JJ's profile

Name: John McClure
Location: UK
Member since: October 15, 2003
Last visit: February 07, 2022

JJ has posted 154 links and 2,391 comments to SportsFilter and 22 links and 231 comments to the Locker Room and 5 columns.

Sports Bio

To avoid future confusion in golf threads, yes I was once a pro, but no I wasn't very good, and after less than a year of playing in South Africa (and a mere two proper tournament starts, from which I managed to make the cut - and therefore a cheque - precisely no times), I severed a tendon in my hand (in 1999) and now I just play for (mentally agonising) fun.

Recent Links

Golfer linked to multi-million dollar coke deal.: Coca-Cola’s link to golf dates to a sponsorship connection with Bobby Jones in the late 1940s. Now it is a key partner of the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which marks the lucrative conclusion to the FedEx Cup series.

posted by JJ to golf at 05:15 AM on January 14, 2016 - 3 comments

Tiger Woods to be a Ryder Cup vice captain in 2016: Ian Poulter thinks it's a good idea. Rory McIlroy is "visibly surprised". Two questions arise: what can we infer from his acceptance of the role about the extent of his back injury, and why would Davis Love III want someone in the team room who hasn't played on a winning US team since 1999?

posted by JJ to golf at 08:15 AM on November 24, 2015 - 7 comments

Death in the London Marathon: Claire Squires, 30, from Leicestershire, collapsed on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday. She was running to raise money for the Samaritans, for whom her mother has been a volunteer for 24 years, and in memory of her brother who died of an overdose. She hoped to raise a few quid. As of this post, her Justgiving account had raised almost £450,000 from more than 40,000 donations.

posted by JJ to other at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2012 - 1 comment

The second weekend in April: means only one thing to a golf fan - it's Masters time. Tiger Woods won two weeks ago at Bay Hill and is the 5/1 favourite. Mark O'Meara likes what he has seen of him in practice. Rory McIlroy threw it away last year, but is second favourite this time out. Faldo thinks Donald has got what it takes. Hunter Mahan cursed himself by wining last week. Big Phil's playing well, and even Harrington thinks he might have something to show. Martin Kaymer has yet to make the cut in four starts, but skipped one over the water into the hole at 16 in the practice round, so maybe this is his year! Let the jacket fight commence!

posted by JJ to golf at 09:02 AM on April 03, 2012 - 10 comments

Tiger Seal: Tiger Woods was considering abandoning golf and joining the Navy SEALS, former coach Hank Haney has claimed.

posted by JJ to golf at 11:45 AM on February 29, 2012 - 17 comments

Recent Comments

Golfer linked to multi-million dollar coke deal.

Always thought there'd be a chance to write that headline. Never thought the story would be positive or about Jordan Spieth.

posted by JJ at 05:16 AM on January 14, 2016

Chelsea Sacks Jose Mourinho

Mourihno's three year plan:

Year One - buy the bus

Year Two - park the bus

Year Three - crash the bus

posted by JJ at 09:33 AM on December 21, 2015

Tiger Woods to be a Ryder Cup vice captain in 2016

Fair enough, but he's hardly the epitome of the spirit of the Ryder Cup, is he?

posted by JJ at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2015

Tiger Woods to be a Ryder Cup vice captain in 2016

No better man for that role, undoubtedly.

posted by JJ at 10:55 AM on November 24, 2015

Tiger Woods to be a Ryder Cup vice captain in 2016

Answers probably: nothing and "because he's Tiger Woods".

posted by JJ at 08:15 AM on November 24, 2015

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Hate to drag an Australian into your analogy, Owly, but something in your description reminded me of this.

"They sell souvenirs over where the Aussie is..."

posted by JJ at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2015

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

If you're in the US and you wanted to watch any of the cricket, I hope you got up early.

posted by JJ at 07:04 AM on August 06, 2015

Tiger Woods Falls Out of Top 100 in Golf

As a side note - or, more accurately, to directly comment on the FPP - in the 18.5 years between entering the top 100 and dropping out of it, he spent more than 13 years in total as world number one. That's just stupendous.

That said, I still reckon he's the closest thing real sport has to a Roy Munson.

posted by JJ at 09:30 AM on March 31, 2015

Tiger Woods Falls Out of Top 100 in Golf

He's got more insidious problems at the moment than not being able to hit towering iron shots or long drives (he can still do both at least as well as the "average" guys out there); what he's spent the last couple of months battling (wisely, behind closed doors) is a form of the yips more dreaded than the putting version - the chipping yips.

