Is Rickie a closer now???

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  • HankshankHankshank Members Posts: 1,555 ✭✭
    Would be kind of interesting to see the quota (2nd places/1st Places) for the guys. Ricky is pretty high up there but not as high as fellow countryman Claret Jugger. Wonder who, amongst the guys that has at least 5 wins on the pga tour who gets the lowest quota.
  • bobcat88bobcat88 Members Posts: 237 ✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Wow, there are some utterly ridiculous statements being made in this thread. Lots of harsh words and judgements by guys who likely can't even close out the "B" flight of their club championship and would crap their pants in a member-guest shootout...NET...lol!



    Rickie won. He made some mistakes and got some really bad breaks, but still he got it done. Plenty of examples of guys who did not win their first major until later in their careers. Rickie is only 30, he's got time and he'll get at least one IMO.



    Edit to add: Looks to be lots of closers in this thread, they're all just missing the "c." ��




    It's not a thread about whether or not anyone here would be able to handle the pressure of a PGA tournament. He has a track record of being a bad front runner in a tournament, typically plays much better when the pressure isn't on him to close and he has to chase down a leader.



    He's a top-20 player in the world, he'll win some more tournaments, and who knows, maybe a major or 2.
  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 4,777 ✭✭
    Rickie a closer?



    That's a big NO. Sure he won but the stars aligned for him to actually get the win. Everyone else was so poor that if he had not won, Greg Norman would have been looking at him thinking the guy is choker.



    The cold facts are that in events where he has gone into the final round with a lead his stroke average is about 73. That is not play from a closer. Even if the debacle with the drop on 11 didn't take place, that is still a 6 as opposed to a 7 that he is shooting which would have still gotten him round in 73. A closer doesn't nearly shank his second shot from the middle of the fairway on 3, a closer doesn't double bogey the 5th with a bad decision off the tee and then a terrible thought on 3rd and 4th shots and a closer doesn't go anywhere near thinning their chip shot into the water from a relatively simply position on 11.



    Rickie was nothing other than lucky that he won. Lucky that JT has his worst round of the week by 4 shots and lucky that Kuchar shot +4 for the day.
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  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 4,777 ✭✭
    Also because people seem to have made it about this, I would never claim that I was a closer either. I have hit some shocking shots when under pressure and that has been as a direct result of my bricking it...just like Rickie yesterday.
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  • freeze16172002freeze16172002 Members Posts: 90 ✭✭
    He played better over 4 days then anyone. But he did not impress on sunday win or not. As far as bad breaks for him? What about the great break of Kutcher and Thomas both playing like they did and grace going into the water on 17...... he chipped over the green into the water thats on him. the ball rolling back into the water, maybe a bad break. But when you drop and it keeps rolling into the water you should realize there is a chance of it happening.
  • HankshankHankshank Members Posts: 1,555 ✭✭
    Tiger has only ended 2nd 31 times
  • freeze16172002freeze16172002 Members Posts: 90 ✭✭
    edited Feb 4, 2019 9:45am #68
    oz dee cee wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Wow, there are some utterly ridiculous statements being made in this thread. Lots of harsh words and judgements by guys who likely can't even close out the "B" flight of their club championship and would crap their pants in a member-guest shootout...NET...lol!



    Rickie won. He made some mistakes and got some really bad breaks, but still he got it done. Plenty of examples of guys who did not win their first major until later in their careers. Rickie is only 30, he's got time and he'll get at least one IMO.



    Edit to add: Looks to be lots of closers in this thread, they're all just missing the "c." ��



    what bad breaks? had great breaks with grace hitting into the water and kutcher and thomas playing poorly
  • uggenjigmey407uggenjigmey407 Members Posts: 83 ✭✭
    oz dee cee wrote:


    I can't help but think, no. No he's not. I know he won and that's great, I was rooting for him. But I feel he stumbled badly and got lucky. Certainly didn't close it out in a confident manner.




