Hot This Week? Byrd, McDowell, D.J. and Natalie. Not? Garrigus and Tour caddies

Tuesday May 3rd, 2011
Jonathan Byrd won his fifth career title Sunday at Kapalua.
Kohjiro Kinno/SI

Hot

1. J-Byrd. Classy player, classy guy, and more wins than almost any other American you can think of. What does Jonathan Byrd have to do to get some props?

2. G-Mac. Let's see, dude had no off-season, he flew halfway around the world to get to Maui, he had to break in all new sticks and he was still the star of the show on Sunday. Apparently nothing can stop McDowell's momentum.

3. Bam-Bam. Brittany Lincicome is one of the coolest chicks in golf. This week she takes on the fellas on the unfortunately-named Hooters tour. This isn't a marketing gimmick but a chance for Lincicome to test herself and stay sharp during a long off-season. Gotta respect that.

4. Dustin & Natalie. With Adam and Ana kaput golf badly needed a sizzling new romance. And Johnson and Gulbis couldn't be any more perfect for each other: tall, blonde, good-looking and unencumbered by too many swing thoughts.

5. Robert Garrigus. Country strong with an excess of down-home charm, how can you not root for this guy?\n

(A new season of Alan Shipnuck's mailbag begins this week! Send in your questions now!)

\nNot

1. Robert Garrigus. I know it was a long day and the greens are grainy and the pressure was suffocating but anyone with their name on their bag has gotta clean up a three-footer in sudden death.

2. Fuddy-duddy Tour players. Trying to jazz up its telecast the Golf Channel asked players at Kapalua to wear on-course microphones and only Jonathon Byrd was agreeable. It's entertainment, guys. Your bloated checks are a direct result of TV interest. Anything to make the show better should be a no-brainer.

3. 'Morning Drive.' Did you hear Golf Channel has a new daily gabfest? Me neither.

4. Tour caddies. During this rash of costly penalties there is one constant: the caddies are standing right there, watching it happen. The players need to know the rules but they're also in the cauldron of competition. What's the caddies' excuse?

5. Steve Stricker. Tied for the lead heading into the last round at Kapalua the odds-on favorite to win bogeyed two of the first seven holes and got blown away by his opponents' fearless shotmaking. Almost 44, Stricker can't let too many of these opportunities get away.\n

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