Hello Golf Fans!
It's another Major week in golf and I'm excited to talk about it, but I can't go any farther until I spend just a few lines praising the great win last week at the John Deere by Steve Stricker! I was attending a very important birthday party that Sunday (my nieces, Ce Ce & Sami are 3!) so I missed watching the final round, but I did get to see the final hole ...the amazing bunker shot and the putt/chip from the back of the green for the win. I loved that fist pump!! And I think it's important to note that this was his 3rd victory there in a row...WOW! And this wasn't a slouchy field either. I mean many of the big boys were already over the pond, but he definitely had some contenders. Way to go Steve!!
Of course the news right after Stricker's win was that it was important to note that he hasn't finished in the top 50 at the British Open after his last 2 years after winning the week before at the John Deere.. It's understandable that he might be a little tired and jetlagged from the quick trip over after having to do his winner's obligations, but part of it too, could be that links type courses might not suit him as well either.
It was a tough call to set up my fantasy teams this week, but after some serious deliberation, I did put Stricker on my squad. And with a nice -1 round Thursday (T18) I've got high hopes for him! Go Steve!
I did catch a little of the action online while working today. Man, it looks like it's about a Minnesota November over there! Such a stark contrast to the beauty and vividness of the views at Augusta, Royal St. George's (the site of the 2011 British Open) looks like you've been banished to dreary back field and the golfers marching through the wind look like they've been on a 50 mile hike.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the Open and I respect the Links Style golf design, but it just looks so different than what we are used to seeing on TV.
But the thing I enjoy about golf on these types of courses is that you have to be creative. It isn't just bomb away and stuff a wedge 6 feet away. It's paying attention to the contour of the fairways and greens...figuring out where the least damaging spot might be...or even just taking your lumps and taking a penalty. It's playing the wind, avoiding the pot bunkers, and steering clear of the fescue.
Short games are a premium here - the greens look fast...really fast. And undulating. Getting in the wrong spot on a green could mean three putt...or God forbid, worse. It's about the mental toughness you need to have when you hit a good shot and experience a bad bounce or just plain bad luck. It's going to happen over there.
We get introduced to some players we don't see very often when we only watch PGA Tour golf each week...and frankly, the guys we watch and probably root for each week aren't usually even talked about very much as contenders. But they all want it and that's why they're there.
Maybe this week we'll see some Americans rise to the occasion - Stricker's in a good spot after day one as are Webb Simpson, Kyle Stanley (2nd last week at the Deere) and Ricky Barnes. But don't forget about Tom Watson, Tom Lehman, and Davis Love...they've got some definite experience to fall back on.
I'm excited to see what fun we're going to have watching the British Open - Enjoy!!