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The Back 9-Edition 3

1. Ernie Els won his 28th European Tour event on Sunday at the BMW International Open. After opening with a first round 63, the 43 year Els shot three consecutive 3-under 69’s to finish at 18-under par for the event, besting runner-up Thomas Bjorn by one shot. 

2. Tiger Woods has withdrawn from next week’s AT&T National because of a left elbow strain. “I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment,” he said on his website. “I’ll be ready to go for the British Open, and I’m looking forward to playing at Muirfield.” Always tight lipped about any injury he may have, the left elbow/arm injury that he sustained while winning the Players Championship may be more serious than we thought. It is three more weeks until the Open Championship.

3. “For whatever reason, Tiger doesn’t prepare for majors as hard as he could. He plays the course in a rushed way maybe once or twice before the tournament week. Then in the tournament week, Tiger has gotten into the routine of playing nine-hole practice rounds on some days.” So said Woods’s former swing coach to FoxSports.com. Hmmmm.

4. Recent Hall of Fame inductee and Scottish legend, Colin Montgomerie turned 50 today. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Doubtfire.

5. It was the week for 40-somethings. 44 year journeyman, Ken Duke finally broke through and won his first PGA Tour event at The Travelers Championship. Duke is the very essence of perseverance. In 1986 he had scoliosis (the same affliction that LPGA Tour player Stacy Lewis overcame) so badly that his spine was bent at a 58° angle (most peoples’ spine curves at about 35°’s). Surgeons placed a 16 inch steel rod in his back which has allowed Duke to play the game he loves so much. After a series of near-misses over the years, Duke won after a two hole playoff with Chris Stroud by making a birdie on the 18th hole.

6. The PGA Tour has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against the Tour by Vijay Singh. Singh sued the Tour in May for, “violating its duty of care and good faith” after he admitted to using the ‘Ultimate Spray”, which contained IGF-1 (a growth factor like human growth hormone that was on the circuit’s banned substances list). Singh was absolved of any wrong-doing by the Tour in April, but filed his suit just before the Players Championship. In summation one might think, “I broke the Rules, and then was forgiven for it, but feel that I have been wronged”. Huh?

7. World #1, Inbee Park, won her fifth title of the year in Arkansas at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Park is dominating women’s golf in way that we haven’t seen since Yani Tsen. Wasn’t it just last Spring that Tsen seemed unbeatable?

8. Ken Duke has been coached by legendary Bob Toski for the last 7 years and credits the 86 year old Toski for making him the player he is. Until meeting Toski at a Pro-Am, Duke had only ever had one coach, his father. Toski taught Duke to fade the ball which has made the straight hitting Duke one the game’s most consistent players. Ironically, Toski also won the Travelers Championship in 1953.

9. What better way to wrap up a week than this description of golf from comedian Jerry Seinfeld. On ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’, Seinfeld had this to say: “Golf is the ultimate avoidance activity for the dysfunctional dad. A game so nonsensically difficult, so pointless, so irrationally time consuming, the word golf itself can only stand for ‘Get Out, Leave Family.’”