Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – Possibly the best tournament on the PGA Tour schedule that is not considered a major will take place in Ohio this week. The Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus at his design gem, Muirfield Village, always draws the top names in professional golf, and Jack did it again this year. From a gorgeous, yet challenging course to a stellar field, the Memorial is a fun and exciting event to kick off the summer. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Camilo Villegas, Kenny Perry, and other fan favorites will be grinding their way around the green hills of suburban Columbus. Last year, Tiger shot a ferocious 65 on Sunday to come from behind and take a record fourth trophy from Jack’s tournament. This year’s Memorial has many golf fans suspicious of if Woods can win this event again. After missing the cut in Charlotte and withdrawing from the PLAYERS, the state of Tiger’s game remains a mystery. He recently split ways with his swing coach, Hank Haney, and he has yet to get with anyone else. However, Woods rarely enters an event if he suspects he cannot win. I would not be the least bit surprised if his name appears on the leaderboard this weekend. He loves this course. He is always out to impress Jack, and he has to be hungry to get back into that winner’s circle. As a sleeper, I am picking Adam Scott. The Australian did win his last tournament in San Antonio. However, I believe he is still a sleeper. His game has started to come around this season after a couple poor years by his standards. Scott has two top five finishes at Muirfield Village when he was on top of his game. A win here would make a big statement heading into the US Open. The boys at CBS will bring you coverage of the Memorial over the weekend.

Last Week’s Recap – The first senior major of the season outshined all the other golf last week. The 71st Senior PGA Championship was held over Memorial Day weekend at the Colorado Golf Club. A new, exciting course designed by Crenshaw/Coore hosted a thrilling finish with a big-name leaderboard. Tom Lehman and Jay Don Blake were tied for the lead heading into the final round, but David Frost, Mark O’Meara, Nick Price, and Fred Couples quickly joined the fray as Sunday’s golf played out. The finishing holes at Colorado Golf Club start with a drivable par 4, reachable par 5, another reachable 5, ticklish par 3, and uphill par 4. Couples was a few behind the leaders as he made his way to the back-to-back par 5’s. He reached both in two and made eagle 3 twice to catapult himself to the top. Frost birdied holes 15, 16, and 17 in the mean time. Lehman was leading until all this unfolded. As a part of the final group, he made birdie on both par 5’s, and nailed a clutch par putt on 18 to force a three-way playoff with Frost and Couples. The playoff ended on the 18th tee box when Lehman drove in the middle of the fairway and the other two found insurmountable trouble to the left. Par on the first playoff hole defeated two double-bogies, and Lehman won his first senior major.

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