars American performer Andrew Polec as the romantically questing, rebellious Strat—a that the West End newbie described as close to heaven-sent.How does it feel to be headlining the rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza of London’s theatrical summer?Everything about this for me has been the most huge and wonderful leap, and I’m so grateful for everything that’s been happening. Every day I just feel very grateful to be working with such an amazing group of people.Did you ever envisage yourself fronting a rock musical?I wasn’t actually a rock and roll kid. This is going to sound weird, but I didn’t realize I had a singing voice until late in my teens. I was a big sports kid at the time and played a lot of lacrosse and then I was in a terrible biking accident that ended all thoughts of that as a career, and so I joined the school choir and performed a solo. When I came off stage, my parents were, like, “Wow, you can actually sing!”Didn’t you realize that yourself?I guess I was under the impression that everyone could sing, at least enough. I didn’t realize that there are people out there who can’t hold a tune and that this is a gift I have been given from the universe and that it was probably important to respect it and to see if I could use it. What kind of character is Strat?For one thing he doesn’t age, so he is forever 18! Something happened to Strat that kept him in this 18-year-old mindset where he wants to be wild and reckless and to rebel against this despotic ruler, Falco. He’s trying to break out of the system and find freedom and all of a sudden, he sees Raven, who is the daughter of Falco, and he turns into this big pile of mush.Is it fun to be playing someone “forever 18”?Yeah, of course: it’s all acting. The right mindset is all you need.Have you had to alter your appearance for the part?I think I look pretty much like me but what’s interesting is that when we were trying out the show in Manchester, people didn’t recognize the way I acted onstage as opposed to the way I looked onstage. As Strat, I’m a little more forward and aggressive and not as nice a person onstage as I would be offstage, so that sort of changed everyone’s perspective.How are you fielding your composer Jim Steinman’s famously demanding vocals?Throat massage is really important, and pacing is also crucial. You have to be very aware of what’s actually worth pushing and going for, and what is worth sitting back on. It helps that I’m doing six performances a week and [castmate] Ben Purkiss is doing two. Is it a challenge escaping the influence of Meat Loaf? Well, he’s the guy who landed on the moon or maybe I should say Pluto first, and we’re all walking in his footsteps trying to figure out how he did it. He climbed Everest with his vocal acrobatics, so you actually think, “How did you do all that and still have a voice?”How did you land this production to begin with?I went to an open call in New York but I don’t think they were looking for my type.  At the time, I was there to audition for the SpongeBob musical and had brought my drum with me, and someone said, “Are you here for the Bat Out of Hell audition down the street?” At first I thought it was a misnomer and they were just using the phrase “bat out of hell,” but very quickly I realized they were talking about a completely different musical. So, there I was lugging my floor tom drum down the streets of New York, bumping into a lot of people on the way. Do you remember your introduction to the music of Jim Steinman?My dad played me “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” [sung by Meat Loaf on the Bat Out of Hell album] when I was younger, and I fell in love with the sheer energy of the song.  It was then that I realized that you can put as much energy into rock and roll as you can into a sport, and that kind of got me hooked. From there on, I played in quite a few rock bands.Where was musical theater in all this?I think it just depended on the show. I grew up with Meat Loaf, but I also grew up with The Fantasticks, which I got to do just recently in New York [at the Snapple Theater Center], and all of a sudden I was part of both those worlds. At the same time, our show has been compared to American Idiot, which, unfortunately, I never saw, and I’ve also never seen Les Miz or Rent. I’m clearly not the person to ask about musicals!What do you think SpongeBob would make out of Bat Out of Hell?Obviously, SpongeBob is a comical character but he also firmly believes in everything he does, and what’s so beautiful about Jim’s music and so many of his lyrics is that you could look at it all as totally comical but if you play it seriously, then it rewards being taken seriously. There’s such a human element to what Jim writes that if you play it 150%, then the comedy comes through, the love comes through, the total heartbreak and the awkwardness come through.Given that the Bat Out of Hell album was first released in 1977, does the material speak to where we are today?I hope so. We’re dealing here with a character who can be seen as the blueprint of rock and roll, which in turn came from the idea of rebellion and changing the way people think about society and the way they think about each other. With the terrible racism and homophobia that seems to be coming back at the moment, I’d like to think that maybe this is the character needed for this time. Star Files Andrew Poleccenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

Logo Request Forum

first_img Sign in to follow this   Sign in to follow this   Posted January 9, 2017 SportsLogos.Net Is the request forum just down or has it been deleted? Needing some quick and easy work done. Thanks Members must have 100 posts in order to request design work.  Those requests must be made in the appropriate forum which will only be accessible once 100 posts have been made. By TreyO, January 9, 2017 in Sports Logo News 3,260 0 Sec19Row53 Share on other sites 0 20. Requests All Activity Members Followers 2 All Activity Share on other sites 0 Members Thank You Share this post 3 posts Followers 2 Sports Logos TreyO Link to post 0 0 0 Logo Request Forum You need data to know what everyone thinks Location:Oconomowoc, WI Posted January 10, 2017 Link to post 0 Members must have 100 posts in order to request design work.  Those requests must be made in the appropriate forum which will only be accessible once 100 posts have been made. TreyO 3,260 Sports Logos From the FAQ: 0 Link to post Go To Topic Listing 20. Requests Share this post Recommended Posts 3 posts Sports Logo News Sec19Row53 Forums Home Sports Logo News Logo Request Forum TreyO 3,260 Posted January 10, 2017 Share on other sites Share this post This topic is now closed to further replies. 5 minutes ago, Sec19Row53 said: 4,331 posts TreyO Forums Home 0 SportsLogos.Net Members From the FAQ: Logo Request Forumlast_img read more