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Monday, October 4, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Viking Classic

Winner: Bill Haas

Around the greater world of golf: Rain delays pushed the singles matches at the Ryder Cup into Monday, so that event's Limerick Summary is postponed until tomorrow; Steven Bowditch won the Soboba Golf Classic on the Nationwide Tour; Gary Hallberg won his first Champions Tour event by shooting a record final-round score of 61 at the Ensure Classic; and Mika Miyazato got her first pro win, and it was a big one -- the Japan Women's Open, the JLPGA's biggest major. She beat three of the top players in the world -- #6 Na Yeon Choi, #4 Yani Tseng, and #1 Ai Miyazato -- by 9, 16, and 12 strokes, respectively. You can get the details over at Mostly Harmless.

Bill Haas pic from ESPNBill Haas won the Bob Hope Classic earlier this year, but he's been largely missing in action since. While he made it into the FedExCup playoffs, finishes of T47, T22, and T30 kept him out of the Tour Championship. Of course, his card isn't in jeopardy, but there are still some things for him to play for. At #64 in the world rankings and #40 on the Tour money list, he's got some work to do if he wants to get in the majors next year.

Likewise, Michael Allen sat at #166 on the money list and needed a good week to try and keep his dual-membership on the PGA and Champions Tours. (He still needs some work to keep his Champions card, but he's #20 on that list and in good shape to stay there.)

And so it was that these two came to the final round of the Viking Classic, which is cursed not only by being the first event of the "Fall Finish" (which automatically means "boooooring" to many viewers) but by being in the shadow of the Ryder Cup this year. Haas came into the final round with the lead for the first time in his career... and with Allen hot on his tail, a mere three strokes back.

Haas's inability to get it under par really put the pressure on him. After 12 holes, Allen had a one-stroke lead... until an errant tee shot on 13 resulted in a double-bogey. He never recovered, and the even-par round Haas managed to squeeze out did the job. The victory moved him to #26 on the money list, putting him in good position to grab spots in both the Masters and US Open next year.

Allen's second-place finish was good enough to move him up to #117 on the money list -- a good move toward keeping his Tour card.

Of course, you can be forgiven for missing this tournament, I suppose. After all that Ryder Cup excitement you may have been tired of watching golf... even if it was tape-delayed so as not to get overshadowed by the proceedings in Wales. Perhaps this limerick will assuage some of your guilt:
Overshadowed by Ryder Cup gloss,
At the Viking, what glittered was Haas.
Though in Wales things look grim
And our dream’s growing dim…
Bill shined with a win, not a loss.