CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN: Rickie Fowler, fresh off his perfect performance in the Walker Cup, missed the cut in his professional debut at the Nationwide Tour's Albertsons Boise Open. Fowler shot 73-71 for a 2-over total, five shots removed from the 3-under cut line. Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, also missed the cut in his first Nationwide Tour event, shooting 71-71.
Fowler needs another Puma logo, in addition to the ones on his hat, his shirt, his belt buckle, his pants and his shoes. Maybe forearm tattoos [Of course, I'd name my next child Puma, if they paid me enough]. And not to poke fun - OK, to poke fun - but what's up with his hair? Your hair doesn't look like that with a hat on unless you meticulously styled it that way. Wonder if he prefers Fop or if he's a Dapper Dan man.
CHOI-OUS OCCASION: Na Yeon Choi claimed her first career LPGA title, capturing the limited-field Samsung World Championship by one stroke over Ai Miyazato. Choi became the ninth different Asian-born player to win on the LPGA this season.
Choi built a seven-stroke lead on the front nine Sunday, but lost it all on the back. Miyazato actually led by one until depositing her second shot into the water on the par-5 18th at Torrey Pines South. She made bogey, while Choi responded with a tournament-winning birdie on the same hole. Meanwhile, Jiyai Shin, the tour's leading money winner who has built a reputation for final-round comebacks, could only muster a 2-over 74 and finished five back in solo third place.
GETTING CLOSER: Lorena Ochoa tied 2008 champion Paula Creamer for fourth place at the Samsung World Championship. Ochoa had five birdies over her first 10 holes Sunday, but had no birdies, one bogey and one double bogey [on 18] over her final eight holes She remains winless on the LPGA since April.
Ochoa admitted during the week that personal matters, including her impending marriage to Andrés Conesa Labastida, the CEO of AeroMéxico and 40-year-old father of three, have disrupted her on-course focus. This week's result, however, was her second consecutive top-10, after having gone two months without a finish inside the top 25. There are still six tournaments left on the 2009 LPGA schedule, one of which she will be defending [Navistar LPGA Classic] and one of which she will be hosting [Lorena Ochoa Invitational]. She might not be able to catch Jiyai Shin on the money list or in the Player of the Year standings, but a strong finish in '09 could lead to a rebirth of dominance in 2010.
GOOD TO SEE YOU: Amy Mickelson returned to the public spotlight this past week when she participated in a LPGA event at Torrey Pines as part of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Amy, who is recovering from breast cancer surgery, was representing the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation.
Amy, as usual, was a wonderful sight, and we can only assume that means her recovery is going well. On other topic, the woman to her right is WNBA president Donna Orender. Was her presence any indication that she may be the next LPGA commissioner? She's purportedly one of the finalists for the job.
ZERO TO 60 IN 18 HOLES: Rafael Cabrera-Bello fired an 11-under 60 in the final round to win the Austrian Golf Open by one shot over Benn Barham. Barham had led after each of the first three rounds, and was eight clear of Cabrera-Bello to start Sunday. Cabrera-Bello, however, notched his first European Tour victory by recording 11 birdies and no bogeys. The score matched the lowest round in tour history.
Normally, Backspin would place the results of the Austrian Golf Open in the "In Case You Missed It" section. But when a man does was Cabrera-Bello did, he deserves special mention. Plus, there really wasn't much going on in golf this past week so we needed some filler.
GREATER THAN EVERYONE: Jay Haas, the two-time defending Player of the Year on the Champions Tour, picked up his first win of 2009 at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. Haas birdied five of his final six holes for a 7-under 65 and a two-shot triumph over Andy Bean and Russ Cochran.
The victory was a relief to Haas, who likely won't earn P.O.Y. honors for a third consecutive season, but at least avoided being shut-out in the win column. In case you were wondering, Fred Funk currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup points race and Bernhard Langer tops the money list. Langer has three wins this season, but no major victories. Funk has only one win, but it was the U.S. Senior Open. Then there's Loren Roberts, who has three wins, including a major [Senior British]. In case you were wondering.
GIMME MORE: As previously mentioned, this past week's Samsung World Championship was contested at Torrey Pines South. The layout played to a par 72 and measured 6,721 yards. It marked the first time since 1983 that Torrey Pines hosted an LPGA event.
We know it's easier said than done, but it would be great for the ladies to play some of the game's more recognizable courses. They do it at the Women's British Open, and it would be enjoyable to see that translate Stateside. The players would most certainly enjoy it and the fans would get a kick out of it, too.
A MILLION FOR ONE: Jason Hargett holed a 9-iron from 150 yards to win one million dollars at the Mark Eaton Celebrity Golf Classic. The 35-year-old restaurant manager landed his ball 10 feet past the hole and watched as it rolled back into the cup. Hargett, who was using his brother's clubs, said he almost didn't take part in the event due to a sore wrist.
This is the way people should react when something amazing happens on a golf course. This is how Lucas Glover should have reacted after he won the U.S. Open, not like he had just been given a flu shot.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Jim Thorpe pled guilty to two counts of failure to pay income taxes. ... Vinny Giles won the U.S. Senior Amateur. ... Former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice became a member of Shoal Creek. ... Ruth Day, a 64-year-old retiree from England, made two holes-in-one in the same round. ...U.S. club pros routed GB&I in the PGA Cup.
Thorpe agreed to pay all taxes, interest, and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service for 2002-04, which totals about $1.5 million. ... Giles, 66, won the U.S. Amateur in 1973, making his 37 years the longest span between multiple titles for any USGA champion. ...Shoal Creek was a symbol of racism when it hosted the 1990 PGA Championship. ... Day didn't start playing golf until her mid-50s. ...The Americans won 17 1/2 - 8 1/2 at Loch Lomond.
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