    May be not. But this win should help him for his quest for a or more major wins.
  • csufmancsufman CaliforniaMembers Posts: 144 ✭✭
    Always rooting for him but still did not play well in the final round. His bad breaks started with bad ball striking.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,128 ✭✭

    oz dee cee wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Wow, there are some utterly ridiculous statements being made in this thread. Lots of harsh words and judgements by guys who likely can't even close out the "B" flight of their club championship and would crap their pants in a member-guest shootout...NET...lol!



    Rickie won. He made some mistakes and got some really bad breaks, but still he got it done. Plenty of examples of guys who did not win their first major until later in their careers. Rickie is only 30, he's got time and he'll get at least one IMO.



    Edit to add: Looks to be lots of closers in this thread, they're all just missing the "c." ��



    what bad breaks? had great breaks with grace hitting into the water and kutcher and thomas playing poorly




    Dropped ball rolling back in to the water after being at rest for quite a period of time?



    The initial chip shot that failed to check (kind of skidded) and went into the water in the first place just missing being saved by the bunker by about an inch would arguably be another.



    Most of the field (including RF) played significantly worse on Sunday than the previous 3 days. I don't constitute the other players in contention scoring poorly as a break one way or the other. Perhaps it was just indicative of tougher conditions on Sunday?
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  • freeze16172002freeze16172002 Members Posts: 90 ✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    oz dee cee wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Wow, there are some utterly ridiculous statements being made in this thread. Lots of harsh words and judgements by guys who likely can't even close out the "B" flight of their club championship and would crap their pants in a member-guest shootout...NET...lol!



    Rickie won. He made some mistakes and got some really bad breaks, but still he got it done. Plenty of examples of guys who did not win their first major until later in their careers. Rickie is only 30, he's got time and he'll get at least one IMO.



    Edit to add: Looks to be lots of closers in this thread, they're all just missing the "c." ��



    what bad breaks? had great breaks with grace hitting into the water and kutcher and thomas playing poorly




    Dropped ball rolling back in to the water after being at rest for quite a period of time?



    The initial chip shot that failed to check (kind of skidded) and went into the water in the first place just missing being saved by the bunker by about an inch would arguably be another.



    Most of the field (including RF) played significantly worse on Sunday than the previous 3 days. I don't constitute the other players in contention scoring poorly as a break one way or the other. Perhaps it was just indicative of tougher conditions on Sunday?
    He hit the chip into the water how is that a bad break? each time he dropped the ball it rolled into the hazard, then he placed it and took his time with a good chance of it rolling in again, bad break or mental error?
  • Birdie MacBirdie Mac Members Posts: 490 ✭✭
    I'm going to say yes. The question is not whether or not he's been a closer over his career, but rather is he a closer now. A hard fought, stressful win like this can only give you confidence going forward. "If you can keep your head when others are losing theirs, etc..."



    I picked Fowler a month ago to win the Masters. I'll bet anybody on this board a shilling I'm right.
  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 4,777 ✭✭
    Birdie Mac wrote:


    I'm going to say yes. The question is not whether or not he's been a closer over his career, but rather is he a closer now. A hard fought, stressful win like this can only give you confidence going forward. "If you can keep your head when others are losing theirs, etc..."



    I picked Fowler a month ago to win the Masters. I'll bet anybody on this board a shilling I'm right.




    I disagree that Fowler could be said to have kept his head, he well and truly lost his his, fortunately for him he had built up enough of a lead that he was able to do that.
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  • kcsfkcsf Members Posts: 1,052 ✭✭


    That drive on 18 didn't scream Closer to me.



    Miller would've been telling the caddie to throw away the driver and 3WD and hit an iron. Same for 17.




    Sure, except he kept pushing his driving iron. His driver is still his most reliable club.
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  • Matt JMatt J Members Posts: 8,716 ✭✭
    I'd guess this win makes him mentally stronger. Keeping it together and rolling that 50 foot eagle putt to a few inches was huge.



    These guys are not robots and Rickie clearly gets quick under pressure. Something he and his team can increasingly work on.



