Remarkable comeback for Toms
Kevin Currie, Golf Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It wasn't just a comeback from injury, it was a comeback from a painful loss at The Players Championship.
After losing to K.J. Choi at the TPC Sawgrass last week, David Toms completed a comeback from years of battling injury and a week of answering questions about losing what would have been his first title since 2006.
Toms has had several injuries over the last few years and was inspired to turn his game around by his 13-year-old son, Carter.
The 44-year-old Toms led The Players by one after 36 holes, but was just three-under par on the weekend. He fell into a playoff with Choi after a long final day, that saw some players play as many as 31 holes after weather issues earlier in the week.
Toms found water on 16 and that led to a bogey. Later in the playoff, he missed a three-footer for par on the first extra hole. Choi converted his par putt for the win.
"I was very happy with the way I held up the last 31 holes I played, I guess with the lead or around the lead the whole time. I mean, it's tough when you haven't been there in a while and when you haven't played this golf course well," Toms said after losing at The Players. "So I just kept plugging along and made a couple mistakes towards the end."
Maybe the most devastated person after that loss was Carter. The last time his father won, Carter was an eight-year-old, and the younger Toms likely doesn't remember much of that Sony Open.
Toms wanted to win again for Carter, his family and for himself. So what did he do?
He headed to Colonial and got right back in the action.
Toms fired back-to-back 62s to start the event with the PGA Tour record for low 36-hole score. He led by seven after two rounds, but everything looked lost after the third round.
The 2001 PGA Champion struggled to a four-over 74 to fall one stroke behind Charlie Wi. It was Wi who had trouble holding the lead this time. He had four birdies and four bogeys through 11 holes of the final round, while Toms was putting together a flawless round.
Toms birdied the seventh and holed out for eagle on the par-five 11th after laying up with his second. The eagle gave Toms a two-shot lead, which he extended with a birdie on the 14th.
Wi birdied 16 and Toms bogeyed 17 to close the gap to one. After Wi missed a birdie try from 45 feet at the 18th, Toms calmly two-putt for par and the win.
"Wow, I didn't know if this day would ever come again to be quite honest," Toms admitted on Sunday. "It was a great round of golf today. It took one."
Toms was asked about his son and what he hoped his child would take from the win.
"I hope he learns from it. It's a heck of a lot of fun to play the PGA. Why not? Why not work hard if you have natural ability, and you have the resources that he is going to have. He is going to have golf instructors around him. He is going to be around golf. He is a talented kid already athletically. Maybe he will see, hey, this is fun," Toms said.
Toms earned a hard-fought win and taught his son a good life lesson in the process. That's about as good as it gets right there.
GREAT WEEKEND FOR MATCH PLAY LOVERS
Just about every week, all the major golf tours compete in stroke-play events. This past weekend was the rare time when there was not one, but two match-play tournaments.
And each had their own little twists.
The Volvo World Match Play on the European Tour had 24 players broken into eight groups of three. They played a knockout round with matches on Thursday and Friday to setup the round of 16.
Just one of the eight groups needed a playoff to figure out which two players would advance. Once in the round of 16, it was a battle for the No. 1 ranking in the world as the event started with six of the top nine ranked players.
Lee Westwood, the top-ranked player entering the event, lost to countryman Ian Poulter in the round of 16. From there, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald could both have ascended to the top spot in the world.
Both needed to win to get there, but Kaymer fell to Donald in the semifinals and Donald lost to Poulter in the final. Donald remained No. 2, while Westwood held on to the top spot, but his lead is down to 0.05 average points.
Meanwhile, the LPGA Tour had a 64-player field at the Sybase Match Play. The twist here was that the top-32 players were automatically seeded into four brackets, then their opponents were determined by a blind draw.
The closest seeds who ended up facing each other in the first round were No. 35 Brittany Lang beating No. 26 Christina Kim, 5 & 4, and No. 43 Karen Stupples taking down No. 32 Se Ri Pak, 2 & 1.
In the end, both events had strong final fours. The Volvo had the second, third and 22nd ranked players in the world. The Sybase had the first, third and fifth ranked player in the event in the final.
Winner Suzann Pettersen, runner-up Cristie Kerr and third-place finisher Na Yeon Choi entered the event ranked three, four and five in the world, while fourth-place finisher Angela Stanford was ranked 25th.
If you look at the final eight players from the two events combined, the only player that didn't fit the top-billing was Nicolas Colsaerts, who entered the week ranked 108th in the world.
But, that is the beauty of match play. The best player might come out on top in the end, but there is always someone that makes a great run during the tournament.
- Donald's loss not only prevented him from becoming the No. 1 ranked player in the world, but it also snapped his 12-match win streak in match-play matches that dated to last year's Ryder Cup win over Jim Furyk.
- Monday is a big day for several players trying to gain entry into the British Open. Seventy-eight players -- including Anthony Kim, Sergio Garcia, Ricky Barnes, Davis Love III, Chad Campbell, Mike Weir and Rich Beem -- were trying to earn one of eight spots available in a qualifier that was played at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas.