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Devil Ball Golf

Five things we learned from the Transitions Championship

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Luke Donald / Getty Images

Let's be honest, we're all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of televised golf coverage -- unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that's the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the Transitions Championship.

Luke Donald's back in the driver's seat — It only took Donald two weeks to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, and he did it with, what else, a fantastic performance on the greens. He led the field in strokes gained (2.594) for the week, and finished inside the top 10 in putts per round, and putts per GIR. After getting off to a slow start this season, Donald has now improved his finish in every PGA Tour event he's played — meaning he's rounding into form at the right time with the Masters a couple weeks out. Rory McIlroy may be the hot name at the moment, but the way Luke Donald's playing, he definitely deserves a serious look to pick up his first major win at Augusta.

Ernie Els still lacks confidence in the putter — The ball-striking is still there, but following Els' missed three-footer on the final hole of the tournament, it's obvious he's still lacking in the confidence department with the flat stick. Els has finished inside the top 50 in the field all year in the putts per round category, a telling stat when you realize he was tops in greens in regulation at the Transitions. He's gone from the conventional putter to a belly recently, but even the switch doesn't seem to be making much of a difference. At this point you have to chalk it up to the mental side, and until Els starts rolling in key putts to build his confidence, there's a good chance these issues will persist.

So long, Transitions — After four years as the title sponsor of the Tampa, Fla., event, Transitions Optical decided to pass on renewing its contract with the PGA Tour after 2012. What that means is one of the better events on the schedule is now sponsorless going into next season. A Florida Swing staple, most assumed the tournament would look for a new title sponsor and keep things business as usual, but there's already talk of moving the event to the Fall Series and giving up its prime spot to Puerto Rico or the McGladrey. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but with Sunday's fantastic finish, the tournament gave potential suitors a reason to keep the event in the March rotation.

Charlie Wi has a sense of humor — Charlie Wi deserves a lot of credit for keeping things light following his 13 on the par-5 fifth hole on Sunday. Wi watched three consecutive shots carom off a tree and onto the range; it was the kind of hole that would've had most guys stewing after the round. But Wi keep things in perspective, even making fun of the hole by saying he "should have beat" the 16 Kevin Na carded last season at the Valero Texas Open. It's a good thing he didn't try for the record. Wi told reporters that he only had six balls in his bag, which meant if he lost any more during his round, he would've been forced to pull a John Daly and walk off the course.

Sang-Moon Bae strong play continues —Bae barely missed out on a birdie putt to tie Luke Donald on the first playoff hole, but three months into the season, you can already tell the 25-year-old rookie will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. With two top-5 finishes in his first eight starts, he's putting himself in a position to win on the PGA Tour in his first season.

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