Hot this Week? Choi, Clark and the 17th. Not? G-Mac, Poulter and Tiger's knee

Tuesday May 17th, 2011
K.J. Choi beat David Toms in the first hole of sudden death at the Players Championship.
Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

HOT
1. God. Hey, that's who K.J. Choi credited after his stellar victory at the Players. Non-believers were more impressed by his ball-striking, reliable short-game and palpable desire.

2. Darren Clarke. One of the game's most likeable characters got his first win since 2008 with a big-time performance on Sunday on the Euro tour. And how did he celebrate? By buying a drink for every person on his (commercial) flight home.

3. Nick and Johnny. There is nothing in golf more amusing than watching these Hall of Fame egos swing their purses at each other in the broadcast booth. Forget Hank and Rush, get this odd couple a reality show, pronto!

4. Sergio. Don't look now but the '09 Players champ is quietly ramping up his game. His closing 65 at Sawgrass (which included a birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie stretch) was the confidence booster.

5. The 17th at Sawgrass as a playoff venue. The very definition of sudden death, it's high drama and great TV.

NOT
1. The 17th at Sawgrass as a playoff venue. It's gimmicky and a tad too capricious. I'm just glad a gust of wind didn't decide this year's playoff.

2. G-Mac. An existential question for the slumping Ulsterman: is it better to miss the cut in three of four tourneys (as McDowell stealthily did heading into the Players) or play well for three rounds and then on Sunday self-immolate in front of God and Johnny Miller?

3. Ian Poulter. I have no problem with his clever dash to complete his rain-delayed third round in the Saturday gloaming. But if you're gonna gloat incessantly on Twitter about all the extra sleep you're enjoying -- as Poults did -- don't go out on Sunday and shoot a rag-tag 73.

4. Old guy nerves. For 72 holes David Toms didn't miss a putt inside five feet, and then on the first hole of sudden death he blows a three-footer to lose golf's biggest payday? It doesn't get any yippier than that.

5. Tiger's knee. And so it has come to this: The greatest winner in the history of sports is going to spend the final act of his career as a never-ending question mark, always one awkward swing from catastrophe. Discouraging stuff.

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