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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup

Winner: America (Matt Kuchar & Gary Woodland)

Around the wider world of golf: Hennie Otto picked up his first ET victory at the South Africa Open Championship; Greg Chalmers did the Australian two-step, backing up his Australian Open win a couple of weeks ago with the Australian PGA Championship; and Mi-Jeong Jeon won the Ricoh Cup, the final JLPGA major of the year. (As usual, the Constructivist has the details on that.)

Kuch and Woodland with the big prize

I can think of two guys that Davis Love III may seriously consider as Captain's picks if they don't qualify for the 2012 Ryder Cup team on their own.

The same might be said of several European players who demonstrated some serious team skills in the damp windy conditions of this year's World Cup. Several teams shot 5- and 6-under in the already demanding alternate shot format, including the American team with their own 5-under, and the English team of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose fired an unbelievable 9-under to grab a piece of 2nd place with the German team of Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka.

The big shock of the day had to be the third-round leaders from Ireland, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, who could only muster a round of even par. I don't want to put all the blame on Rory but he missed several short putts that cost the team dearly. No matter how well you hit the ball, you still have to get it into the hole.

By comparison, Kuch and Woodland came out of the gate firing. Two birdies on the first two holes put them in the lead early on. They shot 4-under on their front nine and put everyone else in catch-up mode for the rest of the round. Given that Woodland had never played one of these pro team golf events before, that was amazing. Kuchar said he thought that Woodland had played the best of anyone at the event... and while Julian Tutt said that might be argued, he agreed that Woodland had been extremely impressive. That seems to have been the consensus among many of the golf analysts this week.

This win ended a drought for America. The last American team to win was Tiger Woods and David Duval back in 2000. And while America has won quite a few of these things, a majority of those players have been multiple winners:
  • Ed Furgol and Chick Harbert (1)
  • Ben Hogan and Sam Snead (1)
  • Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret (1)
  • Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer (2)
  • Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus (4)
  • Orville Moody and Lee Trevino (1)
  • Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino (1)
  • Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller (1)
  • Johnny Miller and Lou Graham (1)
  • John Mahaffey and Andy North (1)
  • John Mahaffey and Hale Irwin (1)
  • Rex Caldwell and John Cook (1)
  • Ben Crenshaw and Mark McCumber (1)
  • Fred Couples and Davis Love III (4)
  • Mark O'Meara and Tiger Woods (1)
  • Tiger Woods and David Duval (1)
That's quite a list to add your names to, don't you think?

Kuchar already has the nickname "the Smiling Assassin," but Gary Woodland is going to need one now. He's way too wild to be "the Woodland Creature," so I'm going to recommend "the Woodland Beast." And that's my intro to this week's Limerick Summary, saluting the newest of the young players to make history at the World Cup:
The Smiling Assassin came walking;
Both he and the Woodland Beast, stalking.
After many a year
Our "new breed" is here
And now they've got everyone talking.
The photo came from this page at the europeantour.com site.

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