Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Michael Campbell???

Despite having to work on Thursday and Friday and being in New Orleans over the weekend for Mr Irrelevant’s bachelor party, I did get to see a fair amount of the coverage including the entire final round. After Thursday, it was looking like the Big Five were all going to be in contention. Then Phil and Ernie shot themselves out of the tournament on Friday. After 54 it appeared that Vijay and Tiger were too far behind to catch Goosen. I was fairly confident that a two time US Open winner with a 3 shot lead on the field and 5 shots on any big name, would be able to hold on to the lead. Midway through the front nine it was looking like Goosen was going to be caught by Tiger and Vijay. Then Vijay makes double on eight and disappears. Midway through the back nine, Goosen was done and it looked like Tiger was going to pounce on Campbell. But Campbell remained solid. Tiger made two terrible bogeys on 16 and 17. If Tiger is a little closer to the lead, I wonder if Campbell would have birdied 17 to put it away. Campbell shot a 69 on Sunday to finish at level par (280) which usually gets you right there at the US Open. His play was solid at day and he, like most winners, rode a hot putter to victory.

There was a lot of analysis of Tiger’s swing. I have to say that he needs to work out the squat at the top if he is going to be consistent. His swing use to look so much more effortless and efficient. Now he looks like he is trying to muscle the ball. He did absolutely pound the ball on Sunday and he did lead the field in greens in regulation this week. Maybe he was right for the second time to change a swing that looked pretty damn good before. If he could have made anything he would have stolen Annika’s Slam Thunder at least until this weekend. Now as I said earlier, Tigers bogeys were terrible, especially the three putt. The ‘old Tiger’ would have never bogeyed two holes that late in a Major. This is the second time this year he has done this. Because Tiger birdied 18 in a playoff to win, I think a lot of people forget that he bogeyed 17 and 18 at the Masters to give DiMarco a chance. Tiger had the 54 hole lead at the Masters and for the first time when leading a major, his playing partner out played him the final round (68 to 71) I’m curious to see how he finishes the last two majors of the year if he is in contention. Is this the start of a trend or am I reading into things too much.

And lastly, I’ll stop picking Els to win. He’s 0 for 3 this year when I pick him. He did nothing this week. My other pick Toms, was looking like he could make a run. He was only 5 back going into Sunday, but like almost everyone on top of the board, he shot in the high 70s to finish well back. I think that he will get another major again soon. Maybe the PGA in August or maybe next year.

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