    Like everyone on tour getting a V and the exemptions TOC invite is huge. Keeps Cobra happy perhaps allows him to move his schedule around to focus on a major. I don't know that he'll ever really be a multiple majors type talent, but he's 100% good for the game and worth the money sponsors spend on him IMO.
  • stanger37stanger37 Members Posts: 353 ✭✭
    I do not know if this is the correct finish to base if he is a closer on. But I will say that if you don't have a good mental game I think that would have been a disaster. I don't discredit him for others around him not playing as well down the stretch. The scoring average was over par yesterday, and I'd imagine the afternoon groups were the majority of those over par once the weather kicked up. I think this finish and finally getting it done at a place he has notoriously failed on Sunday's may help him get out of his own way moving forward. But to base if he is now a closer off this performance, I am not ready to do that. But I do hope that is helps him turn into one. I find him to be more likable than his close pals so won't mind seeing him in the final groups come Sundays.
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  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,128 ✭✭

    dpb5031 wrote:


    oz dee cee wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Wow, there are some utterly ridiculous statements being made in this thread. Lots of harsh words and judgements by guys who likely can't even close out the "B" flight of their club championship and would crap their pants in a member-guest shootout...NET...lol!



    Rickie won. He made some mistakes and got some really bad breaks, but still he got it done. Plenty of examples of guys who did not win their first major until later in their careers. Rickie is only 30, he's got time and he'll get at least one IMO.



    Edit to add: Looks to be lots of closers in this thread, they're all just missing the "c." ��



    what bad breaks? had great breaks with grace hitting into the water and kutcher and thomas playing poorly




    Dropped ball rolling back in to the water after being at rest for quite a period of time?



    The initial chip shot that failed to check (kind of skidded) and went into the water in the first place just missing being saved by the bunker by about an inch would arguably be another.



    Most of the field (including RF) played significantly worse on Sunday than the previous 3 days. I don't constitute the other players in contention scoring poorly as a break one way or the other. Perhaps it was just indicative of tougher conditions on Sunday?
    He hit the chip into the water how is that a bad break? each time he dropped the ball it rolled into the hazard, then he placed it and took his time with a good chance of it rolling in again, bad break or mental error?




    Appeared he caught a flier with the chip. It just takes a smidge of water between clubface and ball to cause a reduction in spin. He certainly may have misjudged the conditions, but I still view it as a bad break. We've all seen much worse shots not end so badly
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  • Birdie MacBirdie Mac Members Posts: 490 ✭✭
    I can't speak to the details of his win; I was busy all day and haven't had a chance to watch it. It sounds like it was a war of attrition, and bottom line, Fowler won. Scoreboard. If I were him, I'm not looking at the win as a stroke (pun intended) of luck; I'm thinking I, along with most everyone else, struggled, and I willed a win. And I'm drinking a lot of coffee, 'cause coffee's for closers.
  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,363 ✭✭
    I wouldn't say Rickie "closed" yesterday, more like everyone else near him choked worse. That said, he played well enough to win and he kept it together after the blowup to birdie 17 and par 18. His demeanor probably helped him recover faster than most because he doesn't appear to be an emotional player so maintained his outward composure where others might not have been able to.
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  • CasualLieCasualLie Do Woodchucks Chuck Wood? Members Posts: 1,401 ✭✭
    There have been many "closers" in baseball over the years who were stellar with a man on 2nd. The crazy part was the closer put the man on 2nd! The light-out closer often flirting with disaster and walking the first batter faced as they extend their warm-up. Still confident, can still bring the nasty stuff, and as a fan, while nervous, you felt the game was in hand. Any baseball fan has seen this a lot.



    While I wouldn't quite call Rickie the guy who oozes confidence going into the back 9 Sunday with a slim lead, he made huge strides yesterday. At times he did look nervous yesterday, every tour player would be, even Tiger, but some are just better at hiding it than others. Any serious golfer knows those putts he was facing were nerve wracking, but Rickie could put that away for a moment, laser in his focus, and drain the key ones.



