Anthony Davis’ doppleganger?
Slow play, crappy golf course, ugly leaderboard, and the biggest star withdraws. Other than that, what a great weekend on the PGA Tour! Seriously, if you didn’t tune in this week you didn’t miss anything. I was pleasantly surprised at the field this week, and thought maybe there was something I was missing, but no. It’s too bad this was an NBC week (although even Feherty & McCord would’ve had trouble livening the proceedings), as anyone recording the broadcast didn’t even get the added bonus of rolling the DVR right into tonight’s fantastic 60 Minutes Elon Musk/High Frequency Trading twinbill. But nope, had to change the channel.
After Matt Every won last week I touched on how genuinely cool it is to see when a guy wins a tournament and it instantly changes the arc of his career and the tenor of his life; when it’s not just a notch on the old belt. Steven Bowditch took that to the next level this week. If you haven’t read this piece on Bowditch, go ahead and dig in. Bowditch’s Sunday could’ve been a lot worse than 76 if not for his virtuoso chipping skills. Aside from his scrambling, Bowditch was aided by Kuchar, Loupe, Na, and Loupe all struggling their balls off. Daniel Summerhays and Will MacKenzie were both rock solid all day and added a bit of tension, but Bowditch was in command down the lackluster closing stretch at TPC San Antonio. It’s a good thing Bowditch was able to close it out when he did, because those caterpillars above his eyes were going to turn into butterflies sooner or later.
- Slow play is obviously the hot topic again this week, with five and a half hour rounds the norm. Somehow Kevin Na was prominently involved in the event, yet wasn’t blamed as the culprit. Na’s definitely made great strides his pace of play, but this week he can thank Andrew Loupe and his absurd pre-shot routine for taking the heat off of him. Loupe’s pace of play performance was DISGRACEFUL. How bad does it have to get before the officials take control? Why is the tour so scared to enforce it’s own rules? It’s gotten to the point where individuals in the gallery are taking matters into their own hands, heckling the slowest players and imposing vigilante justice. But yeah, keep slapping those tiny fines on ’em, suits. That’s working great.
- The greens were pure, the course looked very well manicured, but it’s like putting lip-stick on a pig. The AT&T Oaks course at TPC San Antonio (LOLZ) is simply not aesthetically inclined. The next 600 yard par 5 I like will be the first. The 17th hole played downwind a couple of the days (and they moved the tees up a bit), but on Sunday it was one of the most benign par 4’s you’ll ever see down the closing stretch of a tour event. Short, straight, and unimaginative. And if your course has a sponsor in its name, you don’t have the pedigree to pull off a bunker in the middle of the green on a par 3 (the 16th) like Riviera. The rest of the course was even less visually appealing on the telecast, perhaps as utterly forgettable as this take.
- As mentioned a few hundred times on twitter, young Spieth goes from DFL early in the proceedings to a top ten finish. Our man crush is bordering on being flat out creepy, if it isn’t there already.
- For his fourth tournament in a row, NLU favorite Pat Perez entered Saturday squarely in the mix, shooting himself wildly out of contention over the weekend. In his last four events, DubP is -15 in his last eight weekday rounds vs. +25 in his last weekend rounds. DubP’s banned from drinking coffee until he gets weekends figured out. #CoffeeIsForClosers
- As Will Gray noted on twitter, Brooks Koepka needing to finish 32nd or better to get temporary member status. He finished T36, one shot out of T31. One shot. Back to Europe he goes (although he’ll really be heading to Asia, as the Euro Tour heads Eastward for the bulk of April). This is a brutal hit for one of our favorites, and it should be a bigger story than it is.
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Asian comeback in the inaugural EurAsia Cup. Down 5-0 after the first day, Asia staged the all-out attack that captain Thongchai Jaidee promised at the outset of the event. Word is that Malaysia will host the 2016 and 2018 versions of this event, which seems a bit curious considering how many other places in Asia could host this event.
- We didn’t see this, but if what @FantasyGolfGuy is saying is true, then not a good look for our boy Thorbjorn Olesen, who didn’t even shake hands with Ganganjeet Bhullar after losing 4UP. Unless there’s more to this story that I don’t know, this is a strike for Thunder Bear (yes, that’s what his name translates to) who’s been garnering some hype in the Masters lead-up after last year’s top ten finish.
How Our Picks Fared
Nice rebound from a rough performance at Bay Hill last week. Obviously we had some guys in the hunt all the way until the end but Bowditch’s sizable Saturday night lead proved to be too much to overcome.
- Will MacKenzie – T2
- Daniel Summerhays – T2
- Jim Furyk – T6
- Jordan Spieth – 10
- Charley Hoffman – T11
- Pat Perez – T11
- Brian Harman – T16
- Brian Gay – T56
- Ryo Ishikawa – MC
Oil Spill of the Week (Brought to you by BP)
This is Jordan Spieth’s Thursday opening 9. As noted above, he was DFL at this point. All he did was play the next 63 holes in 10 under. He would have won this thing had he not imploded with that opening 42, but we’ll always salute a solid bounce back.
Next week’s oil spill might be an actual oil spill.
NLU Shot Tracker of the Week
In a week void of excellent shots, we went with our boy nearly acing the Mickey Mouse 16th hole…
#TourSauce of the Week
Zach Johnson’s reaction to a hard lipper today was a bit over the top. (Hat tip to Jon Matsumoto for the idea)
The Tour heads east to the Houston suburb of Humble for the Shell Houston Open. One more mediocre course, one more week until Augusta.
Not surprisingly, Patrick Reed will not be making the trip to Humble.