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The Back 9

That crucial stuff you might have missed from the past week in golf

Posted Jun 15, 2009 by Iestyn George

Tiger Woods

1. SING IF YOU'RE GLAD TO BE GAY
We've wanted to use that Tom Robinson band song as a headline for so long... Brian Gay won the St Jude Classic 2009 in Memphis by five shots from David Toms and Bryce Molder (see details here) and qualified for this week's US Open in the process. We could also have headlined this piece PUTT SERIOUSLY... as Gay hasn't three-jabbed for 170 holes.

2. RETURN OF THE G-MAC
We're unashamed fans of Graeme McDowell (or McDole, as they seem to call him on BBC 5Live), so we're delighted he carded a memorable final-round 63 at St Jude, the lowest round of the week. He finished tied 7th, and will be understandably chipper coming into the US Open.

3. ANNA FROM HEAVEN
Winning a tournament after only five professional starts is going some - winning a Major is another thing entirely. Swedish rookie Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock by five shots from Lindsey Wright (see more here), which will doubtlessly fuel the fire for critics of the women's game. We say: Try shooting a 66 in your first round of Majors golf, then come and tell us how easy it is...

4. GEEEEZER ALERT!
We're not shy of the voyeuristic pleasures gained from looking at pictures of Ian Poulter driving to the Magics v Lakers game in his 'bad boy' Bentley. If you're more interested in seeing pictures of the clubs he's taking to Bethpage, check out his page on Twitter, @IanJamesPoulter.

5. ARISE SIR NICHOLAS OF WELWYN
So Nick Faldo will become the first golfer to be knighted in his lifetime (see here). His achievements in golf are many, not least his mentoring of aspiring tour pros via The Faldo Series. As for The Ryder Cup - he had to be given the captaincy at some stage and it hardly overshadows winning six Majors, does it. He's not a particularly good bloke apparently, but since when did you have to be winner and nice?

6.THE SANDY MAN
Having said that, if Sir Nick and Sandy Lyle were sitting at opposite ends of a bar (which is quite likely), we know who we'd be buying a drink. Of being passed over for Ryder Cup captaincy, he tells GolfWorld: "Am I too nice a guy? I don't have the answers."

7. HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!
Padraig Harrington is renowned as one of the hardest-working men in golf. He is definitely not known for joshing around with the guys, so it's not wonder that reporters were surprised when he told them of his fondness for hitting tee shots Happy Gilmore-style (you know the Adam Sandler movie...). Taking a few steps and smashing the ball puts another 30 yards on his tee shots, he reckons (read here). Now you go and try...

8. ALL ABOARD THE RED-EYE!
It's probably the only week in the golfing calendar when a PGA Tour event plays second fiddle to a European tournament. The John Deere Classic struggles to attract the top names to play the week before The Open, despite running a charter jet directly from Illinois to Turnberry within a couple of hours of the final putt being drained (see here). Kenny Perry, for one, thinks the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should support The PGA Tour by playing these events. You can only guess what Tiger and Phil think...

9. LOONY DONEGAN
I wish I hadn't done written that 'nice blokes aren't winners' line now. Next up is the time-honoured 'Tiger v Phil' debate. It's great to see Guardian golf writer Laurence Donegan (former bassist of The Bluebells and Lloyd Cole & The Commotions) freed to write his own blog (see here). Check him out and be prepared to be amused, annoyed and always entertained.

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