Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. This week our writers weigh in on Inbee Park's second consecutive major and Harris English's bright future.
Inbee Park is so gifted she can't throw away a championship.
The Rolex world No. 1 was falling apart coming home at the end of a brutal marathon finish Sunday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, but she's so unflappably put together nothing seems to faze her. She shot 75 in the final round and made bogey at the 72nd hole, but she picked herself up and defeated Catriona Matthew in the end with a birdie at the third playoff hole.
While we've seen how burdensome the No. 1 ranking can be today for players not named Tiger Woods, Park looks perfectly suited to carry the Rolex world No. 1 ranking in women's golf for a while. She just doesn't look as if she bothers herself worrying much about anything. She looks like she plays with the clearest head in the game. – Randall Mell
I know the goal each time a PGA Tour player tees it up is to win, but Phil Mickelson’s T-2 at the Fedex St. Jude Classic is the best-case scenario for Lefty this week. Why? Because no one has ever won in Memphis and gone on to win the U.S. Open and yet, we know his game is fine-tuned and ready for Merion. With his five runner-up finishes in U.S. Opens, Mickelson doesn’t need any more superstitions working against him. – Bailey Mosier
Harris English should be in the U.S. Open field. I know he didn't qualify. I know his world ranking isn't high enough. And I know the year's second major is truly 'open' in that it keeps dreams alive by allowing anyone to qualify for the competition alongside the game's biggest stars. So I'm not advocating that every PGA Tour winner be granted an exemption into the field like the Masters – just the last one. There's almost a sense that this victory is anticlimactic because we'll collectively celebrate for only a few minutes before turning our eyes to the U.S. Open. Wouldn't it be better if, much like conference champions before the NCAA basketball tournament – or more comparably, the winner in Houston or San Antonio before Augusta – part of English's post-round festivities included hopping on a plane and heading straight to Merion? I think so. I wish it could have happened. – Jason Sobel
Harris English’s popular win Sunday sparked the kind of reaction you might expect from his social media-savvy peers. Russell Henley chimed in on Twitter to congratulate his former Georgia teammate. Peter Uihlein tapped out a congratulatory message, too. So did Jordan Spieth. And Kelly Kraft, Ben Kohles and Blayne Barber. Even elder statesmen such as Rickie Fowler, 24, and Keegan Bradley, 27, felt compelled to tweet.
It was summer 2011 when many observers began to wonder what was wrong with American golf. How ridiculous. That narrative has since shifted dramatically, the tone of which now is trying to find the next PGA Tour winner among the crop of uber-talented up-and-comers.
The truth is, the PGA Tour has never had a more robust stock of fresh-faced phenoms. English, 23, will win many more times on this circuit. And so will several of his equally capable contemporaries. – Ryan Lavner