Long Slog

Wet conditions forced officials to convert the K Club's par-5 18th into a par-3, where Colin Montgomerie finished off a Sunday 65 to win the Smurfit Kappa Open, his first W since the 2005 Hong Kong Open.

As the old joke goes, Scotland has only two seasons: winter and July 21. Anyone who tried to watch sports from the U.K. last week saw weather that was not only cool but also wet. Wimbledon faced near-record
delays, and to complete play,
officials at the European tour’s
Smurfit Kappa Open had to
alter the course. Things have
not been much better at Carnoustie,
in Scotland. The weather
has been so cold and wet that
starting in early June the club
required players to hit off mats
because it could not be sure divots
would regrow in time for the
Open; on July 2 the course was
shut down. The forecast for the
days leading up to the event is
better but not great. The area is
expecting occasional showers
and passing thunderstorms, but
temperatures probably won’t
reach 70°. There is one bright
spot: The third round of the
Open is scheduled for July 21.

• When the season began,
Champions tour offi cials gushed
about this year’s crop of rookies,
but things haven’t panned out as
hoped. Nick Price has played 10
times but blew off the U.S. Senior
Open, as did Seve Ballesteros,
who teed it up once then disappeared.
Mark O’Meara made it to
the Open, but it
was only his ninth
start of the year.
Nick Faldo (50 on
July 18) will play
the Senior British
(July 26—29), but
his TV schedule will keep him
from doing much more. Bernhard
(Aug. 27) has won more
than $1 million already this year
on the PGA Tour, which should
sap his desire to join the creaky
crew, while John Cook (Oct. 2)
has been out with an injured
shoulder. That leaves
Jeff Sluman
(Sept. 11), who’s
made only six cuts
in 18 starts on the
regular Tour, as the
only guy who’s
likely psyched
about senior
play. What
gives? O’Meara
might have said best: “Once you
get to a place where financially
you’re somewhat secure, there
are other things besides playing
professional golf.”

• Among the freshmen reporting
for orientation at South
Carolina last week was Patrick
, the nephew of the
Tour’s most outspoken Florida
Gator, Chris. Not only will Patrick,
a recent graduate of Lake
Brantley High in Altamonte
Springs, Fla., attend his uncle’s
SEC rival, but the 6′ 1″ 224-
pounder will also play fullback
for the Gamecocks. Besides
Uncle Chris, both of Patrick’s
parents and two other uncles
attended Florida, but alas, the
Gators did not offer him a scholarship.
South Carolina is led by
former Florida coach Steve Spurrier.
… The USGA announced
that communications director
Marty Parkes “will relinquish
his duties” after 16 years on the
job. He’s the second senior-level
executive to part ways with the
organization in the last three
weeks. Director of championship
agronomy Tim Moraghan
had his position eliminated following
this year’s U.S. Open after
21 years on the job.