In this week's edition of After Further Review, Golfchannel.com's writers weigh in on Martin Kaymer's clutch performance, and questionable decisions on the PGA and European tours.
Bravo, Martin Kaymer. He’s no “weiches ei.”
That’s German for wimp, or, more literally, for “soft egg.”
We learned that translation on Friday, when Kaymer used the word to describe his less-than-brave shot into the par-3 17th island green at The Players Championship. In his brief eight-week run at No. 1 in 2011, Kaymer might have struck some folks as too soft to hold the top spot, especially when he admitted he didn’t believe he was good enough to be considered the game’s best player.
If Kaymer didn’t believe, we weren’t going to believe, either.
But you know what? He has become one hard-boiled egg. He is a really nice guy, but he is also one tough guy. You can’t clinch the Ryder Cup the way he did two years ago without being mentally tough. You can’t win The Players Championship the way he did Sunday without being equally tough.
You can’t close out a victory at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course believing you aren’t good enough. He believed he was good enough, and now we believe, too. – Randall Mell
Golf is a game of rules – and those who lord over the game often believe those rules are forever black and white, with no gray area left to open debate. Two instances this weekend proved once again, though, that not all decisions are open-and-shut cases.
Following his third round at The Players Championship, there was a lengthy video review concerning Justin Rose’s ball moving at address, for which he was penalized two strokes. Nearly 24 hours later, that ruling had been retracted. Forget that it was the right call; the precedent involved is a dangerous one, because it leaves such decisions not only open to interpretation, but unendingly open.
Meanwhile on the European Tour, it wasn’t a rules decision but a moral one which caused an uproar. After caddie Iain McGregor, working for Alastair Forsyth, died from a heart attack on the ninth fairway, the event reconvened. Though officials stated it was at the behest of players and caddies, the decision was tasteless, bordering on reprehensible. Forsyth was forced to return to that very ground where his caddie had passed, grinding out what was undoubtedly the most meaningless par of his life.
The Rules of Golf might be written in black and white, but the interpretations of them and the decisions within often initiate plenty of debate. We witnessed that once again this weekend. – Jason Sobel
The European Tour botched its handling of an unprecedented situation Sunday in Portugal.
Play was suspended for more than an hour after Iain McGregor, caddie for Alastair Forsyth, collapsed on the group’s final hole of the day and was later pronounced dead because of an apparent heart attack.
The sensible move would have been to cancel the rest of the final round – especially since the tournament was already reduced to 36 holes because of fog. But they continued on, supposedly after Forsyth expressed his desire to continuing playing because that’s what “Mac would have wanted.”
Even so, resuming play after such a traumatic event was distasteful at best. One of the circuit’s most popular loopers deserved more than a moment of silence. – Ryan Lavner
Conventional wisdom holds that The Players Championship will ascend to fifth-major status when the players – not the PGA Tour or media or even the fans – say it deserves grand slam status.
On Sunday, Martin Kaymer seemed to make a loud statement.
“For all of us it's a major,” said the 2014 champion.
But it was his play, as well as the play of those around him, that sent an even greater message.
On a perfect scoring Sunday, players repeatedly struggled with the emotions of the moment. From Jordan Spieth to Kaymer, their play on the course is the best testament to date that The Players is a major. – Rex Hoggard