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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Limerick Summary: 2013 Emirates Australian Open

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Around the wider world of golf: Gaganjeet Bhullar won the Indonesia Open on the Asian Tour; Charl Schwartzel finally broke his victory drought at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the ET; Thidapa Suwannapura won the Hero Women Indian Open on the LAGT/LET; Shiho Oyama won the Ricoh Cup, the year's final major on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has details); Fabian Gomez won the Personal Classic on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Hideki Matsuyama won the Casio World Open and simultaneously won the Japanese Tour's money title, becoming the first rookie ever to do so.

Rory with trophy

A few weeks back, Nickelodeon (one of the kid's cable TV channels) did a Bubble Guppies episode about Australia. It was called The Wizard of Oz-tralia... and you could argue that the title could be applied to Adam Scott.

But then came the final round of the Emirates Australian Open, the curtain got pulled back, and we all saw that Adam was human after all. (He's still the Wiz, of course; he just can't use that "Oz the All-Powerful" title anymore.)

That's not a condemnation of Adam Scott, not by any stretch of the imagination. What Adam has done in his last month Down Under has been downright magical. And I'm unwilling to say that the pressure got to him; it's more likely that he just had an off day with the putter. There were four or five putts that lipped the cup and stopped mere inches away. Some days you just don't have it.

Unfortunately for Adam, it was the day Rory McIlroy found it again

Well, it was more like the week he found it again. While he's been playing better the last few weeks, this week was the one where he posted several good rounds in the same tournament. He shot 69 under windy conditions the first round, 65 when he caught the good side of the draw during the second round, 70 during the horrible weather of the third round, and a bogey-free 66 (4 birdies and an eagle) during the final round. He played both of those final rounds paired with Adam.

Oh, and he birdied the 72nd hole when Adam bogeyed it -- a two-shot swing that ripped away Adam's one-shot lead at the final tee.

I don't want to write too much into this win. I'm not ready to say "Rory's back and he's going to kick ass in 2014." But the trend over the last month or so has been pretty consistent -- Rory certainly appears to have found his game again. There's reason for optimism in the McIlroy camp.

Of course, Adam will be alright. By any measure you want to use, 2013 has been a breakout year for him... although I think this one will sting for a while.

But at least Rory won't feel that 2013 was a total loss. Here's a Limerick Summary to celebrate the young Irishman's return to the winner's circle. (I would have posted it upside-down since he won Down Under, but that seems a bit silly even for me...)
Adam’s dream appeared destined to happen…
But that sound wasn’t Aussie fans clapping.
Somehow Rory snuck in
And won right at the end—
What you heard was his losing streak snapping!
The photo came from the Golf Australia site.

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