SHE'S OUT; WHO'S IN?: Carolyn Bivens' tumultuous four-year tenure as LPGA commissioner officially came to an end Monday. The tour announced Board of Directors member Marsha Evans as the new interim commissioner. She will serve in the role until a full-time replacement can be found.
Well, the players got their wish. So who's up next? Jan Stephenson says she wants to be commissioner. Not going to happen (see: Asians are killing the LPGA). Some are calling for Judy Rankin. Not likely to happen (see: Why in the world would I want that job?). I'll throw Dottie Pepper's hat into the ring. She is still an integral part of the tour and has great connections with the old-time sponsors. But that, too, is unlikely (see: choking freaking dogs).
FORGET ME NOT: Eun Hee Ji birdied the 72nd hole to avoid a playoff with Candie Kung and capture the U.S. Women's Open. The 23-year-old South Korean finished at even-par 284, one shot clear of Kung. It was her second career LPGA victory (2008 Wegmans).
It was a tough week for the women's premiere event, and one that will likely be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The first two days of play were overshadowed by the Bivens saga. Round 3 saw Paula Creamer, the most popular American player in the field, take a brutal nose dive out of contention. And Sunday, despite the U.S. Golf Association's best efforts to create birdie opportunities, lacked any drama. In time, Eun Hee Ji's name will be harder to recall than Inbee Park's.
MAJOR DIFFICULTY: Cristie Kerr held the lead from late Friday to late Sunday at the U.S. Women's Open, but couldn't hold on and finished tied for third, two back of Ji. The 2007 Open champion had only one birdie in a final-round 4-over 75.
This major was Kerr's to win ' as was this year's Kraft Nabisco, where she was in the lead until hitting her tee shot OB on the 15 hole. Kerr has been working to employ a Zen Buddhist approach on the course when under pressure. I never saw Buddha kick his golf bag. Then again, I never saw Buddha.
CREAMED AT THE OPEN: Paula Creamer was one off the 36-hole lead at the U.S. Women's Open, but shot 8-over 79 in the third round. She closed in 69 to finish four shots behind the winner. It's the second year in a row she has tied for sixth. Last year, she was one off the 54-hole lead but shot 78.
Aside from Kerr, no one leaves Saucon Valley more frustrated than does Creamer. (The two should take out their anger by reprising the final scene in 'Rocky III.') Creamer, an eight-time winner on the LPGA but still without a major, is fortunate the tour doesn't receive the same level of media scrutiny as does the PGA Tour. If it did, she would face a wrath that would make Sergio Garcia quit the game.
JUST ONE OF THE GIRLS?: Lorena Ochoa failed in her bid to win her first U.S. Women's Open, tying for 29th. Ochoa opened in 2-under 69 but was ultimately undone by a second-round 79.
Ochoa has won only two events this year, and none since April. For the first time in a very long time there appears to be no distinct No. 1 player on the LPGA. Annika Sorenstam is gone and Ochoa hasn't been dominant since early in the 2008 season. Parity, unfortunately, does not create public interest. Dominance does.
FAMILY FIRST: Phil Mickelson officially announced that he would not be playing in this week's Open Championship, ending his consecutive majors-played streak at 61. He is instead staying Stateside to be with his wife, who recently underwent surgery related to breast cancer. It was revealed last week that Mickelson's mother, Mary, has also been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was scheduled to have surgery last Friday.
The Mickelson's aren't alone in their need for prayer. Kenny Perry's mother is dying of blood cancer. Angela Stanford's mother has breast cancer. And Jonathan Byrd's father passed away due to a brain tumor. If you haven't talked to your parents in a while, give them a call and say 'I love you.'
OH, DEERE: Steve Stricker won his second PGA Tour event of the season, shooting 68-64 on a 36-hole Sunday to capture the John Deere Classic. The final two rounds were compacted into one day when Friday's second round was postponed due to inclement weather.
With the delay, the British Open this week, the U.S. Women's Open last week, and the whole Bivens ordeal, the John Deere could have been played in North Korea and received less attention. But they played ' and finished before Monday ' and Stricker picked up his sixth career Tour title. All that's missing is a major. He has back-to-back top-10s at the Open. If he's not worn out, he could be a legitimate contender at Turnberry.
TIGER'S TURN: Speaking of Turnberry, the site of the 138th Open Championship, Tiger Woods got his first look at the links venue Sunday. For the first time since 2004, Woods will enter a major championship without one of golf's four top prizes in his possession.
If history holds true, that will change come Sunday. Turnberry has hosted only three Opens, but each time the best player in the world has prevailed: Tom Watson (1977), Greg Norman (1986), and Nick Price (1994).
YOU WISH YOU WERE ME: Martin Kaymer won his second straight event on the European Tour, capturing the Barclays Scottish Open. He finished two ahead of two others, while Adam Scott tied for fourth, three back.
Congratulations, Kaymer. Now let's get to the real news of the week: Scott's special guest in Scotland. It seems tennis star Ana Ivanovic is Scott's latest girl ... friend ... or something. Scott will likely never have to worry about money, but if he should one day face financial ruin he should figure out a way to rent his life to others. Being Adam Scott would be much better than Being John Malkovich.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tiger Woods will compete in Notah Begay's charity skins game next month in central New York. ... Tickets for the Australian Masters sold out quickly with Woods scheduled to make his first start on the continent since 1998. ... John Daly received a sponsor's exemption into the Canadian Open. ... Bernhard Langer eagled the last hole to win the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour by one shot over Andy Bean.
Cheers for Tiger. Jeers to the tournament officials who made tickets $330 a pop. ... Woods receives an estimated $3 million just for showing up, which means he can buy about 9,091 tickets to Begay's skins game. ... This will be Daly's second start on the PGA Tour this year. He tied for 59th in Memphis, but has missed his last four cuts on the European Tour. ... Langer has four wins on the senior circuit this year. Too bad he's not in the field for the Open Championship. Too bad it's not 1986.