Monday, June 21, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-20-10

JOURNEYMAN WINS OPEN

Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He was able to keep his engine running while all the others in the demolition derby could not and got the win. Like the Opens won by Angel Cabrera,Michael Campbell,Geoff Ogilvy this was a truly forgettable affair as the USGA once again screwed up a once great tournament.

The greens were like concrete and appeared to be very bumpy and very fast. The rest of the course was set up tough but fair but oh those greens were horrendous. I guess the USGA still has a grudge against professional players and likes to see them suffer.

So McDowell won proably never to be heard from again. He shot 3-over-par 74 to finish the tournament at even-par 284 and beat Frenchman Gregory Havret, the 391st-ranked player in the world, by a stroke.

McDowell, was helped by the stunning collapse of Dustin Johnson, who also was in search of his first major. Johnson led McDowell by three coming into the day. He gave that away and more by making 7, 6 and 5 on Nos. 2, 3 and 4 en route to an 82—an afterthought who simply tried to stay out of McDowell’s way on the back nine.

Havret made a run, but when he bogeyed the par-3 17th, then failed to make birdie on the par-5 18th, all McDowell had to do was hit three shots to the green on 18, then two-putt from 20 feet to seal his victory.

Ernie Els made a run getting to 3-under par and briefly into a tie with McDowell midway through the front nine. But his tee shot on 10 went off the course, over the edge of the cliff, matted in the thick grass that leads down to the beach. He tiptoed down the hill but never found his ball. And when he came back to drop on the fairway, he chunked it, hit that ball into the tall grass, as well, and was lucky to make a 6 from there.

Mickelson and Woods were close but never got anything started to mount a charge to challenge McDowell.

The next stop on the Tour is the Travelers Championship. Kenny Perry is the 2009 winner.


MIYAZATO WINS SHOP RITE CLASSIC

Ai Miyazato shot a 7-under 64 to win the $1.5 million ShopRite LPGA Classic by two strokes over M.J. Hur of South Korea on Seaview’s Bay Course, just miles from the Atlantic City casino resort. It was the fourth win in nine events this year for Miyazato, who is finally living up to the expectations thrust on her in 2006 when she made the move from Japan to the LPGA Tour.

Trailing Hur by two shots, Miyazato grabbed a piece of the lead after making a 15-foot birdie at No. 2 and a tap-in on the par-5 third hole. A 3-foot birdie on No. 9 gave her sole possession of the lead and she opened daylight with a 15-footer on No. 10 and a 30-footer for birdie on the 14th hole.

Paula Creamer, threatened for two rounds but faded to seventh in her first tournament since surgery on her left thumb in March.

South Korean Inbee Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had a final-round 67 and finished third at 12 under, four shots behind the winner.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway, South Korea’s Hee-Won Han and Katherine Hull of Australia shared fourth place at 11 under, one shot ahead of Creamer.

With the victory Miyazato moves to the top of the Rolex Rankings and takes over as #1 in the world.

The ladies travel to New York for the LPGA Classic. Anna Nordqvist defends.


KIRK TAKES HOME NATIONWIDE TOUR TITLE

Chris Kirk fired a 6-under 64 Sunday to come from behind and win the Nationwide Tour's Fort Smith Classic by one stroke over Kyle Thompson, who charged up the board with a 7-under 63.

Kirk finished at 16-under 264 and earned his first career title. He collected $94,500 in the process, pushing him from No. 4 to No. 1 on the money list with $262,382, which should be more than enough to guarantee him a place among the 25 leading money winners who will move onto the PGA Tour next year.

Fan favorite John Daly carded a 1-under 69 and tied for 22nd in his first Nationwide Tour start since 1991.


That's it for this week.

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