TEED OFF
By Robert Bicknell
 

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June 24, 2007

DUCK, TIGER, DUCK!

Another US Open has come and gone, as evidenced by the trail of broken bodies and shattered egos. Also, my streak of predictions remains intact and I have to say in all modesty, sometimes I simply amaze myself.

I mean, after all, how can anyone be so inhumanly perfect as to ALWAYS pick the wrong player? I must be from a different planet or something. Even my 2 ½ year old daughter can pick the winner better than I can (she picked Cabrera).

For the record, my pick to win the US Open, Rory Sabbatini, finished tied for 51st place at 21 over par. Hmm, that sounds suspiciously like my score at the Gannon…

Usually, when a duck and a tiger meet, the big cat walks away with a mouthful of feathers and a satisfied grin on its face, but not this time because Angel Cabrera, aka "The Duck", took it straight to Tiger Woods and never blinked.

As you might expect, my warped and twisted mind screams with ridiculous potential headlines, such as "Tiger Screams Fowl", "Tiger Suffers Bird Flu", and, of course, "DUCK, TIGER!"

Nevertheless, this is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill duck. This cigarette-puffing, pot-bellied, 37-year old super duck smoked a 397 yard drive at the par-5 12th hole. He was ranked second in overall driving distance during the event at 310.9-yards, whereas Tiger only averaged 302.1-yards.

Tiger Woods, wearing a form-fitting shirt, looked like he was sculpted from marble, whereas Cabrera looked more like the guy who fixed the beer coolers in the clubhouse, yet, when push came to shove, he had what it took to get the job done.

Like many European Tour players, Cabrera was not a college golf progeny, he came up the hard was through the caddie ranks. So, winning the US Open, an event that takes special pains to leave spots open for amateurs, must be twice as sweet.

Speaking of Amateurs…

Twelve-year-old Alexis Thompson became the youngest player to ever qualify for the US Women’s Open which will be played next week at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Teenagers claimed medallist honours at four out of seven qualifying sites and a total of 18 teenagers have qualified to play. I honestly lost count of the Asian names…but I’m not complaining, mind you. I think this is a good thing and perhaps it will catch on here in Vietnam.

I’m really hoping that some anonymous wonder-kid will come out of nowhere and steal the limelight from "you-know-who" because the LPGA needs some fresh faces who can produce results and don’t get DQ’d for improper drops or withdraw from events with a questionable injury only to show up practicing at a different course two days later.

You know, it’s a safe bet that "you-know-who" will not win the US Open and its an even safer bet that she’ll already have a laundry list of excuses already prepared and her "wrist problem" will be at the top.

I was having a discussion with the legendary Rob Cooper the other day regarding "you-know-who" and her sponsorship deals. Coop thinks that the money is in the bank and its non-refundable, but I think otherwise.

It stands to reason that the companies could demand their cash back if she loses her playing card, or cannot play due to health reasons because, after all, who in their right mind would fork over all that cash on someone who has no marketing value to them?

Now, as you might expect, I have a few good reasons why I am not mentioning "you –know-who" by name. First of all, I don’t want to give her anymore ink than she already has. Let her become golf’s version of "The artist formerly known as Prince" for all I care.

Secondly, I’m terrified that if I predict that she WON’T win, and being always wrong, then she WILL win just to keep my streak intact and that is too hideous to think about.

Hmm, but on the other hand, if I predict she WILL win and she loses, I’ll get blamed for jinxing her, so I’m in a no-win situation. Aw, what the heck…I think Michelle Wie will win.

That’ll fix her…


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