Riding Out the Storm


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DUBLIN, Ohio ' Thirty-six holes on the next best thing to a U.S. Open venue can be a grind. Tack on 36 holes of Open qualifying on Monday, which await many in this weeks field, and its hard to distinguish between the winners and losers Memorial week. Much like this weeks edition of Cut Line, rarely does the line between the top 70 and ties seem so blurred.
Made Cut
  • Mickelsons: Its good news for golf that Phil Mickelson plans to play next weeks St. Jude Championship and the U.S. Open. Its better news for those rocked by the news that Amy Mickelson had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
    The battle ahead is still daunting, but Lefty would not be packing his bags if things were as bad as originally feared. This, we all recall, is the same papa-to-be who picked his way around Pinehurst at the 1999 U.S. Open with a golf club in one hand and a beeper in the other vowing he would leave the national championship if his wife went into labor.
    If youre looking for signs, this would be a good one.
  • Erik Compton: The two-time heart transplant patient never stops amazing. Playing on a sponsor exemption at Memorial, Compton said he will honor the man he received his second heart from this week.
    Comptons second heart came from a man named Isaac, a 28-year-old who was from the Columbus, Ohio, area who died in a motorcycle crash in Florida a little over a year ago.
    Compton, who made the cut with rounds of 72-75, said hes been e-mailing Isaacs family and will meet them when the time is right. I wrote them a letter and said that Id be honoring him and making this memorable.
    He already has.

    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • Morgan Stanley: The embattled financial firm pulled its name from the marquee, its executives from the corporate tents, its clients from the pro-am, everything, it seems, except for its funding, because of the delicate position golf finds itself in during these troubled economic times.
    Yet from this curious chaos came the years best golf that didnt include an oversized check and trophy presentation. Wednesdays skin match between Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus was the most memorable exhibition since last years Ryder Cup.
    It may also be the last time the two greatest players to ever overlap a grip find themselves between the same ropes. If you didnt TiVo it, find it on YouTube. Its the closest thing to must-keep golf.
  • Caddie Slam: Wonder-jockey Calvin Borel will set out on Mine that Bird this Saturday looking to complete this years Triple Crown: Jockey Edition on two different rides. Remember Borel won the Kentucky Derby on Bird before going on to win the Preakness Stakes astride Rachel Alexandra.
    All of which begs an interesting question. Could a Tour caddie bounce between players and win all four of the seasons Grand Slam events. As best we can tell the Caddie Slam has never happened, but may we suggest Masters champion Angel Cabreras man, Ruben Yorio, take a 3-iron to Stevie Williams knee and slide into that AT&T bag for the next leg of the Grand Slam
  • Under six-foot tour: A caddie suggested this concept earlier this week and Cut Line was torn between the simple beauty of the idea and the utter lack of it ever happening.
    If your average golf fan wants to relate to a Tour player, forget Ernie Els long, athletic action or Tiger Woods barrel-chested motion and go straight to the diminutive likes of Luke Donald (5-foot-9) and Mike Weir (5-foot-9), both of whom are in the hunt this week at Muirfield Village but would never be early favorites in a pick-up basketball game.
    Look at a guy like Mark Wilson (5-foot-8), no one does more with less, said the caddie.
    Cut Line would like to nominate Corey Pavin commissioner and Ian Woosnam director of player relations.

    Missed Cut
  • Colin Montgomerie: Manny will be Manny, and Monty will be Monty ' sans the performance-enhancing drugs.
    Maybe the European selection committee picked the Scot to skipper the 2010 Ryder Cup team because hes never going to bore. Consider the news last week that Monty begged out of a pairing with American counterpart Corey Pavin at this weeks Wales Open at Celtic Manor, site of next years Ryder Cup.
    It all seems a little too gamey this early in the game and, besides, if Monty was so concerned about being shown up by his counterpart in front of his potential charges he neednt worry. Most of the European team was playing the Memorial.
  • Tim Clark: We like the South African. Hes overcome a birth defect that doesnt allow him to use a short-handled putter, an assortment of neck and back ailments and a game that often favors the chest-thumper over the chess player, but his behavior on Sunday at Colonial was OB.
    We understand that during the pitch of competition it is hard to gracious, particularly in defeat, but sidestepping the media after his playoff loss in Fort Worth, Texas, will be remembered long after that missed 7 footer fades from sight.
    The adage is that you learn more about a person in defeat than in victory, and Kenny Perrys behavior following his emotional loss at this years Masters is a perfect example of how far humble goes in the court of public opinion.
    Clark will win on Tour. Hes too good not to. But even if that payoff never comes, we hope he learns his actions matter either way.

    Email your thoughts to Rex Hoggard
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