Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On scheduling difficulties surrounding the Arnold Palmer Invitational:
Feel free to question players skipping the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but don’t interpret their absence as any disrespect toward the King. In an ideal world, every professional golfer would line up at Bay Hill this week and tip their caps skyward to the man who helped forge the path they now so comfortably trod. But schedules are fickle, and it’s a situation made more delicate with the event now sandwiched between a pair of WGCs and with the Masters looming.
While it took some longer than others to make the trip to Orlando, nearly every current star honored Palmer by playing Bay Hill in recent years – when such a gesture brought with it a firm handshake and a wink from the seven-time major champ, and when they could look him in the eye and offer a heartfelt “thank you.”
Palmer’s passing makes the 39th edition of the event a bittersweet one, and it raises questions about the tournament’s long-term field strength. But there will be plenty of big names donning Arnie’s Army paraphernalia this week at the course that came to embody his legacy, and the outpouring of emotion will be palpable – even with a few notable names on the bench. - Will Gray
On Adam Hadwin's emergence:
Adam Hadwin’s versatility is impressive. This guy looks as if he possesses a game that is going to travel nicely now that he has a large, new bundle of belief to take with him.
Sunday’s triumph may have been Hadwin’s first PGA Tour victory, but look at what he has already shown us on completely different kinds of tests this year. He went low in the desert, shooting that 59 at LaQuinta Country Club before falling short with a second-place finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge. That event is a birdie-fest. And then he won Valspar on Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course, a narrow, brutish ball-striking test where par is a pretty good score. Hadwin grinded his way home at the end, scrambling to beat Patrick Cantlay over the last few holes. Every element of Hadwin’s game is looking ready for even larger success. - Randall Mell
On Patrick Cantlay securing his card:
Out of the picture for the past three years, it’s easy to forget just how intriguing of a prospect Patrick Cantlay was. He won every big award, and played well in every big event, and for a time he was compared favorably with Jordan Spieth. Injuries and life intervened, but Cantlay’s stellar showing in Tampa (after playing just once in the past 28 months) was a reminder of his awesome potential. Now that his card is secure for the rest of the year, it’s full steam ahead. – Ryan Lavner
On the likelihood of Tiger Woods playing the Masters:
There were no specifics, but there rarely are. In a brief statement posted to Tiger Woods’ web site on Thursday, the eight-time winner at Bay Hill announced he wouldn’t be in the field next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
There’s “no timetable for [Woods’] return” and his “treatments are continuing and going well,” according to his release. So we’re left to read between the lines – again.
Considering his most recent issues with injury that forced his withdrawal from his last tournament and missed starts at the Honda Classic and next week’s event, it seems highly unlikely Woods will play next month’s Masters, and more and more likely he’s headed for another lost season. - Rex Hoggard