Musings and Mulligans

Roy Lang III is The Times Assistant Sports Editor. He played golf at Centenary College. He has covered six major golf championships and also covered last year’s Ryder Cup. As an added bonus, both Hal Sutton and David Toms are on his speed-dial.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Field closes in on Tiger

At first it looked as if Tiger Woods was going to run away with the British Open on Saturday. Then, coming down the stretch, you couldn't even tell if Woods was going to hold onto the lead.

In the end, Tiger finished strong and will carry a two-shot lead into Sunday's final round. He is 9-for-9 in majors when entering the final round with at least a share of the lead. It's hard to argue with that stat, but remember the Masters this year where no one gave Chris DiMarco a chance. DiMarco managed to get into a playoff before Tiger escaped with his fourth Green Jacket.

It will be interesting to see if Woods can put this one away similar to the way he was able to in 2000.

Saturday's pairing of Woods and Colin Montgomerie was electric and it really did feel like a Ryder Cup. Monty held up well and the crowds (take note America) seemed spectacular.
If anyone scares me on the leaderboard it would be Vijay Singh. If Singh gets the putter going, he could shoot a low number and challenge Woods.

The leaderboard at St. Andrews is tremendous. Woods, Olazabal, Montgomerie, Goosen, Garcia -- The Old Course has done it again.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Jack Creates Another Masterful Memory

I wasn't sure what I would feel as Jack Nicklaus walked up the 18th fairway at St. Andrews on Friday. Thanks to my mother, I was an Arnold Palmer guy, but always respected Nicklaus' success.

However, Friday was emotional just walking Nicklaus on the 18th. The birdie finish couldn't have been more fitting and the scene of his family behind the green added a perfect touch. Tom Watson crying as he walked arm-and-arm with Nicklaus off the back of the green was enough to send even a cold-hearted person over the top.

That being said, I would still like to see Nicklaus make the same historic walk up No. 18 at Augusta National -- not the ninth as happened in this year's Masters.

Wie's Pursuit of History on Hold

She put another scare into the men, but again, 15-year-old Michelle Wie came up just a bit short. A 5-and-4 loss in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links means Wie will have to wait another year to play in the Masters.

It's going to happen, it's just a matter of when.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wie Four Matches from Masters Invitation

Michelle Wie recorded a dominating 6-and-5 victory in her second-round match at the U.S. Amateur Public Links on Thursday morning. The 15-year-old was 3-under for the day. The win over C.D. Hockersmith of Richmond, Ind., leaves the Hawaiian sensation four wins away from winning the event. A victory would likely come with an invitation to play at the 2006 Masters.

Her afternoon match against Jim Renner of Plainville, Mass., is scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. (CDT) today at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio.

Double Bogeys Plague Toms Again

Shreveport's David Toms, while playing some of the best golf of his career this year, has been bitten more than once by a "big number." In golf a big number usually means a double bogey or worse.

Toms' victory at the Match Play in February could have company if not for a few big mistakes along the way.

Thursday, during the first round of the British Open, the former LSU star was cruising around the Old Course at 3-under through 10 holes. After a bogey on No. 11, Toms made his first of two doubles at the 465-yard par-4 13th hole. Another double at the famous 17th sent Toms to a 2-over 74.

The Airline High product went from the leaderboard to fighting to make the cut in less than two hours.