1. Paula Creamer. Yes, she played a little too defensively on the weekend, but bottom line is Creamer shot a 60 and won the tournament. Good enough for me.
2. Graeme McDowell. The wee Ulsterman is now the King of Scotland after prevailing at Loch Lomond. Not bad for a guy who two years ago was in such a slump he was spotted getting swing tips from a punter in a pub.
3. Kenny Perry. Three wins in five starts is about as macho as it gets, and his crafty scheduling may get him not only a spot on the Ryder Cup team but the FedEx Cup, too. As for the British Open, if he doesn’t care, why should we?
4. Jay Williamson. On the other hand, our man Jay, the scrappy ex-hockey player, was ecstatic to wing off to Birkdale at the last minute by virtue of his strong finish at the Deere. Finally a Yank to root for!
5. Milwaukee Open. Having the hottest player in the world is a huge boost for a tourney that always struggles for attention. But enough about Brad Adamonis.
1. Luke Donald. A wrist injury has KO’d him for the Open and now word from the Faldo camp makes it sound as if Donald is out for the Ryder Cup, too. Neither event will be the same without the Donald’s ebullient personality.
2. West coast golf fans. The Open is the one event all year that makes me glad I have a baby boy that needs 4 a.m. feedings.
3. Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club. I suppose it’s nice that the club is getting a second chance by virtue of hosting the upcoming U.S. Junior, but for the rest of the golf world it’s a chance to reflect on how much progress has been made in making golf more diverse. Or, more accurately, how little progress has been made.
4. The Open Championship. No Tiger, no Kenny, bad TV times… I hope the rich history and spectacular venue can salvage the tournament, but if we get a no-name winner this could go down as the most forgettable major of the 21st century.
5. Brian Watts. The inevitable ten-years-later stories have highlighted a lost decade for the injury-prone runner-up at the ’98 Open Championship. For Rocco and all the journeymen, Watts’s travails are a reminder that most players rarely get a second chance at everlasting glory.