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Monday Tour Mash: Fowler’s finish, aggregate playoffs and Tiger’s evaporation

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Rickie Fowler Earns Playoff Victory Over Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia

There was one winner on Sunday at Sawgrass: Golf. Three members of the field played well enough to win the tournament on Sunday, but only one of them walked away from the course with the title and its trappings. Think for a moment about this list of “What the heck happened” over the final holes in round four:

  • Fowler played the final six holes in six-under par.
  • Garcia birdied 16 and 17, the latter with a putt nearly as wide as the green.
  • Kisner also birdied those holes and darned near won the thing in regulation.

When Johnny Miller is doing the seated Tarantella behind the 18th green, you know that these guys are beyond good and great; they’re other-worldly. On this day, in this town, Dick Fowler, Private Eye, solved the case.

Related: Rickie Fowler’s Winning WITB.

Aggregate Playoff A Winner At Players

FowlerPlayoffGarcia

There is no more dynamic finish (thank you, Alice Dye!) to any golf tournament, anywhere, than the closing triumvirate at TPC-Sawgrass. It was as if the clouds parted, the sun shone through and the Powers That Be(man) cried, “Egads, It’s Time For aggregate!” There are no breather holes over the final 1100 yards of this golf course, so no lead is ever safe. Let’s hope that two things transpire over the next decade: the format remains and we have oodles of playoffs.

George Coetzee Hammers Thor In Playoff

Coetzee

George Coetzee (pronounced coat-SEE-uh) might make a name for himself outside of his native South Africa. The 29-year old pro claimed his second European Tour victory of 2015 this weekend with a second-hole playoff win over Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen. The two professionals tied at thirteen-under par, with Coetzee making birdie at the last to catch the two-time tour winner. The playoff was contested over the same closing hole and Coetzee’s form held true. He birdied it twice in extra holes, a pace that Olesen was unable to match.

Smith and White Win Inaugural USGA Men’s Four-Ball Amateur

USGAwhitesmith

As easy as it is to misunderstand the concept of four-ball competition, it was THAT easy to recognize the winners. Teammates on the 2013 USA Walker Cup side, Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh and Todd White of Spartanburg threw everything they had at their final-round opponents (Sherrill Britt and Greg Earnhardt) and got home early after a decisive, 7 & 5 victory.

Contested at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, it was uncertain whether the college-age amateurs or the wily veterans would fare better in this better-ball event. Judging by the three mid-am and one college-am pairs to reach the semifinals, it was the latter. The Four-Ball Amateur replaces the USGA Women’s and Men’s Public Links Championships on the slate of national events this year. This week, at Pacific Dunes (Oregon), the women take center stage in their four-ball championship.

Tiger Woods Has Evaporated!

TigerWoods

Or so you’d think, if you read the headlines of the major online golf news sources. He is anywhere from the illusory “entirely lost” to the identifiable “worst score ever” at The Players. Well, let me tell you this: if there is any course on the tour that punishes a player whose game is a bit off, it is TPC Sawgrass. And, let’s not forget the weekend breakup with significant-other Lindsey Vonn. Hopefully, Tiger will recover emotionally and spiritually in the coming weeks. Let’s reserve judgement on his game and his future until after the four 2015 majors have played out.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. don davis

    May 13, 2015 at 3:34 am

    I miss the tiger buzz when he is moving up the leaderboard. Unfortunately he cannot keep it in play off the tee. Why is he not playing this week at the wells fargo? I wonder if he really has the will to put in the effort to regain his old form. He is really showing his age . Time to turn the page and start looking at some of the other players. Tiger and Phil are riding off in the sunset despite what all the media hype is trying to tell us.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 13, 2015 at 9:10 am

      These are very astute points, don davis. Phil has more on his mind (I suspect it is family concerns) than Tiger, but Tiger has less in his life (again, family) than Phil.

      • Glorious

        May 13, 2015 at 9:37 am

        Yeah, but with all the physical ailments that Phil has, you don’t see him cringing and bending over and blaming it on a fake hurt like Eldrick does, do you? No. Phil just takes his pill and gets on with it. When he plays poorly, he says it as much. When he feels the course is tough, he says it much. Unlike Eldrick, who doesn’t know humility from his next glory hole.

        • Pat M

          Jun 1, 2015 at 8:02 am

          Phil does not do the silly and childish acting that Tiger engages in.

  2. Yaknowit

    May 12, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Man, was that the most over-rated tournament ever, or what, huh?

    The Players is so totally overrated. Yea.

  3. cody

    May 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    the aggregate is the way to go. Way better than a single hole sudden death were one bad shot and its over. I do see the merits of both but prefer the aggregate.

    Tiger is toast. Thanks.

