Love: Tiger injects more interest when he’s in a tournament

What a difference it makes when Tiger Woods is in the field.

It’s amazing how much more excitement there is surrounding this week’s British Open now that Tiger has committed to play at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

The Open was last played on this course in 2006 – a tournament that Woods won, hitting his driver just once during the entire week.

Though many have been dismissing Woods’ chances lately, I find it hard to ever underestimate his tremendous competitiveness and determination.

I actually believe he’ll contend this week, although he may come up just short in the end. My pick to be the champion golfer of the year is Justin Rose.

Park Hills ready

The Park Hills Classic – the “granddaddy” of the local two-ball tournaments – begins today.

By all accounts, the course is in wonderful shape, and the club’s tournament committee, along with new head pro Rich Conwell and his staff, will be putting in long hours to pull off another successful event.

The Park Hills Classic is one of the few area two-balls that still use a match-play format which, in my opinion, creates so much more drama and excitement during the tournament.

Many people feel that a stroke-play format is a fairer way to determine a champion over a three- or four-day tournament but I feel you can’t beat match play for the thrill of hole-by-hole competition.

I know that I’m looking forward to watching some of the action this weekend.

Great story

What a crazy, heartwarming story at last week’s Women’s British Open.

Mo Martin, a late bloomer on the LPGA Tour whose best-ever finish was a tie for 29th, shocked golf fans with a miraculous shot on her final hole Sunday.

Martin’s fairway wood approach shot to the 18th hole hit the pin, stopping just 5 feet away. The ensuing eagle she scored at the tournament’s 72nd hole earned Martin a one-shot victory in this major championship.

Interviews afterward allowed fans a closer look at this likeable golfer. Martin shared that her grandfather her golfing mentor – had died just a few months earlier. An emotional Martin described how memories of him had inspired her all week.

Martin also shared later that she would be using most of her tournament winnings to help keep her grandfather’s farm a family-owned property.

It’s easy to root for a young woman like that.

Tourney idled

Sorry to see that Standing Stone Golf course, near Huntingdon, canceled its annual best-ball event, originally scheduled for this weekend.

In years past, the tournament drew a fairly good-sized field, but this year a limited response caused the event to be canceled. Here’s hoping the tournament returns next year.

Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. His column runs on Fridays.