Ernie Els won the Grand Slam of Golf with a furious charge that knocked off David Toms' seemingly impervious lead. Down three shots with five holes to play, it was looking grim. And even after notching a birdie on 14, Els didn't relax; Toms had just chipped in for the second time that round.
"I thought when a guy does it [chip in] once, you're thinking, good shot," Els said afterward. "When he does it twice in three holes, you're thinking maybe he's destined to win this thing."
Or not. Over those last five holes, Els carded three birdies while Toms had one unfortunately timed bogey, and that, as they say, was that. Els' 2-under 69 gave him a 5-under total and a one-shot victory.
"I felt like I didn't necessarily lose this thing," Toms said afterward. "Ernie birdie-ing 14, 15 and 16, the putt he made on 16, I'd say he won the tournament," he added. "For me, to go through those holes, play them under par would have been a pretty good feat in itself. He played them 3-under."
Thing is, it was a victory seen and, let's be honest, cared about by a precious few. Masters champion Phil Mickelson declined to play, and past major winner Tiger Woods turned down an invitation as an alternate, and that was pretty much that as far as star power was concerned. Yes, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were there, but they finished in a tie for last ... in this case, third.
So there you go. A fine event for the four guys playing and the folks in Bermuda who were in the gallery. For everyone else, it was a non-event.
So how to stoke interest in the Grand Slam? Is it even possible? Consider the proposal put forth by DB's own Shane Bacon: "Idea for Grand Slam in 2011: Winner of FedEx, Kodak Challenge, Fall Series and Skins Game compete, and call it floG fO malS dnarG." Works for me.