Hot? Bad mustaches, Phil and Kelly Tilghman. Not? Vijay, Rory's schedule and Every's putter

Wednesday January 18th, 2012
Phil Mickelson makes his 2012 debut this week.
Al Tielemans/SI

HOT

1. Bad mustaches. First Geoff Ogilvy, now Johnson Wagner. Somewhere Corey Pavin (circa ’94) is smiling.

2. Phil. With apologies to Bubba — Clinton, not Watson — Mickelson is the headliner this week as he makes his 2012 debut. It’s a fitting beginning; given how lackluster Phil’s play was last year, he needs a little hope.

3. Kelly Tilghman. Her strong questioning of Matt Every about his marijuana-related suspension — and his unrepentant answers — made for riveting TV. More, please.

4. Branden (Amazing) Grace. The sweet-swinging 23-year-old pro is the latest South African to make headlines, courtesy of a strong win at the Joburg Open. I think good golf swings are the country’s leading export.

5. Twitter. Jason Gore scored a spot at Riviera thanks (in part) to a cheeky tweet, the first known example of someone getting work from Twitter, not avoiding it.

NOT

1. Vijay. You know he's a surly dude when he somehow turns Rory Sabbatini into a sympathetic figure.

2. The golf economy. Ballyneal is in bankruptcy, the Belfry is up for sale, and one of every four homes for sale in the Palm Springs area is on a golf course. And the less we say about Tiger Woods Design, the better.

3. Rory McIlroy’s schedule. Between now and Augusta, we’re going to see the boy wonder only three times here in the States: Match Play, Honda, Doral. I know he’s feeling burnt-out right now, but is McIlroy really going to take three weeks off heading into the Masters?

4. Jeff Maggert. The short-hitting 47-year-old vet was in prime position to win for the first time in six years, but nobody in the top 45 finishers posted a score worse than his closing 74. On the bright side, the senior tour is less than three years away.

5. Matt Every’s putter. I don’t care if it works, that thing is hideous looking. And if they ever come out with a belly version, I’m taking up tennis.

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