Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on "what we learned" from the most recent events and news developments. This week we learned that No. 1 is still up for grabs, and that even when a tournament ends, it doesn't necessarily mean it's over.
I learned that every stroke matters – even when it appears to be quite the contrary. Johnny Miller has stated in the past that he would have loved to win a tournament under the following scenario: Three-shot lead on 18 with a tap-in putt for birdie. In this twisted game of fantasy, he'd employ a 3-wood to hit one OB, then take a drop in the previous spot and finally tap in for the win. Perverse thought? Yes, but it would still work – unless he endured a Zach Johnson-like situation.
On the final green at Colonial, Johnson failed to replace his ball after moving his mark out of Jason Dufner's line. The result was no-harm, no-foul, with an apparent three-stroke win only devolving into a one-shot victory. But if you've ever wondered why players grind over putts when the title is clearly in hand, well, there's your easy answer. – Jason Sobel
I learned golf is sometimes easy to predict.
Taking a look at the expert picks for GolfChannel.com's Fantasy Challenge, it seemed most of the 16 nailed at least one winner of the two we were asked to prognosticate this week.
At the same time, we had two clear examples of how the sport lacks a truly sure thing.
Jason Dufner was poised for a third win in his last four starts, but went swimming twice on Sunday to hand the Colonial title to Zach Johnson.
Rory McIlroy was cut at Wentworth to miss the weekend at the flagship events of the PGA and European Tours in consecutive starts. It was his first such streak since 2010.
Meanwhile, Luke Donald is back at No. 1 in yet another change in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Let's not even get started on Tiger Woods.
The only constant in golf these days is a complete lack of it. – Ryan Ballengee
That no lead is safe, not Jason Dufner’s one-stroke advantage going into the final round at Colonial, or his two-stroke lead through eight holes on Sunday or Zach Johnson’s seemingly impervious three-shot advantage going into the final hole. Dramatic momentum changes and bizarre penalties guarantee that truth.
Also, that Dufner is the best American in golf right now. Although he came up short in his bid to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1946 to claim the Byron Nelson and Colonial in the same season, his run has been nothing short of historic and should make him one of the favorites heading into next month’s U.S. Open. – Rex Hoggard
I believe it was just a week ago that I advocated never turning a golf tournament off until the final putt drops. Turns out I was wrong. As the finish at Colonial, with Zach Johnson’s failure to properly replace his marker proved, sometimes you’ve gotta stick around AFTER the final putt.
It’s already been noted how it was fortunate for Johnson that he made that putt and thus was spared the indignity of a playoff. But the way both of them were playing, I don’t think extra holes would have changed the outcome. – Al Tays
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