Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Player’s Champion!

The Players Championship is considered the PGA’s 5th major due to the fact that the field is always one of the strongest of the year. Also, now that the PGA has changed the date to mid May, it falls between the first major (The Masters) and the second major (The US Open) and it just feels like a big deal. So, in my mind it is the 5th major and a very prestigious tournament.
This year’s tournament was a wild as usual! On the first day, there were scores all over the board. Some guys went really low while others knocked themselves out of the tournament on day one. I felt like someone from the middle of the pack on day one would be the winner on Sunday. On Saturday, or what the players call “moving day” the field started to shape up. Some of the big names were slowly fading away while some of the younger guys were starting their push including Kevin Na, Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird, Zach Johnson, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar. Kevin Na had the 54 hole lead and was set to go off in the last group on Sunday with playing partner Matt Kuchar.

First of all, the entire Kevin Na yips was one of the craziest things I have ever seen in a pro tournament. I have seen guys with a lot of waggles (Sergio) but I have never seen anything like what Kevin Na was doing.  Some of those should have been counted as strokes!  At first I thought it was funny, and then I really started feeling bad for the guy. I know it can be hard to pull the trigger on a tough shot and at that stage, all of the shots are tough. What I don’t understand is how well he was hitting the ball once he did finally hit it! He is a great golfer but he has some work to do with those demons in his head!

Anyway, Sunday was a great day to watch golf. I know it was mother’s day and my wife had a great day. She did exactly what she wanted which allowed me to watch the entire round. There were some big moves by some of the guys who went out early like David Toms and Luke Donald but it wasn’t until the last couple of groups hit the back nine when things really started to get interesting. Matt Kuchar took the lead from Kevin Na on the 8th hole and never relinquished it. Rickie Folwer, Ben Curtis and Martin Laird made it interesting but Kuchar was able to hold them off for the victory.

Here is Matt right after his final putt to win along with his two young boys
Even though Kuchar went to Georgia Tech, I have always been a fan of his. He used to come into a bar that I worked at in the late 90’s and was always fun to talk with. He has gone through a great deal in his pro career to get where he is now and I am very happy for him and his family. He is one of the good guys out there and always has a smile on his face. Even when facing down #17 at TPC Sawgrass!

Congrats Matt!  You deserve that permanent locker at The Players Championship!

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