What kind of juice is Brian Gay quaffing? Okay, he got hot at Harbor Towne and won his second career tournament in a route after an eagle on the second hole of the fourth round. For the second time in his last five events he hoisted the trophy and got himself into a major championship. This time he only birdied three of the first six holes leaving Bryce Molder to flounder around the course in his dust. He's been a pro since 1994, almost quit the game four years ago, and has made a cool $2,076,000 in his last 5 events. One of those, the Players Championship he withdrew after a first round 80 and another, the Nelson he missed the cut. At Colonial two weeks ago he tied for 27th and made $42K. Come on now, what's up with this guy?
“I knew I could do this,” Woods said after collecting his 67th career victory with a score of 12-under 276. “It’s just a matter of give me a little bit of time. I just came off a pretty extended break, and I was close to winning, but the game wasn’t quite there when I really needed it on Sunday. I rectified that.” This may be the understatement of all time. "I just came off a pretty extended break"... oh and yes not only did he take a bunch of time off, but also added a family member, have a knee reconstructed, not swing a club for months. Nothing that screams "BIG DEAL". Grain of salt and all that stiff upper lip pablum. Follow that up with three words: I rectified that. Simple statement. On the surface it would appear impossible to hide the number of hours of work the man had to put into his game to get to a level of play mere mortals have difficulty even dreaming of attaining. i don't think he spent a lot of time watching Spongebob with the kids. Changing to a new driver with more loft, 10.5* is what I have been told, was certainly not an off the cuff decision made on the spur of the moment. I wonder how many balls he had to hit to get the results he put up during this tournament? More than twelve I bet.
Sporting a weak attempt at a playoff beard, Steve Stricker birdied the second playoff hole Sunday afternoon for his first victory in two years. Imagine those cartoon bubbles appearing over his head after his four footer for birdie went in the hole, the biggest bubble filled with the word FINALLY!. After five top seven finishes this season, including twice where he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, Mr. Stricker is taking home a big trophy and a funky sports coat. Not to mention a million dollar plus paycheck and enough FedEx Cup points to vault him to second place. This win should also lock up a spot on the Presidents Cup team. Not that he didn't try and finish out of the top spot along the way.
Rory Sabbatini won a golf tournament for the first time in two years and the fifth time in his career. Regardless of what you think of Mr. Sabbatini, I am not a fan, he played some great golf on Sunday afternoon when the pressure was palpable. His six under 64, despite a bogey on the 18th hole, broke the tournament scoring record set in 1999 by Loren Roberts and Steve Pate (Mr. Pate lost in a playoff) by a stroke. "I had the ability to go home and battle with my children and other stuff, so my focus wasn't ever thinking about golf," Sabbatini said. "I came out here feeling very fresh and very relaxed. ... I went out there with the intent of having some fun." It certainly looked like fun, drive in the fairway, stick an iron close, make a putt.
Zach Johnson made sure the second birdie putt on the 18th hole got all the way to the hole, unlike his first attempt on the 72nd hole of the tournament which came up just short forcing a playoff with James Driscoll. After a blistering round of 60 Saturday, during which he made up seven shots in eleven holes, Mr. Johnson shot even par 70 on Sunday and finished at 15 under par. Mr Driscoll made the playoff after starting the day eight shots back but shooting a lights out 62. He finished almost an hour ahead of the final group, spending a lot of time watching and waiting. He had a lot to watch as there were seven players within one shot of the lead with four holes to play.
Henrik Stenson's final round 66 left the rest of the best field in golf adrift in a wake so turbulent no one could get within four shots of him. Beginning the day 5 shots back of leader Alex Cjeka, along with a host of other probables, maybes, could possibly be's, and one Tiger Woods, Mr. Stenson missed a single fairway and made no bogeys all day. Good enough by any standards on a day when lots of folks were given a chance by the collapse of third round leader Mr. Cjeka. Before the day even began I would have bet my own money that the 54 hole leader's 5 shot lead would be gone by the turn. I was wrong! Mr. Cjeka's lead was done after six holes. He and playing partner Mr. Woods didn't see much of each other on the first three holes, Mr. Woods hitting shots right while Mr. Cjeka hit his shots left.
Sean O'Hair didn't make a putt over 10 feet all week, and he didn't need to in adding that nifty plate in the picture to his trophy case. If you hit the ball closer to the hole more often than anyone else the only putts you have to make are those from 10 feet and less. Do it for four days and you beat the rest of the guys, swelling the bank account appreciably.
After 200 starts and 7 years, Jerry Kelly once again finishes atop the leaderboard at PGA Tour event. A final round 71 which he capped off with an 18 inch putt for par on the 18th hole to win by a stroke. “This has been a long time coming,” Kelly said. Indeed it has.
Dull headline for what was one of the dullest, least dramatic final rounds since, oh 2006 Bell South Classic. Brian Gay started the day with a three shot lead, went birdie, eagle and spent the day hiding in a cloud of dust at the head of the field. His ten shot victory was the largest margin since Phil Mickelson won the above mentioned event by thirteen strokes.