Tiger Woods was the defending champion of the Wachovia Championship held in Charlotte. However, he couldn't make the tournament because of his knee surgery that kept him out. However, I'm not quite sure him playing would have made a difference after seeing Anthony Kim's performance this year. Kim finished today's round with a 69 and won by a five shot margin over Ben Curtis.
But that's not really the exciting part of it--first, Kim's 16 under total broke Tiger's tournament record by 3 shots, and the win made him the youngest on tour to win since 2002 (He's 22). He used a combination of booming drives and pinpoint accuracy around the green to basically blow away the competition.
I love seeing things like this happen on the tour, not only because of the outstanding play, but with Kim once again proving that parity in golf is not such a bad thing. I am sure that everyone has their favorites week in and week out, but with having new players like Kim come along and make it that much tougher and give the PGA much more credibility and excitability (yes, I know Tiger is the marketing king, but he can't win every time....).
Picture Source: AP
Ah, the life of a commoner. Here is Michelle Wie, once on top of the world as far as golf hype and even playing in men's tournament, and now she has to file for qualification to even get into the U.S. Open (Women's--not men's). Wie, who is a freshman at Stanford, had lost her exemption status this year and has to go the route that over 1000 wannabes now have to do in qualifying for the tournament. While she at least gets the "first round" bye because she played in the Open last year, she'll still need to beat out several others to make it.
Can she do it? Of course she can. But will she? Perhaps this time off and the pressure that surrounded her for the last years has subsided and she can play much looser and therefore better. Or, perhaps the rustiness of not playing competitively like this for a while may have her reeling yet again--because as you can see by this blog post alone, the media is already jumping on this and so the carnival music is starting up yet again.
The Open is being played outside of Minneapolis, and Wie has decided to play at the Woodmont Country Club in Maryland as her sectional qualifying site on June 9. That's where most LPGA Tour players will try to qualify, and it will offer the most spots to the Women's Open. Good luck, Michelle...you're going to need it!
Awww, so sad. Defending champion Tiger Woods is not playing in the Wachovia Championship. His knee surgery is keeping him out until June, and so the fans around Charlotte will just have to make due with the other professionals. Oh wait...what? David Toms is playing in the tournament? Did he win this at one time? Oh yeah! He did! 2003!
Toms brought back vivid memories in a hurry, as he came out of the gate in the first round with eight birdies and carding a 67 to lead the tournament. I don't want to make it sound like no one is there--that was said tongue in cheek--because 18 of the world's top 25 are indeed playing this event, which makes Toms' round and leading the pack even more of a huge thing. Toms has self-admittedly been playing poorly for a while, and this was his best round in a long time.
Phil Mickelson is playing in the Wachovia, his first tournament since the Masters. He sported a brand new shiny putter and looked pretty decent out there, reporting little to no problems with his back due to a new fitness stretching program. This tournament should prove to be very exciting--even without Mr. Woods.
I read this headline on golf.com and had to do a double take. First off, the chances of getting a hole in one is basically astronomical; it is truly the crown jewel of a golfer's "life". To have two aces in the same round has odds set at 67 million to 1. Yeah....I know...that's even longer odds than the lottery--powerball, that is. So when I went on to read that Ted Kemp from Iowa had two aces in a round and they were BACK TO BACK, I could only blink in disbelief.
But it's true--and truly amazing. Kemp, a 12 handicapper, made the back to back aces on consecutive par 3s at the Muscatine Municipal Golf course. He finished the round at 78--dang Ted, two aces and you are still six over? Of course, I can't say much--just to even get within five feet of the hole on a par three would have me dancing on the tee. So, no offense Ted!
Congrats on this amazing achievement!
Adam Scott had a three stroke lead going into the fourth round at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. By most accounts, playing a solid round and keeping consistent should have brought home the trophy. However, that didn't happen. Scott, however, ended up besting Ryan Moore in the third playoff hole to win it all--and a collective sigh of relief overcame him after sinking a huge putt for victory.
Sadly for Moore, it was the fourth career second place follow up--and he still has yet to win an event. And for Scott, who is the 10th ranked player in the world, the near meltdown in the last round was definitely not even considered. Still, Scott made the clutch shots when he needed them for his sixth PGA Tour victory after cutting short his post-Masters trip home to Australia so not to waste his good play there.
