Sorry, Sports Illustrated, but the Best Tournament of 2006 was Played by Women
A recent article on the Sports Illustrated website tagged the U.S. Open as the best tournament of 2006 and the Open Championship second, while the Kraft Nabisco Championship came in third. What I want to know is this: What kind of drugs are they smokin’ over at S.I.?
It’s beyond belief that any golf reporter would select a tournament as best of the year when the top 4 finishers played the 72nd hole in a collective 5 over par. And it’s not like the 18th hole at Winged Foot features a dramatic shot involving water. No, it was just plain old poor play with a large dose of choking, to be sure. After playing Houdini all day, Phil Mickelson finally succumbs to the pressure with horrible decisions and makes double bogey. Colin Montgomerie makes double from the fairway with a 7-iron in his hand for the second shot. Then Jim Furyk forgoes his usual double-take and does a quadruple-take to line up his par putt. Needless to say, he missed, and all three missed a play-off by a single shot with winner-by-default Geoff Ogilvy. Not exactly what I’d call the best, unless we’re talking about car wrecks.
The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool was a metronomic exhibition of unerring iron play from Tiger Woods. After dusting off playing partner Sergio Garcia - the King of Sunday Chokers – early, Tiger had a working margin for the entire back nine. The outcome was never in doubt. This tournament was apparently picked as second best because of Woods’ emotional outburst (over his father’s passing in May) as soon as the final putt dropped. I personally felt more for the 2nd place finisher, Chris DiMarco. Would’ve been an even better story if he could’ve won a big one in memory of his mother who had just passed away a couple of weeks prior to this event.
The Kraft Nabisco had everything a Major Championship could want. Hall of Famer Karrie Webb rises out of a multi-year funk like a phoenix from the ashes and caps off a final round 65 with a slam dunk eagle from 115 yards on the 72nd hole to take the lead. Lorena Ochoa, who would go on to win Player of the Year, struggles with the final round lead as the field chases her down. The very popular Natalie Gulbis charges on the back nine but missed a birdie putt on the final hole that would’ve gotten her into a playoff. Playing with Ochoa, teenage phenom Michelle Wie was in or near the lead most of the day. After a bad decision to chip from the fringe for eagle instead of putting, Wie just missed a birdie putt to get into a playoff. Ochoa then knocks in an eagle putt to tie Webb and force a playoff. Webb makes birdie on the first playoff hole to win her first tournament in years. This tournament was nothing short of phenomenal and was the best tournament of the year - by far.
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Guess the folk at SI must take points off the Tournament Of the Year (TOY) meter for women's events. Or something.
I have to agree with you on that one. The Kraft Nabisco was easily the most exciting major I saw this year. I'd even go as far to say the LPGA Championship was second with the duel between Karrie and Se Ri. Karries slam dunk eagle and se Ri's 2nd shot in the playoff to mere inches were two of the best shots all time in womens golf. Both were exciting finishes in playoffs. The Mens US Open wasn't well played golf on the final Sunday. Not even Ogilvy played well that day, he was just the last man standing. I've always liked the PGA better but do watch the LPGA too, but anyone can see they had the two best majors as far as excitement this year.
The meltdown at Winged Foot was not the best PGA tournament by any standard. Phil, and Colin played with the quality of a Sunday Duffer on the final hole. I can't say I was excited.
Also, it had the re-emergance of Karrie Webb, and a great 4th round, even if the last shot was very lucky. It was a great shot but still very lucky.
As for re-emergance how about Se Ri Pak, and didn't and didn't Annika put a decent run together to come close down the back nine.
Actually no that was the lpga championship.
So, the women did have the two best events, the Kraft and the lpga championship.