After a pulsating final day at St Andrews, the American outsider Zach Johnson claimed the £1,000,000 Open Championship prize after a thrilling play-off with Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.
As Johnson picked up the Claret Jug, the adulation of the crowd and the thrill of claiming a second major, many of his opponents watched on with envy. At one point in Monday’s final round – delayed due to the high winds experienced on Saturday – 12 players were within one shot of the lead.
But as the pressure mounted during the final 18 holes, many contenders – including two-time major winner Jordan Spieth, Australian Jason Day and the Irish amateur Paul Dunne – fell by the wayside, leaving just Johnson, former Open winner Oosthuizen and Leishman in the mix.
Lee Westwood’s nagging back and neck injuries have caused many to speculate on the former world number one golf champion’s future after a disappointing performance at the ongoing BMW Golf Championships, meaning the player has failed to qualify for the Tour Championship.
Westwood’s gradually worsening back and neck strain, caused in part by his advancing age and the rigours of the game, follow last year’s calf injury, creating a less than stellar run of luck for the Brit, who has admitted he is bowed but not defeated by his move to the US and subsequently disappointing season.
However, the US-based PGA Tour does represent a significant amount of money and media for the Worksop-born golfer, and affords easier opportunities for Westwood to play in many of the key matches, rather than facing the difficulty of travelling across the world in order to compete. This could perhaps aid Westwood in recovering from his injuries and improving his game in future.
Injuries and recent disappointment aside, Westwood is already being touted to captain for Europe at the 2024 Ryder Cup, which perhaps indicates that belief in the unlucky player has not entirely waned, and that freebets.org/ will be taking many more bets on the former champion player in the future.
Putting is so important in major championships, and Phil Mickelson was on fire today as he stormed to a stunning comeback win in the British Open. He birdied four of the last sic holes and said in the interview above that it’s the best he’s ever putted.
Meanwhile Lee Westwood faded and Tiger Woods was good but not good enough again. Think about it – Tiger hasn’t won a major in 5 years! He used to be well ahead of the pace set by Jack Nicklaus but know the two are pretty close. Passing Jack is no longer an easy task for Woods. There are plenty of young golfers who have emerged in the sport, and Mickelson continues to be a force in the game as well.
I guess we can put a stop to those stories about whether Tiger can come back. Today’s win was vintage Tiger Woods, and now he has momentum heading into the US Open in a couple of weeks.
Dust off the Tiger Woods highlight reel and add another jaw-dropper, this one near the very top. From a downhill lie, to a green running away from him, and with a wall of water lurking if he went long, Tiger Woods hit a flop shot into the hole for birdie on the par-3 16th hole, one of the most amazing shots of his career, and went on to record his 73rd victory on Sunday.
The win at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village ties Woods with tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second place on the career victories list, trailing only Sam Snead (82), and gives Woods a surge of adrenaline heading into the U.S. Open at Olympic Club, which begins in 11 days.
“That was one of the most incredible golf shots I think you’ll ever see played,” Nicklaus said on the CBS telecast of Woods’s chip-in. “It wasn’t just the pitch shot. It was where he had to land it, and what he had to do, and what the penalties were if he didn’t make it. Unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson dropped out of this invitational tournament after playing one lousy round. Things change quickly . . .