Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2011 00:46
Monday, 05 September 2011 00:24
by Alfie Lau
On a day when Phil Mickelson shot 63 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in suburban Boston, the lefty golfer everybody needs to keep their eye on is Bubba Watson.
The long-hitting Floridian is the solo leader, at (-11, after the third round of the second event in the FedEx Cup. But Watson better not turn around because there's a whole gang of golfers at(-10) nipping hard on his heels.
Everybody from Jason Day to Brendan Steele to Jerry Kelly, Chez Reavie and Adam Scott is poised to make a Monday charge on Watson and if Phil can conjure up another 63, well, it might be one of the most exciting Monday finishes ever.
Watson could've got within spitting distance of 63 on Sunday, but a balky putter undid all the good work he did on the par-fives. Getting to as low as -12 on the front nine, Watson continued giving shots back to the field before finishing at (-11) and a one-shot lead going into Sunday.
The lead would've been two if he had been able to birdie the 18th, which he reached the fringe in two, and couldn't convert a six-foot putt.
In fact, as Bubba noted himself, that was the first par-five this week that he hasn't birdied or eagled. The Globe and Mail's Lorne Rubenstein noted in a column today that Watson is one of the best interviews in golf, including during press conferences, which can turn really boring, really fast.
In fact, during Watson's presser, he could joke about choking on Monday and still having three wins to his name, how he wouldn't mind four-jacking the final green if it still meant he won the tournament and how he hit a seven-iron 236 yards "with the wind behind him, obviously."
You just don't get that type of honesty from a golfer or an interview subject these days. In fact, nobody tore it up in the afternoon flight of golf and it really is anybody's tournament.
Watson said that is probably due to the fact the course gets a lot firmer in the afternoon and it is no longer a go-low course. But if somebody in the early groups at (-7) gets out and shoots a (-7) round on Monday, then Watson would have to shoot (-3) just to keep pace.
It promises to be quite an interesting Monday here in Norton, Massachusetts, but I have to get checked into my hotel and get some sleep because I haven't slept in a bed in almost 48 hours.
I'll leave you with a couple of interesting tidbits.
Avid golfers can see all the shots on television, but here's a little of what you don't see on television. Walking a golf course for the first time is a unique treat for a golf writer like myself.
I caught up with the Nick Watney/Rickie Fowler pairing just as Watney made a move for the lead with an eagle. "Where's Heidi?" was the chant that greeted Watney.
Boston Red Sox Catcher And Captain, Jason Varitek, Is Interviewed By Heidi Watney
If you didn't know who Heidi was, it's not Watney's wife, but his cousin, an easy-on-the-eyes blonde broadcaster for the New England Sports Network who was on page 2 of the Boston Globe sports section.
She's shown at an Aug. 29 Boston Red Sox game, hitting an iron from home plate while wearing stiletto heels. Who knows where that ball went, but hey, who cares!
Yes, indeed, Nick Watney, where was Heidi Watney on Sunday?
And then there was Stevie Williams. Stevie, who famously was let go as Tiger Woods' caddie this summer, seems to have found a great new job looping for Aussie Adam Scott.
Well, pair an Aussie and a Kiwi together and it's ripe for spontaneous chants of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" that are directed toward Scott every now and then.
Stevie seems much happier with his new gig. He smiles a lot more, doesn't seem to be as angry and even acknowledges a cute remark from the fans.
And on a personal note, today was a great day because I met up with a couple of old friends. The fraternity of golf writers, photographers and wire service professionals seems to get smaller and smaller as editorial budgets shrink and coverage lags because a certain Tiger Woods is, to put it frankly, playing like crap.
So it's quite a good thing when I run into two people who've treated me well in my years of covering golf all across North America.
My first friendly reunion comes when Tom Tomczak of PGA Tour video production greets me as the biggest U2 fan he knows. Tom does some great video for the PGA Tour and even more importantly, he's a really nice guy who I can always share a good story with.
The last time I ran into Tom was at the 2009 BMW Championships in suburban Chicago. That was the last time Tiger won on the PGA Tour and several months later, his world started going into a toilet that he's yet to recover from.
Because I travelled to the World Cup in South Africa last year, I didn't have much time to cover golf in 2010. And so went almost two years between meetings with Tom.
My second reunion comes when Ken Dennis, of New England Golf Monthly, shows up at my work station. Ken, who I met at the 2008 Phoenix Open (It's now called the Waste Management Open, but in 2008, it was the FBR Open), is a pretty good photographer who has been known to send pics of Canadian golfers to both myself and Inside Golf publisher Jeff Sutherland.
Ken is doing some work for a Korean wire service so he sees a lot of K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang. Ken and I will meet up on Monday and watch some golf together, so it's a great day here in the media centre.
By Alfie Lau
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