By petedirenzo
Sunday, July 18, 2010

1:35 p.m. So long until the PGA Championship, where we will definitely know the name Louis Oosthuizen, the Champion Golfer of the Year. Have a nice Sunday afternoon.1:28 p.m. At the beginning there was a 200 to 1 chance that Oosty would win this week.1:25 p.m. Reader James said it all:"Everyone was waiting/expecting/predicting Oost to fall apart on Saturday/Sunday. I love the fact he has held it together and made all the "experts" eat crow. ESPN coverage of all sports is getting worse and worse by the day. The station has turned into a bunch of people who like to hear themselves talk, rather than any actual coverage of an event. Golf especially. When Tiger (or Phil) are in the mix, they show everyone of their shots, and ignore everyone else on the course. If Tiger (or Phil) isn't in the mix, you watch more talking heads than golf shots. Enough of Tiger hitting balls on the range! show us some golf shots!!"1:22 p.m. More mercy. Oosty didn't get cute on his putt at the 17th and took his sixth bogey of the week to fall to 16 under for the tournament, heading into the pitch and putt birdie 18th with a seven-shot lead.

1:18 p.m. I've been calling Oosty prematurely the winner for the last hour or two, but it's official now: he has safely avoided the road and the bunker at the 17th. 1:14 p.m. Oosty has had five bogeys all week.1:12 p.m. To Reader Rick Sterling: Oosty didn't win by the luck of the draw. He had good weather on Friday but he's still had to play the shots under some great pressure. I don't know the putting stat but i bet you he had fewer three putts than anyone who played four rounds.1:07 p.m. It looks as if Sean O'Hair is going to be the low American in a tie for eighth at six under.1:02 p.m. Casey dropped another shot at 15, dropping him into a big group at 8 under in a tie for second that includes Rory McIlroy, whom but for the second round 80 might have been a real contender.12:58 p.m. To Reader Bub: The golf is great. Oosty, as I borrowed from a reader, is playing textbook golf:The way it should be played. To not have Tiger in the mix is a bit of a letdown, but we can't control who plays well. 12:54 p.m. The ESPN telecast has been disappointing. There has been way too much talking and not enough golf. The network seemed to be more interested in the Open as a memorial to golf rather than showing golf shots. Tom Watson demonstrated his great wisdom and knowledge of the game, but the rest of the crew couldn't get excited about the golf that they were seeing.12:48 p.m. South Africa had the World Cup and a British Open champion in one year.12:41 p.m. Oosty showed some mercy on the field by not birding the easy 14th. But he still has an eight shot lead.12:33 p.m. Dustin Johnson had the meltdown at the U.S. Open but I have to think after this performance at the British—T-6 presently—that Corey Pavin has to have him on his team even if he doesn't make it on points.12:27 p.m. Now we're talking about second place. It's got Ryder Cup implications. Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson will all make Monty's team and they'll fight it out over the last few holes.12:20 p.m. Mike Tirico just outed Golf Digest about a story that it allegedly has in the works on the next big thing from South Africa. With so many great players in the game today, perhaps we should stop doing stories on the "next big thing." Period.  Oosty was the next big thing this week.12:11 p.m. Should we start the coronation of Oosty as the Champion Golfer of the Year? Oosty just went to 17 under after a birdie at the 12th—giving him an eight-shot lead with six to play after Casey made a triple.12:00 noon Casey has to take an unplayable at the 12th after hitting into the gorse bushes off the tee. Oosty is in the fairway.11:55 a.m. With just seven holes left to play, Casey's shot into the gorse bushes at the 12th could signal the end of his chances. 11;51 a.m.  Oosty had a great two-putt at the 11th. Coming out of the Ernie Els Academy in South Africa, Oosty is paying it forward by starting his own foundation that will help schoolchildren get into the game. It's fitting that it's Nelson Mandela day in South Africa.11:43 a.m. Oosty isn't having to do too much. At the 11th he hit another middling iron to the Par 3 but he's staying out of the bunkers and Casey isn't putting any pressure on him.11:35 a.m. Tiger had the red shirt on Sunday but there was not much excitement. He finished the tournament at 3 under and will not get his third top 10 in a major this year.11:31 a.m. Oosty's eagle at the 9th hole might be the shot of the day. At the 10th he had another one-hand release after he fanned a fairway metal on the tee, but his ball stayed in the fairway.11:27 a.m. Oosty just made a long EAGLE at the 9th hole to get to 16 under to retake a four shot lead over Casey at the turn. 11:22 a.m. Both Oosty and Casey hit their drives onto the green at the 352-yard 9th. So they're shouldn't be any blood there with both of them expecting to get two-putt birdies. That's probably the downside of St. Andrews at this point on the golf course as almost everyone in the field can play 9 and 10 under par and the  trouble doesn't really come until 17. The double bogey trouble.11:16 a.m. Oosty tested his putter for the first time at the par 3 8th hole after a chip shot to about 10 feet and he missed it to drop to 14 under. The lead is now three shots as they go to the  driveable 9th hole.11:11 a.m. Peter Alliss just asked Tom Watson if he really like links golf or did he simply tolerate it. Watson said that he grew to like it but that he hit the ball a lot more through the air than along the ground. Tom wouldn't commit to the idea that the only way to play links golf is along the ground. That's pretty telling coming from a guy who has won five Claret Jugs. 11:05 a.m. Casey narrowly missed another birdie chance. 