Open Season at Olympia Fields A declawed Tiger? A defrocked spectator? A hero caddie? Villainous blue coats? Here's our report from an unlikely national championship

June 22, 2003

WINNERS

MOTHER NATURE Forget space-age equipment, shrinks, Pilates and
protein shakes. The biggest factor in scoring, as always, was the
elements.

PARITY Rich Beem, Mike Weir and Jim Furyk have now won the last
three majors. Each of these talented thirtysomethings has a
bright future, but only Nostradamus could have predicted their
consecutive breakthroughs.

BRUCE EDWARDS Yes, Tom Watson was swinging the club, but it was
his longtime caddie who provided the inspiration. Edwards's march
against Lou Gehrig's disease gave this Open its heart.

ANNIKA Not only did she just miss a third straight win on the
LPGA tour, but she vexed Vijay Singh again, via a high-profile
heckler.

TRIP KUEHNE Thanks to a dazzling 67 on Friday, the 31-year-old
equity salesman earned low-amateur honors, not to mention family
bragging rights as little brother Hank didn't make it through
qualifying.

CHAD CAMPBELL GOLF PLUS's pre-Open cover boy withstood the extra
scrutiny, going one under through three rounds, but the Sunday
pressure finally caught up with him as he shot 76 to finish 35th.

JONATHAN BYRD The 25-year-old stud finished 15th, dazzling with a
buttery putting stroke and a 383-yard drive on the 18th hole on
Saturday.

STREAKERS Glad to see that the esteemed British Open tradition
has finally reached our shores.

LOSERS

USGA The downside to a kinder, gentler setup is that when the
weather doesn't cooperate, even a short-hitting grinder like Jim
Furyk can obliterate records.

TIGER WOODS Slump is too strong a word, but Woods is definitely
in a funk. He's been fighting his driver all year, and now the
putter has disappeared too. Throw in his Masters' caddie
critique, and the aura is waning.

PAUL TESORI Not only was Vijay Singh's longtime caddie dumped a
week before the Open, but his old boss also went on to earn
$64,170, of which Tesori could have expected the usual 5%.

VIJAY The PGA Tour's punching bag endured another week of abuse,
but even more painful was a Saturday fade and a Sunday flop.

JAY HAAS The wily veteran figured to contend at Olympia Fields,
but not only did he shoot 75-72 to miss the cut, he had to spend
Father's Day at home with his son, Bill, who went 73-76 in his
first Open.

MIKE WEIR Yes, he tied for third, but say goodbye to the Grand
Slam. And yes, Weir played great in his first important
post-Masters outing, but Ian Leggatt nearly stole low-Canadian
honors. Yes, but....

HALE IRWIN Playing on a special exemption, the 58-year-old
warhorse had to WD with back spasms--and had to be carted off the
course.

NBC It blew a great chance to do some groundbreaking work with
that 3-D swing-analysis technology.

COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (BYRD) The talented Byrd, 25, took off. COLOR PHOTO: FRED VUICH (IRWIN) An injured Irwin, 58, was carted off. COLOR PHOTO: LEONARD KAMSLER/TIMEPIX ('80S FLUFF) COLOR PHOTO: MARTA LAVANDIER/AP (JACOBSEN) TWO COLOR PHOTOS: ROBERT BECK (2) (WOODS & FLUFF, CELEBRITY FLUFF) COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTY (FLUFF & FURYK)

TRUST ME

Jim Furyk is going to win another major or two. His airtight game
is well-suited to all the Grand Slam venues--he has at least
three top 10 finishes in every major--and at 33 he's only getting
better.

THE NEW MATH Fluff wins a second major championship

EARLY YEARS
-
FAITHFUL SIDEKICK
-
TYRANNICAL EX-BOSS
-
CELEBRITY
=
[Jim Furyk and Fluff Cowan]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)