There are few words to accurately describe what happened Sunday afternoon at Torrey Pines. The afternoon saw Brandt Snedeker take home his third PGA Tour win, while 24 year old Kyle Stanley suffered one of the most crushing defeats professional golf has seen in a long time. Stanley started the day well with birdies on three of his first six holes, but never seemed completely comfortable until the eighteenth, where ironically, he ultimately lost the championship. A double bogey on the par-5 18th would have given him the tournament, but an unlucky roll and a missed putt cost him dearly. While it may seem as though Snedeker had the trophy given to him on a silver platter, he actually played tremendous golf to get to that point, carding just one bogey to go along with six birdies on Sunday. Snedeker has gotten off to a blistering start this year, with a top ten and a win in his first two starts. That great play has certainly translated to Fuchs bottom line, as someone other than James leads the league for the first time since week four of 2011. This is the wrap up!
Will we ever learn to stop questioning Fuchs’ methods? After being ripped apart by nearly every draft analysis in existence, Fuchs has gone out and claimed the first league-win of the season, with a 125 point effort from Brandt Snedeker. Hunter Mahan also started the year off in a positive way with a sixth place finish, good for 30 points, in the season’s first tier two. Ryan Moore was Fuchs’ only other starter this week, missing the cut for a goose egg. It’s no secret where Fuchs’ points look like they’ll come from this season, as Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker have combined for all but 40 of Fuchs’ 220 points. However, both of them look poised for monster seasons, and that could mean big things for the league’s smallest member.
Second place on the week and in the standings goes to James, who after enduring the pain of watching Stanley’s 18th hole debacle, suffered a crushing defeat of his own when he got to the Golf Dome and realized the driving range closes at NINE on Sundays! The 60 points from Stanley kept James from falling even further down the leaderboard, but the zero points that Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney cashed in this week is slightly alarming. Add in just 10 points from Villegas after a promising start, and five from Howell III, this was a week that could have been so much more for James.
Dave’s team continued to impress this week, with a surprising 40 points coming from Cameron Tringale, who registered Dave’s third top ten of the season. Defending champion Bubba Watson missed out on the top ten by just one stroke, but still managed a healthy 20 points in his debut effort. Justin Rose’s debut didn’t go so smooth, with the talented Englishman breaking 70 just once, to finish in a tie for thirty third and a meager five points. In the six hours of golf that I watched on Thursday and Friday, I can’t remember seeing a single shot by Y.E. Yang, who missed the cut at even par. Brendon de Jonge – 5.
While many predicted big things for Bryce this season, he’s gotten off to a dreadfully slow start, with more red numbers than black numbers over the first three weeks of competition. Nearly half of Bryce’s season total of 90 came from Bill Haas’ fourth place finish this week, and he hasn’t gotten much help so far. Aaron Baddeley and Gary Woodland kicked off their seasons poorly, with the former registering a top fifty, and the latter not being able to play the final round en route to a zero point week. In typical two-gloves fashion, Tommy Gainey has started off the season with three straight red numbers, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better. Bryce will undoubtedly have February 9th marked down on his calender, as Dustin Johnson has won two of the past three AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Ams.
While Lawrence may have been more concerned with not burning his steaks on Sunday afternoon, his team was trying to get out of the rut that they’ve started the season in. While in the end he wasn’t able to manage a top ten for the third straight week, Rickie Fowler and the wily veteran Vijay Singh nearly snuck in. The two ended up having to settle for top 15s, giving Lawrence 40 of his 50 points. The other 10 came from Keegan Bradley, who has quietly gotten off to a decent start, with top 25s in his first two tournaments. Questionable pick Chez Reavie continued to make us scratch our head, managing just ONE round under par for the tournament. T-minus 22 days until Miguel Angel Jimenez tees it up at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Nothing says breakout week like tripling your score for the season, which is just what Brent did this week, with a monster 30 points. Starting a full lineup for the first time this season, Brent managed to lower his goose-egg-to-non-goose-egg ratio to 2-1. Much of this breakthrough was due to a solid week from Stewart Cink who, in just missing out on the top ten, carded three rounds under par. Robert Allenby’s 10 points could have been so much more, until he double bogeyed the par-3 16th to miss out on the top ten by two strokes. Anthony Kim and Brendan Steele’s missed cuts were not surprising, as they have combined for zero points in four starts so far this season, but more was expected from Ernie Els(coming off a second place finish) than a share of 52nd place.
For the third week in a row, Beast’s scores trended downward, with the village elder managing just a handful of points. Bo Van Pelt and Kevin Streelman missed the cut by a mile, and although Jhonattan Vegas looked poised to make a weekend run, rounds of 73 and 76 left him in a tie for 60th and wondering what happened. It was Spencer Levin who saved Beast from the dreaded goose egg this week, but even that was a letdown. After opening the week with a dazzling 62, Levin proceeded to give most of it back over the next three days, and just managed to hang on to a spot in the top 50. Beast may have been able to get by move-less last year, but this year may not be so kind to him.
That’s the wrap up for the week folks. Hope you enjoyed the tournament more than Kyle Stanley, and we’ll be back next week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.