Skip to main content

My Favorite Round

My favorite round of golf of all time was Johnny Millers 63 in the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont. It won him the tournament. And afterward, when asked what was going through his mind during the round, Miller said, Absolutely nothing.
The golf shrinks will tell you that answer is the very quintessence of what being in the zone is all about.
My favorite round of golf this year? Much tougher question.
The first one that comes to most peoples minds is Davis Loves closing 64 at The Players Championship in March where he won for the second time. Not much not to like about that 64. Love and his caddie, Cubby Burke, said he mis-hit only two shots all day on one of the toughest places to go low in the world. Those two shots were his tee balls on the short par 4 12th and the short par 5 16th. He wound up with birdie and eagle, respectively.
But what about the 66 Michelle Wies fashioned in the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, also in March? Were talking about a 13-year-old amateur here playing in her first major championship.
Many believe the years best round was Annika Sorenstams 71 in the first round of the Bank of America Colonial in Fort Worth last month. The pressure of being the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event in 58 years and under the white hot spotlight of the worldwide media glare, they say, ought to count for something even though her score was one over par. And they are right. So should the 13 fairways and 14 greens Sorenstam hit.
Justin Leonard and Kenny Perry both fired 61s at the Bank of America Colonial. Perrys came first'on Saturday. Leonards on Sunday was more of a threat to turn into a 59. Standing in the middle of the 18th fairway with a nine-iron in his hand needing birdie to break 60, Leonard caught it a hair heavy and finished with a disappointing bogey.
That same day Julie Inkster picked up on the Annika buzz and Fort Worth and carded a nifty 62 on her way to victory in the final round of the LPGA Corning Classic.
Last week at The Memorial, Perry fancied the Saturday 70 he shot in the chill and brutally swirling Ohio spring winds. After the round he said, given the adverse conditions, it was better than the 61 he had posted at Colonial. If thats the case, what are we to make of the 66 Jose Maria Olazabal shot the same day? By Perrys lights Ollies 66 was the equivalent of something in the 50s.
And lets not forget the 62 Annika fired in the first round of the Kellogg-Keebler Classic exactly one week after missing the cut against the men in Texas. She was facing a different kind of pressure on that day. And the potential for a letdown was anywhere she wanted to look.
So its tough to pick a best round from the above list. Forced to choose, I have to go with Olazabals 66 which included an otherworldly up-and-down for birdie from John Dalya fairway bunker on the difficult 18th hole.
But my favorite round of the year? Thats easy: John Dalys 83 Saturday at The Memorial. In it he carded a bogey, a double bogey, a triple bogey and a quadruple bogey. In baseball they call that hitting for the cycle. Makes you kind of wonder what was going through Long Johns mind that day.