Monday, November 10, 2014

Bubba Wins Another Big One In Exciting Fashion

- Bubba Watson isn't just a golfer anymore. He is an entertainer. Whenever Bubba wins, he wins in spectacular fashion, and when he loses, he completely explodes. It provides for great television whenever Bubba is near the lead on a Sunday. It also shows that he should never be counted out. A lot of people (myself included) expected Bubba to have a down year after his poor performance down the stretch and in the Ryder Cup. Instead, he comes out of the gate and wins the first big tournament of the new season. Bubba may get on a lot of people's nerves, but no matter what, when he is in contention, you're going to watch.

- I am happy to see the career revitalization of Tim Clark. Two years ago, the question was asked whether or not we had seen the last of Clark as a contender on the PGA Tour. Not only did he win last season, but he then makes it to the playoff of a World Golf Championship event. Two years ago, Clark was left off the International team for the Ryder Cup, so I know he is going to try desperately hard to make it this time around.

- Can Rickie Fowler buy a win? With all the money he's making from these top 10 finishes, you'd think he'd be able to. Once again, Fowler finds himself coming up incredibly short of a win in a big time golf tournament. At some point, his next victory is going to come, and soon, and when that day comes you should expect a sea of trophies washing up on Fowler's doorstep.

- The golfer who can take the most away from the WGC-HSBC Champions? Hiroshi Iwata. Not only did he play well enough to get into the final group on Sunday, but following a two over par front side, Iwata was able to bounce back and came within a shot of being in the playoff. Iwata was on no one's radar this week (except mine - he was my sleeper pick), so to play against such a stacked field and be able to finish tied for third should give him a ton of confidence moving forward. He will likely be in the field at the Sony Open in Hawaii. If he does well there, who knows - perhaps he could make enough to take up Special Temporary Membership? I would love to see Iwata's fiery temperament on the PGA Tour this season.

- If I am Graeme McDowell, I would have started drinking immediately following the final putt on Sunday. For a player of that caliber to give up that tournament is shocking, but it also shows that no player, no matter how good they are, are a sure thing to win when they have a lead entering the final round.

- Was there a tournament more entertaining down the stretch on the LPGA Tour than the Mizuno Classic this year? Too bad very few in the states actually got to watch it, because it seemed like everyone who tee'd it up this week had a birdie putt in the last to get into a playoff. Sakura Yokomine's may have been the most heartbreaking, as it appeared to be going in. I would have loved to see Yokomine jump to the LPGA Tour, but after years of championing that cause, I believe my words are falling on deaf ears.

- Speaking of heart breaking, how great would it have been to see Dame Laura Davies become the oldest winner in LPGA history by closing the deal on Sunday. It would have capped off a great year where Davies was made a dame and elected into the World Golf Hall Of Fame. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to keep up the pace, but it was great seeing her turn back the clock.

- Mi Hyang Lee's victory was terrific, especially the way she was able to seal the deal, but her win will be relatively forgotten about when it's all said and done. Still, that is not Lee's fault - if anything, this week should give her a lot of confidence moving forward. Not only does she now know how to win on the LPGA Tour, but there aren't a lot of people talking about this victory, which gives Lee something to prove in the final two starts of the season.

- With no big name players in contention on Sunday, you would think Stacy Lewis would have had a field day with this tournament. Instead, she finished T31, a full six shots back, and behind players such as Pernilla Lindberg and Junko Omote. The end of the season can't come soon enough for Lewis, who is not playing nearly as well now as she was in the middle of the season, Lewis needs a time out and a restful off season.

- Prior to the start of the season, many Canadians within the sport of golf, whether they be writers or golfers themselves, were incredibly optimistic about the wave of young Canadian golfers joining the PGA Tour. There now appears to be a reason for that optimism, as Nick Taylor walked out of the Sanderson Farms Championship with Canada's first victory since 2010. With Adam Hadwin showing a lot of promise and Graham DeLaet a season removed from his President's Cup success, I think it's safe to say that Canada is hitting a bright spot on the PGA Tour.

- Peter Uihlein was on everyone's radar a year ago, but after a tough 2014 season on the European Tour, it seemed like everyone gave up on Uihlein. It was rather uplifting to see him have a great weekend at the Sanderson Farms Championship and remind people of the talent that he has. He will be on the PGA Tour soon, and then we will see how his talent blossoms when he is closer to home.

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