Week in Review
Yani Tseng follows Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam as the LPGA's next dominant player
Yani Tseng is an exceptional pool player, who keeps her game honed on the table that Annika Sorenstam left behind when Tseng bought her house in Orlando's Lake Nona community.
What would her pool handicap be? "Maybe plus-two," she said recently. "I know what I'm doing. I really want to practice. I was thinking maybe in the offseason I want to play a tournament."
Her friend and agent Ernie Huang confirmed her prowess. "If you want to play her," he said, "bring your money. She can run the table."
That is now evident. Tseng already is running the table in her chosen profession. Her victory in the LPGA Championship on Sunday was her fourth major. It was her sixth victory this year, third on the LPGA (she has won two Ladies European Tour events and one Asian Tour event), and has widened her lead in her bid to win Rolex Player of the Year for the second straight year.
She won by 10 shots, too. Running the table, indeed. As for the rest of the LPGA, it's squarely behind the eight ball, where, given Tseng's age (22), it is likely to remain indefinitely.
THE FORMULA FOR A ROUT
Tseng had the best score in the first and fourth rounds (66) and equaled the best score in the third (67).
THE DAY'S BEST STORY
When Erik Compton played in a PGA Tour event five months after having a second heart transplant in 2008, the New York Times' Larry Dorman wrote that the tournament "has a subplot of genuine hope real enough to move all but the most hardened cynic. Playing here&is Erik Compton, the 28-year-old pro who five months ago received his second heart transplant and whose recent play has been almost, well, fictional."
Charlie Gibson, on ABC World News, introduced a segment on Compton this way: "Every golfer, especially those of us who are duffers, knows how incredibly difficult it is to be a professional golfer, playing the tour. To do that and to have a serious health problem is close to unbelievable. But one PGA player, on the tour right now, has overcome incredible obstacles and his is an incredible story."
That was then. This is now: Compton won the Nationwide Tour's Mexico Open in a playoff on Sunday, is now second on the money list with $215,709, and is a virtual cinch to earn his PGA Tour membership for 2012.
"To win this is everything to me," he said. "I never thought I'd play golf again, at least not at this level, and I proved to myself I'm more than just a guy with two heart transplants."
WAS THERE A PGA TOUR EVENT?
There was, of course. It was the Travelers Championship. But once amateur Patrick Cantlay fell from contention after shooting 60 in the second round to take the lead, it dropped from the radar.
Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson won, his first PGA Tour victory, but it was only the third best story of the day in golf, behind Tseng and Compton, and would have been No. 4 had Sergio Garcia prevailed in the BMW International Open.
POULTER SAID WHAT?
This was an eye-catching headline on ESPN's United Kingdom: "Rory hitting it better than Tiger ever did - Poulter"
Could Ian Poulter actually have said this?
There is no evidence he did, other than the writer of this unbylined story saying so in the first paragraph: "Ian Poulter is the latest to lavish praise on runaway US Open winner Rory McIlroy, claiming the Ulsterman is hitting the ball cleaner than Tiger Woods ever has." Nowhere in the story is Poulter quoted saying that.
The one actual quote from Poulter on McIlroy's ball-striking says nothing of the sort. "I haven't seen anybody that strikes a ball as well as McIlroy for a good number of years, and that's with everyone included. He's very impressive, he's got the whole package, and there's going to be more than one major in his trophy cabinet when he hangs his boots up."
That's a wild leap from "a good number of years" to "better than Tiger ever did."
Poulter isn't shy about tweaking Woods and doesn't need a media assist to do so. At Woods' Chevron World Challenge last November, after Woods had surrendered No. 1 in the World Ranking to Lee Westwood, Poulter called him "No. 2" in banter on the putting green. In April, Poulter predicted Woods wouldn't finish in the top five in the Masters (he was wrong; Woods tied for fourth).
THE VOICE OF REASON
Here's what McIlroy said about comparing his Open victory with Woods' 15-stroke win at Pebble Beach in 2000: "No, I don't think it's as impressive. Tiger was the only person under par in that field that week and I think there was 20 people under par at Congressional. The golf course was scorable and I was able to score a little lower than the rest of the guys but what Tiger did in Pebble to win by 15 shots was ridiculous. The performance I put in last week was good, it was great, but definitely not quite up there with what Tiger did in 2000."
McIloy's impressive victory in the U.S. Open seemed to have caused some in the golf world to hyperventilate.
Jason Dufner, for instance, posted this on Twitter: "Congrats to rory, could be the greatest week of golf in the history of the game. Unreal form."
Well, maybe not. See previous note.
GAINING ON NO. 1
McIlroy did not play last week, but still climbed in the World Ranking, to third. He supplanted Martin Kaymer, who needed to finish in the top eight in the BMW International Open. Kaymer tied for 18th.
'AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY'
That was a headline in the New York Daily News on a story on the state of American golf. The balance of power has shifted, yes, but a tragedy? One online dictionary describes tragedy this way: "an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe."