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 the evolution of Bubba Watson, the jockeying for position by LPGA players in advance of the Race to the CME Globe's $1 million jackpot, "Asia's major" and the continuing secrecy of the PGA Tour.
Bubba Watson has evolved. It was only three short years ago that he performed his Ugly American act while competing in France, referring to national landmarks as "an arch" and "that big tower."
Those comments, along with some poorly timed on-course whining - at spectators, at his caddie, at himself - have helped earn Watson a reputation as a guy who can play his optimal brand of golf only in optimal surroundings.
He defied that notion this week, though, acting on his best behavior and parlaying that mindset into his third victory of the 2014 calendar year.
That doesn't mean we won't see the Ugly American in him again - even in America - but it does prove his game and his mindset are traveling better than ever before. - Jason Sobel
The Lorena Ochoa Invitational’s plot lines thicken next week with more than a trophy at stake at the event’s new Mexico City locale.
With Ochoa as host, it’s an important event, with an added dimension this year. It's now also something akin to a qualifier for The Race to the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the biggest prize in women’s golf. Only the top nine in the race’s points standings at the conclusion of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational will go to the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship with a shot at the jackpot. With her tie for second in Japan on Sunday, Karrie Webb moved back into the top nine, bumping out Azahara Munoz.
Webb, however, isn’t playing in Mexico, and neither is Chella Choi, who is eighth in points, leaving the door open with some big names in women's golf on their heels. Munoz, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr and Suzann Pettersen all go to Mexico with a chance to move into the top nine. There’s also a battle to make the top 72 who qualify for the Tour Championship. - Randall Mell
They call it “Asia’s major,” a nod to the lofty status enjoyed by the WGC-HSBC Champions if not the emerging Far East market, and in six short years the Shanghai stop has evolved into more than the sum of its parts. The no-cut, limited-field event didn’t receive full PGA Tour status until last year when the circuit transitioned to a wraparound schedule, but it has already become a can’t-miss event complete with a lineup of A-list winners (including this year’s champion Bubba Watson). The HSBC may never become a real Grand Slam stop, but “Asia’s major” has proven to be one of golf’s most important events. - Rex Hoggard
Shall we guess how the PGA Tour will discipline Patrick Reed for his outburst in Shanghai? Because we’ll never know. The Tour – all together now – doesn’t disclose its disciplinary action. The inane policy strikes again. This time, though, the Tour’s silence is particularly infuriating. Reed crossed the line by grumbling a gay slur at himself, and the Tour should have reassured the public that it takes such inflammatory remarks very seriously – especially after the PGA of America just dealt with its own public-relations fallout over insensitive comments. A few years ago, Kobe Bryant was slapped with a $100,000 fine over a similar remark directed at an NBA ref. Another player wrote a $50,000 check to the league after aiming his slur at a fan. What’s Reed’s penalty? It would just be nice to know. – Ryan Lavner