I’ve always enjoyed the beginning of the week and reading the various recaps from around the golf world. Sifting through the various opinions of writers from across the top golf media outlets in the world have definitely inspired me to try to write a weekly column here with my own thoughts. A fairly ambitious writing goal for me, but I’m excited to give it a try. Here we go…
Big Ben Wins Again –
Stop if you’ve heard this before: low-ranked golfer comes out of nowhere to win PGA Tour event. Sounds familiar, right? This weekend saw the return of Ben Curtis to the winner’s circle after a two-shot victory over Matt Every and John Huh (Huh? Exactly. Already a winner on the Tour this year) at the Valero Texas Open. If I was the TPC of San Antonio, I’d be worried of having Big Ben as my champion, as the tournaments that represented his two previous wins – the Booz Allen Classic and the 84 Lumber Classic – no longer exist. After basically disappearing after 2006, will this victory be a spring-board for a career resurgence at age 34 for Curtis? I’m not sure about this, but then again, he was ranked 396 in the world before winning the British Open, so really, anything can happen.
Saturday Night Fever –
No doubt another move by Kraig Kann to garner some more media attention – definitely an A+ so far for Kann in his new role as Chief Communications Officer – the LPGA started the Lotte Championship on Wednesday and finished on Saturday. It was an attempt to unclog the Sunday golf line-up of Nationwide, Champions and PGA Tour finishes all on one day. With some good rounds of golf producing a solid champion, Ai Miyazato, it was an interesting play and we’ll see if this is a format that gets adapted for more tournaments moving forward. Anything to help get more eyeballs on the tour will, I’m sure, be viewed as a positive.
My memory is muddy… what’s this river I’m in? –
The PGA Tour returns to Louisiana this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Also returning is newly crowned Masters champ Bubba Watson. Many are questioning whether Watson will be able to contend or even if he’s out from the haze of winning The Masters. A win, a top-10, or a missed cut wouldn’t surprise me at this point. But given his previous success on the course, I’m confident he’ll post a solid finish, but perhaps after a first round struggle. Getting back out there after winning a maiden major championship will be no easy task. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Some Canadian content –
This week David Byrne, the Essex, Ontario native and winner of The Big Break: Indian Wells, will cash in his main prize and join the field in New Orleans. The little guy with the big swing is still looking for a driver, though, according to this piece from the Windsor Star. Hopefully things get sorted before Thursday… Great finish by David Hearn on Sunday. On his bag for the week was Mike Weir’s former caddie Brennan Little who Hearn says helped as he “knows what he’s doing”… Golf Digest released its list of the top 20 courses outside the U.S. last week, and two courses from Canada made the list, at no.10 St. Georges Golf & Country Club and at no.17 The National Golf Club of Canada. I know it’s a Top-20 around the world, but not far down on the list should be a couple of gems from both British Columbia and the east coast. Cabot Links, I’m sure, will start making headlines come next year…