Land of the Lost

By Mercer BaggsJune 8, 2009, 4:00 pm
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REMEMBER THIS: Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time in his career, and for the first time since 2001, defeating Jim Furyk by a stroke. Woods shot a Sunday best 7-under 65 for his second triumph of the season.
Backspin Now comes the interesting part. Woods won Arnold Palmer's event at Bay Hill prior to the Masters. Now he's won Jack Nicklaus' tournament as a lead in to the U.S. Open. While he finished in a disappointing tie for sixth at Augusta, Bethpage could turn out to be 2000 Pebble Beach revisited if he drives the ball as well as he did at Muirfield (49 of 56 fairways hit) and putts even a fraction of a bit better.


LAND OF THE LOST: To read Monday's paper (not that anyone reads the paper anymore), one might think Woods had an easy road to the winner's circle, when in actuality he didn't earn his reservation there until very late Sunday evening. For the most part, the Memorial was anyone's tournament to win ' or lose, which most everyone else succeeded in doing.
Backspin Matt Bettencourt and Mark Wilson shared the 54-hole lead, but combined for nine bogeys and two double bogeys Sunday. Jonathan Byrd holed out for eagle at the the par-5 seventh to take a two-shot lead, but had two double bogeys and a bogey on his back nine. Davis Love III was tied for the top spot before finishing bogey-triple bogey. Geoff Ogilvy, 9 under at the time, made an 8 at the par-4 14th. And even Furyk, who managed to birdie the final hole and was ultimately the only person to finish within three of Woods, missed a couple of crucial birdie putts, inside 12 feet, between holes 13-17. For those who love to knock Tiger's competition ' here's more fodder for your cannon.


THANKS FOR THE SNUB: Current Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin each competed in this past week's Celtic Manor Wales Open, site of the 2010 Matches. Montgomerie got off to a solid start, but crumbled over the weekend and finished at 3 over. Pavin also made the cut, and ended one back of his European counterpart.
Backspin According to reports, Monty begged off a Thursday-Friday grouping with Pavin. If anything, he did Pavin a favor. I'd rather sit through a two-day Barbra Streisand film marathon than have to spend 36 holes playing golf alongside that boor.


PUT ON MY HAPPY FACE: Woods began and ended his week in Dublin, Ohio in the same fashion ' with a win and a spot next to the tournament host. Five days before Jack handed Tiger the real first-place prize, the two competed alongside one another in the inaugural Memorial Double Skins Game. Woods, of course, won that too, as he chipped in, during a chip-off, for six skins (out of a possible nine) and $37,000.
Backspin Woods must have enjoyed the legends' latter encounter much more so than the former. Wednesday's exhibition was played in soggy, 50-degree conditions. Woods said all the right things and wore a smile on his face, but he was probably thinking: The only thing worse than this would be having to play with Colin Montgomerie.


STANDING TALL: In-Kyung Kim birdied two of her final three holes Sunday for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over her idol, Se Ri Pak. The victory was Kim's second on the LPGA. It also denied Pak, a 25-time winner, her first victory in two years.
Backspin When NBC Sports began its final-round coverage at 4 p.m. ET Sunday, six players shared the lead. In the mix were not only Pak, but Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Suzzan Pettersen, Angela Stanford, and a host of other recognizable names. In the end, however, it was the 5-foot-3, 20-year-old South Korean who stood above the heady competition.


GIVEN THE BOOT: Around the rest of the world of golf, Bernhard Langer won the Champions Tour's Triton Financial Classic. Jeppe Huldahl captured the Wales Open. And Mathias Gronberg routed the field for his first official U.S. victory at the Nationwide Tour's Melwood Prince Georges County Open.
Backspin Mark O'Meara finished runner-up to Langer. While it's certain that he would have loved to have claimed his maiden senior title, the fact that the winning prize was a boot made the prospect much less appealing. As for Jeppe Huldahl ' didn't he create Pinnochio?


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tiger Woods' course project in Dubai was put on hold due to the country's struggling economy. ... Oakmont will host the 2016 U.S. Open. ... The Shore Course will replace Poppy Hills in the course rotation at the 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. ... The LPGA-sanctioned Lexus Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event pitting an international team against a team from Asia, has been canceled for 2009.
Backspin What's the problem? It's not like the project involves 100 villas, 75 mansions, 22 palaces, a 360,000-square-foot boutique hotel, a 139,000-square-foot clubhouse and a golf academy. Oh wait, yes it does. ... Angel Cabrera won the Open at Oakmont in 2006. ... Getting rid of the much-maligned Poppy Hills course won't make as much of an impact to the quality of the field as will the fact that Pebble Beach is hosting the 2010 U.S. Open. ... And another one bites the dust.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Memorial Tournament
  • Full Coverage ' LPGA State Farm Classic
  • Full Coverage ' Celtic Manor Wales Open
  • Complete News Headlines
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