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Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Should NEVER Try to Pick Winners

Jiyai Shin LPGA bio picTo Jiyai Shin and Corey Pavin, my picks to win their respective majors this week, I extend my sincerest apologies. I didn't mean to end your chances before they ever started... but alas, I did. The only way I could have made it worse would have been to make cash bets on each of you. At least this way you made the cut.

Corey Pavin wiki picAs I write this, Jiyai (at E) is 12 shots off the lead at the Women's British Open and Corey (+10) sits 15 back at the U.S. Sr. Open. I just hope they don't sue...

Fred Couples (who I felt was off his game) and Bernhard Langer (who I thought would be exhausted from his Sr. British win) are tied for the lead at Sahalee, smug at -5; and none of the 4 top-ranked ladies looks to have even a chance to catch Yani Tseng, who I have been calling the Taiwan Typhoon. I also considered Taiwan Tornado, and may yet change to that -- but at any rate, she's blowing everybody away at Royal Birkdale.

So, having acknowledged that I have "rained on the parades" of my choices, let me bring you up-to-date on a few bits of information that some of you may have missed amid all the golf this weekend.

Paula Creamer's scary shot at 17 on Friday -- the one that sent pain up her arm, caused her to drop her club, and nearly reduced her to tears -- didn't do any damage. Doctors checked her out and said she jammed her wrist and thumb, but that it wasn't serious and didn't even require a scan. That's good news for everybody, and fortunately the Safeway Classic isn't for another couple of weeks; that should give her time to recuperate.

Bill Jempty (aka the notorious Florida Masochist) posted a great article about Taiwanese golfers at Royal Birkdale over at OTB Sports, focusing on Lee Trevino's 1971 duel with Lu Liang Huan. At the end he writes "So far as I know, Mr. Lu is still alive today at age seventy-four." Well, it looks like he is. Yani told Tom Abbott from TGC today that she had gone to dinner with Mr. Lu earlier this year. I bet he's enjoying this Women's British Open!

On the outside chance you missed it, Morgan Pressel lit up the course with a 7-under 65, moving her to -3 (T10) before the rough weather came in the afternoon. Bill also sent me the following fact about Morgan's 65: "It's being touted as a course record for Birkdale and it is for a woman golfer. A 65 was also shot by Karen Stupples, Paula Creamer, Pat Hurst, My Aunt Hazel, Louise Stahle, Becky Brewerton, and Brandie Burton at the 2005 WBO. Ok, I don't have an Aunt Hazel but Morgan has a lot of company at 65." Morgan was 2-over after two holes, then shot 9-under for the last 16; the round ended up with 3 bogeys, 8 birdies, and 1 eagle. Not bad for a short knocker!

More impressive to me was Katherine Hull's 6-under 66. She finished holes 14-18 with 5 straight birdies during the worst of the weather. And Yani also finished in the worst of it, with a birdie-eagle finish. Think about this, folks: Yani Tseng has played three days at Royal Birkdale, a course where the wind is different on each hole, in both good and bad weather... and has made only 1 bogey through three days! She's posted three rounds of 68 -- as far as I can tell, the only player with three rounds in the 60s.

Yani Tseng

Maybe Yani's never won with a lead before -- she lost two tournaments back in 2008 when leading -- but I think it's safe to say this is NOT the same little girl who struggled with the lead back then. Annika has been coaching her -- apparently they spent some time together earlier this year -- and Annika has picked Yani to be #1 in the world by 2012. (This was mentioned during the TV broadcast on Saturday, and I found this Golf Digest article from Friday that backs it up. Yani's pic also came from that article.)

So now it's up to the players to determine who should hold their trophies. As for me, I think I'll just sit over here in the corner and watch... sobbing quietly...

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