It didn’t start well for Mike Weir. Having not made a bogey in two rounds, he started his final round at the Mercedes by hitting it in the junk, chunking it out to the 9th fairway, and not managing a par. A couple of holes that it happened again. By that point, with the winds down and Daniel Chopra pouring in birdies, Weir’s round was all but finished. If the scores go low and courses get easier, Weir will always find it tough to contend. He’s a golfer who hits shots, works the ball in the winds and toughs it out in difficult conditions. But with soft greens and little wind, he was behind from the start.
I’m not sure who asked these strange post-round questions, but I doubt Weir was thinking of double-eagle on the final hole, which measures 663-yards:
Q. Being 2-over par at one point, and if you would have holed out for double eagle you would have gotten into the playoff, but 209 is big enough to negotiate.
MIKE WEIR: Well, it is. I hit a great shot into 17. I had a 12-footer up the hill. I thought if I could make that and eagle the last I’d have a chance. Again, I just didn’t make anything today.
He recovered nicely though, managing to finish in fourth, 3-under for the day, which wasn’t bad considering his start. And it bodes well for the year, since he seems to be firing on all cylinders, just as he did at the end of 2007.
It was nice to see Stephen Ames recover from a difficult third round and post a 7-under 66, which vaulted him into third place. Ames looked very comfortable throughout the round, and apparently thought his score might be good for the win. Unfortunately Chopra’s 7-under and Stricker’s stunning 9-under pushed them ahead by a single shot.
Q. 7-under par, frustrated or happy?
STEPHEN AMES: I’m happy, considering I’ve had two months off coming into here and haven’t had much practice. And the way I’ve hit it and played, I’m quite content with the way I finished this week.
Q. Did you think 7-under would be enough?
STEPHEN AMES: I did. I thought 17, 18 — Jim and I were saying we thought 17 would be the number, and some of the guys took it a little lower than we expected, but that’s golf, and still a very good outcome.
Other stories: Apparently Rory “The Mouth” Sabbatini has gone quiet, at least according to AP’s Doug Ferguson:
Asked on Tuesday if he had a few minutes, Sabbatini [photopress:rory_1_2_3.jpg,full,alignright]politely said he was in a rush to leave, and when asked if the next day would be better, he kept walking. After his pro-am Wednesday, he again said he didn’t have time.
“I’m done talking to you guys,” he said.
Approached a few minutes later at his locker, Sabbatini said, “I have nothing to say.”
Not even about his change in golf equipment?
“I’ll let my clubs do the talking,” he said.
There is word of a personal tragedy Sabbatini was going through, although that can’t be confirmed because he won’t talk.
Sabbatini wasn’t the least bit rude in declining to speak. He appears to be in good spirits, and he has spent a half-hour or so after his rounds to sign autographs, exchanging pleasantries with the gallery.
How long Sabbatini will be on mute remains to be seen, and it probably won’t matter unless he plays well. Considering how his last year went, not speaking might not be the worst idea.
A final note: I don’t know what G4G readers are making of the Golf Channel’s coverage, but I still can’t stand Mark Rolfing; wonder why they had to have Faldo on the launch monitor 12 times over a few days; and can honestly say that starting to watch the tournament at 9 on my PVR, which allowed me to blast through 30 second setups for a single putt, as well as most of the GC’s ridiculous asides, made the Mercedes fun to watch.
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Rolfing is a boob but the Golf Channel doesn’t have a monopoly on them.
Clampett & Kostis (CBS), Gray (NBC)
Kelly Tilghman just cemented herself to be the worst announcer in the golf business. She has absolutely no depth.
As far as other on course announcers go, I think having Billy Andre and Paul Goydos were good move. They might not be as polished, but their allure is that they are the players and they are raw.