    His ball striking yesterday was not off by much, but enough that on a very wet day funny things can happen. Anyone notice they were not playing lift, clean, and cheat? Hitting a ball out of the rough with water all over the ball and the grass is not anything close to predictable like a dry, sunny day. Is Matt Kuchar that much of a chop? He was all over the place yesterday, so was Thomas. Were they choking? They were definitely feeling the pressure and it showed in their putting.



    But not Fowler. He arguably hit one really bad shot, the darn near shank that the day before would be in the dry desert, but after rain it is unplayable in water and he drops on the cart path. With Kuchar looking at an eagle putt, Fowler gets up and down from 50 yards draining a tricky putt. Perhaps it was a bit of a brain cramp to drop where he did on 11, but it was still a bad break when he thought the ball was at rest, but a minute later it is in the water. But consider he hit the shot before the same way he has hit it a thousand times and it took an unpredictable skid to barely go off the green, barely miss the bunker, and find the water, so not a surprise he doesn't want to hit that shot again when he would rather hit something with more loft.



    And Grace, unlucky??? Ridiculous. Without the drama from Fowler, he is not even in the conversation. And Azinger, who is getting killed in another thread, pointed it out dead on as a player, it is a different mindset when just a couple of hours before you are 7 shots back then all of the sudden you are in the lead. He didn't charge up the leaderboard with great golf. The leaders came back. Grace sank a 50 footer to get in the conversation, and on 17 he did what he was doing pretty much all day, missing fairways! Grace hit 4 fairways all day...that's unlucky???



    It doesn't matter if both wins with 54 hole lead are over par. Put it in perspective. R4 at the Honda is a tough round of golf, for nearly everyone, and playing a wet ball most of the day is no bargain either. Overall, 2 out of 7 is not such a great stat, but he's young.



    There was another guy who won at a decent clip as a young player, then had a long stretch of not closing leads, especially in majors, then won all his majors at age 34 and later, his career looks really good now, unquestioned...but it was not always that way. Fowler has plenty of time; it's a process.
  • dlygrissedlygrisse Members Posts: 13,104 ✭✭
    kevcarter wrote:


    Rickie handled a lot of adversity with CLASS today.




    He totally did. 100% agree, Rickie is a good dude by all accounts. That being said, I will stand by my statement that he lacks a lot of confidence under the pressure of a 4th round while in the lead. Maybe this win will push him to greater things.....who knows.

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  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,363 ✭✭
    CasualLie wrote:


    There have been many "closers" in baseball over the years who were stellar with a man on 2nd. The crazy part was the closer put the man on 2nd! The light-out closer often flirting with disaster and walking the first batter faced as they extend their warm-up. Still confident, can still bring the nasty stuff, and as a fan, while nervous, you felt the game was in hand. Any baseball fan has seen this a lot.



    While I wouldn't quite call Rickie the guy who oozes confidence going into the back 9 Sunday with a slim lead, he made huge strides yesterday. At times he did look nervous yesterday, every tour player would be, even Tiger, but some are just better at hiding it than others. Any serious golfer knows those putts he was facing were nerve wracking, but Rickie could put that away for a moment, laser in his focus, and drain the key ones.



    His ball striking yesterday was not off by much, but enough that on a very wet day funny things can happen. Anyone notice they were not playing lift, clean, and cheat? Hitting a ball out of the rough with water all over the ball and the grass is not anything close to predictable like a dry, sunny day. Is Matt Kuchar that much of a chop? He was all over the place yesterday, so was Thomas. Were they choking? They were definitely feeling the pressure and it showed in their putting.



    But not Fowler. He arguably hit one really bad shot, the darn near shank that the day before would be in the dry desert, but after rain it is unplayable in water and he drops on the cart path. With Kuchar looking at an eagle putt, Fowler gets up and down from 50 yards draining a tricky putt. Perhaps it was a bit of a brain cramp to drop where he did on 11, but it was still a bad break when he thought the ball was at rest, but a minute later it is in the water. But consider he hit the shot before the same way he has hit it a thousand times and it took an unpredictable skid to barely go off the green, barely miss the bunker, and find the water, so not a surprise he doesn't want to hit that shot again when he would rather hit something with more loft.



