This week’s heroes? China, DJ and Freddie. Zeros? Rory, Kate Upton and the Asian photo op

2012 WGC-HSBC champion Ian Poulter guards his trophy from 2013 challenger Phil Mickelson. The eyes say it all.
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1. China. The wonderfully-named Shanshan Feng just won an LPGA event in her home country, and the HSBC is growing into one of golf’s signature events. Now China gets its very own satellite tour with the PGA Tour’s stamp of approval. The only thing missing is a dominant male player, but that is only a matter of time.

2. Dustin. He’s so distractable that maybe all the distractions in his life actually help him focus when he’s between the ropes? Whatever, winning a WGC is a career upgrade for this always-intriguing mega-talent.

3. Freddie. The coolest cat in golf can still play a little, too: he blew away the field by six shots in the Senior tour finale at Harding Park. No squirrel needed.

4. Tim Burke. The 27 year-old from Orlando came up aces at the World Long Drive Championship under the lights in Vegas. Words can’t really describe how macho this dude’s golf swing is.

5. Tim Finchem. The Commish’s big-picture view led to the birth of the Presidents Cup and WGCs and helped get golf back into the Olympics. Now he’s colonizing the world’s biggest (potential) market, China. Say what you want, but the man is always thinking two steps ahead.


1. Brunettes. Sunday night a prominent golf website — not ours! — had a total of five pictures of Paulina and Lindsey on the homepage. Is that gratuitous? Lemme look through the photo galleries one more time, and I’ll get back to you.

2. Rory. At the HSBC, he was in position to break his victory drought but couldn’t get it done on the weekend. Equally distressing were his strident words bashing Brandel Chamblee. I know Rory and Tiger are friends, but if McIlroy follows Woods’ lead and becomes a mediaphobe, we’ll all be the worse for it.

3. Poults. He was tied with Dustin midway through the final nine at the HSBC but couldn’t summon a similar finishing kick. The Ryder Cup savant remains oh-fer-2013, and one of the game’s biggest enigmas.

4. Kate Upton. Now that she’s appeared on the cover of SI (for a baseball story) and Golf Digest in the span of a month, I’m officially sick of America’s sweetheart. Though I will make allowances for a Jan Stephenson style photo in a bathtub full of golf balls…

5. The Asian photo op. It’s a long-standing tradition that visiting superstars go native for zany staged pictures, but after the absurdity with Phil, the Duf, et al, it’s time to put an end to this madness. For all of our sakes.