THE RICHES: Isleworth Country Club defeated Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, 19 ½ - 11 ½, to claim the Tavistock Cup. First-time participant J.B. Holmes was the big winner, leading the home team to victory and collecting the $500,000 awarded to the player with the lowest score on Day 2.
One can’t possibly imagine what these players get compensated to compete in this event. Despite having the Doral event wrap up Monday morning, many of the players still traveled upstate from Miami to Orlando to play that afternoon and then again on Tuesday. We’re pretty sure they didn’t make this effort out of pride and loyalty to their enclave. The best story of the event may have come from Robert Allenby, who didn’t want to take the charter flight to Orlando because he didn’t want to leave his Bentley in Miami.
RED SHIRT, BLUE MOUTH: Tiger Woods caught heat this past week from media members for his profanity-laced tirade at a photographer in the final round of the WGC-CA Championship. A camera clicked as Woods was hitting on the par-3 ninth. Woods pushed his tee shot, nearly into the water, and eventually made bogey. Woods dropped a couple of F-bombs and threatened to break the neck of the next photographer to take a picture during his swing.
Tiger had his chance on an ESPN program to apologize for the incident and instead shrugged it off. We’re certainly not going to apologize on his behalf, but we do understand there must be an incredible frustration level when you’re trying to accomplish what Tiger is and someone interferes with that in an unprofessional manner. Of course, Tiger was also unprofessional in his reaction. One thing about Tiger: he’s as apologetic about his behavior on the course as John Daly is off it.
WHAT'S DONE IS DONE: Argentine Andres Romero closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Aussie Peter Lonard by a stroke to win the Zurich Classic of News Orleans. In the process, he became the fourth straight player to collect his maiden PGA TOUR victory in New Orleans.
Most remember Romero for being the surprise leader late in last year's Open Championship at Carnoustie. Well, make that, most people remember Romero's train wreck on the 17th hole that ultimately left him one stroke out of the playoff with Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. But what most people may not remember is that Romero was able to brush that crushing defeat aside by winning the very next week on the European Tour. And now, with his win in New Orleans, the Argentine will forever be remembered as a PGA TOUR winner. At least in the history books.
AT THE MOMENT...: Lorena Ochoa started slowly but picked up momentum throughout the week and then left the field in the Arizona desert dust, cruising to a seven-shot win at the Safeway International. It was her second win of the season in just three events and her second straight at Superstition Mountain.
Nobody's arguing that the 26-year-old Mexican is, at the moment, the game's best player. And for good reason. But the real test comes this week as the ladies of the LPGA Tour make their way to Rancho Mirage, Calif., for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first of the LPGA Tour’s four majors. For all her wins she has racked up over the past several years, Ochoa has but just one major victory to her credit. And then there's a certain Swede that has notched 10 majors. We'll revisit the topic of Lorena next Monday.
NO LOVE Davis Love III shot 76-75 to miss the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, thus putting serious pressure on himself to avoid missing the Masters Tournament for the first time since 1990. Love hasn’t missed a major of any kind since the 1990 U.S. Open. He's entered into this week's Shell Houston Open, and will need to win the event in order to be invited to Augusta National.
Thirteen years ago, Love won in New Orleans to punch his Masters ticket. He then proceeded to finish runner-up, the closest he has ever come to winning a green jacket. Love said that he feels good physically (bad back and neck) and mentally, but at age 44 (come April 13), Love is in danger of never being able to add to his lone major triumph, the 1997 PGA Championship – which could be the difference between a Hall of Fame career and an underachieving one.
IRWIN-ESQUE?: Bernhard Langer pulled away from the field at the Ginn Championship, surviving very windy conditions to post an eight-stroke win. He was one of only three players to card a score of under par in Sunday's final round.
Langer put an end to an exciting stretch of Champions Tour endings with his runaway victory at the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach. It was his second win of the season and prompted GOLF CHANNEL analyst Frank Nobilo to utter, although somewhat reluctantly, that Langer's play was 'Irwin-esque' in reference to Hale Irwin's one-time Champions Tour dominance. High praised indeed considering Irwin's staggering 45 wins on the senior circuit. The closest to Irwin's, probably unbreakable, record is Lee Trevino at 29. Langer's win total at this point? Three and counting.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Thomas Levet won the Andalucia Open in Spain on the first playoff hole Sunday, defeating 19-year-old Oliver Fisher; Australia’s Gavin Coles won the Louisiana Open for his fourth career Nationwide Tour title; Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme was struck by a stray bullet while setting up his cooking tent at TPC Louisiana; Fred Couples named Jay Haas as an assistant captain in the 2009 Presidents Cup; A bearded Jose Maria Olazabal made his first start since the 2007 PGA Championship in his native Spain.
Levet can thank the teenage Fisher for, well, playing like a teenager. The young Englishman blew a three-stroke lead with six holes to play and bogeyed the final hole in regulation as well as the first hole in the playoff to hand the Frenchman the title; Coles, who has conditional status on the PGA TOUR, is now in the strange position of having to choose between which tour to play and when; Authorities believe the bullet was fired into the air within a 1 ½-mile radius and randomly fell on the Dom DeLuise lookalike. Conspiracy theorists, however, believe it was a mistaken attempt to keep Prudhomme out of the next Cannon Ball Run; Actually Jay Haas and Robin Williams are equally funny nowadays; Ollie was sidelined for seven months due to rheumatic pains in his shoulder and groin. The double Masters winner tied for 61st, just two weeks before the season’s first major.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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