Jason Day — Getty Images
Jason Day — Getty Images
Jason Day -- Any golf critic worth his weight in balatas figured it was just a matter of time until Jason Day started winning golf tournaments at a more consistent clip. After his great play at the World Cup of Golf in November it seemed that 2014 might be that year, and his play this past week was as solid as his golf swing. Day is a superstar, the type of player that can win multiple major championships, and this World Golf Championships victory will only help with the confidence as we roll into the final stretch before Augusta, where he has a T-2 and third place finish over the last three years.
Victor Dubuisson -- He might not have left Dove Mountain with the trophy, but the 23-year-old did more for his career over this week than he ever has. His wins over names like Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els were gritty, impressive and sometimes downright wacky, and his two up-and-downs against Day to extend the match were some of the best you'll ever see. Expect to see Dubuission's name on many leaderboards over the next 12 months as the Frenchman continues to play great with each tournament he enters.
Rickie Fowler -- Gaining confidence on the golf course after going through a swing change is the hardest thing for a pro, and after three straight missed cuts I worried that Fowler might start getting frustrated with his swing and game as he headed into one of the most important stretches of the year. No worries, as Fowler beat up on Ian Poulter, red-hot Jimmy Walker, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk before falling to the eventual champion in the semifinals. It might be tough for some to see the positives in a week in which you don't win, but for Fowler this was an important few days and he handled it well.
Match play -- It's the best format in golf, it's the most fun to watch and it really does seem to bring a whole different level of pressure to both the golfers on the course and the viewers at home. Ernie Els was as much as 3-up on Dubuisson before dropping that match, McDowell brought early drama to the event with some impressive come-from-behind victories in his first three matches and the finals went extra holes and was the best golf of the year to date. How many months until the Ryder Cup?!
The No. 1 seeds -- Unlike March Madness, the No. 1 seeds at the Accenture get bounced quite frequently, but not a single one advanced to the third round? Zach Johnson was out in his first match, with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson leaving in round two, meaning some of the biggest names at this event were gone far too early.
Sergio Garcia -- I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Garcia, dating back to Medinah, and while I thought his move against Fowler was classy, it was another example of Garcia missing that killer instinct he needs to win majors. I'm glad Garcia is trying to turn over a new leaf and bring some etiquette back to the game, but giving someone a 17-footer because you feel bad about playing slow on the previous hole isn't the way to do it. Nobody is ever going to scold a guy for wanting to win, and playing to win, so making your competitor putt out a putt he will likely not make is just a logical way to go about match play. I can respect what Garcia did as a man, but as a professional golfer you can't give a hole away just because you feel bad.
Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson -- This was one of the best Accenture events we've ever had, with incredible play and some fun matches all week. The big three of Woods, Scott, and Mickelson skipped the event and while it might have been the story heading into Wednesday, it barely felt like they were missed with the coming out party for Dubuisson and the big win for Day. Your loss, fellas!
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- Sports & Recreation
- Sergio Garcia
- Ernie Els
- Jason Day