- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2009

POSTCARD FROM TURNBERRY

Wow, everyone weeps for Tom Watson. What happened from the moment Watson missed his par putt on the 72nd hole until the completion of his sad display in the playoff stands as the greatest anticlimax the Rover has had the misfortune to witness. No disrespect to Stewart Cink, but golf’s flag flies at half-staff. …

Though nobody will suffer over Sunday’s finale like Watson, England’s Lee Westwood left more money at Turnberry than anyone in the field. Thanks to a deal brokered by his agent, Chubby Chandler, Westwood doesn’t get a shilling in endorsement fees for wearing his Dunlop shirts. Instead, Westwood gets a 2 million pound ($3.28 million) payout should he win a major wearing Dunlop apparel. That would have been nearly three times the amount of the winner’s check. That’s got to sting almost as much as watching Stewart Cink collect the claret jug. …

The Rover has a new favorite twentysomething golfer (sorry, Anthony Kim), and his name is Chris Wood. The 21-year-old Brit who looks like a casting call reject from “X-Men,” is a 6-foot-5, ball-striking stud with a long, beautiful swing, a platinum putting stroke and top-five finishes in his first two British Opens.

LEADER BOARD

PLAYING YOUR AGE [sideways]

It took 76 holes, but Tom Watson finally plays like a 59-year-old

ABC [up]

Turns out Tiger isn’t needed to create compelling drama on Sundays

FIRST-TIMERS [up]

Stewart Cink joins Lucas Glover as first-time major winners in 2009

JIM FURYK [down]

Posts a 6-over 76 to fall out of contention

QUOTABLE

“The dream almost came true.”

- Tom Watson, who would have become the oldest winner of a golf major championship by 12 years

“The same Tom Watson that won this tournament in ‘77, the same guy showed up here this week. And he just about did it. He beat everybody but one guy. And it was really special.”

- Stewart Cink on Watson, who defeated Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977 in the “Duel in the Sun”

SCORECARD

2 Years Stewart Cink was alive before Tom Watson won his first claret jug at Carnoustie in 1975. Watson had won five British Open championships entering Sunday’s final round; Cink’s first major was only his sixth career PGA Tour victory.

10 Length of the par putt, in feet, missed by Lee Westwood on the 18th hole that would have put the Englishman in the playoff with Cink and Watson. It was the second time in a major that Westwood missed a putt that would have placed him in a playoff. He missed a 15-footer at the 2008 U.S. Open that would have put him in a playoff with Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.


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