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Monday, August 06, 2007

Annals of Russian . . . Golf?

If you can believe it, a European Tour golf event was played in Moscow over the weekend, namely the "Russian Open." You probably aren't surprised to learn that the event was such a ridiculous joke that only eight of Europe's top 100 players for 2007 entered tournament, and only one of its top 50 -- namely #50 Robert-Jan Derksen. One might think that a country covered most of the year in snow with a male lifespan below 60 years would have better things to do with its time than build golf courses. As usual when one thinks such logical thoughts where Russia is concerned, one is surprised. It's as if America were building luge runs in tropical, flood-stricken New Orleans.

Six Russian players were entered in the tournament. None of the six is ranked on the European Tour. None of them made the cut of 75 players (consisting, you will recall, of the dregs of Europe) to be allowed forward the weekend half of the event. Four of the seven worst results in the field of 116 players at the end of the first two two days were put up by Russian players, including the both of the bottom two. Russian Grigory Bondarenko brought up the rear at 21 over par. Clearly more evidence of Russian dominance in the world of sport.

The highest Russian finisher was Dimitry Vinogradov, who tied for 76th place at two over par. When you ask the European Tour's website for information about Vinogradov, it's never heard of him other than to state that he hasn't played an event outside of Russia in his entire career and never placed higher than 75th in any of the Russian events he's played.

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