The Players Championship again delivered a dramatic finish with an abundance of storylines. Kaymer opened with a blazing 63 that included a 29 on his back-nine (the course’s front nine). He shared the 54-hole lead with our crush guy, Jordan Spieth. While the 20 year-old struggled on Sunday, Kaymer appeared unflappable until the rain hit but was able to outlast a surging Jim Furyk by one. More details below.
1) Jordan Spieth made our hearts flutter through 54 holes sharing the lead with Kaymer, but struggled on Sunday and was unable to capture his second tour title. I’m anticipating reading a lot about Spieth’s “struggles” over the course of this next week, which is why we went ahead and stated our case Saturday night. Anyone that’s embracing the “Spieth needs a win” campaign needs to get some perspective on history. At this age, Tiger didn’t even have a win yet, and Tiger happens to be the best player of all time. Let’s give the kid some time, because he’s got plenty of that.
2) Martin Kaymer just oozes class. He’s always seemed robotic to me before this week, but this quote from Spieth on Kaymer got my attention:
“I’m extremely impressed,” countered Spieth. “What I’m most impressed with is the way he approaches the game. He was out there truly having fun. He came up to me after I missed the putt on 10 and he’s like, don’t worry about it, just have some fun, this is where you want to be.
After Finchy was done awkwardly thanking Kaymer for making it interesting down the stretch, Kaymer took the mic and immediately began praising Spieth:
“I was really happy to play with Jordan the last two days. I think you have a really nice guy who you can support for the next few years for sure. I’m sure we’re going to see him at the Ryder Cup as well. But then, we’re going to be trying to beat each other. It was really, really nice to play with him, and he’s such a mature guy already. It’s a bit of a pity that he didn’t play as good as the first three days, but still, it’s a great accomplishment the last few months, and obviously coming here to play in one of the biggest tournaments all year, it pretty much does mean he’s going to win another major, at least in my books.”
Martin, if you’re going to consider the John Deere Classic a major like we do, you’re going to fit in well. But seriously, how often do you see a guy grab the mic after a win and praise an opponent like that? He was making eye contact with the crowd as he spoke, almost trying to get an applause for Jordan. He just won the second biggest tournament of his life, not to mention $1.8 million, and the first thing he did was dap his competitor. Good on you, MK.
3) The final four-hole stretch was absolutely torturous to watch. Kaymer had been so unflappable all week, solidly building and then protecting a three-shot lead when the horn blew at 14 (he also left at least four birdie putts under a foot short dead-center). Shortly after they sent the players back out in the rain, Furyk tapped in to get in the house at -12. Kaymer made a mess on 15 on his way to a double, failed to birdie 16, and almost got wet on 17 only to hole this dramatic putt:
And to top it off, failed golfer high five alert!
(GIF’s courtesy of Adam Sarson, aka the GIF Factory)
4) Rory back-doored another top-10, which seems to be happening as often as we see Spieth’s name on the leaderboard. I’m going to assume this is a good thing, and keep saying “he’s close” in hopes that it eventually becomes true.
5) Geoff Ogilvy allegedly acted like a prick during a local radio hit after his round Friday, then got served a heaping helping of karma with a 76-78 weekend. G’day, mate!
6) Russell Henley book-ended his opening 65 with a Sunday 66. All kinds of impressive. Had he not gone thermonuclear on Saturday with an 80, this tournament likely was his.
How Our Picks Fared
- Martin Kaymer (80/1) – WINNER!
- Sergio Garcia – 3
- Justin Rose – T4
- Daniel Summerhays – T23
- Zach Johnson – T26
- Luke Donald – T38
- Kevin Na – T38
- Pat Perez – T48
- Kevin Streelman – MC
- Roberto Castro – MC
Heat check for NLU! This was our 7th winner in 20 tournaments, putting us up 134.5 units on the year. It’s a certified YOTTO! Here’s what we said about Kaymer in our preview:
Martin Kaymer (80/1) – A final round 75 at Quail Hollow dropped him into a T18 finish, but for the majority of the week, he was looking like the Martin Kaymer of old. His history here is a mixed bag of mediocre finishes, but always makes the cut, and has two top 20′s in the last three years.
Oil Spill of the Week (Brought to you by BP)
There were a LOT of oil spills this week. In fact, these guys had to get involved:
Let’s start with Ted Scott’s Gerry Watson’s implosion on 13 on Sunday. He could have had swim trunks on and been doing laps in a pool and he would have been more dry than he was on this par-3:
Jeff Overton basically broke shot tracker with his ten on #11 on Saturday (part of a back-nine 46). Only 9 shots fit on the diagram, and you can’t really even see them all:
By this week’s standards, Kevin Na’s triple is pretty mild, but I just can’t figure out what happened behind this green:
Shot tracker doesn’t do this next image any justice, so we’ll just go with Adam Sarson’s GIF of this Richard H. Lee debacle:
NLU Shot Tracker of the Week
This shot from Luke Donald was bad ass (not something we say very often). However, it was the Johnny Football “Money Team” celebration that earned him the Shot Tracker image of the week
We better see this from @JasonDufner this weekend RT @Wrong_Fairway @LukeDonald's a part of the #MoneyTeam https://t.co/p6EiWdhe0O
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) May 9, 2014
#TourSauce of the Week
We didn’t see a whole lot of sauce this weekend, besides Furyk doing the rehearsal after every suspect shot. Therefore, Furyk wins the week.
Disappointed no one pointed our Furyk's awesome #TourSauce today https://t.co/9KFnsEvyY7
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) May 11, 2014
We head back to Texas for the Byron Nelson classic. The only interesting thing about this tournament is it’s named after a Legend. If Nelson wasn’t so greatly respected, I would make a joke about us taking a week off from golf before the Colonial-Memorial-(another off week)-U.S. Open stretch that awaits us. Golf!