2009 Best Majors

9. British Senior Open. Loren Roberts needed only 31 strokes on Sunningdale’s closing nine, and he outlasted Fred Funk and Mark McNulty in two extra holes to claim his second Open championship.

8. Women’s British Open. Ten weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Catriona Matthew enjoyed a run of three straight birdies midway through her final nine holes at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s to become the first Scot to win the title. “Perhaps I should have started having children earlier,” joked the woman dubbed SuperMum by the British press.

7. U.S. Senior Open. In a classic Mutt-and-Jeff duel, diminutive Fred Funk defeated the swaggering Shark, Greg Norman, in a final-round shootout. Not a good summer for the Shark, who also split with his second wife, Chris Evert.

6. U.S. Women’s Open. Eun-Hee Ji birdied three of the last six holes at Saucon Valley, including a thrilling 20-foot putt on the final hole to avoid a playoff with Candie Kung. She was the third Korean player to win the women’s Open in the last five years.

5. Nabisco Championship. Brittany Lincicome trailed Kristy MacPherson and Cristie Kerr by one stroke going to the 72nd hole at Mission Hills. Lincicome gamely flagged her second shot to the par-5 green, which is guarded by water. “The best shot of my life,” she called it later after holing the four-foot eagle putt for her first major win.

4. PGA Championship. Tiger Woods took a three-shot lead into the final round at Hazeltine but chipped and putted like a mere mortal. Korea’s Y.E. Yang outplayed him for the win and stepped on Tiger’s reputation of invincibility. (Woods had never before lost a major after holding the 54-hole lead.)

3. United States Open. Phil Mickelson, Sam Snead-like in his failed quest for an Open, and David Duval, the comeback poster boy, grabbed the lead during the final nine at Bethpage Black before faltering. Lucas Glover two-putted for a deserving but fan-deflating win.

2. Masters. Good ol’ Kenny Perry was about to finally add a major to his resume after holing a big birdie putt on the par-3 16th. But his green jacket moment vanished when he bogeyed in and lost in a playoff to a very fortunate Angel Cabrera.

1. British Open. The agony of defeat never hurt worse than it did at Turnberry, when 59-year-old Tom Watson had a record-tying sixth Open championship in his grasp only to watch it slip away in a playoff with Stewart Cink. The Scots haven’t cried this much since Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.

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6 Responses to “2009 Best Majors”

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