LPGA – Brooke Henderson PGA – Tiger
Brooke Has Card, Tiger Has Game
Things seem to be all in order this week on the major menâ€™s and womenâ€™s golf tours. The ladies are playing at the Vancouver Golf Club for the Canadian Pacific â€“ nice, picturesque, just as it should be. The men are playing the Wyndham Championship in eastern Pennsylvania â€“ also nice, picturesque, just as it should be. No one can tell who will walk away with the Canadian, but the country hosting it got a jolt of enthusiasm last week when one of its own, Brooke Henderson, won a sanctioned LPGA event in Portland, Oregon. Up to that point, she was not a member of the tour â€“ oh puhleese. Well, even Mike Whan saw the light, and as of today, Brooke is a full member in not just good, but great standing, not yet eighteen, but in the top twenty money winners in the world. Yes, all is finally right with the LPGA.
For the PGA, some very low scores came in for the first round. But, all seemed right as rain, just like it did in the early century, when Tiger Woods was king. The guy who tinkered with his swing until it was completely discombobulated â€“ found it, in style. The guy who couldnâ€™t drop a putt to save his life one week ago in one of his coveted majors â€“ could barely miss. He reeled off seven birdies, and in one example, to make sure his putting wasnâ€™t suspect, he chipped in a 54 footer instead. Yes, all is finally right with the PGA.
Leading the LPGA charge in Canada is Karine Icher, who came in after one at seven under. That seems right for the Canadian Pacific. Icher is French, and that is certainly an aspect of Canada â€“ perhaps less so in the west, but letâ€™s not quibble. Four strokes behind at three under is prodigy Charley Hull. Thatâ€™s just as it should be. Charley is British, and that is certainly an equally predominant aspect of being Canadian, especially in the west where French names leave off and provinces are named British Columbia. One stroke behind that is guess who! Brooke Henderson at two under. French or British? Who cares? Brooke is pure Canadian, head to toe, and enjoying the kudos of her countrymen and women as she joins in with the national tournament.
Thereâ€™s a lot at stake for the competitors in Vancouver. For the U.S. and European women, itâ€™s the last chance to make up any ground on a possible Solheim Cup slot. At first hearing, it strikes me funny that Americans and Europeans are making their last furious go at a match play tournament between the two continents on a Canadian venue. Itâ€™s not that somethingâ€™s wrong with a Canadian venue, only that a Canadian isnâ€™t allowed to vie for the same thing. I donâ€™t feel much of a border when it comes to west playing against east. It just seems like Brooke Henderson and her compatriots should be part of that equation â€“ North America vs. Europe, not just the U.S. Oh well, I wasnâ€™t around when they dreamed it all up, so they can do what they want. Winning a second LPGA event would be plenty satisfying for Henderson if she can pull it off.
And what of Tiger. For 24 hours, he can scream and bellow â€œIâ€™m back!â€ Of course, tomorrow will tell if he stays in the groove, but one day is one day. Heâ€™s proven he can still play. Now heâ€™s got to start putting great rounds together in bunches as he once did. Then heâ€™ll be close to what he once was. His majors for the year are done, but the LPGA has the Evian coming up on September 10, a major. Then, the Solheim a week later, and everyone wants to be there.