Big News Day in Golf

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Big News Day in Golf

Postby Lefty on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:38 pm

The Women's US Open at Oakmont

The ladies kicked off the first round of the Women's US Open today at Oakmont, and to my surprise there were several rounds of even par or better. What astonished me the most is that an American player sits atop the leaderboard heading into Friday. Duke University grad, Brittany Lang, began the day with a birdie on the very first hole, but quickly gave it back with bogey on the par4 2nd. She picked up another birdie on the par3 6th, but struggled on the par3 8th and a bogey took her back to level par on the outward nine. Lang then kicked it in gear with birdies on the short par4 11th, the short par4 14th, and again on the long par4 15th. She would give a shot back at the end with a bogey on the difficult 18th, but came in with 33 and leads the tournament with an impressive opening round of 2-under 69. The difference for Lang on Thursday was clearly with her putting, as she only needed 27 strokes with the putter. Given the speedy, treacherous putting surfaces at Oakmont, that's saying something. She only found 8/14 fairways and 11/18 greens, but managing only two bogeys on the day paints a pretty nice picture of her opening round this week.

The Korean contingent of M.J. Hur, Inbee Park, and Amy Yang all posted strong opening rounds as well, shooting 1-under 70's. But the story of the day was South African amateur, Kelli Shean, who would make the biggest news in the tournament thus far with an opening round of 1-under 70, tied for 2nd with Hur, Park, and Yang.

American Notables: Vicky Hurst, Christina Kim, Cristie Kerr, Wendy Ward, Kristy McPherson, and Paula Creamer all sit three shots back of the lead after opening with 1-over rounds of 72.

Goydos Shoots 59, Stricker Shoots 60 at John Deere Classic

Three weeks ago Paul Goydos celebrated his 46th birthday. But lately that's been about the only cause for celebration for Paul, as he's been in the midst of a 4-month funk that has spanned all the way back to February. Since his T-5 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February, Goydos has 6 missed cuts and withdrew from the St. Jude Classic after opening with a round of +5. His best finish since February was a T-38 finish at Quail Hollow. He failed to make it into the weekend at the US Open, and once again missed the cut at last week's AT&T National at Aronimink. So we can only assume that he had no idea that a day like today awaited in the first round of the John Deere Classic....

Goydos got off to a solid start on the first nine holes, picking up birdies on the par5 2nd, the par4 4th, the par4 6th, and the par3 7th. He made the turn at 4-under 31. Paul would then begin the journey to Mecca, birdieing the first 5 holes on the back, then taking a wee little break to catch his breath with a par on the par4 15th, before continuing his final assault as he would post birdies on the final three holes to shoot the coveted score of 59. Goydos joins three others who have gone where no other PGA Tour golfers have ever gone before in an official PGA Tour event: Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991), and David Duvall (1999). Welcome to club 59, Paul.

You'd think that a player who shot a career round of 59 would have created some substantial breathing room heading into the second round of the event, right? Think again. Steve Stricker was only 27 inches away from shooting 59 himself, as his final approach on the last hole appeared to be heading straight for the cup. He would have to settle for a tap-in birdie, posting a phenomenal round of 11-under 60.

It's amazing how different the scoring conditions can be from setup to setup, where last week at Aronimink a round of even par was considered a very good score. Contrast that to this week, where an opening round of level par at TPC Deere Run is good enough for a 15-way tie for 104th place...

But it was a Happy round of 71...

Matt Every posted a 1-under round of 71 on Thursday in the John Deere Classic, of which doesn't exactly hurl a player into the center of attention. Unless, that is, the word spreads that he got busted, arrested, and booked for smoking pot two days earlier at a hotel room somewhere in Iowa. The PGA Tour's drug testing policy does test for recreational drugs like marijuana, but unlike most other professional sports - the PGA Tour does not disclose the names of the players who test positive for recreational drug use. So had this information not come from an independent source (like the Quad-City Times of Iowa), it didn't happen. But if you happen to have a medical condition that justifies the use of a substance on their list of banned substances, despite having an expert in the field of medicine arguing your case, then your name gets plastered in every sports section of every major newspaper in the country, courtesy of Tim Finchem and Co. It just doesn't add up....
Lefty
 
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