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Teed Off (29-07-2012)

Update: July, 31/2012 - 20:59

with Robert Bicknell

Well, chalk one up for the old timers as Ernie Els dug down deep and found a way to win once again. Long time no see for the "Big Easy".

Adam Scott, on the other hand, will have a few sleepless nights ahead of him as he contemplates the big fish that got away. Was there any excuse for squandering a lead like that?

To be fair, with that much pressure, especially in a major as prestigious as "The Open Championship", anybody could find themselves choking like a dog, unless they've been there many times before and knew how to handle the pressure.

While many players like to play the old "it's just another tournament" mental games, it really doesn't work. There is a completely different atmosphere. The air actually feels heavier, there are few, if any, smiles or joking around like at a normal tournament. This is serious business and that could be a reason why players throw up all over themselves when they get near the lead.

Adam Scott was one of those players who were touted at one point or another to be "the next Tiger Woods", but of course, that was an idle dream and the golf writers of the world keep pushing up anyone they think can sell more newspapers or magazines.

Scott still has a lot of good years ahead of him. If he can learn from this experience to grow and become stronger, he just might be a champion in the future.

Speaking of Tiger Woods, as I said before, I have my doubts.

When Tiger has his woods going, his short irons went off. When his short irons were working, his putter was cold. When his short irons and putter were on, his drives were in the rough.

Watching Tiger swing, it seems like there is still a piece of the puzzle missing. Unfortunately, time is not on his side if he wants to beat Nicklaus's record.

Next up on the majors list is the PGA Championship, which in itself is a unique event in that a few club professionals can actually participate.

Yes, we are all dreaming of the day some club guy who specializes in selling you a sweater or renting you a golf cart gets red hot and wins the thing. It would be a huge morale boost for club pros everywhere and a kick in the pants for the "best players in the world".

OK, in a nutshell, the PGA Championship is hosted by the PGA of America for PGA professionals of every level, until the Professional players formed the PGA Tour, which is now separate from the PGA of America.

While most people think the Tour players on TV are the same as the local PGA pros you see managing clubs here in Viet Nam, it's a different thing altogether.

It's sort of like two brothers from a farm. One becomes a movie star and the other keeps the family business running smoothly and feeds the country. In this case, one group specializes in playing and making a bajillion dollars and the other manages clubs, gives lessons, sells you sweaters and rents you a buggy or listens to your troubles over a beer in the clubhouse.

Good luck trying to get a Tour star to do that!

One group earns our admiration, but the other deserves our respect because without them, golf would have never reached the level it is today.

However, the Tour players, being what and who they are, gradually took over the PGA Championship in the, probably correct belief, that nobody wants to see over the hill club pros shooting 80. So, now, the event only has a few slots for the club pros and even that upsets the Tour players. They want it all and will get it sooner or later.

C'est la vie. Whenever this event is on, I always check to see if there are any pros from back home who I knew from the old days, but sadly, it's usually their kids who I remember when they were in diapers. Still, it would be nice to see one do well.

I'm not sure who will win it because the field is very diverse and without Tiger being a dominant force, everything is up for grabs.

But it will be fun to watch. — VNS

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