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July 18, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Clarke parties hearty with claret jug

We all knew this was coming. When the European Tour’s leading bon vivant wins the major championship he wants the most, he’s going to throw a great party.

Here’s a report from Clarke’s manager Chubby Chandler from after 1 a.m. Sandwich, England, time:

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Clarke_party

The party continued straight through until morning, according to the European Tour’s web site. Here's the post-celebration report from a bleary-eyed Clarke posing with the claret jug Monday morning:

"I probably won't get any sleep until tomorrow at some stage. Have to enjoy it when you can.

"I had quite a few pints and quite a few glasses of red wine and it all continued until about 30 minutes ago.

"It's been a very good night."

Nothing, though, had been poured into the trophy.

"I'm a little bit of a traditionalist. I feel a bit funny about putting stuff in the Claret Jug that shouldn't be in there. "There's nothing in it as yet. That may not be the case as the week goes by!"

We’ll give Rory McIlroy the final word.

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Tom Watson visited D-Day sites before playing British Open  

Before traveling to Royal St. George’s in Sandwich for the British Open, Tom Watson made an emotional visit to the World War II battlefields and graveyards of Normandy in northern France. Watson talked about the experience after his round on Sunday.

TOM WATSON: I visited the British military grave site at Ranville first and then I went on to Sword Beach, which was the eastern flank, and then we overnighted in Caen, and then the next day we went to the U.S. cemetery and Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach. It was very emotional.

Q. You've been here, seen it, done it. There must be few things that can move you, but that must have been...

TOM WATSON: Oh, there are a lot of things that can move me. There are a lot of things. That certainly is -- you know, that particular turning point in World War II certainly was a -- it was a feat extraordinaire.

Q. Describe your emotions around a place like that.

TOM WATSON: Well, the visuals there are -- I wanted to see, first of all, Pointe du Hoc. It was man against man and gun against gun. Talk about a disadvantage. It was like me playing Phil Mickelson on this golf course. The Rangers, the Second Battalion Rangers, had to go up 115 feet in the air, straight up, and the Germans were up there shooting at them. And they managed to do it. Omaha Beach was a disaster in a lot of different ways. The weather forecast was not exactly right, and the seas were really, really big, and they lost a lot of men before they even got to shore. They couldn't get to shore. To see the cemetery there and the 9,000-plus marble crosses is a striking reminder of what the human condition can do. I was very emotional, very emotional seeing that.

Jack Wagner takes down Tony Romo in celeb tournament

Darren Clarke’s win at the British Open was drama-free after Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson flamed out on the back nine, but that wasn’t the case for soap star and celebrity golf stick Jack Wagner, who had to shake a charging Tony Romo down the stretch at the American Century Championship in Reno, Nev., according to Dan Hinxman of The Reno Gazette-Journal.

By the time the two reached the par-3 17th, Wagner's lead was down to two. He sank a 10-footer for birdie right after Romo missed his 12-foot birdie try, and then both players hit their second shot on 18 into Lake Laimbeer. Romo needed to make about a 30-footer to force Wagner to get up and down in three shots, but he missed and Wagner claimed his second ACC title in five years.

It put the finishing touches on a day of quality golf, with Wagner shooting a three-under 69 and Romo shooting a 66. Wagner finished with 80 points, the second-highest total in the tournament's modified Stableford scoring history (since 2003).

Good thing it didn't go to a playoff. Cowboys fans know how that would end.

When is Tiger Woods returning to the PGA Tour?

In case you missed it, Tiger Woods is planning to play Stanford bud Notah Begay’s charity tournament on Aug. 31 in Upstate New York. However, the CEO of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia said that rumors of a Tiger return at the Greenbrier Classic on July 28 are just that, according to Dave Morrison of The (Beckley, W. Va.) Register-Herald.

“There is absolutely nothing to the Tiger rumor, absolutely nothing,” Justice said, without even being asked. “That means I have heard nothing (from Woods’ camp),” Justice said. “Surely to goodness, I would have been the first to know that. It would be great news, and we would love to have Tiger. But as far as Tiger committing, there is nothing to it.”

In other Tiger news, Woods texted his pal Darren Clarke some final-round advice before, but Clarke declined to say what it was. (Via The Associated Press). Also, Palm Beach Realtor Jeff Lichtenstein does the math and figures that – in addition to his mortgage -- Tiger has about $5.4 million in monthly taxes and expenses on his Jupiter Island, Fla., mansion. No wonder he might come back soon! 

Sports Photo of the Year

If the average picture is worth a thousand words, this one posted on Twitter by Brian Keogh of IrishGolfDesk is worth 10,000.

Photoofyear

 

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