His back is allegedly fine again (according to Notah Begay), and his knees aren't giving him trouble. Ironically, tinkering with his swing so much for so many years in an attempt to avoid long term injury may actually have caused a lot of his physical problems. He switched back to an older version over the winter and suddenly was hitting very big drives again, not all of them headed to the carpark either.

I don't doubt that he had an injury at the Farmers event, but it was evident in the run-up to that incident that he was really struggling with the chipping yips. In isolation, they're tough to deal with and will cost you several shots a round before you know it; but far worse is how they put pressure on other areas of your game, both forwards and backwards.

Going forwards, you're leaving yourself longer par putts, which, even if you hole them, take it out of you emotionally if you keep having to hole them instead of leaving yourself a nice three inch tap in. Going backwards, your approach shots come under more pressure because you know you're in trouble if you miss the green. You start to steer it away from flags to avoid short-siding yourself, and pretty soon, even if you hit all the greens, you're dropping shots. They even cause problems back at the tee; you start trying to drive it further to give yourself shorter approach shots to reduce the odds on you missing the green and having to chip.

Rumour has it today that Tiger's going to Augusta tomorrow to play a practice round. Like most golf fans (and players) I'd love to see him play and compete again, but even if he's found something he can use around the greens (in terms of a technique or a thought) that has "cured" his yips, it will only take one knifed flop shot to cut the legs out from under him if he plays next week.

posted by JJ at 09:22 AM on March 31, 2015

How Good Are the Americans, Really?

From the outside looking in, the big difference between this US team and the previous ones I've seen is that this one looks, with very few minor exceptions, like a team of footballers, whereas the previous ones all looked like teams of athletes playing football. I'd be amazed if some of the world's top clubs are not currently coveting the hell out of some of them, and I think Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Brad Friedel all disprove the notion that the US has never had a player coveted by a top team.

posted by JJ at 09:56 AM on July 03, 2014

Michael Bradley Covered Most Ground in World Cup

It's a bit of a depressing thing. Part of me wants to say that what the US team should do is get a bit more cynical. They should go down more often when someone swipes a leg or an arm at them. They should roll around on the floor a bit to try and entice the referee into booking their assailant and to give their team mates a breather for a few seconds. They should learn how to hold onto the ball in the middle of the park and slow everything down a bit when they have a lead.

But most of me wants to stand up, applaud and yell at all the other teams that this is how they should all play; this is how they DID play when they were children and before it became a job. And that for a neutral watching a game, it makes for a much more entertaining spectacle. That 0-0 with Belgium is one of the most entertaining games (never mind being THE most entertaining 0-0) I've ever seen. I saw in that the bones of the meaningless weekly games I play with my friends, but with lots of very talented flesh on top. I hardly ever see that when Spain play, or when Barca play, or when Bayern play (since Pep ruined them).

If the US want to win things, they will have to subdue some of that natural ebullience; but it would be a much better footballing world to live in if they just kept it up and everyone else followed suit.

posted by JJ at 09:42 AM on July 03, 2014

Michael Bradley Covered Most Ground in World Cup

Without wishing to denigrate Bradley, who I think played about as well as anyone could have with the limited support the system in which he was playing afforded him, is there a chance that he ran further than anyone else because he was constantly out of position? Messi, for example, spends a lot of the game walking rather than running, but is so acutely aware of where the space is, that he "pops up" in the right place at the right time a lot. Zidane was similar in his day.

I'm reminded of the answer former Liverpool player Michael Robinson gave when asked by the Guardian who was better, Hansen or Lawrenson?

Mark used to fly into slide tackles, everyone would applaud and he'd be a hero. But Hansen would have seen it long before. Lawrensen was never on his feet; Hansen never needed to be on his bum. Lawrensen was brilliant but Hansen was a genius.

Bradley is being (rightly) lauded for his work rate, but there's part of me wants to point out that if he were a little better at football, he wouldn't need to do so much running.

posted by JJ at 05:31 AM on July 03, 2014

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

We did. By the skin of our teeth, one might say.

posted by JJ at 10:06 AM on June 27, 2014

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

I wonder if Liverpool have to continue paying his wages during that time. That would be close to 4 million for him to not even come to the stadium. If they do and that's how the world works, I'm not letting this week end without biting my boss and demanding four months of paid leave.

Chiellini says he thinks the ban is excessive.

posted by JJ at 08:24 AM on June 27, 2014

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Suarez and chicken Chiellini had previous, according to the Independent.

posted by JJ at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2014