by Jeff Skinner
The Open Championship finished with a grand finale as Ernie Els played an amazing back nine in only 32 strokes to overtake a stumbling Adam Scott. Ernie was the only player among the leaders to finish under par and look what it got him. Scott shot 64-67-68 in the first three rounds. If he cards a three over 73 he wins but we all know what happened. Such is the game of golf. Here’s a report card of the top finishers, world top ten and some selected others.
Ernie Els A+ How can the Champion Golfer of the Year be anything else but an A Plus. He also gets top grades for his humility and his humanity.
Adam Scott A/F For 68 holes he played the best golf of any one and for that he gets an A. For the last four holes he gets an F. Still second place in The Open is a great accomplishment. But for failing down the stretch he gets a final grade of F.
Tiger Woods B T3 in a major is great, for anyone but Tiger Woods. Tiger is a victim of his own success. He let another major slip by. His game plan didn’t fail him as much as his short game. He’s never satisfied with anything but a win, especially at a major.
Brandt Snedeker B If anyone had Brandt Snedeker contending in this before Thursday they are psychic. Even though he blew his chance with a 73-74 finish T3 isn’t anything to be ashamed of.
Luke Donald B- Luke had a back door T5 here as he finished with a 69. Still, more was expected from the world number one but it’s still a good finish.
Graeme McDowell B- GMac has become a fixture in the last group at majors but Sunday wasn’t his day, like many other contenders. T5 is good but he’ll learn from this one too.
Zach Johnson B- Zach’s T9 here normally would be construed as a success but a final round 75 cost him a chance at his second major.
Rory McIlroy F Rory was supposed to claim the Open on the other side of the Atlantic but he could only manage a T60 finish. We all expected more from the future of the game.
Lee Westwood F T45 doesn’t get it done for the world number three and no one is more upset about it than Westwood.
Bubba Watson C Bubba started off well with a 67 but soon fell victim to the course and his own head and finished T23.
Rickie Fowler C Rickie barely made the cut but hung in there on the weekend to climb up to a T23.
Jason Dufner C- The number seven player in the world finished T31 due to a 73-74 weekend.
Matt Kuchar B A top ten in a major is very good and Kuch hung on to finish T9.
Hunter Mahan B- Mahan wasn’t spectacular but he was steady. Three 70’s and a 71 got him a T19.
Phil Mickelson F Phil was primed for a new start at The Open but he looked so lost. He had no swing and the rough and bunkers just ate him up. It was a very tough two days for him.
The Missed Cut Crew all earned a big F It included, among others, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Stewart Cink and Martin Kaymer.