When Horace Rawlins won the inaugural U.S. Open, in 1895, we’re pretty sure no one pounded him on the back and said, “Congrats on your first major championship victory, old boy.” History shows it takes a long time for tournaments to be accorded that august status. The first little invitational in Augusta was held in 1934, but it wasn’t until the early ’60s, when Arnold Palmer and color TV arrived together, that the Masters became a big deal. So who knows what we’ll think of the Evian Championship a few decades from now. To be sure, Lydia Ko winning the third one since it was declared to be a major certainly bodes well for both her and the tournament.
1. Ko. A Sunday 63? At 18? Evian ain’t Oakmont, but even Johnny has to know this was something special.
2. Silverado. A sleepy little season-opener is suddenly big-time with Tiger and Rory committing at the point of a bayonet. I’m already stocking up on pens, notebooks and bottle openers.
3. Tiger. Pros are flocking to his new restaurant, and his mere presence at Sunday Night Football relegated Jordan Spieth to an afterthought. That’s star power, baby.
4. Annie Park. With her third Symetra Tour win in nine starts this talented 20-year-old has punched her ticket to the LPGA. Golf’s youth movement goes on and on and on.
5. Thomas Pieters. He earned his second victory in the span of three weeks on the Euro tour. Keep your eye on this 23-year-old Belgian for next year’s Ryder Cup. As if the European team isn’t stacked enough.
1. Lexi. Maybe no one was going to hold off Ko this time around, but Thompson’s chip-yipped double bogey on the 14th hole certainly made it easy on her callow challenger.
2. The U.S. Walker Cup team. I know these guys look up to the pros, but do they have to play like it’s the Ryder Cup, too?
3. The World Ranking. It might’ve just usurped the BCS rankings as sport’s most annoying algorithm.
4. Michelle Wie. I’m a big fan, but you simply can’t sport aviator shades, high-top pink shoes and rainbow-colored hair and then go out and shoot 75.
5. Presidents Cup outfits. Lucky golf fans, we now get to choose the clothes for day one of the competition, thanks to a just-unveiled PGA Tour promotion. I’m opting for a paper bag in a distressed-khaki color so I can wear it over my head in shame as I vote.