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Speed Dial

by Steve Eubanks

NORTON, MASSACHUSETTS | Chants of Captain Kirk, bellowed with yawning New England accents, could be heard on every hole at TPC Boston on Sunday. Some picked up on the irony; others did not. With his 64-66 weekend to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, Chris Kirk elevated himself high on the list of possible picks for U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. Watson will announce his final team at 7 p.m. EDT in New York. All those players who said they wouldn’t watch were lying.

Paul McGinley will make his calls a little earlier today. Stephen Gallacher made sure the captain had his number. South African Hennie Otto was Gran in Torino, proving that you can win after not one but two back surgeries during the summer, but it was Gallacher who made headlines, failing by one short putt to qualify for Europe’s Ryder Cup team on points.

Meanwhile the LPGA ushered in yet another new winner, Austin Ernst, which could easily be the name of a new country music trio. The second-year pro from Seneca, S.C., phoned home for an alignment tip from dear old club-pro dad, Mark, and then promptly beat I.K. Kim in a playoff.

For the second time in three weeks, Suzann Pettersen played herself into the final group only to beat it around late. The defending Evian champion heads to France for the season’s final major with zero victories this year and enough gremlins rumbling around in her noggin to sink a Norwegian cruise ship.

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