AND THE AWARDS GO TO ...
Player of the Half Year
Miguel Angel Jimenez (right) used to be known mainly for his
Spafro (Spanish Afro), but he has already enjoyed a career year,
winning three tournaments.
When a 30-year-old rookie ranked 435th in the world wins a
tournament, it's a big deal. When that tournament is the European
tour's flagship event, the Volvo PGA, that's a serious
breakthrough. Congrats, Scott Drummond.
Playing under the ANZ Championship's modified Stableford, Paul
Casey came to the 72nd hole knowing an eagle would win the
tournament but a birdie would doom him to second. He smashed his
drive on the 336-yard par-4 to 10 feet. He missed the putt ... but
June 14, 2004
One up with three to play at the Spanish Open, Ricardo Gonzalez
jacked his drive O.B. on the short, easy par-4 16th hole at
Fuerteventura Golf Club, blowing what would have been a second
Monty's marriage. We hate to be cruel, but Colin Montgomerie's
divorce has gone from a private tragedy to a public obsession, as
the tabloids have chronicled his former wife's cozy relationship
with actor Hugh Grant, and Montgomerie (left), whose on-course
decline is accelerating, has had to address the topic repeatedly
during tournament weeks.
Locked in a Sunday duel with Padraig Harrington at the Deutsche
Bank-SAP Open, rising star Trevor Immelman rammed in a curling
eight-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole for the W.
IN THE NEWS
ARE WE THERE YET?
The we're-not-in-Europe-anymore tour continues its meandering,
announcing that in 2005 two sanctioned tournaments will be played
in China, joining a schedule that includes stops in South Africa,
Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.
SO LONG, KENNY
After 29 mostly successful years, Ken Schofield will be stepping
down as the executive director at year's end. His deputy, George
O'Grady, will arrive with the tour at a crossroads, as many top
Europeans increasingly play in the U.S.
Bernhard Langer, the German Ryder Cup captain, stirred up a
long-simmering controversy when he chose Sweden's Anders Forsbrand
as his vice captain. Forsbrand, 43, a Florida resident who hasn't
won on the Euro tour since 1997, is a virtual stranger to the best
young Europeans. Insiders have interpreted Langer's (right) move as
a show of Continental solidarity and an attempt to wrest control of
the European Ryder Cup effort from the so-called British Mafia
(Bernhard Gallagher, Sam Torrance, Mark James, et al.) that has
long lorded over the team.
The Open Championship is still to come, and a World Golf
Championship visits Ireland in September, but all that matters in
Europe is the Ryder Cup, and the next three months will be ripe
with Ryder-related intrigue, speculation and, inevitably,
"You're a f---ing wanker!"
--Thomas Bjorn, at the Johnny Walker Classic, shouting from the 7th
green at Montgomerie, who had noisily huffed to the next tee while
Bjorn was still putting out.