1. Sean O’Hair. So who’s the best American under 30? I’ll see your AK and raise you an O’H. Given how pure he hit it at Wachovia I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the week O’Hair avenges his watery loss of a couple years ago at the Players.
2. Pete Dye. Nice few weeks for the Marquis de Sod. First the grace and finesse of Harbour Town and now the thrills and spills of the Stadium Course. After I write the next Harry Potter he’s going to be the architect who designs my personal golf course.
3. Johnny Miller. It’s all Johnny all the time as NBC goes over-the-top from the Sixth Major. (What, you didn’t know Quail Hollow is now the Fifth Major?) It’s the perfect pairing of course and announcer as Johnny gleefully gets to call all the water-balls. I love hearing his cackle in surround sound.
4. Golf fans. Not only is there wall-to-wall coverage of the Players but this week also brings the LPGA’s fifth major, the Michelob Ultra, with a stacked field on a killer course. Make sure the batteries in your remote are fresh.
5. Thomas Levet. The nuttiest Frenchman this side of Inspector Clouseau won his fifth Euro tour event, the Open de Espana. Just don’t get too close — have you noticed that Ernie Els was never the same after Levet’s man-hug at Muirfield?
1. The 17th hole at the Stadium Course. The tournament hasn’t started yet and I’m already sick of it.
2. Torrey Pines. One year after the US Open the moratorium on rate hikes has now expired and greens fees on the South Course are rising up to 49 per cent for locals. Non-residents will now have to pay up to $266. Jeez, I thought we were in the middle of a recession!
3. Bubba Watson. No one on the corner’s got swagger like him, yet when it came time to finally win a tournament Bubba couldn’t shake in a couple of six-footers down the stretch in Charlotte. Do you think he’ll feel even a little bit like a fraud the next time he climbs into his Lamborghini?
4. Tiger. After a toothless Sunday at Quail Hollow he now goes to a place that must be fertilized with kryptonite — Woods is only 1-for-11 at the Stadium Course and hasn’t cracked the top ten since 2001. Forget his swing, it’s time for Tiger to start worrying about his aura.
5. John Daly. Does he get dressed in the dark?