Monday, January 21, 2013

The Limerick Summary: 2013 Humana Challenge

Winner: Brian Gay

Around the wider world of golf: Jamie Donaldson won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on the ET; John Cook won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship on the Champions Tour; David McKenzie won the Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship on the Australasian Tour; and Pornanong Phatlum won the Hitachi Ladies on the LAGT. In addition, there were three 1- or 2-day events on the ALPG: Stacey Keating won the Vintage Golf Club Pro Am, Emma de Groot won the Ingham Antill Park Ladies Pro Am, and Caroline Hedwall won the Mount Broughton Classic.

Brian Gay holds his trophy

I admit it. I was far more interested in the AFC and NFC Championship games Sunday than in the Humana Challenge. (For those of you who aren't into football, the winners of these two games go to the Super Bowl in two weeks.) But that doesn't mean I didn't see any of the Humana. I had it running on my computer while football filled my TV screen. Truly dedicated to the sport, that's me.

And what I saw was amazing. Scott Stallings, who most expected to win the event, stumbled coming in and three other players wound up tied for the lead -- Charles Howell III, rookie David Lingmerth, and Brian Gay. The three shot 64, 62, and 63 respectively to make the playoff. Brian Gay is the shortest off the tee -- his stats for 2013's two events show him about 15 yards longer than his full year stats from 2012 -- and definitely not the guy you'd expect to dominate in the desert.

But Gay knows how to get around a golf course. At the 2009 Verizon Heritage he won by 10 shots! And Sunday he demonstrated how you win a playoff -- hit fairways, hit greens, and putt it in the hole. Lingmerth left on the first playoff hole when he knocked his approach in the water, and Howell fell when his approach found the bunker on the second.

All Gay did was birdie both playoff holes.

Brian is a player who simply shouldn't be able to win on the modern tour, yet he has four victories since 2008. So this week's Limerick Summary salutes the short-hitting underdog who somehow seems to be building a nice little career for himself:
See that tee time for three? It’s a playoff!
Most approach shots wound up being way off…
Except Brian Gay’s.
He don’t drive a long ways
But his shots to the green are the payoff.
The photo came from the front page of PGATOUR.com.

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