1. Tiger. He’s always made winning look so easy. Watching the bloody finish at Firestone reminded us how difficult it is for everybody else.
2. Ji-Yai Shin. With a spectacular (and bogeyless) final-round 66, the 20-year-old South Korean earned a dominant victory at the Women’s British. If you thought the Korean surge had crested, guess again. For the first time ever, there were as many Koreans in the field — 31 — as Americans.
3. Vijay. Sort of. How good do you have to be to make the Hall of Fame with that putting stroke?
4. Oakland Hills. Judging by the early returns, the Monster is breathing fire once again.
5. Ben Hogan. His closing 67 in the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, which included four 1-iron approaches, only looks better and better with the passage of time.
1. Michelle Wie. We’re going to have to give this spot to Wie in perpetuity. After a decent opening round in Reno, the inevitable disaster hit. Yes, she made a 9, but otherwise she avoided controversy. How bad are things going for Wie when this constitutes progress?
2. Phil. I don’t know what was worse, his loose finish or the inane, Sergio-esque denial that followed. Dude needs a win at the PGA Championship more than any other player in the field.
3. John Cook. For the second-straight geezer major, he couldn’t close the deal on Sunday, this time shooting 77 at the U.S. Open. I bet Tiger cancels their friendship.
4. The business model of golf. Ratings for Firestone and the Women’s British were microscopic, and sponsors on every tour are pulling back in these lean economic times. Most ominously, neither Van Sickle nor Shipnuck traveled to the British Open.
5. Greg Norman. For the third-straight tournament he was in contention but failed to win. And his divorce still cost him $103 million. And he still stole his best friend’s wife.