This Week in Golf – July 18th, 2011

Posted by Robert on Jul 18

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The Northern Ireland Invasion Continues

Before G-Mac won the US Open in 2010, Northern Ireland had gone 63 years without a major.  With Darren Clarke’s win today at the Open Championship in Sandwich, Kent, the small alcoholic country is now 3 out of the last 6.  (Rory Mcllroy won the US Open in June.)  Bottoms up – Baby!

And if you weren’t rooting for the 42 year-old Darren Clarke, then you just don’t know D.  The man who smokes, drinks, and races cars has had his share of setbacks over the years.  The toughest was losing his wife to breast cancer.  This was Darren’s first major, and his 20th attempt at the British Open.

“…There’s times I’ve been utterly fed up with the game,” Clarke said in his victory speech.  We get it D, most of us who play this game can relate to that sentiment.

Early on, Phil Mickelson caught fire and ran Clarke down on the front nine.  He made every putt he looked at and shot a (-5) 30 on the front nine.  But after making the turn, the flame burned out in the wind and rain that pelted the golfers.  He was back to the Phil we all know and love – hitting beautiful approach shots stiff and missing 3-footers.  He still shot 68 and finished 2nd.

Dustin Johnson continued his streak of hary-cary major Sundays, when he fired a 2-iron layup shot on 14 out of bounds.  He was just a few shots back at the time, but the double bogey took any possible drama out of the back nine and Darren Clarke strolled in easily winning by 3.

5th Rookie Wins at Viking Classic

Chris Kirk won the battle of the PGA Tour scrubs in Madison, Mississippi.  The 26-year-old rookie shot a 68 (-4) on Sunday to beat Tom Pernice Jr. and George McNeill by a stroke at Annandale Golf Club.

This is the 5th rookie to win this year.  This is only the 2nd time that’s happened since 1970.

Next up: RBC Canadian Open, Shaughnessy G&CC, Vancouver, BC. Canada, Golf Channel/CBS, July 21-24, Defend Champ Carl Pettersson

NATIONWIDE TOUR

The only other tour that was in action this week was the kiddie tour.  Scotland’s Russell Knox won for the first time in Mainvelle, Ohio at the Chiquita Classic.

"This is the best day of my life, 100 times over," the 26-year-old said after the win.

Knox is rags-to-riches story in the making.  He started the year out playing Monday qualifiers and now he is contending for one of the coveted berths given to top 25 on the money list.  This win moved him from #27 to #5.

Next up: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational, The OSU Golf Club, Scartlet, Ohio, Golf Channel, Defend Champ D.J. Brigman

LPGA TOUR

Don’t miss the prestigious European LPGA event, The Evian Masters, is coming up this week in France.  Top Indian professional (and hotty) Sharmila Nicollet received a wildcard entry.

Next up: Evian Masters, Evian-les-Bains, France, July 21-July 24, Golf Channel, Defend Champ. Jiyai Shin.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Freddy Couples a Maybe

The Senior Open is this week at the Inverness Club in Toledo and I just read a report that Freddy Couples is going to be there.  Unfortunately, I can’t find another source, so I’m taking this with a grain of salt.  Of course, Freddy has been plagued with back problems.

Regardless, it should be a great tourney with Tom Lehman coming off a tremendous showing at The Open Championship, (tied for 22nd) and Bernard Langer.

Next up: The Senior Open Championship, Walton Heath GC,  July 21-July 24, ESPN2/ESPN, Defend Champ:  Bernard Langer

Until next week – Smack the heck out of it, and then go find it and smack it again.

 

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