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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 Bob Hope Classic

Winner: Jhonattan Vegas

Around the wider world of golf: Martin Kaymer ripped the field apart with an eight-shot victory in defense of his title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on the European Tour and took over #2 on the OWGR from Tiger Woods; and John Cook posted back-to-back 64s to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship on the Champions Tour.

Photo of Jhonattan Vegas from

Well, "Jhonny Vegas" went four-under in the first eight holes of his final round at the Hope, and we all thought it was over. Gary Woodland and Martin Laird, his playing companions, struggled as Vegas pulled away.

But the happiness of Vegas didn't stay with Vegas. As quickly as it started, the party ended and it looked like Jhonny's "Hope" of victory might be extinguished. The star found himself putting for par -- lengthy, tricky putts -- on hole after hole. Meanwhile, on the back nine, Woodland found something and started making a move.

And in a group up ahead, defending champion Bill Haas caught fire and posted a 66. It put him at -27, one stroke behind Vegas... but Vegas continued to struggle for par. Coming up the 18th, Woodland stood at -26 and Vegas at -28. Vegas had saved difficult pars for nine straight holes and needed only one more.

Then the unthinkable happened! Woodland made birdie and Vegas bogeyed, giving Haas new life as the three headed for sudden death. From there it was almost anticlimactic. Haas was eliminated on the first hole with a par, and Woodland on the next with a bogey.

You might say the bright light of Vegas shone through in the gathering dark. (Well, I would. I'm corny that way.)

When I did my introductory post on Jhonattan Vegas a few days ago I mentioned his victory on the Nationwide Tour last year. However, I'm still not used to keeping up with the events in South America, so I missed his win at the VISA Argentine Open in December. In the process Vegas beat, among others, major champions Ángel Cabrera and Tom Lehman. Forget the hype -- Jhonny Vegas is for real, folks.

And so this week's Limerick Summary goes out to the first rookie winner of 2011. I guess you could say "The trophy won by Vegas stays with Vegas."
The Vegas ads play on duplicity:
What happens there, stays there. Publicity
For this Vegas win
Will get a new spin
Since his game shows real authenticity!
The photo is from


  1. Hmm - I think you have to get extra points for using so many long words ending in "icity". They take up a lot of space in a form like a limrick. :-)

    Sitting here watching the replay of the playoff on xxx Golf Channel. That pitch Vegas made to the 18th green on the first playoff hole was incredible.

    Gotta hand it to Rich Lerner - he finds new an exciting wasy to be insuferable. Listening to him scream "Johnny Vegas" every chance he got was really annoying.

    How about Woodland ? He has some serious length, too !

  2. Thanks. I'll take all the extra credit points I can get! ;-)

    Vegas actually did a good job holding it together. Despite the other wins -- and they were good wins, for sure -- playing for his first PGA win had to get in his head some. To get up and down 9 straight times, then come back from that bogey and shoot birdie-par to win the playoff was a clutch performance.

    And according to the Tour stats this far, Woodland is 2nd in distance (311), just behind Bubba Watson (315). Vegas is 5th (306)... and they nearly lost to Haas, who's T35 (295). Haas obviously is no slacker, but it just goes to show that distance isn't everything.