  4. 1 up

    May 12, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Way to be (not) consistent on the Tour and to keep the non-golfing sports fans totally confused as to what the big deal is with a tourney like The Players to have a silly play-off finish in an aggregate way. It really is asinine that the Tour treats its own game this way, to drum with useless and meaningless play-off formats that ends up being sudden death, anyways!
    As a regular golfer, I HATE the aggregate. In fact, I hate the fact that there are any differences in stroke-play format play-offs at all. It should be kept consistent, where certain holes at all the courses are played, and not jumbled up from course to course. Monotonous? Sure – but the game is about consistency and doing the same thing correctly and better than anybody else by scoring the lowest score possible in stroke play. Otherwise, we already have stable fords and match-play, so we don’t need the Tour to go around confusing the world with its varied play-off formats and choice of different holes at different courses!
    What doesn’t the Tour get? The players themselves don’t honestly care whether it appears to be exciting on TV, or not! They make so much money now, win or lose. The TV coverage is there solely for the money. But the game would still be played without the TV coverage, as it used to be, and the game would be just fine, actually. The Tour needs to buck up and become transparent, and accept that it doesn’t have to be exciting, it needs to be respectful and show what that sort of behavior means, and not this ogling of the young players for the sake of entertainment.
    The Players is a circus, and not really very exciting. It really isn’t. Nor does it need to be.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 12, 2015 at 9:45 am

      I disagree with everything you wrote. Please continue to comment, though. This site needs your perspective.

      RM

      • Captain Oblivious

        May 12, 2015 at 10:32 am

        And I must disagree with you. He needs to crawl back under his rock. The Tour doesn’t need to be exciting? Really?!!

        The “ogling of the young players for the sake of entertainment.” Uh, hello. They were showing the young players because they were the ones in the PLAYOFF. (Which, by-the-way, was awesome, IMO.)

        This clown doesn’t realize that TV exists mainly for the purpose of entertainment. This site needs informed and well-reasoned perspectives, not this drivel.

  5. dapadre

    May 12, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Shane Foley said it best, Tiger spoiled us. He was so out of this world that when he plays better than a PGA pro we say he is done. The young phenom, Spieth muts be going down hill, he didnt make the cut and he is nr 2 in the world ( Im being sarcastic btw).

    This is the same guy that has played few tournaments, changed coaches, has a break up, had surgery, re injured came back didnt play much decides to play the Masters when everyone said he would make a fool of himself and makes the cut and played well actually. When Chamblee gives him credit, then he must have played well.

    Agreed he is not at the top of his game, but his C game seems to be doing ok. I wonder what will be said if he is able to get to his B+ game not even A. Those that hail Rory (Im a fan btw, great player/person), compare the cuts made percentage with Tiger.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 12, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I concur. For years, we had the almost-next Nicklaus in Trevino and Watson and Seve and Norman, but not quite, Then he arrived, warts and all. Just as we cannot compare Tiger with Jack (see Jack’s 2nd and 3rd-place record in major championships v. Tiger’s), we cannot compare Rory’s cuts-made % to Tiger’s.

  6. Tony

    May 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Nike can’t make a driver for Tiger for him to keep it in play? 4 of 14 fairways hit at the players? Phil?, too busy to work on his game, corporate stuff, design…

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 13, 2015 at 9:13 am

      It’s so hard to say with Tiger. Which swing is in his head or his hands or his heart during any given week? Is he 100% healthy?

  7. Pat M

    May 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Tiger is done. He is a journeyman player now fighting to make the cut. He is being whipped by little guys like Rory and Rickie. Tiger was no where at The Masters. Phil almost caught Spieth and Phil has a serious form of arthritis.

    • ChristianR

      May 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Did you change channel when Phil and Spieth were already at home on friday evening? ’cause Tiger played also the wekeend.
      Where’s the fun to be an hater I really don’t understand, there are another things in life man, check behind you keyboard.

      • cb

        May 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

        +1 ChristianR. its crazy people call tiger a “journeyman.” No true journeyman would be able to take as much time off as tiger did, without swinging a club, and then come back and play the way he is playing. He is a living legend, just like arnold and jack. and if a legend is teeing it up that week then you should talk about them. you owe it to them to talk about them.

      • Ronald Montesano

        May 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

        +2 Haters will hate hate hate…that should be a song.

      • Pat M

        Jun 1, 2015 at 8:01 am

        Tiger is over. Stick a fork in him. He cannot keep up with the younger players and he looks really old now.

  8. ross

    May 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Don’t you guys ever get tired of talking about tiger? He’s washed up, no more majors for him!

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 12, 2015 at 5:20 am

      No, but it has to be the correct time and topic. Notice that I referenced the hyperbole surrounding Tiger, not his placement at the tournament. He can’t ever be the young superstar again, but he can evolve into something different. It all seems to depend on his physical stamina.

  9. Ronald Montesano

    May 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you, Mike and Joachim.

    Did you see the latest about Rickie being part of “Golf’s New Power Couple”? Please take away my keyboard when I’m that needy for a headline.

    • adam

      May 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      You can make up a combined name for them too, how about Rorkie?
      Rickie and Jordan are good but I don’t know if they’re quite on Rory’s level yet to make any combination of the three the “power couple,” but definitely heading that way. (based on wins, at least)

  10. Mike

    May 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    The Tiger stuff is insane. Although champions like Woods should not be measured by making cuts, that had to have been a realistic goal for him coming into The Players. He will win big again it’s just a matter of when… In the mean time, it’s nice to have Rory, Rickie and Jordan around.

    • Pat M

      Jun 1, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Looks like Tiger is already writing off 2015. Maybe 2016. He is a journeyman golfer now. There are a lot of guys on the web.com tour who are better golfers than Tiger now.

  11. Joakim

    May 11, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Nice job fowler well deserve now you the must underestimate player on tour. And i must agree about tiger. He made the cut. Speith mickelson kuther didnt!.

    sry for my english

    /J

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