It is 7,607 yards of pure beauty, and Torrey Pines, once again, came down to some final hole drama. The Farmers Insurance Open was a great one, and with that is another addition of rips and shanks.
Ben Crane: While the final two holes were a hair shaky, it didn't stop the 33-year-old Crane from carding his third career PGA Tour victory. The win was his first since 2005, and gets him in the Masters field for the first time in two years. The best part? It didn't even look like he knew he won until after the final putt dropped and his caddie confirmed it.
Phil Mickelson's Temperament: Having your name slandered left and right can't be easy, but when all this groove talk fell on Lefty, he took it like a man. He was openly frustrated, especially when he was called a cheater, but Mickelson did something that was absolutely okay under the PGA Tour's rules. If people had a problem with it, they could have gone to the governing body, but taking it out on Phil was in bad taste, and instead of yelling back, Mickelson handled it appropriately. Now, we will see if his lawyers are so kind.
Michael Sim's first 71 holes: On the 2009 Nationwide Tour, Sim was Tiger Woods with an Australian accent. In just his second event this season, the 25-year-old held it together, even when the putts wouldn't drop, like his birdie attempt on 17. He's going to win, a lot, and Torrey was the first example of just how good he may be.
Rickie Fowler: Last week, everyone in the golf world was concerned that Fowler might not be the second coming in the game. This week, he showed that we might have been a little premature with our claims. His tie for fifth was his first paycheck of the year, and Fowler was a double-bogey on 17 away from making his second PGA Tour playoff in just nine starts as a pro.
Stewart Cink's Twitter: People wonder why Cink has more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter, and it's for jokes like this one. Packing up for the Northern Trust, Cink asked if an old wedge he found should accompany him on the flight. Well played, sir.
Scott McCarron: McCarron hasn't won on tour since 2001, but he was the main antagonist to Mickelson and the grooves this week, tossing around claims that were both vile and unjustified. Did McCarron have old beef with Phil and this was his chance to go after him? Who knows, but it sure was unnecessary. Talk about rule breaking – McCarron sounded like the old guy screaming at the kids to get off his lawn.
Robert Allenby's Back Nine: On Sunday, Allenby was in the hunt. At 13-under with five holes to go, it looked as if he'd post a number that Crane and the gang would have to catch. Two bogeys and a triple-bogey later, he was out of the hunt, and only a handy eagle on the 18th stopped him from falling out of the top-10.
Michael Sim's 72nd Hole: Seriously, has every golfer just lost the ability to, as Rene Russo so poignantly put it, "go for it?" Sim is standing in the 18th fairway, 240-yards from the green, needing to make birdie. Just like last week, with Tim Clark, Sim elected to lay up, failed to make birdie, and by doing so failed to make the playoff. Listen, I understand there are times to lay up, but this is not one of them. All three days on the South Course, Sim laid up and all three days he walked away with a five. That's the difference in a "nice finish" and a trophy.
Phil Mickelson's Weekend: Talk about erratic – Lefty's weekend included an eagle, six birdies, five bogeys and a double, not to mention a lot of missed tee balls and most of his post-round questions focusing more of his grooves and less on his game. Like Phil said on Sunday, it is the first tournament and he might have been overly excited, but it doesn't change the fact that he's missing fairways (hit just 41 percent all week, way down from last year) after all the talk coming in about his newfound accuracy.
John Daly: When it includes John Daly, it is hardly ever normal. The man that has shed more than 100 pounds shot an opening 79, missed the cut by a million and claimed, in a Golf Channel exclusive, that he was done with golf. The day those comments, Daly took to Twitter, explaining that he isn't retiring, and will continue to honor his commitments to certain tournaments. To be honest, the entire thing smelled a little too much like easy promotions for his new show, and less like a guy really saying he can't play this game anymore. Does anyone want Daly to leave golf? No, he's great for the sport. Do a lot of us believe that at 43 he could bypass some of this behavior and just focus on finding fairways and making putts? Absolutely.