WE'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE: Zach Johnson repeated as champion of the Valero Texas Open, defeating James Driscoll with a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Johnson shot 10-under 60 in a weather-stricken third round and then beat back the pack on Sunday with an even-par 72.
A nice win for Johnson, but a missed opportunity for a bunch of others. Driscoll posted 15 under early in the day after shooting 62, but couldn't get it done in the playoff to miss out – again – on his first Tour win. Paul Goydos was at 16 under, with a one-shot lead, before finishing bogey-bogey. And Bill Haas, in search of his maiden victory, raced up the leaderboard with five birdies in a six-hole strech on the back nine, before an ugly bogey at 17 ended his chances. Meanwhile, Johnson gets win No. 2 on the season and No. 6 of his burgeoning career.
YOU GOT BEAT BY A CADDIE: Lance Ten Broeck pulled double duty at La Cantera, making it into the field after David Berganio withdrew. The 53-year-old former Tour player competed in the morning Thursday and then performed his regular duty – as caddie for Jesper Parnevik – in the afternoon, and then repeated the process – in reverse order – Friday.
Ten Broeck had to borrow clubs from Richard S. Johnson, buy some slacks at the local mall, and play with balls on loan from Parnevik – and he still beat his boss. While both men missed the cut, Ten Broeck shot 71-70; Parnevik 70-74. We're not saying that Ten Broeck should try his hand at the Champions Tour, but maybe he should look for another employer (Parnevik has made only two of eight cuts this year).
LOWRY SEASONED BEYOND YEARS: Shane Lowry, a 22-year-old amateur, won his country's Open championship when he defeated Robert Rock in a three-hole playoff at the Irish Open. The win was not only Lowry's first on the European Tour – it was his first-ever start on the circuit.
With Padraig Harrington missing the cut and Rory McIlroy out of the hunt, this tournament could have been a dud for the Irish faithful. Instead, it turned into one of the more entertaining events on tour this year. Lowry showcased his talent with a Friday 62, then displayed his grit by overcoming a missed 3-footer on the 72nd hole which would have won him the tournament. It's now time for him to turn pro – and get paid!
SOME GOOD OUT OF BAD: Coming off his runner-up finish in Italy, John Daly missed the cut at the Irish Open. Daly opened in 4-under 68, but shot 3-over 75 in Round 2 to finish three strokes out of weekend play.
Friday was cold, wet and windy – basically what foreigners envision Ireland to be. Daly shooting 75 shouldn't be that big of a surprise. For the first time in a long time the guy was probably freezing, since he lost a layer of protection. But give him a bit of credit: He started his second round with double bogeys on two of his first four holes, yet played his final 14 in 1 under. He didn't quit, which says more about the new and improved Daly than the previous week's performance when he tied for second place.
OH, MY: Ji Young Oh earned her second career LPGA title, winning the Sybase Classic by four shots over Suzann Pettersen. The victory moved her to eighth on this season's money list.
Congratulations to Oh, but the real stroy was who didn't win. Pettersen, who was tied after 54 holes, shot 74 to finish second. Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie, both three back to start Sunday, had 73s and tied for third. And Kraft Nabisco champion Brittany Lincicome, who began just one off the pace, carded a 77 for a T-6. Those numbers sound – and probably felt – disappointing, but consider this: Oh's 2-under 70 tied for the low round of the day, and was one of only nine under-par scores Sunday.
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM: Michelle Wie matter-of-factly mentioned in her pre-tournament press conference at the Sybase Classic that she still has intentions of one day winning a PGA Tour event and making the Masters.
It's easy to roll our eyes and say, "Here we go again." But remember, she's only 19 years old. It doesn't seem likely that this will ever happen, but she's just at the beginning of her professional career. Let her set her own goals and see if she can achieve them. She's not laughing at me because I have a dream of one day getting out of credit-card debt. Actually, her goal is much more attainable.
GIRL TALK: Annika Sorenstam announced that she and husband Mike McGee are having a girl. The couple, who got married in January, are expecting their first child some time this fall.
Admit it: you're already wondering what kind of golfer she'll be. I'm more concerned with what they're going to name her. Give her a name like Potato Salad Sorenstam and it will be far more damaging than growing up the daughter of a sports legend.
YOU GO YOUR WAY, I'LL GO MINE: Rory McIlroy sparked a bit of controversy when he said that the Ryder Cup was a simple exhibition and that making the team didn't mean much to his career. Colin Montgomerie, the 2010 European captain, took exception to the comments, but made sure to point out that he was not trying to get into a war of words with the Irish teen.
As luck would have it, the boy and the man were grouped together in the first two rounds in Ireland. For the record, Monty opened in 70-65; McIlroy in 69-68 – and both stunk once separated, over the weekend. It seems like for every Cup (not Presidents), there is someone who tries to downplay its importance. And then they get a chance to participate and it becomes the best experience of their professional life. The same thing will happen to McIlroy. Guaranteed.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Bob Rosburg, the winner of six PGA Tour events including the 1959 PGA Championship, died Thursday after suffering a head injury earlier in the week. ... Keith Fergus won the Champions Tour's Regions Charity Classic, when inclement weather reduced the event to 36 holes. ... Michael Sim won the BMW Charity Classic, his second victory in his last three starts on the Nationwide Tour.
Rosburg was 82. And one of the great on-course commentators. ... It rained all week in Birmingham, Ala., beginning with a showering of Charles Barkley's golf balls into the gallery during the pro-am. ... Sim not only leads the tour's money list, but has a record $211,136 advantage over No. 2 Garth Mulroy.
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