TULSA, Okla. — Here are the awards from this memorable week. (If I pass out from the 100-degree heat before I finish, just go on without me.)
The Fried Chicken Award Chalk it up to memory loss, lack of clean laundry or just plain bad planning, but Colin Montgomerie, who melted in a sizzling Monday playoff at Oakmont in the 1994 U.S. Open when he wore a navy blue shirt, pulled an encore Sunday. He showed up for another 104-degree, pan-frying day on Sunday in a dark shirt. He made four birdies in the first 10 holes, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea, but c’mon — drop $60 and pick up a white shirt in the golf shop.
The Foxy Like a Craze Award The bad news was that Sergio Garcia was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard and couldn’t return for Sunday’s brain-baking round in the Tulsa heat. The good news was that Sergio Garcia was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard and couldn’t return for Sunday’s brain-baking round in the Tulsa heat. (Is there an echo here?)
Best Showing by a Reigning Major Champion Who’s Not Tiger Woods Congratulations, Zach Johnson — oops, he missed the cut at Southern Hills. So did the 2007 U.S. Open champion, Angel Cabrera. Guess that leaves British Open champion Padraig Harrington, who fired an opening-round 69 and had a respectable showing.
You Can’t Get to Montreal From Here Award Chris DiMarco’s good showing last week in Akron jumped him 10 spots to 25th in the Presidents Cup rankings. That made him seem like a potential wild-card pick for captain Jack Nicklaus, especially since DiMarco sank the winning putt for the Americans at the last Presidents Cup. Then DiMarco bowled a 152 series and missed the cut by seven shots. Do you still pick him if you’re Captain Jack?
Best 81 by an Argentine Player Looks like we’ve got co-winners here. U.S. Open winner Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero, who should’ve won the British Open, both fired first-round 81s. Cabrera wins style points for knocking two balls into a hedge over the green and a third into the water en route to a 10 at the par-3 6th. Romero showed better consistency with two double bogeys and a triple. Their best-ball score for the first round was 72. Their worst-ball total? Ninety-one.
The Edward Scissorhands Cup For the best player who missed the cut — sorry, Vijay. It’s Jim Furyk, who won the Canadian Open and then hurt his back in Akron and withdrew. But keep practicing, Vijay. Maybe next time.
Best Wishful Thinking for a Misinterpreted Quote (also known as the Where’s Rory Sabbatini When You Need Him?) Award Ernie Els was asked Saturday what he thought about Woods having a three-shot lead going into the final round. “If I was a fan on the couch, I’d be putting my house on him,” he said. It was fine praise and a tacit admission of defeat. It would have been better if he’d meant he was sick of Tiger winning everything and was hoping for a Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz moment. As in, “I’d like to be dropping my house on him.” Ah, well. We can dream, can’t we?
Best Finish by a Player Nobody Noticed John Senden. He played in the next-to-last pairing Sunday. Honest. You can look it up.
The Anger Management Award This one goes to Woody Austin, who played himself into contention this week. His famed self-loathing was featured repeatedly on the Golf Channel, the hilarious replay of him slamming his putter against the side of his head until the shaft bent. By Saturday night, Woody was tired of talking about his negative ways.
Some highlights of his pressroom diatribe about his One Angry Man image: “All anybody harps on is the bad stuff … The amazing thing to me is watching Tiger play golf. He birdied the 1st hole. He makes that 20-footer on the 4th hole. He hits his drive on No. 5, the same line I hit mine on today — through the fairway to the right. What was the first thing he did? He slammed his driver onto the ground. That’s his competitive fire, is what it’s called. If I do that, I am a loose cannon, I can’t control myself … They always say nobody likes to make a bogey less than Tiger. Well, we all like making bogeys then, I guess … It’s like I’m not good enough to get mad. He is. What’s the difference? He’s won 70 times and 12 majors? I’ve never won a major. Why can he get mad more than me but it’s competitive fire as opposed to somebody who’s too hard on themselves? I don’t get it. That’s all.”
And if any of you guys touch me, or touch my stuff, I’ll kill you. And don’t call me Francis.
The Jed Clampett History Channel Award Boo Weekley was asked his thoughts about playing on a Ryder Cup team. He said he’d play if he was invited but he didn’t know much about the event. “Justin Leonard made a putt once or something,” he said. Yup. Sumpin’ like ‘at.
The Jed Clampett Institute of Mathematics A follow-up award goes to Weekley, who wrote down the wrong score on the 17th hole for Garcia, which led to Sergio’s disqualification. Let’s see, future fishing guide Boo Weekley is keeping your card and you don’t double-check the numbers?
The MacArthur Park Award The winner is Graeme Storm, whose 15 minutes of fame included leading the first round with a 65. He rebounded with eight bogeys and a double the next day to shoot 76. At least he made the cut. Storm formerly worked in a cream cake factory as a tray cleaner when his golf career was on the rocks.
Lamest PGA Award Column You’re too kind, you’re beautiful. Ahem, I’d like to thank all the little people who made this possible …