Strange sort of PLAYERS Championship this year characterized by a lack of star power at the top, with the exception of Rickie Fowler, and no dynamic pulse pounding finish. Again, #16, 17, and 18 played pivotal parts, but I felt like I was watching a fleet of large ships all leaking oil and trying to get to port.
Congrats go to Matt Kuchar, for leaving the smallest oil slick, and for taking the crystal while maintaining the best attitude and biggest smile on tour. By historical standards, Kuchar won this in traditional style by finishing 3rd in GIR which is always the key stat. My picks of Luke Donald (6th) and David Toms (T-10th) played out well but they were never really in contention. I was very disappointed in Hunter Mayhan’s performance as his ball striking failed him and he missed the cut.
Final impressions on the other principals:
- Tiger Woods: T-40th at The Masters, T-40th at THE PLAYERS. Probably the 40th best player in the world.
- Rickie Fowler: This guy is the real deal. Goes all out and made key birdies on 16 and 17 and had a great look at another on 18. LOVE to watch him in the hunt.
- Lee Westwood: Another good ball striking week but same old story with the putter.
- Has anyone noticed that Charlie Wi cannot play on the weekend? Poor Charlie is 14th on tour with his pre-cut scoring average (70.04) and 165th in final round scoring (73.11).
- Kevin Na: 3rd round leader and total basket case on the tee with more false starts, waggles, practice swings and self admonishments BEFORE THE BALL IS STRUCK than I can remember. Don’t think it would be pleasant playing with Kevin until he gets these worked out and was worried that Kuchar would get distracted. Not the case, though.
- Rory McIlroy: Didn’t drive it straight, didn’t hit greens, didn’t make the cut. Didn’t have high hopes for him this week but he underachieved even my lowly expectations, and again on one of the biggest stages.