Thursday, June 23, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Young golfer shines at U.S. Open
A short while ago, Tiger Woods made the announcement that he would not be on the course at Bethesda, Maryland, when the U.S. Open kicked off on Thursday, June 16. There was not a cry of jubilation which could be heard throughout the golfing world, simply because the Tiger does not have the teeth which he used to show in these world class events. But, when all was said and done on Sunday, there could have very easily been a second coming of the Tiger.
A very young golfer, heretofore known mostly for his penchant to “fizzle” in closings, generated the interest and heat which used to permeate the game before the Tiger was de-fanged by personal problems. The 22-year-old native of Northern Ireland began setting records at the Open and didn’t stop until the final hole. Rory McIlroy kept the gallery revved up and glued to every stroke during the entire four-day event.
Unlike the performance two months ago in the Masters when he failed to finish in the final round, McIlroy set a golf bag full of records including the lowest 36-hole score in Open history, lowest record under par (-16) and lowest total for the tourney (268). Back in April, McIlroy had led by four strokes going into the fourth round and shot a final score of 80. Just how much of a millionaire the victory made the newest links star was not immediately known, however, the purse in 2010 was $7.5 million.
As this great event culminated on Sunday, another began on Monday. The trials at Wimbledon started amid much speculation about where the Williams sisters (Venus and Serena) would eventually end up. The sister act has virtually owned the most prestigious titles in the tennis world for nine of the last 11 seasons. Five of those titles belong to the just-turned-30 Venus while the remaining four are Serena’s. The sisters are poised for another possible “all Williams” showdown since they are seeded in different halves throughout the tourney. Serena holds a big edge in these finals, 3-1.
The 29-year-old Serena, perhaps a lot more talkative than her elder sibling, explained her almost one year’s absence in a lengthy press conference on Sunday. Despite the injury and recuperative phase, she is still ranked seventh and Venus is ranked 30th worldwide.
As usual it will be a jolly good fortnight in Merry Ol’ England, eh wot?
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