Ryo Ishikawa finished second last weekend in Puerto Rico.
Ricardo Arduengo / AP
By Alan Shipnuck
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HOT
1. Ryo. On the one-year anniversary of the Japanese tsunami, he gave his countrymen a lift with his best-ever PGA Tour finish, a runner-up in Puerto Rico. And now that he has elevated his status on Tour, he can accept unlimited sponsors' exemptions, so expect to see more of the kid over here the rest of the season.

2. J-Ro. He has now won four times on the PGA Tour in less than two years, all quality victories: Memorial, AT&T National, BMW, Doral. I like the way Rose is trending.

3. Gil Hanse. He won the most coveted golf architecture commission in history, the 2016 Olympic course and, so far, he's kept his sanity dealing with the Donald on a much-needed Doral redo. When I write the next Harry Potter, he's the first guy I'm calling to build my personal course.

4. Rory. Somehow, some way, he's there every week. It's awesome watching him grow up right before our eyes.

5. O.J. NBC's stalking of Tiger driving away from Doral was the best bit of aerial camerawork since the Juice took a joyride around Southern California. For what it's worth, neither Woods nor Simpson play Riviera anymore.
 
NOT
1. Transitions. This week's tourney has no Rory, Phil or Tiger. You know, the only three guys who matter.

2. Bubba. He was a train wreck early, rallied nicely after the turn, manned up on his approach shot at 18 and then whiffed the most important putt he's had in ages. Not exactly a clinic in closing.

3. Craig Connolly. Paul Casey's looper thought he'd won a new Cadillac when his boss made an ace on Sunday, only to then discover that the giveaway was for a different hole. On the bright side, he doesn't have to caddie for Vijay.

4. Keegan Bradley. It's admirable that he keeps getting himself into contention, but for the second straight tourney the reigning rookie of the year blew up on Sunday. Bradley is finding out that it's not as easy to win as he made it look last year.

5. Tiger's brittle body. Same stuff, different year. And he was finally starting to piece things together on the course. Let's hope Woods can find a way to stay healthy for a while –- it's just sad watching this long, slow decline.

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