Tuesday, August 6

Putting Woes End Park's Grand Slam Bid


CONGRATULATIONS TO STACY LEWIS, WHO BIRDIED the final two holes at The Old Course to win the Ricoh Women's British Open, her second major. Just great stuff.

Who birdies the famous Road Hole (the 17th) to rally for a come-from-behind victory? Um, no one. Well, now Lewis has. Her second shot into that sliver of a green was magnificent. And so was her two-putt from 40 yards for a closing birdie at the home hole.

As for World No. 1 and Grand Slam chaser Inbee Park, a fourth consecutive major was too much to ask, I suppose. But then so was three in a row, and she pulled that off. LPGA.com's Ward Clayton explained Park's downfall. It was the putter. (It always comes down to the putter, doesn't it?)

During her majors win streak, Park had a total of 114 putts at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, 109 putts at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, and 114 putts at the U.S. Women's Open. Add them all up and it's an average of 28 putts per round.

It was a different story at The Old Course, though. Park needed 143 putts over the four rounds. Forty of them came in the final round. As Clayton pointed out, the most putts Park had taken in any tournament this year was 122 at the HSBC Women's Champions back in March. She had no chance in St. Andrews, and finished T42.

"I left a lot of shots on the greens," Park said, "but the greens were just really tough to judge the speed. They were great one minute, and one minute they were slow. It was a tough tournament, tough greens to read, tough greens to judge."

So ends the Grand Slam talk, including what constitutes a Grand Slam. It was an incredible and historic run by Park. She surprised everyone, especially herself.

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2 comments :

Brian Kuehn said...

I just made the trip to Scotland the first week in July. My experience parallels that of some of the ladies. When the wind is blowing it is really hard to judge speeds. In the USA we tend to look at the overall speed (cut of grass and maybe grain) and the slope of the green. In Scotland one has a third element, the wind.

I also found it hard to judge some of the putts that required going up and over those large mounds and nobs so prevalent around and on the greens in Scotland, especially the Old Course. That is something we very rarely face on US greens

The Armchair Golfer said...

I grew up playing golf in the California desert, and the wind affected EVERYTHING.