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The Front 9-Edition 4

1.  77 year old legend and nine- time Major Champion Gary Player has just posed in the nude. Twice. Player can be seen, literally, in this month’s edition of ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue,” which this year features two golfers completely nude. The other golfer in the buff is 21-year-old Carly Booth, who plays on the Ladies European Tour.

2.  Graeme McDowell, is a streaky (we couldn’t help that) player. He has won 3 of his last 8 worldwide events, including a very impressive 4-shot victory last weekend at the Open de France (or French Open). In four of the other five starts in that stretch, G-Mac has missed the cut.

3.  16 year old Will Grimmer shot a rather indifferent 74 in the first round of 35th North & South Junior Amateur, at Pinehurst, NC. His second round was slightly better as the Cincinnati native shot an amazing 11-under par 59 Wednesday on Pinehurst No. 1. Said Grimmer: “It didn’t ever really seem possible until the last hole,” who made a 20-foot birdie putt his last hole of the day to join the very exclusive “59” club. “My ball-striking was there both days but I made no mistakes today. I hit the ball really solid and made all the putts. I guess that’s how you shoot 59.” Guess that about sums that up.

4.  Inbee Park is at it again. In her first tournament since winning the US Women’s Open 12 days ago, Park shot a 6-under par 65 in Thursday’s first round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic to be two shots behind leaders Angela Stanford and Catriona Matthew. Should Park win her fourth event in a row, she will equal yet another LPGA record, tying Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth and Annika Sorenstam for most consecutive wins in scheduled events.

5.  “I’m not blaming the putter, I’m saying I want to use a new one. Every time I change I’ve had big success with a new look.” So Tweeted Ian Poulter after another disappointing putting round in the final round of the French Open. While he said “I’m not blaming the putter”, he, of course, is doing exactly that. Putter for Poulter anyone? 

6.  At last week’s Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour, ageless Tom Watson not only made the cut but he finished in a tie for 38th place. The 63 year old Watson also shot the second lowest round of the day in Sunday’s final round besting all the ‘young guys’ with a flawless 67.  

7.  John Daly had season-ending elbow surgery on Wednesday after further injuring his elbow in Friday’s second round of the Greenbrier Classic. Might this be the final of his “9 lives”?

8.  Ok-Hee Ku, who 25 years ago became the first Korean player to win on the LPGA Tour, died Wednesday in her home in Japan at the age of 56. While Se Ri Pak is often acknowledged as the breakthrough Korean player in the late 1990’s, it was actually Ku who was the first Korean player to become a star. Ku won 23 times on the LPGA of Japan Tour in her 25 year career as a player in addition to capturing 20 titles on the Korean LPGA Tour. Ku was the first player ever inducted into the KLPGA Hall of Fame and also served as KLPGA president in 2011-2012.   

9.  Next week’s Open Championship at Muirfield will be the last time that six time Major Champion, Nick Faldo, will play in Golf’s oldest Championship. Muirfield was the site of two of Faldo’s three triumphs in the Open and next week should prove to be a nostalgic few days for Sir Nick. Having really retired as a player many years ago, the 55 year old Englishman is still cautiously optimistic about his chances saying, ”It will be the last walk at Muirfield,” Faldo said. ”If I could just get in the right frame of mind, if I hit the golf ball solid, that’s as good as it gets. If it goes sideways, if I can’t put a score on the card, you’re going to have to accept that.”