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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Dubai World Championship

Winner: Robert Karlsson

Around the greater world of golf: It was a quiet weekend, even if most of the world doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving. Mainly it was Japanese golf -- Inbee Park won the Ricoh Cup on the JLPGA, her first major and 2nd win of the year; and Michio Matsumura won the Casio World Open on the JGTO (that's the men's tour). One of my favorite Japanese players, Shingo Katayama (he wears the cowboy hats -- remember him?) finished T31.

Karlsson pic from europeantour.com
(Click photo to read what europeantour.com says Karlsson accomplished with this win.)

Robert Karlsson has been quietly having a monster year. After becoming one of the European players to watch in 2008, Robert got knocked out for several months by an eye problem -- fluid behind the retina of his left eye (one report I read called it a water blister) left him unable to see clearly. He also had a "glandular fever," whatever that is, but the two problems were enough to derail a game that had him in most discussions of possible world #1. (He was the European #1 in 2008 before the problems hit.)

This year he's been largely under the radar, but the big Swede (he's 6'5" tall) had already won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at the end of January, came close at the St. Jude Classic, and posted a second in October at the Portugal Masters.

Sunday looked to be Ian Poulter's second win in a row until Karlsson put on a run. His 67 allowed him to tie Poulter's 70 in regulation, sending the two men to a two-hole playoff. It ended up a battle of wedges -- Karlsson stuck three close, on the 72nd and both playoff holes, while Poulter could only stick two close. While Ian did get a penalty on the last playoff hole by dropping his ball on his marker and causing it to move, it didn't really affect the results. Karlsson drained his birdie putt; even without the penalty, Poulter could do no better than par.

Of course people will be talking about Kaymer winning the Race to Dubai, and McDowell's unsuccessful attempt to dethrone him, and Poulter's lost chances to win three of the last four tournaments of the ET season. But Robert Karlsson will be plenty happy, I think. Next year could take the place of that lost 2009 -- at least, it's a clear possibility.

This week's limerick salutes that rarest of creatures, the ice man who thrives in the desert:
After problems with vision last year,
Karlsson now sees a reborn career.
With two wins this season,
The Swede isn’t teasin’
His fans. Now he’s back—and that’s clear.

5 comments:

  1. That was a great tournament ! Lots of outstanding golf shots and plenty of guys playing well so it wasn't just a one man show. Great to see Karlsson back in the winner's circle.

    Poulter's interview afterwards showed a lot of good sportsmanship on his part. No whining and complaining. He even got into the joke when the interviewer suggested that he use one of the little plastic ball markers with the spike like the rest of us.

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  2. Do you think Poulter's tweeting (and some of the feedback he's gotten) may be helping him learn what his fans expect of him? Or maybe it's just because he's getting more exposure from better play. In either case, he's becoming a much better interview than he used to be.

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  3. I don't think he cares one way or the other. He's playing well and, as we all know, good play puts you in a better mood. He's always been a good interview - the guy likes to talk - but he's had more positive interviews with his improved play.

    Read his twitter page. half of the people who respond to him aren't exactly the polite type. They are the immature, video game playing, "I can do whatever the hell I want" types. Left up to them, Poulter would end up being the biggest jerk on the planet.

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  4. How did you get Party Poker as a sponsor ? That's cool ! (even though I play on PokerStars)

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  5. Actually, PartyPoker's rep approached me -- apparently my readers are the demographic they look for. Back when it was legal to play with money online in the US, I played some of the small stakes games on PartyPoker, but I don't know if that had anything to do with them finding my site.

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