It didn’t take long for Rory McIlroy to follow up his first PGA Tour win since 2012 with another. After claiming the Open Championship just two weeks ago, McIlroy once again bested Sergio Garcia by two shots to claim the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. With the win, McIlroy reclaims the World #1 ranking, and becomes the highest scoring SSF player of 2014. It wasn’t just McIlroy who had a good week though. The league racked up nearly 1000 points this week, as all but three of the top 25 players were owned. With Beast’s team failing to muster much of anything this week, Daniel, Brent, and James all gained ground on the leader, who’s lead has dwindled to just 20 points. Let’s take a look at the team-by-team breakdown.
After what can only be described as a pitiful start to the season, James’ team has bounced back in the last few weeks with a pair of wins and nearly 600 points. With 350 of those points coming courtesy of McIlroy and another 135 from Rickie Fowler, James’ problems with depth are still there. Phil Mickelson has yet to card a top ten this SEASON, but his T15 this week was his eighth top 20. Henrik Stenson’s managed a top 25, but his stellar form from 2013 has been MIA this year, and he isn’t making enough starts to really contribute much. Webb Simpson has also been somewhat of a disappointment, scoring 10 points this week to bring him up to just 200 for the year. After a pair of exceptional weeks, James finds himself back in the hunt for at least a podium spot, but his team will need to keep up their torrid pace if he wants to become a four time Champion.
It was about this time last year that Brent absolutely went off on the league, racking up 960 points in the final six weeks, to claim his first SSF title. This year he may have started the charge a week early. A third place finish from the surprisingly underrated Mark Leishman, top fives from Charl Schwartzel and Patrick Reed, and a top ten from Adam Scott contributed the bulk of Brent’s massive 215 point week. He’s less than 200 points back of first place, and riding a wave of momentum that started three weeks ago at the Open Championship. If he can come up with a win or two in the SSF playoffs, Beast better watch out.
Despite having now set the record for most 0-point weeks, it’s been a wildly successful rookie campaign for Daniel. Though Lee Westwood has struggled, first overall pick Sergio Garcia has more than picked up the slack, averaging 42 points a week, second only to McIlroy. It becomes more amazing when you realize that he has done so without a win. His second place finish this week was his third straight runner-up, and sixth top five this year. Justin Rose added to his successful campaign with a top five finish, and Ryan Moore tread water to remain in the top ten. Daniel gained big on Beast this week, and sits a mere 20 points back of the leader.
After Martin Kaymer’s big win at the U.S. Open, Lawrence appeared poised to make a charge up the leaderboard, however limited rosters the next four weeks killed his momentum and he still finds himself in the basement. There is hope though, as Fuchs has stopped submitting rosters, and Bryce’s team is enveloped in controversy. Keegan Bradley appears to have recovered from his poor start to the year, recording a top five this week, while Graeme McDowell has been on fire recently, recording his third straight top ten. A position on the podium sadly appears out of reach for Lare-bear, and so he will begin the rebuilding process for next year.
After gaining pulling away from everyone with 105 points at the Canadian Open, Beast fell back down to earth this week, managing just 70 points, and losing ground to the other three contenders. Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk couldn’t turn their top 15’s into top tens, and Jordan Spieth continued his slump with just a top 50. Jason Day hasn’t been the same since his thumb injury early in the year, and he was forced to withdraw once again this week. Beast is still the team to beat, but with just one win from Kuchar, Furyk, and Spieth, one has to wonder if he can keep counting on wins from his depth players.
Ever since Fuchs stopped submitting rosters, his team has become pretty stagnant. This week was another disappointing one, with just one top 15 from Hunter Mahan. He’s quickly tumbling down the leaderboard and could find himself passed by his arch-nemesis Lawrence if he doesn’t makes something happen soon.
If there’s a better example of bad things happening to good people than Bryce’s team, I have yet to see it. The league’s least controversial member finds himself embroiled in controversy this week, as Tiger’s back is injured once again, and Dustin Johnson is forced to deny allegations that he’s been suspended for cocaine use! Though Bryce has yet to comment on the allegations, he must be incredibly disappointed in his two golden geese. After a mere 35 points, Bryce is just 45 points ahead of last place, and he hasn’t topped 100 points since the beginning of March. If there’s one thing that Bryce has going for him, it’s that he still has three Konkel Explosions which he can hopefully move for some draft picks. Either way it’s going to be an uphill climb to get back on the podium next year.