1. Cheeseheads. Steve Stricker showed a ton of heart in closing out a feel-good win at the Barclays, while his buddy and fellow Wisconsinite Jerry Kelly got choked up watching from behind the 18th green. There’s nothing as touching as Badger manlove.
2. Lorena Ochoa. Memo to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem: Maybe you should invite Ochoa to add some spice to the FedEx Cup. She’s only the most dominant golfer in the world, the latest evidence being her five-stroke victory at the Safeway Classic, her third straight win and sixth of the season.
3. Tom Pernice. His very public grousing led the Tour to institute the weekly reductions in field that give the Cup a whiff of playoff urgency. Watching two dozen journeymen play for their livelihoods at the Barclays was good fun, and that’s just a prelude to the bleeding at this week’s Deutsche Bank, where 50 guys will get axed.
4. The Champions Tour. For once the Sunday action was riveting among the geezers, with a sprawling seven-man playoff at the Boeing Classic, which Denis Watson won with a studly eagle on the second hole.
5. Brad Faxon. He’s had a tough year between the ropes, but the cerebral veteran helped oversee the makeover of the TPC Boston, turning this week’s venue into a much more picturesque, interesting and strategic challenge. Faxon is the rare player whose inevitable design efforts will be labors of love, not merely commerce.
1. Rory Sabbatini. For the umpteenth time this year he was in position to win but couldn’t get it done on Sunday. At least he didn’t antagonize Tiger this time around. Uh, on second thought …
2. August. Is anyone else tired of looking at lumpy, bumpy, chewed-up greens that are suffering in the intense heat? People, it’s 72 degrees in California right now, and my local greens are like glass. Could we maybe play a PGA Championship or FedEx Cup event west of the Mississippi sometime soon? Please.
3. Ryan Armour. The Tour rookie began the Barclays 131st in FedEx Cup points, but with a brilliant Sunday charge — five under on his first 11 holes — was in position to crack the top 120 and punch his ticket to Boston. Alas, he came in with a double and two bogies, and now the Fall Series beckons.
4. Steve Flesch. He charged to the top of the Barclays leaderboard on Sunday only to be undone by a series of disasters, including a four-putt and a ball buried so deep in a bunker he could barely identify it. Bad golf, great TV.
5. Rich Beem. Yeah, his top-10 moved him up the Cup list, allowing him to live another day, but at one point on Sunday he was tied for the lead before letting it get away. Beemer still hasn’t won since the 2002 PGA — dude needs a W, not a pocketful of points.