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. U.S. Open qualifying. For my money, the Monday after Memorial is one of the best days of the year. Heartbreak, long shots, qualifying sites with no ropes … so much to love.
2. Will McGirt. Speaking of underdogs, what a way to snag a first Tour win, with Jack Nicklaus waiting to shake your hand, not to mention a three-year exemption. McGirt’s life just changed in a big way.
3. Anna Nordqvist. Stellar title defense at the ShopRite for a player who has a definite presence. My 10-year-old daughter pretty much summed it up on Sunday when we were watching the telecast: “She looks tough and cute at the same time! And she’s good!”
4. Lorne Rubenstein. He snagged the rare sitdown with Tiger for TIME magazine and now is ghost-writing Woods’s forthcoming book on the 1997 Masters. Rubenstein will become an all-time literary god if the book begins: “It is what it is.”
5. The PGA of America. Answering the prayers of the Korean media and other interested observers, they have given us the tabloid-ready pairing of In Gee Chun and Ha Na Jang at the Women’s PGA. Luggage may not be thrown but purses will be swung, at least metaphorically.
1. Matt Kuchar. Bogey, double bogey, par, bogey…heckuva back-nine charge by Kooch.
2. Keegan. Jeez, now his old high school whipping boy Jon Curran has usurped him. If that doesn’t light a fire under Bradley, nothing will.
3. Dustin. Four back-nine bogies torpedoed him yet again. I’m amazed that I still have the capacity to be disappointed, but I do. The question is, does he?
4. Donald Trump. He scared away a great tournament and now is left with an absurdly difficult course at which guests have the privilege of paying $450 to lose a dozen balls. At least he can look forward to an Open at Turnberry soon. Oh, wait…
5. Nicolas Colsaerts. A few years ago The Dude looked like he was going to be a star but he has been abiding mediocre play ever since. Colsaerts was in position for a breakout win at the Nordea Masters but couldn’t keep up with Matthew Fitzpatrick and then, on the 71st hole, rinsed a tee shot that ultimately cost him an exemption into the Open Championship. To quote Walter Sobchak, “Obviously you’re not a golfer.”