After Further Review: Martin joins 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 Ben Martin's big win, his future on Tour, and the necessity of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force.

How deep is the PGA Tour these days? A guy who went 78-79 in the season opener just won the second event of this nascent season.

That’s right, Martin missed the cut last week at 13 over par. He won the Shriners at 20 under – a remarkable 33-shot differential that ranks among the most unlikely turnarounds we’ve seen this calendar year.

Sang-Moon Bae was the 195th-ranked player in the world when he kept Hunter Mahan and Hideki Matsuyama, among others, at bay in California. Martin is 88th, after three missed cuts in his last four starts (and five in his last seven), but that didn’t matter this week as he outdueled Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka and Jimmy Walker in Vegas.

The next winner this season is anyone’s guess. – Ryan Lavner

The list of first-time winners in Las Vegas reads like a combination of Who's Who and Who's That? It's a list that on one end of the spectrum includes Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, and on the other, the likes of Andre Stolz and Wes Short, Jr.

In the wake of Ben Martin's initial PGA Tour title in Sin City, I feel safe claiming that he won't be the next Woods, but likewise don't believe he'll be the next Stolz or Short, either -- players who never again reached that pinnacle.

Martin admittedly didn't have his best stuff on Sunday but fought through it to play the final four holes in 4 under to earn the win.

Vegas is full of movers and shakers who enjoy taking a gamble and wide-eyed dreamers looking to hit the jackpot. The tournament's eclectic list of first-time winners mirrors that idea, too. Now we'll find out whether Martin has the stuff to keep adding to his stack of chips. I wouldn't bet against him. - Jason Sobel

Maybe the PGA of America’s Ryder Cup task force isn’t your cup of vodka. Maybe a blue-ribbon panel isn’t the answer to missed putts and horrid foursomes play. 

Perhaps the U.S. Ryder Cup woes can’t be solved from behind closed doors, but the alternative is to do noting.

The American team has lost eight of the last 10 matches and created a futility that could lead to an event that is worse than lopsided, one that's irrelevant.

Maybe the 11-member task force isn’t the answer to a slide that dates back two decades, but not looking for a fix is not an option. - Rex Hoggard