Hot? Quail Hollow, O’Meara and ‘everyman’ golfers. Not? Ernie, Sergio

After a fast start to his season, Ernie Els faded at The Masters, and at last week's Ballantine's Championship.
Victor Fraile/Getty Images


1. Quail Hollow. The fifth major — sorry, Players — will be even better this time around as a yardstick of how Tiger’s game is progressing and a chance to see if Phil can keep his post-Augusta momentum. I, for one, can’t wait til Thursday.

2. Jason Bohn. “These guys are good” is a tired refrain, but then an almost-unknown like Bohn comes along and hits some incredibly macho shots to pull out a taut victory. OK, so they’re good, but there needs to be a companion campaign for all those fans wondering, “Who are these guys?”

3. Mark O’Meara. He finally got his first senior win, at the Legends. These days he definitely needs something to dine out on besides being Tiger’s mentor.

4. Noh Seung-yul. The 18-year-old South Korean is now leading the Asian tour’s order of merit after a strong showing at the Ballantine’s Championship. Jeez, now Ryo Ishikawa is over the hill!

5. Lorena Ochoa. Like everyone else, I’m sad to see her go, but this week’s joyous farewell at the Corona Championship will be a nice chance to savor one of golf’s best people. Is it unfair to hope she flunks retirement and comes back down the road?


1. Wells Fargo. The Quail Hollow sponsor is kicking down $7 million but afraid to be publicly associated with a golf tournament because the banking industry is enjoying such a sterling reputation right now.

2. Ernie Els. After his annual disappointment at Augusta, he was in prime position to win the Ballantine’s but stumbled home with a 74 to skid to ninth place. Suddenly those victories in Florida seem so far away.

3. The Champions tour policy board. The geezer circuit has been generating a lot of positive buzz but squashed what could have been the feel-good story of the year by vetoing Ken Green’s request for a major medical exemption. When Freddy blows out his back, they’ll wish they had Green around to generate some extra headlines.

4. Jim’s Barbeque in Franklin, Ky. Kenny Perry has hired a personal trainer.

5. Sergio. He broke 70 once all week in New Orleans and, thanks to a closing 76, finished three spots out of DFL. He can’t possibly be done, can he?

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