1. Patrick Reed. Top 5? That may be selling himself short.
2. The Tournament of Champions in Maui. There’s no better way to kick off the year than this annual exhibition of golf porn: a fascinating course, endless views, frolicking whales, big waves. Sure, you might a get a few more players in the field if you move the event to Florida, but there are already enough tournaments in Florida, no?
4. Sang-Moon Bae. Poor guy has the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet his swing remains among the game’s purest. If he can stare down the South Korean government, I’m pretty sure Bae can handle PGA Tour pressure.
5. Pete Bevacqua. In the post-Bishop era, he’s the undisputed boss of the PGA of America, and as the newly minted chairman of the World Golf Foundation, he’s now basically become the head of the five families. Time to update those Most Powerful People in Golf lists.
1. Charl Schwartzel. He once birdied the last four holes to win the Masters. Now, at the South African Open, he coughed up a four-stroke lead with five holes to play. It’s a bummer to see this classy champion’s regression.
2. Jimmy Walker. A guy who has made winning look easy suddenly has discovered how tough it can be. All those missed putts on the back nine is graphic evidence of what pressure can do to even the best players in the world.
3. The Jordan Spieth-Justin Thomas Twitter “feud.” Swinging their purses at each other would be an uptick in nastiness.
4. Chris Kirk’s 62. He had to feel like he did something really special in tying the Plantation course record, until Jason Day did the same thing a few hours later, nearly stealing the tournament.
5. The ‘Occupy Golf’ protesters in Rio. Really? Is one environmentally sensitive golf course among the biggest problems facing this megatropolis?