It took a full 30 weeks of competition, but Lawrence finally got his first career win this week at the Bridgestone Invitational. Although Jim Furyk led for the first 71 holes, a costly double bogey at the worst possible time cost Furyk the tournament. Bradley’s win is sweet redemption from last year, when a back nine 44 cost him this very same tournament. It wasn’t just Keegan who racked up the points this week, as league-owned players managed a ridiculous 14 top tens! Let’s take a look.
Although Lawrence stole the tournament on the 72nd hole, it was Beast who had the biggest haul at the Bridgestone invitational. Beast had an incredible four top tens this week, the most in a single week since Fuchs had four in week 7 at the Accenture Match Play. Although Jim Furyk’s final hole collapse cost Beast his second win of the season, it also allowed Steve Stricker to back-door a second place finish, giving him and Stricker 75 points each. Beast’s team must have been fired up after being passed by Bryce, as Matt Kuchar and Bo Van Pelt contributed their eighth top tens of the season as well, earning 40 points each. Throw in ten points from Jason Day and Beast has his 2nd 200+ point week of the season.
Lawrence has been waiting his entire life for his first win, and it’s finally here. Bradley’s win means Lawrence ends his winless streak at 30 and avoids setting the fewest wins record at 0. His win and recent streak of 100+ point weeks will also help him avoid setting the record for fewest points in a season. It looks like for the first time in SSF history, every single team will eclipse the 2000 point mark. It wasn’t just Bradley put together Lawrence’s biggest career week, as Carl Pettersson, Ian Poulter, and Retief Goosen contributed 10 points each to the cause. Throw in 15 points from a suddenly resurgent Nick Watney, and Lawrence looks to have a pretty good set of keepers going into next year.
Having registered just one top ten in the last six weeks, James’ team came into the Bridgestone Invitational in a downward spiral. Not expecting much from a team that seems to have lost it’s game, James’ third highest point total of the season was a pleasant surprise. Although Louis Oosthuizen struggled on Sunday and dropped from second to fourth, he still contributed 50 points. Rory McIlroy matched that total, and after a few months of struggles, appears to have his game back on track. With the third most points so far this season, Jason Dufner has been an absolute Beast so far, averaging more than fifty points a week since his first win back at the Zurich Classic. He contributed another forty for James’ 30th top ten of the season and 100th of his career. Phil Mickelson continued to struggle, but he got his first points since May with a top fifty, while Francesco Molinari contributed a top fifty as well.
For the third time since last year’s British Open, Bryce didn’t submit his roster in a tier 3 or 4 tournament and it cost him yet again. Although Tiger and Dustin’s 40 and 15 benched points respectively are not nearly as bad as the 95 and 150 point totals he benched from Dustin last year, they can still prove costly in what looks to be a serious race for the podium between Bryce and Beast. The good news for Bryce is that he still managed top tens from both Aaron Baddeley and David Toms, while Ernie Els and Martin Laird contributed top fifties. Although he won the Northern Trust Open, Bill Haas has been having a mediocre season, but back-to-back top 25s may help put him in position to defend the FedEx Cup come September. All in all it was still a 100+ point week for Bryce, who trails rival Beast by just 90 points.
By Friday night Brent had all but given up hope that his team would perform this week, but a pair of back-doored top tens changed all that. Luke Donald fell out of the top ten when he bogeyed the first two holes on Sunday, but managed to birdie two of the last four to creep back in, while K.J. Choi’s final round 66 catapulted him from outside the top 25 into a tie for eighth. There wasn’t much else for Brent to be happy about this week though, as Rickie Fowler’s 2nd round 80 killed his chances for any points, and he hasn’t broken the top 25 since the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Adam Scott’s first round four-putt from nine feet likely killed his chances of defending his title, as he could only muster a top 50, and Peter Hanson continued to alternate good scores with bad scores, finishing outside the top fifty.
Even when Dave does bad, he somehow does good, and this week was no different. With his top five guys all playing, Dave would have expected a little more than just 85 points, but the total keeps him well ahead of the pack with just six weeks to play. This week’s shining star for Dave was Justin Rose, who is quietly putting together a stellar season. His 50 points this week bring him up to 425, and you have to think he’ll be making an appearance on Dave’s roster again come next year. The rest of Dave’s team was disappointing this week, as Graeme McDowell was the only other able to crack the top 25, while Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson carded top 50’s. Dave has made quite a gutsy decision, choosing to use his final regulation Osicki on Lee Westwood at the PGA Championship, despite the fact that Westwood shot 14 over this week, finishing alone in 70th.
Finally we have Fuchs. He won’t be setting any futility records this year, but with Lawrence’s recent charge, finishing in last place has to be a concern. Since the Masters, Fuchs is averaging less than half the 80 points per week he was scoring before that, despite the fact that there were far more points up for grabs. A questionable trade saw him ship out one of his best players in Graeme McDowell, and the additions of Schwartzel and Garcia have been underwhelming at best. Snedeker and Garcia both finished in the top fifty this week, with Schwartzel and Senden carding top 25s. The big surprise was that Hunter Mahan failed to register any points this week, after top tens here in 08 and 09, and winning it in 2010. Fuchs needs Mahan to come up big in the FedEx Cup, or he could be looking at the first overall pick come January.
Well that was the wrap up boys, hope you enjoyed it and good luck at the PGA Championship this week!