horror – the rough is up at Royal Lytham. This news seems to have
staggered the golfing world, which is one thing, but you would have
thought anyone who has played golf in Britain in the past three
months would be less surprised.
forget, though, that the fairways and greens being soft effectively
makes them bigger targets. And the forecast, while far from
appealing, suggests that the wind will be no more than moderate in
all makes the infamous 206 bunkers easier to avoid running into.
anyone who is wild this week will be heading home early. But not many
of this elite field could be classed in such terms.
last words, but it says here the winning score will be under par
despite all the rough, rain, bunkers and changing the 6th
into a par 4.
double for Chapman
the end of the year it could all too easily be forgotten quite what a
brilliant season Roger Chapman has had.
doesn’t really matter what happens in the next five months as the
53-year-old Englishman has now added the US Senior Open to his US
Senior PGA Championship.
only Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had managed this
unlikely double, now Chapman joins them.
28 seasons on the European Tour Chapman’s highest finish on the
money list was 17th and in 618 events he won only one, in
Rio de Janeiro on his 472nd start.
Chapman’s PGA win also came in Michigan where he led by nine shots
at one stage before eventually winning by two. Here he closed with a
66 to overhaul Bernhard Langer, Fred Funk, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin
– four players with very different backgrounds.
will now be going for a unique treble when he plays in the Senior
Open Championship at Turnberry in two weeks.
it his own way
on the European Tour has their own kinks and mannerisms but no one
has a swing quite like Jeev Milkha Singh.
Indian picks it up steeply, lays it off and then makes an ungainly
move at the ball yet, if you watch him on the range, he rips it.
first experience of links golf came when he failed to qualify (in
some style) for the matchplay stages of the 1988 Amateur Championship
at Royal Porthcawl and Pyle & Kenfig.
now loves it – particularly after winning the Scottish Open at
Castle Stuart. Singh posted a best-of-the-day 67 to finish on 17
under and then watched Marc Warren come unstuck, Alex Noren bogey the
last and Francesco Molinari only tie. A short time after he was
knocking in a 15-footer for his fourth birdie of the week at the
still he also grabbed the last spot in the field for this week.
Chapman has added the US Senior Open to his US Senior PGA Championship
off to Mickelson
Mickelson could easily have headed to Lytham with a missed cut under
his belt. Now he will arrive at the Open Championship with a
pocketful of birdies and his confidence restored from his
participation in the Scottish Open.
season has unravelled somewhat after his win at Pebble Beach and
third place at Augusta, he then missed the weekend at the Greenbrier
with none of his game operating at full tilt.
he applied for an invite to Castle Stuart, supposedly after the
cut-off date, and cancelled a family holiday to Italy. He then shot
an opening 73, the par was more like 68.
he is nothing if not unpredictable. Over the next two days he picked
up 14 birdies and an eagle and, while the last round fireworks failed
to materialise, he was back in business.
might not seem the obvious mix for the left-hander, the same could
have been said last year when he almost came through at Sandwich.
stops Stricker slam
Stricker had bagged the last three John Deeres, always played the
week before the Open. And he was right in position to make it four
heading into the final round. But then the wheels came off the
tractor to leave Zach Johnson and Troy Matteson in a play-off.
found the same bunker off the tee then water, eventually halving the
hole in double-bogey sixes. Johnson did rather better second time
around, stiffing his approach for his second title of the season (the
other coming at Colonial).