1. Rory. Amidst a stellar all-around performance, and in an age when Tiger Woods has become increasingly conservative off the tee, young McIlroy reminded us what a weapon the driver can be. There’s nothing in golf as awe-inspiring as watching this kid’s effortless power.
2. Jack Nicklaus. Now there are two mega-talents chasing his record.
3. The Ryder Cup. With the PGA out of the way we can focus on golf’s Super Bowl, which gets a little extra juice with three of this year’s four major championship winners will be there. I still can’t decide which team should be favored. That’s a good thing.
4. So Yeon Ryu. Rory’s wasn’t Sunday’s only dominant performance — the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champ fired a 62 to take the Jamie Farr Classic by seven shots.
5. Carl Pettersson. I love how at address he looks like he’s struggling to get his arms around his ample belly, but this guy may be golf’s most underrated player. He showed a lot of shotmaking ability at the PGA and considerable poise, shrugging off a lame penalty that was assessed mid-round.
1. PGA of America. Poor planning and a rapacious desire for parking revenue led to a nightmare for fans trying to get on and off Kiawah Island. The Ocean Course is nice enough but no way another big-time tournament can come back unless the traffic logistics are improved dramatically.
2. Tiger Woods. This guy used to own the weekends at the majors, and now it is when his fragility is revealed. It’s a little sad to see how diminished he has become.
3. The rules of golf. Per Pettersson’s penalty, he was merely taking his normal swing — is it his fault a leaf rustled in the hazard? This is yet another rule that needs to be tweaked.
4. Ian Poulter. Twas an exciting start, but as soon as he got close to the lead he started wobbling. Which is just as well — if he had shot a 62 or 63 to win he would have made Johnny Miller seem modest.
5. Gary Nicklaus. Yeah, it’s cool he got dad to spectate at the U.S. Amateur, but anybody who spent a decade as a tour pro — and was good enough to make it into a playoff on the PGA Tour — should not be clogging up an amateur event. Amateur status should be like virginity; once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.