Gimpy-wristed Irishman Padraig Harrington is your (well, England’s) Open champion for the second year in a row. He boldly gutted out a win by finishing at +3 and even fended off a 53-year-old former champion most notable for A) being old and B) being Mr. Chris Evert and C) choking in major championships throughout his career. He also beat Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, and a random Brit amateur. Oh, and Jim Furyk because, why not?
Only in the “Year of the Broken Tiger” could Harrington winning hurt seem kinda, nay very, underwhelming. We’re sorry you hurt yourself practicing before the tournament, Padraig, but unless that thing was MRSA-infected, gangrenous and dislocated, you’re not going to top what Tiger did at Torrey Pines.
The potential Greg Norman-winning story takes all the fun out of a perfectly nice guy repeating as champion. His charge to the lead came so far out of nowhere, the fans and press barely had the appropriate amount of time to get prepared for disappointment. Most people really wanted this one for Norman. Not only does his legacy consist mostly of his choking at majors, but the guy was still on his freaking honeymoon and was just using this tournament as preparation for a Senior PGA Tour event. He didn’t win. Again. But I, for one, enjoyed the ride.
To sympathize with these guys a little, I’ve played golf in 30-40 mile per hour winds and it really, really sucks. That should explain the scores but winning a tournament when everyone is over par isn’t all that special. It kind of makes the winner the tallest midget, er, leprechaun, er, dwarf. I imagine the scores should have been lower, but the Open is usually one of the very few times a year these players play links-style golf and have to deal with the wind like that. And yes, I’m convinced I could match John Daly’s Thursday and Friday scores (scroll to the bottom of that link) at the Open given equal time to practice.
The real winner was Indiana University’s own Jeff Overton. Playing in his first major, he made the cut and ended up tied for 70th place at +21 and won just over $19,000. Let me be the first to DECLARE TOTAL VICTORY FOR IU!!!!! Way to go Jeff, the Hoosier family is proud of you.
Uh, no homo.
I’ll leave you with this thought: at least Kenny Perry didn’t win in Milwaukee and was barely in contention at all until Sunday. He was finally just another chump in a second-rate tournament. The battle rages on to exact appropriate punishment for his cowardice, especially should he skip, miss, or play horribly in the PGA Championship next month. Stay strong, people. United we can stop Kenny Perry!
*Daly photo courtesy of Getty Images