After Further Review: Of debuts and comebacks


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Ernie Els' putting comeback ...

Only 10 days have passed since Ernie Els suffered through one of the most painful putting performances in recent memory.

Six putts on the first green at Augusta National, 39 putts in total during an opening round that was followed by candid comments from the four-time major champ. Simply taking the putter back, he said, was an issue. “Snakes” had taken up residence in his brain.

It’s the stuff that has led lesser men to give up the game. But Els not only teed it up this week at the RBC Heritage, he displayed an ability to put those painful thoughts and memories quickly behind him.

Els finished T-14 at Harbour Town thanks to a 5-under 66 in the final round that was bettered by only one other player. What’s more, he finished the week third in strokes gained putting, picking up more than two shots per round over the field on the greens. It served as a remarkable turnaround, and proof once again that Els’ heart and dedication can’t be doubted.  Will Gray

On the youth movement in women's golf ...

Teen fever continues to spread in women’s golf. With Minjee Lee’s victory Saturday at the Lotte Championship, we’re close to seeing three teenagers among the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. Lee will move up to No. 12 with this victory. Lydia Ko, of course, is No. 1 and Brooke Henderson is No. 7. They’re both 18-year-olds.

Lee’s victory was the third consecutive by a teenager in LPGA events, coming on the heels of Ko’s back-to-back victories. The average age of this year’s winners is 20.8. The average age of players among the top 10 in the world rankings is 23.3.

By the time a player choosing to go to college graduates and joins the tour, she’s practically on the downside of her career.  Randall Mell

On Bryson DeChambeau's debut as a pro ...

Bryson DeChambeau bogeyed his first hole as a professional, a sloppy beginning to what turned out to be a solid start to what promises to be a promising career.

As professional debuts go, DeChambeau’s tie for fourth at the RBC Heritage is impressive on many levels. Tiger Woods, who is always an unrealistic and unfair comparison, tied for 60th in his “hello world” debut as a professional at the Greater Milwaukee Open but won in his fifth start in the play-for-pay ranks.

DeChambeau has at least six more starts to earn his PGA Tour card, but at this rate it likely won’t take that long.  Rex Hoggard