Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weetabix British Open - Final Round

Steady as she goes! Sherri Steinhauer posted a 72 Sunday (bogey-less until the final hole) to win the Weetabix British Open by three strokes. Cristie Kerr and Sophie Gustafson were the only serious challengers, but they both faltered a bit down the stretch as the 43-year-old Steinhauer notched her third victory in this event in the last 8 years.

I was incorrect yesterday when I said that Sherri's victory in '99 counted as a major. The British didn't become a women's major until 2001. Her previous major victory was in the 1992 du Maurier Classic, which was a major from 1979 until 2000. Today's win was her seventh career victory, and her first since winning the Sybase in 2004.

Kerr mounted the best charge, getting to -7 and within one shot through 15. A bogey on 16 and a bunker-induced double on 18 ended her chances. Gustafson was -6 after 11, but bogeyed 12 and 15. Juli Inkster and Lorena Ochoa finished fourth at -3. This week's Big Surprise was Beth Daniel, who finished tied for sixth at -2. Beth played very consistent golf all four days as her line of 73-71-70-72 suggests. Second biggest surprise was Annika Sorenstam shooting 79 on Sunday to put a bullet in her foot.

Not that I wallow in other people's futility, but I would have liked to have seen Kerr's tee shot on 18 which found that bunker and seen the entirety of her first failed attempt to escape said bunker, since that sequence locked up the outcome. Lest I forget, ABC insisted on opening their final round coverage with the obligatory Michelle Wie update - I don't think I could've handled missing that interview with the 26th place finisher. I'll close with this thought: If you're going to sell the broadcast rights to one of your "major" events (and I've talked about that status for this tournament already this week) to somebody, wouldn't you want to get more than 90 minutes of exposure for the final round? I'll be addressing the overall state of the LPGA on TV in another post.

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