11:02 a.m. Oosty has been hitting some indifferent approach shots over the last few holes, but it hasn't hurt him yet. He hasn't missed a fairway and hasn't really put any pressure on his putter. Casey has another good chance at the seventh that he needs to convert.10:58 a.m. Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer are at 8 under through seven. They have a very outside chance of challenging the leaders if they can start making some birdies. But right now it's a contests all around for the most two putts.10:52 a.m. Reader TOMCOLLINS you are right on the money and maybe with Casey's birdie at the sixth to get to four back there might just be a golf tournament yet.10:48 a.m. One half of our Great American Hope for this year's Open has finished: Phil is done at 1 over with a final round 75. Bad news at the Open for him continues. 10:40 a.m. To Reader Shoshana: I feel your pain. It does feel like a snoozer with Tiger and company not bringing much to the final round. But we have to give Oosty his due. If Tiger were running away with the tournament like he did in 2000 would you feel the same way?10:37 a.m. Casey can't buy a putt. He missed another good chance for birdie at the 5th. This particular putt never had a chance. The nerves really show on the greens.10:34 a.m.  After a bogey at the Road Hole, the 17th, Mickelson is 18 over in his career on the hole. 10:28 a.m. Sean O'Hair is the low American at 6 under in a tie for sixth.10:26 a.m. At the Par 5 5th, Oosty hit his second shot way left into some long grass, but has a lot of green to work with for a chip back to the pin. Casey has a good chance for a two-putt birdie.10:16 a.m. It's striking how far the slight Oosty hits his driver (330 yards). Even on  the tightly-mown fescue fairways that have a lot of runout, his carry is big. He has a terrific golf swing—simple and repeating.10:08 a.m. Casey wasted another great chance at the fourth after a great approach shot. I'm sure he's seen these putts a bunch this week so he knows what they're doing. I think he's just a little nervous about HAVING to make birdies.10:04 a.m. To Reader NUBRAIN STORE about Tiger and Phil trying to finish as high as possible despite not having a chance to win: Tiger never stops grinding; Phil, it's hard to tell.10:01 a.m. Tiger has two doubles and four birdies today. He's right where he started at 3 under. 9:57 a.m. Mickelson had two birdies on the front but has given them back with two bogeys on 12 and 14 putting him at a whopping 13 shots out of the lead.9:51 a.m. To Reader Brian Sullivan on how much does 0-3 in the majors this year hurt Tiger: I think a lot of us mistakenly wrote Tiger off because of the personal issues that he's had. But look how well he's played despite all of that. Yet he's as disappointed with how he's played in the majors this year as any other year in his career. 9:47 a.m. Oosty hit an impressive little knockdown shot on three--using the natural contours of the land to control the ball around a pin guard by undulations. On the other hand, Casey seems to be a little nervous. He showed up this afternoon at the tournament as he always has with his teacher Peter Kostis in tow. I wonder if he has put too much pressure on himself. Starting the day four back he really has nothing to lose but play free.9:40 a.m. The highest finishing score today has been 76. If Oosty were to shoot that he might still win the tournament with the wind howling.9:35 a.m. The lead is now five after Casey hit a poor approach and couldn't get up and down for par. Oosty made another routine par. At the beginning of the week I told my colleagues here in the SI Golf group that we were due for a no-name player to win. He's got 16 more holes to play but it looks pretty good for him unless he has a Dustin Johnson-like collapse, which I don't think is possible on this golf course.9:28 a.m. It's nice to see that the attendance appears to have picked up some today. The crowds at the Open  have looked really small the last few days compared to past years. 9:25 a.m. Alvaro Quiros, the long-hitting Spaniard, has posted the lowest score today with a 67, moving into a tie for eighth at 5 under.9:22 a.m. Oosty's caddie is Zack Rasego, a Black South African, who has been with the 27-year Afrikaaner since 2003. Rasego once caddied for Gary Player. Rasego told the New York Times: "As South Africans, we are a rainbow team." 9:17 a.m. Right out of the gate Casey missed a short birdie putt to narrow the lead to three. Oosty hit the safe approach way past the pin and two-putted. Azinger thought the South African looked too relaxed on the first tee—calling him a Chatty Cathy. Apparently everyone has to carry the Tiger stare.9:09 a.m. Both Casey and Oosty hit the fairway a
t the first but that's not a big deal here at the Old Course with the super wide fairways. I think whoever has the fewest three-putts and can make a few birdies on the getable holes will walk away with the Claret Jug. But Casey better put some pressure on the South African early if wants to stay in striking distance of the present four-shot lead.
9:04 a.m. As Oosty and Casey prepare for their 9:05 tee time, Tiger has just double bogeyed the 7th to fall to 1 under. 9:00 a.m. Good morning to match play at the Open, where Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey are set for a Sunday duel on a day when the winds are a nod over 30 mph—keeping a lid on an early rush from a bunch of players at 5 under.  Nothing great from Phil and Tiger, who dumped his new putter today for the old one that has earned him $83.6 million and 13 majors.Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans will blog the final round of the 2010 British Open beginning at 9 a.m. EST.

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