AT THE CORE OF IT: Tiger Woods was making news this week - that's hardly surprising - but unfortunately for non-winning reasons. He underwent successful knee surgery on Tuesday and also made headlines for an apple he had apparently eaten at Torrey Pines which had somehow made it onto eBay.
First the knee surgery: Said Tiger afterwards - “I look forward to working hard at my rehabilitation over the coming months and returning to the PGA TOUR healthy next year.” Yes, as do millions of your fans, advertisers, and TV execs. And as for the apple core: This world seemingly gets weirder by the minute. And then another minute goes by. And it gets even weirder. And weirder. And then? Kenny Perry wins the Buick and things get back to normal somewhat normal again.
TO IN-BEE OR NOT TO IN-BEE: In-bee Park became the youngest winner in U.S. Women's Open history after shooting a smooth final-round 2-under 71 to win by four strokes over Helen Alfredsson. In the process, the 19-year-old also became the third South Korean to win the championship, joining hero Se Ri Pak and Birdie Kim.
It's amazing to think that 10 years ago Park had never even held up a golf club, and it was the victory of her compatriot, Pak, that inspired her to pick up the game. Park became the third player in the last six years to make the U.S. Women’s Open her first LPGA Tour victory, a moment not lost on her saying, "Everything happened so fast. It’s scary. I really tried to stay calm, but it was so exciting, I couldn’t do it. This is my day."
OPEN ENDINGS: Paula Creamer entered the final round in the final pairing with a chance to take home her first major championship, only to shoot a disappointing 5-over 78 for a quick ‘exit stage left’ for the Pink Panther. Meanwhile, Annika Sorenstam, who is 'retiring' at the end of the season, closed out her four days of golf by holing out from the fairway from 199 yards.
For Creamer: Sunday’s final round was a day to forget, as she was unable, yet again, to come through on the biggest stage. On the other hand, Annika’s miraculous hole-out made her final 18 one to remember. There is some speculation that with her retirement at the end of the year, that might have been Sorenstam’s final shot in a U.S. Open. If it was, then what a way to finish an Open career, one that included three victories. However, don’t bet on it, she’ll be back - eventually.
INVINCIBLE NO MORE?: Lorena Ochoa came into the U.S. Women's Open saying she was '100% ready.' She left saying she is in need of a rest after finishing a disappointing tied for 31st.
The low finish was not only surprising but more like shocking. The world No. 1 hadn't finished outside the top 10 in any event in over 16 months and had gone second, first, first and second in the last four major championships before this nightmare showing at Interlachen. The recent deaths of her grandmother and uncle surely had something to due with her mental make up coming into the event, but the Mexican star refused to use it as an excuse. Next major up? The Women's British Open, where she will be the defending champion and no doubt still the odds-on favorite.
VALHALLA HERE I COME!: Kenny Perry dodged several bullets on the 72nd hole to win the Buick Open, his second victory at the event and his second PGA TOUR win of the season.
Perry stated that his goal for the 2008 season was to somehow make the 2008 Ryder Cup team - which is being played in his home state of Kentucky. Well, mission accomplished for the 47-year-old veteran. The win locks up a spot on captain Paul Azinger's team as well as vaults him to third on the FedExCup points list. It also makes him the third player to win twice on TOUR this season - joining a pair of guys named Woods and Mickelson. What a homecoming it will be in September!
TIN CUP, ER, TEE: Playing in this past week’s Pro-am at the Buick Open, John Daly made viral media headlines while paired with musician Kid Rock. Daly, playing up to the large galleries following the duo, hit his tee shot off of a beer can.
It’s unfortunate that it seems we only get to mention JD in this space for things that are not related to his performance during actual tournament play. Sadly, the two-time major championship winner has been reduced to little more than a sideshow that you can find clips of on YouTube. Daly missed the cut this week by five strokes, his seventh missed cut of the season.
SHARK TAKES BITE OUT OF MARRIAGE: Greg Norman and tennis great Chris Evert married Saturday on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It was the second marriage for Norman and the third for Evert.
Norman now has as many marriages as he does major championships. The legends were reportedly wed in front of a group of about 140 family and friends. The pair, both 53, was engaged last December in South Africa.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Loren Roberts won the Commerce Bank Championship, his first win of the season; Justin Hicks won the Wayne Gretzky Classic on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title; Vicky Hurst won her third Futures Tour title of the season by winning the Horseshoe Casino Classic; Michelle Wie missed the cut at the Women's Open after rounds of 81-75.
Roberts, long known as the 'Boss of the Moss' due to his putting prowess, lived up to the billing by making a 30-foot bomb on No. 17 to seal the deal; Not a bad way to win your first pro title - the Great One being the tournament host; Teen star Hurst is on a fast track to the LPGA Tour - she'll be the ONE to watch in 2009; Wie missed the cut by five strokes. Making a 9 on the par-4 ninth was the difference.
Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
Full Coverage - Buick Open
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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