Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Tom Watson's Ryder Cup team taking shape, the clear flaw of the FedEx Cup and Sean Foley's strong resume with Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose (but not Tiger Woods).
Two down, one to go.
Tom Watson will unveil his three captain’s picks on Sept. 2, the day after the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, but it’s hard to believe two of those named aren’t already etched in pencil without an eraser anywhere nearby.
I’ve been saying since before he failed to automatically qualify at the PGA Championship that Keegan Bradley is a lock to make this team. Heading overseas to play Gleneagles with Watson gave him an A+ on the extra-credit assignment, and there’s also the not-so-insignificant fact that he can be the yin to Phil Mickelson’s yang.
The second selection was clinched on Sunday, as Hunter Mahan won The Barclays in impressive fashion. It’s difficult to picture Watson jumping for joy on his couch somewhere in Kansas, but you can easily see him smiling comfortably from his favorite recliner.
All of which leaves one pick left between the likes of Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Brendon Todd and whomever else can get himself into the mix this week. – Jason Sobel
Stuart Appleby threatened to turn the FedEx Cup on its head Sunday. Nevertheless, his out-of-the-blue performance highlighted one of the biggest flaws that remain with the season-long points system.
The PGA Tour desperately wants postseason drama, but playoff events are worth FIVE times the value of a regular PGA Tour event.
That’s how for a while Appleby – despite having no top 10s since early March – was projected to move from No. 98 to No. 1 in the standings. (Instead, his T-2 finish sent him to 19th.)
Eventual winner Hunter Mahan jumped from No. 62 to No. 1 – ahead of Rory McIlroy (two majors and a WGC), Jimmy Walker (three wins) and Bubba Watson (two wins, including the Masters).
If you want to identify the best season-long player, playoff events shouldn’t be worth five times the points. – Ryan Lavner
Among the chorus of concerns that have rippled through golf this season as Tiger Woods endured another injury-plagued calendar is that it may be time to cut swing coach Sean Foley loose.
Even one of Foley’s former students joined the conversation when Parker McLachlin tweeted this month, “Dear Tiger, Please turn off your brain and leave Foley on the range. You’ll stop missing it both ways. Sincerely, A player who’s been there.”
Lost in this rush to judgment, however, is the play of Foley’s other students, including Hunter Mahan – who won The Barclays – and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, a winner at Congressional and the Scottish Open. Perhaps Foley is not for Tiger, but his resume speaks for itself. – Rex Hoggard
Phil Mickelson’s shots from off the beer tent platform at The Barclays this past weekend was a reminder of how entertaining he can be even when he isn’t on his game.
He’s like a box of chocolates ... With Mickelson, we really don’t know what we’re going to get the rest of this FedEx Cup playoff run, with some uncertainty whether he'll be around for the end of it.
With Tiger Woods out with the back injury, we’re looking at the possibility we might see the Tour Championship without both Woods and Mickelson for the first time since 2006, and for just the second time in 18 years.
It’s hard to imagine the day the game will be played without both of them, but we might get a taste of it at East Lake next month. – Randall Mell