1. Cristie Kerr. Holy ’97 Masters! CK’s 12-shot demolition was not only a personal triumph but also a potential game-changer for a tour struggling to find an identity.
2. Bubba. Finishing regulation play double bogey-birdie was like Cliff Notes to his whole maddening career. But one of golf’s most likeable characters showed tremendous heart pulling out an overtime victory. And if you were wondering how much Bubba cared, the answer came with all those tears that followed.
3. Corey Pavin. The gritty old-timer proved again that he can still compete on the big Tour, even if he was giving up 80 yards off the tee to Bubba, among others. Expect him to get a little more respect in the Ryder Cup team room after this performance.
4. Jamie Lovemark. The one-time boy wonder had been derailed by injuries, but with a Nationwide victory he’s suddenly back in the conversation. Of course, at 22 he now qualifies as an old-timer.
5. Kenny Perry. The big-hearted Kentucky native will donate $2K for every birdie he makes at the Greenbrier Classic to the 29 families that were affected by April’s mining disaster in West Virginia. Yet another reason to root for ol’ Kenny.
1. Nick Faldo. Nasty Nick has been whining about his Ryder Cup successor, Colin Montgomerie, not properly paying homage to Faldo’s greatness as captain. How can Monty have forgotten that Faldo was so instrumental in helping the U.S. win back the Cup?
2. Fred Funk. He lost at the wire to Loren Roberts, remaining winless on the year. Maybe it’s time for this spunky 54-year-old to stop making so many cameos on the PGA Tour and focus just on beating the old guys. If he can remember how.
3. England. On the same day that Beckham’s boys got smoked by Germany at the World Cup, Justin Rose wilted in Hartford and Martin Kaymer gloated on the last hole of the BMW Championship by donning a German soccer jersey. We won’t even mention Neville Chamberlain.
4. Tiger Woods. The ultimate grudge-holder now has to host a tournament sponsored by the company that very publicly dumped him. Awkward!
5. Bradley Dredge. This year’s theme of the final round self-immolation has reached Europe as Dredge came home in 40 to give away the BMW International Open. Of course to Dustin Johnson, a closing 74 must sound pretty sweet.