It has taken a few days to recover from the crazy last week in the world of golf. Padraig Harrington won his second consecutive British Open, and congratulations are definitely in order for the Irishman. The Open Championship also provided a couple turn-back-the-clock moments as well. Were the names Duval and Norman really at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend?
In other happenings, Michelle Wie officially put her name right in the middle of the spotlight once again. Wie had an up-and-down week to say the least, and I'll talk more about that later in the article. Continue reading to find out what I think about Harrington, Duval, Norman, and Wie.
Padi Goes Back-To-Back
Padraig Harrington was among the best without a major victory for a few years before winning last year's British Open. The Irishman didn't settle there and won the event for the second consecutive year this past weekend at Royal Birkdale. His win at Carnoustie last year was deserved, but his performance this past weekend was incredible. The conditions were nasty, and he still won by four shots. His play down the stretch was as solid as it gets.
With the win, Harrington moved up to number three in the world rankings. Along with Tiger Woods, the two have won four of the last five majors, and there could be a few more in store for the Irishman. He has the game to win any major, and with two now under his belt, it will be surprising if he doesn't finish his career with four or five. What looked like a solid golf career for Harrington has now turned into a possible Hall of Fame career. He will need to win a few more big ones, but it's possible.
Shark and Double D Sighting
Padraig Harrington's performance at this year's British Open was amazing, but the Irishman flew under the radar a little because of two other golfers. Greg Norman turned back the clock in a major way this past weekend en route to finishing in a tie for third. The Shark led after the first and third rounds, and while he slipped a little in the final round, he held things together really well.
Less than a month ago, the 53-year-old Norman married tennis Hall-of-Famer Chris Evert in the Bahamas. With so many other business ventures, golf fans don't get to see the Shark much these days. Everyone was treated to something special this past weekend, however.
Norman's game looked as solid as it has in years, and it will be interesting to see what happens in his golf future. One thing is certain: fans will get to see him at next year's Masters because of his solid finish at Royal Birkdale. He didn't end up winning, but his play was probably still the biggest story of the week. And if he would have held on and won, it would have been the biggest story in the history of the game.
Greg Norman wasn't the only unlikely name near the top of the leaderboard last week. David Duval turned back the clock a few years as well. He had an awful third round, but he showed promise the other three rounds. Heading into the weekend, he was only three shots off the lead and played in the second-to-last group. That's a good thing to see for golf fans all around the world, but was it a one-time only thing?
It will be exciting to keep track of Duval's next few tournaments. He has talked about his game coming around for awhile, and fans finally got to see glimpses at Royal Birkdale. That being said, he played well a couple years ago at the U.S. Open and struggled mightily afterwards. There is a very good chance we won't see Duval at the top of the leaderboard for a long time, but here's hoping I'm wrong with that assumption.
Here Wie Go Again
Newsflash: Michelle Wie is back in the spotlight. After struggling quite a bit the last year or so, Big Wiesy had herself in prime position to win her first professional tournament this past weekend. After the third round, she was in second place. Unfortunately, that round didn't officially count because she was disqualified after finishing her second round. Wie forgot to sign her scorecard before leaving the scorer's tent and was disqualified in the process. A rule is a rule.
After all the ups-and-downs, Wie finally seemed to have things back in order. With this past weekend's DQ, she might tailspin into another slump if she doesn't handle things the right way. It's been stated time and time again how great her success would be for women's golf, and there is a reason for that. She has loads of talent, and hopefully fans will get to see more of her great play in the near future.
While it would be nice to see Wie play great in the near future, that doesn't necessarily transfer over the men's game. That's right, she has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in a PGA Tour event next week. The tournament will probably benefit a little in the attendance and interest department, but it's ridiculous. It would be nice to see Wie finally give up playing against the men and start focusing on playing against the women. I've always been a critic, but I was finally starting to cheer for her a little. Then she decided to make another wrong decision. Get your mind out of the gutter Michelle!
The Final Say
It's been a wild past week in the golf world, but that's a must with Tiger on the injury list until 2009. Casual golf fans need good stories like this to stay interested in the game over the next several months. I talked about a few big stories, but I didn't even touch on Jack Nicklaus' comments about golf and money. There might be a Thrash Talk dedicated to that in the very near future because that's an interesting subject.
It's your turn to tell me what you think about the past week? Does Padraig Harrington have anymore majors in his future? Also, what does the short-term future hold for Greg Norman and David Duval? Finally, does Michelle Wie finally have things back in order, or will her disqualification throw things back into a tailspin? If you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss it in the forum. Thanks for reading this week's Thrash Talk!
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