Did anyone watch the U.S. Womens Open? I watched a lot of the first three rounds, but was not able to see the final round until Michelle Wie was putting for bogey on the 16th. So I guess I got to see the most exciting part.
When I turned on the TV, Michelle had a 3-shot lead, and Stacy Lewis, who was in second place, was already finished. It looked to me that Michelle had it all wrapped up. The announcer was saying something about how she needed to just focus on this putt and not worry about the situation, which is perfect tv-analyst speak for someone with a three-shot lead with three holes to play. She missed the putt and it went about 5 feet past the hole, and that’s when the announcer said “She needs to make that to stay in the lead”. That got my attention.
So she makes the putt for double-bogey, and that’s when I learn about her hitting the ball into a bush on sixteen and having to take an unplayable lie, and then she is on the seventeenth tee.
She hits a solid tee shot to about 20 feet on the par-3 and then “tabletops” it (I plan on trademarking and copyrighting that phrase for whenever she makes a putt) right in the heart of the hole to increase her lead to 2-shots.
On 18, Michelle bombed it right down the middle about 290 yards and took all of the drama out of it when her wedge shot ended up about 18 feet from the pin. Two-putts later and Michelle Wie was the 2014 U.S. Womens Open champ.
So there were a few great moments in there:
- The clutch double-bogey putt on the 16th.
- “Tabletopping” (also trademarked) it in on the 17th to all but clinch it.
- Stacy Lewis’s reaction to news that Michelle made the putt on 17. She was on the range keeping loose for a possible playoff, and between shots someone off-camera said “She made it” and Stacy looked and said “She made it?” and then appeared to keep on hitting drivers.
- After making the final putt, my favourite part of the LPGA for when any player makes a landmark victory, some other players coming out onto the 18th green and showering the winner. Usually it’s with beer or water, but for the U.S. Womens Open they showered Michelle with champagne. Some of the girls that were on the 18th green giving congratulations were Sandra Gal, Jessica Korda, and Stacy Lewis. Yes, before Michelle had a chance to leave the green and sign her card, Stacy was already over there and congratulating her. That’s something you don’t see on the men’s tour.
With the win, Michelle moved up to 2nd in the Power Rankings.
As for the men, Kevin Streelman did something no one had ever done before (at least not done since they starting keeping records of hole-by-hole around 1980). He birdied the final 7 holes of his round to win by a shot. Those guys are good, and some guys have shot in the 50s, but 7 birdies in a row!!! That is golfing the ball!!
With the win, Streelman jumped up the Power Rankings, going from 1759 to 122. It’s no exaggeration to say that no one saw this result coming.
As for myself, I played on Saturday at Cambridge Golf Club located in Cambridge Ontario. Cambridge is an old style course, not overly long but plenty of mature trees and a few VERY narrow holes.
Last week I had 39 putts with a bunch of three-putts, but at Cambridge I had 31 putts (good for me) with zero three-putts.
Last week I shot 8-over, and this week with eight fewer putts I shot even par. Go figure.
I like Cambridge Golf Course. It was an easy walk (I prefer walking and carrying my clubs). The only complaint was it was a little on the short side. You’ll feel good about your game because you’ll be able to either hit or come close to hitting all of the par-5s in two shots (I hit it about 250 to 265 and was usually close to 200 to 235 yards out on each par 5). The par-3s vary in length, but the par-4s are all pretty short (drivers and nine irons or wedges), except for the 17th where a good drive still left about 170 yards to go to a green that sloped from front to back (so if you hit the green you end up right at the back). The key is to hit it straight off the tee.
If you have a problem with coming “over the top”, here is a good drill to help.