    And Grace, unlucky??? Ridiculous. Without the drama from Fowler, he is not even in the conversation. And Azinger, who is getting killed in another thread, pointed it out dead on as a player, it is a different mindset when just a couple of hours before you are 7 shots back then all of the sudden you are in the lead. He didn't charge up the leaderboard with great golf. The leaders came back. Grace sank a 50 footer to get in the conversation, and on 17 he did what he was doing pretty much all day, missing fairways! Grace hit 4 fairways all day...that's unlucky???



    It doesn't matter if both wins with 54 hole lead are over par. Put it in perspective. R4 at the Honda is a tough round of golf, for nearly everyone, and playing a wet ball most of the day is no bargain either. Overall, 2 out of 7 is not such a great stat, but he's young.



    There was another guy who won at a decent clip as a young player, then had a long stretch of not closing leads, especially in majors, then won all his majors at age 34 and later, his career looks really good now, unquestioned...but it was not always that way. Fowler has plenty of time; it's a process.




    A bit of Captain Obvious here, some people are front runners and others like to chase. I prefer to chase, I find my mind stays more engaged when I'm playing from behind and having to pressure my opponent to keep their lead. My buddy can't handle chasing, when we play match play he's fine so long as he's winning but as soon as he falls behind he starts to collapse and makes excuses which put him into a complete tailspin. Rickie seems to prefer to chase, it's a lot more pressure to not make a bad shot or mistake when you're ahead versus playing from behind when no one is really expecting you to win.
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  • ShilgyShilgy Members Posts: 11,384 ✭✭
    MattyO1984 wrote:


    Rickie a closer?



    That's a big NO. Sure he won but the stars aligned for him to actually get the win. Everyone else was so poor that if he had not won, Greg Norman would have been looking at him thinking the guy is choker.



    The cold facts are that in events where he has gone into the final round with a lead his stroke average is about 73. That is not play from a closer. Even if the debacle with the drop on 11 didn't take place, that is still a 6 as opposed to a 7 that he is shooting which would have still gotten him round in 73. A closer doesn't nearly shank his second shot from the middle of the fairway on 3, a closer doesn't double bogey the 5th with a bad decision off the tee and then a terrible thought on 3rd and 4th shots and a closer doesn't go anywhere near thinning their chip shot into the water from a relatively simply position on 11.



    Rickie was nothing other than lucky that he won. Lucky that JT has his worst round of the week by 4 shots and lucky that Kuchar shot +4 for the day.
    Hmm but a closer does make the par putt on 3 to make up for the poor shot. And that he did.
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  • turtlekcturtlekc 1995 MN PGA WisconsinClubWRX Posts: 12,779 ClubWRX
    dlygrisse wrote:

    kevcarter wrote:


    Rickie handled a lot of adversity with CLASS today.




    He totally did. 100% agree, Rickie is a good dude by all accounts. That being said, I will stand by my statement that he lacks a lot of confidence under the pressure of a 4th round while in the lead. Maybe this win will push him to greater things.....who knows.




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  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,128 ✭✭
    edited Feb 4, 2019 11:04am #86
    The final round scoring average for the field was about a shot and a quarter (1.23) over par, with most not feeling the pressure of being in realistic contention. Conditions were clearly more difficult than the previous 3 days.



    Take away the catastrophe on #11 and RF wins walking away by at least 4 shots. It would not have been a spectacular score given his previous 3 rounds, but he'd have beaten the scoring average for the day handily. Still, after the triple on 11 and bogey on 12, he rallied to play his final 6 holes in 2 under.



