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Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Week's Storylines

It's Labor Day weekend here in the US and, while there aren't a lot of tournaments going on, the ones that are certainly have the potential to deliver some great stories.

On the ET at the Omega European Masters -- one of the bigger tournaments -- I mentioned Paul Lawrie's chance to go back-to-back after winning last week's Johnnie Walker Championship. (For the record I define "big" on the ET as a purse of €2,000,000 or more, and the Omega is €2,100,000.) I forgot to mention that this would be Lawrie's 3rd win of the season, as he also won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters back in February. (Qatar is just under that €2,000,000 mark.) As things stand right now, Lawrie is just 2 strokes off the lead after 36 holes.

But an equally good story there is Julien Quesne, a French player who got his first ET win earlier this year at the Open de AndalucĂ­a Costa del Sol back in March. Quesne leads the tournament at -9, and weather has become a factor there... which I believe will favor Lawrie. If you haven't been keeping up with the tournament, you definitely should peek in on it.

On the Tour, Ben Kohles -- one of the potential "battlefield promotion" players -- had a rough 2nd round and ended up 8 strokes back after 36 holes. However, Casey Wittenberg (the other potential BPer, who also happens to be a good friend of LPGA player Paula Creamer) is just 2 shots off the lead set by Brad Fritsch. Fritsch has had a rough season -- only 3 Top10s and 6 missed cuts -- but he's playing some awesome golf this week with rounds of 66-64. That one could also get very interesting.

And then there's the Deusche Bank -- only 18 holes at this point because Labor Day allows a Monday finish -- with Tiger posting one of his best rounds of the year (-7) along with Jeff Overton, who's been struggling most of this year. The breeze came up in the afternoon and the general consensus was that those rounds would hold up. WRONG!

Not only did Ryan Moore match that -7 in the afternoon, but Chris Kirk (who's also struggled this year) posted -8. However, I have to toot my own horn a bit. Remember yesterday when I said Seung-Yul Noh remained on my "Players to Watch" list and that we shouldn't write him off yet? He took the lead with a bogey-free -9 during the afternoon!

Add Rory, Oosthuizen, Poults, DJ, Luke, and Dufner -- all in the Top 10 -- to the mix, and this could end up being a shootout come Monday.

In case you don't live in the US, Labor Day weekend usually ends up being filled with cookouts and other get-togethers. That's the reason for this little breakdown. Hopefully it will help all our partygoers make sure they don't miss any of the players that interest them!

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