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Monday, March 17, 2014

The Limerick Summary: 2014 Valspar Championship

Winner: John Senden

Around the wider world of golf: It was a fairly busy weekend. Fred Couples won the Toshiba Classic on the Champions Tour; Charley Hull got her first win at the Lalla Meryem Cup on the LET; Richard Lee won the Solaire Open on the Asian Tour; Alejandro Cañizares won the Trophée Hassan II on the ET; and Jon Curran won the Brasil Champions on the Web.com Tour.

John Senden

I have one thing in common with Indiana Jones. It isn't the endless trail of women who follow in his wake, the number of people who want him dead (at least, not that I'm aware of), the amount of punishment he takes in the course of his job, or even the vast number of valuable objects that slip through his fingers.

No, the one thing I have in common with Indiana Jones is that I don't like snakes. That's doubly true of the poisonous ones... like copperheads.

However, it appears that John Senden has no problem with snakes whatsoever. Nor does he have any real problem with heavy winds or thick sticky rough and brush. Perhaps this is because he comes from Australia, where golfers frequently have to deal with deadly snakes in thick rough while resisting strong winds -- or so I am told.

After his exhibition in Sunday's final round, I'm willing to believe it. While virtually every other golfer on the course seemed eager to take as many strokes as possible, perhaps hoping to beat the Copperhead Course into submission, Senden got himself under par on the front nine and then managed an even-par back nine. Only Kevin Na managed any real challenge -- a surprise to almost everyone, I bet -- but he lost too many strokes on the front to overcome with his surge on the back.

Of course, John Senden wasn't on most people's radar either. He hadn't won since the 2006 Steve Stricker Annuity Class-- excuse me, John Deere Classic although he had scored a few runner-up finishes. Ironically, 2 of those were at the Valspar. (Although in 2007 and 2008 it was called the PODS Championship.)

This time around the snake killer came out victorious and will presumably wear a stylish snakeskin belt when he gets to this year's Masters. So let's all salute his return to the winner's circle after 8 long years with his very own Limerick Summary. I promise it won't bite:
Shots slithered around in the wind
And taut nerves made it hard to contend.
But John Senden faced both
(Plus some thick undergrowth!)
And he’ll soon face Augusta again.
The photo came from the wrap-up page at PGATOUR.com.

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