    Chokers don't choose driver on a 340 yard par 4 with water easily in play to the left. Rickie pounded it without a hitch thus threading the needle to knock it on the green. All this with the tournament on the line. Call me a glass half full type of guy, but in my view RF dug deep to close it out when he had to.
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  • airjammerairjammer Members Posts: 985 ✭✭


    Dpb, man I normally agree with most of what you write but I fail to see how anyone can say he’s closed here. He didn’t hit it good in general until he found out Grace pulled a “chambers bay”🤦🏼‍♂️



    Nobody shot lights out because the tpc greens are firmer than most they play and they just don’t spin. When I play there I actually plan for my full wedge shots to skip forward and run..anywhere else I’m screaming for them not to zip of the green. Add a little moisture and not even the pros can judge how they will react. It was expected to see a European player play better than most because there aren’t any mudders (Tom Watson’s) on the pga tour anymore. Usually as soon as it sprinkles the tour claims lightning and run inside..liability reasons I know but still.



    He is one of the few players on tour that steepen the shaft at the beginning of his transition and when the pressure is on it gets worse.



    I freely admit I’m not a closer either. ****, it took me 3 or 4 times sitting on par or better after 17 that I actually made a par on 18 to shot level par.
  • KaysquareKaysquare Puppyluv Members Posts: 2,167 ✭✭
    Well, he closed in fine form, making a par on 18 with a bad drive. Getting up & down for a par was more than enough to get the win. He had a little help from Brandon Grace on #17, but no other players actually threatened. The weather was terrible and Rickie got really unlucky, but he managed to win. I was happy for him, with his whole family there to watch.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,128 ✭✭
    airjammer wrote:




    Dpb, man I normally agree with most of what you write but I fail to see how anyone can say he’s closed here. He didn’t hit it good in general until he found out Grace pulled a “chambers bay”🤦🏼‍♂️



    Nobody shot lights out because the tpc greens are firmer than most they play and they just don’t spin. When I play there I actually plan for my full wedge shots to skip forward and run..anywhere else I’m screaming for them not to zip of the green. Add a little moisture and not even the pros can judge how they will react. It was expected to see a European player play better than most because there aren’t any mudders (Tom Watson’s) on the pga tour anymore. Usually as soon as it sprinkles the tour claims lightning and run inside..liability reasons I know but still.



    He is one of the few players on tour that steepen the shaft at the beginning of his transition and when the pressure is on it gets worse.



    I freely admit I’m not a closer either. ****, it took me 3 or 4 times sitting on par or better after 17 that I actually made a par on 18 to shot level par.




    I hear ya and listen, it's an entirely subjective argument either way and I'm just having fun with the discussion. Perhaps I'm projecting the way I think I'd feel about my own game going forward had I gotten it done under the circumstances. Again, I tend to be a glass half full type and winning is hard!



    Regardless of Grace's mishap, Rickie still had to pull it off to win, and he did. If I'm him, I'm walking away with added confidence. Winning begets winning and pulling it off, no matter the circumstances should help him going forward.



    He had every opportunity to choke it away in those final 6 holes, especially after things had gone sideways for him, but the truth is he did not, he executed as was required to win, therefore in my view closed. 😉
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  • GoGoErkyGoGoErky Members Posts: 1,135 ✭✭
    dlygrisse wrote:

    kevcarter wrote:


    Rickie handled a lot of adversity with CLASS today.




    He totally did. 100% agree, Rickie is a good dude by all accounts. That being said, I will stand by my statement that he lacks a lot of confidence under the pressure of a 4th round while in the lead. Maybe this win will push him to greater things.....who knows.




    Or maybe he has confidence and instead of playin safe he stays aggressive and it ends up costing him
  • RSinSGRSinSG ClubWRX Posts: 3,061 ClubWRX
    Time will tell, but I’m thinking Rickie feels like Steve Young after he led the 49ers to the SB win. Monkey finally off his back.



    Watching this final round was especially stressful for me because I’ve been a fan of Rickie since his college days. Taka (his grandpa) plays in my men’s league and we grandpa’s love bragging about our grandkids. When our buddies grandkids excel it’s a celebration for all of us.
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