1. James Hahn. The best thing about this stellar victory is that we no longer have to utter the term “Gangnam style.” Oh, and by the way, winning at Riviera and Quail Hollow is the sign of a big-time talent.
2. Jesper Parnevik. Turns out the style icon and reality TV star can still play a little, too.
3. Ariya Jutanugarn. There have been a series of excellent female junior golfers from Thailand but Ariya is the first to break through with an LPGA victory. And given that she’s only 20, there’s time for plenty more.
4. Jason Kokrak. Getting up and down out of a loafer is barely a challenge, but try doing it from a luxury suite!
5. Johnny Miller. Now that he’s lost the rights to our national championship, the Players is Johnny’s annual star turn, and there’s no better course for him to work dark. I’m not sure what’s more stressful for the players, having to play the watery finishing holes with the tournament on the line, or knowing that Miller is in the booth waiting to pass judgement.
2. Rickie Fowler. The return to Sawgrass after his epic Players victory was always going to be a veritable Fowlerpalooza, but it’s a pity he limps in after kicking away a chance at Quail Hollow. Unfortunately, this is part of a larger regression for Fowler which includes a final round collapse in Phoenix and opening 80 at Augusta.
3. Justin Rose’s putting. As pure as his ballstriking is, it can be downright painful to watch him on the greens. The final round at Quail Hollow devolved into a horror show.
4. Olympic point-missers. So the whining about the summer schedule has reached The New York Times. Honestly, what’s the big deal? Play the U.S. Open, take two weeks off, Bridgestone, week off, Troon, week off, PGA Championship, week off, Olympics, week off, Barclays, skip Deutsche Bank for a week off, BMW, week off, Tour Championship. I mean, football players strap it on 16 weeks out of 17!
5. Phil Mickelson. New drinking game for the Players: every time Phil says he’s “close,” take a shot of Patron. You’ll be dead by Friday afternoon.