Hot this week? Manassero, Harbour Town, young guns. Not? McIlroy, Na, Tiger

Tuesday May 3rd, 2011

HOT
1. Matteo Manassero. The teen dream now has two Euro tour victories and has moved to 35 in the World Ranking, allowing him to plot his assault on this summer's majors. It's scary how much good young talent there is in golf right now.

2. PGA Tour rookies. I must be getting old, because I remember when it was a big deal for a freshman to win on Tour. Brendan Steele needed only 11 starts to get it done, matching Jhonny Vegas's breakthrough. Forget the FedEx Cup, ROY may be this season's most compelling race.

3. John Cook. Despite a double bogey on the final hole, this ageless surfer won yet another Senior event. The dude abides.

4. Harbour Town. This week is our annual reminder of how great this intimate course is and the abundant charms of the whole area. If a tourney can't survive here then the PGA Tour has major, major problems.

5. Rory McIlroy. Kid showed a lot of heart by shaking off his Masters blues and coming strong in Malaysia.

NOT
1. Rory McIlroy. Unfortunately, another mistake-filled Sunday cost him a much-needed victory. Yes, McIlroy has an endless future, but too many final round self-immolations have done lasting damage to even the most talented young comers. (See Garcia, Sergio.)

2. Kevin Na. It's nice when a Tour pro occasionally makes the rest of us feel good about our games. Bonus points to Na for handling his front-page-of-the-Times debacle with grace and humor.

3. Aussie stars. Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott roared into Texas off of strong Masters and were in perfect position to notch a win, but both were stunningly sloppy on the weekend. Was it fatigue, or were they were just intimidated by the Steele-Chappell-Hoffman-Snedeker leaderboard?

4. TPC San Antonio. Wow, that was some riveting theater on Sunday on this penal, taxing track: Steele closed with 11 straight pars and it was still good enough to win. I never thought I'd pine for La Cantera...

5. Tiger. A Woods finally scored a dominant victory but, alas, it was Eldrick's niece Cheyenne, who won the ACC Championship by seven strokes.

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