Sunday afternoon in Dublin, Ohio turned into a walk down memory lane for fans of the PGA Tour. Why, you ask? The first real ‘Tiger-like’ moment we have seen since the shocking discovery of his infidelity back in 2009. When Tiger chipped in on hole 16 at the Memorial Tournament, we saw emotion from Tiger we have rarely seen since a somewhat similar chip at the 2005 Masters – which also on a par 3 16th hole. Woods has now won two tournaments this year, and tied the great Jack Nicholaus for second most all-time with 73. And it was only fitting Jack was the first to congratulate Tiger after his final round 67. Well, at least the first after Rickie Fowler. Here’s how the week shook down.
Not only did Bryce pick-up the win – his third of the year – but he picked up some depth points as well, as some of his solid ball-strikers who have been abysmal this year, finally picked up there game. Aaron Baddeley picked up his second top ten of the season, and first since the AT & T Pro-Am back in February. Dustin Johnson returned from injury, teeing it up for the first time since March, and put up a solid top 25. The only bad news for Bryce is that Ernie Els has gone back to his ways of last year. Els is averaging 1.3 points per start in the 3 starts he’s had since Bryce acquired him from Brent in exchange for Gary Woodland. Still, Bryce’s 165 points moves him out of the cellar for the first time in a month, and if Tiger can keep rolling like this, maybe a miracle comeback isn’t totally out of the question.
James may have won manager of the month for June, but this writer feels James old man was robbed of the title. The Beast has been one of the most consistent teams of late, and he showed that again this week by grabbing a pair of top 5’s from unusual suspects. Spencer Levin took a 54-hole lead to bed Saturday night for the second this year. Once again he blew, but he still scored 40 points for a top 5. Meanwhile, Beast used his first mulligan of the year beautifully, putting it on Rory Sabbatini who gave Tiger a run for his money and finished in second place. Throw in 20 point weeks from Jim Furyk and the ever consistent Bo Van Pelt, as well as 5 from Steve Stricker, and Long John put up a 145 burger. Further proof to the opening sentence of this paragraph is that Beast has registered at least one top ten in each of the last 9 weeks, starting with The Masters.
He might have just got the third most points on the week, but Dave will pleased with 75 he put up, thanks largely to a pair of quiet top tens. Justin Rose and Jonathan Byrd both got into the 30 point range with good rounds Sunday, with Byrd even threatening to snatch the title from Tiger’s teeth for about half an hour. Charl Schwartzel scored ten points in first start since The Masters, and even Brendan de Jonge cracked the scoreboard. Believe it or not, the loveable Zimbabwean has scored points in 7 of his last 8 starts. Dave’s week means he extends his lead to 170 over James.
For the first time in 7 weeks, Brent failed to crack a top ten – although he really should have got one. Rickie Fowler seemed primed for nothing less than a top 5 when the final round began, sitting just 3 shots behind Spencer Levin and playing in the second to last group of the day with Tiger Woods. Well Fowler shot a Mike Weir like 12 over 84, and didn’t score any points. Luke Donald nearly back-doored a top ten with a 4 under 68 to finish twelfth. K.J. Choi equalled his largest output of the season with 10 points, which was equalled by Brian Davis. Adam Scott, who was in the hunt for most of the first two rounds, faltered on the weekend and finished in a tie for 47th. Brent managed 45 points on the week.
Little Andy Fuchs could only muster 20 points this week, with 10 coming from Hunter Mahan, and five from both Ryan Moore and Jeff Overton. Fuchs his team has fallen a long way from the squad that held the lead in the league after week 7’s Accenture Match Play Championship. He needs to find some firepower from Mahan and Brandt Snedeker who were so instrumental in his early season dominance.
Speaking of needing to find some firepower, Lawerence is certainly in the same boat. He only scored ten points on the week, thanks to the great Vijay Singh. Perhaps it’s time for Lawerence to drop the likes of Retief Goosen and maybe even Miguel Angel Jimenez (it pains me to say that) who rarely ever play in the US.
And finally, we come to the commish. It’s been noted by this writer James is a tier 1 team. And this week further proved that point, as Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy were all absent on the weekend. The good news is that this week’s St. Jude Classic is a tier 1.