After Further Review: DJ, Park return to winner's circle


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Dustin Johnson winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship just one month after returning to competitive golf, Inbee Park topping Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko in Singapore and commissioner Tim Finchem's Ryder Cup whiff.

He spent six months away from the Tour to deal with "personal challenges," but Dustin Johnson's returned in a big way.

The 30-year-old star is now a nine-time winner, and after getting his life off the course in order he looks determined to take the next big step on the course – winning a major.

Starting the season, Rory McIlroy was the clear favorite to win at Augusta and claim the career slam. But after hot starts by DJ, Jason Day and Bubba Watson, the world No. 1 should have plenty of company when they tee it up next month in Augusta.   – Ryan Reiterman

Inbee Park can intimidate with her putter. She’s able to break a foe’s spirit with the shortest club in her bag more than anyone else in the women’s game.

Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner says Park makes more long putts than anybody she has watched since Nancy Lopez.

“I thought Nancy was a great putter, but Inbee’s even better,” Carner said back when Park won the first three majors of the year in 2013.

Notably, Park didn’t beat Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis with her putter Sunday in Singapore as much as she did with her ball striking in their dynamic grouping at the HSBC Women’s Champions.

Park hit all 18 greens in regulation in the final round on the difficult Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course. How good was that? Lewis and Ko are terrific ball strikers, but Lewis missed nine greens on Sunday, with Ko missing five. Park missed just one green in regulation the entire weekend.

It’s notable that with Park battling Ko and Lewis for the world No. 1 ranking, she has pushed herself to become a better ball striker under the watchful eye of her fiancé and coach, Gi Hyeob Nam.

Park, Ko and Lewis are all pushing each other to new heights, and that’s forcing the rest of the women’s game to keep getting better.   – Randall Mell

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem admitted Sunday that he “whiffed” on the decision not to award 2016 Ryder Cup points at a handful of events this fall, and that he “didn’t really think through” the changes that were introduced by the PGA of America at a press conference last week.

Wait, what?

Finchem’s comments showed a surprising amount of candor, but they also illustrated the communication gap that apparently exists between the Tour and the PGA of America. The two organizations, with headquarters separated by less than 300 miles, have divergent agendas but cross paths every few months at events like the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

So while the decision was made by the brass in Palm Beach Gardens, it is the Tour whose properties are affected – namely the five regular-season fall events who now award no points, including the McGladrey Classic which is hosted by newly-minted captain Davis Love III. How can these decisions be made without input from Ponte Vedra, or conversely how can Finchem not anticipate a negative reaction from the impacted tournaments?

Whether he knew about the changes and simply miscalculated their reception, or if instead the PGA of America made the changes unilaterally, Finchem’s comments show that the U.S. side still has plenty of uniting to do.   – Will Gray