After Further Review: Timing is Everything


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the fortuitous timing the LPGA has enjoyed this month, Seung-Yul Noh's bid to match a record that has stood for 40 years, and the role of fun in growing the game of golf, 

Timing never seemed to be the LPGA’s forte. Too often, an LPGA major, or a good women’s story, was overshadowed by a better story in the men’s game, typically a Tiger Woods story. Or some dramatic LPGA finish happened to come on tape delay.

But timing has made this an April to remember for the LPGA. It isn’t just Lexi Thompson opening the month beating Michelle Wie in a Sunday duel at the Kraft Nabisco, or Wie coming from four shots back in the final round last week to win in her Hawaiian home town, or 17-year-old Lydia Ko coming from behind to beat Stacy Lewis on Sunday at the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco. It’s those stories coming in West Coast finishes that give the women prime-time East Coast TV windows. It’s no Tiger Woods shadow falling over them. In fact, there hasn’t really been a PGA Tour story to trump any of them.

I don’t know who is in charge of timing at the LPGA offices, but he/she ought to get a raise.  - Randall Mell

The most amazing thing I saw written this weekend was this, in Ryan Lavner's article after Saturday's third round of the Zurich Classic:

"If he (Seung-Yul Noh) wins in bogey-free fashion, he’d be the first since Lee Trevino in 1974."

What? No one has won a PGA Tour event without making a bogey since Trevino at the 1974 New Orleans Open? (Wow, there's a coincidence.) Trevino shot 21 under that year to stroll to an eight-shot win over Ben Crenshaw and Bobby Cole at Lakewood Country Club. Noh's Sunday bid to match the Merry Mex didn't even last a hole, as he bogeyed No. 1. But that didn't stop him from winning the tournament. And now a lot more people know who Seung-Yul Noh is than did a week ago. And while PGA Tour first-time winners often fade back into obscurity as quickly as they escaped it, I don't think that's going to be the case with Noh, who has won on other tours. And maybe, just maybe, someday he'll make another run at Trevino's mark. After all, records are made to be broken, right? - Al Tays

I went to one of those indoor golf facilities with a few buddies this weekend. We had a blast trying to tame Kiawah's Ocean Course, but it was clear golf nuts like us weren't in the majority of the clientele. When a guy hitting shots in the next simulator over asked me about the difference between two clubs, it took me a minute to realize he literally didn't know a driver from a wedge. And yet, there he was, having a brutal time trying to muscle shots toward the screen -- and smiling the entire time. During an era when so many industry leaders have prioritized growing the game, I can't find any better advertisement for it than a fun, casual setting like this where neophyte golfers can get bit by the bug in a hurry. I'm all for new ideas, whether they include 15-inch holes or combining soccer with golf, but nothing grows the game better than fun. And nowhere are new golfers having more fun learning to play the game than in this type of environment. - Jason Sobel