Volume Four Hundred Forty-Two

Wow. Just wow.

Hittin' the LinksThat was one wild final day of the Open Championship!

For much of the back nine, the likelihood of a 2015 grand slam seemed like a very long shot, indeed. Then, for a short time, it seemed like it was fated to happen. But the cell phones clicked and the ball spun back (like balls aren’t supposed to in links golf) down into the depths of the Valley of Sin. Spieth was left with a difficult putt-chip up the steep ridge to make the playoff. His putt missed one-ball left of the cup.

Just like that, Jordan Spieth came up one shot short of keeping the dream of a modern grand slam alive.

Instead, a player that I never would have guessed to prevail on a links course birdied the first two playoff holes and then hung on through the last two to emerge victorious.

But what a spectacle the Old Course hosted this week… the wind blew, the rain fell, Tiger missed another major cut, Colin Montgomerie’s son worked the scoreboard, Graham DeLaet’s clubs got dusted, Tim Clark withdrew for an odd reason, DJ looked unbeatable and then he didn’t, Watson said goodbye to the Open, no one wanted this birdie, Robson read the names for the playoff and hung up his microphone, the amateurs nearly stole the show, and finally there was a new Champion Golfer of the Year.

What a week! Let’s hit the links.

Hole #1: The Champion Golfer of the Year
Everyone who was picking Johnson to win were right. They just mostly had the wrong Johnson. ZJ, not DJ, emerged from a crowded leaderboard to get to -15 along with Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman, and then rode a hot start to win the four-hole playoff. Jordan Speith and Jason Day both came up a stroke short at -14. [Link]

Hole #2: Amateur Mania
Three amateurs finished in the top 12 at the British Open. Jordan Niebrugge won the Silver Medal as low amateur at -11 (T6), a record score for an amateur. Oliver Schneiderjans and Ashley Chesters shot -9 (T12). Paul Dunne, who was tied for the lead after 54 holes (the first time an amateur has done so for 75 years), struggled in the final round, finishing -6 (T30). You might not guess it from the names, but Niebrugge and Schneiderjans are Americans (Chesters is English, and Dunne, Irish). [Link]

Hole #3: A Goodbye in the Gloaming
Tom Watson played the last hole of his storied Open Championship career in the fading light of Friday evening in St. Andrews. [Link]

Hole #4: A Tiger Twitter Storm
When the AARP responds to Tiger’s offhand remark about not having an AARP card yet by tweeting a crack on Tiger’s recent play, well, the Twitterverse explodes. [Link]

Hole #5: Ivor Calls It Quits
The Open Championship will lose its most iconic voice after this year’s edition. Ivor Robson is retiring. [Link]

Hole #6: Meanwhile, in Ohio
Chella Choi beat Ha Na Jang in a playoff to win the LPGA’s Marathon Classic. Lydia Ko and Shanshan Feng were a stroke behind at -13. [Link]

Hole #7: Phil Being Phil
On the Road Hole, during the final round of the British Open, Phil Mickelson hit his tee shot over the “O” in hotel (as in “Old Course Hotel”)… with a draw. Somebody staying in the hotel got a nice souvenir. [Link]

Hole #8: NFL Kicker Interns at Women’s U.S. Open
What was an NFL kicker doing working at a golf championship? [Link]

Hole #9: More Caddie Abuse
Caddies at the Barbasol Championship were treated to a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Scott Piercy won the PGA TOUR event by 3 strokes. [Link]

Bonus: An Old Course Four-Hole Playoff

  1. Playing the course in reverse. [Link]
  2. Even the backyards in St. Andrews are cool! [Link]
  3. Can you find John Daly? [Link]
  4. Oh, right. You won the other one… [Link]

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