Lydia Ko, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth in Heroes & Zeros

February 15, 2016

Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck breaks down the good and bad — and sometimes even the ugly — of the weekend that was in professional golf. More often than not, someone blew a lead, another player stormed onto the scene and a few others provided us unforgettable moments, for whatever reason. Who is a hero and who is a zero? Find out below, but make sure to check back next week. You never know who will show up.


1. Lydia Ko. The earth moved for me, too.

2. Vaughn Taylor. What an inspirational win for a guy who none of us had thought of in years. Taylor began the week 447th in the World Ranking. I wonder if the guy who was 440th, Tiger Woods, noticed.

3. Phil. He didn’t get it done but, man, is it fun to have Mickelson back in the mix again.

4. Charl. An eight-shot blowout in South Africa gave this enigmatic talent his second victory in the last few months. Hopefully he’ll keep building on it, because there are few players I’d rather watch swing the club. Especially around Augusta National.

5. Golf fans. After the endless charm and beauty of Pebble, Spy and MPCC this week we get the glory of Riviera (below). It makes my heart ache that next week begins the monotonous march through Florida.


1. Jonas Blixt. After going eagle-birdie late on the front nine he seemed to be in control of the tournament, but bogeys on two of the final 11 holes proved fatal. What can you say, he’s no Vaughn Taylor.

2. Amelia Lewis. The very talented American teen was in position to break the heart of all of New Zealand but she finished bogey, bogey, bogey. Apparently winning is not as easy as some other teen queens have led us to believe.

3. Jordan Spieth. He candidly said on Saturday evening that a poor attitude has been holding him back the last couple of tournaments. Then the next day went out and shot a clean 66. That kind of brutal self-analysis is one of the things that makes Spieth so good…but hopefully going forward he’ll figure these things out earlier in the week.

4. Chris Berman. The Clambake was upgraded in so many ways this year but somehow we still have to suffer through his “golf.” I can’t imagine Bing approves of his frumpy presence.

5. Tour caddies. After all the harrumphing, their lawsuit against the Tour was dismissed, with the judge saying, basically, that logoed bibs are part of the uniform and the loopers aren’t entitled to any corporate revenue. Tough break for the working man but the lesson here is that if you want to make real money in golf become one of the  Tour’s army of vice presidents — you know, the guys who craft these policies in the first place.