1. Steven Bowditch. The best eyebrows in sports + an inspirational backstory = one of my new favorite players.
2: Anna Nordqvist. She’s always been an awesome physical talent. Now that this Nordic goddess is learning to how to win, look out.
3. Eurasia Cup. This new team competition was a pleasant surprise – Asia was down 5-0 after day one but stormed back for a lively 10-10 tie. No, it’s not the Ryder Cup, but it sure ain’t the Tavistock Cup, either.
4. The R & A. The game’s oldest ruling body appears to be on the verge of finally allowing female members. Welcome to the 1970s, boys!
5. Kevin Na. After Andrew Loupe’s mind-numbing pre-shot tics at the Texas Open, Na is no longer the poster boy for slow play. That may take a while to sink in.
1. Fading legends. Tiger and Phil (combined age: 81) are breaking down like a ’71 Pinto. Mickelson’s W/D for a strained oblique muscle raises an important issue: who knew he had an oblique muscle?
2. Cristie Kerr. She was tied for the lead at the Kia but made only one birdie on Sunday and got run over by Nordqvist, among others. Too bad, because few things in golf are as fun to watch as watching Kerr walk-in big putts.
3. Brooks Koepka. For all his success in Europe the former Florida State star is finding it tough to get a foothold on the PGA Tour. He just missed earning special temporary status, finishing 36th at San Antonio when a 32nd would have gotten him the necessary FedEx Cup points. (Yes, some folks do keep track of FedEx Cup points in March.)
4. Chesson Hadley. The Puerto Rico Open champ could have played his way into the Masters with strong Sundays at Bay Hill or San Antonio but he shot a 79 and 80, respectively. Could be good fodder for The Rum Diaries II.
5. Paddy Harrington: After a missed cut in San Antonio he has to win this week in Houston or he will miss the Masters for the first time since his debut in 2002. His only chance is if Sergio misplaces his voodoo doll.