Hot this week? Rio, Freddy and Gulbis. Not? Firestone, Lewis, Duval

Fred Couples
Phil Inglis / Getty Images
Fred Couples won the Senior British Open by two shots.

HOT

1. Rio. Yes, golf's Olympic format is uninspired and controversy about the would-be course is unending, but watching these Olympics has gotten me jazzed for golf to enter the fray four years from now.

2. The golf calendar. This week starts a madcap finishing flourish that includes a WGC, a major, the FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup packed into nine weeks. Strap it on, boys.

3. Freddy. Yeah, it's a senior event, but anytime you play that well to stare down Bernhard Langer at Turnberry, it's a big deal. Even better is that by winning the Senior British Open Couples punches his ticket into the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, where he could easily pull a Tom Watson.

4. Natalie Gulbis. And not just for the obvious reasons: her tie for fourth is her best finish in years and third top-10 in this comeback season.

5. Scott Piercy. The best player you've never heard of is amassing quite a nice resume': Tour wins two years running. If I were playing a money game with my kids' 529s, there are not many guys I'd rather have for a partner than this birdie machine.

NOT

1. Firestone. If there's a less artistic course on Tour, I haven't seen it.

2. Stacy Lewis. She doomed her chances at one of the LPGA's most prestigious events by playing a span of 21 holes across her third and fourth rounds in four over par. Of course, this is how good Lewis is: she then roared into the clubhouse birdie-birdie-par-eagle, snagging a piece of second place.

3. David Duval. After all the endless Open-themed feel-good stories about what a better place he's in, now comes word that Duval's in financial distress. I guess that's what happens when you've broken 70 only twice in 15 starts.

4. Robert Garrigus. Over the first three rounds at the Canadian Open he made 17 birdies and an eagle against only one bogey en route to a 54-hole scoring record. During the final round he made exactly one birdie and then killed his chances at victory by bogeying the 70th hole. Just the latest proof that Sunday golf is an entirely different sport.

5. Tiger. So he's going to win this week's WGC and then have a spotty weekend at the PGA Championship, finishing 6th. He'll probably win the FedEx Cup, too, but then lose the deciding point at the Ryder Cup, further confounding all of us in what has been a maddening season.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Duval's Cherry Hills home had entered foreclosure. Duval told the Associated Press in a story published on Tuesday that this was not the case, but he declined to further explain his negotiations with the bank.

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