Darren Clarke Wins, USA Women Lose

July 19, 2011

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It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Open Championship. If you read my article last week you already picked up on that idea. It was another great tournament with European Tour favorite Darren Clarke, getting lucky bounce after lucky bounce in the final round to hold off an incredible early charge by Phil Mickelson (aka Flopsy McChokenstien) and a late but belated surge by Dustin Johnson.

Mickelson made a major move in the first 10 holes, picking up 6 strokes relative to par to get in a tie for the lead. He missed a short putt and then the oil spewing began.

Major disappointment of the day part II was the women’s US soccer team. Many would argue that the team has staved off defeat a couple of times and was lucky to get this far in the World Cup. Others would argue that Japan, with all the horrific events of the past year, was the team of destiny. I would argue that poor execution and lack of focus was the reason for the defeat.

Once the Americans took the lead (both times matter of fact) they exhibited ole’ defense near the goal and looked nervous…a case of “not losing a late lead” This turned into goals by Japan late in regulation and in extra time, which allowed the Japanese team to win in a shoot-out. Maybe the worst excuse I head was Abby Wambauch explaining that Japan had “already watched the USA team penalty kicks against Brazil, so they pretty much knew where we were going.”

WHAT???? Seriously , that is your comment??? You are world class soccer players and you only have one place to kick the ball when it comes to shoot out time? That would be comparable to Lebron James saying he can’t shoot the ball from the right side of the floor, only from the left side…. Get back to me when you can admit that you just blew it.

Speaking of blowing it, Johnny played in member guest tournament at a local club this past weekend. Turns out the pressure cooker got to Johnny G as well. I missed a 3 footer on the 17th hole that cost me and my partner from making the playoff for the title of the tournament. We still finished 3rd overall – and made some money in the process. It was a real rush to get the competitive juices flowing again. Just too bad that I could not come through in the clutch.

Changing gears……

College Football is just around the corner. Many schools have “fan days” where the fans and kids have a chance to meet the players and coaches, take a few photos, get some autographs, run around on the field, etc.

The University of Nebraska has one of the craziest fan days around. Since the announcement of Bo Pelini as head coach, the Fan day crowds have likely been around ten thousand or more in attendance for the 90 minutes allotted for the players to sign autographs for the fans.

This year the University has moved fan day from the tradition late Saturday morning start time to the middle of Friday afternoon. Why? My guess is the University has had problems controlling the massive crowds, and hopes that moving to a time when many more parents will be at work, will lower attendance to a more manageable level. As a parent who has taken their kids to the event the last couple of years I can speak for the sheer mass of people that are present at the stadium for the event. Some will applaud the decision (such as me) and others will be unhappy as it may affect their ability to attend the event at all.

I am betting that many fellow Big X schools wish they had to deal with such a problem….

Until next week, stay class Ames Iowa.

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