Sunday, July 20

Harrington Wins British, Norman Continues Honeymoon

Padraig Harrington

YEARS FROM NOW, someone might ask Greg Norman what he did on his second honeymoon.

“Let’s see, we traveled, did some sightseeing, shopped a little, I almost won the British Open, stuff like that.”

So Norman didn’t win The Open Championship today at Royal Birkdale. I’m not surprised. The Shark winning would have been like a Disney movie ending. And major championship golf is rarely like a Disney movie. It’s more like a horror flick.

Greg hiccupped through the first three holes: bogey, bogey, bogey. No amount of baling wire or duct tape could hold his game together during the final round, especially with Padraig Harrington hitting one solid shot after another.

Beware of a tour pro who knows how to close out a major. Harrington has that look, at least at the British Open.

Englishman Ian Poulter, who posted a splendid 69 on his way to his best finish in a major, thought he had a chance. Then Harrington found a new gear, finishing birdie, par, birdie, par, eagle, par on his way to a back-nine 32 and a four-shot win.

Take that. I think I’ll hang on to the Claret Jug, thank you very much.

(Does the engraver get paid the same if the defending champion repeats? It’s not like he has to spell and engrave a new name.)

As for the rest, many of the favorites did not have a good Open Championship: Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia (44 strokes over the final nine holes) and Justin Rose, to name a few.

K.J. Choi, the 36-hole leader, had a disappointing weekend, shooting 75-79. After opening with an 80, Ernie Els tied for seventh, not bad. Part of that seventh-place logjam, Anthony Kim had a successful British debut. Finishing fifth, Jim Furyk was the top American.

Phil Mickelson tied for 19th with Masters champion Trevor Immelman, Scottish Open champion Graeme McDowell, Rocco Mediate, Davis Love, Simon Wakefield, Jean Van de Velde and a few others.

Finally, after blowing to an 83 in the third round, David Duval closed with a 71, a pretty gutsy performance. He certainly didn’t mail it in after shooting himself out of contention.

Maybe we haven’t heard the last of David Duval.

−The Armchair Golfer


Tom Blogical said...

...and Ben Curtis has another top 10 finish at The Open Championship; a tie for 7th.


The Armchair Golfer said...

Yes, Curtis plays well at the Open -- three top tens (including his '03 win) in six starts.

Miranda said...

I would like to think that Ken Venturi's famous US Open win would make a good movie, if not Disney then Miramax or some other production company :)

And of course Dakota Dowd's story would be an Oscar winning movie.

Tom Blogical said...

Now if he could just carry that over to the majors in the States. I'm a little surprised he doesn't play better in US Opens.

Tom Blogical said...

I was sad to see Duval have that one bad round on Saturday. I really thought he was going to earn a top 10. I agree, I don't think we've seen the last of him. He's definitely coming back.

What are the chances The Shark does well in the Senior Open Championship? I'll bet the oddsmakers over there are factoring his good play from last weekend into their calculations.

Tom Blogical said...

I saw Poulter on one of The Golf Channel's Playing Lessons with the Pros. He actually seems to be more down to earth than I perceived, given his outfits.

His 2nd place finish should be a nice springboard for more success.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Things do tend to get overblown in the golf media, in case you haven't noticed. :)

Poulter is a confident fellow, and anytime anyone says anything about Tiger, it gets too much attention. That's life in the Tiger era. I'm guilty of it, too.

kovogolf said...

Yes, I hope Norman continues to be competitive going forward. He has always been fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

Tend to agree we haven't heard the last of David Duval. The man is such a legend, having been so high and plummetted so low, to keep on fighting is truly admirable.

Concerning some of the others taht you mentioned - namely McDowell and Choi - i really feel these guys have got a moajor in them.

Choi always seems to be there or there about in the big tournaments, and is often let down by a bad round, or a few bad shots.

McDowell is looking imperious on Tour, and i can see him winning a major in the next few years.

Oh and one more thing; it's THE OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! Not The British Open!!!! Get it right!

The Armchair Golfer said...

Golf Bet King: Choi does have the look of a major winner. I don't know McDowell as well, but maybe so.

As for The Open Championship vs. British Open: If you read my coverage, I used both. Sorry if you find "British Open" offensive, but I'm a Yank, my friend, and on this side of the pond it's commonly referred to as the British Open. It's not meant to be disrespectful.