Justin Rose may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of the elite golfing talent that England possesses, but he’s certainly making a case for himself. The 31-year old Brit has largely flown under the radar the last couple of years, despite collecting three wins and nearly 900 points through 2010 and 2011. Rose was clutch down the stretch, and Bubba Watson would have needed a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff, a nearly impossible task. Watson was mere inches away from forcing the playoff, but it was not meant to be, and Rose collected the trophy and 150 points. It would have been a win-win for Dave this week, as he held both Rose and Watson collecting the league’s first 1-2 finish of the season. Dave has been absolutely lights out the past two weeks, with SIX top five finishes in just two tournaments. The top ten this week was a star-studded affair, with world #1 Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel both picking up top five finishes. Luke Donald, John Senden, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Bo Van Pelt, and Keegan Bradley rounded out the top ten, with Peter Hanson being the only non-owned player to make it in. Let’s take a look at the wrap up.
Dave liked being first in the wrap up so much last week, that he decided to do it again this time. Just two weeks after Fuchs posted a massive week of 285, Dave posted the exact same number, including a win of his own. Justin Rose’s win puts him over the 200 point threshold, a feat that only McIlroy, Mahan and Snedeker have accomplished so far. Bubba Watson’s solo second place finish continues his run of good play, and he has yet to finish outside the top 25. Charl Schwartzel is looking every bit the player that Dave spent a valuable first round pick on, with two top five’s in three starts. Lee Westwood broke his string of two straight top five’s with a top fifty, and never looked completely comfortable this week. The lovable Sergio Garcia was eight over par… on the third hole, and that ended any chance he had at the top ten. In the last two weeks, Dave has more than doubled his point total for the season, and he’s jumped all the way up to second place, within 100 of the lead.
This is one wrap up that Beast might actually read. Mainly because he rarely makes it past the third paragraph. This was easily Beast’s best week of the season so far, with his apprentices Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar and Bo Van Pelt starting to live up to their unlimited potential. Although they weren’t really in contention, the All-Family Man team torched Doral this week, with all three finishing tied for ninth at -11. Over their last two starts each, Stricker and Kuchar have four top tens and are averaging more than 40 points. Jason Day had a decent week with a top 25, but Beast is expecting more, especially considering how disgusting Day’s hair looks. Beast’s first pickup in nearly two years couldn’t muster more than a top fifty this week, but Beast isn’t going to start complaining about 145 point weeks any time soon. It’s becoming quite evident that Beast’s success is tied to that of Stricker and Kuchar, and if those two can have big years, Beast should as well.
Everything is going right for Fuchsy these days. He’s engaged, he’s enjoying life, and most importantly, he has firmly entrenched himself in the league’s top three. Fuchs’ may have dropped from second to third this week, but when someone racks up 285, that tends to happen. Fuchs won’t be disappointed by his 105, but he may be unhappy that Mahan and Snedeker could only muster a top 25 and 50 respectively. John Senden has contributed three of Fuchs’ ten top tens, coming in sixth this week, while Graeme McDowell missed out on the top ten by just a couple of strokes. Martin Kaymer’s final round 74 proved costly, as he dropped out of contention and into a top 25 finish. Fuchs has six top tens in the last three weeks, and as he approaches his 50th career top ten, he has his eyes on first place.
Until Rory McIlroy’s third place finish this week, James had gone six consecutive weeks with either a win or runner up, a remarkable feat when you consider how many places you can finish other than first or second. McIlroy is averaging 78 points per start after the top three this week, and looks like the obvious favorite going into Augusta, where James will almost certainly be pulling the trigger on his first Osicki explosion of the season. That was about the only positive for James this week, as defending champion Nick Watney could only muster a top 25, even with a final round 67. Phil Mickelson was never in contention, and finished with a top fifty, while both Kyle Stanley and Geoff Ogilvy missed out on points all together. James is still in first place, but he’ll have to start checking his rear-view for Dave with the way his team has been lighting it up.
You have to go back to week four to find the last time Brent wasn’t last in the write up, and I can assure you that he is relishing every one of his 75 points this week. It’s been a tough first quarter of the season for Brent, as he has failed to card a 100 point week and has just three top tens. However, this week showed that there is still hope for Brent. Luke Donald, who was as explosive last year as anyone SSF has ever seen, cashed his first top ten of the season, and Adam Scott lead after round one, although he fell back to finish in the top 15. K.J. Choi scored ten points for the third straight start, and I still can’t figure out whether that is good or bad. Free agent pickups Symon Dyson and Fredrik Jacobson were a disgrace this week, finishing 72nd and 68th, and the two players who finished worse than Dyson only did so after withdrawing due to injury. Luke Donald will be teeing it up next week against a weak field (including Anthony Kim), and a win from him would be just the kind of spark that Brent needs.
While Lawrence was lying on the sidewalk smoking a cigar with his cat, Keegan Bradley was four-putting and collapsing under pressure. Bradley held a two stroke lead for a while on Sunday, but his disgraceful belly putter let him down, and his final round 75 dropped him out of the top five. The word is out that Rickie Fowler is officially the Natalie Gulbis of the PGA Tour, minus the looks. Despite all the praise that the media gives him, Fowler still hasn’t won on the PGA Tour, which is something that most people expected him to take care of last year. His ten points this week matches his average over the seven tournaments he’s played so far, and Lawrence is not impressed. Webb Simpson also needs to clean up his act, scoring just ten points this week, a score that even Miguel Angel Jimenez matched! Vijay Singh hasn’t done much so far this year, and he failed to make the top 50 this week. Lawrence once again finds himself in 6th place, and although he’s still ahead of Brent by 185, a couple of top tens from Brent would make certainly make him sweat.
Bryce lost an hour of sleep last night thanks to the time change. He may lose more than that tonight after watching Tiger limp off the course having completed just 11 holes. An apparent Achilles injury in his left leg (the same leg he’s had four surgeries on) is extremely concerning, especially after the 62 last Sunday that had Bryce licking his chops. Beside’s Tiger’s WD, Dustin Johnson’s streak of good play ended, as he could only manage a top 50. Bill Haas fared no better, and since his win at Riviera, both his starts have been mediocre. Martin Laird and Aaron Baddeley fared better, with Laird cracking the top 25, and Baddeley managing a solo 12th place finish. Bryce’s chances with Tiger playing well look a whole lot better than his chances without Tiger playing at all, and you can be almost certain that Amazon has received it’s largest “Get well soon” card order in history, and Bryce’s name is on the bill.
Well boys, we’ve reached the end of this week’s wrap up. Hope you enjoyed the second World Golf Championship of the season. Hard to believe we’re already a quarter of the way done. See you next week at the Transitions Championship.