Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.
STREELMAN WINS IN TAMPA BY TWO SHOTS
Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: Greetings, golf fans. Kevin Streelman emerged from a pack of Sunday challengers and showed some grit while winning in Tampa. It was the first career title for the 34-year-old, and the win gets him into the Masters. Give us your thoughts on Streelman's victory, and his outlook for the rest of season.
John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: I really liked the way he won it. The par-3 13th and 17th holes had back-right pins surrounded by trouble, and most of the contenders either couldn't hit that shot or were afraid to try. (Justin Leonard missed both greens with pull hooks, showing the limits of his game.) Streelman showed real spine by hitting two gorgeous fades, and he birdied both holes. Man, that's how you're supposed to win. As for the rest of his season, I don't see how it changes anything. He'll just sleep better knowing that he finally broke through.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Streelman came up big when it counted on the back nine and his 67 was better than you think. He won because he didn't make any bogeys. All four of those birdies counted. I don't know which was more clutch, stuffing the iron shot to a tucked pin at 13, making the putt at 17 or splitting the fairway at 18. We haven't seen him do this before. More, please.
Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: I like Streelman as a person. He's one of the nice guys on Tour. As for his game, he's surprisingly long off the tee for a modest-sized dude. He might do okay at Augusta National, depending on how quickly he can learn the greens.
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: He'll remain what he's always been, a solid journeyman. Congrats to him though, great win.
Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com It's nice to see a guy win who isn't far removed from being, in his words, flat broke. But there's no aspect of Streelman's game that's so strong it portends a dominant stretch. What it means for his season is that he isn't fretting about keeping his card.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Gutsy performance. It's nice when good things happen to good people.
Stephanie Wei, WeiUnderPar.com: Really happy for Streels. He's just an all-around solid guy who has a sneaky sense of humor (which you might not expect). He's worked really hard through the years and grinded his way from the mini tours all the way to the winner's circle on the PGA Tour. I wasn't sure how he'd react coming down the stretch while in contention, but he seemed pleasantly comfortable and embraced the moment . Love that he was a caddie at Whisper Rock after graduating from Duke and now he's a member!
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: That was a nice win by Streelman on a tough track, but I don't think we're seeing the second coming of Jason Dufner.
BEST OF THE REST
Ritter: Boo Weekley fell two shots short with a Sunday 63, while a whopping 16 players were within five shots of the lead entering the final round, including veterans Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard; high-ranking pros Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia; relative unknowns Shawn Stefani and George Coetzee; and young bucks Ben Kohles, Harris English and Jordan Spieth. Each of these guys had moments in the spotlight on Sunday. Who impressed you the most?
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Boo. Boo will always be the answer to that question and any similar group, because he had endured far more than most to get to where he is.
Morfit: I think Harris English is going to win soon. The guy is a huge talent, and he's benefitted by having veteran Jimmy Johnson, Stricker's regular looper, on the bag.
Godich: I like what Spieth did. He's playing with next to no status (no pressure there), and his top 10 gets him into the field in Houston in two weeks. Plus, he was coming off a runner-up finish in Puerto Rico. Keep this up and he's going to play his way right onto the PGA Tour.
Van Sickle: Spieth is rock solid with the putter. He needed to win $101,295 and he made the putts he had to make to get it done. I'd say he is for real. That said, good ol' Boo Weekley is a shot in the arm for the tour. He's John Daly without the baggage. People love him. The media love him. He's good, clean fun, and the man can strike a golf ball. His 63 after four years out of the spotlight impressed me. Almost makes me want to start dippin' ... but nahhh.
Walker: Garcia's return to form. In 2010, he declined a spot on the Ryder Cup team, and now he's on his way back to being one of the world's best players.
Wei: That's a tough call! I'd say it's a tie between Boo and 19-year-old Spieth, who chipped in for birdie on 17 and earned enough money for special temporary membership on the PGA Tour. Boo put on a ball-striking clinic, even though we all know his weakness has never been in that department. I know he's been working hard on his putting -- in between his fishing -- and that was big on his way to a 63 on a super tough golf course. In between Phoenix and the Honda, his coach Scott Hamilton worked on getting the pop out of Boo's stroke by trying to make his stroke more fluid and accelerating through the hit.
Garrity: English has been on my radar for some time, and Coetzee appears to be another one of those formidable South Africans who keep washing ashore. But Spieth was the guy who caught my eye. The kid showed what he can do on a tough golf course.
Ritter: I loved the guts Spieth showed coming down the stretch, knowing that a top-13 would unlock exemptions for more PGA Tour events. He closed par-birdie-par to finish T7. Can't wait to see more of this guy.
Lynch: There were only two wholly impressive performances on Sunday: Streelman and Weekley. A win and a 63 on a tough course rise to that level. What was more noteworthy was the ravages of time showing among the veterans, particularly Furyk and Leonard. It seems that putters get cold on Sunday more often in your 40s.