On the first day of the month, we witnessed the closest thing to the World Cup coming to a close with the EURO 2012 final; it wasn’t the greatest thing to watch, for it was over at the half; nor was it the best game of the tournament—that was probably Spain/Portugal.
Four days in we celebrated America’s bidet by having the ultimate barbeque.
Then, in a few days, NASCAR returns to Daytona, for what could be known as the best way to waste an evening.
But there is golf, also.
Tiger Woods took his third tournament in the PGA Tour by a.) watching Brendon de Jonge completely collapse on Sunday, shooting a 77, and b.) outlasting Bo Van Pelt by waiting for him to make that one mistake, and then pouncing on the lead for good.
And by winning the AT&T National in Bethesda, Maryland, Tiger took over the lead in the FedEx Cup despite having played the fewest events of anyone in the Top Ten other than Rory McIlroy, but then again, that’s the reason he’s back almost 600 points instead of in the current crop of those in the hunt.
AT&T as a Whole
The AT&T National did have its own drama, too, besides just its victor.
The leader after the cut on Friday was one Hunter Mahan, who apparently was riding high after posting the lowest score of the entire event the week prior (but more on that happening later). Mahan shot a 61 that Sunday: Just a shot shy of the bloody course record. So it appeared that there was some carry-over.
Then Saturday happened—not a good weekend for Hunter was beginning. He shot back-to-back 73’s, taking his (-7) lead down to a (-3) final posted score. The damage control began early, and Mahan did manage to drag out some pars, but as the day progressed, and the next day came and went, he couldn’t sink a putt to save his life. You don’t win tournaments by the shots that get you to the green—you can lose one on those however—you win PGA events by sinking putts early and often, not just when needed.
So then Brendon de Jonge from Zimbabwe took over the lead at (-7) after posting his third straight round in the sixties; in fact, de Jonge was the only player to shoot three rounds in the sixties other than Mr. Woods.
Having the lead put de Jonge in the final group with Tiger and Bo Van Pelt, who had mirrored each other during the day prior in a freakishly bizarre manner. And this odd occurrence continued well into Sunday.
That is until Hole 17. Following a hole on which both Woods and Van Pelt bogeyed, Woods sank a par putt yet Van Pelt missed his giving Tiger the lead.
But when Tiger went driver on Hole 18’s tee, I began screaming repeatedly at the television, “Not Driver!!!!” And he proceeded to hit a superb power fade, outdriving Van Pelt by some 40 yards or so. This is the end…
The Travelers Championship
This thing took place the week before the AT&T National had the golf world by the throat. It’s one of those tournaments not given too much thought, but this was one fun Sunday of golf action.
There were a ton of low numbers throughout the course of four days, yet what it came down to was a point I’d made earlier in this very column: You can’t win a PGA Tour event on the shots that get you to the green, but you can sure lose one.
Charley Hoffman and Bubba Watson each finished a shot back at (-13) for the same reason; they each had one bad tee shot that ruined their shot a winning this thing.
Bubba’s happened on Hole 15; Hoffman’s on Hole 17. Bubba Watson hit his ball into the water off the tee on the drivable Par 4—and still managed to save par on the hole. If he doesn’t put that one shot in the drink…
Now Hoffman had a real problem on Hole 17; he double bogeyed the hole after going right off the tee into some thick stuff. Then he bogeyed Hole 18 as well, because he just fell apart after one bad shot. Amazing television.
This Weekend in West Virginia
The Greenbrier Classic is already underway by the time this hits the interweb, so I’ll leave the predictions for something at a later date, because you can’t put in a pick after the action has started.
They’re playing at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs within West Virginia. It’s a Par 70, 7200 yard course that shouldn’t give people too many problems in its design and setup; scores could be pretty low with many numbers coming in within the red already, so…
This weekend will be fun.
Plus, John Daly’s there, and we haven’t seen him since he hit that week-end low 64 at the St. Jude Classic way back on June 10. Can’t wait to see him play again.
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