And there he was--playing the 18th hole for the third time in less than an hour--and ended up making a forty-eight foot birdie to claim the victory. He had to make a nine foot birdie on the 18th to tie the tournament and force the playoff in the first place. I guess you could say that a picture of the 18th green should be one of his favorite "happy places".
Picture Source: AP
Greg Norman. The Great White Shark. While his Australian charm and game play was legendary, he may be better known for his course designs, which got the biggest prize of the year. Norman's golf courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai has been rewarded to host the inaugural Dubai World Championship, which will end the European Tour season in 2009 for--get this--a $10 million purse, by far the most lucrative in golf.
The "Earth" course features a closing four holes which total over a mile in length--yes, you heard that right. The beautiful but challenging course was very worthy of this honor. It will be interesting to see who from all over the world will play in the event, but Norman should be beaming with pride after getting this honor.
(Maybe people won't remember how he choked in several majors. Whoops, did I say that out loud?)
Picture Source: AP
I was out on the course this weekend with my wife and two kids in tow. My 10-year old boy was playing with me while my wife and six year old were in another cart just along for the fresh air and fun. Oh, I forgot--this was the first time on a golf course for the six-year old, so it was interesting trying to get a precocious boy to understand golf etiquette in relation to other sports.
Why? On the first hole my son made a pretty good putt, and my youngest was in the cart cheering--pretty loudly. Of course I shushed him and tried to explain things, but then as the day went by and things loosened up, his loudness got a little more hole by hole, and by the time things were all said and done, he was dancing on the last green using the putter as a microphone like he was on "PGA Idol" or something. And I thought, "w\Why is him being loud a bad thing? It's not really bothering me, so what's the big deal?"
Honestly, I have played golf for over 20 years, and I have never questioned the "gentleman's" part of it, the quietness of all, but when I again thought about other sports, why is golf determined to be a sport where being quiet during it is a must? Why is it more necessary to not click a camera while Tiger Woods is teeing off as opposed to the ninth inning where a pitcher is trying to throw a 90-mph fastball on the outside corner with a full count? Why is it that a sport like bowling, where previously it was a quiet sport as well, that now televised events have people clapping and carrying on while things are going on and there's been no real downturn in performance?
To me, the need for some changes in golf is imminent, and while the things that happened like in "Happy Gilmore" when the crowds really kind of got wild with Happy's rise, it's not too far from some of the direction that is needed--at least a relaxing of some sort. Kind of like what Vegas has planned for bringing in a younger crowd to the slot machines with making it more like video games with joysticks, etc., the dinosaur concepts in golf really need to be looked at and more things thrown at the youth of America, or else golf may just go the way of the dinosaur...extinct.
You know, so much has been made over the past year whether Tiger Woods is, in fact, the best men's golf player ever, and deservedly so. His resume is something that would make Bill Gates drool over (ok, sorry for the analogy, that made no sense whatsoever). But meanwhile, as the world goes ga-ga over Tiger, we may be witnessing the exact same thing on the women's side of the professional tour in Lorena Ochoa.
Ochoa, who is the defending player of the year, has now won 4 tournaments in a row, a feat that has not been accomplished for almost half a century. So, is it reasonable to say that Ochoa is quite possibly the best? I think so--not only is she increasingly dominant, she's making even the other players just look silly (a la Tiger).
I know that putting her up on that pedestal is maybe a bit premature when you consider some of the great names of women's golf before her, but I truly think that with how she continues to win and seemingly has a ton left in the tank, she may just be the best---ever.
Picture Source: AP
He was walking down the fairway with a beaming smile, the 18th green awaiting. The crowd had swarmed around him, chanting "Boooooooo! Boooooo!" Ok, so normally when Boo is chanted, it doesn't mean the person being spoken to breaks a smile, unless it's during a professional wrestling match. But, in this case, it was a great thing--as Boo Weekley won the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head, S.C., for the second year in a row.
It wasn't without drama though. Anthony Kim was within 3 shots at the beginning of the day and looked good from the start, but then a double bogey on the ninth sealed his fate. Jim Furyk also charged hard at Weekley as well, cutting a six stroke lead to three by getting three birdies in the first five holes. But then came the 11th, and Furyk bogeyed, making it a margin he couldn't recover from.
Weekley's win automatically qualified him for next year's Masters, a week after tying for 20th at Augusta and not getting an automatic bid. While last year his victory was quite the drama, this year, Weekley almost expected to win it--and he did just that. I think we're seeing a true superstar in the making.
Picture Source: AP
noun. An agreement between two golfers who can't putt.
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