1. Jack. This is the one week a year when we can truly focus on the national treasure that is Mr. Nicklaus. The tournament is reflective of the man: classy, aware of history, important, benevolent.
2. Luke. Don't let the posh accent and preppy clothes fool you — the guy is a stone-cold killer.
3. Riviera. This week it's hosting the NCAA men's golf national championship, and the course looks pure, with firm and fast conditions accentuating its shotmaking demands. Can we please move the L.A. Open to June?
4. Zach. With the Ryder Cup only a few months away, it's nice to see this gritty competitor regain his killer instinct. Think golf is a power game? Johnson weighs about a buck-thirty-five, but he now has eight wins, including the Masters, putting him halfway to the Hall of Fame.
5. The Duf. You know you're enjoying an epic roll when you struggle mightily on Sunday on a big-time course and still finish second.
1. Padres fans. When Phil buys a piece of the team, he'll no doubt install himself as the team's closer, 68-mile-per-hour heater and all.
2. Rory. After a second straight missed cut, he vowed to refocus … then jetted off to Paris to hang out with his honey. Now, out of desperation, he's breaking routine and adding Memphis to his schedule. Because nothing will prepare you for the rigors of our national championship and the cold, heavy air and coastal grasses of the host course like a week of sweating it out in Memphis.
3. Paul Lawrie. After another strong finish, at Wentworth, he's now the 29th best golfer in the world … yet he's still afraid to play in the U.S. Open!
4. Peter Uihlein. The onetime boy wonder went 74-80 at Colonial to finish one spot out of DFL. He has yet to make a dollar in the U.S. this year.
5. Darren Clarke. His reign as British Open champ is nearing an end, and what a year it's been; now he's out of the U.S. Open with a groin injury. Wouldn't it have been better for everyone if D.C. had retired after his 72nd hole at Royal St. George's?