Bunker Shots


With the PGA Tour stopping an hour north of Detroit , we set the weeks storylines using Motown hits as themes:
Tiger Woods and the big bounce back
Signed, Sealed, Delivered ' Stevie Wonder
Tiger Woods will be the heavy favorite to win the Buick Open despite his missed cut at the British Open in his last start.
In fact, he might be a heavier favorite because hes coming off just the fifth missed cut in his PGA Tour career. He doesnt do failing very well.
The last time Woods missed a cut ' the 2006 U.S. Open ' he responded with a terrific surge. After tying for second at the Western Open, Woods won his next seven PGA Tour starts.
Woods record at Warwick Hills Country Club is impressive. He won the last time he played the Buick Open there in 06 and also won there in 02. In eight starts there, he has finished fourth or better six times and never finished worse than tied for 11th. His scoring average over his last 20 rounds there is 66.95. The first time Woods teed it up in a tournament round at Warwick Hills, he shot even-par 72. He never failed to break par there after that, shooting under par in his next 31 rounds.

Buick and the sign of the times
Come and Get These Memories ' Martha and the Vandellas
With news reports stating Buick officials will announce their title sponsorship of the Michigan event will end after this years event, speculation mounts over the future of other PGA Tour events, including the Buick Invitational in San Diego. Does the Tour have another title sponsor lined up to jump in at Warwick Hills? What other dominoes are poised to fall in the title sponsorship game? Milwaukees uncertain future was overshadowed by the British Open, but with Woods playing at Warwick Hills, title sponsorship issues will gain more attention this week.

The LPGA seeks a different focus
Youve Really Got a Hold on Me ' The Miracles
In this high definition world, the LPGA is lacking as its major championship season comes to a close at the Womens British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Inside the ropes, this is a year still waiting for a player or theme to emerge and define it.
Asian dominance, however, appears to have the inside track. Asians have won seven of the last eight LPGA events and three of the last five majors.
Outside the ropes, of course, the ouster of Carolyn Bivens as commissioner defines a year thats been much about business woes. Its frustrating to players, who would like the focus back on them. Theyd like nothing better than a compelling storyline about competition to change the tours talking points.
Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer have all endured frustration for different reasons so far in the major championship season, but theres one good bet should any of the three contend at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Theyll probably have to beat an Asian down the stretch.
South Koreans will be looking to win their second consecutive major championship and their fourth in the last six played. South Koreas Eun-Hee Ji won the U.S. Womens Open last month and fellow countrywoman Jiyai Shin is the defending champion this week.

Solheim Cup teams to be finalized
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) ' Gladys Knight & The Pips
The U.S. and European Solheim Cup teams will be settled at the conclusion of this weeks Womens British Open.
The focus on the American side will be intense over Captain Beth Daniels two picks to join the 10 Americans who qualify on points.
The chief focus will be on whether she picks Michelle Wie.
Going into this week, Wie, Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst stand out among the possibilities.
If all three remain outside the top 10 in points, who will Daniel leave off?
Its a tough choice for the American captain. Inkster wants to make what could be her last Solheim Cup team. Hurst won this season, something neither Inkster nor Wie has done, but Wies the most consistent performer over the last four months.

Watson, Norman and major whirlwinds
Aint No Mountain High Enough ' Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
There would be something poetic about a Tom Watson vs. Greg Norman duel this week at the U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.
It would be all about cruel endings for one of them.
Theyre both teeing it in their third major championship in three weeks. Theyve both endured final-round disappointments over the last two weeks.
After losing the British Open in a playoff at Turnberry, Watson tied for eighth at the Senior British Open. Norman missed the cut at the British Open, then endured another final-round disappointment at the Senior British Open, failing to hold a 54-hole lead in a major for the seventh time in his career.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
  • Full Coverage - Women's British Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes