The Day in Golf

Yani Tseng becomes the youngest player in the modern (LPGA Tour) era to get to 3 major championships.   Stuart Appleby shoots a final round 59 to win the inaugural Greenbrier Classic by 1 shot.  And Bernhard Langer bests native son Fred Couples at the US Senior Open.

All 3 tournaments turned out to be 2 player races at the finish.  Tseng was a somewhat shaky +1 today, but having shot 68-68-68 the first 3 rounds she had some room to manuever.  Katherine Hull came close but a lip-out for birdie on 17 and having her 2nd shot to 18 hang up on a bank behind the green kept her from forcing a playoff.  I honestly was not familiar with Hull before this weekend, but the Aussie played very well, and I liked her loose outward demeanor on the back 9 today.  Her time will come if she can consistently play like that.  As for Tseng, I suspect the rest of women’s golf will have to contend with her for awhile, especially now that she’s won a major from ahead.  When she’s on, she’s on.  She had an insane number of putts burn edges this weekend or she could’ve shot an absurdly low score.

Obviously a dramatic win for Appleby at the Greenbrier.  Two players came very close to the magical 59 on Saturday only to fall short on the last couple holes.  After a front nine 28 and an eagle early in the back 9 he birdied the last 3 holes to finish the deal.  And frankly, it looked like he would need every one of those just to maybe get in a playoff with Jeff Overton, but he had some cruel luck with a birdie putt hitting a spike mark on 17 and a great putt from the wrong tier on 18 nearly fell but didn’t, leaving him 1 shot behind.

As for the Senior Open this never was more than a two man race.  Obviously Couples will regret the snowman he built on the 2nd hole after his 3rd shot was chunked into the water.  Fact is, he should’ve been able to recover for a 6 or at least a 7, and if he had he would’ve been in a stronger position after his birdie on 16 still left him 2 behind Langer, a player you know isn’t going to screw up to let you catch him.  Then again, the German almost did, flirting with the water on 17.  Either way, a remarkable feat for Bernard to win in Seattle the week after winning the Senior Open in Scotland.  Rather cruel scheduling to make the old men do that, but I guess he showed it to be no big deal.

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