Monday, July 21, 2008

British Open Recap

Well, Greg Norman did it again. I was hoping he could hang on, but he got off to a bad start (three straight bogeys) and never recovered. In fact the result was eerily similar to his collapse in the 1996 Masters. Lets compare:

* Led in both 1996 and 2008 going into the final round. In 1996, by 6 and in 2008 by 2.
* Shot 78 in the final round in 1996. Shot 77 in the final round in 2008.
* In 1996, he was beaten by his playing partner Nick Faldo, and was outscored by 11 strokes. In 2008, he was beaten by his playing partner Padraig Harrington and was outscored by 8 strokes. Actually, when you are outscored like that, "beaten" doesn't really cover it. He was crushed.
* Lost in 1996 by five strokes. Lost in 2008 by six strokes.
* In both years, lost to a former winner of the tournament from the British Isles.

Oh well, so much for all the history-making events that were going to unfold on Sunday. It's too bad. I was rooting for Norman. But he looked like a totally different player on Sunday. He looked every bit like someone who was 1-for-8 with the lead entering the final round of a major. Now he's 1-for-9. Suffice to say, he's not a good frontrunner.

Just as a point of reference. Tiger Woods is 14-for-14 with at least a share of the lead entering the final round of a major. Unreal.

Incidentally, I am not trying to take away anything from Padraig Harrington, who played about as well as anyone could on the back nine yesterday. But Norman still handed him the title on a silver platter with his poor start and his inability to recover from it.

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