So I sat down to check the numbers on the Wyndham Championship after Day Four—or was it Day Five—Who’s counting?—and then something reached out a grabbed my attention…
Augusta just let two women in! I know: Couldn’t believe it either. Not just one but a pair of them.
And while who they are might be important, I didn’t care; my only interest was in reading the coverage of it, and already being on ESPN.com, I was one click away of the latest AP article on the subject. This ought to be good. And for sure it did not disappoint.
No author credit: Weird, but not enough to hinder or halt my reading.
First things first, there was a quote from Martha Burk of the National Council of Women Organization reportedly said, “Yeah, we won”; okay…
Keep reading, I kept telling myself, because this is bound to get better.
Augusta didn’t let a black member join until 1990, and the place opened in 1932.
Politics. Politics. Politics. All signs point that direction. Trust me.
We had a black president before a female leader of the greatest nation on earth. Just saying…
Former club chairman Hootie Johnson (who retired in 2006, and Bill Payne now resides as Augusta National’s chairman) said some very interesting things on this particular subject. Highlighted specifically was an AP interview—imagine that—Johnson did in 2002, in which he said this gem:
“Our club has enjoyed a camaraderie and a closeness that’s served us well for so long, that it makes it difficult for us to change.”
Hold your laughter, for this only gets better:
“A woman may be a member of this club one day, but that is out in the future.”
For those that must know the particulars, the ladies’ names are Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. Rice as we all know was Secretary of State during George W’s second term; she took over for Colin Powell, who left the post because he apparently was the only one embarrassed by the whole Iraq debacle. I still think he’d make a great president…
Now Darla Moore is much less of a name, but she’s still a legitimate get for the Georgia golf club. Moore is the highest paid woman in the banking industry; she, also, was the first woman to grace the cover of Fortune Magazine; furthermore, after a substantial donation to her alma mater, the University of South Carolina, the college named their business school after her. Like I said, she’s quite a get for Augusta.
Now that the lead has been here and gone—Who writes a 400-word lead anyway?—we can talk golf on a course, instead of some silly talking point like the policy of one private course that 98% of this country couldn’t get into anyway…
The Wyndham Championship
The 73rd Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, had all the makings of a classic: People fighting for FedEx Cup points, big names looking for that first win of the season and everyone playing a course that was just dying to put up some low numbers.
Carl Pettersson took the lead on Day One—sound familiar?—after an impressive outing of 62, placing himself at (-8). Pettersson wasn’t cursed this time, however, by the man for moving a stinking leaf on his backswing. No, this time the Swede took himself out of it shooting three-straight 68’s following his impressive opening outing.
Day Two had more fireworks than Day One, though, with four people hitting themselves into double digits under par.
Webb Simpson and Jimmy Walker were the final pairing on Day Three, and they each decided to take themselves out the competition on Saturday, while paired together. Each player shot 71, but they each shot themselves in the foot in different manners.
Walker, the leader at (-12) heading into play, took the streaky route; playing even par through the first twelve holes, Mr. Walker did what he’s been doing all year when he has a shot at winning: He takes himself out of it due to his inability to get over bad holes.
Looking at his Day Three card, his last six holes just leave me scratching my head. Three straight bogeys, par on Hole 16, then two birdies to close the whole thing out. Walker did regroup after his bad outing however, for he posted a closing day 67, for a grand total of (-14), safely placing him in a tie for fourth place. Defending Champion of this ever Webb Simpson wasn’t so lucky…
Simpson had his wheels fall off on Hole 15 during the Third Day; he hit the ball into the knee-high stuff off the tee, bogeyed the hole after touching down everywhere on the hole except where he wanted to be. Then Simpson bogeyed the following hole, finished at 71 as stated earlier, and matched that score on the tournament’s Final Day.
Where does winner Sergio Garcia come into play here? I’ll tell you: Day Three.
Sergio was paired with Tim Clark on that day, and as the two of them watched the leader board, the Spaniard and South African made their move. These two were busy fighting for the lead, while a ton of low numbers were coming into the clubhouse, and the leaders at the day’s onset sank like stones.
Jason Dufner was the first one in at (-12) after an impressive 63 during an early round. Davis Love III came in at (-11); then Bud Cauley (-13); Pettersson (-12); and Harris English (-12).
But the story was the Garcia/Clark group. They shot the exact same (-2) on the front, keeping them even, because they each entered the day at (-10). And the back had its own share of drama.
Clark had the lead, then Sergio had the lead, and then they were tied, then Sergio took it back—up-and-down, back-and-forth golf that was absolutely amazing television.
Day Four was setting up to be incredible, in theory, for you had Garcia in the last group with Cauley and Dufner and Clark just in front of them. Then the rain hit…
Not a lot of golf on TV on Sunday, and we had to wait until Monday morning for those that mattered to finish their rounds: On the Golf Chanel. And if you didn’t get the bloody Golf Chanel—like yours truly—you were SOL. So I followed the thing on my phone and watched the scores come in as I’d expected.
Sergio Garcia won Wyndham by two strokes over Tim Clark, not surprisingly, because Garcia hasn’t won anything since 2008, the year in which he won the Players, so he was indeed due.
Good for him, I say; he’s a big draw, a popular player, and when he’s playing good golf, it is quite a show—if you happen to be able to watch it!
FedEx Cup Playoffs
Slicing the field down to the top 125 is always fun, but this year it was down-right eerie.
Listen to this: Boo Weekly and Jason Bohn both missed the cut at Wyndham, yet they didn’t fall out of the top 125, for Weekly feel from 121 to 123 and Bohn from 123 to 125. That was close—and a little lucky.
Y.E. Yang and Tim Herron had impressive showings at Wyndham, but they didn’t climb enough places, 127 and 128 respectively, even if Herron did jump up eleven places. Ouch.
But the guy that’ll be kicking himself for weeks is Jhonattan Vegas, because he was safely in the playoffs, until he failed to make the cut, and then he saw his stock drop from 124 to 126, in the most heartbreaking exit of recent memory.
Health Slocum decided to do the opposite however, for Slocum jumped from 128 to 124 with his T31 finish at last weekend’s tourney. Good for him, says I, but don’t enjoy it too much, because there’s another cut coming…
At the Barclays in Farmingdale, New York, at the Bethpage State Park.
The defending champ this week-end will be Dustin Johnson, but I wouldn’t put much more emphasis on that other than being a mere fact. I like names like Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan, but there are many people on the bubble to watch.
This up-coming cut involves the top 100, so 25 people go home unhappy. Watch names like Davis Love III and Trevor Immelman to be names on the outside now, but they’re on their way up. Names dropping, I’m guessing, will be the likes of Ricky Barnes and Chad Campbell.
But, then again, I said Gary Woodland would make the playoffs, and he didn’t even make the cut at the Wyndham, so what do I know…
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