THOMPSON BREAKS THROUGH
Gorant: In his third season on Tour, Michael Thompson grabbed his first win. What do you think of Thompson's performance and who do you think will have a better 2013, Thompson or surprise runner-up Geoff Ogilvy?
Godich: As we have seen so many times, it was Thompson's week. After doing next to nothing in 2013, he got a couple of nice breaks, and he putted his ball better than anybody. That said, I'll take the proven U.S. Open and Match Play champion.
Lynch: The real winner here was PGA National Resort, which proudly markets the course as being tough, which helps obscure the fact that it's neither good nor interesting.
Morfit: I'll be contrarian and pick Thompson. After Olympic Club last June and what he did at the Honda, I'm like his career trajectory. As far as pure quotability, though, I hope Ogilvy keeps playing well.
Reiterman: Don't know if I'd call Ogilvy a "surprise runner-up." Sure, he's been struggling, but the dude has a U.S. Open trophy and three WGC titles to his name. I don't know if either one will have a big year, so I'll go with Thompson since he already has a W against a very strong field.
Van Sickle: Great question. Ogilvy obviously has a far better pedigree but Thompson's scrambling ability was fantastic. Since Ogilvy has been battling his putter, I'll go with Thompson, whose chipping stroke and putting stroke looked unflappable.
Ritter: It was a great win for Thompson, and nice to see a guy who's paid his dues finally break through. But based on track record alone you've gotta like Ogilvy's chances of having the better season. The Aussie's been on a downward slide for a couple of years now, but that strong final round in tough conditions feels like a sign he's on his way back. I think he'll be more of a major factor than Thompson.
Walker: Great to see Ogilvy play well, but I'll go with Thompson. We're nine events into the season and have nine American winners. Decline of U.S. golf was slightly exaggerated.
TIGER FADES AT HONDA
Gorant: With the chance to reassert himself as something more than Rory's sidekick, Tiger Woods failed to impress, shooting three rounds of 70 before finishing with a penalty-filled 74. In the aftermath, TW expressed confidence, saying that if he eliminated the bad swings and the penalties he would have shot a good score, making him sound a lot like me after 18. Is Tiger officially out of sorts (first-round loss last week) or is he in fact "close"?
Reiterman: Followed Tiger for the first two rounds, and he was out of sorts all week. He was not only missing fairways with his driver, but he was finding trouble with 3-woods and 2-irons off the tee, as well. It's a credit to his competiveness that he was recording 70s the first three rounds and not 74s or 75s. Sunday was just a brutal day, so it's hard to read too much into one bad day where very few guys broke par. He's got a win under his belt already, and he's heading to two courses (Doral and Bay Hill) that he's had a lot of success on. He'll be fine for Augusta.
Lynch: And if I could eliminate my atheism I could be Pope. Stating the obvious doesn't make the situation any closer to becoming a reality. Perhaps this is Tiger's new reality: he's able to run away from the field at Torrey Pines then stink it up in his next few starts. In short, he's just like every other Tour pro. If you mean "close" in again becoming as dominant he used to be, I'm closer to becoming Pope.
Walker: Tiger's got a win and he'll have good vibes working at Doral and Bay Hill. He's as close as he's been in awhile.
Van Sickle: I'm not going to call a guy out of sorts a couple of weeks after he won at Torrey Pines. Man, is this a tough room or what? If Tiger had been playing a course that didn't have water hazards in every direction, he would've been fine. It's a penal course, which isn't the same as saying it's a good course. Since he's already won this year, I'll say Tiger is, in fact, "close."
Ritter: Not a great week for Woods, but I don't see any real cause for alarm. He's only a month removed from winning at Torrey. If I'm picking five favorites for Augusta, he's on the list, but probably not at the top.
Morfit: I'd say Tiger is closer than Rory. And I'd say either of them, or Phil Mickelson, could win at Doral. Things change fast.
Godich: I had to laugh when I heard Tiger talking about how things would've been fine if not for the two water balls and the lost ball. I see a guy who just isn't making putts like he used to. Until that changes, Tiger will be a mere mortal -- better than most everybody else, but not the dominator we'd grown accustomed to seeing.