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 a mature and precocious 17-year-old Lydia Ko, how golf was in the good ol' days and the par-4 10th at Riviera Country Club that gave players more than a few headaches this week.
Lydia Ko’s reign at No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings as a 17-year-old is even more impressive when you consider the nature of today’s competition. With her victory Sunday at the Women’s Australian Open, Ko pads her lead on Inbee Park, who in 2013 became the first woman in six decades to win the first three majors of the season. Park has won four majors over the last two years. Ko is also pulling away from Stacy Lewis, who swept the LPGA’s major awards last season, becoming the first American in two decades to win the Rolex Player of the Year Award, Vare Trophy and LPGA money title in the same season. With Michelle Wie finding top form last year, with Lexi Thompson winning her first major, with Suzann Pettersen always a factor and with a strong, new wave of rookies hitting the tour, Ko towers above them all in the world rankings. The throne she occupies is a special seat with so many terrific players in good form today in the women’s game. - Randall Mell
Things were much simpler back in the good ol’ days.
That’s what they say, at least – and that’s what some of the game’s greats were saying once again this week. Jack Nicklaus insisted that Tiger Woods just needs to figure out his short game on his own; Johnny Miller pointed out that pitching the ball isn’t so hard, just take it back and brush the grass; Lee Trevino maintained that Phil Mickelson should have played better golf or stayed quiet at the Ryder Cup.
Maybe they’re all right. Maybe certain aspects of the game really are just that simple and some of today’s biggest names are overcomplicating things.
Or maybe things just aren’t as simple now as they were back in the good ol’ days. - Jason Sobel
Everyone loves a good train wreck, but Riviera’s 10th hole has gone from one of the best par 4s in the world to a carnival act. It’s not every year that the L.A. gem plays so firm and fast, but a few tweaks are long overdue, starting at the green, which is in dire need of reshaping and re-contouring.
The best holes in golf reward good shots. The 10th seems to reward good luck. The best players in the world aren’t holding the green on a well-struck 80-yard wedge shot, or a deft splash from the bunker. They’re embarrassed while hitting what should be a straightforward chip shot from short of the green. They’re reduced to playing croquet around the hole. Riviera’s 10th has long been regarded as the greatest 315-yard hole on Tour. Now, more than anything, it’s gimmicky. – Ryan Lavner