1. Sergio. The surging Spaniard won again, this time in Qatar, moving back inside the top 10 of the World Ranking. Garcia, 34, is the same age Ben Hogan was when he won his first major championship, so it’s never too late for him to alter his legacy.
2. Scott Stallings. He now has as many PGA Tour victories as Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Matteo Manassero, Peter Ulhlein and Ryo Ishikawa…combined.
3. Jessica Korda. Another young telegenic star is born. If you’re not watching the LPGA these days you can’t call yourself a real golf fan.
4. The Mid East swing. It’s already been a lively fortnight with Phil’s and Rory’s misadventures and Sergio’s rousing comeback. Now Woods’s much-needed bounce-back in Dubai will be the story of the week. Just goes to show what you can do with a little imagination and endless amount of petro-dollars.
5. Paula Creamer. Off the course America’s sweetheart is newly betrothed and on the course she suddenly seems engaged. If a happy, healthy Creamer can return to her winning ways that’s yet another big boost for the LPGA tour.
1. Tiger. Sure, it’s only one tournament, but Woods’s shockingly shabby season debut at a track he’s always owned is the latest evidence he can no longer summon his A-game at will.
2. Phil. He announced that this would be the year he cut back on his schedule…and then Mickelson played back-to-back weeks in Abu Dhabi and San Diego, tweaking his back along the way. Just a thought, but if you’re an arthritic 43-year old who makes $50+ million a year, maybe it’s time to stop flying around the world for appearance fees?
3. Jordan Spieth. Apparently it’s not as easy as the kid made it look last year. A back-nine bobble on Sunday at Kapalua and now a lost weekend at Torrey have provided some hard-knock lessons for this hypercompetitive sophomore. Expect him to figure it out, but patience is wearing thin—ours and Spieth’s.
4. Torrey Pines. Rees Jones’s overly penal redo never looked worse, thanks to wedge-out rough that led to a boring, defensive slog. No wonder golf is dying and we’re having to consider cockamamie ideas like…
5. Alt-golf. I like my pizza to be 15”, not my golf holes.