Tiger Woods returns this week after a three-month break.
Robert Beck/SI
By Alan Shipnuck
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

HOT
1. The World Series of Golf (or whatever they're calling it these days) The end-of-the-season excitement starts now: six big tourneys in eight weeks. Player of the Year, TBA.

2. Byron Bell. He's about to become the most famous Sherpa this side of Tenzing Norgay.

3. Tim Finchem. So now Rory is talking about reclaiming his PGA Tour membership, and the commish didn't have to budge on the minimum number of tournaments members must play. Dude is crazy like a fox.

4. Yani Tseng. Let me just repeat: she has won five majors by the age of 22. Wow.

5. Tiger. Love him or hate him, it's impossible to ignore him. His return this week elevates Akron from a good tourney to must-see TV.

\n \nNOT
1. Firestone C.C. If there's a more boring tournament course out there I haven't seen it.

2. The Reno-Tahoe Open. Did you know there's another PGA Tour event being played this week? Me, neither.

3. Paddy Harrington. Three years into a career-stunting slump, this mystifyingly mental tinkerer has split from Bob Torrance, the old-school swing coach who helped him build a major championship game. To quote Rory: "Oh, Paddy, Paddy, Paddy."

4. Bahrain. Social unrest has forced the Euro tour to cancel this Mid-East stop, which just debuted last year. Apparently the Arab Spring is not conducive a bourgeoisie leisure sport like golf.

5. Zach Johnson. It can't be good for your confidence when your caddy is playing better than you are.

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