Drama In Scotland - And It's Not At Muirfield
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/12/13
(Soundtrack by William Martin Joel)

Temper, temper...

Earlier this week, 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell criticized the links at Castle Stuart, host of this week's Scottish Open, as being a "one-dimensional" golf course that was not "strong enough" to host an event immediately before a major. But following what apparently was a stern rebuke from three-time major champion Padraig Harrington and four-time major champion Ernie Els, G-Mac walked it back.

While the Ulsterman didn't issue a public apology, Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert, whose firm is the title sponsor, made it clear:
"Graeme has been in touch to apologise and he's not the first person to say something they regret, so we've got not problems whatsoever with him. In fact, he's been a true gentleman. He said he'd consider issuing a statement himself but we agreed that would keep the matter running.

"So my hope is that he will play at Royal Aberdeen next year after saying what a great course it is.

"He was fantastic for taking the time to get in touch and I really admire him for that. He said we should catch up at The Open for a chat and I was really impressed with how he has handled this situation."

That was fast

Interestingly, Els then carded rounds of 72 and 70 to miss the cut at Castle Stuart — then stated that he was happy to miss the cut!
"I just did not get the bounces. I thought I played quite well today but I had no idea on these greens so I am glad I am leaving to get on some other greens."
Perhaps remembering G-Mac's meltdown, Els tempered his remarks with this:
"A missed cut is not great but we have had a great time here. I did not get the run of the course, it felt like it was against me, but I am playing nicely and gave myself a lot of opportunities.

"My game is where I want it to be. It did not quite go my way these last two days and I made a couple of silly errors, soft bogeys, yesterday. It's not the first cut I've missed and it won't be the last."

You haven't heard of this guy

A 35-year-old Glaswegian named Chris Doak holds the lead after two rounds with a pair of 66s. He's on his second stint on the European Tour, getting his card back after finishing in the top ten last year on the Challenge Tour, including a win at the Allianz Open de Lyon. And while he missed the cut at the U.S. Open at Merion, Doak did well to get there in the first place, surviving a five-way qualifying playoff on a very tough Walton Heath layout.

American Peter Uihlein is one back at -11, while Phil Mickelson is another three shots back at -8. Lefty seems pleased:
"I think the best way to get ready for next week is to get into contention and to feel that nervousness and those butterflies and try to win.

"When I won the Masters in 2006, I won the week before in Atlanta by 13 shots and I thought that couldn't have been a better way to get ready.

"The reason I love playing this week before next week is that it gives me an opportunity to hit all the shots I'll play next week, all the bump and run shots, the chips around the greens, putts off the green, and yet it doesn't beat you up and it doesn't punish you the way we'll get punished next week.

"You can only handle so much of that."

Feet up, TV on

NBC Sports is televising the Scottish Open from noon to 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Aside from the aforementioned drama, why watch it?
  1. Castle Stuart is an authentic links course with some pretty stern challenges of its own. This will make a nice primer for the Open Championship at Muirfield next week.

  2. This could also be a preview of how NBC would cover and televise the Open Championship, should they be able to wrest away the TV rights from ESPN / ABC.

  3. Following the Scottish Open coverage, NBC also has coverage of the U.S. Senior Open Championship, which is being played at Omaha Country Club, a Perry Maxwell design that was recently restored by architect Keith Foster.

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Image via Castle Stuart Golf LInks

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
T - "Wally" Uihlein? Really? Maybe Peter??? The son....
Torleif Sorenson says:
@#$%... force of habit. (Since corrected.)
bducharm says:
No worries Bro - you do a GREAT job....
slimpks1850 says:
lol, I read it & was confused. I've never watched Peter Uilein but I'll be sure to tune in this weekend. He's suppose to be good from what I hear...
bducharm says:
@slimpks1850 - Uihlein is a stud! Really good young player and instead of getting exemptions off Daddy's coattails, he went to Europe to hone is skills. And he is quietly having a great season. Look for this guy on the PGA Tour SOON!
[ post comment ]
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