July 18, 2009

Birdies And Bogeys

Recapping the highs and lows of Sunday at Turnberry

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- The 138th British Open is in the books. Who flourished? Who faltered? Let's take a closer look with our final U.K. edition of birdies and bogeys.

Birdie: Stewart Cink -- Better known before the week for a missed short putt and his 140-character missives, this win helps freshen up the conversation. That said, Cink is now certain to have a greater following on Twitter. Look out, Oprah!

Bogey: Golf fans everywhere -- Nothing against Cink -- get used to that phrase -- but there were about seven people at Turnberry who were rooting for him in the playoff ... and at least three of them were in his family.

Birdie: Ernie Els -- Back along the Ayrshire Coast, where he lost to Todd Hamilton in a playoff in the 2004 British Open, Els was at least able to give the leaders something to think about when he found himself three under before they even teed off. A bogey on the final hole didn't help, but it was encouraging to see flashes of the old Ernie.

Bogey: Lee Westwood's short game -- The Englishman is a fine ballstriker, but until he learns how to play from sand, around the greens and on the green he's not going to get a major. Hard to believe a 59-year-old was more steady than he around the green on Sunday.

Birdie: Matteo Manassero -- The 16-year-old Italian, a month removed from becoming the youngest winner in the 124-year history of the British Amateur, already enjoyed a headswelling start to the week playing alongside Tom Watson and Sergio Garcia. But a final-round 69, which briefly had him in contention, reinforced his comfort on the big stage.

Bogey: Ross Fisher -- After birdieing his first two holes to take a two-shot lead, Fisher imploded, bogeying the fourth hole, then taking a quadruple-bogey eight when he batted his ball around the rough on No. 5. Fisher was hoping to finish the tournament before his wife went into labor. If he was trying to get out of here in a hurry, he was going about it all wrong.

Birdie: Tom Lehman -- His own final-round 74 complete, the 1996 Open champion didn't retire to the clubhouse or the Turnberry Hotel, but instead hoofed it out to follow Watson's final round, not wanting to bypass a chance to witness history.

Birdie: The R&A -- Last night they said if Tom Watson won, he would get a 10-year exemption. Today they said they may review the age 60 limit for past champions. Well done, chaps.

Bogey: The R&A -- Yesterday we gave a bogey to Scottish fans for not filling the grandstands behind the 18th green. Give us a bogey because they weren't in there because the R&A blocks those seats off and they usually go empty until late Sunday. Come on, man. Leave those seats for the masses.

Birdie: Paul Lawrie -- Or should we say double eagle. Literally. Ten years after his improbable backdoor win at Carnoustie -- just what do the Lawries buy the Van de Veldes each year at Christmas? -- Lawrie marked the occasion with a double eagle at the par-5 seventh, holing a 4-iron from 213 yards for the first double eagle in the Open since 2004.

Birdie: Thomas Levet -- Congrats on your hole-in-one on No. 15 brother. I'll have a drink on you, but sorry it's no double eagle.

--* Compiled by E. Michael Johnson and Sam Weinman*