Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
At some point, a U.S. team captain is going to have to accept the fact that Phil Mickelson is not one of the 12 best American players. But Steve Stricker does not appear to be that captain, not after he said last week that he’d basically leave Mickelson’s status on the team up to Phil: If Mickelson thinks he deserves a captain’s pick, if he thinks he can help the team, then Stricker will take him.
No one who has watched Mickelson over the past two months can argue that his form is good enough to warrant a spot – he finished outside the top 50 at The Northern Trust and had another birdie-free round Sunday – and he said himself that he needs to show Stricker something, anything, or he would step aside. But the other contenders haven’t stepped up, either, taking some of the heat off Stricker and increasing the likelihood that Mickelson, now 47 and four years removed from his last victory, will extend his own record and appear on his 23rd consecutive team. - Ryan Lavner
Forget the convoluted math and the fluctuating points so infuriatingly counterintuitive to golf. You put up $10 million as a jackpot, get the best players in golf to show up to play a series of tournaments within a complex postseason system, and you’ve got a chance to see something special. Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth delivered something extra special Sunday at The Northern Trust. Johnson beat Spieth in a duel that made you grateful the PGA Tour invented the FedEx Cup Playoffs, even if it feels more like Jackpot Golf or Mega-Bonus Golf than it does playoffs. - Randall Mell
Despite its drawbacks, The Northern Trust proved once again that the FedEx Cup Playoffs work:
It’s been 11 years since the PGA Tour launched it’s version of a playoff, and while the vast majority of the golf public still doesn’t have a definitive understanding of the postseason points - and the non-stop projections can become tiresome - the product has proven to be worthwhile.
Sunday’s shootout between world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who climbed to second in the world rankings with his runner-up showing at The Northern Trust, is all the evidence one needs to conclude that professional golf is better with the playoffs, even if the details might leave some confused and searching for a calculator. - Rex Hoggard