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Monday, October 10, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 Open

Winner: Bryce Molder

Around the wider world of golf: We had some more first timers this week. Ricky Fowler got his first pro win at the OneAsia Tour's Kolon Korea Open, beating both Y.E. Yang and Rory McIlroy; Brad Faxon got his first Champions Tour win at the rain-shortened Insperity Championship; Lee Slattery got his first European Tour victory at the Bankia Madrid Masters; Christina Kim got her first LET trophy at the Sicilian Ladies Italian Open; and Miguel Carballo got his first Nationwide Tour win (since 2007, anyway) at the Children's Hospital Classic. And then we had a couple of old-timers -- Sun-Ju Ahn got her 4th JLPGA win of the year at the Sankyo Ladies Open; and of course the Empress won another one! Yani Tseng won the LPGA HanaBank Championship, her 6th LPGA victory and 9th worldwide victory this year! I'm pretty sure that makes her the most dominant golfer on any tour this year.

Bryce Molder kisses his first trophy

Tiger may have been the story, but Briny Baird and Bryce Molder were the show. They went 6 extra holes in one of the best playoffs the Tour has seen in a long time.

First, let's get Tiger out of the way: He finished at -7 (T30) with rounds of 73-69-69-69. I think that's the first time this year he's had 3 straight rounds in the 60s. He had only one double (on Thursday), along with 19 birdies and 10 bogeys. Overall, his swing looks pretty good and -- most telling -- his chipping and putting are much better. The rest of his short game still needs work, as does his driving -- a pitiful 48% for the week -- but hey! Two months ago nobody expected him to look this good. And he pretty much improved each day, so there's something for him to build on.

But the big show came from the two guys without wins after a decade or more on Tour. A total of 2 eagles and 42 birdies between them this week, against a mere 12 bogeys. Add another 7 birdies and no bogeys during the 6-hole playoff. Baird shot 64-67 over the weekend, while Molder shot 65-64 just to force the playoff. Molder was bogey-free over the last two rounds. And both guys hit around 80% of their fairways and greens over the weekend. It was incredible!

I admit I was pulling for Briny Baird, simply because he's been on Tour longer without a win. This is his 5th runner-up finish in his career, although he'll win soon if he keeps playing like this. He did at least lock up his card for next year.

And Molder just sounded tired at the end. He said he'd never been through anything quite like this. That's understandable -- he was 11-under with no bogeys over 24 holes! He pockets $900k and jumps to #45 on the money list (remember, the Top 30 get into all the majors next year). And he can afford a vacation now.

So today's Limerick Summary salutes the newest member of the "Hey, I don't have to worry about my card for two years!" club:
Consider the day of Bryce Molder:
He probably feels ten years older!
To post the best score
Required twenty-four
Of the toughest holes he's ever shouldered.
The photo comes from the front page at


  1. Just watched some of Molder's videos on, as well as his post-tournament interview.

    He has a beautiful, simple swing. In his interview, he shared a lot of insight about the mental aspects of the game, and showed himself to be a good guy.

    Bryce Molder deserves a lot of respect for what he has overcome. I had never heard of him, but now I'm a fan.

  2. He's another of those guys who got off-track trying to "improve" their game for the PGA Tour. It's nice to see him finally regaining the form that got him there.