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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 McGladrey Classic

Winner: Heath Slocum

Around the wider world of golf: Martin Kaymer won his fourth tournament of the year (third in a row) at the ET's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship; Mark O'Meara finally got his first solo Champions Tour win (he already had a team win) in a playoff at their last major, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship; Sun-Ju Ahn also won in a playoff at the JLPGA's Sankyo Ladies (the Constructivist has details); Scott Gardiner won the Nationwide's Chattanooga Classic in yet another playoff; and Katherine Hull won the Navistar LPGA Classic on the LPGA.

Martin Kaymer picFirst, a note about Martin Kaymer: When Kaymer won his third European Tour start in a row Sunday (four if you count the Ryder Cup), he became the first player to do so since Tiger did it back in 2006. (I believe Nick Faldo was the last to do it before Tiger, back in 1989.) While I make allowances for injuries, Lee Westwood's performance this week paled beside Kaymer's, although I hear he'll earn still earn enough points to dethrone Tiger by the end of the month. I'm only officially updating the Ruthless Golf World Rankings once a month, but given that Kaymer did this after a Ryder Cup party that seems to have slowed all the other team players down to a crawl, that he won at a tournament playing both St. Andrews and Carnoustie, and that his OWGR will jump from #6 to #4 today, I'm moving Martin Kaymer to #1 on the RGWR, since I think he's playing better than any other male golfer on the major tours. He now has six wins in two years -- one of those a major -- and ten other Top 10s on the ET in the last two years, making him the winningest male golfer this year. (Ai Miyazato still reigns with five wins on the LPGA.) The RGWR Top 5 now looks like this:
  1. Martin Kaymer
  2. Lee Westwood
  3. Steve Stricker
  4. Graeme McDowell
  5. Jim Furyk

Heath Slocum pic
This week marks the first playing of the McGladrey Classic, filling an empty spot in the Fall Finish. The Seaside Course at Sea Island GA ended up playing much harder than the players expected -- predictions of a -20 or -22 winning score never materialized, even though the weather remained cooperative. Other than a -8 posted by Charles Howell III, no one could post anything low enough to challenge 3rd-round leader Heath Slocum.

That doesn't mean that nobody tried, of course. Slocum's main rival turned out to be Bill Haas, hot off his 2nd win of the year at last week's Viking Classic. Haas posted a -13 final score and waited while Slocum apparently struggled a bit with his nerves on the back nine. I don't think it was so much about fear of losing the tournament -- and certainly not losing his Tour card -- as it was about having a chance to get into the majors next year. A bogey on the final hole gave Slocum a one-stroke win at -14 and lifted him to #29 on the money list.

Slocum was noticeably emotional after the win, but he's one of those players who has been steadily improving over the last few years. This is his second win -- you may remember his first win at the 2009 Barclays caused some to say the "volatility" of the playoffs was too volatile. That may have made this second win more important to him as well -- if someone needed to "validate" their first win, you could argue that Slocum was that player.

He doesn't have to worry about that anymore.

And with this win he enters that rarified air breathed by players who have received two -- count 'em, two -- of my Limerick Summaries. Ah, success!
McGladrey’s quite happy, I’m sure;
They’ve proven their stop has allure
And victor Heath Slocum
Proved he’s not just hokum
By posting a win twice on Tour.

2 comments:

  1. lol - another excellent work of literature !

    However...

    Slocum has four career PGA Tour wins - McGladrey's, Barclay's ('09), Southern Farm Classic ('05), and the Chrysler Classic of Tucson ('04)

    PLUS - he was the first Nationwide Tour player to earn the "battlefield promotion" back in 2001.

    We're pretty proud of Heath around here - he's living in the Atlanta area. Great guy.

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  2. I don't know how I missed the two earlier PGA wins. I knew about the battlefield promotion...

    Oh well. At least it was two recent wins. ;-)

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