After Further Review: Bubba's Sunday woes continue


In this week's edition of After Further Review, writers weigh in on Bubba Watson's baffling Sunday struggles, how unpredictable the PGA Tour has been this season, what that means heading into the U.S. Open and the continued American dominance in the women's game.

Bubba Watson may be playing as well as anyone in the world right now, but his uneven final round Sunday at the Memorial laid bare the one gaping hole in his résumé – the closer’s gene.

For all of his pyrotechnics, Bubba is just 2-for-9 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Worse, he is 0-for-5 when taking the outright lead after three rounds.

His only two victories in that position came at the 2011 Zurich Classic, where he needed a playoff to hold off Webb Simpson, and the recent Masters, where he cruised to a closing 69.

The attributes that make him so entertaining – the jumpy, unpredictable, what-are-you-thinking? Bubba – are also the same ones that may prevent him from fulfilling his awesome potential. – Ryan Lavner

The more golf tournaments I watch, the more I believe patterns and trends and past history mean absolutely nothing.

In fact, I think if there’s a trend entering the final round, that just means there’s a greater chance of the opposite coming true on Sunday afternoon.

And if something has never happened before, well, that doesn’t mean it won’t – it just means it hasn’t happened yet.

Take the Memorial Tournament as the latest example.

Bubba Watson, a proven winner with a few majors to his name, entered the last day in the lead; Adam Scott, the world No. 1 coming off a win last week, wasn’t far behind. And yet, there at the end were Hideki Matsuyama, who had never before won, and Kevin Na, who had trailed by seven shots entering the day.

You want to predict PGA Tour results before they happen? Go ahead. But based on what we’ve witnessed this year, you’ve got a better chance when picking the unknown as opposed to going with what the so-called smart money says. – Jason Sobel

The bookmakers have it wrong. While Rory McIlroy’s status as an 8-to-1 favorite is understandable considering his victory last week, after the BMW PGA Championship and his opening 63 at the Memorial Tournament, the former world No. 1 played the rest of the way in 3 over and still doesn’t seem to have all the tumblers aligned. Ditto for Phil Mickelson, the sentimental favorite who now finds himself under the cloud of a federal investigation for possible insider trading and a suspect short game. Even Bubba Watson, who struggled late Sunday at Muirfield Village, would be a stretch. The only certainty will be that there are no favorites at Pinehurst. - Rex Hoggard

The Americans continue to put their stamp all over women’s golf this season.

With Stacy Lewis winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic Sunday, she puts the red, white and blue back atop the Rolex world rankings, while giving the Americans their fourth consecutive LPGA title.

The Americans haven’t won four in a row in a season in 10 years.

With the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2 just three weeks away, the Americans are building momentum in a bid to end a frustrating spell in the event that means the most to them. South Korea has won the last three U.S. Women’s Opens and five of the last six. – Randall Mell