a memorable memorial

mulligan, 06 June 2004, Comments Off on a memorable memorial
Categories: Uncategorized

Ernie Els won his first Memorial Tournament today, fending off a revived Fred Couples and Tiger Woods. The Memorial definitely had a “major” championship atmosphere out there. (Someone tell Phil Mickleson — even though Muirfield may not set up for lefties, it’s worth his while.)

Because of the generosity of a fellow Golf Blogger, I had the pleasure of following Tiger most of the day, and then Ernie and Fred for the final 4 holes. Here are some highlights:

1. Tiger’s game is getting closer: his driving accuracy was much improved this week. A couple loose tee shots on the back nine really hurt his momentum, though.

2. Tiger’s flop shot on 14 to a downhill green and in the hole was the most incredible golf shot I’ve seen in person. The roar of the crowd was deafening. (At the time, though, I did not realize it was for par, not birdie.)

3. Fred Couples outdrove Ernie by 15 or more yards on 17. Fred acquitted himself well for a person who has not been in contention much in recent years. His clutch putt on the 17th from off the green was incredible (but too little too late). Hopefully, this will springboard Fred’s season … maybe into the Ryder Cup.

4. Ernie Els’s putting was stellar. His 20 footer to save par on 16 was money. Ernie showed a lot of determination out there. The one slight hiccup for Ernie on the final holes was his two pulled shots on 15 and 16. He should thank the spectators he nailed or it could have been worse.

5. Jack Nicklaus shot -1 for his round today. Incredible.

6. After the tournament, I got to walk on the fairway and green. Both are absolutely pristine. The greens are cut extremely close.

7. The highlight of the week for me: I got Jack’s autograph, the one I wanted most. He’s a great man and runs a world class tournament.


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