1. Mark Wilson’s putter
Have you ever seen a player make so many huge putts down the stretch?
2. The Champions course at PGA National
The Honda Classic has spent a decade bouncing around Florida looking for a home, but Jack Nicklaus’ tight, watery beast made for an exciting venue. Expect more top players to show up in the years to come.
3. Anton Haig
The 20-year-old pulled off a stunning victory at the Johnnie Walker Classic in just his 17th Euro tour start. He’s a precocious 6-foot-4 bomber by way of South Africa. Start revving up the Ernie Els comparisons.
4. The LPGA
The season starts now with this week’s MasterCard Classic, as Annika Sorenstam makes her season debut and Lorena Ochoa returns to her home soil for a raucous week in Mexico City. Sounds like more fun than the PODS Championship, no?
5. Washington D.C. golf fans
Instead of the milquetoast Kemper Open at ho-hum TPC Avenel, the nation’s capital gets Tiger’s new tournament and, according to Tour gossip, Congressional as a host club. Talk about your instant upgrades.
1. Boo Weekley
Thirty-nine inches from glory, the amiable journeyman gagged his would-be tournament winner on the final hole at Honda then petered out in the ensuing playoff. Maybe he should dig out the camos again, the better to hide from the embarrassment.
2. Camillo Villegas
Lotsa hype, even more endorsements, but still no wins. The Colombian heartthrob’s closing 66 at Honda was pretty macho, but he looked jittery throughout the playoff. I bet GolfWorld still gives him the cover for a third time.
3. Ernie Els
Golf’s most mercenary superstar switched clubs — again — signing with Callaway a month before the Masters. Then again, Els is oh-fer-Augusta in his career, so maybe the new deal allows him to borrow one of Phil’s green jackets.
Great finish at the Honda. Too bad for the Peacock it was on Golf Channel on Monday morning.
5. Bill Clinton
The former First Golfer teed it up at TPC Sawgrass even though it was nasty and cold. No, not the weather — we’re talking about the demeanor of his playing partner, Vijay Singh.
Senior writer Alan Shipnuck has covered golf for Sports Illustrated since 1994 and frequently contributes to SI.com.