Cristie Kerr won her first major at the U.S. Women's Open.
Mary Ann Chastain/AP
By Alan Shipnuck
Tuesday, January 20, 2009


\n1. Cristie Kerr. A decade ago she looked like Pat from "Saturday Night Live," and now she's a fetching national champion. She's golf's most extreme makeover this side of Mianne Bagger.

\n2. Cristie Kerr's husband. Instead of the traditional post-victory smooch, his bride wrapped her legs around him Deborah Couples-style. Where's the slow-motion replay when you really need it?

\n3. The USGA. The fiasco at Shinnecock Hills suddenly doesn't look so bad after the farcical events at the British Open qualifier in Sunningdale, where an unplayable pin position on the fourth hole was changed in the middle of the qualifier and eight players were forced to replay the hole. Said one competitor of the R & A, "They couldn't run a bath."

\n4. Jason Gore. Not only did the jolly giant have his best Tour finish in ages, but he also scored two iPhones by paying a kid $500 to camp out overnight in line. I knew Chris Riley was slumping, but I didn't realize he was this desperate for money.

\n4. Brian Bateman. It's cliche that any player in the field of a Tour event is good enough to win, but Bateman proved it at the Buick. But let's be honest: as Batemans go, we're all way more interested in Justine, circa season six of "Family Ties."

\n5. Tiger Woods. His post-baby return to action will be the biggest story of this week. Even when disaster strikes this guy comes up aces — lightning torched one of the guest houses at his Jupiter Island spread, giving him an early start on the demolition.


\n1. Lorena Ochoa. She didn't play horribly during the final round of the Open, but once again her first major was there for the taking and she shrank from the opportunity. It's become trendy to compare Ochoa to Phil Mickelson, but the big difference is that during Lefty's major-less years he was never the best player in the world. Ochoa is, which makes her struggles all the more baffling.

\n2. Jean van de Velde. The wacky Frenchman pulled out of the British Open qualifier at Sunningdale, citing a mysterious virus. That made it increasingly unlikely that he'll be returning to Carnoustie. Perhaps he's allergic to questions about 1999.

\n3. Senior tour weenies. After one breezy practice round at Whistling Straits, the geezers are already waving the white flag, and the Senior Open hasn't even started yet. But blame the wind on Pete Dye, not the USGA, because he's the one who has Hades on speed dial.

\n4. Will Mackenzie. The Spicoli in spikes was on his way to Carnoustie via the qualifier at Oakland Hills until he finished double bogey-double bogey and missed a playoff by two strokes. On the bright side, there are no tasty waves to catch in the Barry Burn.

\n5. Michelle Wie. O-chem has never looked so inviting.

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