One-Hit Winners Struggle for Another
So John Rollins wins the Bell Canadian Open. Rollins seized the moment, capitalizing on Neal Lancasters double bogey on the 72nd hole, then rolling in a 20-foot birdie putt in overtime. When its your time, apparently its your time. Not Justin Leonard, Vijay Singh, Lee Janzen, John Daly, Mark OMeara, Hal Sutton or Mark Brooks ' all who were entered, incidentally. It was Rollins ' John Rollins.
I will ask the same question which has been asked so often this season ' when will you win again? Rich Beem made it a two-fer when he backed up a win at The International with a victory at the PGA. For the rest who have missed cuts by the bushel this season, they went right on missing cuts after their brief moment in the sun. Lets hope Rollins made this win only one in a long list of successes. Unfortunately, past history doesnt give us much hope.
Rollins actually has fared better than most of the other surprises who have managed a win this year. He has top 10s in five of his 27 tournaments this year. He has missed the cut in two of his last entries, but one of those was the PGA. He had won $800,000 or so before last weeks $720,000 paycheck hit the bank, so he was going to make his card for next year before lightning struck at the Canadian.
The others? Hard times have hit some of the guys. Kevin Sutherland used the claw grip to putt his way to victory in the WCG-Accenture, then he proceeded to miss four of the next five cuts, five of the next seven. He has struggled this year since that win in February, missing the cut seven times while playing the weekend 15 times.
Craig Perks was magnificent when he won the Players Championship, rolling in a long putt on 17 and chipping in on 18. But he promptly missed three straight cuts and seven of his next nine. And he missed the cut at Air Canada in his last outing, so Craig still has to do a little work before he fulfills all the potential displayed at The Players.
Theres Spike McRoy, who won the B.C. Open. Spike missed six of his first eight cuts, eight of his first 12, but then jumped up and grabbed a PGA Tour title with rounds the last three days of 65, 69 and 65. His game then slipped back to missing cuts ' he recently had three in a row ' but now he at least knows what winning feels like.
Chris Smith won the Buick Classic in June. He had missed eight cuts in 17 appearances before then, and danged if he didnt miss the Advil Western Open the week after he won. Hes made it the last five, though, so maybe hes finally on to something.
And theres Gene Sauers. Gene, of course, wasnt even a tour regular until he won the Air Canada a couple of weeks ago. He was a regular of the Buy.com Tour, though he didnt have a finish in the top 18 in the minor leagues until August. Lately, though, he finished tied for seventh and tied for fourth in his two August outings on the Buy.com, then won the Air Canada and finished tied for 16th in the Bell Canadian.
I guess it was just an unusual year in 2001, but look at the names who won after the PGA last year ' John Cook, Scott Verplank, Robert Allenby, Justin Leonard, David Toms, Bob Estes, Chris DiMarco. What a marked contrast to this year. This year since the PGA, winners have been Chris Riley, Sauers, and Rollins.
The fact is, of course, that those name players were in the events won by Riley, Sauers and Rollins. For one week, at least, these guys were better than those guys. If it doesnt say much for the consistency of the group mentioned, it says a whole lot about the game of golf. You may not know the names, but this is still golf at the highest level. You know whats coming next ' On any given day ' yada yada yada.
Maybe we are witnessing a turnover in the game. Mickelson hasnt won in awhile, Singh hasnt won in a while, its been a long time for Duval, even longer for Janzen and Brooks. Calcavecchia was good out west, average in the east. And wheres Cink and Garcia and Lehman?
Theyre behind Riley and Rollins and Sauers, thats where. If you dont have a Buy.com roster from the past couple of years, you may not know much about them. But the Who-Dats have all won this year. I just wish they could do it again to prove it wasnt an aberration.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.