Trump Turnberry, Jamie Donaldson and The Open Qualifying in Heroes & Zeros

December 14, 2015
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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. Jamie Donaldson. Remember this Ryder Cupper? He’s back in the conversation after a much-needed win in Thailand.

2. Shanshan Feng. Her 12-shot victory at the Dubai Ladies Masters was one of the year’s most dominant performances. Hopefully some of the fans obsessing over Paige’s appearance took time to appreciate Shanshan’s artistry.

3. The Duf. Yeah, it’s the Silly Season, but a win at the Shark Shootout is Dufner’s first taste of victory in three long, hard years. Here’s hoping the comeback continues – golf is a lot more fun with this character in form.

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4. Tucker Wadkins. The 23-year-old money manager, a former player at Arizona, poured in a 40-footer for eagle in sudden death as he and his old man Lanny took the Father/Son Challenge. Apparently being a badass is hereditary.

5. Monty. With a victory in France he clinched a second straight Order of Merit on the European Senior Tour. Somehow the older Colin Montgomerie gets the better, and more likeable, he becomes.


1. The Open Qualifying Series. It used to be cool when pros had to fly to the U.K. to play their way into the Open through Darwinian qualifying. Now all it takes is a couple hot days at a mediocre tournament in Asia. Sad to say, the product is being diluted.

2. Turnberry. Are we, the golf fan, really going to be denied one of golf’s iconic venues because its owner is more blustery than the Scottish linksland? Ted Cruz should run on a platform dedicated to safeguarding the Open rota.

3. Golf Twitter. I’m all for marital bliss, and I’m happy the likeable Lincicome met, and just married, the man of her dreams, Dewald Gouws, a professional long driver. But their endless mash nogolftes on Twitter were already tough to take, and now they’re even more googly-eyed. Get a room, you guys!

4. Carin Koch. For all the hand-wringing about Paige Spiranac’s poor play in Dubai, she finished ahead of the Euro Solheim Cup captain.

5. Brian Campbell. The former Illinois star was the low amateur at this year’s U.S. Open, but at Q-School he missed the crucial top 45 by a lone stroke. Welcome to the pro game, kid. It’s brutal.