Saturday Stuff:Tim Jackson, Catriona Matthew Lead the Majors

Every week we are treated to some of the best golf in the world.  You can always count on someone making an incredible shot or shooting a low score.  What we miss sometimes as we are captivated by these golf shots are the real stories out there on tour: the golfers.  For me the real story out on tour is the golfers, not just the golf.  Such is the case this week as the two major championships have very interesting stories sitting atop the leader board.
At the US Senior Open a fifty year old amateur is leading the likes of Norman, Watson and Roberts.  Tim Jackson is an amateur from Tennessee that has just tied the 36 hole scoring record for the Senior Open and has a stroke lead on the field.  In what other sport could this happen? An amateur leading full time professionals, hall of fame professionals, no less.   Jackson is no hack; he has won the USGA Mid-Amateur twice and competed in 35 USGA championships, so this guy has real game.  He also played on two Walker Cup teams.  But the fact that he can set the pace for the world’s best is astounding.  He says he was drawing on the support from the crowd and having a ball with his son on his bag.  “Just having my son caddying and the family here, it’s been very special, regardless of what happens the rest of the week,” said Jackson. “These memories of the last couple of days and the fans pulling for you is just wonderful….  I can’t describe what it means to me.”  He realizes that things will get tough on the weekend, but his matter of fact demeanor over the last two days should serve him well.  No amateur has ever won The Senior Open. If Jackson could hang on for the win he would have his name on the trophy with Nicklaus, Player and Palmer.  Jackson and his son are having some week so far.  They are very close to having the week of a lifetime.
At the Women’s British Open the links and the wind are testing the world’s best and the lead is shared by Giulia Sergas and Catriona Matthew.  Sergas said after her round that she liked the links courses because they have “personality” and you need a little bit of luck on them.  “You have to be a friend to the course” she said.  Matthew must have made a real friend on back nine as scored a 30 which included a three hole stretch where she went eagle, ace, birdie.  Matthew is an interesting story.  This is only her second tournament since giving birth to her daughter less than three months ago.  Her first tournament was last week when she and her husband were caught in the hotel fire at the Evian Masters.  Her husband suffered burns to his feet but has recovered enough to be back on the bag for her this week.   The 39 year old Scot makes it a family affair on tour as she travels with her two daughters and her husband the caddy.  What a couple of weeks for Matthew and her family, a few more rounds like these two and she’ll have a trophy to tote around with her and the kids.
Joey Sindelar is a regular guy on tour that always has a way of putting things in perspective.  Years ago when he was in contention for a tournament win he said, “these guys are out her for championships…I’m out her trying to get college tuition.”  He currently sits one stroke behind leader Jackson.   “Potentially low pro,” he said after being introduced following Friday’s second round.  You can’t make this stuff up.


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