Each Thursday, the Boston Globe hands out its weekly golf award, goes inside the numbers, and looks at the week ahead on the tours:
Player of the week
Fred Couples. He needed some final-round help from Bernhard Langer — who obliged, dropping five shots over a five-hole stretch on the back nine — but Couples took advantage, finishing birdie-birdie to win the Senior British Open by two shots over Gary Hallberg at Turnberry. Couples called it his biggest win on the Champions Tour; it also gets him into next year’s British Open, at Muirfield.
Webb Simpson hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship, which came a few days after he captured the US Open. He skipped the British Open, last week’s Canadian Open, and is missing this week’s lucrative, no-cut Bridgestone Invitational. The reason came on Saturday, when Simpson’s wife, Dowd, delivered the couple’s second child, a daughter they named Willow Grace. The new addition also forced Simpson to not be available at Monday’s media day for the Deutsche Bank Championship, a tournament he won last year at TPC Boston. Keegan Bradley filled in by telephone for Simpson, who is expected to make his competitive return at next week’s PGA Championship.
On the plus side
For the first time in nearly six years, having a plus score next to a player’s name will be a good thing in a PGA Tour event. The Reno-Tahoe Open will be using the Modified Stableford scoring system instead of the traditional stroke-play scoring with relation to par. From 1986-2006, the International was the only tournament using Stableford, which rewards players with points based on their score on each hole. Like the International, Reno-Tahoe will award 8 points for a double eagle, 5 points for eagle, and 2 points for a birdie. A par means no points, while a bogey is minus-1, and a double bogey or worse is minus-3.
Rooms with a view
If you’ve read “St. Andrews Sojourn: Two Years at Home on the Old Course,” you might remember how author George Peper begins his book. Playing the Old Course in 1983, Peper sliced his drive off the 18th tee and into the street. He never found the ball, but did spot a For Sale sign on the front door of a property — 9A Gibson Place — that would become the home for Peper and his wife for parts of the next nearly 30 years. The Pepers have decided to put the place up for sale, so if you’ve got roughly $2.3 million lying around (the asking price is 1.5 million pounds), you can purchase the two-story, two-bedroom apartment that offers some of the best views money – lots of it – can buy of the Old Course. In his book, Peper recalls telling his wife, a nongolfer, that the property would be an investment. Nice call. Assuming the listing goes for near the asking price, it’s a big bump from the $65,000 the Pepers paid for it 29 years ago.
Quote of the week
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t win from that position, but I left that major the same as I’ve left every other one, and that’s empty-handed.” – Adam Scott, talking about losing a late lead at the British Open.