The Front 9-Edition 5
1. It’s been a pretty good year for Australian superstar Adam Scott. The winner of the 2013 Masters (becoming the first Australian player in history to do so. You can read the whole story here http://www.birdgolf.com/blog/best-swings/good-on-ya-mate/ ) is putting the finishing touches on his best year to date, by having won back to back tournaments down under over the last two weeks. Scott was victorious last weekend at the Australian PGA Championship and today defended his title at the Australian Masters played on the iconic links of Royal Melbourne. The best swing in golf is swinging really well.
2. Henrik Stenson is another player having a landmark year. We also documented his meteoric rise back to the summit of golf in an article a little earlier http://www.birdgolf.com/blog/ten-million-dollar-man/ Stenson is back at it again. Playing in the European Tour’s marquee season ending event, the World Tour Championships, which also culminates the European Tour’s season long ‘Race for Dubai” (the points champion will receive $1 million from a $3.75 million bonus pool that counts on the final money list), Stenson blew the field away. The Swede shot a final-round 8-under 64 for a 263 total. With the win here, Stenson became the first golfer to win the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and European Tour’s Race to Dubai in the same season.
3. It was wonderful to see Australian Touring pro Jarrod Lyle, back competing this weekend at Royal Melbourne. The gritty Lyle has just overcome his second bout with leukemia after being diagnosed with it again in 2012. Lyle overcame his first battle with leukemia as a 17 year old. The good news is that after chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant, Lyle says tests have shown no sign of leukemia. Lyle has had his PGA Tour card on two occasions and is able to return to the Tour (possibly later in 2014) and use a medical exemption to regain his status.
4. This one just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Golf Channel analyst, Brandel Chamblee, basically accused Tiger Woods of cheating in comments made a few weeks ago. Chamblee, gave Woods an ‘F’ grade in his year-end report card for 2013 despite Woods’ five victories and Player of the Year honor. Chamblee went on to suggest that Woods cheated multiple times during the year, choosing to label Woods’ behavior as being “cavalier with the rules”. Since then Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg has threatened legal action on the Golf Channel and Chamblee and the whole issue is resonating much longer and louder than any of golf’s honchos would like it to.
5. In the on-again, off-again relationship between Rory Mcllroy and his girlfriend, Danish tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki. It would appear to be on-again as Wozniacki came to cheer her man on at the DP World Championship in Dubai. “It was nice,” said Mcllroy of Wozniacki’s arrival. “She started her pre-season a couple of days ago and was on court this morning at seven o’clock. So she got some practice in before coming to see me. It’s good to have her here.” Maybe they were never “off-again” at all?
6. Changes are being made to the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 15th holes at golf’s Holy Grail, St. Andrews. The changes are to make the course more difficult (adding new pot bunkers etc.) to combat the modern player’s new length and skills. One wonders whether a Da Vinci masterpiece should ever be altered.
7. There was a David Duval sighting at the Mayakoba Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico this week. Duval shot an opening round 67 to be in early contention before fading and finish at the end of the field amongst those who made the cut. Once the #1 ranked player in the world and one of only two players who have ever really challenged Tiger Woods’ dominance, it is sad to see how the fortunes of the 13-time Tour winner have changed. Mayakoba was just the second cut that he has made in two years.
8. American Lexi Thompson won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour win in her last four events. The long-hitting 18 year phenom won by making a birdie on the final hole to best World #3 and fellow American, Stacy Lewis by one stroke. Leading by one going into Sunday’s round, Thompson showed a maturity and resilience that belies her age. This is her third LPGA Tour victory.
9. Rising US star, Harris English won his second PGA Tour event over the weekend at the water logged, Mayakoba Classic in Playa Del Carmen. The former University of Georgia standout who is in his third year on Tour shot a very impressive, 21-under par over the four days to beat runner-up Brian Stuard by four shots. English won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June in Tennessee for his first PGA Tour victory but that was in 2013. This event also is in 2013…..but counts for the 2014 season, so while English has won twice this year, he has actually only recorded one win. Where’s Dr. Who when you need him?