1. The Solheim Cup. It’s right up there with the Masters for the most thrilling event of the season. The Solheim’s virtues — palpable passion, courageous shot-making, touching team spirit — were thrown into sharp relief even more by the ostentatious money grab that followed in Atlanta.
2. Jay, er, Bill Haas. Not only did he bank $11.4 million, but he also summoned the shot of the year, an insane wedge out of the muck to stay alive in sudden death. Maybe now we’ll be able to tell him apart from Nick Watney.
3. Suzann Pettersen. With Laura Davies and Juli Inkster having enjoyed their swan song, there’s no doubt this Nordic goddess will be the dominant personality for at least the next few Cups. That’s bad news for the Yanks.
4. Frys.com Open. Ernie Els has joined the field, along with Angel Cabrera, Rickie Fowler and, oh yeah, Tiger. With Joe LaCava making his debut on Woods’s bag, this upcoming Fall Series event is suddenly must-see.
5. Ryann O’Toole. One of the most controversial captain’s picks ever came through with a star-making performance. Had she held on to a full point in singles to keep the Cup for the U.S., it would have been a little too cinematic.
1. Freddy. Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley both deserve to be on the Presidents Cup team but Capt. Couples’s blind allegiance to Tiger Woods has left him only one pick. If Freddy has a Steve Stricker voodoo doll, you can be sure he’s sticking plenty of needles in its shoulder.
3. Webb Simpson. He’s had a breakthrough year, but with a chance to sew up the bloated FedEx Cup bonus he looked jittery all week at East Lake. He could still be player of the year, but you can’t pay NetJets with accolades.