Final-round observations from the Children's Miracle NetworkNovember 14, 2010
Bob Stevens, special to PGATOUR.COM
PGA TOUR Network correspondent Bob Stevens will be offering observations this week from the Children's Miracle Network Classic. Listen to PGA TOUR Live coverage on XM 146/SIRIUS 209 or right here at PGATOUR.COM.
Robert Garrigus told us earlier in the week that he'd "never forget Memphis" and blowing the three-shot lead on the final hole, but also said he'd "learn from it" and it was obvious Sunday that he did, especially at the ninth hole when he nearly drove his tee shot into the hazard, only to have it hit a tree and bounce back into play. The "old" Garrigus might have rushed his recovery shot, but having been through the Memphis Moment, he calmly assessed the situation, took his time before playing the shot, and hit a 10-foot high laser to the left edge of the green and made par, keeping his charge alive that resulted in his first PGA TOUR win. Memphis can now be forgotten.
• Garrigus also told me about two equipment changes he made this week that were crucial to his victory. He cut his putter shaft back down to 28 inches, an inch and a half shorter than what he'd been putting with the last couple of months and said the ball just felt better rolling to the cup. It certainly looked like it Sunday when everything went in, particularly, the clinching 18-footer at the 17th. Most of his eight birdies, though, were from inside 10 feet because of the other switch he made this week, back to his old TaylorMade irons. He hit them to 12 feet at the second hole, 8 feet at the third, 6 feet at the fifth and 10 feet at the seventh where he finally caught Roland Thatcher.
• Disney's best writers couldn't have penned a better Sunday script for Troy Merritt than earning his PGA TOUR card for 2011 by the thinnest of margins (he finished 125th) and then winning the Kodak Challenge $1 million bonus on the first playoff hole with a 132-yard shot to within 18 inches. Merritt said the distance had been trouble all week, and that he grew up with a younger brother that he always got ahead of, then let back into games to make them interesting, so he wasn't surprised the Kodak Challenge played out that way. Rickie Fowler and Aaron Baddeley burned the edges with their birdie putts on the playoff hole before Merritt finished it off. Remember, a year ago, Troy Merritt was a unknown with no status on TOUR, having to win qualifying school to get his card. Now he's a member for 2011 and a million dollars richer. What do they say about dreams and DisneyWorld?