By Alan Shipnuck
Thursday, December 04, 2014


1. Jordan Spieth. Don’t forget, it was exactly one year ago at the Australian Open that Rory ended a winless year and started some very big things. Hmmmmm…


Jordan Spieth
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2. Tiger Woods. Nice to have the big fella back. No one moves the needle like Tiger, which we will be reminded of over and over again this week.


Tiger Woods
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3. Gil Hanse. The nicest guy in golf course architecture may finally get his Olympic course built after yet another spurious legal challenge was dismissed in Rio. Poor guy's gonna have an ulcer the size of the Church Pews by the time the opening ceremonies arrive.


Gil Hanse
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4. Patrick Reed. He’s a last-minute addition to the World Challenge field. I'm guessing that every missed putt will be greeted by rainbows and unicorns.


Patrick Reed
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5. Robert Streb. Yep, he’s still atop the FedEx Cup standings. Just in case you were wondering.


Robert Streb
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1. Rory. Tied for the lead 44 holes into the Australian Open, McIlroy went triple-double and ultimately finished 15 shots back. Doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but for the sake of career victory totals, his place on the Australian Open honor roll and other niceties it would be nice if he cleaned up a few more of these opportunities.


Rory McIlroy
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2. Rickie. If Spieth keeps this up Fowler may lose his status as the young gun most likely to get beaten by McIlroy down the stretch of a major.


Rickie Fowler
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3. Jim Furyk. He bowed out of the World Challenge with a bad back. No doubt from the monkey he’s been carrying around after blowing so many chances to win in 2014.


Jim Furyk
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4. Miguel Angel Jimenez. Now Poults has seemingly thrown his support behind Darren Clarke for the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy. Supposedly MAJ’s shaky English is hurting his chances, but that didn’t prevent Hal Sutton from getting the job.


Miguel Angel Jimenez
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5. Open Championship qualifying. Three guys somehow earned a spot at the Old Course eight months from now by losing the Australian Open. Does this make sense to anyone besides the tweedy old guy at the R&A who dreamed it up while drooling in his soup?


Greg Chalmers, Brett Rumford, Rod Pampling
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