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USA Wins Walker Cup At National Golf Links Of America PDF Print E-mail

 

Team USA celebrates their victory at National Golf Links of America

 

 

Southampton, N.Y - Team USA put together a dominating performance at the

original venue of the first Walker Cup, winning 17-9 over the team from Great

Britain & Ireland. National Golf Links of America hosted the first match between

amateurs in 1922.

Although the teams are greatly comprised of college golfers, ironically it was the

two Mid Amateurs from Team USA that clinched the Cup, 45 year old Tom White

(won point 13) and 4 time U.S Mid Am Champion Nathan Smith, who beat Nathan

Kimsey of England 4&3 to gain the 14th point to win back the Cup. Smith was on

the 2011 squad with Captain Jim Holtgrieve that lost at Royal Aberdeen.

 

“This ranks at the top of the list,” said Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid Amateur

champion who was making his third Walker Cup appearance. “I never wanted

a point so much in my life. This [Match] means the most. I’m happy for Jim.

Nobody loves the game of golf and put more hard work into a team than him.”


“It’s something I have been wanting for a long, long time, particularly after we

lost in 2011,” said USA Captain Jim Holtgrieve. “I was hoping I would get a mulligan

for ‘13 and when I knew it was going to be at National Golf Links, which is where it

all started, I wanted so bad to come here. Yes. I wanted to win but I wanted to do

something good for golf and this, to me, was truly good for golf.”


C.B Macdonald designed National Golf Links of America, which opened in 1911. Known

as the "Father of American Golf Architecture", Macdonald built Chicago Golf Club (the

first 18 hole course in the U.S) and was the winner of the first U.S Amateur

Championship in 1895. Charles Blair Macdonald attended school in St.Andrews,

Scotland in the 1870's.


The 2015 Walker Cup will be played at Royal Lytham & St.Annes.


 

Walker Cup: http://www.usga.org/WalkerCup/ChampEventSite.aspx?id=2147495184

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Merion Smells Like A Rose PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

Photo by Jason Bruno

Justin Rose poses with the wicker

 

 

The 113th edition of the United States Open Championship had a bit of everything.

Rough weather, beautiful weather, favorites/under dogs, and a historically classic

venue that wasn't supposed to stand up to the challenge of today's finest.


Merion Golf Club is an amazing variety of short and long, easy and hard, and like

Augusta each year, this old girl was really the star this past week . . . and she stayed

strong and gave "no quarter".


In the end, Merion East held her own, yielding a winning score of +1 . In a duel that

will go down as classic, Justin Rose and fan favorite Phil Mickelson came down the stretch

separated by one stroke. Fast forward to the 72nd hole, Rose had just piped his drive on

18 and faced a 1950 Hogan esque shot to the back left wicker placement. Meanwhile, on 16

Mickelson was standing over an 8 foot birdie putt to tie Rose. At this moment it was obvious

to me standing atop the 17th tee box watching both moments simutaneously - that this was

the moment that would define the championship. The odds were probably greater that Lefty's

putt would drop, but the exact opposite occurred. Rose smoked his 4 iron onto the green, but

it trickled through onto the first cut of rough, some 20 feet away. Phil's bid for birdie just slid

by, and seconds later Rose nudged his ball out of the first cut (with a 3 wood) to within inches.

 

In the house at +1, Rose would not be caught, and he sensed it, pointing to the sky after

tapping in. Lefty certainly tried, but these are not the two holes to make up ground on, his

valiant effort on the final two holes came up short, and it was official - Justin Rose had just won

the U.S Open on Father's Day on Merion's East Course.

 

For Rose who lost his Father in 2002 to Leukemia, this was his first major victory (and the first

Englishman to win the U.S Open since Tony Jacklin won in 1970). For Phil, another heartbreak at

the Open, extending his record to six runner up finishes.


Rose reflected afterwards: "This is a journey, such a satisfying feeling. It goes back 20, 30

years for me dreaming, of hoping, or practicing, calloused hands . . . You've had to do it the

hard way. You've had to do it yourself.


The 4 iron approach to the 18th Sunday (not far from the Hogan plaque) would certainly have

gotten a tip of the cap from "The Hawk". Let's hope we see the USGA bring the Open back to

the Wickerbaskets in the future.



Final Scores: http://www.majorschampionships.com/us-open/leaderboard.html










 
Who Will Win at Merion? PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

Merion East 5th hole

 

 

Ever since I first laid eyes on Merion's East Course on July 4th, 2011, it has been my personal

favorite parkland type course design. I have analyzed every aspect of Hugh Wilson's brilliant

layout during my site visits and also when I played Merion with Greens Department staffer

Dave Petfield two summers ago.


