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MY FAB FIVE
Gary Van Sickle
December 10, 2007
SI senior writer Gary Van Sickle has covered more than 225 golf tournaments during his 11 years at the magazine. Here are his five favorites from 2007.
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December 10, 2007

My Fab Five

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SI senior writer Gary Van Sickle has covered more than 225 golf tournaments during his 11 years at the magazine. Here are his five favorites from 2007.

5 U.S. Open Because I live in Pittsburgh, I slept in my own bed, had a 30-minute commute and, in an upset, didn't have to battle the traffic backups on the main road to Oakmont Country Club. The Open had a dramatic finish, and some Oakmont members are still chuckling about the fierce rough and the pros' big numbers.

4 EDS Byron Nelson Championship Until the end, not much went right for the Nelson. Lord Byron had died the year before, the tournament was moved to an unattractive date in late April, and the greens at TPC Four Seasons Resort were brown and bumpy. But the event had the feel-good finish of the year when Tour veteran Scott Verplank, who had been mentored by Nelson since his teens, holed the winning putt, pointed skyward and mouthed, "Thank you."

3 U.S. Senior Open Pardon my sacrilege, but Whistling Straits, perched on bluffs above Lake Michigan, might be a better course than Pebble Beach. Watching Tom Watson think his way around the Straits was as good as it gets.

2 British Open There was nonstop drama at Carnoustie, beginning with Tiger Woods sending his opening tee shot of the second round way out-of-bounds--with a four-iron! I got my first up-close look at Rory McIlroy, the 18-year-old from Northern Ireland, and saw that he really is the Next Big Thing. Then there were the amazing 10-birdie round by Andres Romero and the 18th-hole flameouts by Sergio Garc´┐Ża and Padraig Harrington. Harrington is as nice as anybody on any tour, so everyone was happy to see him win his first major in a playoff. And I have to smile anytime Sergio goes into crybaby mode.

1 Windon Memorial Northwestern hosted this college event at Lake Shore Country Club. I watched my son, Mike, who's a junior at Marquette, birdie six of the last eight holes for a closing 30 that lifted him into a tie for first. No nine holes meant more or made me happier in 2007.

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