Rory chases a legend down Hogans Alley
Move over, Ben.
Rorys Rowdies are coming with their man Rory Sabbatini trying to do something Hoganesque at Hogans Alley.
Sabbatini is among 14 players who have won both the Byron Nelson and the Colonial PGA Tour events in the Dallas area over the years, but he bids this week to become the first to win them both in the same year since Hogan pulled that double in 1946. Sabbatini claimed the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday with a group of supporters in Rorys Rowdy Roadies T-shirts exhorting him. The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is up next in the South Africans backyard. He makes his home in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth. The ultra confident Sabbatini should have no problem envisioning himself equaling a Hogan mark, though we may not get to hear him in full swagger. Since calling Tiger Woods more beatable than ever a couple years ago, hes clearly choosing his words more carefully. Same with his clothing. The pink Sunday attire was classy last weekend as tribute to Phil Mickelsons wife, Amy, whos battling breast cancer.
An Englishman went up a hill
Paul Casey arrives at Colonial casting a larger shadow.
With his victory at the BMW Championship Sunday, Casey is suddenly No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, making him the highest ranked player in a reasonably good field at Colonial Country Club.
How will he handle his elevation in status on American soil? Hes all aglow with star power possibilities, but its a different game up here in the clouds, where only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson rank ahead of him, and yet Caseys record of late indicates he has found more game this season.
Casey, 31, should get top billing at Colonial, a tournament absent Mickelson, who isnt defending his title while taking a heartfelt leave of absence to be with his wife. With three victories worldwide in little more than four months, Casey has soared from No. 41 in the world at years start, gaining more world ranking points than anyone this season. After finishing runner up at the Accenture Match Play Championship two months ago, he finally broke through to win on American soil at the Shell Houston Open last month. Those performances were logged against stellar fields. Whats next? His first major? No Englishmans won a major since Faldo in 96, but Caseys giving them hope overseas as the highest ranked Englishman since Faldo.
The Daly show keeps rolling in Europe
John Daly will play his fifth consecutive week in Europe when he tees it up at the European Open in England.
That also makes it five straight weeks since Daly last visited a Hooters.
Europe may not serve chicken wings with the presentation Daly has grown accustomed, but its offering him the boost he has sorely needed.
Daly, 43, told the Associated Press he will play the St. Jude Championship in Memphis in two weeks on a sponsors invite. Daly has made the cut in all four of his European Tour starts. After tying for 31st in his first at the Spanish Open, then tying for second at the Italian Open, he has slipped against the stronger fields, tying for 98th at the 3 Irish Open and tying for 72nd at the BMW Championship. Still, hes rolling with the European media falling in love with him on a run that includes no negative setbacks.
Making me Irish mother blush
Shane Lowry wont be shown on five-second delay or wearing a muzzle when he makes his professional debut this week at the European Open, but his spirited tongue is on the minds of European Tour officials. Apparently, the lad could make a Jersey longshoreman blush with his language after bad shots.
Two weeks after becoming the third amateur to win a European Tour event, Lowry, 22, makes his start under a warning about a certain four-letter word he let slip more than once within boom microphones reach when he won the 3 Irish Open. Irish-based Independent News & Media were among media reporting that European Tour Director of Operations David Garland cautioned Lowrys managers that he will now be subject to European Tour rules and fines for similar indiscretions as a tour member.
Blasting away . . .
Adam Scott will be looking to end his streak of six consecutive missed cuts when he tees it up at Colonial, where hes playing for the first time . . . CBS analyst Ian Baker-Finch, 48, will tee it up at Colonial on the 20th anniversary of his victory there partly to see how much work he needs to play the Champions Tour in two years . . . Brian Davis is aiming to log his fourth consecutive finish among the top five in a four-week span when he plays Colonial . . . Danny Lee will tee it up at Colonial in his fourth start as a pro in his quest to win his PGA Tour card without going to Q-School in the fall. While Lee, 19, had his best finish with a tie for 13th at the Byron Nelson Sunday, his double bogey at the final hole cost him roughly $60,000. He gets seven sponsor exemptions in his quest to make it among the top 125 money winners by seasons end to earn exempt status. He has earned $152,960 in his three starts so far this season. A year ago, Martin Laird finished 125th in money with $852,752 in earnings.