What we learned


Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent events and news developments. This week we learned about a 'hangover' myth, the state of American women's pro golf and the emotional strength of Melissa Reid.

I learned Melissa Reid has incredible strength. Her triumph on the Ladies European Tour, in her first start since the death of her mother in a car accident four weeks ago, deserves applause and a moment of reverence. Congratulations to Melissa, and a prayer that this helps her family heal. – Mercer Baggs

I learned that sometimes dreams can vanish into thin air – literally. Trailing by one on the final hole of the Travelers Championship, Roland Thatcher hit an approach shot into the par 4 that looked like it was going to catch the front portion of the green, only to catch a breath of hurting wind instead. The result: It landed on the lip of the greenside bunker, helplessly dropping into the hazard. Imagine that. All of the preparation, all of the balls struck on the range, all of the practice putts rapped, all of the previous 264 strokes taken during the week – and it all comes down to an untimely breeze, just a few miles per hour of wind blowing in an unfortunate direction. That’s not to single out Thatcher’s demise, of course. It happens to every player, every week. But it’s exacerbated on the 72nd hole with a chance to win the tournament. In this case, it left a player muttering, “That was the perfect club,” as he walked off the green. And it was – until Mother Nature decided otherwise. – Jason Sobel

I learned that there is no such thing as a major championship hangover. Webb Simpson had every reason to play poorly at the Travelers Championship but shot 66 in the opening round. Perhaps he ran out of gas a little over the weekend (tied for 29th) but that could happen any week. As the champion, Simpson clearly had more commitments than any other player after the last putt dropped last week at The Olympic Club. But players like Fredrik Jacobson and Padraig Harrington both were in contention late Sunday at the U.S. Open too and they finished tied for seventh and tied for 11th respectively in Hartford. Major championship hangover is a myth. You're either playing well or playing poorly. It's that simple. – Jay Coffin

I learned no lead is safe on the PGA Tour. Marc Leishman came back from six shots down to start Sunday to win the Travelers Championship and claim his first PGA Tour title. The 2009 Rookie of the Year was the fifth player to win on Tour this season when trailing by at least six shots entering the last round. With 28 events in the books already for 2012, about 18 percent of events this season have involved what would be termed a massive comeback. If 2011 was the Year of the Playoff with 18 tournaments going to overtime, this is the Year of the Rally. – Ryan Ballengee

I learned that the state of American women's golf may not be quite as dire as some fear. Yes, in terms of sheer numbers, foreigners, especially Asians, rule the LPGA. But U.S. flag wavers have reason to be encouraged about Brittany Lang's playoff win on Sunday. If she could interject herself into the discussion of top players along with Yani Tseng and Stacy Lewis, it would be a major boost to the red, white and blue. – Al Tays

I learned that Casey Wittenberg took a gamble and it paid off on the Nationwide Tour. Wittenberg tied for 10th at last week's U.S. Open and could have played this week's Travelers Championship but instead played the Wichita Open on the secondary circuit, which he won. With his second victory of 2012 he secured his place on the PGA Tour in 2012. Who needs Hartford? – Rex Hoggard

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