1. Tiger. So far in ’09 he has two wins and a streak of six consecutive top-10s. That’s a good career for a lot of players, and the scary thing is that Woods is just beginning to find his game.
2. Memphis. It’s usually B-list at best, but not this week. The return of Phil, the second coming of Long John and a stacked field prepping for the Open has turned this tourney into must-see TV. As for AWOL sponsor Sir Allen Stanford, the less said the better.
3. Mina Harigae. She took a lot of flack for leaving Duke after one semester, but a 10-shot win on the Futures tour has vaulted Harigea to the top of the money list and pretty much validated her decision. And think of all the money she saved by not having to pick the Blue Devils in her NCAA tournament bracket.
4. Corey Pavin. At the Wales Open, he charmed the Euro press corps and even got a police escort to church on Sunday morning. Meanwhile his Ryder Cup counterpart Colin Montgomerie had his Bentley trashed by a valet. Is there a better definition of karma?
5. Hank Haney. He gets a lot of grief every time Tiger doesn’t win, so now are we going to give him all the credit when Woods triumphs? I didn’t think so.
1. DL3. He lost out on the Open three ways: he blew up at the Memorial when a win would have gotten him in; he moved up to 45 in the World Ranking a week after the top 50 were exempt into Bethpage; he blew it the old-fashioned way by playing mediocre during the 36-hole qualifier on Monday. If Davis had made that three-footer on the 72nd hole at Oakland Hills, all of this would be academic.
2. Adam Scott. We’ve grown accustomed to him missing cuts, but on Friday at the Memorial he couldn’t even break 80. Someone get him another starlet, stat!
3. Male golf fans. Bad news: there will be no Natalie Gulbis swimsuit calendar this year. Worse news: Laura Davies is going to be her stand-in.
4. Tiger. The greatest golfer of all time? Sure. The most dominant athlete of his generation? Well, considering Federer just matched his total of 14 Grand Slam victories, it’s at least open for debate.
5. Michael Letzig. After getting run over by Tiger on Sunday at the Memorial, he missed his flight to Memphis and had to W/D from Open qualifying.