Hot? Karsten Solheim. Not? Phil Mickelson.
1. Karsten Solheim. Ten years after his death, the iconoclastic square grooves inventor is still haunting the USGA and the PGA Tour.
2. Ben Crane. Love that putting stroke, and he’s money in the press room. Too bad the dude takes an hour and a half to watch “60 Minutes.”
3. Riviera. There have been some ill-advised tweaks through the years, but the place is still a cathedral.
4. Robert Karlsson. The guy is so quirky it’s easy to forget he can flat-out play. With a stellar Sunday in Qatar he nabbed his 10th Euro tour victory, more than Sergio Garcia and a bunch of other bold-faced names.
5. Scott McCarron. Reporters always say they want players to speak freely and then blast them when they do. I commend McCarron for having the Spaldings to take on the Tour and one of its most popular players.
1. Scott McCarron. Alas, the game’s new truth-teller has suddenly turned downright Clintonian with his semantics. I think if you say a guy is cheating you are pretty much calling him a cheater. But what do I know? I only type for a living.
2. The PGA Tour. When I was interviewing players in November about the grooves, there was already kvetching about the Eye2 loophole. How could all those vice presidents in Ponte Vedra Beach have been caught so flat-footed?
3. Phil. No doubt McCarron’s use of the C-word was over-the-top, but Phil’s feigned shock at being called out seemed a little disingenuous — he had to know he was going to be criticized. More damning: The tourney was there for the taking on Sunday and he started his round with a bogey-bogey-bogey trainwreck.
4. Rickie Fowler. Big-picture, a T-5 at Torrey is a nice building block for Wonderboy. But that ugly double bogey on the 71st hole is what I’ll remember.
5. The Golf Channel. Its breathless coverage of John Daly’s short-lived “retirement” was an embarrassment. The constant shilling for Daly’s ill-advised reality show is grating enough, but don’t insult the viewers’ intelligence by trying to package the hype as real news.