Golf rail for Thursday

Player of the week

Inbee Park. There were other strong candidates (Paul Casey taking the Irish Open, Kenny Perry claiming his first Champions Tour major at the Senior Players Championship, Bill Haas winning for the fourth straight season), but nobody was more impressive than Park. The only unfortunate part is that her exploits — 3 for 3 in LPGA Tour majors this season — are flying under the radar. Imagine the attention that would be given if the top-ranked men’s player, Tiger Woods, was closing in on the Grand Slam? Park deserves better.

Winning fans

Unless you saw the entire list of scores from the Tour event last week (which we rarely have room for), you might have missed Michael Bembenick’s results at the United Leasing Championship. Bembenick, a club professional from Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, opened with 89, a score not usually seen in a men’s professional event. But then he shot a second-round 103, which included two pars, six bogeys, six doubles, three triples, and a quad. When asked why he didn’t withdraw and save himself the embarrassment of posting such a high number, Bembenick said he wasn’t thinking of himself, but others. “I think it’s important to lead by example and show the youth that no matter how bad you play, it’s important to finish,” said Bembenick, who was named the Indiana assistant golf professional of the year for 2012. “No one likes to see a quitter. I know none of the members at my club or any students that I teach would want to see me quit.”

Really selling it

Whatever PR firm is behind the video promotions for the European Tour probably isn’t getting paid enough, because the spots have been excellent. Padraig Harrington hitting the driving range picker from all distances is good, but the newest is even better. It features Rory McIlroy in a driving range challenge contest, taking on an Iron Byron-type robot, one with a quick wit and a talent for trash talking. The clip is more than three minutes of solid gold. McIlroy sells it, but the robot’s the real star. Watch it; Rory won’t be the only one laughing.

Man he can trust

Most Ryder Cup captains surround themselves with people they can trust and have known for a while, so it’s no surprise that Tom Watson named Andy North on Wednesday to be one of his assistant captains for the 2014 matches in Scotland. “He knows what it takes to close the deal, and that’s what we need on the Ryder Cup team,” said Watson. “I really, truly value Andy’s observations.”
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Quote of the week

“I think the British Open is one I have to win. It would be great if I could win five, but I still think four means a Grand Slam. I think four out of five is very big.” — Inbee Park.

Michael Whitmer