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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Chevron World Challenge

Winner: Graeme McDowell

Around the greater world of golf: Lee Westwood smoked the field at the Nedbank Challenge by 8 strokes, making it clear that he IS Number One in the world, thank you very much; Geoff Ogilvy fulfilled a lifelong dream by winning the Australian Open; and Maria Hjorth won the LPGA Tour Championship. In the hotly-contested LPGA year-end awards, Na Yeon Choi won the money title and the Vare Trophy for scoring, Azahara Muñoz won Rookie of the Year, and Yani Tseng won Player of the Year.

Graeme
Click the photo to read the article at Reuters.

Who'da thunk it?

Well, to some extent... me. Last December -- almost exactly one year ago -- I wrote a post where I said I thought Tiger's intimidation factor was gone. Granted, I wasn't right about everything, especially since there was no way to predict Phil's health problems. But other players did step up and take it right to the Big Cat. Granted, some did it with words but not game... but players hesitated to even speak the words before, for fear of "rousing the beast from his lair."

The final round at the Chevron on Sunday was a classic example of the change. Tiger was coming off his fourth sub-70 round in a row (for the first time this year, I might add) and had a 4-shot lead going into the final round. Tiger's never lost with a lead that big...

Until today. Seems Graeme McDowell is feeling a bit feisty after the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup. After shooting -3 on his first 6 holes -- and Tiger not matching it -- the Irishman said to himself, "Wait a minute here..." Yes, that's exactly what he said went through his mind.

Not only did he run Tiger to ground, sinking a 25-foot swinger on the 18th to send the Chevron into a playoff, but then he sank another 20-footer on the 18th during the playoff to take the title.

Last year Graeme was a last-minute sub for Tiger at this very tournament. A good finish gave him enough ranking points to move into the Top 50 in the world... and qualify for the majors. We all know what happened then, don't we? Well, Sunday's win against the event's host has boosted him to #7 in the OWGR.

And #1 in the Ruthless Golf World Rankings. Kaymer also has four wins with a major, but McDowell took down Tiger one-on-one after saying Saturday that Tiger was apparently back... plus there's that little matter of essentially winning the Ryder Cup under similar pressure.

When I say the Irishman's got guts, I ain't talking sausage, son.

Furthermore, he said he was looking forward to "facing Tiger down" in a major. Yes, he said that in those very words.

Make no mistake -- this was a great week for Tiger. After a year of struggles, he has good reason to believe his game will be back next year. And I suspect by maybe February he'll be almost back to his pre-hydrant capabilities. But several players -- like Westwood, Kaymer, and McDowell -- have taken up big game hunting in his absence, and I think they may have something to say about things. Welcome to the jungle.

Today's limerick has references that some of you may not be familiar with, so consider this a lesson in multicultural appreciation.
  • Saturday, when I thought Tiger was going to get his first win, I was reminded of an old limerick that begins "There was a young lady of Niger..." If you are unfamiliar with it, check the link.
  • A braunschweiger is a smoked pork liver sausage; I’m using it here in the simpler sense of a “weenie.”
  • And, in case you didn’t know, H.R. Giger created that nasty creature from the “Alien” movies.
Yes, it's an unusual limerick... but this was an unusual tournament. You have been warned.
Well, he’s proven he’s not a braunschweiger;
He shows more guts than creatures by Giger!
He won’t throw in the towel—
That’s how Graeme McDowell
Stole the smile off the face of the Tiger.

3 comments:

  1. Ok - definitely an award winner...for use of little known German snack meat. :-)

    Creatures by Giger ?

    That was an interesting round yesterday. I wonder if Tiger has ever felt the final round pressure like that. You'd think he'd be relaxed and ready to go, but two three putts and a third putt missed inside 5 feet really had him pulling back into his shell.

    Woods has a long way to go - and McDowell needs to learn how to bottle whatever it is that kept him calm and aggressive down the stretch.

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  2. Don't you remember the "Alien" busting out of that guy's stomach in the first movie? "He shows more guts than creatures by Giger" is a reference to that.

    And forget bottling -- McDowell should bake it into easy-to-carry cookies and call them Graeme crackers. ;-)

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  3. lol - already a big fan of the new Graeme Crackers !

    Hmm - I think Ripley is the only name from any of those Alien movies I remember. Oh wait - I remember Ripley because Newt was squeeling "RIPLEEEEEEEEEY" all the time.

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