Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shark Sighting at British Open!!!

No Tiger? No problem... we've got a Shark!!! A Great White Shark, that is! He's an "old" shark, but one that over the years has provided just as much drama as the world's current #1 ranked player. Yes, thanks for filling in for the Tiger so admirably the first three days of the British Open, Mr. Greg Norman!

As for the actual happenings at the tournament, round one saw U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate share the clubhouse lead with Robert Allenby after 1-under-par 69's in the most dreary of conditions. How bad was it on Thursday? Three of the world's best players - Phil Mickelson (79), Vijay Singh (80) and Ernie Els (80) - combined to go 29 over par! Phil and Ernie would manage to recover with rounds of 68 and 69 respectively on Friday to make the cut, but Vijay would go home after a 1-over-par 71. After two rounds, the surprising leader was K.J. Choi, whose 3-under-par 67 put him at a 1-under-par total of 139 - one stroke ahead of the 53-year-old Norman (aka: "The Great White Shark"). Norman matched par 70 for the second consecutive day in far calmer conditions than Thursday.

The "Shark" is perhaps best known for his heartbreaking losses over the years in the Masters than his two British Open wins... Norman recently married tennis star Chris Evert and credits her for the sudden resurgence in his play. Today's conditions were nearly as bad as Thursday's, and despite them, Norman managed a 2-over-par 72 for the third round lead - by two strokes over Choi and defending Open champion Padrig Harrington. Other than the VERY troublesome 10th hole (which he double-bogeyed), he played very steady golf, with three birdies and three bogeys to go with 11 pars.

So can he do it and become the oldest player by five years to win a major? Will it be another story of heartbreak to add to the long list of sad Sundays for the Shark? I for one will be rooting for the Shark. In a year that has seen so much drama in the golf world, a win for the Great White Shark would truly be a story even bigger than Tiger's win on one leg in the U.S. Open!

The drama of the fourth round begins at 8am ET/5am PT on your local ABC station.


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