Front 9-Edition 12
1. In one of the classiest gestures you will ever see, Jordan Spieth waited for an hour to congratulate Zach Johnson for winning the Open Championship last Sunday. Spieth who had painfully missed the 3-man playoff by one shot, thereby losing his chance for a historic Grand Slam, was even greater in defeat than he has been in victory. Said Johnson of Spieth: “He’s a phenomenal talent and I’m telling you right now, he’s a better person than he is a golfer.”
2. A Canadian has not won the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher’s victory in his national Open in 1954. They still haven’t. Canadian, David Hearn, took a 2-shot lead over Bubba Watson and Jason Day into Sunday’s final round at the RBC Canadian Open. Day had a putt on the 72nd hole at The Open last week to get into the playoff, but left that putt agonizingly short of the hole. In interviews afterwards, the likeable Aussie was dejected at yet another Major that slipped through his hands, but also determined to learn from the experience. Day birdied both the 16th and 17th holes at Glen Abbey GC to take a one shot lead heading to the last. Faced with an almost identical putt that he had at St. Andrews, Day rolled in this 20 footer to win his fourth PGA Tour event. Watson finished second a shot behind and Hearn played admirably with the weight of Canada on his shoulders to be a further shot behind in third.
3. Lexi Thompson prevailed in a thrilling finish at the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft to win by one shot over Gerina Piller and Lizett Salas. Thompson’s final round 6-under par, 65, was just enough to edge her fellow Americans at 18-under for the week. It is the 5th win on the LPGA Tour for 20-year old Thompson. Piller and Salas both helped to almost certainly secure their positions on this year’s U.S. Solheim Cup team with their tie for 2nd.
4. At the beginning of The Open Championship week, the World Golf Hall of Fame introduced 4 new members to their hallowed Hall last Monday evening at St. Andrews. Problem was, that one of the four honorees, Laura Davies, was not able to make it to the live presentation. Davies’ commercial flight was delayed after she played in the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open and despite frantic efforts that included Arnold Palmer sending his private plane to fly her, Davies missed getting to the ceremony on time. A great many LPGA greats including Karrie Webb, Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel, are up in arms that special provisions were not made to avoid what happened. And they have a very good point. There seems to be two very easy ways that a scenario like this could have been avoided. The Hall of Fame could have had a chartered plane ready to take Davies straight to Scotland after the final round of the U.S. Open, or they could have had the ceremony take place on Tuesday to allow for travel delays.
5. Rebecca Artis closed with a sensational 6-under par, 66, in high winds and driving rain to win the Ladies Scottish Open over a star studded field. 26 year old Artis finished two shots clear of Norway’s Suzann Pettersen who finished alone in second place at 5 better than world #2, Lydia Ko, who was tied for 4th. It was Artis’s second title on the LET Tour.
6. Things got ugly between Australian Robert Allenby and his caddie, Mick Middlemo, in the first round of the Canadian Open. After Allenby had been verbally abusive to Middlemo for several holes, it all came to a boil on the par-5 13th hole when Allenby hit his third shot well short of the green. Allenby berated Middlemo again and it was the straw that broke the camel’s, or in this case, caddie’s back. Middlemo put down the bag and walked off the course. One of the spectators would carry Allenby’s bag for the remaining holes as the fiery Australian shot an 81. After the round, Allenby claimed that he had been threatened by his looper, but several eyewitnesses claim that his story was completely wrong and that it was Middlemo who had been badly treated. As a further indictment of Allenby’s behavior, Middlemo is the fourth caddie to have quit on him during a round.
7. Gary Player was interviewed by Omnisport earlier in the week and had this to say when asked if Golf needed Tiger Woods: “We need Tiger Woods. Why? He’s a man of color. We need a black champion.”
8. Meanwhile on the Men’s European Tour, 27 year old Danny Willett shot a final round 6-under par 66 to capture the Omega European Masters. Willett’s 4-day, 17-under par total was one shot better than fellow Englishman, Matthew Fitzpatrick. Willett continued his hot streak after finishing in a tie for 6th at the Open Championship last week. The Omega is his third victory on the European Tour.
9. 29 year old South Korean star, Sangmoon Bae, lost his appeal for an extension to his mandatory military service last week. Because South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea, the country has a compulsory 2 year military service for all men between the ages of 18 and 35. Even though Bae became a U.S resident in 2012, he was still obligated to do his two years of service like all other young men. Bae has won twice on the PGA Tour and is ranked #107 in the world golf rankings. As the second highest ranked South Korean player in the world, Bae would qualify to represent his country in next years’ Olympic Games and would be a very strong contender to play in the Presidents Cup which is being played later this year in his homeland. Bae may still be able to represent South Korea in both those events as an active member of the military, but he will not be playing on the PGA Tour for 2 years.