Vijay Singh is definitely getting comfortable with this defending champion stuff. Singh successfully defended his Houston Open title this past Sunday by edging out John Daly on the first playoff hole, and he will be looking to do the same this weekend in New Orleans. Last year at this venue, Vijay shot an awesome 63 in the final round to win by one stroke over Phil Mickelson and Joe Ogilvie. He will be looking to do the same this week because he is once again closing in on the world number one ranking. Vijay used a mistake-free (and nearly birdie-free) round of 70 to hold off Daly in Houston this past weekend, but he will need many more birdies than that this week to come out on top.
The ladies of the LPGA will return to the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin Tennessee for a charitable tournament to benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The Ironhorse, a par-72, 6,450 yard challenge, is one of two courses located at the club and the choice for this year's event. Lorena Ochoa is once again attempting to conquer a field of the best LPGA players in the world, including Wendy Ward, who lost by one stroke to Ochoa at last year's championship.
Retief Goosen is just another solid golfer from South Africa, right? That statement is the opinion of some, but it couldn't be farther from the truth. The 36-year-old Goosen turned pro way back in 1990, but it wasn't until 2001 that he joined the PGA Tour. That is also the year he began to make his mark in a big way! When the 2001 U.S. Open came to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK (my home state by the way), it was almost certain nobody picked Retief Goosen to win that week. He had a two-footer on the 72nd hole to seal the deal, but he missed the putt and had to make one equally as long to get into a playoff with Mark Brooks. He made that putt and defeated Brooks in an 18-hole playoff the next day to earn the first of his two U.S. Open titles.
For those who do not know, yes, Elin Nordegren-Woods, wife of the best golfer in the world (at least currently), is one of a pair of twins. I'll wait while you think about that…
Elin and hew twin sister Josephin (or Josefin) Nordegren grew up in Waxholm (a coastal town outside Stockholm). Tiger met Elin while both were serving as nannies for Swedish golf pro Jesper Parnevik.
And yes, they're identical twins. I'll wait again while you think about that some more.
To further help you comprehend what we're sure could be a mind-blowing revelation, we here at The Sand Trap have taken the time to construct a little guide.
While many golf manufacturers are stuck in decline, The Acushnet Company - parent to Titleist, FootJoy, Cobra, and Pinnacle - is going strong. The company started this year with net sales of $342.6 million, an increase of $3.7 milllion from a year ago. The golf divsion reported operating income of $56.7 million, a jump of $6.7 million from last year. The numbers indicate that Acushnet is doing quite well in the slightly downturned golf economy, not only boosting its bottom line but improving its efficiency.
The company's first quarter is exciting, particularly when the company had trouble getting new Titleist equipment (905 drivers, 904 fairway woods, new putters, new spin-milled wedges, new balls) out the door before the end of the quarter.
John Daly surged up the leaderboard Sunday with a stunning 67, but he dunked his ball when it mattered, and Vijay Singh walked easily to victory for his second straight Shell Houston Open victory and his third in four years.
Daly birdied the final two holes for his 67 to match Singh at -13 (275). His drive - with a fairway metal no less - dove left, bounced hard, and trickled into the water ont he first playoff hole. After blasting his third shot over the green, Daly had a 10-footer left for bogey when Singh tapped in for his par and the tournament victory.
Firing a 1-under 71, Carin Koch proclaimed victory at the second tournament held in Mexico this year. This is the second LPGA Tour win for Carin Koch, the 34-year-old "Mom from Sweden", with her first victory coming at the 2001 Corning Classic. Although the day started with a showdown between Koch and veteran Wendy Ward, it was first and second round leader Koch who took the lead from Ward on the par-3 third hole dropping a birdie from 10 feet. Although Koch bogeyed the fourth, she regained her composure and birdied six and seven to grab the lead, charge forward and not look back.
Adam Scott fended off a late charge by Retief Goosen to claim a wire-to-wire victory at the Johnnie Walker Classic. Scott fired an even par 72 to finish at 18-under par for his first victory at the Classic. Scott defeated Goosen by three strokes for his ninth career title.
The majority of the players were finishing their third rounds on Sunday morning after heavy winds on Thursday forced play to be cancelled. Scott was one of the players who had to finish his third round on Sunday, and he let his seven stroke lead dwindle to five after a double-bogey at 18.