Photo By: zrim
There are moments while watching sports when you get the feeling that someone or a team is destine to win. Often times it’s nothing more than a gut feeling with nothing tangible to justify the conclusion. However, while watching the Darren Clarke during the final round of the 140th Open Championship at Royal St. George it wasn’t a gut feeling that Clarke would be lifting the Claret Jug at the end of the day. Rather, as so often happens in golf, it was a few key tangible shots that carried the 42 year old Northern Irishman to a victory that seemed like destiny.
Clarke headed in the final round with a one stroke advantage over his playing partner Dustin Johnson. Through the first six holes neither player seemed to be taking charge, with Clarke failing to capitalize on birdie opportunities and Johnson scrambling to remain competitive.
In the meantime, seemingly out of nowhere, the improbable was happening. Phil Michelson was making a fearless charge up the leader board and his birdie on the 10th hole actually tied Clarke for the lead. Lefty, whose resume lacks Continue reading
The 12th green at Royal St. George's; Photo By: Pet_r
It’s that time of year again…time to set the alarm for an obnoxiously early rise, pre-make the coffee the night before, and groggily enjoy the BBC’s bumbling video coverage of one of golf’s most important/prestigious tournaments…The Open Championship (or I supposed one could simply set their DVR and sleep in). This year, the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in southeastern England plays host to its’ 14th Open Championship (coverage begins Thursday morning at 4am EST on ESPN and on Direct TV’s channel’s 701-705). The course was the was the first to host the Open Championship outside of Scotland in 1894 and last hosted the tournament in 2003 when Ben Curtis, the 396th ranked player in the world at the time, came out of nowhere to win the Claret Jug.
The 2011 version of Royal St. George’s is largely recognizable as the same course players faced in 2003, but there are some notable changes. The 1st fairway, where only 30% of the players Continue reading
Photo By: Keith Allison
To state the obvious Tiger Woods’ career is in limbo. After 18 plus months of turmoil in his private and professional life, the second greatest golfer ever is in critical condition both physically and mentally. First, the exposure of his private life resulted in his divorce from Elin Nordegren, which in turn led to the obvious deterioration in Woods’ mental prowess on the golf course in 2010. Second, Tiger’s injury to his knee at Augusta this year, a Grade 1 mild MCL sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon, prevented Woods from playing in the U.S. Open and in his own tournament, the AT&T National, this weekend. Woods says he will return to the game when his body is physically fit enough to handle the stress his golf swing, but it remains uncertain whether or not Tiger will be ready for the British Open, the PGA Championship or any other tournament this season. Thus analysts and commentators have been left to speculate as to what the future holds for the once immortal Woods and it is entirely possible that Tiger himself is uncertain of how his career will finish.
At this point the pressure that Woods must be feeling to not only win another major, but simply contend at any PGA tournament must be a tremendous weight on the golfer’s shoulders. In fact it’s more likely become the two ton elephant in the corner. Growing up Tiger made it his life’s goal to best Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors and become the greatest golfer the world has ever known…not the second greatest. Certainly Tiger’s premature attempt to return from his latest knee injury and play in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May speaks to the outside and personal pressures Woods is feeling.
Woods sense of urgency to return to golf is understandable. Since returning to the game in 2010, Tiger has shown only that he is mortal and lacking the ability to close out tournaments like he once possessed. Even though his desire to prove himself must be incredible (after winning the 2008 U.S. Open, who would have ever thought those words would ever be uttered about Woods?), the last thing Tiger should be doing Continue reading