Around the wider world of golf: Bernhard Langer won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, the third major on the Champions Tour; Greg Owen pulled off an unexpected win at the United Leasing Championship on the Web.com Tour; Stacy Lewis got her third win of the year at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on the LPGA; Fabrizio Zanotti won the BMW International Open on the ET; Florentyna Parker won the Ladies Italian Open on the LET; and Miki Sakai won the Earth Mondamin Cup on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has details).
The joke was that they were holding the Quicken Loans National when a US Open broke out.
As it turns out, the joke was on the field.
When the US Open was held at Congressional 3 years ago -- you know, the one Rory won by blitzing the field -- Mother Nature was the big player. Rain reduced the normally tough course to a huge Pitch'n'Putt. The folks at Congressional weren't pleased and, even though nobody was ever stupid enough to believe that Congressional is easy, these days they rarely ever make the course play any which way but hard.
In essence, Congressional is in constant US Open mode.
So is it any surprise that it took a past US Open Champion to tame it? Okay, "tame" is a strong word... maybe "survive" is better. Between the super-thick rough on the rolling slopes, the large trees, and the incredibly firm greens, the final round became a war of attrition. Who would give up the fewest strokes to par? Who would hang on long enough to take their chances at the peninsula green at 18?
In the end, only Justin Rose and Shawn Stefani survived -- Stefani with a par at 18, Rose with a scramble for bogey after running it into the water. Ironically, it was the water surrounding 18 that finally gave Rose the victory when Stefani also ran a shot into the water during the first playoff hole.
This gives Rose the start of a collection. He had a trophy from his win at this tournament in 2010 when it was held at Aronimink, and now he has a trophy from Congressional. I wonder how many more he'll collect, now that there will be a rota of courses?
In the meantime, Justin adds yet another Limerick Summary to his collection.
The island at Sawgrass? A cream puff!The photo came from the tournament wrap-up page at PGATOUR.com.
Congressional’s eighteenth? Now THAT’S tough!
And though he got dampened,
It’s Rose who’s the champion—
He played the nineteenth from the dry stuff.