Nick Watney averaged more than 297 yards off the tee at Doral.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
By Alan Shipnuck
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hot

\n \n1. Long ball. Still think golf is a finesse game? Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson absolutely overpowered the so-called Blue Monster during a stellar Sunday shootout. For all the talk about Euros taking over world golf, the good ol' U-S of A still produces most of the red-blooded, titanium-denting ball-bashers.

2. Sandy Lyle. Sure, it's only the Euro Senior tour, but the former world No. 1 earned his first victory of any kind in 19 years. That's a helluva long time between drinks.

3. Ian Baker-Finch. A horrific case of the driver yips sent the 1991 British Open champ into a premature retirement, but he played reasonably well in his Senior tour debut. If Baker-Finch can somehow win again it will go down as one of the greatest reclamation projects in golf history.

4. Cowboys. Three Oklahoma St. grads had top-10s on the PGA Tour — Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Chris Tidland (Puerto Rico) — while 44-year-old Michael Bradley prevailed in Puerto Rico. Just another week in the life of America's greatest golf school.

5. Bugatti Veyron. Apparently it's the only supercar Rory McIlroy doesn't own.

\nNot

\n1. Tavistock Cup. As a meaningless exhibition it provides decent entertainment. As a symbol of conspicuous consumption and country club insularity it is utterly nauseating.

2. Hunter Mahan. He played Doral's final 10 holes in five over par, kicking away the chance to win the biggest tournament of his career. And don't forget San Diego, where on Sunday Mahan doubled the first hole and made three more bogeys in a sloppy 73 that let another tourney get away. Time to tighten things up, big fella.

3. Isleworth. Tiger's desertion is complete now that he's playing for something called Team Albany.

4. Adam Scott. His double bogey on the 12th hole on Sunday at Doral cost him a chance at victory, but I simply can't get over how one of golf's most stylish young players is using a broom-handle putter. Sad that it's come to this.

5. Phil. Fourteen bunkers in one round? Last in greens in regulation? Sixteen bogeys and two doubles on a course that's easier than a cheerleader on prom night? This is not exactly peaking for Augusta.\n

\nClick here to submit a question for Alan's next mailbag.

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