- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports13 hrs ago
Matt Kuchar said something after his scintillating win at the RBC Heritage at lovely Harbour Town that defied explanation.
"I believe in a golfing god," he said, by way of explaining his epic Sunday 64, and his highlight-reel hole out from a greenside bunker on the 18th, the margin of victory over a game Luke Donald.
Kuchar's grin, always ear-to-ear, seemed to glow with extra wattage.
What Kuchar meant was, if he kept grinding away and asking the golfing deity for success, he would be rewarded. Seems logical.
Except, this is a curious take from a guy who, while ranked top-10 in the world, and a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, has never won a major and spent the previous two weeks getting the business end of the stick from those same golfing overlords.
A golfing god? Yeah, if he means Old Testament-style. You know, vengeful, wrathful, wings-off-flies type of guy.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
If this turns out to be one of those "The Masters really missed Tiger and Phil" columns, do you promise not to yell and scream and tell me about Bubba Watson's tee shot on 13, and his crazy approach through the trees on 15 and his adorable moment with his son Caleb on the 18th green?
Because – shhhh! – this Masters did miss Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Now, now. That is not to slight Bubba's triumph, his second green jacket in three years, his growing reputation as a man who may not be finished winning amid the cathedral of pines. Given his length, his creativity, his demolition of par-5s and, yes, his left-handedness, he fits the bill at Magnolia Lane.
The bigger problem was the cast of characters around Bubba. This Masters lacked fireworks. That whole "roars amid the pines" thing we get every April? Could have fooled me. The reverential say Augusta National is like a church. It was as quiet as one on the back nine Sunday.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports14 days ago
It's Masters week, and that means we should all ponder the question: If they hold a Masters, and Tiger Woods doesn't play, does that Masters exist?
What a silly question. No Tiger? No red shirt on Sunday? No quest for a fifth green jacket? Of course it doesn't exist.
Kidding! Kidding! Relax, golf fan.
The Champions locker room has plenty of lockers without the name "Woods" on it, as I was just saying to my good friends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
In fact, Woods' absence could be greeted with sharper-edged query. Like, since Tiger Woods hasn't won a Masters since 2005, who really cares that he'll miss it? He wouldn't have won, anyway.
This Masters figures, like most, to be a donnybrook. There is no clear favorite, and yes, I'm talking to you, Rory (Watch Out, I Shot 65 at Houston Sunday) McIlroy. Fun fact: Rory has played five Masters, and has yet to finish in the top 10.
There are, instead, about 40 candidates to win. And, yes, Rory would be one of them. He's only 24, after all. He's still learning how to genuflect in the cathedral of pines.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports21 days ago
We're getting to the point now, with every Steven Bowditch win, that follows a Matt Every win, that follows a John Senden win, where as a golf fan you either spin super-positive and say, "Hey, what a nice story this guy is! Congrats!" or you grab the remote control, flip over to March Madness and say, "Wake me when the Masters comes. Seriously."
For those of us in the "Up With People!" brigade, let's take a moment to examine the emotional win for Bowditch at the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio, because it comes with a backstory and it was unlikely and, hell, he shot 76 on Sunday and still won. For those of you waiting for a big name and Augusta National, I understand. We'll see you in a little more than a week.
But Bowditch, that's a surprise. He was ranked 339th in the world and he'd never won on the PGA Tour. Hell, in 109 previous PGA Tour starts, he'd logged only two top-10 finishes, none in his 12 starts this year. For good measure of unlikelihood, he'd missed three of his past four cuts. As long shots go, this guy would be ranked in the world's top 10.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports28 days ago
The Florida Swing is over, and the moral of the story is: Every man can win.
That's a joke, folks. Matt Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, and while we doff our caps for the 30-year-old Floridian's first career win in 93 PGA Tour starts, we also marvel at the revolution taking place.
The Sunshine State golf this year started with young'n Russell Henley toppling Rory McIlroy (who shot a Sunday 74) at the Honda Classic. It moved on to see Patrick (Top Five, Whether You Like It Or Not) Reed stun the world's top-50 at Doral. We watched John Senden remind us that the 40-plus crowd can still dust off the skills once in a while at Innisbrook.
