For the fourth week in a row, the leader going into Sunday failed to close out the tournament, as Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley fell in a playoff to Bill Haas. Prior to the final round, Mickelson and Bradley held a one shot lead over Bryce Molder, and a two shot lead over Haas. While the leaders could only muster matching rounds of 71, Haas carded a 69 and earned himself a spot in the PGA Tour’s second playoff of the young season. All three participants parred the first playoff hole, and Haas looked like he was destined for par again on the second, when he sank a monster 43 foot birdie putt to claim his Bryce’s first win of the season. However, Haas’ win wasn’t the only bright spot for Bryce this week. Let’s take a look…
Bryce’s 185 point week was by far the largest of the young season, and it saw him shoot three spots up the leaderboard into solo second, with quite a sizable lead over Fuchs in third. We know all about Bill Haas’ win, but Dustin Johnson was also in contention until a bogey at 18 derailed his chances. However, his tie for fourth now gives him top fives in consecutive weeks, and if he gets his short game on track you have to like his chances at the Match Play. Defending champion Aaron Baddeley just missed the top ten, but still earned a solid 20, and he is now averaging 15 pps(points per start) over his first four. Woodland, Laird, Immelman, and two gloves all got bit by the 0 bug, and Gainey is averaging 0 pps over his last six starts (ouch). Bryce Molder was one back of the lead coming into Sunday, but faltered in the final round, and his ten points found the bench this week for Bryce anyway.
Dave came in second this week, as all eight of his starting players found the score sheet. Dave also managed an SSF first this week as well, as he actually LOST points by mulliganing someone. On Friday night, Dave yanked Sergio Garcia (who barely made the cut) in favor of Jonathan Byrd (in the top five at the time). Lo and behold, Sergio goes out Sunday needing just 24 putts to post a final round 64, giving him a share of fourth place. Byrd could manage just two over par, and the mulligan actually ended up costing Dave 10 points. Bubba Watson and Justin Rose were much less depressing than that little factoid, as they both managed top fifteens, while Zach Johnson and Cameron Tringale’s top 25s found the bench. Dave’s final ten points came from Y.E. Yang and Brendon de Jonge, as they both registered top fifties for Dave’s squad.
Is asking for three wins in a row too greedy? James almost accomplished the unprecedented feat, but Mickelson just could not get the putter going on Sunday, resulting in a playoff loss and share of second. There were far too many zeros for James this week, as Howell III, Villegas, Dufner, Ogilvy, and Ishikawa all missed the top fifty. A third consecutive week of mediocre play gave Nick Watney a top fifty, and Kyle Stanley had an up-and-down day, before settling into a tie for 24th. Despite the zeros, it was a solid week for James’ squad, and he still has a 130 point lead over second place.
What was Lawrence doing as Keegan Bradley missed his putt on the second playoff hole? Records show he was hosting a birthday party for his son, instead of cheering for his favorite belly-putting fool. Would the putt have gone in if Lawrence was cheering? We may never know. All we do know is that Bradley looks to be the real deal. With his second place finish this week, Bradley is averaging 25 pps, easily the highest total on Lawrence’s team. Speaking of high, that may have been what Lawrence was when he drafted Chez Reavie, who’s zero this week gives him just 10 points in five starts. Couple that with Goosen and Singh’s five points each, and Kevin Na’s goose egg, and it’s a good thing Lawrence had Bradley.
This week has to be disappointing for Fuchs’ as all his players played well, made the cut, and scored well, yet he only wound up with 45 points to show for it. Despite the fact that Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, and Johnson Wagner all finished within the top 25, Fuchs still couldn’t register a top ten for the third straight week. His four top 25s were accompanied by John Senden’s top 50, but Fuchs likely expected more from his star Aussie. There’s going to be some tough decisions to make about who to start this week in the matchplay for Fuchs’ squad, as it will be McDowell, Kaymer, Quiros, and Karlsson’s first starts of the year.
It seems like over the past few weeks, Beast has been bouncing around more than Spencer Levin without his cigarettes. This week he finds himself dropping three spots, despite getting a top ten from the always steady Bo Van Pelt. It may have seemed like common sense to him, but his benching of Jim Furyk and the resulting top 15 is extremely questionable, especially when he played two zeros from the likes of Levin and Streelman. It may be time to part ways with good ol’ Jhonny Vegas, since his goose egg again this week keeps him at just five points for the season. The big surprise here was Jason Day’s zero point week, after lighting it up on the European Tour just a week ago. Matt Kuchar’s bee sting on Friday may have affected him more than he let on, as he could only muster a top 25, and Rory Sabbatini’s struggles continued with a goose egg.
And finally we come to Brent. Over the last few weeks, most people have likely been writing TLDR before even reaching Brent’s part of the wrap up, but in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping, we all know Brent is sitting in the dark thinking twisted fantasies about some sort of hybrid Luke Donald, Adam Scott, K.J. Choi human-fusion-cyborg monster shooting 34 at Augusta National with just a belly putter. Now that we’ve gotten that disturbing image over with, this was the week that every one of Brent’s other fantasies was supposed to come true. For the first time this year, his big three teed it up together, but the results were highly questionable. Scott and Choi mustered top 25s, but were never really in contention, while Luke Donald straight up tanked. He hit just five greens in regulation on Sunday, and at one point made six bogeys in a row en route to a final round 78 that saw him blast himself spectacularly out of the top 50. Ryan Palmer was the only other player of note for Brent this week, and he scored 10 points on the bench. Kim:0, Steele:0, Allenby:0, Els:0. It’s also worth noting that Brent is currently on pace for five top tens this season, which would shatter the previous season low by more than 400%!!!
Well that’s the wrap up for this week, folks. Hope I wasn’t too hard on Brent. Also, keep in mind that the Accenture Match Play Championship starts WEDNESDAY, so make sure you get your rosters in on time. It’s the first tier 3 of the season, and the first opportunity to make up some serious ground!