Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Three

We have some tasty leftovers from the Masters and a few fresh tidbits.

Hittin' the LinksHarbour Town Golf Links is a good choice for the week after the Masters. Instead of the miles-long and beautifully manicured Augusta National, we get a slightly shorter, but still lovely tract that seems to burrow through the trees rather than part them with a sea of impossible green.

While the pros play most shots above the trees, the course seems to beg for low shots that bend this way and that to avoid trees, water, and alligators. While Augusta National requires precision shots into the green so that one actually has a chance to make the putt, at Harbour Town players must make precision shots into the fairway, just to have a shot at the green. Of course, the greens at Augusta are much more difficult and faster, the field is far deeper and more talented, the audience is immense, and the stakes are career changing. So it’s not at all the same, but it is cool in its own right.

Let’s hit the links.

Hole #1: Koooooooooooooooch!
Matt Kuchar reversed his recent Sunday PGA TOUR scoring trend at the RBC Heritage and won with a dramatic chip-in on 18, after three-putting the 17th from less than five feet. Kuchar (-11) was one stroke better than Luke Donald who got his fifth top-five finish in his last six at Harbour Town. [Link]

Hole #2: Michelle Wie Wins
Wow, it seemed strange writing that. Wie hasn’t won since 2010. Or rather, she hadn’t. She did Sunday, winning the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii, where she first learned to play. A final round 67 gave Wie a two-stroke victory over Angela Stanford, who shot 73. [Link]

Hole #3: He Goes Wire-to-Wire, Because He Can
Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Greater Gwinnett Championship by two over Bernhard Langer after carding a Sunday 67. Jimenez led each round of the tournament. The “World’s Most Interesting Golfer” was the 18th to win in his Champions Tour debut. [Link]

Hole #4: We’re Waffle House People
What does a Masters Champion do to celebrate? Two words: smothered and covered. [Link]

Hole #4: And No Hitchhiking, Mister
Tiger Woods isn’t the only player who’s appearance at the Players Championship could be in doubt due to injury. After finishing 20th in the Masters, Jason Day now has a cast on his left thumb to help it heal, hopefully in time for the season’s first “Almost Major.” The thumb has kept him on the bench, except for the Masters, since the WGC-Cadillac Championship. [Link]

Hole #5: Bubba-Proofing Augusta
Lefties have won six of the last 12 Masters. Bubba Watson has won two of the last three and done things to the course that even Tiger in his heyday didn’t (couldn’t) do. Who in their right mind cuts off that much of the corner on 13 during the final round of the Masters… and pulls it off? Maybe it’s time for Augusta National to rework the design (again)? [Link]

Hole #6: Westwood Finally Wins Again
It’s been two years since Lee Westwood last won a golf tournament of note, but on Sunday, he made sure that another would not slip through his fingers. Westwood won by seven over Louis Oosthuizen to claim the Malaysian Open. Westwood charged with a final round… oh who cares? He won by SEVEN. [Link]

Hole #7: We’re Waffle House People
What does a Masters Champion do to celebrate? Two words: smothered and covered. [Link]

Hole #8: Digging a Bigger Hole
Does golf need to change to attract a larger audience? Judging by the line on the first tee last Friday morning, we’re not so sure participation is in such dire straits. Regardless, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose recently competed in an event where a 15-inch golf hole was employed. That’s just one of several schemes to expand the game’s appeal. [Link]

Hole #9: Bruised But Unbowed
Is it not enough that last week you lost a two shot lead in the Masters over two holes? Now this week Jordan Spieth gets pelted by errant shot from a pro-am partner. Spieth was not injured and went on to finish T-12 in the RBC Heritage. Bruised or not, this kid is seriously good. [Link]

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