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Monday, August 2, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Greenbrier Classic

Winner: Stuart Appleby

Around the wider world of golf: Yani Tseng won her second major of the year at the Ricoh Women's British Open; Bernhard Langer won his second major in a row at the U.S. Senior Open; Martin Piller won at the Nationwide's Cox Classic; and Ross Fisher won the 3 Irish Open on the Euro Tour.

Stuart Appleby USA Today picIt just turned out to be a record-setting weekend.

In outlasting Katherine Hull and grabbing the third leg of the career slam, Yani Tseng became only the third woman this century to post two majors in one year (the other two are Annika -- who did it twice -- and Karrie Webb) and the youngest woman to win three majors at 21 years, 6 months. (If I heard correctly, she's the youngest golfer to do it -- Gene Sarazen previously held the record at 21 years, 7 months after collecting the 1922 U.S. Open and the 1922 and 1923 PGA Championships.)

Likewise, by beating Fred Couples (who basically lost it with a triple on the second hole) Bernhard Langer became the first man to win the Senior Open Championship and the U.S. Senior Open back-to-back, even going back before the British edition was considered a major... and he did it in back-to-back weeks, across 8 time zones!

So it was that Jeff Overton got bitten by the record bug. I do feel sorry for him -- to be so close, then get a bad break at the 17th and perhaps cause his own bad break on 18 because of it. Still, Overton's young and he's been playing well; it's just a matter of time for him to nab that first win.

How can you not feel good about what Stuart Appleby did? The man who was once a threat every week had been struggling for several years. I'm not sure I can even remember all the stats I heard:
  • No win since 2006
  • No score lower than 65 since 2006
  • Had to use his one-time Top-25 career money list exemption just to stay on tour this season
  • Had played 29 events this year, and missed the cut in 11 of them
  • Had played the last 11 weeks straight, and is scheduled for next week at Turning Stone
Can you imagine? He said he was trying to play himself back into shape -- that's a draconian regimen, if you ask me. But apparently it worked -- he made up a 7-shot deficit in 12 holes and became only the 5th PGA player to post a 59 in competition, and I believe only the 2nd to win by doing so (David Duval being the other).

Granted, the Greenbrier was set up for low scores this week. Those "59 Watches" were going on all week, and we saw several scores in the low 60s. But to come back the way Stuart did, after falling so far, gives you hope that dreams do come true. And for Stuart, they have -- he'll be going to the WGC-Bridgestone next week, not Turning Stone; he'll be returning to the Mercedes Championship, the winners-only tournament he won back-to-back-to-back from 2004-2006; and -- maybe best of all for him -- he'll be back at the Masters next year. (The pic is from this USA Today article about Stuart's win.)

Quite a record-setting weekend, after all. And it's that trip back to Augusta that inspires this week's limerick:
“Where’s his game?” Stuart’s fans needn’t wonder;
Fifty-nines rip those questions asunder!
Now the man from Australia’s
Assured of azaleas—
His game is no longer down-under.


  1. Of all people to lay up on a par 5 - Fred Couples ?? I would love to know what got into his head on that second hole Sunday. I really thought we were in for an all time shootout.

  2. I guess even Fred Couples isn't immune to over-thinking things when he's got a chance to win in front of the home crowd.

  3. I wonder if Freddie has ever been accused of that before. :-D