Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the week. This week, we focus on Jiyai Shin's dominating performance at the Women's British Open and the PGA Tour taking the week off in preparation for the Tour Championship.
I missed golf. Couldn't wait for the PGA Tour's off week to get here, then was sad when Thursday rolled around and Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were nowhere to be found. I'm an LPGA fan and watched the Women's British Open, but it wasn't the same without the men playing. I've always said that I like golf. Like it a lot. Not sure I love it though. Many people would kill to be in the golf industry, and I certainly am not complaining, I have a good gig. But it is a job, and being around the game so much often makes you want it to go away. Thought this week was one of those times. Found out it isn't. – Jay Coffin
A bye week in the middle of the FedEx Cup playoffs is a necessary evil. Not having a PGA Tour event on the schedule this weekend felt awkward – especially coming off a few weeks which showcased some of the world’s greatest players battling each other down the stretch. By going dark, it feels like the suits in Ponte Vedra Beach killed momentum. Let’s the face it: As much as they’d like us to believe otherwise, the Tour Championship isn’t the Super Bowl. Having an off week before the NFL’s big game may help the hype, but prior to the festivities at East Lake it’s more like out of sight, out of mind. So what’s the “necessary” part of this evil? If the Tour didn’t build in the bye, it would run the very real risk of more elite players creating their own bye weeks instead. Of the 125 players who originally qualified for the playoffs, only Jason Dufner and Sergio Garcia elected to skip a tournament because they needed rest. Playing four in a row – especially with a spot in the Tour Championship field already locked up for many – would likely be met with more absences. So while it may not have been a fun weekend without an event on the schedule, the reason behind the decision makes perfect sense. – Jason Sobel
The LPGA – more so than any other major tour – has entered a state of professional parity. There were four different winners in the four 2012 majors, which isn’t so uncommon, except that all four were from Asia, and not one was named Yani Tseng. Well, the world No. 1 had a surprisingly poor year. Fine. Well, the game is growing in the Far East. Fine, too. But there were no major titles for the household names, no big trophies hoisted by world No. 2 Stacy Lewis, or uber-talented Suzann Pettersen, or teenage sensation Lexi Thompson, or the telegenic Paula Creamer. Parity is welcome in spurts, of course. When 16 different players won 16 different majors on the PGA Tour, we were introduced to such studs as Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell – now proven performers. It remains to be seen what the LPGA’s 2012 major winners will accomplish. But the tour is battling a serious identity problem. It doesn’t have one. – Ryan Lavner
The 2012 Women’s British Open and the 2006 British Open may have been played on the same course but they were vastly different championships. The '06 edition, won by Tiger Woods, was a plodder's paradise baked hard by unseasonably dry and warm conditions. This week’s event at Hoylake, won by Jiyai Shin, was a survival test with Mother Nature going 1 up after Friday’s windblown washout that set up a 36-hole Sunday. – Rex Hoggard