Monday, August 02, 2010

59: It's Not Such A Private Club These Days

A few bunker shots while wondering who'll be the next player to shoot 59 this summer:

-- There was a time when I could name every Super Bowl winner in order but as the years went by and the list got longer, I couldn't remember them all.

The same thing may be happening with the list of PGA Tour players who have broken 60 in competition. It was easy when it was just Al Geiberger. Then came Chip Beck. Then David Duval. Then no one for a long time.

This summer Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby have done it. It's not that easy but there has been a remarkable run of really low scores this year. There was Trevor Murphy's 56 and the 57 by Bobby Wyatt last week in Alabama.

It's easy to say it's because the balls and the equipment are too good for the courses being played today. But the equipment hasn't changed appreciably in the last couple of years -- the ball still desperately needs to be rolled back -- and they weren't posting these numbers last year.

Give the best players firm fairways and soft greens and, unless the course is 8,000 yards long, they're going to treat it like an all-you-can-eat buffet. It was fun to watch players making buckets of birdies at the Greenbrier and you knew someone was going to flirt with 50-something. Sure enough, J.B. Holmes flirted with it and Appleby knocked it down, a nice win for a guy whose game had gone on walkabout a couple of years ago.

-- Consider this for a moment: Yani Tseng is 21 years old and she's already won three of the four major championships in women's professional golf. She picked up her second major Sunday at the Ricoh Women's British Open, changing the seemingly ever-changing question of who the best player in women's golf is.

Right now, she wins the argument regardless of what the world rankings say.

-- Trevor Banks of Lancaster, S.C., won the Carolina Am Sunday at Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land by four strokes over Jacob Eggers of Vilas. Both players earned exemptions into the pre-qualifying tournament for the Wyndham Championship next week in Greensboro.

-- Charlotte's Chris Brady was eliminated from The Golf Channel's 'Big Break Sandals Resort' last week. She made it through the first five rounds of competition.

-- Tiger Woods has won seven of 10 times he's played the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. If he's going to win this year, this week's World Golf Championship would seem to be the place he'd do it. But he was the favorite at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews this year and we saw how those turned out.