After Further Review: Inexperience key to winning in 2014


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on more and more first-timers securing tournaments on the PGA Tour this year, golfers we had once written off getting back in the mix and more positives this week for the LPGA.

Here is your 2014 golf year in a nutshell: In the final pairing on Sunday, the guy with a major championship title and a major championship runner-up appeared tentative and unnerved, while the guy who’d never before sniffed a trophy looked bulletproof down the stretch.

This is less about Louis Oosthuizen’s struggles during the final round and Brendon Todd’s ability to play with a lead than it is about seismic shift in the way tournaments are unfolding this year.

The way it used to be is that we could eliminate half the leaderboard entering Sunday afternoon because those players had yet to build up the scar tissue necessary to prevail. Oh, sure, there’s always been a Shaun Micheel or Ben Curtis to keep us on our toes, but those were the exceptions, not the rule.

Not anymore, though. For whatever reason, inexperienced players are becoming more capable of closing out tournaments on a weekly basis. Todd is just the latest example of this trend which continues to grow. - Jason Sobel

There is no “sell by” date in professional golf, no matter how long the product has been on the shelf. Consider that in the last fortnight, Martin Kaymer wrested himself out of a two-year slump by winning The Players after falling to 61st in the world. David Duval, 13 years removed from his last victory on the PGA Tour, continued the theme with an opening-round 66 at the Byron Nelson Championship; and finally Mike Weir - remember him? - showed signs of life with a closing round of 67 in Dallas. Although Duval missed the cut and Weir finished second at the Nelson, they proved once again that there are no absolutes in golf. - Rex Hoggard

The LPGA already was playing with house money this year, what with the recent successes of Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko. And now we have two more fascinating storylines - Lizette Salas breaking through this weekend for her first win and a possible return to form by former world No. 1 Yani Tseng. And we haven't even mentioned the current world No. 1, Inbee Park, or perennial challenger Suzann Pettersen. These are heady times indeed in Daytona Beach. - Al Tays