It may not seem like that big a step, but Tiger Woods’ victory at the Cadillac Championship is a huge one. The last time Woods won a tournament of this magnitude, Alexander Ovechkin was the reigning “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner and Kenny Perry was polishing off a nine top ten, three win season. It’s been a long road for Tiger, but the way he played this week against one of the best fields you can assemble shows he may just be ready for the pressure of a Major Championship again, and where better to get his 15th then at Augusta National. Although he won by just two strokes, this was Tiger’s tournament from the start, leading after each round en-route to his 76th career win. The win also puts Bryce atop the standings again after two sub-par weeks from Fuchs. Despite Bryce surging ahead in the standings, this week was a point fest for all with the league carding 10 top tens and combining for nearly 900 points. Let’s take a look at how the week played out.
Although he failed to submit a roster again, it didn’t hurt Dave’s overall tally this week. With just four players teeing it up, Dave was at a disadvantage from the start and wound up with the league’s lowest total this week, a far cry from last year’s 1-2 finish. Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood struggled on the weekend, both finishing in the top 25, while Robert Garrigus failed to post a round better than two over par, finishing dead last. Defending champion Justin Rose tried to save the week, but his top ten finish could only do so much as Dave posted just 70 points and finds himself falling further behind the pack.
After schooling the league in the last World Golf Championship, Beast got a taste of his own medicine this week, carding the second lowest total of the week. Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Bo Van Pelt and Jason Day combined for just two rounds in the 60s, with none of them mustering more than a top fifty. Thrifty pick Sergio Garcia was Beast’s saving grace this week, as the Spaniard shared the lead after Thursday, and ultimately wound up in a tie for third. Beast finds himself fifth in the league for top tens, uncharted territory for the top ten machine. He’ll be looking for his team to step it up in the next couple of tournaments, and look for Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey to hit the free agent market.
Coming into this week, Brent was the only player without a 100+ point week. He managed to get that monkey off his back, but he still won’t be happy with his result as he remains in sixth place for at least another week. Brent was the only player to use a mulligan this week, as he subbed out Luke Donald for Zach Johnson. The move did not pay off, as Donald actually finished ahead of Johnson, despite double bogeying the 18th hole in all four rounds. Sunday was definitely not Brent’s fun day, as Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel combined to shoot 15 over par with Schwartzel being the only one to crack the top 25. The silver lining on Brent’s Tommy Naugler shaped cloud, is that Adam Scott posted a scorching hot final round 64 to back door a third place finish and 60 points. Brent’s first order of business for right now is to get himself a win, as it has been a frighteningly long 28 weeks since his last. Should he eclipse the current record of 36 weeks, you can bet he’ll be drowning his sorrows at the patch with everyone’s favorite Harnden bros.
Although he tied for the third fewest points this week, Fuchs will likely be happy with the result considering the lineup he fielded. FedEx Cup points leader Brandt Snedeker is still out due to injury, and Fuchs found himself with just four golfers entered this week. John Senden has struggled early in the season, but played good consistent golf on his way to a top 25 finish alongside Hunter Mahan. Ryan Moore’s poor play continued this week as a final round 76 dropped him out of the top 50 and made him one of just two started players to card a bagel this week. The real savior for Fuchs this week was Steve Stricker, who finds himself with the third most points on Fuchs’ team, despite having made just two starts. Many people thought Stricker wouldn’t be worth the high draft pick due to his light playing schedule, but Fuchs’ gamble is paying off as evidenced by his runner up finish this week.
After a disappointing start to the season, Lawrence has turned it on over the last three weeks. The league’s newest team has put up six top tens including a win last week, over the last three tournaments. Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson’s early season struggles contributed to Lawrence’s slow start, but they have turned it on lately with one of the two posting a top ten in each of the last four weeks. This week was Bradley’s turn, with Simpson finishing in the top 25. Former champion Nick Watney was derailed by a poor Saturday round and posted a top fifty, while Nicolas Colsaerts backed up his top ten at the Accenture with a T18 finish this week. Winning apparently hasn’t changed Michael Thompson as the clever fourth round pick cashed in a top ten to bring Lawrence’s season total to nine. Lawrence is just 70 points back of a podium spot, and he would like nothing more than to compete for the prestigious Richard J. Osicki Memorial Trophy.
After last week’s Brad Gilbert Bagel, James wasn’t expecting much at Doral, but the reigning champion got his best week to date. After goose eggs last week, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer both managed to crack the top 50 this week, although neither’s play expires much confidence. After burning himself out overseas, Jason Dufner has gotten off to a horrid start this season, but four solid rounds of golf and just five total bogeys this week got him a top fifteen finish. Rory McIlroy’s start to the season has been just as bad, if not worse, but his final round 65 showed the kind of confidence that got him to number one in the world. Finally, after a couple of weeks off, Phil Mickelson made his return at Doral. After a quick start to his round on Sunday it appeared as though he might challenge Woods, but bogeys at 9 and 11 ended his chances and he settled for a share of third.
First place went to Bryce this week, and deservedly so. Bryce’s squad racked up 255 points and rocketed from third to first in the SSF standings.’ Double B’ got contributions from all five starters, with top fifties from Bill Haas and Ernie Els. Dustin Johnson seems to have put his early season struggles behind him, putting up a top fifteen this week. If Johnson can focus a little more on his golf game and a little less on the Great One’s socialite daughter, he has the potential to put together his best season to date. Graeme McDowell has been a stellar pick so far this year, as the Ulsterman is averaging just under 35 points per start so far. His third place finish this week is his third top ten of the season, and eight of Bryce’s ten top tens have come from McDowell, Woods and Haas. Despite all the other contributions, this week belonged to Tiger Woods. El Tigre needed just 100 putts to get the victory, his fewest EVER in a 72-hole tournament. His 27 birdies this week is just one short of his career best birdie total, and with five wins in his last 19 starts, all that’s left for Tiger on his road back to the top is a Major Championship title.
That’s the wrap up for this week. I hope you enjoyed the Cadillac Championship. Next week is the Tampa Bay Championship where Luke Donald will look to defend his playoff win from last year. See you there!