Golf Claps & Silent Treatment: JT Shriners Open
Technically, that’s the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Cool host. Wonderful cause. The title? Not what you'd call headline-friendly.
Good thing the winner’s name is. That would be Kevin Na, who earned his first tour victory to the delight of punsters everywhere. Well, you’d have thought so, anyway. We were pretty disappointed at the ho-hum headlines posted after Na’s win, so here’s our contribution:
Na, Na, Na, Na… Goodbye to Tour Veteran’s Long Winless Streak
Sorry, that’s the best we could do on deadline.
Luckily, Na himself showed a lot more moxie under the gun. With Nick Watney breathing down his neck on Sunday, Na birdied 15, 16 and 17 at TPC Summerlin to pull away and win by two.
Think his nerves were wracked with that precious first win within grasp?
On to this week’s cap-tips and eye-rolls, otherwise known as…
Kenny Perry: A quick detour to the Champions side, where Perry won the SAS Championship carrying the heaviest of hearts after the passing of his sister, Kay, Saturday night. Her death came two years to the day after Perry’s mother was taken by the same disease, breast cancer, and Perry nearly withdrew. Instead, he heeded the advice of his father, who told Perry to “go out there and represent Kay today.”
Perry did his sister proud, claiming a one-shot victory thanks to a clutch eagle on 17. “I felt like I had some help there,” an emotional Perry said afterward. “Excited to win, but I’d rather have my sister back.”
Kevin Na: The 28-year-old ensured that the 16 he recorded at April’s Valero Texas Open won’t be his claim to fame for 2011. A notorious slowpoke on the greens, Na made every second count Sunday, especially on 17. When his 42-foot birdie putt toppled into the hole, it effectively ended Na’s eight-year, 211-event Tour winless streak.
Here’s hoping he keeps it up; we want a few more cracks at that headline.
David Duval: The enigmatic one made a rare appearance on the leaderboard, finishing T23 despite taking double-bogey on the 72nd hole. Duval has made just nine cuts in 21 events this season, but we’re still rooting for a return to form. Hey, anyone with the guts to come out to his fellow Tour players – as a Democrat, that is – shows the kind of courage that’s all too rare these days.
Tim Herron: We love “Lumpy” as much as the next golfer/couch potato, so it was painful to watch his chances of winning the Shriners drown on No. 16. The double-bogey cost him a shot at winning for the first time since 2006, but he still holds a place in our cholesterol-clogged hearts.