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Friday, July 23, 2010

Bunched Leaderboards & Recent Leaders

I thought today I'd take a quick look at the various tournaments going on this week -- not just the majors -- and see how our recent winners are fairing.

Louis Oosthuizen (the new Open Champion) headed to Stockholm this week to play in the Nordia Scandinavian Masters... and promptly got himself into a 3-way lead at 5-under with Richard Green and Dustin Johnson. Like he did at the Open, he played a very steady round. Also of note, Dustin posted a bogey-free round; it's good to see him continuing his good play after the bad day at Pebble.

Also, the European Tour totally surprised Tom Watson by giving him honorary lifetime membership on the ET. Only three other players have been given the honor -- Arnold Palmer, Bob Charles, and Gary Player -- and the ET vote was unanimous. You can read about it here at the European Tour site. (The pic showing Watson receiving his card from ET Chief Executive George O'Grady is from that article.)

Watson gets European Tour card

Speaking of Tom, he had a rough day at the Senior Open Championship. He actually chunked a pitch shot into the burn from a bad lie. Now that's something you don't see everyday! He finished the day at 3-over (T45), while the leaders at 4-under are Jay Don Blake, Carl Mason, and Bernhard Langer. (And no, there was no live coverage Thursday.)

Over at the Evian Masters, newly-minted U.S. Open Champion (and #7 in the world rankings) Paula Creamer said her thumb was so sore after her victory that she didn't hit any balls last week. She finished her first round at 1-under (T37), while the leaders at 6-under are Sun-Ju Ahn, Melissa Reid, and Morgan Pressel. Morgan only had 1 bogey and 7 birdies, which bodes well for her this week. As the Constructivist notes, the Evian course doesn't favor one type of player, so a relatively short player like Morgan can really take it to the field if she plays well.

Among the other notable players:
  • #9 Song-Hee Kim is T4 at 5-under;
  • #5 Yani Tseng, #6 Na Yeon Choi, and #12 Michelle Wie are T6 at 4-under:
  • #1 Ai Miyazato and #3 Suzann Pettersen are T13 at 3-under;
  • #8 Anna Nordqvist, #4 Jiyai Shin, and ROY leader Azahara Munoz are T26 at 2-under;
  • #2 Cristie Kerr is T52 at even; and
  • #10 Karrie Webb, #11 In-Kyung Kim, and Amanda Blumenherst (chasing Munoz) are T61 at 1-over.
As you can see, the rankings could get shaken up quite a bit this week... and the Women's British Open is next week.

BTW, I checked out a little of the Evian web coverage and it appears that it only covers the 18th hole... plus I couldn't get any sound. Still, each player's name was shown with their score, so it was better than nothing.

Last week's Nationwide winner Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey struggled a bit at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. He opened with a 1-over round (T77), while Jonathan Kaye blitzed the field with an 8-under! If Kaye's name sounds familiar, that's because he's a regular PGA player who's been struggling some this season. Obviously he's off to a good start this week.

And the official PGA Tour event this week is the RBC Canadian Open, where Fred Couples is playing instead of the Senior Open Championship. He's 3-over after his first round (T130). Local favorite Mike Weir, at 2-over (T119), isn't faring much better; he had to withdraw from the Wednesday pro-am after 15 holes with tendonitis, and I don't know how much that affected him. The leader at 8-under is Brent Delahoussaye, who just came over from the Nationwide this year and has been struggling -- only 3 made cuts out of 12 tournaments, and just shy of $29k in winnings. He really needs a good week, and maybe this is it.

And for those of you who are wondering, John Daly is T51 at 1-under. It's good to see JD finally starting to get some decent rounds under his belt. Low American at the Open, Sean O'Hair is T75, at even, perhaps struggling with a little jet lag. And Paul Casey is at T37 (2-under) after his struggles in the Open last week -- apparently experiencing no jet lag at all.

So there you have it. It appears our last PGA tournament winner, Justin Rose, isn't playing this week, and the Top 7 on the men's rankings are all MIA as well. They better watch out -- if Louis Oosthuizen has started to believe in himself, they may find him waiting for them in the Top 10 when they finally get back!

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