1. Veej. What’s more amazing — that Sergio Garcia made a putt that mattered, or that Singh did, too? A stellar performance by a Hall of Famer who has kept winning even during a massive swing overhaul.
2. Darren Clarke. Great to have the big man back on song.
3. Cristie Kerr. A non-factor since her breakthrough at last year’s Open, she delivered on Sunday at the Safeway with a 65 to force a playoff and a bird on the first extra hole. Now if she would just go buy an ‘h’.
4. Danny Lee. He showed tremendous game and poise in becoming the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur. But comparing him to Tiger? Puh-leeze. I’ll do that after he’s won 50 Tour events and a dozen majors … by the time he’s 30!
5. The FedEx Cup. The much-hyped playoff format that sportswriters love to hate is off to a rollicking start. Besides the buzz of Sergio’s sudden death, there are Ryder Cup spots up for grabs and the new points system has created a lot more more week-to-week excitement. Bottom line: don’t ever bet against Finchem.
1. Ian Poulter. Instead of showing up in Scotland this week for the last Ryder Cup qualifier, he has surrendered a chance to play his way onTO the team in favor of chasing FedEx Cup glory. Poulter seemed like a Ryder shoo-in after his finish at Birkdale, but now Faldo’s two picks have to be Clarke and Paul Casey, don’t you think?
2. Red, White and Blue. Forget the Beijing medal count: the Euro Ryders are so much better on paper it’s a joke, and Kerr is only the third American gal to win an LPGA event this year.
3. NBC. The peacock is forcing Saturday play at the BMW and the Tour Championship to finish absurdly early to accommodate, of all things, Notre Dame football. Thanks, but if I want to watch live golf with my breakfast I’ll tune in to the Open Championship.
4. Westchester Country Club. Tour players seemed to be going out of their way last week to bag on the host site of last year’s Barclay’s. Is it really that big a deal that the members asked to have access to their locker room during tournament week? Apparently so.
5. Tiger Woods. His U.S. Open victory was the defining sports performance of the year until that dorky Phelps dude starting appearing on the cover of SI every week.