I forgot, there was no dust last week only four great stories when they finished Monday afternoon. Usually there is only one winner, but this Open produced four winners and an equal amount of rooters for each. I stood and watched the telecast Monday morning in the Locust Hill pro shop at the LPGA Wegmans Classic and listened to a variety of golf fans plead their case for their favorite. Every argument was valid and I found myself rooting for all four, even Phil.

Lucas, David, Phil, and Ricky all had their legions. I don’t think anyone would have been disappointed with a tie, or seeing any one of the three win. Each was a compelling story and the media has dissected every aspect. Phil’s personal struggles with wife Amy’s cancer issues, Duval’s fall from number one to 880 something, Glover giving up golf for awhile and his difficult times after his instructor Dick Harmon’s death, and Ricky’s problems being Ricky Barnes. They all garnered some interest and we all could relate. Bethpage and the weather challenged each of them; they all responded despite their struggles off the course.

Lucas and his sleepy-eyed composure prevailed, but the next three, especially Barnes and Duval, reaped a bunch from the long week at Bethpage. Jeff, Duval’s caddy, told me earlier this year that David was very close; they just had to keep from making that one big number every round. Without that big number Monday they might have been playing off on Tuesday or hoisting the trophy late Monday afternoon. The triple on the par three knocked him down but it didn’t knock him out. He kept swinging and earned his way into the next four majors. David also gave us that little glimmer of hope and a couple of twinkles; everyone likes to pull for the good guys. A couple of times I saw apparitions of Duval’s fist pump when he finished off his 59 at the Bob Hope ten years ago. He’s baaaaccckkk!!!

Ricky has been the only one keeping Ricky back the last seven years. The tour scuttlebutt on Mr. Barnes, U.S. Amateur champ, is a lot raw natural talent but no navigational skills upstairs. You need to think your way around an Open course; he’s had trouble getting through Nationwide tracts. The $560,000+ he garnished and the exemptions hopefully will provide some sort of education. It takes certain people awhile to grasp things out here, hopefully Ricky has moved on and away from the moniker, “loads of talent, but”. He seems like a good kid, that smile is contagious but it doesn’t win golf tournaments.

Phil ebbed and flowed all week and the New York masses reached out for that pouty smile and swashbuckler style. He could have been hurt between greens and tees, there were so many people reaching out to touch him. The gallery wanted to be a part of his triumph over Bethpage and Amy’s battle with cancer. His walk around Bethpage was therapeutic for the Mickelson family, I hope their vacation lets them relax and prepare for their successful battle with cancer.

Lucas polished off a few novels and all the challengers this week, and I’m sure he and Coop but a dent in a wine cellar after it was all over. Coop is one of the good guys, and old school caddy who is always there for his player. They met on the Nationwide Tour and have been through the ups and downs. He still tosses grass and doesn’t rely on weather reports. They both relied on their instincts, Glover’s ball striking, and thought their way around the soggy Bethpage course. When was the last time a major champion took an unplayable in the final round and walked off the winner? That was a thinking man’s decision and they were rewarded.

It was a long week for everyone, especially the caddies. Some got long days off and others had to 30 plus holes on a hilly quagmire. They spent their off time at BK’s Irish Pub in Bethpage Twittering other players and caddies making fun of Stewart Cink’s white dome and Poulter’s wardrobe. The local watering holes offered a bit of a respite and a chance to mingle with the Long Island masses. There’s a great collection of golf courses out there and a better assortment of golf fans. They all got there dollar’s worth this week and Bethpage was still the ultimate winner. I don’t think the public golfer wants to see their shrine destroyed; it wasn’t and the USGA will be back as soon as possible.

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