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Hot this week? Tiger, Rory and Stricker. Not? Gil Hanse, G-Mac and Els

HOT

1. Tiger. Well, we now have a clear-cut Masters favorite. Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.

2. Steve Stricker. Being a semi-retired golfer seems to be working out fine, but if he gets bored with these top-5 finishes he can always become a full-time putting coach.

3. Tim Finchem. The WGCs are always a highlight of the early season, and yet another reminder of the Commish's evil genius.

4. Greg Norman. He has been named an advisory coach for the Chinese national team, meaning he can take all the credit when the country's first wave of golfers begins to dominate in 10 years of so. In the meantime, Shark can busy himself with a ton of design work in China, the only place in the world where people are still building courses.

5. Rory. His honesty in the pre-tourney press conference was refreshing but his play on Sunday was a reminder that the best kind of crisis management is a bogey-free 65.

NOT

1. Gil Hanse. His would-be Olympic course remains a political mess and now this mild-mannered course designer begins work on a new Blue Monster with Donald Trump peppering him with obnoxious ideas. Dude is a glutton for punishment.

2. Fabian Gomez. The sweet-swinging Argentinian took a one-stroke lead into the par-5 finishing hole of the Puerto Rico Open but made an awful bogey to hand the victory to Scott Brown. To quote one of his star-crossed countrymen: "What a stupid I am."

3. G-Mac. When was the last time this lad played his best golf whilst in the hunt? His winless streak is now two-and-a-half years and counting.

4. Ernie Els. He just WD'd from Tampa with an ailing back. Easy says it's been bugging him for five months but he has now, finally, decided to get an MRI. You know, a month before the Masters.

5. Robert Garrigus. A baked-out setup always reveals a player's weaknesses, in his game and his head. The fragile Garrigus made four doubles, a triple and 13 bogeys en route to finishing DFL at Doral.

 

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