Monday, January 30, 2006

Around the Green and some Misc.

The weekend has come to a close and to the winner goes the spoils, to the conquered, the agony of defeat and the possible questioning of ones worth. Maybe it’s not all that drab.

The Buick Invitational was something of a phenomenal performance by all parties involved at the end of the day. Even though I was only able to catch the last hour and a half due to personal obligations, the golf gods did me a solid by sending the Buick into sudden death. Upon entering his first tournament for the 2006 season, Tiger Woods came out the winner, topping Jose Maria Olazabal and the 30 year old rookie from Australia, Nathan Green.

I was really pulling for the former crematorium worker, hoping he would pull one out this weekend. Finishing 18th on the Nationwide tour money list in 2005, Nathan Green has played in two PGA Tour events thus far in 2006. Both entries were well worth the trip. He finished 5th at the Sony Open a couple of weeks ago, and now a 2nd place finish at the Buick Invitational. His tremendous play as of late puts the Aussie at 6th place on the money list with $652,800, leading the rookie class so far.

Hopefully, his finish on the 18th, the first playoff hole at Torrey Pines, will not be a thorn in his side. After rocketing his second shot from the fairway into the grandstands, he got relief and found himself at roughly 30 feet from the cup. With an elevated dance floor and not too much green to work with, plus the added pressure of competing with two of the worlds best (Woods and Olazabal), Mr. Green flubbed. His ball landed just shy of the green and still in the thickly ruff. Okay, so now we’re looking at his fourth shot. He’s got to make something happen.

The pressure got to him on stroke number 4, that’s the only answer I have. Green just didn’t make good contact and only advanced his rock a few inches, still keeping his ball in the nasty stuff. He eventually ventured out of the thick and putted out for a 6. His weekend was over.

Can the man shake the experience?

If we never made a mistake, how would we learn? He’ll be back, and he’ll be firing on all cylinders.

Of Further Notable Note:

Henrik Stenson redeemed himself by winning the Qatar Masters.

Loren Roberts is off to an awesome year by winning back-to-back Tourneys, last week at the MasterCard Championship and this past weekend at the Turtle Bay Championship.

Tripp Isenhour showed that he was the “Man of Panama” this past weekend by winning for the first time on the Nationwide Tour since 2003.

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