Considering Vijay rarely misses a tournament, his recent two-week break seems to have lasted longer than the Ice Age. He returns to action this week at the Memorial, his first event since reclaiming the No. 1 ranking. Then next Monday, he'll face off against John Daly in a nine-hole exhibition at Nemacolin Woods Resort in Pennsylvania. Singh, you may recall, defeated Daly in a playoff earlier this year in Houston.
Annika battled an illness at the Corning Classic, eventually seeing the tournament doctor, who put her on antibiotics and gave her some cough medicine. And yet it still took an ace by South Korea's Jimin Kang late Sunday to prevent Sorenstam from forcing a playoff, as Annika carded four rounds in the 60s and finished tied for second. Unless her health takes a turn for the worse, Sorenstam will tee it up at the ShopRite Classic this week.
Mickelson has played the Memorial just once since 1999, and he won't be at Jack's tournament this week. Instead, he plans to be in North Carolina for a practice round at Pinehurst in preparation for the U.S. Open starting June 17. Mickelson had hoped to play Pinehurst last week, but the schedule didn't work out for him. Expect him to be at Congressional next week for the Booz Allen Classic (otherwise known as the Open tuneup).
Tiger still has a ways to go before he can match Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major wins, but he has left little doubt that he owns Jack's Muirfield Village course. Tiger won three straight Memorials starting in 1999, and last year he finished third behind winner Ernie Els. "It's a great golf course and always has a great field," Woods said on his Web site. "What's not to like about the event?"
Earlier this month, Toms was in a major funk (and we don't mean Fred Funk). He had missed the cut at the Wachovia, his third missed cut (including the Masters) in four starts. But all of the sudden, he has turned on the switch. He finished tied for third at Colonial, then utilized a brilliant weekend (65-63) to take second behind Justin Leonard in Memphis, a tournament he had won the previous two years. Looks like Toms will be a factor at Pinehurst after all.
The Big Easy finished a disappointing T-39 at the BMW Championship, played on his home course at Wentworth. But he refused to lay the blame on his new set of irons, Titleist Forged 670s with a Project Rifle shaft. "Despite me not having a great week, the clubs will stay in my bag," Els, who will play Memorial this week, said on his Web site. "They feel nice. There?s just a little more 'give' in the shaft, which helps me swing the club easier and with good rhythm."
U.S. fans don't see much of the Argentina-born Cabrera, and he really doesn't play all that often on the European tour. But maybe he'll rev up his schedule now that he's on a hot streak. After tying for third at the Irish Open, Cabrera won the BMW Championship, Europe's top tournament besides the British Open. Of course, perhaps he'd just settle for playing at Wentworth every week. In addition to his win Sunday, he has twice finished runner-up in the BMW.
No one in Europe is putting better than Howell, who leads the overseas tour in putts per round. His prowess on the greens is one of the reasons he remains a steady contender each week. He finished fourth at the BMW Championship following consecutive playoff losses in the previous two Euro events. He goes into this week's Wales Open as the betting favorite.
Leonard almost tossed away three great days in Memphis with a tactical mistake Sunday. Leading by eight shots going into the final round, Leonard went into a conservative shell. That allowed Toms to apply pressure, with Justin forced to scramble down the stretch for the win. Has any golfer had a more perplexing performance this year than Leonard? He has won two events yet has not finished in the top 10 in his other 10 starts (including four missed cuts).
The month of May was very kind to Quigley on the Champions Tour. He produced four consecutive top 10 finishes (second at the FedEx Kinko's, T7 at Blue Angels, 5 at Bruno's Memorial and a playoff loss to Mike Reid at the Senior PGA Championship on Sunday). Quigley, you may recall, began this year with a 1-2 start and now is back in form. The Champions Tour's hottest golfer is atop the money list at $936,447.
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