And then just when it seemed royalty was ready to restore order, Adam Scott prepped for his Masters defense by blowing a seven-shot lead in front of the King, right down to a Sunday 76. Not to say that'll spoil Scott's green-jacketed homecoming in a couple of weeks, but if I were the valet on Magnolia Lane, I'd avoid eye contact with the Aussie.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
In honor of Selection Sunday, the PGA Tour gave us a winner named Senden. So, for all you combination golf/Bill Raftery fans, we can say to the 2014 winner of something called the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook:
"SENDEN IT IN, JOHN!"
Truth be told, the wind-whipped final round at Innisbrook could have used the charisma of a Raftery. The post-Doral leaderboard featured some low-wattage names that Valspar, which is apparently some sort of paint company, would have liked to whitewash. Nothing against Robert Garrigus and Scott Langley and Kevin Na and John Senden but … well, I guess it is something against those guys. None of them was ranked in the world top 100 entering Sunday's final round.
- Brian Murphy at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
When the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship took place at Doral, the boast by organizers was of the "top 50 players in the world" jousting for the cup. And "top 50" was code for Tiger, Rory, Phil and other assorted first-name-only dudes.
Little did anyone know it would be a brand-new first name-only player who would go wire-to-wire to win Doral for his third PGA Tour win at age 23, metaphorically slapping the bumper sticker on his courtesy car that reads: "HOW'S MY PLAYING? DIAL 1-800-EAT-DUST."
Yep, that's Patrick's game.
If you have to ask who Patrick is, you haven't been following the exploits of the thick-forearmed, scruffy-faced, necklace-wearing Patrick Reed, who alternately laughed off and sweated through challenges from the world's best to fire a final-round 72 to back up Saturday's 69 and bag his third PGA Tour win in the past seven months.
- Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
They don't make golfers more tantalizing, or frustrating, than young Rory McIlroy.
Two major championships by age 23, the most buttery of golf swings, a humble, grounded, approachable persona – heck, even throw in the appeal of the soft Northern Irish accent – make him about as easy a player to root for since "Champagne" Tony Lema roamed the fairways.
And yet, there is a tragic side to McIlroy's game, even at this tender age. You mix the tragedy with the many bursts of glory, and you have the recipe for McIlroy Madness.
- Yahoo Sports1 mth ago
Poor Jason Day. The guy wins the biggest tournament of his career, the guy cements himself, at age 26, as one of golf's great young players, the guy is the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play champ after an epic, sprawling, knockdown, drag-out 23-hole match, and all anybody can talk about is Victor Dubuisson.
Heck, even Day was talking about Victor Dubuisson. Right after Day finally held off the never-say-die Frenchman, his first words to CBS were: "Victor has a lot of guts … a lot of people knew he was the No. 1 world amateur in 2009, but for a 23-year-old, he's got a lot of game … you're going to see a lot of him for years to come."
Everybody wants to talk Dubuisson.
First off, it's just fun to say. Vic-tor Doo-bwee-sohn … say it in your French accent, and it's even more fun. Veec-tor Dooo-bweee-sohnnnnnn …
- Yahoo Sports2 mths ago
The last time we saw Bubba Watson win, it was in the gloaming, at Augusta in 2012, after one of the great shots in Masters history, and he wept and wept and we all learned how he and his wife, Angie, could not conceive a baby and had just adopted their first child and now he was a Masters champ the very week they brought young Caleb home and it all seemed too wildly good and happy to be true.
Flash forward nearly two years, to Sunday at venerable Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, and there was Bubba winning for the first time since then, and there was little Caleb, the adopted boy who is their son, nearly 2-years-old, cuter than cute could possibly be, in his Mommy's arms, shouting "Yay, Daddy!" when his old man capped off a 64-64 weekend at one of America's great golf courses.
You think Bubba was the only one a little misty-eyed?
It's OK, golf fans. You can dab at the corners with a hanky. I'll wait a moment.
OK, we're back.