Monday, June 18, 2007

Angel " El Pato" Cabrera quacks his way to victory

It was riveting stuff right from the time Aaron Baddeley hooked his first tee shot into deep stuff to the last putt that Tiger had on the last hole to force the U.S. Open into a playoff. In the end it was Angel Cabrera who clinched the trophy despite struggling to finish in a clinical fashion. It wasnt a beauty pageant and it does not matter if you win ugly, as long as you win. Cabrera is the first Argentine golfer to win a U.S. Open and he did it in fine fashion becoming only the second Argentine golfer to win a major. With three holes to go he had a three shot lead but two consecutive bogeys saw him come periliously close to Tiger and Furyk was close by lurking in the shadows. Furyk would have been in a perfect position had it not been for the unfortunate bogey on the 17th hole brought about by a poor shot off the tee.

Most of the week I was fascinated by the difficult greens at Oakmont and had great fun in seeing player after player struggling from tee to green but the final round provided a new perspective to the entire spectacle. Although it was still tough, the course seemed to be playing easier than the earlier rounds and this gave the players far more opportunities to turn in birdies and the roar that went up for every birdie that was sunk brought out a very interesting fact. The crowds are not going to cheer every par that a player makes but the number of birdies they can sink.

The real thrill is in seeing someone make a charge on the final day and give the leaders a fright. The real thrill is in seeing, who manages to steady their already frailed nerves. The real thrill is in anticipation of that pefect iron shot from the middle of the fairway, 3 feet from the flagstick,on the final hole, good enough to knock the winds out of the clubhouse leader. Unfortunately if tournament organisers go out of their way to make the course unplayable the connosieurs of the game will be left wanting for more and the true Joie de Vivre of the game would be forever lost.

Perhaps the time has come for the officials of the game to revisit their approach towards the majors, or else all the leaderbaords will be bereft of the big names and an unwanted Russian Roulette will ensue to determine the winner at each venue. Time for serious thinking. While they are doing some soul searching "El Pato" or The Duck can dig into a plate of Matambre and savour his glorious victory!

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