Two tournaments this week: Hideki Matsuyama defeated Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Danny Willett bested Andy Sullivan in Dubai. The best moments from the week are below.
Hideki Matsuyama defeated Rickie Fowler on Sunday in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to claim his second PGA Tour win.
That was how Phil Mickelson answered a question on Friday at Torrey Pines about whether his third shot on the 18th hole was the first time he had ever played from the parking lot. We’ve seen Phil play from cart paths and hospitality tents. He’s tried to pull off the backwards shot in live competition. He’s withheld information from his caddie just because he wanted to, and he’s pulled off one of the most ridiculous shots in major history that most players never even would have thought of attempting. There’s more that I’m leaving out for the sake of brevity, but I’m sure you get the point. Asking any other player about whether they’ve ever played from the parking lot would likely result in the standard, “Nope, first time” response, but Phil? He’s always been an entertainer, and this was just another day at the office.
Weather delays were the name of the game last week, as both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Singapore Open faced massive delays, forcing Monday finishes and as a result, pushing back the GIFs of the Week. We also had the Qatar Masters on the European Tour, and while I’m hoping to have a piece on Phil Mickelson up soon, I do have some general thoughts on the past week:
It was a fun week, with Jason Dufner returning from the wilderness to pick up his first win since the 2013 PGA Championship, and Rickie Fowler taking the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch as much of the CareerBuilder Challenge as I wanted to, so I won’t have a full recap of Dufner’s win like I did with Fowler’s, but before we get to the GIFs of the Week, I do have some quick thoughts:
Late on Sunday night, LINKS Magazine reported that Greg Norman was being dumped by Fox after only one year as Joe Buck’s colour man for USGA events and on Monday, the USGA confirmed the news in a press release. Officially, the term used is that the sides “parted ways”, and realistically, it’s possible that Norman wasn’t exactly enamoured with the role but based on a quick Q&A that Norman did with LINKS, it definitely seems like he was shown the door:
Fabian Gomez held off a group of contenders on Sunday at the Sony Open, eventually beating Brandt Snedeker in a playoff to capture his second career PGA Tour win.
On Sunday at Waialae, five players were seemingly near the top of the board all day in the final round. Snedeker and Zac Blair were tied at the top at 16-under par at the start of the round, and they were joined by Gomez, Kevin Kisner and Si Woo Kim. A pair of double bogeys derailed Kisner, who ended up shooting an even par round, while a bogey on the 13th ended any hopes for the 20-year old Kim. Blair was solid all day despite two bogeys and gave us one of the sauciest moments of the early season, stuffing this shot from 275 yards and calling it pretty much right at impact:
This week, match play returns to the European Tour in the form of the biennial Eurasia Cup, held at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia. Darren Clarke will be getting some practice in ahead of his captaincy at the Ryder Cup, as he leads Team Europe against Team Asia, captained by Jeev Milkha Singh.
The Europeans have the decided advantage in experience and on paper, they would appear to have a big edge in talent as well, especially with the additions of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter as Clarke’s two captains picks.
Below are the records for each player playing this week across all match play events, along with the overall team record at the bottom. For those players who have played in match play previously, you can click on their names and see their expanded records.