1. Geoff Ogilvy. Smoove like buttah.
2. Anders Hansen. With a birdie on the final hole, this Euro tour warrior stole the Joburg Open and continued his emergence as a big-time player. But if you can tell the difference between him, Soren Hansen and Peter Hanson, then you watch way too much Golf Channel.
3. Mike McGee. Congrats, Mr. Sorenstam!
4. DL3. Davis Love never stopped battling at the Mercedes, tying for second to continue the renaissance that began last fall. And in conversation I’ve never heard him sound more determined. Prediction for ’09: at least one victory, contention at a couple of majors and a spot on his buddy Freddy’s Prez Cup team.
5. Adam Scott. Golf.com readers were the first to learn about his, ahem, friendship with starlet Kate Hudson. So what if he says they’re just friends, and she hasn’t been in a good movie since “Almost Famous”? Maybe she can provide the missing spark for Scott, heretofore a fabulously talented underachiever.
1. Retief Goosen. Still trying to piece his career back together after imploding at the ’05 U.S. Open, the Goose took a big step backward with a Sunday meltdown in front of the home folks at the Joburg. If he had held on at Pinehurst, he would have had three Opens in the span of five years and a certain place in the Hall of Fame. Now he’s Lee Janzen with a fancier jet.
2. Charl Schwartzel. For the last few years he has supposedly been the next big thing, but the lanky young South African also stumbled in Johannesburg, losing the Sunday lead. These guys need to start channeling Gary Player, not Ernie Els.
3. Mercedes Championship. I love the event at Kapalua, but apparently I’m in the minority. A lot of talk was swirling last week about moving the event after next year. Because golf really needs another tournament in Florida, or Southern California, or …
4. Europe. First the Ryder Cup, now this: the boys in blue and yellow lost the Royal Trophy to Asia for the first time, and afterward Charlie Wi woofed that he hoped Europe would try to scrounge up a stronger team next year. Maybe they should just sign up Zinger as captain.
5. Rich Lerner. I’m a fan of his work for the Golf Channel, and he’s even funnier off-camera, but the Johnny Carson of Kapalua went to the well once too often when he teed up Boo Weekley with a question about his upcoming trip to the Middle East. When Boo made a crack about his relief at not having to wear a turban, the flash of panic on Lerner’s face was priceless. No interview has ever ended more abruptly.