One Big Rollercoaster Ride


Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
COUNTRY SONG: John Daly's week started with the now widely viewed round of golf he played at his home course in Arkansas without wearing a shirt. Then came the war of words with famed instructor Butch Harmon. Soon thereafter, it was reported that Roger Clemens and one of Daly's exes, Paulette, had been involved in some kind of relationship. And to top off the week, JD flew all the way across the Atlantic to miss the cut at the Spanish Open.
Backspin Daly making news headlines is nothing new, but this past week was a banner week even for Big John. The playing golf while shirtless incident for some reason ignited quite a few people to become very upset and angry, while the rest of the golf fans just thought it was kind of comical and didn't get bent out of shape. As for the Harmon brouhaha, not sure why the swing guru was so intent on making sure everyone knew that he never offered an apology - as if saying 'I'm sorry' to someone is one of the worst things in the world to do. With the Clemens/Paulette Dean story, this one even John didn't have anything to do with - he was just an innocent bystander and got swept up by the now runaway Rocket Express. And lastly, missing the cut at a golf event? Well, we guess that doesn't really amount to news these days when it comes to his golf game. Perhaps the bright side of all this for Daly? The past week has given him an entire country album worth of material. Sing it JD!

THE FUTURE IS NOW: Anthony Kim waltzed to a five-shot win at the Wachovia Championship, and in the process became the youngest player to win on the PGA TOUR since Sergio Garcia back in 2002.
Backspin At just 22 years of age, Kim has now made good on what many people have been predicting for the former Oklahoma University golfing star. And the style in which he did it shouldn't go unnoticed, as he shattered the tournament scoring record by three shots - previously held by a guy named Eldrick Woods. And speaking of style, did you get a look at that belt buckle of his? Fancy-schmancy for sure. Which begs the question - is Rory Sabbatini happy that he crushed Tiger's tournament scoring record or is he ticked that now he has stiff competition in the belt buckle department?

NOT THIS TIME: Paula Creamer held a two-stroke lead heading into the 72nd hole of the SemGroup Championship before a bogey - and a clutch Juli Inkster birdie - forced a playoff. Creamer rebounded, however, and drained an 8-footer on the second playoff hole for her sixth career LPGA Tour title.
Backspin Kudos for Creamer for conquering the demons that were no doubt swirling in her head after what had happened the week prior in her battle with Annika. All the greats speak of learning from tough losses and the Pink Panther bounced back quicker than most would have suspected. And not a bad run for the LPGA Tour either - world No.1 Lorena Ochoa winning two weeks ago, then world No. 2 Annika winning last week and now Creamer, the newly-minted world No. 3. That's probably some kind of record or something and no doubt has tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens smiling ear to ear.

SORENSTAM, LOPEZ AND...NOBODY ELSE: Lorena Ochoa winning streak came to screeching halt this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ochoas difficulties started early, as the worlds No. 1 struggled to just make the cut before rallying to finish in a tie for fifth, five strokes behind Creamer.
Backspin Well, she cant win em all. Much like we saw with Tiger, sooner or later in golf there will be days where the magic just isnt there. Ochoa was vying for a record tying fifth straight LPGA Tour victory, a record set by Nancy Lopez (1978) and matched by Annika Sorenstam (2004-05). In the end, it was a remarkable run for Ochoa, one that was arguably better than Tigers since it was highlighted with a major championship victory.

PRICE GOUGING: Denis Watson took advantage of a late Nick Price collapse and birdied the final hole to win the Kinko's FedEx Classic by a stroke over Price, Scott Hoch and Tim Simpson.
Backspin A ruthless competitor and closer - albeit commonly referred to as the nicest guy on TOUR - back in his heydays on the PGA TOUR in the early 90s, Price inexplicably folded down the stretch. Searching for his first-ever Champions Tour win, Price double bogeyed both the 15th and 16th holes late Sunday afternoon and couldn't recover from the meltdown. Stating the obvious, the obviously stunned South African said afterwards, 'This is such a crazy game.' Thanks Nick, but tell us something we don't know.

EURO: Peter Lawrie defeated Ignacio Garrido on the second playoff hole to win the Spanish Open on Sunday. Lawrie shot a final round 67, erasing a five stroke deficit to capture his first European Tour title.
Backspin It took six years and 175 events for the Irishman Lawrie to get his maiden victory on the European Tour. And as one might expect, a great moment like this in the 34-year-olds career, he said, Im not a party person, but I will enjoy this. Come on Peter, a little bubbly, er Guinness, is in order after six long years.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Juli Inkster announced this week that she will be opting out of the LPGA's second major of the season, the McDonald's LPGA Championship in early June; Phil Harison, who called out the names of Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Ballesteros and Tiger Woods as the official starter on the first tee of the Masters, died at the age 82.
Backspin Inkster's no-show, due to her daughter's graduation fro grade school, will mark an end to an amazing 56 straight major championships played in. No word yet if the grade school will push back its graduation date after seeing her gutsy performance from this past week in Tulsa; Harison's indelible words on the first tee will forever be remembered by Masters patrons - 'Fore please.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • Full Coverage - SemGroup Championship
  • Full Coverage - FedEx Kinko's Classic
  • More Headlines