Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth and Grumpy Tour Pros in Heroes & Zeros

February 1, 2016

Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck breaks down the good and bad — and sometimes even the ugly — of the weekend that was in professional golf. More often than not, someone blew a lead, another player stormed onto the scene and a few others provided us unforgettable moments, for whatever reason. Who is a hero and who is a zero? Find out below, but make sure to check back next week. You never know who will show up.


1. Sneds. He has the manner of a golden retriever – and the same haircut – but deep down this golfing gentleman is a killer. His closing 69 to win in San Diego is an instant classic.

2. Torrey Pines. In the usual sunshine it’s a very good tournament venue. In a hurricane it provided one of the most memorable final rounds in the recent history of the Tour.

3. Branden Grace. This guy just keeps piling up wins, the latest being a successful title defense in Qatar that has him on the precipice of the top 10 in the World Ranking. But it’s gonna take more than a bunch of Euro Tour victories to wash away the memories of Grace’s fatal drive out-of-bounds on the 70th hole of the U.S. Open.

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4. Hyo Joo Kim. This promising LPGA sophomore kicked off the new season with a rousing win in the Bahamas. Already top-10 in the world, Kim looks poised to make a run at No. 3, which is about the best mere mortals can do in this ago of Lydia and Inbee.

5. Jordan Spieth. Burnt-out and worn-down, he still made the Singapore Open must-see midnight TV, and the final flourish was indicative of the kid’s heart. Best of all, he didn’t win, which means he doesn’t have to go back next year to defend.  



1. Scott Brown. Following the third round I asked the 54-hole leader if playing in bad weather is more of a mental or physical challenge. “Mostly mental,” he said. With a closing 87 he skidded all the way to 49th place, playing the last 12 holes in an astonishing +13 with exactly one par. Mostly mental, indeed.

2. Stacy Lewis. She picked up right where she left off last year: another near-miss.

3. Jimmy Walker. Dude’s from Texas, isn’t he supposed to know how to play in the wind? Four back-nine bogeys killed his chance of catching Snedeker.

4. Jim Furyk. The 45-year old grinder is having surgery on his troublesome left wrist and expects to be out three months, imperiling his Ryder Cup chances. Then again, given Furyk’s record, maybe not having him on the team will be helpful to the U.S.

5. Tour players swinging purses. Phil blasts a poor kid for a little harmless fun with a bet and the world’s grumpiest Canadian, Graham DeLaet, rips Patrick Reed, who may actually have an ankle injury. Can’t we all just get along?