For the second major in a row, there was very little doubt on Sunday of who would come out victorious. After Martin Kaymer cruised to an 8-shot victory and Pinehurst a month ago, Rory McIlroy picked up a wire to wire win at Royal Liverpool to crowned the Champion Golfer of the Year. McIlroy only shot a one-under 71 on Sunday, but after opening the weekend with matching 66’s he was able to withstand formidable charges from Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia to win his third major in the last 14 grand slam events. McIlroy’s win also made for some changes in the standings, but only at the bottom. Let’s take a look at the week that was.
McIlroy’s win lifted James to his Spreadsheet Fantasy leading sixth major championship in league history. The second most is major wins by an owner is two (Lawrence, and the now extinct Dave). But this week James set another grand slam mark for the league, becoming the first player to own the first AND second place finisher in a major. McIlroy’s play has already been documented, but Rickie Fowler continued his breakout year, and if not for a tough end to his round Saturday, it very well could have been the Orange Crush who came out on top. Fowler has now finished in the top 5 at all three majors, and his 385 points on the season will likely give James no choice but to keep him – although he’s probably not upset about that. James also got nice garbage point contributions from Phil Mickelson (top 25), Henrik Stenson and King Louis Oosthuizen (top 50’s) to help him pick up the highest one week total in the league this year.
Brent’s team has had a tough time making up ground on the big boys this year, but he was able to make inroads on the top two spots this week thanks to a great Sunday. Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, and Charl Schwartzel shot 65, 66, and 67 respectively to all move into the top 10, with the two Aussies carding top 5’s. Zach Johnson followed up last weekend’s runner up finish at the John Deere Classic with a top 50 performance. The 195 Brent scored still leave him about 250 back of first, but this weekend showed he has the depth to make a charge. He will need to start pickup wins though, to have a hope.
Beast’s team just keeps on churning up big weeks, and it seems to be a different person every week. Matt Kuchar has been a picture of consistency – again- this year, and who could have predicted Angel Cabrera winning the Greenbrier on the Fourth of July weekend. This time around, it was the wily veteran Jim Furyk who came through for Long John, carding a 66 Sunday to finish in a tie for fourth and score 65 points. The big surprise – and there have been lots of pleasant ones for this team in 2014 – was previous castaway Victor Dubuisson who made Beast very proud by carding a top ten, after a mulligan was placed on him following Friday’s play. Angel Cabrera had a good weekend to score 25 points giving beast a nice 140-burger.
Doerksen is proving to be like that pesky zit that Beast had while he was going after his bride to be. Just when Beast thought he had it under control, it would come back with a vengeance. Beast scored a big 140, but Daniel was right there with 135, meaning Doersken is still just 35 points behind. Sergio Garcia continued his consistent season with a nice second place finish. After that it was a pretty disappointing week with only Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose hitting the scoresheet, as the rookie manager benched 35 big ones from Ryan Moore. But when all is said and done, Doerksen is right where he wants to be with 8 weeks to go, right in Beast’s blind spot in the rear view mirror. He better be careful though, because we all know Beast eventually conquered that nasty zit to get the girl of his dreams. He wants to do the same with this League.
There was a big drop off from fourth to fifth in weekly points, as we go to the bottom of the aggregate standings to find Lawrence who finished with 75. A back four hole charge by Graeme McDowell lifted him to a back door top ten, while Keegan Bradley managed to score 25 points. After that it was a tough week, with zeroes coming from Kaymer, Dufner, and Jimenez. As much as Lawrence may not want to hear it, it’s time to give up on the Miguel train. As amicable of a player he may be, only recording points in three starts is not getting it done, especially for a player who was kept. If Lawrence wants to start being a factor in this league, he’s going to have to rid himself of the Spaniard.
Bryce has gone from the top of the standings in February, all the way to the second last spot, after just scoring 50 points this week. All fifty were thanks to Dustin Johnson who got a top ten. With Tiger not his game, Bryce just doesn’t have the firepower to compete right now. Bryce is now the only team without a win, and there is a very infamous stat looming. Double B has now gone 34 weeks without a win, just two shy of the all-time winless record of 36 weeks. He will need to make things happen either in Quebec or Ohio to avoid the dubious distinction of longest winless streak.
And then there was Fuchs. The little guy seems to have fallen out of favour with the league by leaving the Facebook conversation, although with the play of his team, maybe we shouldn’t blame him. Fuchs hasn’t scored more than 30 points in a week since the US Open, and has gone from contender to pretender. Only Jimmy Walker and Hunter Mahan were able to crack the top 50, dropping Andrew to fifth place in the overall standings.
One of my favourite weeks is coming up. The prestigious RBC Canadian Open.