Wow what a great weekend of links golf we had this week from the British Open. The host course, Royal Lytham & St. Annes in Lancashire, England looked to be a bit too easy for the first three days. With benign weather conditions and soft greens, players were eating the course up. Scores on Sunday's final round would be different.
In round one, Adam Scott nearly tied the lowest score in a major championship by missing a 63 by one shot. Adam's ball striking and iron play was fantastic. He would have a one shot lead over three other players, who shot 65, including Zach Johnson. Tiger Woods fired a solid -3 67, while Phil Mickelson struggled to a +3 73.
Round two saw another player one stroke off of the lowest round in major championship history. This time it was the quick playing Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker's 64 put him into 1st place, one ahead of Scott after two rounds. Tiger Woods once again shot a -3 67, good for 3rd. Friday was cut day and some big names failed to qualify for the weekend. Phil Mickelson's 2nd round 78 put him at +11 for the championship and eight shots over the cut line. Other players who surprisingly failed to qualify for the weekend included Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.
Saturday was moving day, and some players did just that. Snedeker and Scott exchanged places on the leaderboard as Snedeker shot a 73. Scott took over the top position again, four large shots ahead of Snedeker and Graeme McDowell. Tiger Woods, after a 3rd round 70 (even), sat in 4th place. Ernie Els and Jach Johnson sat tied for 5th a whole six shots back.
The question coming into Sunday's final round would be whether or not Adam Scott could handle the pressure and hold onto his four shot lead for his first major championship. Clear through about 3/4 of the round Scott would still have a four shot lead. Other players dropped off the pace like Tiger Woods, Greame McDowell, Snedeker would all lose strokes to par. The only player at the top of the leaderboard who managed an under par score was Ernie Els. With a birdie on the final hole, Els posted -7. Scott did not handle the pressure, making bogeys on each of the last four holes to lose by one shot to Els. Truly a heart breaker for Scott.
The win for Els was his 4th major championship, and proved that he was indeed "back." Earlier this year Els failed to qualify for the Masters. He will be competing at Augusta in 2013.
For those PGA Tour competitors who didn't qualify or didn't make the trip across the pond for the British, there was a tournament here in the states. The True South Classic was contested, competing with the open, at Annandale GC in Madison, Mississippi.
Scott Stallings fired four rounds in the 60's to win the True South Classic by two shots over Jason Bohn and Billy Horschel.