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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Limerick Summary: 2012 The Barclays

Winner: Nick Watney

Around the wider world of golf: Lydia Ko made history, becoming the youngest amateur ever to win an LPGA event, the CN Canadian Women's Open; Kim Hyung-sung won the Vana Cup KBC Augusta (which I think is on the Japan Golf Tour); Jay Don Blake won the Boeing Classic on the Champions Tour; Paul Lawrie walked away with the Johnnie Walker Championship on the ET; and Darron Stiles won the News Sentinel Open on the Web.com Tour.

Nick Watney finally breaks through for another win

I know this Summary is about the PGA event, but I have to take a few moments to salute Lydia Ko. The 15-year-old didn't just win the CN Canadian Women's Open, she demonstrated that she understands what a "scorched earth policy" is. Playing with Stacy Lewis and Jiyai Shin, when they and the other pros caught up to her at the turn, she casually posted 4 straight birdies to take a lead that no one ever closed. She shot her lowest round of the week -- a 5-under 67 -- and won by 3. She's now won on two professional tours (ALPG and LPGA) and won the U.S. Women's Open in less than 8 months -- and if I remember correctly, 48 of the top 50 players in the world were in this week's field. Jiyai Shin may have put it best; she simply said she felt very old. Jiyai is 24.

Get used to the name Lydia Ko, folks. She qualified for the Titleholders tournament at the end of this year (winners qualify, whether they're pros or amateurs) and she was already headed for the Women's British Open. I haven't found any good footage of her swing yet, but I'll be surprised if some doesn't show up online soon. She's got a sweet swing.

And now back to our regularly-scheduled program...

If it hadn't been for Lydia Ko, The Barclays would have easily stolen the show this weekend. The showdown between Nick Watney -- a player who's been struggling all year, trying to find the form he had last year -- and Sergio, coming off a dramatic win last week right here in North Carolina, was classic stuff. Bethpage played as hard as we expected, and neither player could seem to throw the knockout punch. All-in-all, it's the kind of final round that the Tour loves -- it continued the drama of the season so far while showing that we still can't predict who might show up big at Deusche Bank next week.

It finally came down to the back 9. At that point Sergio and Nick were tied after Nick made up his 2-shot deficit. On the back 9, Sergio posted 3 bogeys. So did Nick... but he offset them with 3 birdies. Game, set, and match. I'm taking Sergio's final round 75 as proof that he truly is tired after several big events where he was trying to make the Ryder Cup team.

The question now becomes... did Watney do enough to convince DL3 he should be on the American Ryder Cup team? Watney is #30 on the points list but with his win -- especially his overall game stats -- Davis can't afford NOT to consider him. And with the continued good play of Brandt Snedeker (posting a solo 2nd), Dustin Johnson's solid T3, and Rickie Fowler's tumble to a T24 finish after having stumbled the last few weeks, the US Captain's job just got considerably more complicated.

But we'll have those answers soon enough. This week's Limerick Summary focuses on the battle that was... with a nod to the youngster who stole the thunder from the big boys. You just can't separate the two this week:
As Lydia Ko launched a new age,
Nick Watney did his part at Bethpage—
A back-and-forth battle
With Sergio that'll
Launch FedEx's Cup to its next stage.
The photo came from the front page of PGATOUR.com.

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