Monday, 4 August 2008

2008 - Week 37 Winners

Vijay Singh (ranked 13 by Golf Predictor), who hasn't had the best of seasons, ended his long victory drought by winning his first WGC title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Well done to Vijay as this makes him the most successful international golfer of all time on the US PGA Tour. He finally eclipses Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper of England, who played in the 1920s and 1930s and according to Wikipedia (so it must be true!) only died in 2000 at the ripe old age of 96! I'm sure Vijay would like to emulate Tiger (who wouldn't?!) last year by going on and claiming the US PGA this week. He might want to work on his putting though! Our top pick, Phil Mickelson, was looking good until he imploded down the stretch with 3 bogies in his final 4 holes to finish tied 4th. The only other top ranked player to produce the goods was Lee Westwood (ranked 7th) who finished tied second.

Meanwhile, the official entry list for the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open last Monday turned out to be unusually inaccurate as 5 of our top ten ranked players didn't even tee it up. Those players are Briny Baird (1), Ken Duke (2), Dean Wilson (4), Jeff Quinney (6) and Brian Gay (7). This is pretty much beyond our control, as unless we hear about a significant withdrawl, for consistency reasons we do not re-run the prediction algorithm. Since they were low profile golfers in an effectively second tier event, it was unlikely to come to our attention.

In any event, Parker McLachlin (effectively ranked 25 by Golf Predictor, given the late withdrawls and the non-finisher, Chris Riley) claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory. Having built up an impressive lead after 54 holes, thanks in no small part to his course record equalling 62 on Friday, McLachlin wasn't seriously troubled on the final day. Despite not played well and shooting 74, he still managed to increase his margin of victory to 7 strokes. Interestingly, this win makes it the 5th golf tour that McLachlin has won on and if he hadn't thrown away a lead last year on the Nationwide Tour, it would have the 6th! Allowing for the late withdrawls, we had John Rollins, John Merrick, Brian Davis, Mark Wilson and Nicholas Thompson in the top 10.

Michelle Wie, as predicted, didn't do very well and missed the cut. In fairness, she had a good opening round and most of the damage on day 2 was done by a quintuple bogey on one hole, a score I'm well familiar with!

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