Tour Confidential: The Day-Dubuisson Duel, Sergio's Sportsmanship and Ike's Tree

Victor Dubuisson
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Victor Dubuisson, 23, won his first professional title at the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open -- over a field that included Tiger Woods.

3. Frenchman Dubuisson looks like he'll be another steely Ryder Cup killer for Team Europe. We saw a lot of U.S.-Europe matchups at Dove Mountain. Were the results encouraging or discouraging for U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson?

GODICH: I'm thrilled if I'm Captain Tom. The youngsters are fearless. It was another great week for Jordan Spieth, Harris English showed some real moxie and Rickie Fowler, with his new move, brought back memories of his play at the 2010 Ryder Cup. I wouldn't mind having Patrick Reed on my side either.

LYNCH: I'd argue this week offers more for Paul McGinley to muse on than for Watson. After all, Dubuisson has pretty much made the European team on the basis of two tournaments. McGinley will be hoping the Frenchman continues to show some form over the summer. He won't want another Pierre Fulke, who made the 2002 team largely because he reached the final of the Match Play in 2001.

PASSOV: I don't think there's any correlation. Eighteen holes at a time at a fluky desert course doesn't prove anything -- though the way McDowell escaped against Mahan had to hurt. Ernie Els won the Wentworth Match Play seven times, but had a horrible record in this event until reaching his second semifinals this year, and that was playing over-par golf for his first three matches. Best thing about the Match Play for the U.S. was kick-starting Rickie Fowler.

MORFIT: If I'm Watson, I'm encouraged to see Fowler dusting Poulter and reaching the semifinals, but none too pleased to see G-Mac wriggling his way out of trouble and pinning another agonizing defeat on Hunter Mahan.

VAN SICKLE: The results were probably slightly discouraging, but what happens in the Tucson desert in February has little to do with what happens in Scotland in seven months. Too early to panic.

SHIPNUCK: Both teams are stacked -- just look at the World Ranking. The Match Play didn't identify a favorite but did confirm this is gonna be a Cup for the ages.

SENS: Neither. The Ryder Cup is its own animal with a distinctive sort of pressure. Is Dove Mountain a good predictor of what we can expect in Scotland? I doubt it. Sure. Dubuisson looks great. So does Jordan Spieth. Ditto Harris English, both of whom will likely be on the U.S. squad this year. If the Americans have cause for concern in the Cup, they also have reason for celebration. One weekend in Arizona doesn't change tilt that dynamic one way or the other.

RITTER: Ryder Cup stalwarts Kuchar and Dufner played well, as did bubble players Watson, English and Mahan. I think we can all agree that Spieth is making this team. Rickie Fowler made the biggest statement -- his wins over Poulter and Sergio were extremely impressive, and he just looked mature and in control for most of the week. Also, he's no longer dressing like a crayon, and now more closely resembles a Lithuianian wedding deejay. I'm not completely sure that's a sign of maturity but feel it should be mentioned. He played himself right back into the Ryder Cup discussion. Watson's list of candidates currently looks d-e-e-p.

BAMBERGER: Oh, I don't think what happens in Dove Mountain in February has any bearing at all on what happens in Scotland in September. Although both are Jack Nicklaus courses where you need to drive it in play. So maybe it does.

4. Sergio Garcia was both praised and mocked for offering Rickie Fowler a conceded 18-foot putt on the 7th hole while 2 up in their third-round match. What’s your take?

LYNCH: Fowler hadn't made a putt of that length all season. Not one. It was an overly generous gesture by Garcia to concede a putt that was outside the leather of Tim Herron's belt. But I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that Garcia stands accused of being too gracious, since he has received his share of incoming fire for an absence of that trait over the years.

SHIPNUCK: Classic Sergio: he was trying to be magnanimous, but it came off as smarmy. I guess the bottom line is that his heart was in the right place, so we can tepidly celebrate his sportsmanship.

MORFIT: I like what Sergio did because of the way he explained it later, that golf is supposed to be a gentleman's game, and he felt a ruling had taken too long. If that's really how it all went down, good for him. It's a game.

SENS: Sergio's a sensitive guy. That's good when you're writing sonnets. Not so good when you're trying to close someone out in a cutthroat competition. As Brandel Chamblee pointed out over the weekend, Sergio was showing empathy. Since when has that ever done an athlete any good?

BAMBERGER: I thought Sergio's movie was eccentric but admirable. I think it was sincere. I think he really means it when he says the game has not felt very gentlemanly lately, and I think he's correct. It doesn't matter if Sergio has his own bratty history, I think you have to judge what he's trying to be. I admire what he's trying to do.

RITTER: I get that Sergio was trying to be a gentleman -- and perhaps he was successful -- but at that moment, didn't you just feel that he would end up losing by one? Of course you did. It was the one outcome that would stamp the putt concession as yet another point of controversy and drama in his controversial and dramatic career. In the end, it was all so … Sergio.

PASSOV: This was weird. Even when Sergio wins, he loses. Legendary sportsmen like Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus were also hard-core competitors. I can't put Sergio in that crowd. Sergio had to feel genuine empathy when he took so long at the previous hole, so he rewarded Rickie, albeit awkwardly. What if, after that, Rickie had made Sergio putt his own seven-footer? Maybe I'd feel differently if Sergio had faced a gimme of his own, but this gesture was strange. A simple conversation and apology walking down the fairway would have sufficed. That said, in the amateur ranks, Mickelson and others used to do this concession stuff as gamesmanship, just because they were so confident in their own abilities that they would win anyway. "Sure, take that 20-footer." Somehow, I don't see Sergio with that kind of self-belief.

VAN SICKLE: I feel like I missed the punch line with Sergio's move. It had something to do with bees. Good sportsmanship is good sportsmanship even if maybe it isn't good strategy, I suppose. Sergio knew what he was doing. I'll give him a pass on this one.

GODICH: Sergio never ceases to amaze. Dumb move. Too bad Rory wasn't there to give him a hug.

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