While golf fans the world over were focusing their collective attention on the roof of Tiger Woods’s courtesy car or tutting disapprovingly at for the former world No1’s failure to indicate in anticipation of lane changes, the Puerto Rico Open (in Puerto Rico) was quietly going bananas.
Eventually won by George McNeill, whose hat-trick of birdies to close the final round cut a swathe through a tightly-packed leaderboard, the tournament threw up a number of interesting storylines. Among them:
- Sunday marked the first occasion poorly-translated J-Pop superstar Ryo Ishikawa contested the outcome of a PGA Tour event. Indeed, the Presidents Cup veteran played the 18th hole in the belief that an eagle would prove sufficient to clinch his maiden international title. The result – his second consecutive birdie – may not stolen headlines, but it did hint at his enormous promise.
- The tournament also marked the long-awaited return of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson to something approaching his best form. The former world No.3 has struggled since suffering significant losses in the collapse of Allen Stanford’s $7 billion ponzi scheme. What odds the Texas financier’s conviction last week on 13 separate counts of fraud helped put the yips to bed?
- Boo Weekley doesn’t seem the investing type – unless we’re talking about bulk shipments of hunting ammunition or chewing tobacco – yet he too has endured his struggles of late. A third-place finish in Puerto Rico, his highest since 2008 and first top-ten in nearly two years, suggests his luck may be about to change.