1. Stacy Lewis. Now that is how you take over No. 1: a rousing Sunday to surge to victory. All hail the new queen.
2. Hideki Matsuyama. We’ve always loved the swing, but a 72nd hole birdie followed by an outrageous up-and-down in sudden death showed some Nicklausian heavy mettle.
3. Post-Memorial Monday. U.S. Open qualifying is one of the more underrated days of the golf year. What’s not to love about a dawn-to-dusk stressfest as assorted dreamers and schemers chase the dream?
4. Christina Kim. As if the LPGA doesn’t have enough going for it, the tour’s brightest personality is finally healthy and playing with renewed confidence. Welcome back, CK!
5. Phil. Never mind that his middling play continued at the Memorial, an SEC investigation is exactly what this money player needs for U.S. Open prep. Mickelson is most dangerous when we’ve given up on him, so here’s an insider tip: buy low and sell high when it comes to Pinehurst, because Phil is ready to cash in with an unexpected performance.
1. PGA Tour weenies. Seems like every week an LPGA star roars home with a macho final round. Meanwhile, the guys keep finding inventive ways to blow tournaments and squander opportunities. Sunday’s play at the Memorial bordered on farce.
2. Bubba. He’s so close to being the dominant player golf needs, but he lost his head down the stretch at Memorial, evoking the sad memory of his blown 5-footer on the 72nd hole at Phoenix. Is Bubba too high-strung to ever be a consistent winner?
3. Adam Scott. The newly minted world No. 1 could have exerted his alpha maleness but instead collapsed on the final nine at Memorial. Throw in Bay Hill (and the Oz Open before that) and Scott just can’t seem to get out of his own way.
4. Henrik Stenson. With a chance to win his national title for the first time and take over No. 1, he bogeyed four of the last 13 holes to give away the Nordea Masters. My gawd, the sickness has crossed the ocean!
5. Rory. As his life becomes more and more like a telenovela — the latest trick was playing 18 holes in 63 strokes followed by nine in 43 — McIlroy has become the most compelling figure in the game, for better and for worse, in good times and in bad…