My conclusion regarding what it will take to win the U.S Open - the champion will need to be a

world class iron player and be amongst the best shortgame players in the world. Those

two attributes immediately bring three names to mind: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Luke

Donald.

 

Merion's 115 yard - 13th hole

 

 

Lets breakdown those three. Tiger is having his best year (up to this point) in a long time. His iron

game is superior, and his shortgame and putter are close to what they were in his dominant

years. Once again ranked #1, TW has the swagger back, and that's scary for the rest of the tour.

Although Tiger is the favorite, he has never competed at Merion, has never won a major on a par

70 layout, and struggled mightily in his last outing (at Muirfield Village for The Memorial). He will

contend this week, and if his the putter lights up, his 15th major is a real possibility . . . but he is

not my pick.


Phil Mickelson has 5 runner up finishes at the U.S Open, and for the opposite reasons, Lefty has

a serious chance. Mickelson did compete at Merion in the 1989 U.S Amateur, and he was red hot

last week at Memphis finishing tied for 2nd . . . but like TW, Phil has a few reasons that might hinder

his chances. After seeing the rain on Monday, Phil left Merion and traveled back to California to attend

his daughter Amanda's 8th grade graduation on Wednesday. Great to see that Phil has his priorities

in order, but that's alot of travel - from San Diego to Memphis, then Memphis to Philadelphia, then

Philadelphia to San Diego, then San Diego back to Philadelphia. Considering he turns 43 years old

on Sunday, and has never won this event, it might be a tall order to overcome so many hurdles.

having said all that, if anyone can defy logic, it's Phil. His irons and shortgame are as good as Tiger's,

so the tools are there.



The gorgeous quarry 16th hole at Merion

 


Then there is Luke Donald. I know, he is off form . . . but this course is not the norm. It's shorter than

most major venues, it has many tight holes that won't allow too many drivers to be played, and length

won't be a factor. This is Luke's chance to show what can happen when a major comes to an old school

classic venue. No longer ranked in the top three, Luke is under the radar and under no pressure. His

shortgame is on par with the best in the world, and his short irons and putter can be down right amazing.

Call it a bit of a gut call, but I see Luke Donald edging out the two heavyweights as the Champion of

the 2013 U.S Open.








 
Major #4 for The Big Easy PDF Print E-mail

 

Ernie Els previously had finished 3rd and 2nd at the last two Open Championships at Royal Lytham & St.Annes . . . and it seemed that his 12 foot birdie putt at the last would once again give him a close call at Lytham.The birdie was vintage Ernie of yesteryear, and looked to be no more than a great highlight and perhaps a pressure point to Adam Scott's first victory.Trailing by six strokes entering Sundays Final round, El's had four birdies and no bogeys on the back nine to shoot 32, enroute to  a Sunday 68.

After being snubbed by the green jackets earlier this spring, and missing the short putt on the 72nd hole at Innisbrook (that would have gotten him into the Masters), it seemed that his time or big wins was over.As it turned out, Scott (75) stumbled home with four straight bogeys and suddenly his first major victory was gone.It was Ernie's time again . . . a year ago he admitted to being lost, and at 42 years old he is now a FOUND major champion.After an up and down 2012 season, he is once again the keeper of the best trophy in Golf, the Claret Jug.


I’m still numb. It still hasn’t sunk in,” said the South African who was 50-1 with the bookmakers at the start of the Championship and still 25-1 with 18 holes left togo.“It’s a crazy, crazy game. I can't really believe I have won. I have been on theother end more times than I have been on the winning end so I know what Adam is feeling like.


The 141st Open Championship will be remembered as much for the late collapse by Adam Scott as much as it will be for Ernie's win.Hopefully Adam Scott's time will come, his talent is worthy.


Tiger Woods and Brandt Snedeker finished tied for third at -3.


Final Leaderboard: http://www.theopen.com/en/Leaderboard.aspx


Ernie's Clubs:

Callaway RAZR Fit Driver, 8.5°
Callaway X-TOUR FW (15.0)
Callaway RAZR X Muscleback Irons (5-9, PW)
Callaway X Utility Prototype (18°, 21°, 24°)
Callaway JAWS Wedges (52°, 60°)
Odyssey White Hot XG #1 Belly Putter (44.5″, 3* loft, 70.5* lie angle)

Iron / Wedge Shafts:
KBS Tour X

Ball:
Callaway HEX Black Tour

 

 

 


 

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