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Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament

Rain doesn't dampen crowd at Firestone

By jim Published: August 3, 2011

Today's rain doesn't seem to be deterring spectators at the Bridgestone Invitational. Most in the gallery came to Firestone Country Club dressed for the worst to see the final practice rounds before Thursday's start of the $8.5 million World Golf Championships event.

Here's the forecast for the rest of the week as provided by TELVENT:

Thursday: Patchy fog, partly cloudy, high 85.

Friday: Partly cloudy, high 88.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, high 88.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 86.

Oosthuizen in accident

According to the website, 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen escaped serious injury earlier this week in a car accident on his way to Firestone. A story written by Bernie McGuire said Oosthuizen was sitting in the backseat of a vehicle driven by his caddie when they were hit by another vehicle that ran a stop sign just yards from the golfer's hotel. The report said Oosthuizen suffered whiplash, but hopes to be recovered by Thursday. McGuire reported that the two vehicles were totalled.

His agency team, International Sports Management, issued a statement through e-mail today, “Louis is feeling a little stiff and sore this morning but should be fine. He has practices and is about to go and play.”

To read the full report, go to:

Watching his idol

Tour rookie Scott Stallings, the last Bridgestone qualifier after winning The Greenbrier Classic Sunday, is such a fan of Tiger Woods that he can recount in detail some of Woods' most famous shots.

Stallings was in the sixth grade for what may be his favorite - Woods' pitching wedge into the 15th green en route to victory in the 1997 Masters. Woods won by 12 strokes at age 21.

"No one hits pitching wedge into that hole," Stallings, a Worcester, Mass., native and Tennessee Tech graduate who lives in Knoxville, said Tuesday. "And (him) just blowing away the field. I remember the 9-iron he hit on either Saturday or Sunday on No. 11 to a front left flag. I said, 'Man, that's the best shot I've ever seen.'

"I had the opportunity to watch him play at Eastlake the year before he won. He blew the field away. He started off terrible, he was 2-over through 4, and he hit it way right on No. 5, the downhill long par-4 and he made some crazy par. I ended up watching the rest of his round, just seeing how he grinded it out. I think you can learn so much from just watching some of the greatest players in the world."

Earning an exemption through the 2013 season with his victory, which includes invitations to the 2012 Masters and Players Championship, Stallings said he will now try some of Woods' and Phil Mickelson's shots at those famous venues.

"You think of shots like No. 7 where Phil hit the shot from the right trees when he went on to win (the Masters) a couple years ago," Stallings said. "All the memorable shots you think about, especially Tiger's chip shot on 16, to go and actually see it and actually have the opportunity to mimic it, it's incredible to think about playing the tournament and going back to probably the most historic golf course in the world."

For those looking for Woods today, it has been rumored that he will hit the course around noon for a practice round.

Clarke's sensitive side

Newly crowned British open champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland doesn't quite understand the hoopla over his penchant for a pint of Guinness, especially with all that's going on the world.

"The things that are going on around the world, whatever happened in Norway where all those people got massacred, you've got the debt crisis over here, if people want to have a go at me for having a couple of pints ... I've never changed the way I look at things and I don't plan to change," Clarke said Tuesday. "They're entitled to their opinion."

According to a story by Dermot Gilleece of the Irish Independent, Clarke has lost friends to violence in his homeland. He also formed a friendship with a family whose 22-year-old son died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Clarke played a round of golf at Pine Valley Golf Club in Clementon, N.J. with Davis Sezna and his son Deeg, who was on his sixth day of work on the 104th floor of the South Tower on the day of the terrorist attacks. As Gilleece wrote, Clarke read a thank-you note from Deeg a few days after the young man died and has kept in touch with his father.

For the full story, go to:



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