February 28, 2010
It's golf without rules, and chalk another week up at TPC Scottsdale as a success for the Waste Management Open. The weather tried to deter the finish, but the guys got through and another winner was crowned. Who highlighted and lowlighted the week?
Hunter Mahan: It is hard to think that it took this long for Mahan to claim his second PGA Tour victory, but a pair of weekend 65s helped vault him to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. Two gutsy par putts on the 17th and 18th made me think Mahan might be ready for a major championship. If nothing else, he was the finisher on a great leaderboard in Scottsdale.
Rickie Fowler: Another week, another top-10 for the 21 year old. Sure, Fowler had his chances to win, but continually putting yourself in this position only means a win will soon come for the newly minted pro. Also, his outfits this week matched the atmosphere of the tournament perfectly.
Braxton Marquez: He might be a year older than Fowler, and still hoping to scrounge together a few bucks for a sandwich at Bisonwitches, but the Arizona State golfer put together an impressive 65 on Friday to make the cut as an amateur. Sure, the weekend turned out to be a tough one for Marquez, but making the cut has to be exciting enough for the kid that drew a huge crowd all four days.
Fred Couples: He won his first Champions Tour event earlier this month, but don't forget he can still play with the kiddos. Couples was under par in all four rounds at TPC Scottsdale, finishing t-14 in an atmosphere made for Freddy.
Ian Poulter: Complaining early in the week about fatigue, Poulter booked a flight for Friday afternoon at 3 before sanding off a sweet 63 to make the cut and jump back into contention. Then, the weekend happened, which Poulter wrapped up by flipping off the 16th hole patrons on Sunday. Not the best way to start your career at the Waste Management.
Fowler's 15th Hole: The year of playing it safe continued, as Rickie Fowler proved on the back nine Sunday. Needing a birdie to put himself ahead of the pack, the youngster stood 231-yards out on the par-5 15th. Go for it, right? Nope, Fowler laid up while his playing partners went for it, made par, and lost by a shot. Isn't he supposed to be brash?
Y.E. Yang's 17th Hole: Yang was the mover on Sunday, making five birdies and an eagle and topping the leaderboard. Needing a three on 17, Yang hit driver, but missed it in the only spot you can't miss it ... left. The bogey dropped him out of contention, and showed that even major champions can choke once in a while.
Anthony Kim's Saturday: Sure, it was windy on Saturday, but it wasn't that windy. Kim was in the final group in the third round but shot a 76 that included a triple-bogey on the birdie friendly 15th hole.