What We Learned: Ko and the cup


Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the week. This time we focus on what Nick Watney's Barclays win means in terms of the Ryder Cup; Lydia Ko's becoming the youngest LPGA winner ever, and, of course, Tiger Woods.

You either have it or you don't. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko has it. In spades. It's the innocence of youth, but against one of the year's best and deepest fields, she stepped on the gas Sunday to shoot 67 and easily win the Canadian Women's Open. Ko is already halfway to Michelle Wie's career LPGA victory total, she has exactly one more victory than Paula Creamer this year on the LPGA and she stared down likely Player of the Year Stacy Lewis in the final round and dusted her by five shots. That's heady stuff from a 15-year-old who contends she'll still attend college. Imagine what she can accomplish by the time she's old enough to sip a victory beverage. – Jay Coffin

The job of Davis Love III just became more difficult. There’s no way of telling exactly what was going through the U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s mind prior to The Barclays, but it wouldn’t be a terrible assumption to believe that the likes of Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler were atop his list of potential wild-card selections. That was before Nick Watney, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson – three more viable candidates in their own right – finished 1-2-3 at Bethpage. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that a few very accomplished players won’t be making the trip to Medinah. – Jason Sobel

Davis Love III may have a tougher job than European captain Jose Maria Olazaba when it comes time to make his picks for next month’s matches. Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk seem to be locks to land two of Love’s four picks, but Nick Watney’s blazing finish at Bethpage, combined with the relatively pedestrian play of Hunter Mahan (MC) and Rickie Fowler (T-24), may lead to some last-minute soul searching. Watney finished the Ryder Cup points race at 30th while Brandt Snedeker, who finished second to Watney at The Barclays, was 13th, putting conventional wisdom on notice. – Rex Hoggard

Davis Love III just ripped up his lineup card after The Barclays when winner Nick Watney put some shine on an otherwise dull season. A former top-10 player who is now back in the winner’s circle? It’s hard to ignore a hot player with an even hotter putter. Throw in Brandt Snedeker, who won at Torrey Pines, was in contention all week at the Open Championship, and nearly came from behind to win at Bethpage; St. Jude winner Dustin Johnson, whose long-and-strong game seemingly would play well at Medinah, as well as most places with tee boxes and holes, and suddenly, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler are no longer locks to make the team. The Deutsche Bank Championship just became must-see TV – for golf fans, sure, but also for Love.  Ryan Lavner

As much as fans try to will Tiger Woods to victory, it isn’t always going to happen.

The crowds in New York were – for the most part – in Tiger’s corner all week. But as much as fans might want Tiger to win, we can’t expect him to win every time he tees it up. Woods will win again. Woods will win majors again. He'lll probably even break Jack’s record. But we shouldn’t be so polarizing with our expectations of him. He’s going to have some great rounds and some not-so-great rounds, and that is the new norm for Tiger. Bailey Mosier

Youth isn’t wasted on the young.

Not in women’s golf.

Not within the LPGA ranks, where 23-year-olds now feel old. Just ask Yani Tseng. The Rolex world No. 1 said she felt old Sunday after watching Lydia Ko become the youngest winner of an LPGA event at 15.

Ko didn’t just beat the LPGA’s best at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. She waxed them. She won by three shots, but it must have felt like 10 shots to the pros who watched her close so ruthlessly on the back nine.

In what feels like “The Year of the Collapse” with so many PGA Tour pros blowing leads in big events, Ko put on a clinic in how to close out a victory. The exhibition has to flummox the LPGA veterans who watched this kid roll over one of their strongest fields of the year. It also has to scare them a little bit. Who else is coming behind Ko and Lexi Thompson? Who else is going to make 23-year-olds feel old? – Randall Mell