ANNIKA'S FAREWELL: Annika Sorenstam completed her last major championship with a 10-foot birdie putt for a final round 4-under 68 at the Women’s British Open. The 37-year-old Sorenstam tied for 24th at 6-under 282, 12-strokes behind winner Ji-Yai Shin.
The 10-footer for birdie to close out her British Open career wasn't exactly the 6-iron hole-out from the fairway that finished her 2008 U.S. Open, but it was fitting nonetheless. After her round, the 10-time major champion said, “To finish with a birdie was special. There didn’t seem to be any doubt it was going in.”
V IS FOR VICTORY, L IS FOR...: Vijay Singh survived a balky putter and closed out his first-ever WGC title with a 3-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to beat Lee Westwood and Stuart Appleby by a stroke at Firestone CC. Phil Mickelson bogeyed three of his last four holes to fall two off the pace.
The victory was huge for Singh – evident by the beaming smile on his face during a post-round TV interview – and was his first win on TOUR this year. As for Lefty, it was another sloppy stretch of golf that we have now come to expect. If you’re a Phil fan, you learn to take the good with the bad. Although it's tough trying to figure out why there's always so much bad from the No. 2 player in the world.
WIE BE GONE: Michelle Wie had yet another go at the PGA TOUR this past week in the Reno-Tahoe Open. After raising hopes following a 1-over 73 in the opening round, Wie crapped out with a second-round 80 to miss the cut.
Wie, whose nickname should now be 'Lightning Rod' instead of the once whimsical 'Big Wiesy,' will again be crucified by the press and fans for yet another missed cut. It should be noted, however, that she is an 18-year-old Stanford sophomore, doesn't run afoul of the law, and is a smart and talented kid. The vast majority of 'haters' have never even dared tried the things Wie has attempted. Here's a sensible and rational vote of confidence that things will straighten themselves out for 'Lightning Rod.' Hopefully sooner, rather than later.
NORMAN OUT OF GAS?: Playing in his third major championship in as many weeks, Greg Norman finished in fourth place at the U.S. Senior Open, six shots behind winner Eduardo Romero. Before the tournament started Norman had announced that he would not accept an invitation from the PGA of America to play in this week's PGA Championship.
Even though the Shark had another respectable finish, you cannot blame the man for declining to play in the PGA Championship. The 53-year-old's whirlwind tour around the world of golf was impressive, but Norman has to be running on fumes. Not to mention that with a new wife and a booming business, golf is no longer a top priority for the former world No. 1.
WIE'LL ALWAYS HAVE RENO...: Peter McLachlin routed the field at the Reno-Tahoe Open, cruising to a seven-shot victory for his maiden PGA TOUR triumph.
Wie got the headlines; McLachlin got the trophy. He took control of the tournament with a second-round 62, and added a 66 on top of that in Rd. 3. Even a closing 74 couldn’t deny him win No. 1.
OLD GUY'S OPEN: Argentine's Eduardo Romero won the U.S. Senior Open by four shots over Fred Funk, becoming the second Argentine to win the senior title. He follows fellow countryman Roberto De Vicenzo's win 28 years ago.
If you didn’t see the final 18 holes of this one, consider yourself fortunate – for your game might never have recovered. This was U-G-L-Y ugly. Romero had a stretch of four consecutive bogeys on the back nine. Funk shot 75, complete with a triple-bogey on 13. And John Cook carded a closing 7-bogey, no-birdie 77.
ASIAN DOMINATION: The LPGA wrapped up its major season at the Women's British Open at Sunningdale with 20-year-old South Korean Ji-Yai Shin rolling to a three-stroke win over Japan's Yuri Fudoh. American Cristie Kerr was sixth and world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa tied for seventh.
The year started with people thinking that all four majors would belong to Mexico. It ended with Asia winning three of the four majors and perhaps forever changing the landscape of women's golf. Said seven-time major champion Juli Inkster, "Asians. And it’s not stopping either. They’re all coming.” It certainly doesn't help U.S. TV ratings, but golf is without a doubt a global game at this point.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Ryan Hietala won the Cox Classic in Omaha, topping David Branshaw on the first playoff hole … Purdue University researchers report that golfers who play well are more likely to see the hole as larger than those who play poorly … A black bear made its way out onto the course at the U.S. Senior Open before wandering back into the wilderness. No spectators were injured.
Hietala earned his first victory since 2005. "God, what a struggle. What a feeling," Hietala said … With gas prices through the roof and plenty of diseases yet to be cured, we can't help but wonder if the people over at Purdue couldn't have found something more productive, and less obvious, on which to focus their research … Since the 'Golden Bear' Jack Nicklaus wasn't playing last week in Colorado, maybe the USGA improvised with the next best thing, a black one.
Editor's note: No bears were harmed in the writing of this Backspin.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
- Woods pulls out of AT&T with strained elbow
- Woods, McIlroy to play in Dubai Jan. 2014
- Rose highlights major champ group | Tee times
- Fantasy: Travelers Championship rankings, picks
- Rose media tour | 'Top 10' | 'Today' | 'Dan Patrick'
- Punch Shot: Will Mickelson ever win an Open?
- Li, 10, in Publinx match play | Nine-year-old's 58
- Nike signs No. 1 am | Deere invite for Spieth
- Obama mentions McIlroy during Belfast speech
- Notes: Rose considers coach Foley a friend
- Stock watch: Buying the champ, selling runner-up
- Weekly Fix: Finding the right tempo and path